Double Take Organizing

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Last minute organizing tips for the holidays

With less than a week till Christmas you may find yourself scrambling to get everything done. Here are a few tips that could make the next few days a bit easier to get through.

Too late - conceptual alarm clock showing that you are too late

Gifts

Prepare before your shopping trip – Have a list and know who you are buying for and what you are buying before you go. That way you can get in and get out quickly.

Shop in slow periods – Stores will likely be packed but shopping really early in the morning or late at night may make the process a bit easier on you.

Re-gifting – Perhaps this might be the year to start a new tradition with your family. As an organizer I know that everyone has something in their house that they no longer want or need so why not re-gift? However, I would lay out some ground rules with the family before doing this so everyone is on the same page.

Buy from a friend/neighbour or other small business – If you know someone who is a small business owner call them up and see if they have anything on hand for last minute gifts.

Gift certificates – You may not get the personal touch but if you go to stores like Super Store or Shoppers you can buy gift certificates for a large number of people all at the same time. You can also get these from small businesses too!

Leave the kids at home – If you have kids and can get someone to watch them this may lessen the stress factor for you while trying to get things done on a time crunch.

Dog with Santa Hat Popping out of Present

Meals

Eat out – Some restaurants are open on Christmas so if you haven’t had time to get a meal planned why not eat out. Do a search to see if your favourite restaurant is open in your area. Here are some restaurants open in Toronto.

open sign

Hire a service – No time to grocery shop? Hire a  grocery services like Grocery Gateway.To bring it local, you could also contact a concierge service that offers this. The same thing can be said for cleaning services if you are struggling to get your home in tip top shape before relatives arrive.

Travel

Car travel – If you are travelling by car be sure you check weather ahead of time so you can give yourself enough time based on weather conditions. If you don’t already, make sure to have your car stocked with the proper emergency equipment should you need it. Blankets, snacks and a charged cell phone are good to have. Also be sure you have at least half a tank of gas and extra windshield washer fluid.

By plane – Be sure to arrive ahead of time. Printing your boarding pass before you leave can save wait time in lines. If you are bringing presents with you you may want to consider keeping the important ones in your carry on so you don’t risk them getting lost. As with any air travel, if you have kids, lots of snacks, books and other toys will make the experience ten times better.

Boeing 747 Aircraft Taking Off

Maintenance

You may be tempted to let all of your normal routines slide over the holidays but try to maintain at least a few of them so that once January hits you aren’t spending hours getting organized again.

Last but not least, make a donation run part of your  New Year routine so that you can start fresh with hopefully less items in your home then you had before the holidays started. My favourite donation place is the Salvation Army. I also like the Canadian Diabetes Association because they pick up and giving to local shelters is also a good option.

And of course, if you should need help in the New Year feel free to let me know.

Happy organizing and happy holidays!

Laura


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T’was the night before Christmas – with an organized twist

Santa Claus

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.

The family was snug in their beds with smiles on their faces, knowing that everything in their house was in the right places.

Double Take Organizing had just been there, and now they could enjoy their holidays without a worry or care.

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter but they did not spring to see what was the matter.

Everyone was happy and stress free, with presents bought a month ago looking beautiful under the tree.

The stockings were full of organizing gizmos and treats, and cookies for Santa were ready to eat.

You can be sure old St. Nick was mighty impressed, that in this house at least, there wasn’t any clutter or mess.

He could place the presents under the tree and be on his way on the count of three.

You see Santa is a pretty organized guy. He might have all year to make toys but only one night to fly.

Time management is the key to putting smiles on little kid’s faces and he hates to be delayed by disorganized spaces.

As Santa got back in his sleigh, a note did magically appear where the cookies had lain with carrots for his reindeer.

I have seen homes the world over but your home was a surprising treat, I had no idea what organization awaited me beneath my reindeer’s feet.

What a beautifully organized home you have and a pleasure in my busy day.

Who was it that organized your home did you say?

All you have to do is write a reply, and the magic of Santa will make the note fly.

And with that Santa Claus flew out of sight, saying Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!