I have to admit that even as a professional organizer, handling all the extra To Do’s this month will add another layer of “How the heck am I going to get this all done?” Since I now work probably more than full-time in addition to raising a family adding the obligatory tasks of holiday shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping and entertaining can be perplexing and for many daunting.

So I’d like to pass on a few tips that I will be personally be utilizing this Christmas to either build up my spirits or cut down my Task List. I hope some of them will help you too:

  • Review my Christmas Budget with the hubby and collect any gift cards, coupons and credit card rewards we have not used this year and utilize them first when shopping.
  • Shop only in person at my favorite stores such as The Backyard Living Store in Ridgewood and The Gift Depot in Midland Park. These places are eye candy for me and I can always find a gift I love to give. For those people I need to shop for who have specific “Gift Lists” like children and grab baggers, I will have carved out space on Cyber Monday. What’s leftover becomes a Power Shopping Day with my husband. We hire a babysitter; finalize anybody left on the list and together we hit the stores checking off all our presents to purchase.
  • I will order all my shipping supplies and postage from www.USPS.com instead of waiting in line at the Post Office.
  • Except for trimming our Christmas tree and a few odds and ends, I will not carry the holiday “stuff” down from the attic, but will instead order a few pieces from the florist or even go to the Home Depot Nursery and use live greenery that can be composted when January arrives.
  • I will plan to cook, bake and freeze ahead of time marking these food prep times on my family’s calendar.
  • Christmas photo cards which I purchased the weekend of Thanksgiving will be stuffed into envelopes and labeled by my two children this season. They will each get an extra $5 in their allowance if all cards are out by December 14th.
  • If I’m being requested to be in too many places and asked to take on extra tasks such as “Can you cook for Christmas Eve?” instead of saying “yes” right away I will answer, “let me get back to you”. Then after double-checking the reality of the December calendar, I will graciously call back and say, “No thank you.”

Start and end my day with inspirational reading. A cup of coffee or a glass of wine make the perfect complement to those readings!