It’s mid-November. The Christmas season is galloping towards you. Whether you love this time of year or dread it, many people find it fraught with stress and anxiety. Want some tips to get you through the season with more comfort and joy? Here are some ideas from a Professional Organizer to bring the Merry back to your Christmas.


Set Limits (with your time)

Most people think of setting limits with their money but I would encourage setting limits with your time. There may be many invites or seasonal activities that you wish to partake in. The problem is they are all so tempting and we need to schedule them into our days on top of the regular schedule of working, sleeping and household activities

Think back on past Christmas’. Were you overrun by commitments and starved for time to actually enjoy the season? Do you remember having any quiet time to sit with family or friends to relax while playing a game or watching a holiday movie? Truth be told, that is the best part of the season for me. I know many people are trying to do everything for everyone (and be perfect at it no less!). You don’t want to be so burnt out that you don’t have time to relax and enjoy the holiday décor of your home.

In order to be less frazzled schedule in your “relax” time as well as your activities into your family calendar. Agree to the number of nights a week you are prepared to do extra events. Arrange to have some down time over the weekend to recharge you for the busy weeks ahead. It is okay to say “NO“ to invitations if they won`t fit in your schedule.

Remember – to honour your commitment to relax as you would any other appointment.


Save Our Space  

After each Christmas comes New Year`s with its resolutions. Being better organized is a popular resolution. What if I told you that you could get a jump on that resolution in November?

The people in your life want to give you or your kids a present. Consider the word “present“. It can be a noun meaning a gift or it can be a verb as in an activity to perform. Which would you prefer to receive?

Let people know how to gift you: by giving a list of ideas for your loved ones you can let them know what items or activities you wish to receive. If you have too much stuff then request consumable activity related gifts like gift certificates for restaurants, movies, theatre or spa. Many people won`t spend money on themselves for these luxuries but would certainly enjoy receiving them.

This gift list idea applies to children as well: kids will tend to remember an experience they shared with a loved one more so than a toy they unwrapped that day. If the child is really young you can combine the idea (a Stuffed Zebra to unwrap under the tree along with the passes to go to the zoo). This gift gives twice – once for the anticipation of the event and then the event itself. Take lots of photos to help capture that wonderful memory.

Remember – providing a wish list can go a long way to ensure you aren’t overrun with clutter in January.


Give Before You Receive

The Christmas season tends to result in an influx of items into the home. It can be challenging to find space and homes for the new items. To get a jump on this challenge you want to give items in order to make space for new things entering the home.

Christmas decorations – many people have them but do you display or use all the decorations you own? If not, then why not? Often we get new decorations but don`t consider what space they will take up or what used to be placed there. Or perhaps you are tired of an item. Now is the perfect time to donate Christmas décor to thrift stores in time for another family to enjoy.

Make space for the new – with kids, have them go through their toys and ask them which ones they have “outgrown” or are too “babyish” for them. This gives them the reminder that space is finite and a room or closet can only house so many items. By donating toys to a thrift store, it also teaches kids about charity, that helping others can make them appreciate what they receive more.

Remember – Every item has needs a home. Make room before new items arrive.