This month my ‘How to be an Organised Family’ monthly post has a twist as you can see from the title; It’s all about Christmas! I think that as it’s now the end of October it’s safe to start mentioning Christmas in more detail. Otherwise how else can we be organised!
Get booking ASAP before they run out of slots. Some supermarkets have already released their Christmas and New Year slots but others are releasing in November. Make a note of when the release date is and chuck enough random items in your basket to checkout at the minimum spend. You can then go back and shop properly at a later date and just updating your order up until the night before. We tend to do a big bulk shop online and then go and shop for the more vital Christmas food items ourselves, cutting our shopping time in store down to the minimum.
Make a short prioritised list of things that need doing around the house and garden to get ready for Winter. Try to fit these in during the weekend or weekdays, as come December the likelihood of any bigger household jobs getting done is unlikely. So make a list and prioritise what’s important to do before Christmas, and don’t overload yourself with too many. My top 3 priority list is usually having clean sofa cushions, having a shampoo carpet clean in the main carpet traffic areas and a ready for winter garden.
Top tip: if you haven’t already, plant some spring bulbs before it’s too late.
November is such a good month to get ahead of home organisation, so you can enjoy other more fun things in December. So whilst I’m doing my bedroom cleaning, I will be having a speedy cull of unwanted clothes, toys, books, games and toiletries to make way for new gifts. Same in the kitchen, so that you can remain organised over the big cooking/baking days in December.
You don’t want to lose out on much needed haircuts or waxing in time for Christmas.
Look ahead at dates in the diary for everyone in the house and as soon as you get a new date, add it straight to the calendar and digital calenders as school commitments and kids activities are always crazy towards the end of term. In fact trying to sync family members calendars is handy right now. Having it all written down in as many places as possible saves you missing anything.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to add in any little extras on to your calendars and to do lists such as raffle prizes, school baking or such like for any school fairs.
Sunday November 24th Stir-up Sunday is a centuries-old tradition where cooks spend the last Sunday before Advent ‘stirring up’ the Christmas pudding. Dating back to Victorian times, the whole family took a turn at stirring the Christmas pudding, making a wish.
The Royal Mail 2019 Christmas postage dates are; Wednesday 18 December – 2nd Class and 2nd Class signed for, Friday 20th December for 1st Class and 1st Class signed for.
We update our present list on our notes app on our phones every time we buy a present throughout the year and then we air drop it to each other regularly. Now is the time to get writing lists to avoid the temptation of over buying or forgetting how much you already have, it’s so easily done!
We start as early as we can and we store the kids’ (presents, not the actual kids!) in locked suitcases. The good thing about using suitcases is you have all your children’s gifts in one place and so you can wrap and put back as and when you have time. Try and get wrapping in November in the evenings to save yourself that epic Christmas Eve wrapping duty (Yes, I have been there!)
If you’re a school or clubs gifter then remember to get thinking of what to gift them now; whether you bake, make or buy something getting just ahead and thinking about when you can fit these in to your schedule really helps. We tend to have a baking session for nursery staff or School staff and plan that into our December diaries and then we can give a little something to the many teachers & club volunteers that help our children.
Whether it be Stir up Sunday, Elf on the shelf, secret Santa or advent traditions, whatever your tradition might be get organised for it before December. I plan what we will do/need for Elf on the Shelf, buy our chocolates to fill our advent calendar pockets and order in ingredients early for Christmas baking to avoid disappointment in stock running low in December. So don’t delay – get purchasing these ingredients each week throughout November, it also helps spread the cost and your time!
See my previous Christmas post on cutting corners at Christmas.
Batteries for new toys, new fairy lights, winter essentials for the car and home such as de-icer. Boring I know but simple things that save time later.
I maybe should add fairy lights into this section, as they’re pretty not basic! This section to me is get organised with craft and decor bits that you’ve seen and don’t want to forget or leave too late. My kids love to start the crafting at the end of November/Start of December, so a trip to a poundshop and Hobbycraft for some festive arts and craft supplies is a must in November.
Dig out those jumpers! Get checking what will still fit everyone and either hand it down to the next sibling or pass it on to friends or charity. For me I always make sure they have their Christmas jumpers, socks and tights at the ready to wear from the beginning of December.
It’s so common to forget what wrapping paper, gift bags and leftover Christmas bits you have stored away from the previous year. Make sure you do this before you hit the shops for more unnecessary packaging.
As always I have included my November Meal plan and tried to focus on quick and easy winter warmers and slow cooker meals, as it’s a month getting organised for Christmas, so meals need to be simple and efficient.
Now is the time to look after nails and hair in the winter months. I find asking for a deep conditioning at the hairdresser helps and keeping on top of strengthening base coat on my nails and popping hand Cream and lip balm in my bag helps keep my hands and lips moisturised. I have also popped in a cream that I can use on the kids as they get sore/chapped around their mouths in this weather. Planning some time out at Christmas with girlfriends or a crafty evening can also be the perfect kind of switch off time. I’m hoping to attend a wreath making evening as part of my me time.
I hope this list leaves you feeling like you can be more organised this season and hopefully making December for Santa’s little helpers that bit more enjoyable.