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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Organizer/Planner

It's time. Or maybe it's past time. Time to get organized for the holidays. Each year I try really hard to be more organized than the previous year. I try. In reality, I do get a little better at it each year. There is just so much that happens in the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, that you can't do it all. And that is OK!

To help me stay organized on the things I need to get done for the holidays, I keep a planner. I used to just do this by jotting notes on a pad of paper. Then a few years ago, I discovered this most awesome web site called Organized Christmas. Then I started printing out the organizer pages and keeping them in a binder. If you haven't been to this site, you really should visit. Oh my! They have all sorts of ideas to keep you on track and on budget for your holiday planning. Whether you just need a little help keeping your shopping in order, or if you want to go full tilt on sprucing your home, planning your meal, tracking your cards, gift purchases and staying within a budget, you can find the right help at Organized Christmas! And the best part......... it's FREE! Yep, it's all there to help you! You can find some of the planners here.

Last year I bumped up my organization another notch when I switched from just the printed out organizer sheets, to actually decorating my organizer!  I used digital scrapbook kits to design my cover and inside pages.  I didn't get all fancy with my materials. I used a 1" 3-ring binder with a clear pocket for the cover. This made it easy to design am 8.5" x 11" page for the cover and just slip it into the pocket.

Inside the binder I covered some plastic notebook dividers with pockets with matching papers.  This gives me a great place to store notes, receipts, gifts tags, a pen and other things. I don't need to make my organizer any fancier, it's not really going to be seen by anyone. Especially since I keep my gift buying plans in it!

I have 3 sections to my binder. Calendars, Cards and Gifts.  The Organized Christmas website has card trackers you can print out. I keep track of my cards, complete with addresses that I can mail merge to labels, in an Excel spreadsheet. So I keep a printed copy of that in this section. It allows me a place to make on-the-fly adjustments to addresses and such. I can then use that to update my spreadsheet when I have time.

In my calendars section, I keep monthly calendars for the months surrounding the holidays. This way, any special things I want to jot down, and don't want included on our family calendar, I have a separate location to keep them.  I set deadlines and reminders here for myself too. Like when I need to start thawing the bird!

The gifts section is the most active section for me.  I keep several of the printable planner pages here. This really helps to keep me on target with my gift planning, purchases and budget.

  It also helps me track and plan  for gifts I am making.

I love this planner page. I can keep track of all my orders in one location. I do a lot of Internet shopping. I print out the receipt, keep it in one of the binder pockets, and track the deliver of the item on this page.

This page is hands-down, my absolute favorite!!!!!  As I buy gifts, I stash them away. In crevices and hiding places.  Sometimes I forget where I've hidden them!  So this page is a HUGE help!  I use one of the columns as my location, to remind me where I've hidden the treasure!

Last, but certainly not least, I keep track of the little stocking stuffers, and housewarming gifts on this planner page.  No more Christmas mornings of forgetting about filling the stockings!  Yes, yes, that really did happen in my house once!  Never again!!

Reduce the stress in your holidays. Head on over to Organized Christmas get some great ideas, print out the planners that will help you most and put your mind at ease!

Here is to a happy and stress-reduced, holiday season!

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1 comment:

  1. I love your planner Cathy!!!
    you did an awesome job designing it using some of Cynthia's printables!!
    great job!
    I'll be featuring you this week @ Inspire Me Fridays!!


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