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The 10 Ways To Organize Your Life Before The Holidays

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We all know the holidays can be stressful. As we get older they can easily seem less exciting and more like another chore to add to our already long to-do lists. Lucky for you, I am an organization freak. I pride myself in being able to have a clean and organized life. This doesn't mean I don't also get overwhelmed and feel like my schedule is crazy, but it means I get creative on how to handle it and still do my best. That's all we can really do right?

This time of the year should be no exception and I'm giving you guys my personal 10 tips for being organized before the holiday mayhem starts. I promise if you do any of these not only will you be able to think clearer, but you'll have more time/space in your life for the things that really matter. More time to watch the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC? More space in your closet for those Cyber Monday deals we can't ignore? YES! Yes, to all of that.

Organize Your Life Before The Holidays

1. Planner/ Google Calendar 
This may be an obvious tip but often we forget to write in our planners or schedule out things we need to do. Those that do, may not even do it in an orderly way. I love having a planner that is physical and requires me to actually write things down. I know I am a visual person and it helps me to see what I have written down to remember it. I write everything in my planner from doctor's appointments, work paydays, and even schedule in time to do dishes or laundry. One small tip, get three highlighters (all different colors, of course) and highlight the things you need to do by color. For example, anything work-related is highlighted in yellow, anything that I need to do personally is highlighted in orange, and anything fun like events or a friend coming to visit will be highlighted in pink. This allows me to see what my week will look like at the start and I just take it day by day. Try this tip and see if it works for you! You may be surprised how much you can remember. 

Organizing your life

                                                     Photo: Unsplash 

2. Cleaning Your Apartment / Room
So this doesn't sound like fun but why do we wait till the spring to do Sping Cleaning? Yes, we should be cleaning our houses every week, but also before we buy/receive gifts for others, have guests over. You may be thinking, "I'm the only one seeing this space, and I'll barely be here the next couple weeks!" Well, you're the perfect person because SAME. Although you may not have to publically share the space your space can affect the way you behave. You still have to see that mess every day and it can affect your thoughts and emotions. Shred the receipts, dust the shelves, toss out all your old mail, and give yourself the respect of a clean personal space. One that is truly clean even if you were to lift a book or a couch cushion. I personally like throwing on an upbeat playlist on a Saturday morning, get some coffee in my system, and tackle my place room by room. I feel so much better when it's done and I know when I come back home from traveling, everything is in its place and I get to rest easy. 

 Organize your life Social Sunday

                                                     Photo: Unsplash 

 3. De-Clutter Your Wardrobe
Is there really a more perfect time of the year to toss out the items you don't wear anymore and make room for new things? I think not. It's nearing the end of the year, all your favorite stores are having amazing sales, and you'll probably get a box of underwear and socks from some family member anyway! You might as well make some room for it! Here's my tip: Organize your closet by tanks, short sleeve, long sleeves, sweaters, outerwear, dresses, skirts, and pants. Then once you have separated your items by category, go through each item and ask yourself if you LOVE it. Check when you last wore it. If you haven't worn it in six months, say goodbye! What's amazing about this process is that it's not all a waste. You can take your clothes and sell them to your local resale clothing shop or if you have the extra time to shoot photos, sell them on apps like Poshmark, or Depop.  You could use that extra money to score gifts for your family or deals that you otherwise wouldn't have purchased. 

 Organize Your Life Social Sunday

                                                    Photo: Unsplash 

 4. Clean Out Phone + Computer
Okay, I will admit, this is something I do only when my phone or laptop tells me my memory is almost full. As for most of us, that's the case, but it doesn't have to be. Take this calm before the storm to get rid of those 200 selfies you didn't like, or those direction screenshots you took (hi, me). Cleaning out photos, notes, texts, or apps that you don't use on your phone can give you space for those cute holiday photos you're going to take, or those midterm essays that are strangely large. If your apartment and wardrobe are having a new and clean start, why not your phone and computer? They will probably thank you in the end. 

5. Set Reminders For Everything
So it may seem too soon to make a reminder to watch Elf on Christmas Eve (does anyone else watch Christmas movies on Christmas Eve), but before it starts to get crazy and the littlest thing can slip your mind, make reminders now. Pick a day on your calendar to go holiday shopping for your family, and make a reminder the day before. Make a reminder to go supply shopping for wrapping gifts, or cooking your favorite meal., or any end-of-year errands you may need to run. I know last year at this time, I had to work two full-time jobs, shop for my family, go to almost seven doctor appointments, and get a ton of work done on my car. Somehow I got it all done in under two months and only grew one grey hair. If I can do that, you can do anything this holiday season! 

