The holiday season has arrived, and while you may be feeling festive, you may also have a little anxiety about all that needs to be done. Check out these helpful planning and organizational tips that can help you spend more time celebrating than stressing the holidays!

PLAN AHEAD

With many festive holidays crammed into one season, finding the time to decorate the house for each one can be a little tricky! Luckily, you can take it month by month, depending on which holidays you celebrate. Set some time aside the first weekend of each month to get out your best festive decorations and skim through some design ideas online or in print. Even if it’s just an hour or two, planning ahead can save you a lot of time – and stress! Bonus points if your decorations can be used for more than one holiday (like Halloween and Thanksgiving)!

PREPARE A BUDGET

It can be easy to accidentally overspend, especially when you’re in the giving spirit! Preparing a budget beforehand can help keep your extra spending in check. Tally up how much you plan to spend on gifts, food, or holiday decorations, and keep it someplace handy for reference. Then stick to that budget when you’re out shopping. Stressing about finances can put a huge damper on your celebrations, and planning and saving in advance can help you stay engaged in the holiday spirit!

MAKE A LIST

When it comes to shopping for gifts, making a list of everyone you need a present for can greatly cut down on the chaos of shopping during the holiday season. You can break your list down into gift size as well, and prioritize those closest to you if you are short on time. Even a general idea of what kind of gift will best match the people on your list will help so you aren’t blindly walking through stores. Buy a few additional small gifts for people who may have slipped your mind – you’ll be thankful later!

STOCK UP

The holidays are a time for sharing and caring – and also preparing food! While you can’t stock up too far in advance on perishables like meat or eggs, you can be prepared for any baking or cooking needs by purchasing staples like flour, broth, spices, sugar, and chocolate chips. You never know when you might want to whip up a batch of holiday cookies, and you don’t want a poorly stocked pantry holding you back! In addition to food, you can stock up on things like wrapping paper, bows, and cards to be used for the winter holidays.

PREPARE THE HOUSE

Does the yard need sprucing up? Leaves raked? Maybe that front porch light has been out all summer? When was the last time you tidied up the guest room? These are all tasks that can help you prepare for any company, and getting a jump start on chores like changing the sheets or cleaning the shower can all be done ahead of time so that you aren’t struggling to prepare at the last minute. Many hands make light work: recruit your family or friends for a merry weekend of cleaning and meal prep for visitors.

The holidays are all about being together, so don't stress over a perfectly clean house and perfectly planned food for guests. It's all about connecting with loved ones however suits your style best!

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