10 Tips to Keep Your Holiday Sanity

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Or is it?

Studies show that most people find the holidays to be the most stressful time of the year:

  • 69% are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time”,
  • 69% are stressed by the perceived “lack of money”, and
  • 51% are stressed out by the “pressure to give or get gifts”**

At a time when there’s so much tension, how can you keep your mind, body and holidays sane?

10 Tips for Holiday Sanity

While you may not be able to get off the holiday roller coaster, there are ways you can make the ride a little smoother.  Here are 10 tips that can ensure some holiday sanity:

  1.  Set boundaries – What are you willing to do or participate in, and what are you not? Don’t be afraid to set boundaries of what you will and won’t do this holiday season. In addition, don’t forget to say, “No, thank you” when something you don’t want to do or participate in arises.
  2. Know your priorities – What is most important to you over the next few weeks? Family, faith, giving back? Determine early on what your priorities are and then filter all your activities through that.  If any activity or event doesn’t align with what is most important to you, then know it probably wasn’t meant to be.
  3. Don’t let negative emotions dictate – Guilt, fear, tension.  These are all negative emotions that often dictate our actions.  If you are doing something because you are led by one of these feelings, ask yourself if that’s the right response.  Odds are it isn’t, and you should stop doing it or find something that elicits are more positive vibe for you.
  4. Don’t expect perfection.  It’s easy to want that “ideal” holiday get-together, meal or gift.  But perfection is a myth that can rob us of our joy.  While trying your best, know that “good enough” is acceptable.
  5. Don’t compare or compete.  Your neighbor’s outdoor decor may shine brighter than yours and your best friend’s gingerbread house may stand taller than yours,  but comparing yourself to others or trying to equal other’s attempts may flat out ruin your holiday season.  Do what you can do and be content with that.
  6. Know your limits – What are your limits when it comes to time, energy, and money? During the holidays, most people exceed their limits and suffer for it.  Know how much bandwidth you have available and stay within your limits to experience the fullness of the season!
  7. Plan ahead as much as possible – The best way to be present this holiday season is to plan ahead as much as possible.  When you take time to plan out your activities, shopping, and events you’ll find that you aren’t as rushed, frantic, or distracted.  In turn, you’ll be able to cherish the time and the festivities.
  8. Make room for Christmas –  With our homes and spaces already full, it can be overwhelming to add in even more.  Schedule some time to declutter and make room for all that will be coming in so you don’t have a Christmas hangover once the presents are unwrapped.
  9. Take time for yourself – Yes, it’s okay to take time for yourself! Whether it’s catching a quick nap,  curling up with your favorite book, or watching your favorite holiday movie, don’t get so caught up in everyone and everything else that you forget to take care of you.
  10. Remember there’s always next year – Christmas comes every December 25th. While none of us is guaranteed tomorrow, if things don’t go the way you’d hoped this holiday season, you can always try again next year. So ease up a bit and take comfort that before you know it, the holidays will be upon us again!

“Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind….” – Calvin Coolidge

If you long for a holiday season that leaves you in a positive state of mind, then I hope you’ll implement one or more of these holiday tips.  While there’s no guarantee these tips will keep the craziness of the holidays at bay, they can help your days be a little merrier and bright!

Which of these tips can you implement this year to keep your holiday sanity?


Looking for more Christmas ideas? Be sure to check out my 25 Ways to a More Organized Christmas ebook.  This short guide can help you focus on what matters most and organize all the details of Christmas with more peace and less stress this holiday season.  Grab your copy here: https://gum.co/OrganizedChristmasebook



** Source: www.allonehealth.com/znews-media/2014/12/15/holiday-stress-guide.aspx

How to Give THANKS – An Organizing Perspective

One of the things I love about Thanksgiving, besides the family, food and football, is the spirit of gratitude that fills our hearts as we reflect on the abundance in our lives. Many people like to say that Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, and I completely agree!

From an organizing standpoint, here are a few ways you can Give THANKS:


To gain. Getting organized and letting go isn’t about what you’re losing. It’s about what you’re gaining -freedom, peace, and joy to name a few things.

Happily. When you give with a happy attitude and spirit you’ll find that it’s much easier to let go. Plus there’s nothing better than a cheerful giver.

Abundantly, if possible. We truly have more than what we need. The average American household contains 300,000 items. Even if you got rid of 300 items, that’s only 0.001% of what you own!

Now. We all know what happens when we say, “I’ll do it later”!

Knowing that what you no longer want, need or use can be a huge blessing to someone else.

