Get Organized

Seasonal Storage Tip: Make a Holiday Stragglers Box

Holiday Stragglers Box

Christmas has come and gone ... or has it?

Lights are stored, the tree is down, and holiday decor rests in boxes in the storage area, waiting for next year.

Then you turn the corner and spot an overlooked Santa, shining on top of the piano.

In the refrigerator, the holiday butter dish hides the last remnants of a stick of butter. Holiday linens, napkins and kitchen towels pop up in the laundry area this week, next week and the week after.

Post-Holiday Debriefing: Get Organized for Next Christmas

Get organized for next year

It's over for another year!

Wild and woolly or sane and sedate, we've passed through the holiday season and into a new year. Breath caught, it's time to debrief.

You know debriefing, right? The astronauts do it, spies do it, pilots do it: a measured after-the fact evaluation of the mission or flight.

Smart holiday planners should do it, too--because taking time now to note what worked, what didn't will be a road map to a more organized Christmas next year.

Organized Christmas? Five Tips to Get Ready For Next Year

next Christmas

It's the day after Christmas, and every year at this time, the e-mails in my inbox tell the story: "I wish I'd found this site earlier!"

Each year, I hear from scores of readers who came looking for holiday help at the height of the celebration-and faced with the reality of Christmas chaos.

Stumbling over our site, they see that it's possible to be organized--and joyous--during the holidays. They just wish they'd found us earlier!

So say you're starting now, the day after Christmas. What's the secret to a stress-free season? Plan ahead!

Control Christmas Tree Clutter with an Under-Tree Storage Box

christmas clutter

Christmas is a time of cheer ... and clutter! You'll find Christmas clutter lining each box and storage bin as you pull out holiday decorations.

An ornament box spills over with hanging hooks and zip ties. The tiny red-tipped light bulbs you need to make light strands blink. Special tools and assembly sheets for your "nevergreen" artificial tree. The dandy gun-shaped light tester, complete with instructions and replacement bulbs. Left to their own devices, they scatter around the house, never to be found when you need them--but popping up to haunt you right into the new year.

How to bring order to Christmas clutter? An under-tree storage box.

Christmas Organizing Secret: Try A Tear File!

tear files

Christmas magazines and catalogs are fabulous resources for seasonal decorating, gift ideas, and Christmas recipes—but en masse, they can become too much of a good thing.

When the piles avalanche from every side table, finding an article or a recipe that caught your eye a few weeks ago can be an impossible job.

How do you keep all that good information without being crushed by stacks or drowning in paper? Answer: a set of tear files.

Set Up a Wrap and Mail Center

wrap and mail center

Wrapping gifts for the holidays? Repeat after me: "This year, I won't be wrapping gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve!"

If there's a single most-underestimated holiday chore, it's gift wrapping.

Supplies lie scattered throughout the house, while space and privacy are hard to come by.

Translation: late-night Christmas Eve wrapping sessions, grumbling your way through the job.

State of the Closet: Pre-Holiday Wardrobe Check

holiday wardrobe check

We’ve all experienced this seasonal panic: it's the night of the office holiday party and a spouse’s good white shirt has gone missing!

Calm the chaos with a pre-holiday wardrobe check!

Assessing the State of the Closet for all family members before the holiday begins means never having to say, "It's in the wash!"

Santa Savings: Make A Holiday Budget

christmas holiday budget

For many families, Christmas comes not once a year, but lingers on for months!

Credit card bills arrive shortly after season’s end, not to be paid off until the following summer.

Grocery budgets groan under the burden of holiday meals and baking supplies.

Nearly two-thirds of American families don't know the true cost of their own Christmas celebration--and if they did, they'd be shocked. That much ... for a single day?

Simplify Season's Greetings: Using Computers To Send Christmas Cards

Computers speed holiday cards

As an online old-timer, I can attest to this fact: few subjects stir as much controversy as computers and Christmas cards.

The questions come year after year. Should we use the computer to address the cards? Write a Christmas letter on inkjet letterhead?

What about pre-printed signatures? Is it okay to use e-mail to send holiday greetings?

What's the right-and-wrong of harnessing computer technology to make it easier to send Christmas cards and holiday letters?

Get Organized: Create A Christmas Planning Center

Christmas planning center

When planning for the holiday season, why try to wing it, on the fly?

Making lists on the go often finds them scattered in your wake, never to be found again.

To stay centered as you plan the holidays and get into the seasonal swing in comfort, find a place in your home to create an activity center devoted to Christmas planning.

A dedicated spot to make gift lists lists and track menus keeps holiday planning on track.

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