Christmas Organization

Simple Tips to Organize After Christmas

Tips to organize after Christmas
How is Christmas over already?  Now that it is, I want a nap.  Then, it’s time to tackle cleaning up!   Taking a little extra time and organizing after Christmas will help set us up for success for next year.  Take some time now and thank yourself later!  Trust me!

Fix it Before You Put it Away & Buy Replacement Items

If you want to finish up a craft, laminate an activity or fix a broken ornament — do it now.  I always think I will remember or have time next year and that’s never the case.
After Christmas is the perfect time to take advantage of season clearance and stock up on replacement items like lights and artificial trees.  I was so happy to see replacement lights for our tree that had partially distinguished last year.  No need to run to the store and disrupt our decorating!

Stow Away Christmas Cards & Update Addresses

I love them and hate to just toss them at the end of the season SO we punch a hole in the corner and tuck them onto a little metal ring like these.  My kids love to flip through the cards throughout the year.  We place our card on top and we have years worth of photo cards!
Update addresses in your address book or on your compute.  Some years if I am in a time crunch I can print them off since it’s in an address template.  I have also used the list for baby announcements and invitations.  It seems people move and I add to my list annually so that way I know exactly where to start next year and how many cards to order.

Label Your Totes

When I pack away my Christmas gear, I label what’s inside and each year I re-label if need be.  You would be surprised when you need something random in the middle of the year and the last thing you want to do is dig through every box.  This year I forgot to label which box our elf was in and guess who made a premature appearance.  Label the box your elf is in, take it from me.

 Place Like Things Together

I have one box for all of my Christmas tree decor.  My ribbons, lights, tree skirt and star plus some ornaments.  Then, I have a box just for my stair garland.
We store all of our Christmas decorations in Rubbermaid totes.  We built custom shelves that fit these totes 3 across perfectly.  I love that everything is in plastic so heaven forbid there’s heavy rain and our basement has water, everything is safe!  We also hang our wreaths in front of the totes on nails so they don’t get damaged.

Make a Donate Bin & Label

Place any items you didn’t use this year in a separately labeled tote so that you can donate or consign at the beginning of the Christmas season next year.  Most places will not take Christmas items now so it pays to be organized and ready!

Organize Presents

Find every gift a home.  You can read more about how I organize toys in this post.

Clean & Redecorate 

Now, last but not least a house can look sparse when all the Christmas decor disappears.  It’s the perfect opportunity to do a quick deep clean.  Then, redecorate with your everyday decor!

All Ready for Next Year

Pat yourself on the back, you did it!  As sad as it is to leave Christmas behind for the year, it feels so good to organize, purge and prepare for the upcoming year.  When we do it right now, we will be so thankful next Christmas!

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple, purposeful life!
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5 Simple Christmas Tips to Keep You Sane


If I could I would hand you a hot cup of something (I prefer water, yes I know #oldlady) and give you a hug while I turn on the Christmas tunes because it really is the most wonderful time of the year even if we feel slightly crazy!  Today, I am sharing 5 tips that keep me from going totally crazy at Christmas.   Friends who can encourage you are not included on the list, but a given! Amen?

5 Simple Christmas Tips to Keep You Sane

1.  Make a Master To Do List

I don’t know about you but sometimes I get so overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done ON TOP of all the normal stuff, you know like clean undies and dishes.  You will feel so much better once your brain dumps it out on paper and you can see it all.

It’s never too late to start and write a few things you have already done so you can get the sudden sensation of crossing something off that list!  Make sure if your kids can see your list, you watch you write.  #takeitfromme

2.  Do a Christmas Morning Dress Rehearsal

There is nothing worse than realizing you need batteries #beenthere or you don’t have enough for one kid’s stocking.  Lay it all out and check your list twice.  I even like to place all the stocking items in the stocking just to see that it all fits.  Then I place all the items in a grocery sack and write each kid’s name on it so that on Christmas Eve, all I have to do is stuff and know I have everything I need.

Also, some toys take forever to put together (I am looking at you play kitchen) so if you can plan ahead to have that built and ready to go, you will thank yourself.

3.  Do a Little Every Day

As you get deliveries, open up the boxes and place everything where it goes.  Wrap the items you can.  My favorite hiding spot for Christmas presents is in the empty Christmas decor bins in my basement storage room.

Check your master to-do list and pick a few things every day to do.  If you are making a dish for one event, think can I make 2 and plan ahead for Christmas.  I just made a quiche for a neighborhood lady get together and made an extra for Christmas morning.  Now all I have to do is rewarm it Christmas morning.


I love having my gift wrap at my disposal in my front entry dresser.  I have tape, scissors, tissue paper and tags all there so it’s easy to wrap a gift right when I get it.

4.  It’s Ok to Say No

I wrote a guest post on my friend Sarah’s blog.  (You can read it here)  I also shared my thoughts on saying no this Christmas on Facebook live.  My biggest takeaway is that saying no this season doesn’t mean no forever.  Maybe, it’s just not the year for Christmas cards or you can’t attend that charity Christmas party.  It’s okay to say no so that you can say to the best stuff this season!

5.  Give Yourself Grace

My other encouragement is that “some” is the name of my game this year.  Our Elf is lazy and we have not gotten to our evening devotion more times than we have. We even missed a few of our 25 days of activities because of LIFE.  It’s okay.  Some is better than none!  

So there you have it, 5 simple Christmas tips to keep you sane this Christmas.

You might also like these articles —

If you have lost your Christmas spirit, you aren’t alone, read this post.

10 Things to do Now for Christmas 

Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simply purposeful life.
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10 Things To Do Now to Prepare for Christmas

It seems there are camps this time of year. You are either Camp Thanksgiving or Camp Christmas is coming. While I love everything about Thanksgiving, I also do most of the heavy lifting so there are 10 things to do now to to get a head-start on Christmas. I love to get a head start because otherwise, I become Scrooge, I even wrote about losing my Christmas spirit here.

