Friday, December 11, 2009

Organizer's blog digest: Christmas

Okay, two weeks until Christmas and I'm not sick of it yet. That's a good thing. I've been trying to do Christmas in small doses this year, as my love for the season and the holiday can make me go overboard with the cookies, gingerbread houses, tree decoration and Christmas music too early. This year I've had a more measured approach. I don't even have a tree this year because I won't be home on Christmas day. I haven't missed it, and a string of Christmas lights around my windows and a pine-scented candle is enough to get me in the spirit. This is Southern California, after all. We've always had to use our imaginations at this time of year, when people in other parts of the country are actually able to expect a snowy, picture-perfect holiday.

I've been inspired to enact more simple season by my fellow professional organizers and organizing-minded blog friends. Here are some of their best holiday preparation posts, many of which are part of a series, because having a successful, organized Christmas usually takes some guidance.

One of my favorite new blogs is D.E.C.I.D.E. to be Organized by professional organizer Lisa Montanaro. She always has really well-written, thoughtful posts. Here's one called Managing the Chaos of the Busy Holiday Season: A Survival Guide. In it she talks about setting goals and dealing with an overloaded schedule. She also advocates re-gifting, a controversial policy, but one that I agree with, if the item is new, or almost new, and is something the person you are giving it to really wants. Chaos to Order blog also think re-gifting is fine, and posts some guidelines here.

SimpleMom has an entire series of posts on Christmas called 12 Weeks to a Peaceful Christmas. While you could probably get away with less than 12 weeks of preparation for a single day, the posts contain really useful information. This one on food gifts has tons of links to great consumable gift ideas and recipes for a healthy dose of holiday gifting inspiration.

Paula Constable at Organizing Tips and Thoughts for Moms blog has a Countdown to Christmas series chock-full of good ideas and useful tips. I love her tips for getting your holiday cards and packages ready to send and dealing with shipping them. I've spent my share of time in lines at the post office this month, so it pays to think ahead.

Finally, Aby at Creative Organizing Blog, whose posts are always inspirational, has a lovely post about getting into the holiday mood, putting the holidays in perspective, and the joys of drinking hot chocolate.

Creative Common photo posted to Flickr by tedmurphy, part of a set called Christmas Lights

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email

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