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12 Steps to an Organized Holiday Season

Posted on 01 November 2012 by Total Secure Shredding

Organized HolidaysMake THIS year your best holiday season ever!

By Sue Crum

Ready or not – here come the holidays!!

Are you thinking joy or jitters?

Desire or dread?

Are you envisioning fantasies of fun or…

Fits of fright and fatigue?

Whatever your experiences have been in the past – the good, the bad and the ugly – set them aside and look forward to making this the best holiday season ever!



  • a clear vision,
  • reasonable expectations and
  • prior proper planning.

Just like Goldilocks, it’s important to create a holiday season that’s just right for you, right now.


  1. Let’s start with that vision. Sit quietly with a notebook and imagine it is January 12, 2013. The holidays are behind you. If everything went smoothly, how would these have been? Write a scenario of everything going perfectly. Be sure and include how the holiday season made you feel.
  2. Convene a family meeting if you live with others and have each member write a succinct paragraph of their vision of the best holiday season. With little ones, have them draw a picture.
  3. See how these visions are similar or dissimilar. Get to the core of what’s important for each family member and write or chart a family vision for the holidays. You might be surprised at what other family members envision for the holidays to be happy.
  4. Get a 3-month calendar that shows November, December, and January.
  5. Mark out specific days, such as Thanksgiving, your religious holidays in December, and New Year’s Day.
  6. In your notebook make a list of all the tasks and events you can think of: don’t worry about prioritizing.
  7. Now with that family vision of what’s important, go back over your list and rank as follows: A’s – your big rocks: if nothing else gets done this season, these are the most important to you.
  8. Now go through the list again and think of your B’s: these would be nice to include, maybe you’ve done these before or you’ve thought about adding them to your holiday traditions, but never have.
  9.  Put a C by what’s left. Recognize these tasks are also nice but not necessary to your vision or your family’s vision.
  10. Go back over the list and make sure you have a letter by everything.
  11. Decide to let go of your C’s and not do any unless you have completed your A’s and B’s.
  12. Calendar in your A’s right now. Look at other commitments of work, family, volunteerism and decide when you can do the A’s. Some have multiple steps so be sure and create enough time in your schedule to see projects to completion. Keep your eye on that vision you created and let some of the B’s go.

No time to create that beautiful 3-day recipe of homemade heavenly heath bars your grandma used to make?

What could you do instead so that YOU are happy, healthy and in a heavenly mood for the holidays?

Make that vision your gift to yourself!!

Sue Crum is the owner of the R.E.D. team and the Immediate Past President of NAPO-San Diego, the National Association of Professional Organizers. She helps busy people turn their house into a home, make better use of space and get organized for good. She takes a nonjudgmental approach to any organizing project. She is compassionate, confidential and competent, passionately focused on helping people lead happier and more balanced lives. She loves speaking to groups about de-cluttering and organizing for healthier living. Sign up to receive her latest RED Hot etips at You can reach Sue at 760.803.2786.

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