Get you and your family ready for Christmas in just 12 days! Shopping, decorating, cooking and caroling – Christmas is one of the most exciting and joyous times of the year. As we all know, however, with this excitement comes the stress of organising you and your family to ensure that everything runs smoothly and everyone enjoys the festive season.
Bonnie Black, organising extraordinaire and the Brisbane woman behind professional organising company Little Miss Organised, has a wealth of knowledge in helping people declutter, de-stress and find their domestic bliss. And she knows that there’s added pressure to get organised at Christmas. Her best piece of advice on surviving silly season? Plan, plan, plan!
Bonnie has provided haven with her 12 tips to help readers get ready for Christmas 2015, stress-free. With Christmas preparations often starting months before the big day, these tips provide a rough plan and timeline that can be easily tailored to every family, to ensure a stress-free festive season.
Day 1 – Write a plan
Begin by putting pen to paper and write out everything that you need to get done in the lead up to Christmas including gift lists, lunch menus and task lists. Prioritise and assign a timeline to each list.
Day 2 – Delegate
After you’ve got your lists, enroll the help of your ‘elves’ to help put your plan into motion. Call a family meeting, assign tasks to each member and give deadlines. Bonnie recommends using rewards to encourage everyone to stay on top of their jobs.
Day 3 – Online shopping
The Internet has opened up a whole new world of shopping opportunities, great for finding fun and unique gifts. However, Christmas is the busiest time for online stores and orders can often take longer than usual to dispatch and deliver. Make sure that you order any online gifts early to ensure they arrive in time.
Day 4 – Christmas cards/newsletter
Get a headstart on your Christmas cards to allow for delivery to international friends and family. Bonnie recommends emailing out Christmas newsletters instead of cards for a quicker and more cost effective way of spreading the Christmas spirit.
Day 5 – Decorate
Time to dust off the Christmas tree! Make a day of it and get the family to help put up the tree and decorate the house. Why not put on some Christmas carols while you’re at it? Any decorations that you don’t use, you don’t need. Bonnie suggests freeing up some space and donating the extras to charities.
Day 6 – Presents
Take your gift list and hit the shops. Research the shops you’ll need to go to, where they are and plan out your trip to use your time effectively. Try to resist any personal shopping temptations and stick to your budget for each person.
Day 7 – Wrap presents
Have a present wrapping party with your family to prepare gifts for others. Bonnie suggests letting younger children draw pictures to attach to wrapped presents to add that personal touch.
Day 8 – Spring clean guest room/s
If it’s your turn to host the family this Christmas, check the rooms where your guests will be staying, including towels and linen. Is there enough linen and is it in a presentable condition? And don’t hide the junk from your guest room in another area – deal with it! Declutter and donate.
Day 9 – Declutter toys
Time to start decluttering the house in preparation for your guests. A great idea is to give each child (and adult if needed) a laundry basket to fill with toys/books no longer used or wanted. If nothing old gets donated, there’s no room for new presents.
Day 10 – Declutter schoolbooks/artwork
Christmas is a great time to sit down with each child and reflect on their work over the past year. Praise their efforts and help them select a sample of their best works for the year (no more than five). Display proudly, take photos and recycle the rest.
Day 11 – Food shopping
Armed with your food list and a brave face, head to your local supermarket or farmers’ markets and complete your food shopping for the big day. Bonnie says, honestly, the best way to wrangle the crowds and keep a cool head is to shop kid-free.
Day 12 – Check your list
Like Santa, check your lists twice to make sure that you’ve ticked off everything that you had to do before Christmas Day. Are there any last-minute gifts you need to purchase? Have you got the Christmas pudding in the fridge?
You’ve made it! Congratulations on getting through the Christmas season stress-free (we hope). Enjoy the big day and make sure that you’re not stuck with the dishes!
For more information on Little Miss Organised, head to Bonnie’s website at www.littlemissorganised.com.au or follow her on social media.