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How to Stay Organized This Holiday Season

The holidays can be a joyful time of fun and cheer, but the season can also be stressful and exhausting. Between shopping and entertaining and decorating and celebrating, it can be hard to stay on top of all your to-do's. Having your home organized ahead of time is a great way to eliminate some of the, shall we say, festive frenzy. That's why we turned to Marty Basher, home organization expert with, for some practical and easy-to-utilize suggestions for organizing at home this holly jolly season.


Make a List, Check it Twice. One of the most important things you can do to keep your holidays organized and in order is to have a list for all the big and little things, such as, cleaning, shopping, meals, activities, and decorating. A list not only ensures you don’t forget, but checking each item off the list gives you a feeling of accomplishment and that you’re in control of the holiday chaos. Next add all items to your calendar so you don’t overlook anything. Guests arriving? Holiday music concert? Holiday work dinner? Add it to the calendar. Many families find an electronic calendar that can be shared with family members keeps everyone on the same page. A sane holiday is a happy holiday!

Do a Pre-Decorating Deep Clean. Before bringing out all the holiday decorations, do a thorough pre-decor cleaning. It’s so much easier to clean before you pull out the holiday decorations and makes getting ready to entertain all that much easier. If your home has already been deep cleaned, it shouldn’t take long to run the vacuum and dust off furniture before guests arrive. Perform a quick home walk through and jot down all the rooms that need to be cleaned and what needs to be done specifically in each room. This is a great time to enlist the help of your family or to hire a cleaning service for a one-time cleaning. Got clutter? Now’s a great time to sort through the piles and move out anything preventing you from properly cleaning and organizing. This includes mail piles, counter clutter, items to donate, and more.

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Meal Planning is a Must. Whether you’re hosting big holiday meals, doing holiday baking or having guests stay with you during the season, plan out all the meals you’ll be preparing. Don’t forget to count quick breakfasts, snacks, and lunches along with the main holiday meals. Add these meals to your main checklist and note the foods you’ll need to purchase. Print off any recipes you’ll be using to have them at quick reach and so you can cross check the ingredients needed against your shopping list. Double check your pantry and freezer to see what you already have so you don’t buy double. This is a great time to clean out your fridge and freezer to make room for incoming holiday foods.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Decorate. Many people look forward to holiday decorating. It’s fun and festive, but it can quickly spiral out of control if you don’t make a plan. Before investing in more lights and candles, bring out your holiday boxes from storage and sort through your things in a separate room away from your main living areas, such as a basement or garage. If you find your decorations are less than organized, make a pact with yourself to do it properly this year to make next year less overwhelming. Once you know what you have, take a stroll through your home and see where you want your decorations to go. For areas needing lights or ribbon, measure and jot down the space so you have it readily available. Once you know exactly what you have and where you want it to go, you can then decide what you’re missing and if it’s a wise investment to purchase more. Having more than what you need just creates more stuff to have to store and deal with.

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