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How to Stay Organised and Sane During the Holidays

Seasons Greetings! It can be a challenge to stay organised and sane during the holidays. Are you feeling excited and prepared? Or heading down the familiar road of stress and panic?

As we near the end of November, now is a good time to take an honest look at the next few weeks.

Some planning and perhaps a few adjustments may be just what you need to steer towards a more balanced and enjoyable festive season.

5 Tips to help you stay organised and sane during the holidays:

Tip 1: Month-At-A-Glance

December can quickly fill your diary with parties and engagements, let alone other responsibilities. When scheduling your activities, look at the month as a whole so you can see periods that are rapidly becoming packed out. Aim for moderation and try to guard a day or two each week so you don’t wear yourself thin.

List everything that truly needs to be done, then divide and schedule over the weeks ahead. Work backwards. If you’ll be posting gifts, have a look at Royal Mail for last posting dates and plan accordingly.

Visually seeing your month plotted out can reduce your anxiety. It’s easier to see what will and won’t realistically fit. Avoid winging it and suffering last minute stress.

Tip 2: Power of NO

It’s hard to turn down a party invitation, and if you’re used to hosting a party of your own it may be difficult to relinquish the tradition. Review your commitments. Be honest, are you over-committing yourself? Less is more. Be selective in your RSVP’s and only host that party if you derive true pleasure from it.

Many of us do things because we feel it is expected of us. But if all this entertainment is leaving you frazzled, it’s time to flex your ‘no muscles’.

Select the best of the best quality events to attend and politely decline the rest. Don’t feel obligated to every invitation.

If people are expecting your annual holiday extravaganza, suggest taking it to a restaurant instead. Or an alternative solution to entertaining without lifting a finger is to engage the services of a Personal Chef, such as Galor Personal and Private Chef Services Ltd. Wow your guests while spending more time with them at your dinner party.

Tip 3: Keep it up

Just because seasonal festivities are rushing in doesn’t mean your health and exercise regimen have to come to a grinding halt. On the contrary, this is a crucial time to keep on track. Regular exercise will not only keep you physically fit, but mentally fit as well which means lower stress during this chaotic time.

Consistency is key. As challenging as it may be on some days, aim to make regular effort, no matter how small. This will make it easier in the long-run when we’re back to ‘post-holiday normality’.

Tip 4: Keep work working

Many think this is the time of year when business shuts down. Instead think of it as prep time and getting a head start on 2013. If the nature of your business truly does slow at this time, use the down-time constructively for all those things you don’t normally take the time to do.

– Do an overhaul of your workspace, clear out the old and obsolete: documents, catalogues, equipment, etc…

– Review your plans and projects for the beginning of the year, do you have what you’ll need to get started? If not get prepared now.

– Update your contacts list or CRM.

Be ready to hit the ground running at the start of 2013, and not catching up from last year.

Tip 5:  Make time for yourself!

Yes, the holidays are great to share with loved ones. But one of the best ways to keep your sanity is to carve out some time for yourself. Schedule it in your diary. Take an hour to enjoy an eggnog latte and review your diary. Keeping on top of your schedule will help you stay organised. But also taking time out for yourself to relax and recharge will help you stay sane.

We get so caught up in planning and racing from one thing to the next that before we know it the season has come and gone, and we never felt like we had a chance to simply enjoy it.

Don’t forget to focus on the present!


  1. The Art Of Staying Sane During The Holidays - Cory Cook Professional Organising Services - 12/10/2015

    […] For more tips, see my post from the archives How To Stay Organised And Sane During The Holidays. […]

  2. Will November Be Your Most Productive Month? - Cory Cook Professional Organising Services - 11/20/2016

    […] 1. Get those taxes done and dusted. Don’t let this weigh down your festive spirit. 2. Write a book! Sign up to NaNoWriMo and by the end of the month you could have your first novel drafted. 3. De-clutter 465 things: Play The Minimalists’ Minimalism Game. Each day of the month you eliminate the corresponding number of items. On 1st November, 1 thing goes, 2nd November 2 things go, etc. 4. Complete your holiday shopping. 5. Organise the most troublesome area in your home. 6. Identify what you want to be in place to start the year, a new work-out regimen, a new business plan? Start now, you’ll be more likely to continue after the ‘New Year’ hype fizzles out. 7. Clear out your personal and business files of absolutely everything that is obsolete. 8. Been thinking about clearing the storage unit? Great month to do it. Take the savings from the monthly fee plus anything you might sell and enjoy an end of year treat. 9. Sort those paper mountains once and for all. 10. Have travel plans coming up? Book’em Danno! Get tickets, hotels and any other reservations out of the way. 11. How about all those magazines, catalogues, newspaper articles you were going to read. Head towards the end of the year feeling light, not burdened with catch-up. Limit yourself 10 likely reads, recycle the rest. There’ll be plenty more where they came from. 12. Update your ‘contacts’. Ensure you have up-to-date details, eliminate or merge duplicates, weed out those that aren’t relevant or that leave you clueless. 13. Organise your office. 14. Don’t just cull your paper files, dive into your computer and purge all those outdated, obsolete, unreferenced documents. 15. Schedule a coffee, lunch or meeting with those 3 people you “keep meaning to call”. Or just call! 16. Fix or toss those broken items lingering about. If it doesn’t get fixed now, out it goes. Make November the month. 17. Organise your wardrobe. 18. Look at your home through the eyes of your guests, especially if you’ll be entertaining or hosting family. Check the state of your bathrooms, linens, etc. Refresh or replace as necessary. 19. Plan your menus. With everything else on your plate (pun intended) don’t waste time reinventing the wheel at mealtime. Come up with two weeks of meal plans and rotate them. 20. Read (or re-read) my post How To Stay Sane and Organised During The Holidays. […]