'Tis the season to get organised

The festive period can be a wonderful time to unwind after a busy year, but it is all too easy for stress-levels to rise with so many pressures to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas. But getting organised and doing even just a bit of planning can make it a whole lot more enjoyable…

Declutter in December

If you often have an influx of gifts that leave you wondering where everything will go, get decluttering now to make space in advance. 

December is a great time to donate toiletries to a hygiene bank, or anything giftable to a charity shop so you benefit yourself and others at the same time.  

Take small steps

If you have ‘Christmas prep’ written on your to do list, time to get specific and break down everything that needs doing into individual and really specific small steps. So instead of 'do cards', have 'buy cards; buy stamps; check addresses; write first xx cards; post cards'.

It’ll feel less overwhelming for you and easier to slot little jobs into your day-to-day now, as well as allowing you to delegate some tasks to those around you.

Do a stock take

If you keep festive stock from year to year, take time now to check what you’ve still got hold of and so don’t need to buy more of (wrapping paper, cards, and crackers are the usual suspects that we end up re-buying). 

On the other hand, you might have forgotten that the fairy lights fizzled out last year and so now you need a new set. 

Don’t leave those surprises to the last minute as you’ll end up spending over the odds at peak time.

Don’t miss the post

If you have a long list of people you send cards to, get started with writing them now and do a few each day rather than waiting and then having to do them all in one go. It won’t feel like such a big task, and you don’t have to worry about missing the post.

Speaking of which, if you’re sending anything overseas check out the last posting dates now and set a reminder in your phone so you’re not running late!

Get meal planning

Work out how many meals you’ll be having at home during the holidays, who you might be catering for (not forgetting to check dietary requirements in advance!) and plan out your shopping list so that you can maximise your meals with minimal food prep. 

And make the most of any leftovers, and where possible keep catering simple so no one has to spend their entire holiday in the kitchen.

Make the beds early

Got family coming to stay? Start sorting out the spare room now – 20 mins a day will make it much easier than doing everything the day before they arrive which is likely to leave you too frazzled to enjoy their company!

Avoid shopping temptation

It’s easy for even the most rational and restrained shoppers to get carried away with special offers, and promotions designed to encourage you to buy all the things. So, whether you’re food shopping or gift shopping, online or in person, make sure you have a list of what you actually need to buy, and stay focused on that to help you keep to budget and avoid waste – especially important when it comes to food.  

Let go of perfect

Take a few minutes now to think about what you DON’T want for Christmas. 

  • What stresses you out unnecessarily?
  • What ‘traditions’ do you feel obliged to continue that you actually don’t like?
  • What changes would you like to make that could make your festive period that bit happier?

Christmas is not made or broken over the ‘right’ food, the ‘best’ gifts or the ‘perfect’ traditions – it is what you want it to be and is definitely not worth running yourself into the ground to achieve.  

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