Pulling off the Holidays without a Glitch
As the holiday season rapidly approaches, I recall a quote by Michael Altshuler a popular motivational sales speaker: “The bad thing is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” We all have varying degrees of organizational skills. To some people these skills come naturally but to others it may entail a little more effort and even some training. Wherever you may fall on this scale, please be reassured that at this stage, time is still on your side and given basic guidelines you will be able to pull off the holiday season without a glitch.
Make Lists & Set Deadlines:
Make a list for every possible scenario that will arise in the next couple of months and create a breakdown of tasks and deadlines for each task. e.g.
- Holiday/Christmas Cards
- Travel Plans
- School Activities
- Church Events
- Decorations and Food
You will need to make sure that you have everything for every event well in advance. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving morning to realize that you threw away your turkey roasting pan the year before. Frantically running around looking for open stores, like a headless turkey on Thanksgiving morning, is not a fun way to start your holiday.
- Determine that you have enough holiday and table decorations. If they are not organized according to the seasons, then organize them in color and labeled bins in advance. This will speed up your unpacking and packing time dramatically as each season changes.
- Ensure you have enough linen especially if you plan to have guests sleep over in the guest room.
- Check all your cooking equipment, recipes, spices, and tableware well ahead of your big meals.
- If you do not bake very often, then you will need to verify that your ingredients like flour, sugar, and baking powder have not expired.
- Double check that you have included everybody on your gift list and card list and even have some back up gifts and cards for the unexpected. This may save you possible embarrassment.
Prevent Last Minute:
There are a number of things that you can do well in advance which can take off the pressure that usually arises from leaving everything till the eleventh-hour.
- Create a gift zone in your home for gift storage and wrapping and try to spread out your purchases and wrapping over the next couple of months.
- Try not to do any holiday shopping on the first and second Saturday in December or the week preceding Christmas.
- Fall is also a good time for general de-cluttering as you purge and restock your pantry and go through your ornaments and linens.
- Attempt to thoroughly deep clean your home a couple of weeks in advance to you hosting any holiday function. This will prevent last-minute panic and will leave you with minor cleaning to do a day in advance.
- Endeavor to get your guest room ready, ahead of time, with fresh linens and make sure that all your personal items are out of the room.
Limit the number of invites, you and your family attend, as you are already spread so thinly over this season.
- Don’t attend out of obligation only accept the invites that have some significance towards you and your family.
- Arrange a potluck if you are hosting a holiday party. It creates a nice variety of dishes, takes a lot of stress off of you, and your guests won’t mind as they are only too pleased that you are the one hosting and not them.
Ask for Help:
Don’t hesitate to call in the troops if the going gets too tough.
- Choose a Cleaning Service to help deep clean your home in advance.
- Call a Professional Organizer, such as myself, to help put things in perspective and offer some support.