Wednesday, October 06, 2010

12 Weeks Until Christmas: Week 1, Getting Organized


The holidays are an incredibly stressful time for me. I'm not the best at getting organized, and far too often I've found myself frantically shoving clutter in boxes before family arrived or rushing out at the last minute for one more gift I forgot to buy. And it's not just one holiday I have to prepare for - we celebrate both Christmas AND Hanukkah in our family.

Well, this year I'm committed to getting an early start on the holiday prep work, and three other bloggers (Lisa from Life with Lisa, Kelly from 3 Boys & a Dog and Heather from Domestic Extraordinaire) are helping me - and you - get organized for the holidays. For the next 12 weeks, each of us will be hosting a different organizational topic, along with a giveaway as a little added incentive!

Here's a sneak peak at the schedule:

1.LISA – Week 12 – Get Organized Week October 2nd
2.CHRISTINA – Week 11 – Closet Week October 9th
3.KELLI – Week 10 – Don’t Forget The Computer October 16th
4.HEATHER – Week 9 – Travel Time October 23rd
5.HEATHER – Week 8 – Living Room October 30th
6.LISA – Week 7 – Kitchen declutter November 6th
7.CHRISTINA – Week 6 – Garage/Shed Week November 13th
8.KELLI – Week 5 – Thanksgiving is coming November 20th
9.HEATHER – Week 4 – Kids’ Domain November 27th
10.CHRISTINA – Week 3 – Declutter Week December 4th
11.LISA – Week 2 – Bathrooms December 11th
12.KELLI – Week 1 – Final Sweeps Week December 18th

So this week's challenge is to organize yourself in preparation for what's ahead. Some tips:

- Lists are your friends. Make your lists for everything you want to accomplish now. Plan who you will be buying gifts for and what they might like, list out what you'll have for your holiday meal and what ingredients you'll need, make a list of the parties you plan to attend, the chores you need to accomplish - anything that needs a visual reminder. Crossing items off of lists feels so good, too!

- Designate locations for gifts. Instead of buying gifts and stashing them in various places around the house, choose one box or closet to put everything in and remember to put it all there.

- Keep everyone in the know. Make sure all holiday events are clearly marked on the calendar, along with any information you might need to know. If your child needs to bring a gift for a gift swap at his scout troop's party, write it on the calendar. Find out when company Christmas parties are being held to prevent conflicts with travel or other gatherings.

- Establish a budget. Spending on gifts and food and decorations can really hurt your bank account. Determine ahead of time how much you'll spend, and stick to it. If you can, set some of that money aside now so you're not pulling out the plastic in a pinch.

How do you get organized for the holidays? Visit Lisa's post this week and leave your best tip for a chance to win a $30 Label Daddy gift certificate and an organizational prize pack from Carolina Pad!

Come back next week as I attempt to tackle the nightmare I call my closets!

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