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Tips to Get Organized Amidst the Holiday Chaos

Nov 30, 2018 | by Cindy Sullivan

Each month, I try to focus on a specific area of time management and productivity.  This month is ORGANIZATION.  The problem is, If your schedule is anything like mine, this time of year is FULL.  School semesters and year-end work is wrapping up, concerts / events / parties are on the calendar, not to mention the holiday prep and trying to carve out extra time with family and friends.  If anything, it's easy to feel more disorganized than ever.  BUT - don't underestimate the small things you can do to help you get and feel more organized during the holiday chaos.  Try a few of these mini projects and claim those small victories over disorganization!

  • Throw out all your crappy pens!  Yep - we all have those pens that don't write well but we just throw them back in the drawer as we search for one that works.  Toss them!  While you're at it, all those old pencils with hard erasers should join them in the trash bag!   Now, if you need stocking stuffer ideas - how about some new, good, pens!
  • Organize one drawer or small area - Whether it's a desk or kitchen drawer, you'd be surprised how organizing one spot can make you feel so good when you go back to it.  Chances are, it won't even take you that long to accomplish!  I spent about 30 minutes organizing an area in our mud room and I've smiled to myself every day at how much better I feel when retrieving something from that spot.
  • Try a 12 Days of Christmas project - commit to ditching 12 items you don't need (extra t-shirts, mugs you don't use, etc.)
  • Buy tape!  If you'll be wrapping presents, there's nothing worse than finding no tape in the house!  Next trip, pick up plenty.  You'll feel so prepared and save yourself a last minute trip.  While you're at it, think about other gift "accessories" you may need besides wrapping - - i.e. gift tags, bows, or tissue for gift bags.
  • Pick up a few gift cards and small gifts - You'll be ready for the last minute hostess gift, gift exchange, or those gifts to teachers, sitters, postal delivery, etc.  Having a few bucks cash on hand can help too for donations or gift pools that come up (a good reminder for me as I NEVER typically keep cash on hand)!
  • Get your calendar or planner for next year.  As I write this, I'm starting to plug in events in my 2019 planner.  Yes, I'm still a paper planner girl - online calendars don't work well for me.  There are already things scheduled that I need to get written down before they are forgotten.  If you keep separate calendars for family events, bill paying, etc., pick up one now so you head into the new year organized and ready to go!
  • Ditch decorations you haven't used over the last two seasons.  You can do this either while decorating or when packing things up after the season.  If it's lived in the bin or box for a few seasons and you likely won't use it again, pass it along or throw it out.  If it's sentimental, take a photo.  You'll save space and feel less guilty when unpacking decorations next year and you have only the best of the best!
  • "Declutter" your time!  At least once a week, remove all the extras from your time.  Plan to keep in simple -  maybe a quiet evening in with family or maybe dinner out so you don't cook.  The idea is that there is time "clutter" too and keeping some place clear and open can help bring order to our world and lower stress.

There are so many ways to improve our organization.  Remember, when times are busy, keep things simple.  You don't need to wait until a huge organizational overhaul can fit into your schedule.  Take on small projects, or do bits at a time.  All that work adds up to help you Organize the Time of Your Life!

Happy Holidays!

Cindy B Sullivan is a Time Management & Productivity Coach & Consultant and Certified Professional Organizer.  Take the 6 Pillars Assessment today to find out more about your Time Management skills!