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Hacks for a Happy Holiday Home

Hacks for a Happy Holiday Home

by Katy Beth Irwin McGahey

I love the holiday season! It’s an opportunity to spend time with loved ones and celebrate the things you really care about. Unfortunately, the holidays can be a stressful time if you try to do everything last minute, so I’ve come up with some tips to make sure you spend more time with loved ones and less time stressing. Getting organized for the holidays ahead of time is sure to make a difference in the upcoming season! 

The key to a stress free holiday is preparation. There’s a lot to get done in a short amount of time, but there are some tasks you can start doing now: gather photos for Christmas cards, create menus for holiday meals, freeze foods you can prepare ahead of time, clean out the kitchen pantry to make room for extra food, keep the house tidy, purge decorations you don’t use anymore and gather gift wish lists from friends and family. 

Scheduling time to start ahead on holiday preparation helps relieve holiday stress. It can be hard to find time to do everything on your to-do list, so make sure to assign times in your calendar for each of the tasks you need to get done. This includes blocking out time on your calendar ahead of time to dedicate to finding the right outfit for parties, making goodies for school functions, attending community holiday festivities, booking a photographer for Christmas card photos or pictures with Santa, travel days and days off. By putting everything into your calendar, you can get a better sense of how much time you actually have to accomplish necessary tasks. Establishing this simple routine of tracking your time helps keep your goals top of mind and allows you to find some much-needed time to relax and enjoy the season. 

The holiday season is likely to bring friends and family members to your home for visits. Make sure you are ready for guests by sprucing up your guest bedroom and bathrooms. If your guest room becomes a dumping ground during the year, it’s time to tackle that clutter and prep the space for your expected guests. Take inventory of all the items they may need during their stay and make sure you are stocked up. 

Staying on budget can also be tricky when there’s so much to accomplish and little time to do it all. It is easy to go overboard on holiday purchases if you don’t begin budgeting in advance. By creating a budget, you can make sure your money is going to what you value most. Make sure to include extra costs for holiday food, gifts for teachers and office friends, gift wrapping, decorations, cards and postage. These expenses can add up quickly, so start setting money aside a few months before the holidays to make sure your budget allows for costs that creep up at the last minute. Look for unused gift cards and coupons that you have collected throughout the year and cash them in. Another way to stay on top of expenses is to make room in your wallet for receipts you may need for returns or exchanges. Go through your purse and wallet and throw away expired credit cards, discount cards and receipts you no longer use or need. You may be shocked at the amount of space you free up in your wallet by purging! 

When shopping for gifts, try to think of presents you can give that won’t add clutter to your loved ones’ homes. I recommend buying gifts that provide opportunities for new experiences they can enjoy like tickets to a concert or a wine tasting tour. You might consider items you know they will use such as food or gift certificates to service providers such as beauty salons, yoga studios, mani-pedis or massages. We all know the guilty feeling of receiving a gift that you feel obligated to keep though you have no use or space for the item. Save your friends and family members from having this guilt and give gifts that won’t take up space in their homes. 

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When the holidays come to an end, make sure you are taking the time to store away only the decorations you used and enjoyed this year. Try to make a list of decorations you wished you’d had on hand during the holidays and shop for these items at end of season sales—this will help with the temptation of binge buying just because you found a good deal. If you add an item to your seasonal decor, try to purge something from your previous collection that you did not love as much or have not used in awhile. 

By prepping for holiday madness ahead of time, you can get everything done for the season without being pressed for time and money at the last minute. This gives you more time to spend doing the things you love with the people you love! 

If you’d like more detail on any of these tips follow me on Instagram @Sorted_in_Style, or if you’d like some assistance getting ready for the holidays, Sorted in Style would love to help! You can reach me at (903) 244-9561 or email me at sortedinstylebykatybeth@gmail.com. Happy holidays!

Katy Beth McGahey is a professional organizer who has been working with families for over eight years. She loves getting to know her clients and combines the design knowledge she gained as an art major at the University of North Texas with her love for organization. She believes your home is your sanctuary and you should feel at peace when you are there. She helps her clients remove clutter so they can truly enjoy the space they live in no matter the size. Though she is based out of DFW, she loves to come back to her hometown, Texarkana, and organize while she visits her friends and family. If you would like more information, visit sortedinstyle.net.
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