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Freshly Organized’s – Holiday Survival Guide

I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but it’s time to think about the Holidays everyone! This can be the year that you can actually enjoy the season for what it is instead of running around in a panic. So, get in the Holiday spirit….pour yourself a glass of wine…..get a piece of pie and read on to find out how to rock the Holidays this year!


When it comes to Christmas shopping, you can never start too early. Seriously, if you are shopping in June and see something that your mom may like for Christmas, pick it up. The more you get done early the more time you get to spend with your friends and family as Christmas gets closer. The kicker is, you HAVE to track what you buy so you know what you have left. This little gift tracker spreadsheet will help you keep track of it all, there is even a “hiding spot” column so you don’t pull a Clark Griswald. Just don’t let your kids see…

If you are more of a paperless kind of guy or gal check out these frees apps to track your gifts.

-Christmas Gift List

-Gift Tracker

-Christmas Gifts and Budget

(Yea, I know, the names are not very original….)



I am going to say something very important right now and I want you to read it twice.

You do not have to say yes to everything.

In case you didn’t read it twice, I will say it again.

You do not have to say yes to everything.

Over committing is a surefire way to have everyone frazzled and stressed through the Holidays. Sit down with your family, look at all of the invites and events and decide what are “must do’s,” “want to do’s” and “feel obligated to do’s.” The “must do’s” are something like Holiday dinner with close family (let’s be honest, those don’t always fall into the want to do category). The “want to do’s” are things like looking at Christmas lights. The “feel obligated to do’s” are baking a million cookies for everyone, taking a professional Christmas photo, attending every neighborhood or work party that you are invited to. Don’t get me wrong, those might be “want to do’s” for some people, if so, do them! If not, JUST SAY NO!

For all of your other Holiday To Do’s take a look at our Happier Holiday Checklist



Don’t deny it, we all have way too many Holiday decorations. Even myself, a Professional Organizer, has an over abundance of Christmas decor. Getting this stuff in order will make for an easier decorating day. So, it is time to bite the bullet and do it. Here’s how:

– Edit things out as you decorate this year. The best time to go through things to determine if you want/need them is when you are getting the stuff all out to decorate. If you find yourself not using items or not liking items, donate them now. Less stuff to put away and store is a good thing.

– Have the proper storage containers. We truly strive to “use what you have” when it comes to storage containers but there are some things that just do better in containers made for that particular item. Like ornaments….and lights. Here are  two of my favorite products that will make your Holiday life a lot easier.


-Make a wrapping station. Whether it is an elaborate wrapping station like this….


Or a portable gift wrap holder like this…



Keep all of your Christmas gift wrap, tags, ribbon, tape, and a pair of scissors in your wrapping storage area so you have it all when you need it.

Well folks, there you have it, the key to a calm and peaceful Holiday season. 🙂 We know that we can’t take all of the stress out of this busy season for you but using some of these tips will sure help! Happy Holidays!


Melanie Schmidt is a professional organizer and manager of Freshly Organized.  She has three little kids that keep her hopping, especially during the holidays!

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