The taste of Halloween candy is still fresh on your lips, but you’ve already begun feeling the stress of the upcoming holidays. The next two months will be a whirlwind of shopping, planning, hosting, traveling, and celebrating, all on top of your already frenetic life. This should be a joyful time of year, but with all that is on your to-do list, it feels overwhelming. Instead of hiding under your covers until January, tackle the holidays with this three-prong strategy: Outsource, Delegate and Simplify.
You deserve help – who says you need to tackle the entire holiday season by yourself?
Consider outsourcing time-consuming tasks that need to be done by the holidays?
Are there time-consuming tasks on your pre-holiday to-do list which would be best done by professionals? Think Christmas light installation, raking leaves and winterizing your lawn, gutter cleaning, decluttering your dining room or guest bedroom, anything which would free you and your partner to focus on tasks best suited to your strengths.
Maybe you’d like to have guests over but planning and organizing is not your strong suit. Your dining room has been decommissioned for a while now. Your table is buried under craft projects, paper, and boxes full of who knows what. A professional home organizer can help you declutter and make your space guest ready. Additionally, I have it on good authority that organizers will happily assist clients with decorating Christmas trees, setting tables and even wrapping gifts!
The holidays will be less stressful when you delegate tasks!
When you free up family members from time-consuming tasks (like all day Christmas light installation), they will be more open to other tasks you delegate to them. Use an app to delegate and keep track of tasks. Wunderlist is an easy to use app which can help you keep track of holiday to-do’s and purchases. To create a new to-do list: in Wunderlist, click the blue text “+ Create list” and give your list a name. Maybe it’s a Holiday Shopping List. Click the “Invite People” link and add your partner/spouse so both of you can see, edit and cross off to-dos on the list. Assign tasks, add a due date and set reminders for each task. You’ll get reminders on your phone and your Wunderlist will always be with you. You will have a record of what purchases you still need to make and what you’ve already bought, so you don’t accidently forget a gift for your favorite aunt Sue.
Simplify your to-do list and relax over the holidays!
Martha Stewart has huge team of professionals to make her home holiday ready. If she had to do it all on her own, she would certainly need to simplify. Sometimes we try to live up to an unreachable standard when it comes to the holidays. If you are hosting Thanksgiving, aim for a simple pot-luck with tried and true recipes, not an elaborate feast requiring specialized cooking equipment and new furniture. Keep it simple, order a fully cooked bird from the grocery store and have a more enjoyable day!
Although handmade holiday greeting cards are beautiful, consider how much time you’d save by ordering Christmas cards from Shutterfly or another online service. If you like to make homemade gifts, keep in mind the big picture of to-dos, then set an amount of time you would like to work on each gift and stick to it.
When it comes to gift giving, consider the following when you are out shopping: Most Americans are drowning in possessions and clutter. Storage companies can barely meet the demand for storage space. American children have more toys than other leading countries, and yet they are bored and overstimulated. What activities do your friends and family members enjoy? Aim for gifts of an experience – such a facial or massage, music lessons, concert or theater tickets, a special dinner or trip.
Outsource, Delegate and Simplify. With help, you can ensure that your holidays are fun, relaxing, and enjoyable.