Revive joy this holiday: get organized

Published 12:02 pm Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday season is upon us.

Are you full of excitement or drowning in dread? Here are a few tips to help you spread cheer over the next few weeks. It all starts with getting yourself a little more organized!

Planner: Use a three-ring or spiral notebook to keep gift lists, shopping lists, recipes, guest lists, projects, decorating ideas, important dates, etc., all in one easy place. Include an envelope for receipts.

Cards: Order now and do a few each day until finished. Assembly line the writing, labeling, postage, licking the envelope … saves time.

Food: Make a list/menu for a potluck, drop-by guests, large gathering, snacks or a formal family dinner.

Have nuts, frozen foods, drinks, etc. on hand to prevent panic for last minute occasions. Buy what you might need ahead of time — don’t forget napkins, plates or drink mixers.

Shopping: Wrap some gifts for unexpected company or when a quick gift is needed. Wine, candles, movie tickets or gift cards are great extras to have on hand.

Travel: Consider ordering as many gifts as possible online and having them shipped to your destination. Wrap them when you get there.

Decorating: Pick a day or week when you will decorate as well as “undecorate” your home! Enlist the whole family.

Schedules: Carefully consider all the invites you receive and say “yes” to only those you really want to attend.

Map out times to shop, cook, enjoy family and make preparations. Delegate to a restaurant, interior designer or florist any of the above, if needed.

As always, saying “yes to less” and “no to more” will significantly decrease your holiday stress.

Lisa Phillips is a corporate organizer with All Spaced Out in Pelham.

Editor’s note: This column and many other related holiday stories can be found in our new Shelby Living magazine conveniently available at a variety of locations across Shelby County. A list of those locations can be found at