Make a gift list. It doesn’t have to be a fancy spreadsheet. Just jot some notes about who you’re buying for, what you’re getting them, and where to buy it. That way, you can combine shopping trips and pick up multiple people’s gifts at the same time. You can also sit and do all of your online purchasing at once, which will save you time.
When gift-shopping, be cautious about buying kids gifts with a hundred tiny pieces. Will they be able to keep all of those pieces picked up? Will it drive you batty when they inevitably don’t? If you have kids who don’t like to clean up, consider getting them gifts that consist of one or two big items (e.g. fire truck, dolls) rather than toys that come with a million pieces (like Barbies!)
Check on your stash of wrapping paper, bows, gift bags, tape, etc. NOW so you know what you need to restock now. This way you will avoid the stress of running out of these things on Christmas Eve when it’s too late to run to the stores!
Take a picture of how you have your rooms decorated BEFORE you put up all of your holiday decorations. This way, you will know how to put everything back after Christmas.
Get help if you need it! There’s a lot of people out there who love decorating the Christmas tree, wrapping presents or putting up Christmas lights. Check on NextDoor or in your neighborhood Facebook group to see if there is someone in the neighborhood who would like to make a little bit of extra cash this season to do those things for you. It’s a perfect job for a high schooler or college student home on Winter Break.
Have the kids clear out the toys and items they aren’t playing with prior to Christmas Day and donate them to charity. That way, there is room for all the new toys they will receive.
Don’t save a lot of packaging. It will be tempting to save a bunch of those empty boxes, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, barely used wrapping paper, etc. but I’m here to tell you that extraneous packaging makes up a significant amount of the clutter in most of our clients’ homes. The trick is to limit yourself to ONE Rubbermaid bin or shelf of that kind of packaging. The rest should be trashed or recycled so it doesn’t take over your living space.