An Organisers Guide to Christmas
An Organisers Guide to Christmas
With much to remember and organise, it’s no wonder we may end up feeling exhausted by the time Christmas day comes around.
So myself and fellow organisers at the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO), have put together a guide of top tips, designed to make life a little easier this festive season!
Have a good declutter of childrens toys and games. Anything still in good condition could be donated to charity. Doing this with your children fosters a spirit of generosity and helps them learn about living with less.
I always start with lists: what I need to buy, what I need to do and I always include end dates – the last day for food orders and card/parcel post deadlines.
The kitchen is the heart of the home at Christmas, so a good clear out in advance will remind you of what you already have (so you don’t duplicate buy) and what you need to purchase.
When putting up decorations, take down other household pictures and ornaments. That way, when the time comes to take down the decorations, it won’t feel like the house is quite so empty as you will have something to put back in their place.
If your children are anything like mine, writing Christmas cards for class friends can become quite tedious if done in one hit. I buy cards early and write a few each weekend.
Buy experiences for family and friends, to make memories, share quality time and cut down on clutter. It also gives the recipient something to look forward to if it is planned for the weeks/months ahead. Think tickets to the theatre or a live music event, lunch out together, or a visit to an art gallery/museum followed by afternoon tea.
It works beautifully for children too. One of my gifts to my grandchildren is to take them fossil hunting on one of our beautiful Norfolk beaches, followed by posh fish and chips!
Arrange a Secret Santa for adults in the family. My children pick names out of a hat and tell each adult who to buy for. We set a monetary limit and open the gifts over a meal that everybody contributes to. It means less present buying, less cost and is good fun.
Buy a few extra bottles of fizz or boxes of chocolates for unexpected guests who may turn up with gifts.
Co-ordinate present buying, especially for children. Talk to family and share ideas – this helps to avoid duplication. I have a list of gifts wanted and bought for each child showing Santa, parents, grandparents and so on…usually on a password protected spreadsheet but works just as well on the back of a cereal box!
I think of Christmas dinner as a nice Sunday roast with family – no more, no less! This perception stops me overbuying, overeating and also takes the pressure off. As long as everybody is happy and has something to eat, I’m grateful!
I like to pick up Christmas food and treats during my usual food shops in the weeks leading up to the big day. Clear a space in the kitchen or larder, or even a large box to keep it in. Easy to see what you already have/need and makes the most of the supermarket deals.
Now is the time to clear out the fridge and organise it ready for the inevitable extras we buy in December.
I cook in advance and freeze – blanched veg, gravy, stuffing balls, Yorkshire pudding.
Book a slot as soon as you can for food delivery – you can add items and then amend the day before delivery.