5 Ways to Start Getting Organized for the Holidays: A Lesson in Mental Proactivity

The holidays are approaching, and the added stress can sometimes overshadow the positives of the festivities. Today’s five holiday organizing tips are less about your physical space and more about being mentally proactive.

  1. Start Conversations Now About Gift Giving
    • The inundation of gifts can be overwhelming for those with littles. Although gifts from family members are well-intentioned and from a place of love, parents can see them as one more thing they have to find a home for. Grandparents, Aunts, and UnclesBefore you purchase something for a special little one in your life, talk to the parents to see if they have specific gift ideas or if they’d like to provide feedback on an idea you have. Experience gifts like memberships, activity passes, or contributions to classes or sports are extremely helpful. ParentsBe mindful of what you allow into your home and consider the longevity and quality of toys or activities you get for your kiddos. Experiential gifts like 1-on-1 dates are more memorable and they don’t take up space in your living room. When it comes to our present-buying ethos, we tend to mimic what our parents did or we do the exact opposite. If you didn’t receive a lot of gifts, you may tend to overbuy for your child. If you have a parent who hangs on to loads of things, you may go in the opposite direction. Be mindful of this.
  2. Start Purging Now
    • Put your hosting hat on and think about having guests to your home. What areas immediately give you anxiety because they’re not “guest ready”? Start with these areas first, and purge. Break the purging task up into smaller, manageable tasks. Focus on one area a week for 10-15 minutes at a timer. Set a timer and be done when it goes off. Don’t forget to set a specific date to take items to a donation center, so they don’t hang out in your garage or basement indefinitely. Not sure where to start? Try one of these spots, and focus on one task per day.
      • Entryway closet
        • Purge shelves, hanging items, and then floor spac
      • Kitchen
        • Purge cabinets and drawers (one/day or one category/day
      • Pantry
        • Purge by food category 
      • Toy Room
        • Purge by toy type or kid
      • Closet
        • Purge by item type and focus on summer and winter pieces
  3. Think About How to Give Back
    • Now is the perfect time to start talking as a family about how to give back to others. There are dozens of ways to help out in the community from volunteering your time to adopting a family. Have your kids select a handful of their toys they’d like to donate, and go as a family to make the donation. Your kids may not see the impact or importance of their actions now, but believe me, they’ll understand once they’re older.
  4. Mentally Prepare for the Target Holiday Decor
    • No one’s immune to this, not even me. I see the influencers on Instagram and their adorable Christmas mantels. I see the Target winter wonderland section and drool. I’m not telling you to skip these areas altogether. Just be mindful. It’s easy to get sucked into the cutest thing this year, but you probably have a box full of stuff you bought last year that you couldn’t live without.
  5. Don’t Overcommit
    • It’s mid-October and committing to hosting family events, making cookies for the school bake sale, and coordinating a holiday party for coworkers all may seem doable now, but be cognizant of stretching yourself too thin. When asked if you can take on a responsibility, think of that event being tomorrow instead of in a few weeks. If your gut reaction is overwhelm, it may be best to say no. Remember, your “no” responses allow you to say YES more confidently.

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