My 10 tips for getting organised at Christmas
Updated: Oct 30
10 tips for getting organised at Christmas
The festive adverts are out and there are shiny things everywhere tempting us to buy stuff we may not have even thought about. It's easy to get carried away at this time of year, buying things we don't need, more food than we can eat, and panicking about all the extra stuff we have to do.
So here are my top ten tips for how to get organised at Christmas.
1. Set a budget.
It is easy to overspend if you don't set a budget in the first place, so decide exactly how much money you can afford to spend this year. Include everything - gifts, food, treats, decorations and cards, don't forget those workplace secret Santas. If you are invited to lots of Christmas parties, include those too as the cost will soon mount up. So set a budget and STICK TO IT.
Remember if you can't afford it, don't buy it.
Check if you have any unused gift vouchers, supermarket vouchers or points you can cash in and use these to buy what you need from your lists.
2. Agree on a budget for family gifts.
Try and agree on a budget with family members that you will spend on gifts.
If you have lots of family members to buy for why not consider a secret Santa? You can set a budget that suits everyone then every person gets one quality gift rather than lots of random ones. Set up a text or WhatsApp group to encourage your family to drop hints about what they would like too.
If you are buying gifts online and know what you need, online retailers sometimes offer discounts for signing up to their mailing lists.
3. Write a list.
Just like Santa, write lists and keep checking them.
Make a list of who to buy gifts for (and a budget for each person) and how much gift-wrap you need - check what you already have left.
Write a food shopping list. Remember to include Christmas Eve and Boxing day. Include meals, treats and extra milk etc. for visitors. Don't forget to add batteries.
Write a list of how many cards and stamps you need to buy.
Write a list of any new decorations/lights you need to replace (if any).
Keep these with you ( on your phone or in your bag) so that when you are tempted in the shops you can check if buying that item fits with what you actually need.
"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be beautiful or believe to be useful" William Morris
4. Don't add clutter.
Christmas is a time when we increase the amount of 'stuff' we have, so try not to add clutter by buying lots of gifts that will probably end up in a cupboard or worse still, landfill.
If buying gifts for children think about where they going to keep that enormous dolls house or ride-on electric car. Consider gifting your time, experiences or tickets.
5. Declutter before decorating.
6. Don't spend a fortune on gift wrap.
It ends up in the bin. Keep the cards you receive to make gift tags with next year.
7. Get ahead with the cooking.
If you are in charge of cooking, do as much as you can in advance to make your day less stressful and leave more time for spending with your loved ones.
You can parboil, cool and chill potatoes ready for roasting up to 3 days in advance. Once they are chilled you can freeze them - this step can be done now.
I always make Jamie Oliver's get-ahead gravy - recipe here. This can be made a month in advance and frozen, just remember to put it into the fridge on Christmas Eve.
Veg can be peeled and chopped the day before and stored in the fridge ready for cooking.
Many desserts can be made in advance and chilled or frozen, or better still ask a guest to bring dessert.
8. Declutter your food cupboards.
Before you make your Christmas food list, declutter your cupboards so that you know what you already have and avoid duplicates. If you are not sure where to start, you can get tips here. This will save you money and make Christmas cooking easier because you will be able to find everything.
9. Get Organised for next year.
Don't use the sales to buy lots of stuff you don't need but do use them to buy cards, crackers or gifts for next year if you have the budget. The important thing is to make a note of what you have bought and where you have stored it so that you don't re-purchase the following year.
10. Don't stress.
The perfect Christmas is the one where you are surrounded by those you love. It doesn't matter if the napkins don't match or lunch is 2 hours late, so get the emergency chairs ready and enjoy
Please leave a comment if you found this useful or tell me how you stay organised at Christmas.