Welcome friends! This Christmas organization blog post was originally written in January – but most of the tips would be helpful any time of year!
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While you are still in that January organization mode, let’s work on some things you can do now to make next Christmas easier!
(Because we all know that this new year motivation does not last all year!)
Of course, we all have limited free time so being organized is essential. Recently, as I was taking down the mini wreaths from my cabinets, I reminded myself to leave the hooks behind my glass doors. Since I hang the wreaths on my cabinet doors every year, there is no reason to take down the hooks on the back. The hooks can’t be seen from the front and decorating for Christmas is so much easier with the hooks already in place.
Since this simple idea ended up being a time saver, I started thinking of ways I can prepare in advance for next Christmas.
Here is my list of 5 things you can do now to make next Christmas easier…
1. Update your Christmas card list.
This Christmas, we had a few returned cards with old addresses. Since we keep our Christmas card list on the computer, it was easy to type in the updated addresses for next year. We also try our best to update the list throughout the year when someone moves or gets married. This way we aren’t scrambling around at the last minute to look for addresses. Seriously, it’s hard enough just making the time to order the cards and mail them out!
2. Try out a new recipe or two.
If you are like me, you make the same recipes year after year. In fact, my family expects me to bring certain dishes to family gatherings.
How about this year we surprise them all with something new and exciting! Are you in? After all, we have a whole year to perfect a new dish!
3. Get rid of the Christmas decorations you no longer use.
Face it, we all have those decorations that we will never put out again. Why are we saving them? Are we suddenly going to start liking tinsel again? Actually, if my husband had his way, we would be putting tinsel on our tree every year!
All joking aside, if you are never going to use it, why is it taking up valuable storage space? During January, there are all kinds of used-clothing and used-good drives going on…so this is something you can do now. Of course, you could always try selling some of it. You just might be able to find someone who wants to pay you for your old box of tinsel. You never know what people are looking for on Ebay…
4. Label those bins.
This is one tip I have to finish working on this year. Even though my storage bins are clear, they are so packed with Christmas decorations that I don’t know exactly what I stored in each until I open them. Since I don’t do all my decorating at once, it’s helpful to know where I packed certain decorations. Luckily, I grouped most of my similar items together but it really does help to stick a label on each bin.
Most likely you already packed everything away so just print out some labels and stick them on. Really, it’s any easy thing you can do now. Believe me, you will thank yourself next Christmas.
5. Plan a unique gift for next year.
If you want to come up with an original gift, you probably won’t be able to think of anything creative while you are scrambling around at the last minute. That’s why it’s helpful to think of something early in the year.
For the past few years, I have been wanting to give house paintings to a few relatives for Christmas. Basically, I planned to take photos of their houses when they weren’t home and then choose an artist (from this site or from Etsy) to paint the house. Wouldn’t this make a wonderful and unique gift? Have I done it yet?…No, because each year I forget to take pictures of their houses.
Usually, I remember this brilliant gift idea in about mid- November. At that point, it’s too late to take a picture and too late to order the painting! But not this year my friends…this year I am planning this one early!
If you do end up waiting until the last minute and can’t get someone to do the artwork for you, try this inexpensive technique. You will still have to take a photograph yourself but you can whip up the artwork pretty fast.
Looking for another gift idea you can plan early? How about buying an autographed copy of a book? Throughout the year, pay attention to which authors are touring in your area. If you find an author someone on your list loves, go get a book signed. Who wouldn’t appreciate a thoughtful gift like that?
Hopefully, you find this list helpful in preparing for next Christmas. If you just do a few things now, you can help avoid some of that holiday stress!
And…if you’re looking for ways to get a jump on your New Year’s resolutions, check out my 5 Ways to Kick Start Your Goals for the New Year!
What are you doing now to make next Christmas easier?
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