6 Little Things You Can Do Right Now for a Calmer Holiday Season Later
Future-You will be so grateful.
Between the parties, the gifts, the travel, and the cooking, the most wonderful time of the year can quickly become the most hectic. To give Future-You the best chance at being able to actually enjoy the best parts of the season without all the stress, you can start preparing in little ways right now. Your home doesn't have to become Santa's factory overnight, but little things like setting up a gift wrap station and prepping your Christmas cards early will help you cross at least a couple things off of your holiday to-do list.
Buy Gift Wrap (and Don't Forget the Tape)
Want to save yourself a trip to the store the night you decide to wrap holiday presents? Stock up now on a variety of options that are sure to fit every present under the tree—rolls of wrapping paper, gift bags in a variety of sizes, and decorative touches like bows and ribbons. Then, order some extra double-sided tape and collect a few pairs of scissors from around the house. Store all of the gift wrap, tape, and ribbons in one designated spot. You'll thank yourself a month from now when you don't have to run out on a late-night wrapping paper run.
Cross Holiday Cards (and Thank You Notes!) Off Your List
If you're planning to send out a mass mailing of holiday cards this year, do yourself a favor and get them done early, ideally before Thanksgiving. Minted has adorable photo card options with free custom envelopes and recipient addressing, so you won't have to hand-write each envelope. Check out Artifact Uprising's gorgeous gold foiled and hand-lettered holiday cards, and now through Thursday, November 7, 2019, they're 20 percent off with the code TRADITION20.
While you're at it, stock up on thank you notes, too. Each time you receive a gift, you can pull from your stash rather than having to make another stop at the store.
Shop Your Wardrobe for Holiday-Worthy Outfits
Holiday parties and dinners are a great excuse to buy yet another dress, but if you want to save your money (and spare the time spent shopping), shop your closet instead. Rather than wait until the night before the big event, sort through your closet now for dresses, skirts, or pants that could be restyled with different jewelry of accessories. Take the time to try on different combinations you haven't considered before, and you may just find you don't need to buy anything new at all.
Check if the items need to cleaned or ironed, then take care of it sooner rather than later. You'll be so glad you did when your outfit is ready to go on the day of the party—no last-minute scramble necessary.
Make Space for the New
While the one-in-one-out rule of organizing can help tidy up your home most of the year, during the holiday season, it's almost impossible to stop the incoming of new toys, decorations, and cooking supplies into your home. To get ready now, start decluttering the key areas you predict will become holiday clutter hotspots, whether that's the kids' playroom or your own closet.
Book Doctor and Dentist Appointments Now
Many health insurance plans (and some FSAs) follow the calendar year, prompting you to squeeze in doctor appointments and schedule dental work right in the midst of the holiday rush. Because no one wants to have a root canal when they're trying to celebrate Christmas, book your family's appointments as early as possible.
Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies
If you're hosting guests this year, you're probably going to want to do some holiday cleaning. To skip the trip to the store before you start scrubbing, stock up now on the household essentials: multipurpose cleaning spray, stain fighters, scrub brushes, dish soap, and cleaning cloths. To rest assured that they'll never run out at the wrong time, consider signing up for a subscription service like Grove Collaborative, which will send you dish detergent, sponges, and toilet bowl cleaner as often as you like.