December is just around the corner, which means there is only almost a month left until Christmas! The time has finally come to decorate the tree, hang stockings by the fireplace, and buy presents for everyone on your list.
While Christmas can be fun, it can also be stressful and chaotic if you are not organized and prepared in advance! During the holidays, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, especially if you are busy or have a large family. Or maybe both. Worried about having a fun and festive Christmas while still maintaining your sanity? Try these nine tips on how to plan a stress-free Christmas this year!
1. Taking things one step at a time
Planning is the key to an organized Christmas. As to why Christmas can be hectic, it is because it is a big job to prepare for, but breaking down this huge task into manageable pieces can make all the difference.
Organize all your big tasks into smaller to-do lists and then schedule them into your planner or diary before Christmas.
Creating a list is a great way to get everything out of your head and onto paper, which will make you feel more prepared and reduce anxiety. You will end up saving loads of stress in the end if you write down in advance what your ‘Elf on the Shelf’ will do.
2. Establish a realistic budget
Once you have decided on your priorities, be sure to set a realistic budget and stick to it. If there is one thing we love about Christmas, it is spending time with family and friends. But along with that fun comes stress and anxiety over how much you plan to spend on holiday gifts. Do not get carried away! Christmas can also be a stressful time financially. You should then sit down and determine how much everything will cost, and then work these costs into your day-to-day budget.
Understanding your financial situation and setting budgets for your spending can make life a lot easier. Keep track of how much money you spend at each store. It will help you stay within your boundaries for future shopping trips.
3. Be proactive (you’ll thank yourself later)
If you wait until December to think about how you are going to get through all of your holiday obligations, it is already too late.
Early holiday shopping allows you to set your own pace and spread out the holiday shopping into more manageable chunks. If you followed tip number 1, then you have already taken steps to achieve this. And, on Christmas Eve, you will be able to relax with a hot cup of marshmallow-topped cocoa and you won’t have to worry about anything at the last minute.
4. Organizing the food menu
Are you planning a big gathering? If so, you must consider how many meals you can serve them well in advance. Also, will others be bringing food?
Make a family menu plan and stick to it! Therefore, you will know precisely what to buy, how much it will cost, and how long it will take to prepare. Do not make all the snacks and side dishes yourself; delegate some of the tasks to your guests.
You need a proper menu if you have food allergies, are hosting vegetarians or vegans, or just want everyone in your family to be satisfied at your Christmas dinner. By creating a master food list ahead of time, it is easy to double-check that all your guests are well catered for.
Having food organized before the holidays can also help to reduce waste, which is much better for the environment.
5. Give your home a glow-up
The process of decorating can be quite time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of stuff to organize. Plan your decor around a theme early on. You will be able to pull everything out of storage and know if anything needs to be purchased to elevate the theme. You will also be able to assign specific tasks to each member of your family and budget time for tasks that require a lot of time.
Later when you are packing everything away again, label your storage boxes clearly and group similar types of decorations. That way, you will have an easier time finding things next year!
Our Tip: How about minimal holiday decor? Less decoration means less work! Also, you may use what you have instead of buying anything new.
6. Presents and Christmas cards
Gift-giving should bring joy and warmth to you, not leave you frazzled and stressed. Plan out your gift ideas well in advance to avoid last-minute panic.
To avoid wasting hours wandering in crowded malls, know who you are buying for and how much you want to spend on each person before you ever set foot in a store.
Invest in a few weeks of shopping for gifts. Make sure the orders arrive in time for Christmas if you are buying online. To avoid having to return or exchange items, it is recommended you purchase at least a month in advance.
Make sure you send out your Christmas cards early so everyone receives theirs on time.
7. Tidying up and decluttering
Before you start shopping, take an hour or two to do a major cleaning session. You will make room for new purchases in your house, and you will also create some mental space. Getting rid of what does not spark joy will help you relax about holiday spending decisions—and that means less guilt, too.
Consider making a cleaning schedule the same way you plan your gifts and food preparation. You will have a lot of people coming into your home to celebrate with you. Make sure to start tidying up and decluttering early to avoid last-minute chaos and schedule in time for prep work.
Besides, decluttering your home is a great way to make it a relaxing, more inviting space for you and your guests to stay in.
Our Tip: Donate things you might not need anymore, especially clothes and toys.
8. Travel plans
Preparing ahead is essential if you are planning a trip during the holidays. Make sure your car is serviced before you go, and make sure you book your accommodations in advance as spaces tend to fill up quickly during the holidays.
Be prepared ahead of time by packing your bags early to avoid last-minute stress or missed flights. Make a list for this too!
In case you have pets, make sure they are taken care of, either in a pet motel or by someone you know and trust. If you want to bring your pet along, you can find many pet-friendly options.
9. Don’t forget to take time for yourself!
The only way you can have a stress-free, organized Christmas is to be kind to yourself and schedule some downtime. While you may feel obligated to attend every single Christmas activity you are invited to or if you are feeling overwhelmed, do not be afraid to say no.
It’s Merry Time!
You have probably got your Christmas shopping done by now, but that does not mean the stress of the holiday season has passed. Between work parties, family dinners, and all the last-minute shopping you have to do, it can be tough to enjoy the holidays without feeling stressed out.
Contact our experts at 866-370-3402 to get help organizing and preparing your home for the holidays. You can also get a FREE QUOTE for our home/office organization services.
Let’s make your Christmas a relaxing and calming experience!