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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Keeping Your Holiday Season Calm and Organized

The best way to fully enjoy the holiday season is to keep things calm, balanced and organized. Holiday preparation can take up time and can cause anxiety. Taking the time to plan for the holiday season will ease your stress level and will make your holidays more relaxing. As a professional organizer, I try to streamline as many processes as possible, and below I detail a system that works well for holiday planning.

A helpful tool for staying on task with your holiday preparations is to create a holiday planning binder. Your binder should include sections for: a holiday card mailing list, a decorating section, a gift list section and an entertaining section. Start off by buying a pretty binder and some tab dividers. Your first task will be to create a “holiday cards” section in your binder. Create an address list that can be made into labels on your computer. Keep a copy of this list in your binder and, as you receive cards, make any necessary additions for next year.

Next, create a “holiday decorating” section in your binder. After setting up your holiday décor, put photos of your decorated home in this section, as a reference for next year and remember, as you decorate, pare down the decorations that you don’t use. Donate or toss these unneeded decorations. You may also want to include any notes or reminders to refer to when decorating for the next year. In the next section of your binder you will create a “gifts” section with a list of gifts to be purchased, by person. Take a copy of this list with you when you go holiday shopping and keep a copy of it in your planning binder as a reference for next year. Finally, create an “entertaining” section. Create a page per event, noting: date, guest list, meal plan and cleaning timeline. Keep this and any entertaining notes or tips in the binder for next year.

One additional process to put in place is to centralize all giftwrapping supplies in one area of your home. Set aside a few nights to wrap all of your gifts at once and keep photos of the wrapped gifts in the “gifts” section of your binder, noting how much wrapping paper was used and how long the wrapping process took.

Having a plan for holiday preparation will put you in control of holiday entertaining and gift giving. Your holiday planning binder will become a valuable tool that you can refer to each year. After the holidays are over, go back and make notes in the various sections that you can refer to for the next years’ planning.

If you find organizing your home, work life and your time to be difficult or stressful, a professional organizer can provide the help needed. Providers offer sympathetic and nonjudgmental organizing, de-cluttering and time management services to residential and business clients.

Sherry Onweller, owner of Everyday Solutions by Sherry, is an professional organizer. Her services range from standard offerings to projects for the home, workplace or for volunteer activities. In addition, Sherry also specializes in helping female adults with ADD get their physical space/time management in order and with helping children and teens to get organized. Newly added services include personal coaching to help make your work life more efficient and productive.

For more information, call Everyday Organizing Solutions by Sherry at 908-619-4561, email O[email protected] or visit

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