 Organize Your Life

                                                     Photo: Unsplash  

6. Daily To-Do Lists
The closer those busy holidays get, the more things you'll need to do each day. Everything from work, to family plans, and your personal life can all seem a bit much and it helps to break it down day by day. In order to make sure you meet all your goals each day, make a to-do list in your notes. Write EVERYTHING down. I'm talking if you plan to post a photo on Instagram that day, write it down. If you know you wanted to check out a YouTube video you heard about, write it down. Don't forget to check it throughout the day. You'll be so proud of yourself after you see everything you got done. What's even better is if you do this every day, you'll be shocked at what you completed by the end of the week. You'll probably get everything done before you planned to and will have extra time to relax in the end.

 
Organize Your Life Social Sunday 

7. Self-Care Day
 So you've cleaned your room, got rid of your old clothes, cleaned out your phone and laptop, and organized your schedule, you're probably in need of some alone time and pampering? YES! After accomplishing all of that, you deserve it! I dedicate a couple days a month for self-care. It may be only an afternoon or a couple hours on a Sunday, but always I block out that time just for this. My favorite self-care day involves a mani/pedi, which most times I give to myself to save money. *TIP* Invest in an at-home gel machine. I have this one from Amazon and I can give myself a gel mani or pedi at home. Next, I take a steaming hot shower. I love to take my time and do things I don't normally have time for like shaving or a leave-in-conditioner. Once I'm out of the shower, I love to do a long skin-care routine that includes a face mask and finish it off with lathering my entire body in a body butter (here's my favorite body butter.) I may even do my eyebrows and a teeth-whitening routine as well. Once I'm done I feel pampered, beautiful and ready to take on anything!

Organize Your Life Social Sunday

8. Budget/Bills/Debt
Yes, you read that right. Budget, bills and debt. Fun right? Not really. I am the last person to willingly talk about this, but let me tell you how organizing my money has changed my life. Growing up in a lower-class family, money always felt like something just out of reach. As I have grown older, worked very hard at a young age, I have come to not only be frugal but smart with my finances (work smarter, not harder as they say!). Well, "they" were right. Every month I set a budget for myself. This includes how much money I have in my bank account currently when I get paid, bills and any debt I have. I love doing this because it means I have control of my money, not the other way around. It also allows me to see what I can and cannot do that month, so I'm not freaking out in the last week when I can't afford groceries. Breaking down my finances has actually allowed me to be more honest and intentional about my spending. Once my budget for that month is set in place, all my bills are paid, and I've made payments towards student loans (why are they so expensive?) I feel much more relaxed. I know every time I swipe my card from that point forward, exactly where I am. 

9. Shop Ahead of Time
Okay, this is actually the best tip I could give you because you'll get a fresh pick of great products since they aren't sold out yet, and you'll have time to be able to afford things for your friends and family if you spread out your shopping over the course of several paychecks. Start now and make notes of anything my friends or family may mention about wanting (this makes the gifts seem even more thoughtful because you remembered something they said so long before giving it to them). Then search the internet (no crowds!) and stores for deals, and specials first. If you're tight on money, check out gifts on Groupon, Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals, and sign up for newsletters to receive a discount off your first online order. Once you have found all the gifts you want to give and wrap them, you can sit back and actually enjoy the holiday season, stress-free. 
Organize your life Social Sunday

10. Rest
Lastly, rest. If there ever was a time to do it, it's now before it starts to get crazy. If you don't have plans for the weekend, don't make any. Sleep in, take your time in the mornings getting up, watch your favorite movie or read a good book and just rest. Your body is about to go through the busiest time of the year and you'll need those extra hours of sleep and "boring" nights to get through it. If you follow any of the tips from above, you'll probably need the rest anyway. Reward yourself for organizing your time, money, home, clothes, and electronics. However you "rest," go for it. This is your time, and you decide how it will benefit you. For me, I like turning my phone off, losing track of time, and doing whatever comes to my mind. Whether that's sleeping, self-care, TV, a book, or window shopping, I do it, and I do it without an agenda or expectation of time. 

 

I hope these 10 tips for organizing your life helped inspire you for this holiday season. If you try any of these tips let us know in the comments below. We hope you have a happy and stress-free holiday season!  

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