How I Organize Christmas: 10 Tips for an Organized Christmas
I organize Christmas pretty much how I organize everything – with a combination of digital and paper resources. With the obligations of the season, the unpredictability of the weather, and the need to shop and prepare, there is a lot to do between Thanksgiving and Christmas!
I, like most of you, start my preparations sometime in November before Thanksgiving. Once Thanksgiving arrives, it is a crisp wind-in-your-hair slide down a slippery slope until you land at the bottom of your chimney filling those stockings late on Christmas Eve.
I have listed below my 10 most helpful tips and tricks to an organized Christmas without losing your mind.
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# 1 Tip for an Organized Christmas: a North Pole area
After a home remodel a year ago, I now have a room for projects. It was listed as “craft room” on the plans, but I am not too crafty. I kept trying to get my husband and the contractors to say “project room,” but it never stuck. So, I guess it is a craft room, or as I love to call it this time of year – The North Pole.
This is the “working side” of the room. It has a long counter with cabinets and shelves above. This long counter is where my organized Christmas happens. This counter is used to organize gifts, create gift tags and cards with my Cricut, and wrap presents.
One of the best parts of the room is a drawer long enough to hold wrapping paper. There are a number of ways to keep your wrapping paper organized, but having a drawer where they fit length-wise is a plus!
Before I had this area, my closet stored all of the gifts and the Cricut was in a guest bedroom. If you do not have a long counter, set up a table in your bedroom or other area as your North Pole.
# 2 Tip for an Organized Christmas: a sack for each person receiving stocking stuffers or multiple gifts
Every person on your list who receives stocking stuffers or multiple gifts needs a bag with their name on it. You can easily drop the stocking stuffers in the appropriate bags as you purchase them. I also put their gifts and the receipts in the bags with their names on them. This way I have everything together for each person. Here are some tools for wrapping gifts.
#3 Tip for an Organized Christmas: Make a budget with a Spreadsheet or Money Management software
You have to stay on budget or you will wake up in January with a huge headache and a lot of unpaid credit card balances. As an accountant I would never make a budget or add up a lot of numbers on paper. There is too much room for error. If you want to map some of it out on paper, that is great, but then get it into a spreadsheet or a money management program.
I use Quicken. Create a category for Christmas with a subcategory of Gifts. You can create other subcategories like Travel, Decorations, and Food. As you buy gifts “tag” each transaction with the recipients name. You can then see exactly how much you have spent on each person and in total for Christmas.
#4 Tip for an Organized Christmas: Use a Paper Planner
#5 Tip for an Organized Christmas: Organize Your Planner
A pile of papers sitting around everywhere is not going to help you stay organized for long. These papers belong in a notebook with sections. I used Avery Dividers to separate the areas to stay on top of.
I created the labels with my Cricut. You can use a label maker or write them by hand. It is not an art contest. Just get your sections created!
#6 Tips for an Organized Christmas: Use Your Planner as YOU NEED it.
The biggest thing I have going on in the next few weeks is a party for my husband’s coworkers. It may be the largest group we have ever hosted. There is a LOT to organize. I have the party organizing sheets at the front of my notebook.
I don’t need the guest list sheets because my husband is handling that part, but I have multiple vendors I am dealing with, so I need those sheets.
The point of any planner is to use the pages you need, print extras if necessary, and toss the pages that do not apply to you.
#7 Tip for an Organized Christmas: Keep Your Recipes together and clean
Get all of your holiday recipes in one place instead of in various files and cookbooks. I have some of mine typed up and some are printed scans or photos of recipes.
A set of page protectors is crucial. This will keep them clean.
#8 Tip for an Organized Christmas: There are always exceptions
Not every recipe is easy to type up or scan. If you have any Pioneer Woman cookbooks, you know every step is accompanied by a picture. They are beautiful cookbooks because of the pictures, but I did not want to scan the pages like that.
A piece of paper holding the place of the recipe and telling you where to find it works well for something you want to make every year. And, yes, the Green Bean Casserole on page 218 of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier (otherwise known as the “yellow one”) is amazing and leaves the cream of mushroom version in the dust.
#9 Tip for an Organized Christmas: Pockets in Your Notebook
Some pages need to be taken in and out or will be taken with you somewhere. Get a notebook with pockets in the back to slip them in. (The pocket is clear and is what is causing the glare in the picture.)
I also love the pockets in these Avery Dividers. They are great for recipes that have not made the yearly cut as an annual favorite, but you want to try.
#10 Tip for an Organized Christmas: Make Notes
Make notes in your Christmas Planner to refer to next year. Take the recipe out and write that it was too salty or needed more moisture. You think you will remember, but you won’t.
If you make notes throughout your notebook and keep it from year to year, you will know what works and what needs improvement. There are many spots for reflection and notes in our Christmas Planner. Check it out below!
Ultimate Christmas Planner
Bonus Tip for an Organized Christmas: It’s Ok if something does not work!
Remember the reason for the season. Be patient with family. And mostly, be patient with yourself. The Pinterest perfect Christmas you envision is likely not the expectation of those around you. They want YOU, not perfect casserole or even the worlds most organized Christmas.
Ok, they may not want a super dry turkey, but they do not care if one dish or another falls flat or you remember your stash of super secret stocking stuffers on New Year’s eve.
Related posts 10 Tips for an Organized Christmas
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