In this Tip Tuesday episode of The Intentional Edit Podcast I answer a listener question about how to not feel so stressed and overwhelmed during the holiday season. Strategies and solutions are shared that you can use to get organized and simplify this holiday season.
A little preparation and planning ahead will allow you to enjoy all the celebrations, your favorite people and the reason you are all together celebrating – listen to the episode to find out how you can stress less and enjoy the upcoming holidays more.
Full Episode Transcription
Happy Tuesday, I’m back with another tip Tuesday episode on the intentional edit podcast. And today I’m answering a question from a parent that is all about holiday stress. How can we eliminate some of that and let you enjoy your holiday celebrations, parties, and gatherings, and not have so much stress and overwhelm. Hey friends, quick tips that make a big impact in your daily life are my favorite ways to implement systems around the house. I’ve been sharing easy strategies and my go-to organizing products for tip Tuesday on the in Tim’s analytics, Instagram feed for a few years. Now I’m excited to bring it to the podcast with short episodes, answering your questions every Tuesday. If you want me to answer your questions, go to the podcast page on intentionaledit.com and submit your questions there. Let’s get started on this tip Tuesday episode of the intentional edit podcast.
The question for our tip Tuesday episode today is the holidays are always stressful and I don’t get to enjoy them. I feel like these special moments with my kids are slipping away. And instead of enjoying the little things, we’re constantly attending parties and holiday celebrations, I’m exhausted from cooking, wrapping gifts and everything else that comes with this time of year. Reading that question, I definitely can relate. When I lived in Arizona, we would attend three or four holiday celebrations on days like Thanksgiving and Easter all in one day. So I totally get what you’re saying about being stressed out because of all of the holiday events and different things you have going on. And I have a few things that come to mind that make the holidays stressful and what you can do to alleviate some of that stress. So, first this sounds so easy, but plan ahead and really plan ahead and prepare, make lists.
So you aren’t keeping everything in your head. It’s kind of like do a brain dump of all the things you have to do. The activities that you need to participate in. Are you bringing food, do these things, do you have to make the food you need to purchase the ingredients? Do you just needed to get something that store bought and drop that off at like a school event or party? What do you have to do? Do you need to get coordinating outfits for your family together? Do you need to go shopping for these things? Are there gifts that need to be purchased and wrapped really make a list? Something that I did years ago, I actually created a spreadsheet just on the computer, very simple. And I put the names of all of my family members kind of grouped out, but they’re more immediate family.
All of those family members have a have a name. Those are the people that I need to purchase gifts for. And then I have a blank space next to that, where I can write in the gift and a slot where once the gift is purchased, I can put a check mark. You can have a, a column for the dollar amount that you want to spend, or that you do spend. If it’s something that needs to be wrapped and shipped, you can have columns for that. Don’t get too detailed to where it becomes a chore to actually maintain the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is with what I do is I just print it off. And then I quickly write in the things that I’m going to purchase. Or if someone says, this is what they want, then I write that in once it’s purchased, I check it off.
Now that a lot of my gifts have to be shipped. Once those are wrapped, I wait. And when all the gifts for that family are, are completed and wrapped and ready to go, then I know I can ship it and then I can check it off. The final time when every box is checked, I’m done with that list for the year. It’s also great. If you want to keep this on your phone or your computer and actually fill it out on there, you know, that works too. I’ve just always printed it and filled it in by hand making lists. That is one way. If you are trying to keep track of everything in your head, you are adding to the stress. So even if you think that you are not a list maker with the holidays and multiple events, parties, gift giving, just everything that goes into that, it’s so much easier.
If you do have some kind of list or multiple lists going on to keep you organized and to free up the space in your brain so that it doesn’t have to keep track of everything and that it’s, you have that go-to place on paper. What else can you do? Plan ahead and prepare kind of the list goes on with that. Use a calendar and set reminders. If you have to bring cookies to school for a party, just set a reminder in your phone to do that. And so you don’t have to think about that. That reminder helps you. You don’t risk for getting it out, that this phrase keeps coming into my mind, work smarter, not harder. What I mean by that in the terms of the holiday season is there’s usually a lot of cooking and baking that goes on in the holidays. You have to go to the grocery store anyway.
