Organizing for the Holidays

OrganizingBy GiGi K. Miller

During the holiday season it is more important than ever to establish an organization system that helps you reduce stress, save money and manage your time. Why not confront the holiday anxiety head on by creating a Holiday Organizing Center.

Organizing your home, preparing meals and planning activities for your family and guests over the holidays can be time consuming and overwhelming. All you need to start is a 3 ring binder, which can be found at any office supply store.

Organizing Binder

While each organizing center should be customized to fit your lifestyle, I suggest adding the following accessories to your binder:

  • Vinyl pockets to store loose items such as coupons and receipts.
  • Dividers for categories like gift list, menus, party ideas, organizing projects, decorating ideas, and guest activities.
  • Calendar (create your own or download one on-line).Make a copy of the calendar and put it someplace where the entire family can see it. Include events and arrival information for out of town guests.

The other items you will need for your Holiday Organizing Center can be found around your house. Grab an empty basket or shoebox to create an outgoing mailbox for holiday cards, address list, stamps, and pens.  Since it is portable, you can take it with you anywhere.  Add some personal touches to your outgoing mailbox by decorating it with ribbons or family photos.

Designate a space in your home just for your holiday organizing center. It could be a shelf or a corner on your desk. Other items to keep in your center include magazines, cookbooks and catalogs. In other words, keep everything you will need to reference for the holidays together.

Preparing for Guests
Now that you have your organizing center set up, it is time to prepare your home for extra guests.

  • Take inventory of dishes, tablecloths, chairs (borrow from neighbors if you don’t have enough), linens, and towels.
  • Keep tables and ottomans clear of clutter by using baskets to contain toys, magazines and everything in between.
  • Make sure there is enough room to hang extra coats.  Over the door hooks are an inexpensive quick fix.
  • Place decorative inexpensive trays in the entryway for catching extra shoes.
  • Keep DVDs and board games on hand for at home entertainment.
  • If your guests begin to get cabin fever, have a list of “things to see and do in Atlanta” on hand.

Meal Planning

Finally, some food for thought when it comes to planning meals during the holidays.

  • Consider ready-made meals available at most grocery stores and restaurants.
  • Delegate by asking family members to prepare their favorite side dish.
  • Host a buffet style dinner, which equals less formal and less clean-up.

If you still feel a bit overwhelmed, consider hiring help. A Professional Organizer can provide a helping hand, guidance, support, and creative ideas for your holiday organization projects.

And if you need even more assistance, they can do the gift shopping for you; recommend dinner delivery services, professional cleaning services and activities for out of town guests.

GiGi K. Miller is an Atlanta based Professional Organizer and Founder of Vision Organizing. (404)274-1930 or www.visionorganizing.com.

3 Responses to Organizing for the Holidays

  1. Jen S.

    December 1, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    These are great tips! I hadn’t thought about getting extra hooks for guests’ coats and shoe baskets for all the shoes that seem to clutter the living room when people are over. That’ll help with keeping the carpets clean too. Thanks!

  2. Henry

    December 2, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Great ideas to get a jump on the holidays and keep life on track. Would love to have someone to do last minute shopping for me. What a great time saver. In years past I’ve had to delay leaving town for the holidays because I had not finished shopping.

  3. Colleen Clark

    December 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I have first hand knowledge that Gigi Miller is excellent at what she does, for businesses and personal organization. Well worth every penny!
    Colleen Clark
    Executive Enterprises
    Duluth GA 30097

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