Enjoy the Holidays MORE by doing LESS

It would be great to see people just enjoying the holidays instead of actually being stressed and worried about them. At Christmas, as well as other times, we get too caught up in having it all and doing it all, not to mention buying it all.

As a Professional Organizer, I've encouraged people to use simplification, organization and economy as the rule of thumb as opposed to the excess, complication and expense that is so often encouraged today.

A general rule: "if it’s stressful instead of joyful, either find a way to simplify it or eliminate it."

Instead of spending all your spare time baking, decorating and shopping, pare things down to the point you are comfortable with.


Take notice of any decorations you find you don’t use this year & haven’t used in the past; maybe they are too much trouble to put up or you simply have enough other decorations, but whatever the reason, consider getting rid of them and simplifying your holiday decor.

Then, put everything away in an organized manner after the holidays this year, & make things easier next year.  Use cord wraps to store lights, use divided ornament boxes to house all your ornaments safely, and store all your wrap and bows in a wrap box.


Pare it down: instead of baking several kinds of cookies, bake your very favorite 2-3.

TIP: Put all your favorite holiday recipes in one place, separate from the rest, so you can easily get them out each year without having to rummage through several cookbooks or recipe boxes


Avoid the holiday rush, stress and crowds by taking advantage of buying gifts on-line. Shop throughout the year when you see things that catch your eye as the perfect gift for someone on your list, and combined with on-line shopping you can be done before most people even start their holiday shopping.

TIP:  Make lists of not only those you buy gifts for, but what you think they might want or the item you intend to get for them. This will help you keep track as you shop.


Consider giving useful, & unique gifts to be used and enjoyed rather than giving “things”.

For example, Gift Certificates for:
  • special services (massage, pedicure, etc.)
  • restaurants or coffee houses 
These are always enjoyed and appreciated, where a knick-knack or trinket you pick up at a gift store may not only not be someone’s taste, but end up adding to their accumulation of clutter.

Homemade gifts:
  • various food items
  • a certificate for a free night of babysitting or a car wash
  • an audio or video recording of a parent, grandparent or any family member reminiscing about the past or telling funny stories 
When you simplify some of the more hectic & stressful aspects of the holidays you can concentrate on enjoying your favorite parts and maybe you’ll find you actually have the time to leisurely wrap your gifts by the fire while sipping eggnog when you aren’t running around at the last second shopping, baking and putting up an abundance of decorations.


Susan said...

Thank you, this is great!

June said...

I really appreciate all this great advice and will pass it on to my friends. I know many who get stressed out this time of year and who could greatly benefit from these tips...myself included. Happy Holidays and thank you!!!