It’s only 24 days away, and before you know it, the Holidays will be here. The time many consider the peak of their years and simultaneously dread. Sure, we look forward to great times spent with family and friends during holiday gatherings and celebrations, but there’s only so much time in our schedules to enjoy the time together with the obligations of shopping, attending and occasionally hosting parties and boarding house guests. Add in cooking, cleaning, and unexpected occurrences, and very quickly our obligations can become unmanageable.
If you haven’t started plotting out a map to navigate though the pitfalls of the holidays, now the time to get started. The important point to successfully managing your obligations is focusing on what really matters. Time is at a premium, so make your time count so you can have quality moment doing what you love to do. Whether that’s time spent with loved ones, or even lending your time to charities that make you and others in need feel good, it’s time to prioritize an prepare for the next 24 days!
John Egan from the Sparefoot Blog suggests a number of great tips to help you focus your time more effectively during this busy month, among which we’ve pulled five which will save you time & stress:
1. Create a Holiday To-Do List.
Hoarding specialist Leslie Josel, founder of organizing and relocation consulting firm Order Out of Chaos LLC in Larchmont, NY, said you should jot down all of your holiday tasks in a notebook, in a smartphone app, on a bulletin board or whatever place works best for you.
“Doing a ‘brain dump’ will take the remembering out of remembering,” Josel said, “and have you feeling in control in an instant.”
2. Set Deadlines.
Divide your to-do list into small tasks and assign deadlines to each one, Josel said. So, for example, if you want to send holiday cards, your list may look something like this: Schedule date to take family photo; create card on publishing site; update mailing list; stuff, stamp, address and mail envelopes.
3. Consider Putting Off Big Projects.
Professional organizer Denise Lee, owner of Clear Spaces LLC in Brentwood, MO, recommends being realistic about which home projects you should start around the holidays.
“It is pretty common for big projects to take two to three times longer than anticipated,” Lee said. “Rather than renovating the kitchen now, think about doing it after the new year. You’ll be less stressed, and it might just be cheaper to have it done during a slow time.”
4. Take Stock of What You’ve Got.
Before you buy anything new for your home, like a life-size Santa figure, figure out what you already own.
“You’d be surprised how many times people buy something that they already have. There is nothing worse than spending good money on something, only to get home and realize that you have almost the same item already,” said professional organizer Laurie Palau, founder of simply B organized in New Hope, PA.
5. Leave Time for Everyday Activities.
It’s easy to get swept up by shopping and socializing and decorating and baking during the holidays. But routine activities like making dinner and doing laundry still must get done. Lee said you can simplify those activities by, for example, cooking easy-to-fix dinners or hiring a concierge service.