Go ahead, pull out your calendar and add these 5 organizing activities. They will help you take a step forward in your organizing goals and will lower your holiday stress.
#1. Identify the "ship by dates" for your gifts
If you've bought gifts to send, then schedule the packing and shipping now. Check out the USPS holiday shipping dates for "last day to send" dates.
Domestic first-class mail should be mailed by December 20. Priority mail by December 21. If you're shipping to or from Hawaii or Alaska, the USPS has, in the past, suggested dates 3 days earlier than the domestic dates listed. Though they aren't doing that this year, how about giving yourself some breathing room and set your "ship by date" to mid-December. If they're going overseas APO/FPO, you've missed the boat for Space Available Mail, if you haven't shipped by the first week in December for most locations.
Send your packages and cards early. Be extra appreciative of your postal carriers this season as they will be delivering mail on Christmas day.
#2. Set aside time to write, address, and mail your cards
Speaking of sending cards...have you scheduled the time in your calendar to write, address, and mail your cards? If you haven't, look at your schedule now while you're thinking of it and identify when you will sit down and start. That way your cards will arrive in time. Don't let another year slip by without reaching out to friends. Of course, if sending cards isn't your thing, no problem. You've already simplified your holiday schedule.
#3. Add time to sort through all your decorations BEFORE the season ends
When will you decorate for the season? Can you add a few more hours to go through all your decorations? Now would be a great time to give away those items that you no longer use or want. Donating these items before the holiday can help someone else decorate their home for the season.
#4. Schedule your "pack away" date
Decide now when the holiday decorations will definitely, for sure, no two ways about it, be packed up and put away. Add extra time in your day to go through your decorations again and let go of those things that are worn out, no longer your style, or just not something you'll use again. So often we just pack it all up to get it out of the way, and we miss out on evaluating whether or not we want to keep it. If you wait until next year, you may forget that a piece was missing or a particular decoration just didn't work.
#5. Revise the amount of time you set aside for organizing
If you're busier than ever during this holiday season, don't give up on your organizing and decluttering goal. Instead, revise the amount of time you set aside. Find 15 minutes a day that you can focus on continuing to work on the sorting and organizing so that when the holidays are over, you're still in the game and active. No matter how small the step is, you are successful as long as you don't give up on yourself.
What will you schedule to help you stay organized this season? Let me know how it goes at firstname.lastname@example.org.