It's almost a cliché to talk about how hectic the holidays can be. There are parties to attend, gifts to buy, cards to create and mail, houses to clean, menus to plan and decorations to hang and then store. On top of that, hosting a holiday involves a lot of organization. Choosing a main dish recipe, planning side dishes, extending invitations, choosing decorations and scheduling the big meal requires a great deal of pre-planning and organizing on the part of the host. Here, readers share their "Dos" and "Don'ts" for hosting a successful holiday.
Below we offer the best tips to keep yourself organized and sane during this very busy time of the year.
Get Holiday Cards Organized
Sending out a big batch of holiday cards may seem like a time-consuming chore, especially when your goal is to declutter your life and become more organized. Why add in an additional task that involves time and money, showcases your terrible handwriting, and in some circles is no longer considered a holiday must?
I still think it's worth it to send holiday cards. Here's why:
Get Holiday Events and Hosting Organized
Get Holiday Gift Shopping Organized
Shopping for gifts, decor and groceries -- every type of shipping seems more urgent during the holiday season. Here are some tips for getting through the season.
- Make a list, check it twice? Probably not. I'm the worst kind of holiday shopper - I think I'm very organized, but I'm not. I have lists all over the place with gift ideas for different people. Some I keep in a "home management" excel spreadsheet, some I keep in Amazon gift lists, and some I keep in my head.
- The best way to keep track of gift ideas is to choose one venue and continually use it. I have vowed to stick with my excel list. You may find Amazon wish list tool really useful.
- Tip: Designate a space in your home for gifts once you've purchased them. This way you can pick things up all year and save them for birthdays and the holidays. A head start on shopping will make the holiday shopping mania much less stressful.
Get Holiday Grocery Shopping Organized
Get Holiday Meal Planning Organized
Don't let Thanksgiving (or any big holiday gathering) overwhelm you. I have laid out a game plan with 15 steps -- 15 very easy-to-follow steps with some encouragement along the way.
All about holiday meal planning:15 Ideas for Thanksgiving | Meal Planning 101
How to Meal Plan | How to Meal Plan Healthfully
10 Tips to Meal Plan | Organize Your Weekly Shopping List
How to Grocery Shop | A Working Mom's Weekly Meal Plan
10 Go-To Dinner Meals | The Best Recipe Organizers
Get Holiday Storage Organized
Get Holiday Travel Organized
You can use these tips all year 'round, but due to the added stress of the holiday season (extra-crowded airports, train and bus stations), I recommend you take a deep breath, read my list of tips and follow them to stay more organized and less stressed.Must-Have Travel Tips | Travel Planning Checklist | Travel Itinerary Checklist