No matter how you choose to spend your holidays—traveling or hosting get-togethers, proper home organization is the best way to get the season off on the right snow boot and set you up for success. But where do you start?
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Start checking tasks off of your to-do list before the madness of the holidays commences! Continue reading to learn more.
However busy you think you’re going to be for the yuletide season, double it. It’s always best to think you’re going to have less time than you do. That way, you’re already ahead from the get-go. Start your holiday planning before December 1. Waiting for the ever-elusive “after Thanksgiving sometime” will leave you making the mad holiday dash for some semblance of sanity when it’s already too late.
If you’re thinking about organizing the attic or garage, stop and reorient. Where are the holidays likely to wreak the most havoc? Where is it essential that you make more room? If you’re in charge of hosting the family dinner, the kitchen, dining room, and anywhere else people will gather are your top priorities. Are your guests staying the night?
Then add the guest bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets to your list. Make sure that any superfluous items are removed and there’s a clear place for things like guest coats, luggage, even leftovers in the fridge. Have extra toiletries, towels, linens, and things your overnight guests might need readily available.
Here are some ideas:
Don’t spend one moment more than you have to living among decoration boxes. It might seem more productive to spend an hour or two after work hanging lights and pinning stockings in this room or that one, but it’s not. Really, you’re only making it harder to get yourself organized. Get all your decorating done in one hit so you can check that off your list and get onto more important tasks.
No matter what, everyone ends up with the post-holiday meal blues for two reasons: Either you still have enough food for a small army, or the family vultures took everything but the table salt and left no yummy leftovers for you! Your fridge is the culprit behind it all!
Square off a specific section for holiday meals and the leftover food alike. This way, you won’t run the risk of accidentally using something you’ll need for dinner before the big day, and you’ll have an up-for-grabs space where your relatives can freely graze (because you’ll have already boxed up the leftovers you want for yourself and put them in the “host’s food” section.
Additional holiday kitchen organization ideas include:
Seasonal Health Reminder: Flu and food poisoning run rampant during the holidays. Do yourself and your guests a favor by stopping the spread of infectious germs. Our Happy Hive recommends physically cleaning and sanitizing your fridge with a cleaning solution of dish soap, baking soda, and hot water.
No more hunting for the scissors only to have to buy another pair. Put all of your wrapping supplies into a box or bag next to your wrapping area. Try to also find a place in this area to store wrapped presents before placing them under the tree or giving them to your recipient.
With these steps, you’ll be able to solve three separate holiday problem areas at once:
1. Place your bag of wrapping supplies under or near your wrapping surface. Whatever is in the bag—be it tape or the ever-elusive scissors—stays in the bag unless you’re wrapping.
2. Wrap presents as you buy them, labels and all. This will help you to avoid the big slapdash wrapping race the night before Christmas.
3. Organize wrapped presents by the recipient and who will receive theirs first.
The last thing you want is an annoying smoke detector beeping during dinner—or worse—for the unit to not catch the signs of a house fire until it’s too late. Kitchen fires during the holidays are one of the most common accident insurance claims each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Ensure all the safety measures in your home, from smoke detectors to fire extinguishers, are up to par. It’s also not a bad idea to check the TV remote control batteries, flashlights, and emergency gear and to have a few extras on hand, just in case.
The point of the holidays is to see what’s really important. That applies to your holiday home organization as well. Using these tips, you can hone in on the chronic problem areas, common disorganization pitfalls, and holiday headaches before they start.