Ten Quick Tips to Simplify the Holidays

posted by Andrea | 12/13/2010

Since we’re moving…and I’m just a little bit busy, I have a handful of amazing guest bloggers lined up for the next two weeks. They have tons of great information to share with you so read carefully!!

Today, Theresa Finnigin of Ready Aim Organize is sharing a few quick tips to simplify your last-minute holiday plans. {My personal favorite is #9!} Theresa is also a professional organizer so you better pay attention — she really knows her stuff.


Christmas is just 12 days away, but don’t worry, it’s NOT too late to get organized, simplify your holiday season, and add a few special touches for your family and friends this year!

1. Simplify your To-Do List.

Ask yourself “what will happen if I don’t get this done?”  Then, only do the tasks that absolutely HAVE to be done. Look for ways to simplify or eliminate the rest.

2. Simplify your Baking.

Rather than baking dozens of cookies and multiple pies, call your favorite bakery and place an order.  Yup, it’s ok to buy rather than bake if you are short on time!

3. Simplify your Holiday Cards.

If you don’t have time to get a Christmas card out, send a Happy New Year’s card, and e-card, or make a personal phone call instead.

4. Simplify your Post-Meal Cleanup.

Avoid using hand-wash only dishes. Disposable plates or dishwasher-safe plates will give you and your family more time to relax.

Now that you’ve simplified and organized your holiday season, here are a few very simple touches you can do to make family and friends feel more welcome AND give yourself more time to relax.

5. Empty the dishwasher BEFORE guests arrive.

This allows you to quickly and easily load the dishes after your meal.

6. Clean Sparingly.

Only clean rooms that your guests will use (bathroom, living room, dining room, etc.)

7. Keep lights on in the room people will enter.

The entryway should be well lit, clean, and bright.  Guests will feel immediately welcomed.

8. Make room for guests.

Make some extra room in the coat closet for guests to hang their coats and clean out your fridge to make room for any perishable items they may bring.

9. Triple line the trash can.

When the bag is full you can take out the trash discreetly during your party and the new bag is already in place — no need to get out a new (and noisy) trash bag in the middle of the fun.  Also, the multiple layers of trash bags will make clean up easy if a bag leaks or tears.

10. Plan ahead for leftovers.

Make sure you have enough plastic ware, plastic wrap or foil to wrap up the leftovers.  Consider sending leftovers home with guests in disposable containers.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and wishing you had started preparing for the holidays weeks (or even months) ago — just know that you’re NOT alone! Take a deep breath…and then implement a few of these simple tips to help you relax and ensure your guests feel welcome and comfortable in your home.

Keep it simple! Now you can cuddle by the fire and celebrate the season!


Theresa Finnigin is a professional organizer and owner of Ready Aim Organize. Ready Aim Organize works to rid homes and offices of clutter and chaos to ensure time is not wasted and each day is more productive and peaceful than the one before!

Thanks so much Teresa — great tips for such a busy time of year!

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5 comments

  1. Tweets that mention Ten Quick Tips to Simplify the Holidays « Simple Organized Living -- Topsy.com

    12/13/2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stacy , Andrea Dekker. Andrea Dekker said: New Post: Ten Quick Tips to Simplify the Holidays http://goo.gl/fb/FtA7n [...]

  2. oh amanda

    12/14/2010

    Triple lining the trashcan is the most genius thing I’ve ever heard.

    [Reply]

    mandi@itscome2this Reply:

    Oh my word!! TOTALLY agree!! Brilliant!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know…I still can’t believe I never thought of this before!

    [Reply]

  3. Aiming4Simple

    12/15/2010

    These are simply fabulous ideas. I’m bookmarking this post. Thanks!

    [Reply]

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