First, I want to say I hope each of you enjoyed your holiday week for Thanksgiving. My holiday turned out great. Dinner was fabulous (I posted my recipes on Facebook). Now, if you’ve thought Thanksgiving planning was fun, get ready for the main event – December! No other month in the year is filled with so many big holidays; Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Years! These days all call for celebration and family which means lots of planning for you and me.
To break down the month of December, I’ll be posting a series, highlighting important parts like event planning, holiday shopping organization and of course in home organizing and prep. If you’re lucky you’ve made a large dent in the holidays so far. Since this blog is a month old, I was unable to meet you at the very beginning as I always advise those who plan to get started in October. As with the theme and focus of my blog though, I am hoping to help those who are new to organizing and planning and for those who would like to spend more of this fantastic season being apart of the joy and not just the orchestrator.
So where do we begin? Lists…of course!
Oh how I love the benefits of a list. Jotting down what you want to do is an often missed important step in organizing. Even if you do the exact same thing every single year, a list is calming and sure to keep you balanced as the days go by. I like to start with a preliminary list to get focused. This list consists of the basic things I want to accomplish in the month. Do I want to throw a party? Travel for New Years? Send Holiday greeting cards? All of these ideas are outlined.
After you’ve planted the seed and created this first draft, spend a little time thinking about what you envision for the holiday. What does the end result look like to you? I have found some very wonderful templates on Microsoft Excel that I will post on my Facebook page for printing. I have some images below to give you an idea of how you can best use these. Trust me, these are your friends.
The next important step is to make a budget to track the money. We get so overjoyed with shopping and lost in the season that our budgets begin to burst at the seams and we are too under the glow of season to take notice. Not on my watch, lol. Budget and track – on your computer or written, tracking will ensure you stay within your limits and are consistently aware of your purchases.
Another one of my steps are to download coordinating mobile apps. I have a new one this season called, “Free Christmas List”. This is an awesome idea to track multiple purchases if you have children or intend on buying several gifts for anyone on your holiday list. The app lets you create a person, add items you wish to buy, and tracks the spending data as you accumulate the items. It’s best used as you are shopping. Populate as you go! Check out your app store and see what other tools they have to help you. I will update you if I find any additional ones.
Take a breath! This post is only to get you started. I am following up with a post on gifting tips so that your shopping this season is as easy as possible. There are many ideas I want to share and it will be a lot of reading, yes, but it will be rewarding.
Stay tuned for more. In the meanwhile follow me on the web, by clicking my Facebook and twitter links in the right colums and please share with those you know who can benefit.
OW Trisha Marie