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5 Tips to get organized for the holidays

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Keep your cool as an organization pro

When holiday gatherings, family traditions and too many gifts make the holiday season hectic, a little organization can go a long way. So, how do you become a master of merriment without having a mid-holiday meltdown? From making room for new gifts to getting rid of old food, discover five tips to get organized for the holidays.

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Clean out your purse

Don't underestimate the value of purse organization! From family dinners to holiday parties, clearing the clutter from your handbag will help you minimize chaos when you're on the go during the busy holiday season -- and make room for holiday shopping receipts. Chances are that your holiday wardrobe may require more than one purse, so a removable purse organizer such as the Pouchee makes matching your bag to your shoes the easiest thing you do this holiday season.

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Out with the old

Tonia Tomlin, organization expert and author of Chaos 2 Calm: The Moms-of-Multiples' Guide to an Organized Family advises you to weed out toys your kiddos no longer use and clothes your family has outgrown before a single gift exchanges hands. "I take this time to see what they have left and make notes of what my family needs," says Tomlin.

Take stock of your wrapping supplies

One week before Thanksgiving day, do a quick inventory of your tape, gift tags, bows, paper and other wrapping supplies to stock up and avoid extras. "Before you get to this holiday season, take an inventory of your wrapping storage containers," advises Tomlin. "Clean them up and reorganize them for the holidays; then you'll know exactly what you need when you're at the store and you won't overspend!"

Compile a Christmas card list

It's never too early to start gathering names and updating addresses for your Christmas card list. Simply punch your Christmas card contacts into a spreadsheet program to make it easy to reuse, prune and update year after year. Once your Christmas card list is organized, you may opt to pick up stamps and print labels to make addressing your cards a breeze amidst the holiday chaos.

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Purge your pantry

When it comes to organization before the holiday season, don't overlook the kitchen. Before holiday meal staples go on sale, make room in your pantry by checking for expired food and tossing unused fare that is well beyond its peak. "It's easy to lose food at the back of the pantry," offers Tomlin, "so now's a good time to take a peek and possibly make some room for the holiday food you'll be purchasing soon!"

Any organization you can tackle before your family gathers around the holiday table can be a sanity-saver, so don't stress if you cannot put all five tips to get organized for the holiday into play. Once you get the hang of pre-holiday preparations, you just may find yourself with plenty of time to partake in the merry making, too!

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