Create A Holiday Command Center

The holidays can be hectic and overwhelming at times. However, if you manage your activities and your time properly, you can have a peaceful and enjoyable holiday season. Follow these tips to get and stay organized.

get organized for the holidays

Make a holiday task list

Start by creating a master to-do list with everything you need and want to get done over the next several weeks. Use whatever system works for you, whether that's an online calendaring program, a voice-activated system on your smartphone or a large wipe-off calendar in your kitchen. Items you might want to include in your holiday task list include:

  • Christmas card list
  • Church events
  • Decorations
  • Gift shopping (budget, wish list, wrapping)
  • Party planning (guest list, menu, etc.)
  • School activities
  • Travel plans

Once you have created a main list of tasks, break each one down into smaller pieces and place deadlines for each piece on your calendar. Give yourself plenty of time in case you run into any snags along the way.

Check out these organizers and calendars for moms >>

Maintain your focus

Don't get overwhelmed this holiday season. You don't have to say yes to every invitation. Maintain your focus and stick to events and activities that are meaningful to you and your family. Enlist the help of your hubby and kids to keep the house as neat and organized as possible. Don't sweat the small stuff -- it really doesn't matter if you haven't swept out the pantry or dusted the blinds this week.

Delegate some of the tasks on your to-do list to those who are willing to help. For example, it might be worth it to you to pay the teen who lives up the street $50 to do all your gift wrapping. Also, be sure to take time out for yourself. The holidays aren't intended to be about a bunch of stress and obligations -- you are supposed to enjoy them.

Read about how to help your family reduce holiday stress >>

Create a command center

Organizational expert, fashionista and author of Lists for Life, Rory Tahari offers these helpful tips to get organized this holiday season. Tahari recommends creating a centralized command center in your home to manage all the activities.

  • Choose an area in your home that can be a designated command center. Pick any space that works for you, whether it is a home office or just a small corner in your family kitchen.
  • When it comes to arming your space, less is more. Don't clutter your area with unnecessary items and instead, opt for fewer items that promote productivity and efficiency.
  • Manage all of your family's after-school activities, sports games and holiday parties in one centralized calendar. Assign an area for each member of the family so that everyone can take a look back at the calendar for a quick reminder.
  • With all of the coming and going at different times in my family, Tahari and her family often communicate through Post-it® Notes. Leave the kids friendly reminders, create holiday shopping lists and jot down phone messages on Post-it® Notes. They have a set space where they stick their notes. Tahari says the Pebble Collection by Karim is sleek and she loves that it blends in with her home decor.
  • Tahari dislikes loose papers lying around, so she have a filing system for bills, receipts and even the kids' school work. She assigns Post-it® Pockets for each family member. They stick conveniently to almost any surface and are suitable for any location.
  • Tahari could not live without her scanner. When she's finished with any paperwork, she scans each document before it can be recycled.

More holiday organizing tips

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Comments

Comments on "Tips to get organized for the holidays"

Adella December 14, 2011 | 8:57 AM

A holiday 'command center' is a great idea at home and easy enough to do - I do that every year in my spare bedroom especially the older my kids have gotten. I also tend to rely totally on lists during this time of year - gifts, shopping lists, even Christmas cards are done in order by lists. The problem, I find is, I'm very oganized at home so at work or course I start to slip. I got put in charge of our last two office celebrations and I've been working over-time so my entire cubicle has started looking like a landfill. It's gotten so bad recently that after a co-worker slipped on a few pieces of paper on the floor of my cubicle, a few of them got together and entered me in an online contest, "Pimp My Cube" (contestfactory/pmc), in the hopes that I win and get an organized and clean cubicle. LOL! I would really love to find tips for staying organized at work as well as home.

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