If you’re starting to feel the festive season stress kicking in, it’s time to take a deep breath and get organised. Organisation generally makes life easier and less hectic, but it is also essential before, during and after the holidays. Just think of how it would be to have to constantly move around your labelled decoration boxes to find something that you need. You don’t have to become distracted by trying to go through a box of Halloween decorations, without having finished your preparations for the holidays.
Use these steps to help you get your home in order ahead of time and avoid stressful situations, so that your time away from work or school is enjoyed to the max. Simple things such as making lists, setting deadlines, and even choosing the right storage can help ensure you spend a minimal amount of time organising and cleaning.
1. Plan In Advance
Begin planning for the holiday season early, a month in advance at least. You could create a centralised, all-encompassing holiday calendar to countdown the coming weeks, including the days of celebration and the days that follow after. It should include all the things you already know and should be scheduled, including travel plans, guests that will be visiting, dinners and work functions. Try to take note of events as they are announced or planned, and be sure to only accept invitations on days that you know are free.
Set time for shopping and preparation, and take into consideration deadlines for shopping, shipping and delivery, as well as cooking and baking.
2. Categorise To-Do Lists
Holidays last for long periods, and often there will be a few events that occur as well as other festivities. So, it may be a good idea to make separate organised lists. For example, you could have a to-do list for Christmas gift shopping itemised by each member of the family. You could also make lists for each room that needs to be decorated, as well as lists of decorations that you may need to buy. You can also make your holiday menu, grocery list, or healthy eating plan.
3. Set Goals And Limits
Setting yourself achievable goals and limits is a good way to make sure things go to plan. For instance, you won’t want to wait until the last weekend before Christmas to start shopping for presents and thinking about what will be made for Christmas dinner.
It’s important to break up tasks into manageable chunks, remembering to take everything one step at a time. That way your tasks won’t take up the entirety of every day.
Once you’ve done some planning, the actual physical tasks can be done. But first, you may need to inventory to see what you have got and what you need to buy. Many of us continue to use the same old Christmas decorations for years, whether we like them or not. A good rule of thumb to follow is, if you don’t like the look of it, give it away or throw it away. Don’t let items and decorations that you don’t like take up unnecessary space in your home, including those broken Christmas tree lights that sit in a tangled pile.
Get rid of anything that is broken or damaged, then you can continue to add to your list of decorations that you need to buy.
5. Set Deadlines
Having deadlines is a smart way to get things done and crossed off your list in time. Set them and stick to them to be able to prioritise all of your tasks, especially when it feels like there’s too much to do. By setting deadlines, you’ll have enough time to clean your kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathrooms before you celebrate the holidays. Determine what needs to be done in which order, then choose your deadlines accordingly. You can then try to complete the tasks by the soonest deadlines, keeping in mind that your external responsibilities and deadlines may affect how you prioritise your work.
6. Prioritise Storage
Large transparent plastic storage bins are the easiest storage solutions, especially during the holiday period. And, you can easily see what’s inside each one. They even come with lids in different colours which can be colour coded to match your decorations and items for each holiday. For example, a green lid for Christmas, a red or orange lid for Halloween, and then a yellow container lid for Easter. Plastic storage containers are usually inexpensive, so you can buy as many as you need. They can also be used to store gifts and gift-wrapping tools.
If you have many storage containers, you have to keep on track of what’s inside them. You can place a card on the outside of each box that states what is inside each of the storage containers, or its general category, such as “Christmas ornaments” or “decorations”.
8. Prep The Kitchen
The holidays are a fun time for the family to try out new recipes for Christmas lunch, or to bake cookies with the kids. You will find that an organised kitchen will make these things easier. So before you start your cooking and baking, you should make sure that all of your baking sheets, cookie cutters and other appliances are clean and ready to use. As you do this, you’ll want to take note of anything that may be out of date, worn, or barely used items and accessories.
9. Create A Gift Wrapping Area
This is one of the best ways to get organised for the holidays – store your wrapping supplies like wrapping paper, gift bags, tape, scissors and ribbons in a suitable place that you won’t forget. You can simply store these supplies in a plastic storage bin with a label to be tucked behind the couch. Keeping everything together and portable makes it easy to wrap gifts as soon as they are bought, so that you can enjoy a tidy home in between wrapping presents.
10. Make Room For Gifts
When decluttering, decide whether or not you’re going to donate, give away or throw away your used items. You should remember to find homes for the new items you may receive. You can decide where to focus the holiday organising efforts. You may even want to invest in organisation solutions that will be used for your items that usually end up taking up your space, and storage for the items you expect to receive.
It should only take up about 10 to 15 minutes to declutter, which will make quite the difference in your own space and the lives of your loved ones.
Getting Your Home Ready For Guests
Now that you have most of the decluttering out of the way, it’s time to take your holiday organising to the rest of your home. Start by identifying the areas in your home that are the most occupied and used during the holidays; you’ll want to focus on those areas. These may include the living room, kitchen, or closets.
You don’t have to go crazy during this busy time of year, simply make sure that the main areas are ready for guests’ needs. You should consider the following:
- Is there a place for each of your guest’s coats to hang?
- Does the bathroom have extra rolls of toilet paper, tissues and towels?
- Is there bedding on the mattresses in the guest rooms, or is it easy enough for your guests to find if they are spending the night?
- Are your special holiday cookware and dishes clean and ready to be used?
- Lastly, have you removed non-essential items from the kitchen, living room, dining room, and other common areas of your home for preparations and guests?
How To Organise Your Holiday Decorations
To make this task easier the following year, you may want to take some photos after you have decorated, and then consider downsizing when decorating. Take note of the following:
- Throw away broken decorations and light strings as you work.
- Set aside any decor that no longer suits your style or has become more of a trouble to put up. They can be donated or given away.
- Consider selling or donating anything that hasn’t been used for the last two holiday seasons.
- Look through any decorations you haven’t put up, and think about whether or not they need to be kept. There could be some duplicates that you can get rid of for more space to hang the ones you like.
After The Holidays
Undecorate easily by storing ornaments and lights in clearly marked containers. Christmas lights can be a bit annoying to store, but there is a fast and affordable way to manage them with the leftover cardboard boxes or wrapping paper tubes. Simply cut slits around the edges or surfaces to start wrapping the lights around the cardboard, and thread the lights through each of the slits.
We hope this article has inspired you to start organising your home for the holiday season. As busy as this time can be, you’ll want to keep things organised to stay on top of things, and to be able to enjoy your holiday with the people you love. Once your home is organised and tidy, you won’t have to stress about how the house looks for guests, and you’ll be able to enjoy your time with them.
Alternatively, you can get the help you need from SweepSouth by choosing a cleaning service for your home from our range of home cleaning services listed on our app and website. Let us take care of your home these holidays.