holiday candles and pine cones

Prepare for the Holiday Season the Easy Way!

Whether you’re overjoyed about them or dreading them, the holidays are almost upon us! Maybe the family time and festivities has you excited, or maybe the logistics feel overwhelming. Either way, it’s time to prepare for the holiday season! A few simple organizing tricks will ensure you enjoy every minute of it.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to decrease the stress and increase the warm fuzzies in the upcoming holiday season.

Finalize Plans Early

 

Your friends and family may think you’re crazy for asking them to confirm plans this far in advance. But, an easy way to keep your stress levels low as you prepare for the holiday season is to get everything possible into your calendar… EARLY! Do you have a long-standing tradition of going to the Christmas tree farm with your best friend’s family? Put it on the calendar now, (even if you can’t possibly think about getting that giant tree up your front steps yet). Planning to travel to your in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving? Book those flights ASAP. Make yourself a well-advanced deadline for booking all travel plans (especially air travel!), and stick to it.

Make Gift Lists

 

If your family exchanges gifts for the holidays, begin a gift list, or even a gift notebook! Write out the names of every person you plan to buy a gift for, and leave some space underneath each name. As you think of gift ideas or someone mentions a gift they’d like to receive, you can write them into your list. With a little prep work, shopping will be a breeze! (And P.S., shopping earlier rather than later is ALWAYS a good idea!)

Tip: Use an app such as Airtable or Evernote to keep your lists accessible on your phone. There are also specialized apps just for tracking gifts such as Santa’s Bag or Christmas Gift Lists.

Designate a “Gift Management Zone”

 

Shopping bags, Scotch tape, and scissors have a tendency to wander around a home during the busyness of wrapping gifts. If your family exchanges and wraps presents, designate a space in your home for all of your gifts and gift wrapping supplies. When you return from a shopping trip, place gifts in this area so they’re ready when you go to wrap them. Ask your family to wrap gifts only in that space, too. You can utilize a gift wrap storage cart, a bonus room, or even a folding table. Keeping your gift and wrapping items all in one place will not only save you time; it will also keep those items from cluttering up the rest of your home.

Do Event Prep Work

 

Having a large group of people over is daunting in itself, but scrambling at the last minute to prepare for a get-together can be a miserable experience. Once you have dates confirmed for when you’ll have guests, grab your calendar and pencil in times for prep work. That can include planning recipes to make, doing a full clean of your house, or simply putting fresh linens in your guest bedroom.

Be sure to some preparatory shopping, too. Do you always find yourself low on dinnerware when guests come over? Have you ever scrambled to the store to buy a gift bag on your way to a holiday party? Save yourself those last minute shopping trips. Take a few minutes to think through what you’ll use most often this holiday season, whether it’s kitchen ingredients, shirt boxes for gifts, or small goody bags for your confectionary masterpieces. Grab those essentials
on your next grocery run, and you’ll always have exactly what you need
at your fingertips.

Check Shipping Deadlines

 

Customized holiday cards are a wonderful way to keep in touch with those you love. They’re easy to make using a website such as TinyPrints or Artifact Uprising. Mailing simple gifts to long-distance friends can also be a great way to make someone smile, even if you can’t see them for the holidays this year. However, keep in mind that shipping companies are busier than ever around the holiday season! When you make your gift lists or order your holiday cards, look at the website for USPS or whichever carrier you typically use. Look up holiday shipping deadlines for your desired delivery dates. Then, make yourself a note in the calendar to mail your items in advance of those deadlines.

Prioritize

 

If you find yourself overly stressed during the holiday season, consider looking at the bigger picture. Could you scale back on the number of holiday parties you attend? Look for ways to streamline traditions, such as having friends over for hot cocoa and cookies rather than a full meal that will take you all day to prepare. Give yourself some breathing room in your schedule to ease the stress of the season.

Ask for Help

 

The holidays are a time to be surrounded by the love of your family and friends. If you feel overwhelmed, ask them for help! Chances are, someone would love to help you prepare. You could even delegate certain tasks to your kids, like choosing recipes or decorating certain parts of your home. When everyone works together, the preparation becomes a festivity in itself!

While the holidays can be a wonderful time, we at A Fresh Space understand that they can also be stressful. We can help you:

  • Get your decor in perfect order
  • Organize your holiday planning items and tasks
  • Designate zones for holiday items in your home
  • Lower your stress levels going into this busy season

Make plans to enjoy your holiday season, and contact us today to get started!