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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!