Smart. Most people don’t give because they don’t know where to donate their stuff. Don’t let lack of knowledge keep you from giving! If you aren’t sure, check out “Clear Out & Help Out: A Big List of the Best Donation Centers for All Your Stuff”

Giving thanks is more than just counting our blessings. It’s also a way for us to view how we give from the plenty that we have. May this Thanksgiving not only be a time for you to be with loved ones, but also a time for you to embrace a new perspective of giving.

5 Ways to Make Tomorrow Better, Today

There is an African Proverb that says, “Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

It’s a nice thought, but most of us are just trying to get through today. We don’t have time to worry about, or even prepare for, tomorrow.

But proverbs aren’t just “nice thoughts”. By definition, they are sayings expressing simply and concretely a truth based on common sense or the practical. So at some point in time, someone discovered that a better tomorrow starts with preparation today. And because they lived that out and showed the world it was possible, it’s a saying that has been passed down through generations.

Prepare Today

It’s easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life without concerning ourselves with the days to come. But if a better tomorrow comes on the tails of today, then here are a few ideas you might want to consider:

  1. At the end of the day, put things back where they belong. Whether it’s your office desk or the playroom, putting things back where they belong can help you start tomorrow with a clean slate. Rather than having the pressure of clutter looming over you as you start the day, your attitude and focus will be lighter and brighter.
  2. Write out your most important tasks for tomorrow, today. Before leaving the office or going to bed, write down the 3-5 most important things you need to accomplish the next day. By doing this you eliminate any doubts of what needs to be done, allowing you to be more productive.
  3. Be familiar with tomorrow’s activities/meetings/appointments. End your day by taking a glance at what’s on the schedule for tomorrow. Having an idea of what’s upcoming the next day can help you limit your to-do list if you know you’re going to have a busy day. On the flip side, if you’re calendar is wide open, then you have time to think about what projects you’d like to work on and start preparing for them.
  4. Determine what you’ll eat and wear the next day. Save time by knowing what you’re going to eat and wear tomorrow. Knowing ahead of time which outfit you’ll put on and having breakfast or lunch in mind can keep you from being late or frustrated when things don’t go as planned in the morning.
  5.  Get your bag ready. If you know you’ll be heading out tomorrow, have everything you need ready and waiting for you by the door. Keys, important papers, and special deliveries can all be set out the night before so in the morning you just pick up and go, without the stress and drama.

Tomorrow can be better.  All it takes is a few minutes of your time today to pave the way.

Which of these steps can you implement today to make tomorrow better?


10 Decisions to an Organized Life

One of the most quoted sayings in the organizing world is, “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.” (Barbara Hemphill). Ask any organizer if that’s true, and they will tell you that’s exactly right.

Which means decision-making plays an important role in the journey towards an organized life.

But what decisions do you need to make to bring order to your home and spaces? Surprisingly, quite a few!

10 decisions that lead to an organized life

1. A decision to startstarting can be overwhelming and scary, but it’s necessary. You can’t reach your final destination until you start the race.

2. A decision to make the time – it’s not about finding the time, it’s about being intentional and making the time in your schedule. As the saying goes, “What gets scheduled, gets done!

3. A decision to not make excusesexcuses such as “Someone might get mad if I get rid of this,” “I might need it someday,” or “It cost me a lot of money” are just stumbling blocks that keep you tied down in clutter.

4. A decision to let go – there is freedom in letting go, and until you do, you’ll never have the organized life you long for.

5. A decision to be content with less – having an orderly life doesn’t mean living with nothing. However, simplifying and being content with less stuff is part of the equation.

6. A decision to stop buying unnecessarily – shopping is necessary in life, but clutter accumulates when you shop based on what’s on sale or because you simply want something. Focus on only buying what you need and see how that makes a difference.

7. A decision to make homes for your stuff – a place for everything and everything in its place keeps things organized and tidy!

8. A decision to organize your way (not imitate or compare yourself to anyone else)organizing isn’t one-size-fits-all; you are unique and so is your organizing style! Don’t compare yourself to others or try to copy someone else’s organizing methods – they probably won’t work for you.

9. A decision to say no – by saying no to things that drain you, distract you, or stress you out, you are paving the way to the life you want.

10. A decision to keep going/not quit when you fall back into disorganization – no one’s perfect and there will be times when the clutter and chaos creep back in. That doesn’t mean you’re hopeless; it just means you have to pick yourself back up and try again.

An organized life is possible, but it requires is some decision-making on your part. Some decisions will be easy, others much harder; some you will make, others you won’t. But as Zig Ziglar said, “You cannot make progress without making decisions.”

You’re only one decision away from a different life – what decision will you make?