So, today I am sharing 10 things to do now to prepare for Christmas and spoiler not one of them is decorating or putting up a tree. Do I have your attention now? Listening to Christmas music while preparing is completely optional but I don’t judge! #MariahCareyChristmas #yesplease

1. Create a Christmas List

We will all be shopping this Christmas unless you are Scrooge. I like to use a printable table (seen above) that lists the recipient, gift(s) I would like to get them, the budget I would like to spend and then how much I spent. When I purchase the gift, I then highlight their name so I know I am done. I have downloadable printables available, like the ones pictured for my email subscribers. Just subscribe here.

Once you have your list, you can determine what you need to buy and where and create a list in your phone notes or I have another printable (get it by subscribing here) to keep a running list of items you need to shop for. When you have a plan and a list, you are more likely to stick to your budget and shop purposefully. Except at Target, things always jump into my cart at Target, but I digress.

2. Create a Christmas Budget

This could be interchanged with creating a Christmas list. For me, I like to determine who I am buying for and then set a budget from there. For my husband’s family, we draw names and have a set price limit for each gift which really helps. I tend to stick to the same price point for other family members too. Then I also determine what my kids want and establish a reasonable budget for their gifts. There is no need to go into debt to celebrate the most wonderful time of year.

3.  Begin Shopping

Now that you have a list you can begin shopping.  Often times on Amazon things go up in price as the season goes on.  Last year, my son wanted a particular lego set and the price jumped 30% after Thanksgiving.  Supply and demand people, shop early!

I also was that parent buying a $20 American girl dog from a 3rd party vendor because it was sold out on the website and that was THE ONLY THING my daughter really wanted for Christmas.  Don’t risk items selling out, if you see it and you think you want it, buy it and tape the receipt to the item.  You can always return it.

Check out my Amazon page for all my top gift picks – click here.

4.  Create a Christmas Bucket List

There are only 24 days until Christmas in December.  You might say that’s obvious but inevitably if you don’t plan for the things you really want to do, your days will be filled with other engagements.  Every year, we plan to go to a lighted holiday display and have a pizza picnic in the car, I put that on the calendar now so that we don’t miss it.

Make a bucket list of items you want to do with your family and then put them on the calendar.  If you have never created a bucket list, read this post.  Here is our Christmas bucket list from last year to get you started.


Annual Christmas Lights and Cocoa Party #myfamilymightkillmeforpostingthis
Find similar Christmas Pajamas here.

5. Plan Your Family Christmas & Christmas Parties

If you have family and you are coordinating when to have Christmas, start planning now.  Have you ever tried to coordinate 2-5 families schedules and find a date that works?  If you have, then you know it’s good to plan early!  Be flexible with one another,  although Christmas is on December 25th, the spirit and purpose of Christmas can be celebrated on any day!

It might be an office party or inviting your small group over for a Christmas meal, but whatever it is, it’s good to let people know early so they can mark their calendar and gives you time to plan a fun party.  Here are some fun snowball party games!

6.  Christmas Attire

It’s never too early to think about what your family will wear for Christmas.  For some of you, this is not important but it’s one of two times a year I try to have all 3 of my children coordinate, the other is Easter.  The days are fleeting they will comply.

I like buying them early so they can wear them for all the holiday festivities.  Christmas pageants, Christmas programs, Christmas parties, Christmas church..they will be wearing it!  Don’t you wish you were my kid?

Maybe you also like coordinating Christmas pajamas.  Clearly, we like to match at Christmas around here.

7.  Christmas Cards

With social media and staying more connected, this is a fading tradition but one of my favorites.  It’s the one thing I save year after year.  I punch a hole in the corner and string them together and the kids look at them all year long.

Go ahead and take a family photo or compile some photos from the year and order your cards.  Places like Vista Print (where I order mine and no this is not sponsored) or Shutterfly have some great options.  Right now Vista Print is running 50% special with code HOLIDAY and Shutterfly is running some seasonal deals too.

You have time to gather all the addresses of your card recipients, get stamps and get a fun, festive return address stamp.  Create an assembly line with your family and get them all ready to send and then mail them right after Thanksgiving.

8.  Get Gift Wrap

It’s a great time to stock up on Christmas gift wrap.  My favorite place to buy it is Hobby Lobby.  Their paper is thick and high quality and you get huge rolls.  Costco also has large packs of tissue paper for a great price.  Don’t forget bags, gift tags, bows, tape and scissors.

Once you have purchased all your supplies, create a space in your home, maybe a spare bedroom or a drawer in a buffet or dresser so you can be ready with all the essentials in one spot.

Can you figure out which tote is holding the presents????

9.  Create a space for your presents

Around here little minds will want to know what I have bought so I create a space in our store room to hide all the presents.  I hide them in totes out of eyesight and reach.  I will periodically pull all of it out to make sure I have everything I need and crossed off the list and wrap it all up.


10.  Put up your exterior  Christmas decorations and lights

Especially if you live in the midwest,  it’s safe to say the cold is going to set in soon.  Take advantage of a warm day in November to put up all your decor then the day after Thanksgiving all you have to do is plug them in.

There you go, 10 things you can do in November to prepare you for Christmas.  I promise, if you do these things now, then you will be off to a head start this Christmas season.  You don’t even have to put up the tree.  Are you planning for Christmas now?


You might also like these Christmas-related posts –

5 Easy Snowball Party Games

Post-Christmas Organization Tips

5 Tips to Stay Sane

Have you Lost your Christmas Spirit?

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Until next time, keep on keeping on with an intentional, joyful, faith-filled life.  #tribekoko
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