A few weeks ago I got the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Ford Berry a professional organizer who also lives here in Western New York. It was a pleasure meeting her and picking her brain on all things organizing and blogging. This holiday season she is hosting a 65 Day Holiday Organizing Challenge. While I am not a professional organizer by any stretch of the imagination I see the benefits and try my hardest keep my life in order.
Today she is sharing her 8 tips for a simple fun holiday season with us.
Is the mere thought of the upcoming holidays making you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, guilty and quite frankly stressed the hell out? Does the idea of escaping it all and landing in a remote island appeal to you?
In a world jammed with cutesy DIY projects, photos of gift wrap themes and scrumptious recipes that are posted all over the internet it’s no wonder our holiday To Do lists have gotten out of control!
Professional organizers, Grace Brooke and Jennifer FordBerryare known for their tough love approach to simplifying, organizing and being more productive in less amount of time.
Here is an inside peak at some of their favorite tips for keeping it real and maintain your sanity during the holidays:
1. Get real about your expectations.
Turn off the HGTV channel and hide your Martha Stewart subscription until January. Design your own holiday experience without the pressures of the media.
2. Quit being a grouch and start being grateful.
Stop complaining about what still needs to be done and start being grateful for all of your blessings and accomplishments.
3. Develop a holiday vision that is unique to your family.
Sit down as a family to discuss the things you want to do during the holidays and more importantly the things you don’t want to do. You may include: movies you want to see, old traditions, new traditions, places to visit etc. Write up a list and post it where your family can be reminded of it daily.
4. Stop cluttering up your friends’ and family’s homes!
Give them the gift of an experience, a memory that they will enjoy and cherish forever. It can be anything from gift certificates to memberships to services for your home.
5. Opt out of the “Perfect-Holiday-Card” contest.
Do you notice how everyone is trying to come up with the designer holiday card (you know…the one that is professionally shot, where the family is in coordinating outfits, the hair is perfect and everyone is full of holiday cheer). A snap shot from last summer’s vacation is good enough! (The NEW perfect).
6. Stop being Martha Stewart and start getting drunk with the rest of them!
This holiday season pass on the sit down dinner and plan a fun, simple cocktail party with appetizers. Make it more about getting together and less about weeks of preparation. Good food and good company is what it’s all about.
7. Let the “Fifty Shade of Gift Wrap” go and just get it done.
Keep it simple. For example: recycling your kids’ artwork to add a personal touch to your gift wrapping. (And this is a great way to get rid of more crap).
8. Cut down on your holiday storage and decorate your tree with natural ornaments.
Make clean up and storage a snap by using popcorn, berries, cookies, pine cones, bird nests, oranges, candy and other disposable items.
For more great ways to organize and simplify your holiday season check out Grace and Jennifer’s 65 Day Holiday Organizing Challenge that begins on October 29th.
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