7 Last-Minute Tricks to get Organized for the Holidays

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty
7 Last-Minute Tricks to get Organized for the Holidays
Emily Johnston

The San Diego Real Estate Expert

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‘Tis the season to be… stressed? If you’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it all in, read on for a few quick tricks to get organized this holiday season.

1.       Reduce Clutter! This is not a new idea, folks. Do you love it? Then display it proudly. Do you hate it? Then donate it (or put it on Craig’s List for free). For the “ishy” stuff… the extra stuff you think you might need later and just don’t have the space for… stow it! Decide after the holidays when you’re not entertaining – just remember to go through it. Otherwise you soon won’t have room to park inside your garage or hang your coat in the closet!

2.       Use Containers! Decorative boxes, jars, and baskets are a great way to store (or hide) excess stuff.  Photo boxes are especially versatile – I’ve even used them to store paperback books. They make dusting the bookshelves much faster! Magazine holders are great for holding binders and loose papers in addition to magazines and catalogs. If you need to keep the paper clutter, you might as well hide it in style… and let your guests think you’ve become quite minimalist.

3.       Add shelves! Use shelves in cabinets and pantries to double your storage. Need ideas? Check out The Container Store.

4.       Get a Lazy Susan! A Lazy Susan can make a deep cabinet more useful – stack serving dishes or storage containers for easy access. Just remember to spin carefully! Lazy Susans are also great for spices… look for a rotating spice rack so you won’t have to dig for the pumpkin pie spice.

5.       Hang a wipe board! Instead of losing your to-do lists and having 3 grocery lists at a time, plan using a wipe board. It can allow guests to request grocery items and keep your to-do lists organized. Keep a notepad handy to transfer grocery lists… unless you want to drag the board to the store!

6.       Make a recipe binder! Compile favorite holiday recipes for easy use. All you need is a 3-ring binder and some sheet protectors. Copy recipes from cookbooks and add them to the binder for one handy guide. With the sheet protectors, there’s the added benefit of not destroying your cookbooks when something accidentally spills.

7.       Keep a gift-giving budget and idea worksheet! Keep yourself on track and within pre-set spending limits when shopping for gifts. If you’re concerned someone will discover your list and ruin a surprise, call it a Budget!

I hope these tips make your holiday preparations smoother. If you would like a sample gift worksheet, please contact me. I’ll be happy to provide one!

Now that you’re all organized for the holidays, go have some fun!

Comments (14)

Nancy Pav
Century 21 Redwood Realty - Ashburn, VA
Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor
Great ideas!  thanks
Nov 17, 2007 10:20 PM
Vincent McKamy
Samson Properties - Fredericksburg, VA
Realtor Fredericksburg Virginia

Great posting, thanks for the great ideas


Nov 17, 2007 11:05 PM
Charlottesville, VA
I need all the help I can get during the holidays! Thanks for the list of ideas!
Nov 17, 2007 11:11 PM
DDR Realty
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
Orange County NY
Thanks for the tips. They are good ones. And many apply to everyday living throughout the year not just during the holidays.
Nov 17, 2007 11:40 PM
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Emily--What a great list for the stressed person during the holidays!

Nov 18, 2007 12:16 AM
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX
Emily, You are so awesome! The book thing. It's great. Place them in boxes. You are wonderful girl. I went to Hobby Lobby just yesterday and they have all kinds of fab boxes that I couldn't figure out what to do with. Well, I also have very dusty books I don't know what to do with. Thank you so much! My junk will get married and give me a reason to go shopping and do less dusting. Thanks, Deb
Nov 20, 2007 12:28 PM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Hi Emily...

Well thank for that link to the Container Store.

Cha Ching :)

Have a happy gobbling day :)


Nov 21, 2007 09:52 AM
Emily Johnston
Keller Williams Realty - Rancho Bernardo, CA

Nancy- Thanks for your comment... and taking the time to read my post! I hope these ideas help you!

Vincent- I hope you found some useful information here!

Charles- I'm a Real Simple junkie... that site has tons of great ideas (if you ever need more).

Derrick- Yeah... now I just need to actually APPLY more of it to my life. At least Turkey Day went off without a disaster!!

Teri- Glad you like! Short and sweet... feel free to recycle the ideas!

Debra- yeah... some paperbacks aren't the prettiest. And I'm occasionally embarassed by my collection of "fluff reading" ... I just keep the brain food on another bookshelf (and beside the bed...)

TLW- I'm glad The Container Store is a 20 min drive! I'm hooked on that place. Like Crate & Barrel... It's my Zen Heaven. LOL.


The San Diego Real Estate Expert

Nov 24, 2007 08:05 PM
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


This is so Useful!  Thanks for posting; I'm becoming a fan of your blog.

Mike in Tucson

Nov 24, 2007 11:12 PM
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors
Great Advice, do you mind if I use a few ideas in my monthly e-newsletter?
Nov 26, 2007 11:29 PM
Melissa Wagner
Leo Parker Real Estate & Auction - Woodbury, TN
Great tips! Very helpful advice. I just love the container store. :)
Nov 27, 2007 11:53 AM
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX
Emily, The holidays will be over before I get started if I'm not careful. We moved our office today to another location. I'm under wires, cables, boxes and a giant mess. It'll take a small miracle to get it together. Deb :-)) Happy Holidays
Nov 27, 2007 03:30 PM
Tracy Santrock
Santrock Realty Group Inc. , - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Broker


Getting ready for the holidays does take time and effort.  If you put it in early you will reap the rewards later.  I just love the holidays and believe the effort is well worth it.

Nov 28, 2007 07:29 AM
Emily Johnston
Keller Williams Realty - Rancho Bernardo, CA

Mike - Thanks for your kind words! I just have to get on track and post consistently!

Michael - I'm flattered! Of course you may use this in your newsletter! I'd love to see how it looks!

Melissa- They had the CUTEST stocking stuffers, too!

Deb - I hope you make it out from under the boxes in time to enjoy the holidays!

Tracy - I just finally got around to hanging my ornaments (from the ceiling!) last weekend.

Happy Holidays, everyone! Thanks for your comments!!!

Dec 19, 2007 05:52 AM