We are full swing into the holiday season – a time full of concerts and cantatas, family and food, stuffing and stress! Today I’m sharing 5 of my favorite ways to get a little more organized and to make the holidays less stressful.
Lists, Lists and More Lists
Use lists to keep yourself on track – gifts (ideas, to buy or already purchased), to dos, meal ideas, meal plans, whatever.
If you are completely overwhelmed by everything you have to do, sit down with pen and paper and do a brain dump. This is a really simple process of letting thoughts and ideas and things to do to just pour out of your head and onto the paper – very stream of conscious. Don’t worry about grouping like tasks together, spelling, complete sentences or anything. The idea is to just get everything out of your head. Once the overflow of information has slowed down, you can go back and start making actual lists with like items grouped together.
If you are a paper kind of person, grab a notebook and start creating your lists there. Try to avoid keeping lists on small individual scraps of paper because they can get lot. If you are a post-it note kind of person, corral all of your notes into that notebook so you have it all in one spot.Use lists to make these holidays less stressful. #organizing #lessstress Click To Tweet
If you are more of a digital person, use your smart phone or tablet. There are some many different ways you can do this.
- Use the native to-do list on your phone – Apple is Reminders.
- Use an app like Todoist, Remember the Milk, Wunderlist or a note taking app like Evernote.
For gift wish lists, my family uses the Gifster App. It is also a website. We can all share our lists and even links to the exact item we want. I have created a Gift List printable (just click to download) for you to keep track of the gifts that you buy. When it comes to making sure I have items for everyone on my list, I really am a pen and paper girl.
Holiday Decoration Storage
There is an overabundance of holiday related storage items in the stores these days. If you are in the market for new storage containers, now is the time to get them. If you wait until after the holidays, there will be slim pickings. Make sure you know how many decorations you have to store and how much storage you will need for them.Buy new holiday decoration storage containers before Christmas. Wait & it's too late. Click To Tweet
Consider standardizing your storage containers. I highly recommend plastic storage tubs over cardboard boxes. They provide sturdier protection, keep out the bugs and are easier to stack. You can get the red and green storage tubs but I really like ones that are clear so you know what’s inside. And be sure to label each container.
Check On the Batteries
Do your gifts require batteries? Toys, cameras and video game controllers often need batteries that are not included in the box. Make a list of what you need and get them well in advance of the gift giving. Getting what you need before hand can really help make the holidays less stressful.Get the batteries you need BEFORE Christmas morning. #organizing #lessstress Click To Tweet
Also be sure your rechargeable batteries are charged. Don’t let that special moment pass you by because your camera’s battery died. I really like these rechargeable batteries. I use them for the kids’ video game controllers and wireless keyboards among other things.
Clear the Photos
Take time to clear the summer vacation photos off of your phone and your camera’s SD card before the family comes to visit. Back them up to your computer or to a cloud service. Make room for the new photos you know you are going to take.Take time to clear the old photos off of your phone. Make room before the holidays. Click To Tweet
If you use a DSLR camera, consider getting a wi-fi enabled SD card to make it really easy to get your photos off of your camera before the next family gathering.
Think of Others
Thinking of others over the holiday season can improve your sense of well being and reduce your stress levels. Volunteer at soup kitchen. Buy gifts for a toy drive or angel tree. Donate to a local food pantry. Put money in the red kettle at the store. Send a care package to a soldier oversees.Thinking of others this holiday season can help reduce your own stress. #lessstress Click To Tweet
What is your best tip for making the holidays less stressful?
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