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3 Ways to Prepare for the Holidays

Are you ready for Christmas? Because the holidays are rapidly approaching. In the retail world, November 1st marks the day for all Christmas merchandise to flood a majority of store’s counters and aisles. Everywhere you look there are holiday displays, early Black Friday promotions, Christmas candy, festive Christmas decor and more. As much as I love the sites and sounds of the holiday season, it can be a hectic and stressful time. But, you don’t have to miss out on enjoying time spent with family and friends during the holiday season when you’ve gotten a jump start on all the to-dos and tasks.

Make a Plan

Ben Franklin said it best, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” When you’re unprepared, you are ultimately setting yourself up to make mistakes. You will end up having too much on your plate, which will result in being burned out and overwhelmed. To be organized during the holiday season, you must take control of your obligations. Dump everything you are thinking about accomplishing from now until the New Year into a notebook. You must even schedule out your Christmas festivals and activities that you plan to attend. Make sure you mark your calendar with all of the events to ensure nothing conflicts with another. By writing down your thoughts, you can see all of your expectations and organize them accordingly, otherwise, there is a chance that things will go downhill.

Shop ahead

Now that you have a better understanding of the errands you need to run and the supplies you need, you can start to chip away at getting everything done. If you are already out shopping, grab some of the items that can be bought early. For example, if you are out and see a gift for someone, grab it! If you are grocery shopping and picking up items for Thanksgiving and know you will need cans of corn for Christmas, grab those, too! If it is food related and will not go bad from now until Christmas, there is no harm in getting it months in advance. Also, think about what other necessities you will need, outside of the food, such as holiday decor and gift wrap materials. The earlier you purchase Christmas specific items the better, considering the closer we get the holidays the more picked over everything will be in stores. Being active in getting things bought early means your tasks will be finished rapidly.

Declutter/Clean

As you are checking duties off of your holiday to-do lists, there has to be a place to store all of these extra supplies. Take a day each week, or a few hours here and there to declutter, organize, and clean. One option might be cleaning out the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Your pantry or fridge might have expired items or canned foods that you will never use. Think about donating some items that you don’t need to a local food pantry. Next, declutter kid’s bedrooms and playrooms. Kids rooms tend to get a little messy with various toys and clothes. You know they are going to have some new items coming in, so it is a good idea to clean up and make room for those items. This is also a good way to include them in getting rid of some things that no longer interest them, and teaching them about donating toys. You should also focus on cleaning out the area where you store gifts. Is it in a separate room of the house or a closet? Have that spot prepped and ready for the incoming items. Finally, take time to declutter and organize your master bedroom. Throughout the holiday stress this will be your get-away!

There are many ways to be prepared for the holidays. Gathering all of the things you want to complete onto lists, shopping ahead, and decluttering high traffic areas of your home are only a few ways to be prepared for Christmas. The more you get things ready and done early, the less stress you will feel. The ultimate goal is to get things done and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas surrounded by loved ones.

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