Get Organized

79 Days to Christmas! Inventory Holiday Decorations

With autumn in full swing (and Halloween on the horizon), seasonal decorating will soon be underway. Do you know where your holiday decorations are?

While hauling out the jack-o-lanterns and Thanksgiving turkeys, make an informal inventory of Christmas holiday decor. Reason? If you know what you have, you'll immunize yourself from impulse buying as the season progresses--and you'll pick up any needed items in good time to decorate for Christmas.

To "shop at home first", record holiday decorations with a free printable decorations inventory form.

Print a Holiday Decorations Inventory Form

81 Days to Christmas! Plan Holiday Decorating

Holiday decorations! For many families, Christmas trees, centerpieces and collections take a starring role during the season ... but do you have a plan?

Even when it comes to Christmas, planning pays! Investing in holiday decorations on-the-fly can lead to clashing themes and "what was I thinking?" purchases.

Starting today, invest a few minutes planning holiday decor to keep it sane and suitable. We've got help, with a free printable room-by-room decor planner form:

Room-by-Room Decor Planner

84 Days to Christmas! Start a Seasonal Shopping List

Warning: holiday inventories ahead! Do you know where your shopping list is?

A seasonal shopping list is the closest thing to a personal shopper, so start a seasonal shopping list today. Use it to corral all the little "gotta-buy" items that will cross your path in the weeks ahead.

You’ll subdivide the list according to your own needs, including everything from a running grocery shopping list to reminders for gift wrap, seasonal or crafts supplies. Color-coding entries can make it easier to focus on crafts or food or clothing sections; do what works for you!

Tucked into the Christmas planner, the shopping list is a faithful friend. Use it to capture fleeting “must-buy” moments and spare your brain.

Did you find a UFO crafts project that needs only a bit of ribbon to complete? Write “ribbon – green plaid” on the list. Will the children’s school hold a holiday food drive? Note “extra cranberry sauce” under the grocery section.

Second step: check the list before you leave the house—or take it with you. It’ll jog your memory and help you make good use of small bits of time. Waiting for a child to finish a tutorial session? Make a quick turn into the crafts store down the street for that self-same ribbon, and cross the project off the UFO list.

Get organized for the holiday season ... with a seasonal shopping list!

Print a Seasonal Shopping List

86 Days to Christmas! Smart Scheduling Tips

Thinking about the holidays from a few weeks away, there’s a luxurious feeling of “plenty of time”, but as December draws near, the season’s pace quickens exponentially. Where did the time go?

Take major action against the seasonal time crunch with a pre-season scheduling session. The goal: to arrange for all those little appointments that slip the mind so easily.

Will you need to schedule carpet cleaning, dog grooming, furnace maintenance? Review the coming months and call now to arrange needed services.

Note the appointments on the family calendar, sit back and relax!

Calendar Power: Smart Scheduling for Stress-Free Holidays

88 Days to Christmas! Plan Holiday Travel

First step to getting organized for Christmas with a holiday calendar? Decide where your family will spend the holiday season.

Will you visit family for Thanksgiving or take a Christmas holiday? Make travel plans now!

Booking airplane flights, hotels and rental cars early helps keep costs down, while advance planning ensures that you'll have your choice of seat assignments, routes and carriers.

Plan early for the smoothest trip--and try these tips to keep the “happy” in holiday travel:

Tips For Holiday Season Travel

90 Days to Christmas! Organize Holiday Crafts

When it comes to the holiday season, ask any wife and mother what she needs most, and she'll tell you, "More time!" Yet this same busy lady will fill her Christmas gift list with elaborate hand-crafted gifts, requiring substantial outlays of cash, time and skill.

Result? She careens into mid-December either (1) working nightly until 1 a.m. to finish the lot or (2) substituting hurry-up last minute purchases for the unfinished gifts.

Handmade is great ... if you don't bite off more than you can chew (or sew, stamp or knit)! To reduce holiday crafting stress, get organized--and get realistic--when it comes to holiday crafts. Try these tips for a reality check for handmade Christmas goals:

No More UFOs: Get-Em-Done Strategies for Holiday Crafts

95 Days to Christmas! Make a Master Gift List

Holiday gifts can amount to a substantial outlay of time, energy and money. Keep tabs on holiday giving with a Master Gift List: a single, central listing of holiday gifts and giving.

A Master Gift List is the go-to source to organize Christmas giving. Added to your Christmas planner, it'll record gift recipients and gift ideas, while you track costs, gift sources and a running budget tally.

Form is not important! Print a free master gift list and tuck it into your Christmas planner. Cyber-savvy holiday planners tap a computer spreadsheet, or register with an online gift-list service to track Christmas gifts over the coming months.

Give your family the best gift of all--a debt-free Christmas--with a Master Gift List!

Master Gift List: A Holiday Shopper's Best Friend

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