Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas {Organizing} in July

Two of my FAVORITE subjects in one post: Christmas and Organizing.

It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside :-)

Just today, my friends Amanda and Nina BOTH texted me about Christmas. Nina pointed out that we only have 147 days until the big day, and Amanda sang me a little "Deck the Halls". I know if I called my cousin Krissy right now or my friend Marie...they too would join in on the fun.

Now, if I were to call my friend Joe or my sister-in-law Meagan and start talking about Christmas in July, one or both of them would throat punch me.

And I understand. 

I know some people like to keep Christmas in the back of their minds until they've had their turkey. They say they like to celebrate one holiday at a time and trust me...so do I! I love the first days of autumn, I love taking trips to the pumpkin patch, I love decorating my house for Halloween and taking the kids trick-or-treating in their costumes. And I LOVE Thanksgiving and everything that holiday stands for. But when all that's done and it's finally acceptable to put up the tree...I like to be ORGANIZED and ready so that I can fully enjoy the season.

Because after all...Christmas is my favorite time of year :-)

Plus, who wants to be running around at the last minute buying gifts, cleaning and organizing their house, trying to get holiday cards out, planning parties, etc. when there is so much fun to be had?!! Not me!!

Which is why I have become a big fan of several Christmas planning sites over the last few years. My favorite, of course, is OrganizedChristmas.com, which is a part of OrganizedHome.com. If you don't follow them on Facebook or Twitter yet...you need to.

I think what I love most about the Organized Home and Organized Christmas websites is that ALL of their materials are FREE!!! Last year I followed along with their Holiday Grand Plan, which basically sets you up with a weekly cleaning/planning/organizing schedule to get you through the holidays. They provide you with every list, calendar and schedule you need to set up your own Christmas Binder.
{Christmas Grand Plan Starts August 26th}

I can't say that I followed EVERY week and accomplished EVERY task, but it definitely kept me on track and I was in a much better place when Christmas finally came. 

And in addition to following Organized Christmas, I also followed along with the 100 Days to Christmas ebook! This book was SO MUCH fun and in addition to getting you totally organized, it also gave you fun tips and ideas for enjoying the holidays and building traditions with your family. I LOVED it and I will definitely follow along again this year.
{100 Days to Christmas Starts September 16th}

Now...because I have read and/or followed almost every early Christmas planning website out there...I have complied a list of my top 5 tips for a great jumpstart on the holiday season. I can't really take credit for these, since I read them all somewhere at some point, but they have proven to be incredibly helpful for me and I thought it was only fair that I share :-)

1. Shop Summer Clearance

Another fantastic website I follow is Baby Cheapskate because they are AWESOME about sharing all of the great baby and children's deals on the internet. They post multiple times every day and if there is a coupon code or sale to be found...they've posted about it. Stalk them like I do and you will always know where to find the bargains. And speaking of bargains, don't forget to fill up your stash of stocking stuffers and other small gift items this time of year because you can't beat the prices come fall.

2. Take Advantage of Back-to-School Sales

This is another fabulous tip I found from both Baby Cheapskate and Organized Christmas. Apparently, back to school is the BEST time to stock up on art supplies AND wrapping supplies! I'm sure you won't find much holiday wrapping paper this time of year, but you can stock up on tape, envelopes, mailing supplies and other wrapping essentials. I go through a TON of card stock at Christmas and you can find all that on sale with back-to-school too.

3. Start De-cluttering NOW!

It's still garage and yard sale season so now is the best time to clear out some of those old toys, holiday decor, clothing and other items you know will get replaced come December. I did this on two different occasions last year and it was SO much easier bringing new toys into the house when there was actually room for them. And if you don't want to sell your items, you can set them aside for some great toy and clothing donations this holiday season. I am really looking forward to doing that with the kids again this year.

4. Fill Your Calendar

If you already know of any travel dates or other holiday commitments that will fall in the month of December, start putting them in your calendar now. If you think you may host a holiday party this year, start thinking about dates. I know it's early...but anticipating some of these things now will save you some headache later, especially if travel is involved. And when the season gets a little closer, don't forget to fill out an Advent List of all the fun activities you want to make time for this season.

5. Start a Christmas Binder

Or make a holiday board on Pinterest, grab a new notebook, add a tab to your Home Management binder, jot some things in your planner, whatever!! Just dedicate a place or space where you can start collecting all of your holiday lists and ideas. Pinterest is already exploding with great holiday crafts, recipes, gift ideas, etc. Pin them now so you aren't searching frantically for them later. Even if you are still a little reluctant to plan for Christmas this early...at least get your binder/notebook/pinboard together so that you have things in place when you are ready.

And once you get that binder together, I have 3 fabulous printables to share with you today!!!!



I created these to fit my needs when it comes to holiday planning. Because I like to buy some gifts early, I often forget what I bought and/or where I hid the items by the time December comes! So my SANTA'S SECRET GIFT LIST has a column for who the gift is for, what it is, and where I hid it. Ha! No more late night scavenger hunts and surprise gifts in March.

And because I am also busy stocking up on supplies, decor and smaller items like stocking stuffers, I also have a SANTA'S SUPPLY INVENTORY list. This just helps me keep track of the items I bought at the end of the season last year and the items I am picking up on sale now so that I'm not overbuying when the holidays get here.

And finally, who doesn't need a cute blank DECEMBER CALENDAR? This is where you can start jotting down all those dates that are already rattling around in your head :-)

I hope to make a few printables as the season gets closer, but I thought these three would help you get started for now :-)

Happy Christmas Organizing in July everyone!!! And be sure to share any great early holiday tips you might have!!

***

{Please note that all printables can be downloaded from our shop site at www.ThePolkaDotPosie.com}

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. You always have the best tips for organizing. I was never big into Christmas until I met my husband. He is over the top! I'm one of those ppl that like to wait until after thanksgiving to get excited. Probably bc I'm a turkey baby.

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  2. I love, love, love ALL things Christmas! I am so excited to have found your blog and the links you provided are awesome. Have a great day. You've definitely made mine!

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  3. GAH!!! JEN! My Christmas loving organized obsessed heart LOVES THIS!! These printables are darling and you better believe I will be using them during the most wonderful time of the year. I always say that I was put on this earth to spread Christmas cheer. We are kindred Christmas spirits!

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  4. Love love love Christmas! Thanks for posting those links, I can't wait for the guide to come out!

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  5. LOVE THIS. Thank you so much I starred this and will be checking back for sure.

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  6. First of LOVED LOVED LOVED this!! You know me I can talk and get excited about Christmas all the time! Anyways I already have bought some amazing Christmas gifts, and they were all on sale, and I've already gotten my first dinner party planned! Plus I'll admit, I've snuck in a few Christmas songs when listening to the ipod! Ugh I just love Christmas!!

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