Holiday organizational tips

Getting through a holiday-laced December can be fun – and it can be exhausting. Having a plan in place will help you feel more in control and help tilt things more toward fun and less toward stress. Planning also helps you stick to your priorities rather than making last-minute decisions on the fly.

Good planning starts with a schedule. Take a look at December and block out time now for:

Special events and family events

  • Is there anything that needs to be done or prepared before the event? Games? Food? Decorations? Invitations?
  • Plan in time to clean for any events that are at your house – but know that this is probably not the best time of year to start a big decluttering project!
  • If you have a special family event, try to keep a solid block around that time so you can focus on family and be present!


  • Are tickets purchased, or is the car ready for a road-trip?
  • Do you have the right luggage and any supplies needed – including travel-sized liquids?
  • Pack a day prior to leaving. This gives your brain time to remind you what you forgot.

Social events

  • Do invitations need to go out or be RSVP’d to?
  • Is there clothing, food, or a special gift you need for an event?
  • If you’re having a party, think through what food and drinks you want to serve.
  • Then plan time to shop, cook, clean, and decorate.

Gift giving

  • Is there anything you can make this year rather than make a purchase? What do you need for time and supplies to make a gift?
  • If you’re shopping, plan in blocks of time so you don’t feel so rushed.
  • Don’t forget to include shipping time to mail out-of-town gifts. Remember that shipping not only takes time, it also requires boxes and shipping materials that aren’t always on-hand.
  • Do you have time to do fun, local shopping this year?
  • Or is on-line ordering your best bet to get items selected and shipped with one click of the mouse?

Decorating and wrapping

  • When you pull out last year’s decorations, pitch anything that’s worn out or broken rather than shifting it to the bottom of the box.
  • Check your wrap supplies for paper, tape, ribbons, and tags.
  • Plan in time to decorate and wrap so you don’t spend the day before an event up to your armpits in boxes, scissors, paper, and tape.


If plotting all of this onto a calendar and into your planner already has you stressed out, is there something you can cut back on to make this holiday season simpler and more enjoyable?

If you need help making cuts, think about your top priorities in life – family, work (both paid and volunteer), finances, creativity… Whatever your priorities are, layer them over your holiday to-dos to make sure you’re spending time the way you want to spend it. Say “yes” to people and events that lift your energy. And say “no” to things you only do out of obligation – and do with dread!

Organizational Zen is about the peace of choosing what to do and doing it with focus rather than trying to get everything done. The holidays make Organizational Zen a delightful challenge 🙂

Sending you the peace of sunrise from Holden Beach, NC



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