Holiday Organizing – Room by Room, Gift by Gift, Day by Day

Breaking down the holiday madness into ‘bite-size’ pieces creates more fun, more time with family and friends, and less stress. Start wherever you want, but start today. A simple binder with dividers is a great place to keep lists, ideas, recipes, etc.

The Kitchen: If you cook more at this time of year than any other, this is the perfect place to begin:
  • Clean out your refrigerator and pantry. Toss the unidentifiable, the bad smelling, and the just too old. Wipe down shelves. As you replace items, put tall things in the back, shorter and/or more frequently used in the front. Turn containers so that labels face front. 
  • While you’re in the pantry, check and make sure your herbs and spices haven’t lost their oomph. In fact, check all the staples – flours, sugars, baking powder, etc. 
  • If you’re entertaining, wash party dishes, glassware, and linens. 
  • Plan some easy meals, (take-out is pretty darn easy!) to reduce the work load. 
  • Remove the stuff that lives on the front of your refrigerator. Replace it with holiday themed things – a few Christmas cards, a ‘Santa’ list, and magnets with holiday flair.

Living Room/Family Room: Make your celebration sparkle: 
  • Clean carpets, curtains, and windows. 
  • Dust and polish furniture. 
  • Store some decorative items to make room for seasonal things, and to create room for guests to place a beverage or dish.

Closets and Storage: Making room: 
  • Evaluate clothing, both your own and your children’s. Donate whatever hasn’t been used in a year, making room for gifts and making ideas to offer people who ask, “What do you need?” 
  • Store warm weather clothing and accessories in out of the way corners of closets and dressers. 
  • Do the same thing with games and sports equipment – if it hasn’t been used in a year, donate.

Outside Your Home and Garage: 
  • Locate holiday decorations and supplies – check extension cords and lights. 
  • Make room for extra groceries and household supplies – put out-of-season sports and yard equipment in a far corner. 
  • In front of your home, clear away the cobwebs and leaves from the walk way and porch. 
  • Dust off the outside lights, replace bulbs if needed.

Gift-giving, etc.: 
  • If you bought Christmas gifts earlier in the years, haul them out today. Wrap ‘em, tag ‘em, and check ‘em off your Gifts To Buy List. 
  • Evaluate your holiday gift wrap - toss the old, tired stuff. Re-using gift wrap is acceptable, as long as it is in good condition. 
  • When giving gifts of your culinary skills, consider including the recipe. For a personal touch, add a little history.

Take Care of Yourself and Your Family: 
  • Get your flu shots now, before flu season is in full swing and you have even less time. 
  • If your vehicle(s) are due soon for service, get them in now. 
  • Set aside an evening or afternoon here and there for just you and your closest. 
  • Get the family involved in the cleaning, sprucing and organizing. Don’t do it all yourself!

  • Make sure four-legged family members have a quiet place to rest when company visits. Get them accustomed to being away from the action before the relatives and friends flood in. 
  • Tell friends new to your home that you have pets. Some people with allergies might want to bring medication. 
  • If your pets are very stressed by visitors, consider boarding them or ask a friendly neighbor if pet sitting is possible.

Happy Holidays to All from North Bay Organizers and Coaches!

This post was created by the following NBOC member
Ruth Hansell of Clutter Demolition