The Best Way To Get Organized Before Holiday Chaos Ensues

Let me start by telling you how much I love to BE organized, but….GETTING organized, well, that’s really a different story.  The thought of an organized closet, pantry, or dare I say, Tupperware drawer makes me giddy, but the “doing” part can be overwhelming. There is a saying, “If you can only use one tool to get organized, use a timer”.  This rings true for me!  If I make an achievable plan and just get to it, without overthinking it too much, it gets done.  Today I’m sharing 5 tips to get organized and omit chaos so you can enjoy the season! For more holiday inspiration, check out these posts. And if you’re still looking for gift ideas, find all of the Busbee gift guides here.

The Best Way To Get Organized Before Holiday Chaos Ensues by organzing stacks of clothing to donate vs those to keep

#1 | Declutter

Now, I know this isn’t exactly groundbreaking advice, but seriously…you need to declutter.  First, start by getting rid of old holiday decorations that you don’t want or use anymore. If you donate these items NOW, another family can enjoy them THIS season.  Also, sort through old clothes, shoes, and linens.  Pet shelters are always in need of used blankets and towels.  Have your kids purge toys and games reminding them to think of their neglected treasures as “gifts” for other families. It’s likely you’ll collect some new items and presents this December so why not clear the decks and make room now?
Make sure you check out this post with how to repurpose your holiday decor too! And if you’re interested in the general organization of your home, Erin has an entire playlist of videos you can watch here!

The Best Way To Get Organized Before Holiday Chaos Ensues by using red and green storage bins for all holiday decorations

#2 | Storage Bins For The Win

It sounds so simple, but when I began storing all my Christmas decorations in red and green bins….wow!  Now when I stare at the bins up on high shelves in the garage, I immediately know which are for Christmas without having to check my faded handwriting on the side. I also store any early gift purchases made through the year in these bins so I don’t forget what I have on hand when Christmas time comes.  Christmas lights are always tricky to store–cut slits around the edges/surface of leftover cardboard boxes and wrap the lights around the cardboard, threading the lights into each slit.  This not only keeps your lights organized, but this way, they are also less likely to break.  Also, storing wreaths, ornaments and your Christmas tree in the right sized/shaped bins will protect your items most effectively year to year.

The Best Way To Get Organized Before Holiday Chaos Ensues by using a bin to organize wrapping paper, gift bags, tape, ribbon and scissors

#3 | Gift Wrap Station

Next, check your inventory of gift wrapping essentials and throw away old, ripped paper and smashed bows.  Then, head to the store with a plan of what you need: tape, gift tags, wrapping paper, tissue paper, clothing boxes, gift bags, bows, ribbon….did I mention tape?  Keep all of these items, pens, and scissors in the same bin creating a mobile wrapping station you can move anywhere.  I like to keep mine in the bedroom next to the TV but when my husband gets involved he moves it to the wine cellar—you do you.

The Best Way To Get Organized Before Holiday Chaos Ensues by remembering to make Christmas traditions a priority like baking reindeer cookies with your kids

#4 | Holiday Bucket List

Equally important is organizing your family time. Find or purchase a seasonal bucket and wooden clothespins. Each family member gets 5 pins and uses a pen to write down the things they REALLY want to do over the holidays on their pins.  Then, clip each clothespin to the bucket.  Focus on things to do (like watch a Christmas movie), things to make (like festive cookies), and places to go (drive through some neighborhoods to check out the holiday lights). Once a bucket list item is complete, just drop the clothespin into the bucket. It surprises me how even now as teenagers, my boys still look forward to this tradition. It keeps our days organized and reminds us to create the fond memories we are hoping for!

The Best Way To Get Organized Before Holiday Chaos Ensues by getting help to ensure your decorations and baking are done in time for you to enjoy. Shows a peaceful and organized room decorated for Christmas.

#5 | LET IT GO

Finally, this might be my favorite way to get organized…. outsourcing.  Not everyone enjoys cooking, baking, wrapping, cleaning, etc., etc., etc.  If you are feeling overwhelmed give yourself permission to outsource!  A couple of years ago, Erin posted about hiring someone to wrap gifts and decorate her home for Christmas.  Wait, what?  Yes!  You can do that.  This is especially helpful for working parents, those with young children, or simply those who don’t find “joy” in these tasks.  It’s OK!  If you have the desire and the means, press that easy button, and get some help.  If you are less frazzled, you AND your family will enjoy the holidays that much more.


Buy batteries.  That’ all.

This truly is the MOST wonderful time of the year.  These simple tips can help you get and stay organized so your precious time is spent doing what you love.  Do you have any special holiday organizational tips to share?  Please leave us a note in the comments!

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Thank you for stopping by!

Meet the writer's series, home writer, Susan Harold
Susan Harold
Susan has been in the magazine publishing industry for just over 25 years focusing on marketing, circulation, and editorial and is currently the Managing Editor for the Where Women Create series of magazines. Susan resides in sunny San Diego, CA with her husband, teen boys, and pathetically perfect pup, Rusty. With a passion for pretty things, witty words, travel, and all things family, writing HOME content comes naturally because, truth be told, her homebody game is strong! There’s no place like home!
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9 thoughts on “The Best Way To Get Organized Before Holiday Chaos Ensues

  1. Thank you Susan! I love all the organizing ideas, getting rid of Holiday decor you no longer use is huge! I save everything thinking that one year I may want it, but after years of it never seeing the light of day…..I think it is time for them go. Just writing about purging is making me feel more organized. Thank you so much for all the wonderful tips!

  2. [email protected], Love, Love all of these ideas! I’m organizing my wrapping station as we speak. But seriously, best tip ever is outsourcing…I don’t bake – at all- but guess who does? My mom! She loves it and loves when i ask her to make christmas goodies for us. You know who else bakes? Gelson’s down the street…just saying. Great ideas!

  3. Oh i loVe the bucket idea. Great way to connect with the family and havIng a physical reminder to do it and Show How much has been accomplisHed will be as SATISFYING as crossing off a to-do list!

  4. Welcome to the busbee team, susan! Wonderful and practical advice that we can use now and for christmases to come. I especially appreciate the advice about using clothespins to designate holiday fun….I have a teen boy, too and sometimes i forget that he still loves the “little” things like making cookies with me. ????
    Merry christmas to you and yours!

    P.S. definitely costco for batteries!

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