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Organize Your Holidays in 20 Minutes or Less

Posted by Natalie Hastings on

Everyone has their method for getting organized in the holiday season,  and many of you might already be finished. For the rest of us,  I’d like to offer a hack.

Over the next 2 weeks, you might find yourself with just 20 minutes—before the bus arrives, before you need to go to sleep, before work. Instead of spending the time checking social media or just thinking about being busy, set a Time Timer ®  for 20 minutes or less, and try one of these organizing activities. 

  1. Create Amazon wish lists. Do the grandparents struggle to understand what a Hatchimal really is? Create a wish list of items for yourself/child/dog on Amazon. It takes less than 10 seconds to set up, and then you can send the list to family and friends who like to buy for you. There’s no need to buy on Amazon (as long as they tell you it’s gone!)
  2. Address Christmas cards or print out address labels.
  3. Create a Christmas card mailing list. Sites like Postable make building your address list easy. It’s free, and you can export it to Paper Culture (or other card sites) to send your Christmas cards directly to the recipient. Like to write personal messages? That’s fine, too. They can send them to you pre-addressed; you simply write a note and stamp it!
  4. Start a basket of toys to give away. You can turn it into a lesson for your kids about giving to others.
  5. Pre-address gift labels. If you already know who is going to get what but you’re not ready to wrap yet, go ahead and make the gift labels when you’re not already tired. Your child who still believes in Santa will thank you.
  6. Take a kitchen inventory
  7. Find an angel tree child or another child in need and buy them a gift.
  8. Take stock before traveling. Are you headed out of town to celebrate? Go through your packing list now and make sure you have everything. Count your medicine and make sure you have enough without refilling on Dec. 23. Do you really want to be at CVS or Walgreens on December 23? No. If you’re traveling somewhere with a different climate, go ahead and pack those ski parkas or those swimsuits now.
  9. Stock up on storage. As you take out holiday decorations, keep in mind the sales going on in stores for holiday storage. Sure, the gift tissue paper from last Christmas wrapped around the glass ornaments works for some people, but if you’re looking to upgrade your storage, plan for that now.
  10. Don’t forget holiday dress. Is there a school concert, or perhaps great-grandma is offended if you don’t dress up for Christmas dinner? Organize holiday dress now.
  11. Purge your pins. That’s my way of saying, do you really need that festive brooch you bought on sale a few years ago in January because it was “just too good a deal to pass up?” Probably not. Find a new home for whatever your “holiday brooch” is--preferably in someone else’s home.
  12. Pair all of your unmated socks. Why now? Because it’s not too late to add a few pairs of socks to someone’s stocking. Turn the singletons into sock puppets, dust cloths or just throw away.



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