Are you feeling the frenzy that tends to creep up around this time of year? I think we all start out with the desire to stay on top of it all, but sometimes we get derailed with all of those requests for our attention. One of the quickest ways stress creeps in is the lack of organization that comes from not having an actual plan in place for everything from wrapping the gifts to entertaining a small crowd.
I asked my friend Jen, the the super momma blogger behind I Heart Organizing to offer up some advice for those of us who get that anxious feeling during these busy times ~ Jen has so many great ideas for everyday storage solutions around the home, I thought she’d be the perfect guest to offer some encouraging suggestions for staying organized through the holidays and beyond.
Please welcome Jen and her advice for staying organized during this season!
“Hi everyone! Jen from IHeart Organizing here today to share a couple of my favorite holiday organizing tips and tricks! Let’s face it, the holidays can be an extremely chaotic and busy time! From activities to decorating to entertaining, it seems as though there is always something going on. I am a big believer that with a little organization; you can make it through all of the craziness with a smile on your face.
Have your gotten your first holiday card in the mail yet? They are sure to start coming in daily, so now is the time to start thinking up fun ways to keep them on display to enjoy them throughout the entire course of the season.
A few festive ideas are to clip the cards to decorative ribbon, pin them to a pretty memo board, string them from twinkling strands of lights or create a Christmas tree collage right on your favorite focal wall. When the holidays wind down, whether you choose to hold onto the cards or recycle them is always a personal choice, however, a great way to preserve all of those family photos you received is to create a dedicated holiday album that can be added to year after year.
Once the cards are all sent off in the mail, it’s time to start the gift purchasing and wrapping process. To dress up those pretty packages, we tend to use all sorts of supplies, from ribbons and tags to wrapping paper and bags. The best way to keep your sanity through it all is to create a wrapping “station”, in which all of your supplies are right within easy reach and corralled all together.
There are endless ways to store your wrapping supplies, even using things you may already have lying around your home. For example, simple tension rods make amazing ribbon and wrapping paper holders and stacking or decorative baskets are great for stashing away bows and tags. If storage space is at a premium in your abode, consider using the backside of a closet door to keep it all organized. And to really save your pennies on all of those pretty papers, think about only purchasing wrapping paper that is relevant for any occasion and then store single sheets or even entire rolls in mailing tubes to keep them looking great year after year.
Once the gifts are wrapped, it’s time to party!
Entertaining over the holidays often requires special linens and serving pieces. A great way to keep your table cloths, runners and placemats looking great is to hang them in a pantry or linen closet from skirt/pant hangers vs. storing them in boxes or bins. And if you are receiving help in the kitchen to prepare dinner for all of your guests, toss simple labels near each serving dish so that your helpers know which pieces go with the foods that are being served.
Once the holiday season comes to an end, the not so fun part of packing it all up comes with it. However, there are some things that will make it easier to pack and unpack year after year.
Start out by taking inventory of your holiday belongings and décor and weeding out the items that are no longer in good shape or being used, to avoid packing away pieces that will take up valuable storage real estate. And don’t forget that once the holidays are over it is the best time to replace those items thanks to all of the great post holiday sales!
Specialty holiday storage items can get really expensive, so don’t be afraid to get creative when packing up your decor. Save your egg cartons, wine boxes, paper cups, tomato packages and shoe boxes and pair them with a stack of tissue paper and you will have storage that will take care of those fragile items for the long haul.
When packing it all up into bins and boxes, think about the order in which you will use those decorations the following year and place the items you use first, into the bins last so they are right on top when you begin the decorating process again. And of course, it is best to store your items in plastic bins if they are going to be in moist or damp locations and label, label, label for easy identification.
To kick start your holiday organizing, I whipped up a couple of freebie printables for you to choose from, which can help you track your gift purchases and budget year after year!
A huge virtual hug and thank you to Kate for having me today! I hope you all have a happy and organized holiday!”
Thank YOU Jen for sharing your best tips with us today! I love the idea of repurposing everyday items like shoeboxes or plastic fruit containers as holiday ornament storage, and those gift trackers will surely come in handy, one master list to keep in the purse!
What about you, how do you keep it all together in December between the everyday necessities and the added responsibilities of the holiday season? Got any tips you’d like to share?
Such great advice! This is the first year that I’ve actually felt like my home is more organized than disorganized. I made a big push to get rid of as much clutter as possible, and that has definitely helped. I do wish I had some of those giant, perfectly color-coordinated closets you pictured above, though!
~Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One
I love an organized home! Thanks for the great tips.
These tips are great! I LOVE the Holiday Gift Tracking download! Thanks for sharing these!
I loved the printable organization chart. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing!
These are all great tips! I just organized my wrapping supplies the other day and I feel a lot less stressed about wrapping everything now!
Great ideas – I wanted to look at the first image from the gift wrapping stations a bit closer, but there is no link provided. Where is that from?
PS: I did try to click on the number one below the photo, but it did not have a link – the other three did!
Thanks for all the great tips, Jen! You always have it so together!
Thanks! Where is the information on getting a closet rack like that in picture 1? the link is not working. thanks!
I do place cards in my dishes to remind me what goes where. I started doing that, because on occasion I would forget to put something out. It also helps me plan the table in advance. Nice tips and ideas! May I invite you and your friends to a customized pillow giveaway I’m hosting. Very cool. Happy Holidays.
look at you, miss smarty pants! LOVE it all. and I desperately need. The great purge continues for us, this weekend, so thats great! ;) hope you’re well! ;) miss ya!
I Heart Jen for all of her awesome ideas!!! I have to purge more this year and organize better. I want an area in my office for wrapping, but I need to organize the office first. But I have some ideas in mind already for my wrapping. Kate thanks for having Jen stop by and giving us such great ideas!!! :)
thank you jen i have been reading your blog daily now and it really inspires me to get organized i haVE 3 children under 5 and it does get stressful but thanks to you and your organizing skills my house is in tip top shape and has never been so clean and organized my goal before the new year is to get my entire house organized and i only have 1 more room left and 20 days to go :)
We recently pared down (keeping only items we loved and would use) and organized all our Christmas decorations (been organizing different sections of the garage). I put temporary labels on each box (I asked for a label maker for Christmas…I hope I get it ;-) ). It made it soooo much easier to decorate for Christmas this year! All “Christmas tree” decorations were in one bin, “Outdoor lights” were in a separate bin, etc.
I also organized my “gift wrap section”. Most years, I wind up buying more bows, labels, etc. cause I can’t find the ones from previous years. Not This Year!!! Now I just gotta beautify it the way Jen does with everything! :-)
Good tips, thanks for sharing them. I hadn’t considered using tension rods for the wrapping paper.
Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
Thanks! These are all great ideas. The link to the over-the-door gift wrapping center can be found here;
these are amazing tips! I especially loved the Holiday Gift Tracking templates.
Thank you so so much these are going on my pinterest board asap
Great tips! I will definitely be saving some egg cartons now to store those small ornaments. Love the gift tracking charts- just what I need so I don’t have to keep rummaging through the closet to see what I already bought. :)