Christmas can be a time that the obligations on your time (and money) can make you feel much more like your favorite green character than Santa Claus. Sometimes if we get a handle on what we feel are the obligations of the season that leaves more time for fun!
Jen from The Overwhelmed Busy Mom is who I turn to when I need help getting my schedule under control and I’ve asked her to share some tips for the holiday season. Getting you and your family organized for Christmas can make the entire season be magical.
How to Organize You And Your Family For Christmas
Every year do you say, “This is the year I’m going to be organized this Christmas!” Then by December 15th, you are 10 days away from Christmas and you haven’t done a thing?
So often I found myself in the same boat until I followed 6 simple step that I’m going to share with you today. These steps are very simple to take and you can do all of these in an afternoon. I’ve also put together a pretty great bonus that will help you enjoy an organized Christmas this year and beyond.
1) Set your to do list timeline
What your to do list timeline is, is a set of tasks that need to be completed on specific days in order for you to have everything done before Christmas. Remember that the idea is to get you and your family organized for Christmas.
Instead of writing out a 72-mile to do list, you are writing out tasks that need to be completed plus adding a due date to them so you know, from the start, exactly what needs to be done when.
For example, if you are having family over on Christmas day you know you’ll need to clean the house, cook the food, and wrap presents. Well instead of writing all of that out, like that, you can put on Monday I’ll scrub the toilets, organize the family room, and prepare the cranberry sauce. You will repeat this process until you have your entire timeline planned out.
The sooner you do this, the fewer tasks you’ll need to complete per day (just something to keep in mind).
2) Set your budget
Completing the budget sets the stage for everything else. Sit down and figure out bottom line the dollar amount you can afford. If you are tight on money this is not an amount you want to spend this is an amount you can afford.
Look at when money is coming in and track every penny you spend. The $1, $3, and $5 purchases really add up quickly so make sure you are tracking every penny.
3) Create your gift list
Now that your timeline and budget is set it’s time to sit down and figure out your gift list. Who is on your gift list, what is the bottom line dollar amount you can spend on gifts? These are things you need to plan out before you can get to this step so please make sure you don’t skip those steps.
If your budget is quite tight, call up friends and family that you normally exchange gift with and see if something can be changed like drawing names or not exchanging gifts at all. You might not be the only one on a tight budget.
4) Collect addresses
Do you mail out holiday cards each year? Do you have friends and family out of town that you exchange gifts with? This is an important step to being organized.
If you have an address list, make sure it is up to date. People move and we can forget to update their addresses
In the bonus that I introduced a little earlier, there is a worksheet that will help you with that.
5) Create your Christmas menu
This is a very important step. All families are different when it comes to which meal is most important. Growing up, our family was really into Christmas breakfast. After we all opened up our gifts mom was in the kitchen cooking away. We ate so much breakfast that when dinner came around we were nibbling on veggies and cookies (I know not traditional but it worked for us).
The trick to the menu is to make sure it is as detailed as possible. Include appetizers, the main course, and dessert to get everything planned. This will help you out later on when it’s time to do the shopping.
6) Create a detailed shopping list
This is one of the most important steps to take so you down get too overwhelmed with all of the shopping that needs to be done. With the gift shopping, food shopping, and everything else items sometimes fall through the cracks.
I really don’t like shopping more than I have to, especially during the holiday season. Stores are crowded, traffic is horrible, and there are a million things that need to be completed.
When you are creating your shopping list, make sure you are checking the pantry, fridge, and freezer for anything that you might be missing.
Make sure your gift list is complete and check to see if you need tape, wrapping paper, or gift tags. You don’t want to find yourself running out of tape Christmas Eve night when you are doing the last minute wrapping.
How to make this happen
Now that I’ve shared the 6 simple steps you can take, it’s time to put this into action. I’ve created a workbook with a worksheet to help you through this entire process.
Inside the Enjoying An Organized Christmas, you’ll find a checklist with these 6 steps plus worksheet for each step so you can create your timeline, set your budget, create your gift list, collect and update addresses, create your Christmas menu, and most importantly create a detailed shopping list so you don’t find yourself running out of things at the worst time.
I want to thank you so much for reading this, and I hope that you can enjoy an organized Christmas this year!
Jenn is the owner and writer at The Overwhelmed Busy Mom where she shares simple time-saving solutions for all of those busy mom’s out there. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest where she shares organizing and real life mom tips to help with everyday overwhelm.