It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays are upon us and that means parties, gifts, and visits from loved ones. On the flip side, long lineups at stores, packed mall parking lots and general chaos at home can add plenty of unnecessary stress to an already busy time.
“The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year and it can become a stressful time if you aren’t organized,” says Marie Potter, director of marketing for Professional Organizers in Canada. “You may have many traditions you feel you should keep up but this might be the year to simplify or reduce some traditions.”
Make your holiday season merry and bright with these foolproof, stress-busting tips from Professional Organizers in Canada.
There is nothing worse than getting an unexpectedly large credit card bill in the first weeks of January because you bought too many gifts. To ensure this doesn’t happen, set a budget for your decorating, gift shopping and entertaining, and stick to it. You can even start saving for the holidays a few months ahead of time to keep your budget on track. Another option is to pick up gifts for the people on your list throughout the year so you don’t feel the sticker shock in a single month. This also allows you to take advantage of sales. Use an app like Mint to help you track your spending, create budgets and monitor your accounts. You can even set up spending limits to ensure you don’t go over your pre-planned budget. Avoid credit cards completely if you have a problem overspending and consider using loyalty reward points to buy gifts. A great way to reduce your spending is to utilize your skills. Are you a great baker? Make some delicious treats for everyone. Graphic design skills? Why not design a beautiful art piece someone will undoubtedly love? The gift of time is always appreciated as well, think free babysitting for the new parents in your life.
Saving time means more time to enjoy the festivities or potentially relax during the holiday at home. Allow your kids to help decorate and pull back on the decorations – it doesn’t take much to create a holiday feeling. Shop online in the comfort of your home and consider doing it by the first week of December. If you are entertaining, plan a potluck instead of taking on all the cooking. Batch wrap presents and remember gift bags and tissue paper are the quickest way to wrap. The night before the big day, have recycling and garbage bags at hand to handle the wrapping papers, boxes and packaging, especially if you have kids.
Between the holiday parties, gift shopping, decorating and family gatherings, there is so much going on during the holiday season. To keep on top of everything, time management is key. Create a family calendar which is visible to everyone and keep track of everyone’s activities, highlighting key events that can’t be missed. This will also help ensure you’re not double booking. Remember, It’s okay to say ‘no’. If you are too busy or overwhelmed with all the holiday going-ons, feel free to pick a couple of events you really want to attend and then say ‘no’ to the rest. When friends and family want to get together, ask if you can postpone a get together to the new year when you can really focus on spending quality time together. Spend the extra time preparing for the big day, wrapping gifts, baking cookies or simply relaxing with a cup of hot cocoa.
Staying organized during the holidays will help reduce stress and allow you to enjoy what matters most, time with family and friends. If you need additional help find a professional organizer near you by visitingwww.organizersincanada.com.