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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Holidays > Organizing Guests, Work, and the Holidays
Organizing Guests, Work, and the Holidays
It becomes daunting knowing you have guests coming, you have to work a few days during their visit, and you are still  getting ready for the holidays.  How do you entertain, work and get all the shopping, baking and decorating done?  

To save yourself the stress, start a few items early.  If you are traveling somewhere for Thanksgiving think about taking your Christmas cards with you.  Even if you only have time to address them, it is one less item you have to do later.  Before Thanksgiving is the best time to have your children go through all their toys be and get rid of broken toys, donate or sell those toys they feel they are too old for.  Encourage them to really think about donating at this time of the year.  Teaching them early to go through their toys once or twice a year keeps them organized and eliminates the clutter from your home.

If you bake cookies, bake those you can freeze first.  This allows you to keep them fresh, but do many in advance.  Wrap presents as you purchase them rather than waiting until the day before Christmas to do all the wrapping.  

Decorating can also be broken down into steps.  Try decorating outside first, and the inside your home.  For outside steps put the lights up first, then add the wreaths, bows, and other accessories.  Make sure you test all lights prior to putting them up outside and inside.
Break the inside down into floors, decorations and fresh greenery.  Even the tree can be done in steps such as lights and ornaments. Start now to make those plans and have a stress free holiday season

Shopping can be broken down and make sure you take a list as this is easier than looking in hundreds of stores or trying to remember what they would like.  Sometimes the older the children are the best gift is a gift card.  Not as personal, but you really can not pick out clothing or music, so save yourself some stress.  

When you have your family coming to town while you still have a few days to work, what do you do?  If they have transportation available, look up events going on in your area that might interest them.  Most cities have an internet site that will give you a calendar of events for all ages.  If tickets are needed, ask them early so the tickets are obtained before they arrive.

Ask them to do some last minute errands.  Think of relief you will feel when those small errands are completed.  If they are at your mercy for transportation, ask them to help bake or cook.  Most guests love to help because it makes them feel useful and not as a burden.  Offer to pay older children to wrap gifts.  Have a card table set up near a television or music and give them all the needed supplies. Have a sticky note on each gift designating the receiver and giver. Buy a smaller tree for the younger children and have them decorate it for some entertainment.  During the evening and the times you are off work, involve them in your errands or baking.  Make sure to thank them and plan on an evening out for dinner.  

Julie Riber is a Golden Circle member of NAPO and a certified Senior Move Manager.  Julie helps individuals to organize their space, time and life.  She helps businesses to increase productivity, streamline processes and organize their spaces.  Visit her Web site at