Monday, November 24, 2008

Organizing Your Holidays - Take 1

Ok - so I had a reader (I feel so silly and grown up pretending that I have "readers") email me about some organizing tips for the holidays. This might take a while, so buckle your seatbelts and lets get started.

During the holidays, there are about a million things I want to do/make/buy. These include taking I. to see the Nutcracker, decorating gingerbread houses, buying a new ornament, work parties, church parties, school parties, and on and on. It's enough to make me hyperventilate just thinking about it. So. . . .this is what I do.

I grab a sheet of paper and start writing everything I want to do. I talk to my kids about what they want to do. We just start brainstorming - nothing is off limits. Here's the start of our list:

Then I leave it out for a couple of days, and we always think of something - I. wants to write a wishlist, for example. Now, if I were more like my friend Steph, I would be nice and calm and get done what we can get done, and have no worries about what didn't get done and just enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, I'm a little more uptight and have high hopes for having the best Christmas ever. This just helps me see the plan, so I can relax and hopefully have fun doing it.

After we make our list, I sit down and grab some paper. On one piece I label it "Family Activities", the next one has "Things to Make" and another has "Things to Buy" and I think the last is "Misc." I divide our master list into one of these subcategories. For example, to decorate gingerbread houses, I put it under activities, but I also put gingerbread kits under things to buy. I then take just a second and think through each thing on our list and try to think if I have left anything else out. Last year we decorated with our friends and would love to do it with them again. On my list, I also write "Call friends about houses."

OK - I know that sounds totally lame, but it only takes me a little bit of time, while the kids are eating, or the computer is downloading. Don't let that part hang you up.

Next, I grab some big paper - my husband uses these for blueprints from his job and brings home the scraps as scratch paper. I have also used paper from my kids easel. I draw a big calendar, with 8 columns instead of 7. I then start plugging everything in. I write down when the work party is, when I want to call the sitter by, etc. There is no system for the colors - I just thought it looked prettier.

In the first column - I write things I need to buy to get me through the week. Then I hang it somewhere I will always walk by it. This year it's in our laundry room and heaven knows I spend plenty of time there! Seeing it like this makes me relax. We like being busy, and it will be busy, but hopefully, I won't miss the little things worrying too much about other things. Does that make sense?
Hopefully, I didn't scare my "readers" away - ask questions if I can help explain this more. It's late at our house, everyone's asleep - including Tom. I'm not sure I'm thinking clearly.


Sarah M. said...

Laurel, I love this!! This is exactly the type of thing I need to see. Keep it coming girl. Were you always this organized?? I don't remember this side of you. Maybe there's hope for me afterall.

AJ said...

I think it's a great idea! I'm a list maker but my organizational skills aren't always consistent. I can be organized for weeks at a time and then something happens and it takes me another couple of weeks to catch up. I think I need to give this a try:) Keep the ideas coming! Hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving♥

Kelli said...

I have started doing something similar because I was driving myself crazy trying to remember everything. I have always been a list person, but now I break it down further and then break it up on my calendar. Very helpful. I love organization.

Kari said...

I think your chart is great and no doubt would help me with my schedule and to-do list. Hmmm, if only I could discipline myself to sit down long enough to do it.

Thanks for coming by my blog so often - I always look forward to your comments and apologize if I haven't been by yours lately. I will try and be better about coming by! Thanks again,

~Reese & Marie~

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin