The holiday season is upon us! I hope it’s shaping up beautifully for everyone, it came on quick as ever! About this time of year, it’s a good idea to contemplate the fact that with the holidays come presents, taking up more space, and before you know it, your overstuffed home is a recipe for January clutter disaster! Money & budgets may be thought of as the main sources of stress during the holidays, but calendars and schedules are at least equally responsible!
Trying to balance family time and social obligations, shopping and making gifts, baking and entertaining and still finding time to focus on the “reason for the season” can stress out even the most laid back person. The key is deciding which activities are really important to you and then keeping a detailed calendar – not just of events and obligations but also as a way to make sure there’s time to make, buy and wrap gifts, send cards, bake cookies and everything else you want to do between now and the big day! Most important? Take care of you, and treasure those moments that you will keep with you for a lifetime. 

Read on for ways to make the most of your time while surviving the holidays and more pointers on how to stay Organized & Orderly through what’s left of 2019!

Start now & enjoy the gift of peace
You’ve decided this is the year you’ll celebrate the holiday season from a home that is clean, organized and ready for Christmas. You dream of holiday parties, overnight house guests, Christmas cookies, a decorated home and a calm and stress-free holiday season. There’s only one problem: right now, it sounds impossible! Hang in there, Organized & Orderly has you covered!
What should you have done by now?
  • All of your gifts purchased, especially those online to allow ample time for delivery -the last thing you need is one more thing to worry about 😉
  • Wrap all gifts as you buy them and/or as they are delivered.
  • Take stock of your decorations:  anything need replacing or updating?
  • Take stock of dishes, serving utensils & trays, and glasses.
  • Address & mail all of your cards
  • Purchase your fresh tree or assemble your artificial
  • Finalize your menu & guest list
  • Order up that turkey or ham
Running a little behind on all that? No problem at all, no need to panic, you still have plenty of time ~breathe. Check out my Prepping for The Holidays checklist & tackle each item one at a time. Pair that with my blog Get You Pre-Holiday Declutter On to help you through it and remember, Organized & Orderly is just a click & a phone call away, 949.667.4664.

Make the season merry & bright
Have a plan & you’ll already be ahead of the game! Here are 5 ways to streamline the otherwise unruly & unpredictable holiday season. Remember not to add any unwanted stress to your life by fretting over any of these, they are meant to help, not hinder, and I know you GOT THIS! Take 1 item a day if need be and in less than a standard work week you’ll be done!
  1. Budget!  Figure out what you’re working with! There is always the tendency to overspend during the holiday season so it’s always better to be realistic about ANY and ALL potential costs you may accrue. Think of everything:  gifts for family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, teachers, coaches, as well as all groceries, decor updates/replacements, cards, stamps, delivery costs, and all possible expenditures for social outings, dinners out, & entertaining. Then round up all your totals to provide a realistic cushion.
  2. Make a list & check it twice. Excuse me …lists, makes TONS of lists. And continually check it, more than twice, and be sure to check items off as you go! Not only will this communicate your progress but, once you have crossed off enough items, you make a new concise list that makes it all that much more manageable. Your lists should include:  gifts, card list, guest lists, grocery lists, miscellaneous stops (post office, Fedex, actual shopping -all errands that eat up your time) and preparation needed for all holiday guests.
  3. Nail down a schedule. And stick to it! Think getting the holiday cards ready & mailed, shipping to family out of the area or abroad, these time sensitive items need to be at the top of the list. Next, check your list of stops & where you’ll be shopping, think shipping delays and route a course that is most efficient when shopping locally. Then, party planning, baking, catering should have been ordered by now, decorating and social events; along with what all that really entails (wardrobe, reservations, etc.)
  4. Revisit your budget & lists. Now we narrow! Make sure you are on track when it comes to expenditures, and create you new & improved, shorter to-do lists.
  5. Clean the house. Those decorations are so lovely but, they do not look as good when covered in dust or the random clutter that miraculously appears at the end of each day. Stay on top of it, and get the entire family involved. And pay special attention to your kitchen, pantry, and fridge. This area of the home seems to have so much more traffic this time of year.
If it’s just all too much with all you have going on, remember that we’re here to help with:  organizing, decluttering, moving, and even decorating! Plus, if you’re going to get yourself anything this holiday season, the gift of a more organized holiday season is a good place to start; it’s also an amazing gift to give someone you hold dear. Being more Organized & Orderly is just a phone call and click away, call 949.667.4664 or email me.

You SO got this!
With just 2 weeks left, this is the calm before the storm if we can put it that way. Hopefully you have been able to squeeze every ounce of fun out of the seasons so far.
  • This week just focus on making sure all presents that are headed out of town are mailed
  • Make sure that guest room is ready for guests down to the very last detail
  • Shop for all non-perishable items, think alcohol, canned goods, etc.
Now there’s only 1 week until the BIG DAY & you may be finding it a more difficult to center as the main event draws closer. Let Organized & Orderly help simplify the chaos.
  • Cut kid clutter with a pre-holiday toy and clothes clear-out! It’s never too early to teach the value of donation!
  • Deep clean the house -be sure to allocate different tasks to each member of the family.
  • Don’t forget your fridge! There will be a lot more activity in this part of the kitchen.
  • Add last minute touches to your guest room & bathroom; everything clean and in it’s proper place, easily accessible ensuring a peaceful stay.
  • Complete all of your holiday baking, shopping, and wrapping. MAKE LISTS!
1-2 days before …set the table, finalize your centerpiece(s), buy fresh flowers, make sure all your devices are charged, and that your timeline is in place for the big day

At the end of the day do what you can, don’t get discouraged, don’t become a grinch 😉 The season is intended to be enjoyed, and you’ll have plenty of time to get more organized in the new year! January is National Get Organized Month -our favorite here at Organized & Orderly. Until then, cheers to you & yours during this beautiful season!

There are so many perks!
It’s unique, life changing, helpful, and the perfect gift …the gift of organizing! Give yourself, a co-worker, or someone you love time with Organized & Orderly! Give me a call or email me today for details, 949.667.4664. Also, don’t forget, we do decorating for the holidays too! We help clear space, put up your decor, and can even come back after & take it all down, packing it away in a safe & organized fashion. Here are just a few perks that result in enjoying an organized life:
  • More money: being organized puts everything at your fingertips making you instantly more efficient.
  • Less conflict: a messy space equals a messy life.
  • Increased ME time & higher productivity!
  • It reduces stress, and the risk of depression.
  • It can help you plan better from the moment you wake up, until you are sleeping better at night.
  • Less worries = better sleep.

Here are the Top 12 Reasons you need a Professional Organizer in your life!