So buy food for your family probably once a week or maybe a little bit more or a little bit less, depending on how you do grocery shopping. But if you have these lists made, you know, you are making a casserole for this family gathering and you’re bringing cookies to this school event and you’re bringing candy to decorate gingerbread houses to your sister’s house for something, all of those things are purchased at the grocery store. Don’t make special trips for that. You’re just wasting your time plan ahead. And when you’ve made your lists, you are working smarter, not harder. You’re saving yourself time, extra trips to the grocery store, waste your time, make your list go. When you’re already going to buy the candy for the gingerbread house, buy the ingredients for the casserole dish by the cookies for the school party, work that in to whatever you’re already doing for your grocery shopping that week.
Another thing is wrapping paper, tape scissors, whatever supplies you need, ribbons, bows, all of that stuff. Think along the same lines when you are already out and about. If you get that at a special store, run into that store. When you’re right there, it’s the same thing that I’ve said. Don’t make a special trip to go to the gas station because you need gas. Once you’re already home, go when you’re already out, do these things that save time when you’ve made these master lists for what you need to do over the holiday season and the expectations that you have for yourself, then you can fill in complete these tasks when you’re already out and about. And you’re not wasting time. You’re saving time and you’re not wasting time. The other thing is with the holiday is so many people just automatically think of buying gifts, shopping, wrapping gifts.
Well, now you save a ton of time because a lot of gift buying is done online and it just is delivered to your house that can save time. But if you are going out, use the shopping as a fun experience, don’t make it a chore. Or if you do date nights with your significant other, use one of your date nights as a time to go shopping or have a date night where you put on a fun movie and wrap gifts. Once you have the gifts wrapped, keep them separate. If you have different extended family parties that you attend at different gifts, go to different places and some gifts are mailed. Don’t just wrap the gifts and then put them all in a big pile or stick them under the tree, keep them separate because if you put them in a big pile, then you ha you again are wasting time by sorting them out, put a designated space for each event that you go to so that the, the gifts are sorted.
Once you’ve wrapped them, you wrap them and you don’t touch them again until you’re leaving and taking them to the post office to be mailed, or you are taking them to the event where they will be opened. All of these are just little time saving things that can be helpful to you going back to planning ahead and preparing, get as much done early as you can. If you know that you have four holiday celebrations in the same week, and then you’re going on a trip and you have all these things, of course, that can become stressful. Think about time-blocking time-blocking is efficient in every aspect of life. If you have these four parties to attend and you’re wearing something different to every party, when you go in your closet to pick out something for that first party or a couple days before that first party, when you’re figuring it out, figure out what you’re wearing for all of those events that you have to go do from the shoes to the accessories, everything you need, your complete outfit, the jewelry, all of it, and do that for those four events or however many events you’re going to and do the same thing for your kids.
If you do this early and have all the outfits picked out, then you know, if someone has grown out of shoes or needs a new jacket, or if you have to purchase something or borrow it, you know, early. So you eliminate the stress of running around last minute, trying to find those things be intentional about enjoying you have going on and make it a point to be present in the moment. One of the things that came up in the question was you feel like these moments are slipping away. If you are not being intentional and trying to be present and enjoy the celebrations and the moments because you’re already stressed out. Then of course, you’re, that’s going to be like magnified. There is stress wrapped up in the holidays and it comes from a multitude of things. But the more you can plan ahead and save time, really group things together like with the time-blocking, it makes it so you aren’t rushing around last minute and letting the stress of running late or not finding what you wanted to wear or realizing you don’t have something you thought you did, or having to wrap a gift as you’re walking out the door, things like that, those things get to you so that you aren’t enjoying the people that you’re spending time with.
And you’re already stressed out and kind of like grumpy and grouchy, even on the drive there, try to do as much as you can early by using the time-saving techniques that I just shared. And time-blocking and things like that I’ve mentioned in this episode, try to do things that, to where you could get more done efficiently, a little preparation early in the season, and planning ahead can allow you to enjoy all the celebrations, the people you are with, and really the reason you are all together celebrating.
That wraps up another quick episode of a tip Tuesday. If you want to be featured on intentional edits, tip Tuesday, go to intentional, edit.com, click on the podcast page in the menu bar, and then scroll all the way down to the bottom. You will find a button that says record, tap on that and record your question or share what is currently overwhelming to you. What is going on that you need help with? I want to know I needed to know your struggle so I can share actionable solutions to help you create simplicity in your home. If you’re having this issue. I know other people are having it too, and we want to help as many people as possible. Head over to the podcast page of intentional, edit.com and record your question for me there.
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Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces. Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life. Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority. While trends come and go organization is always in style!
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