As a professional home organizer in NYC, I have spent quite a bit of time over the past month really detailing how you can make the most of the holidays for you and your loved ones with some great organizing tips and strategies. But, now we’re getting really close to the height of the season, and you may not have time to implement each and every organizing suggestion we’ve made… To make life easier for you, and to help you celebrate the holidays with much success – and minimal frustration – I’ve compiled my top five tips as a NYC Professional Organizer for surviving the holidays. Consider it my gift to you this holiday season, and enjoy!
1. Communication Celebration
Early on in the holiday season, I suggested setting up a communication station in your home to keep everyone on the same page during these busy months. This is one of my top paper filing tips for the busy holiday season, as it encourages you to keep all of the school event fliers and party invitations in one place. Even if you didn’t set up a full-on station for your family’s communication, I strongly encourage you to set up a calendar of events for the next months, in a location your family will see often. A smart solution for this last-minute strategy is a simple white board calendar and a different color marker for each member of your household. List any and all events, including times and location as well as the family member who will be involved. Talk about smooth sailing through the season… This one is essential.
2. Food Festivities
For many of us, the centerpiece of any celebration is the food. This is no more evident than during the holidays when we gather with members from the furthest branches of our family tree and feast together. Be sure you locate and set aside your family’s favorite recipes, so you’re not searching at the last moment, and you can ensure you have all necessary ingredients on hand. Even if you haven’t had a chance to follow through with all four of my suggested steps to optimal recipe organization, set aside the few recipes needed for your family’s celebration and keep them neatly organized and easily accessible in a folder kept in the kitchen. As a professional home organizer in NYC, I can tell you how much less stressful holiday cooking will be when you have all of the recipes you’re planning to use at hand when the whole family is gathered in the kitchen.
3. Mailing Mania
This season is also a busy time for the post office, and chances are, your mailbox is overflowing with catalogs, coupons, cards, and more! It may be easy just to let these items pile up, but if you want to stay ahead of the game, and keep your home organized throughout the holidays, you’ll need to create designated spaces for these items and follow my holiday paper filing tips. Trash the prior week’s version of a mail order catalog as soon as the newest version is delivered, put holiday cards on display, and put all documents that require attention in their own file or in-box. The last thing you want to happen is to overlook a bill and incur additional fees in the New Year.
4. The Gift of Guests
You may have chuckled at the title of this tip, as you may not see guests as a gift, but, when you look back at your most memorable holiday seasons, chances are you don’t remember the presents or desserts, you remember who you celebrated with. So, make the most of holiday guests by utilizing one or two simple suggestions in my recent post about putting the fun back in hosting holiday houseguests. Preparing meals in advance will take some of the burden off your shoulders once your guests have arrived and providing extra linens and toiletries will enhance their stay, making for a good time for all.
5. Present Perfection
The top tip from this NYC professional organizer’s post on making the most of your holiday shopping is all about list-making. Even if you’ve secured gifts for all of your loved ones, be sure to start a master list that will span the years, or add to the list you already have. This could be a hard copy notebook, or a digital file and should contain specifics such as: what you purchased for each person, how much you budgeted vs. how much you actually spent, and possible ideas for the next year. This will ensure your status of ultimate gift-giver for years to come. You won’t repeat gifts and you’ll have great info to create an accurate budget for the next year.
Any professional home organizer in NYC will tell you that the real key is to focus on what you can realistically complete in the coming weeks in an effort to enjoy a most successful celebration with your loved ones. Good luck, happy organizing and cheers to you and yours this holiday season!