Stay Organized Throughout the Holidays….and all year round!
By Lindsay Pinchuk
Posted on December 16, 2019
We recently caught up with professional organizer, Sara Losonci, aka Shelfie NYC, who gave us some great tips for staying organized throughout the holiday season and quite honestly all year round. BCB Founder + CEO, Lindsay Pinchuk, credits Losonci for designing and organizing a system in her kids’ playroom that has stayed intact for nearly THREE YEARS. Have your ears perked up yet? Keep reading for some incredible tips that you too will be using for years to come. By Sara Losonci, Shelfie NYC
It’s the ho-ho-holidays and we know you’re just trying to stay sane. With just over a week to go, you’ve got gifts to buy, meals to cook, parties to attend, relatives to entertain, flights to catch (or flights to book!) and clothes to pack. And your suitcase? It’s buried under 6 winter coats, 5 tote bags, 4 bike helmets, 3 empty boot boxes, 2 broken vacuums,1 old humidifier and a partridge in a pear tree. All this, plus your regular scheduled day-to-day chaos has you strongly feeling ala Clark Griswold when he receives his Jelly of the Month club membership. But truly, the first step to managing everything is simply to GET AND STAY ORGANIZED! Keep on reading for 10 ways to stay organized during the holidays…as always, we’ve got you covered.
GIFTING (Both GIVING and RECEIVING)
Purge your kids’ toys before the holiday season to make room for incoming gifts! This helps keep clutter at bay. With any extra time, do the same for yourself with clothing, old perfume, candles you’ll never use, etc.
Create a “Gifts for my Kids” bin and place it somewhere high up in a closet where they will never find it. Use the bin to store & hide some of your kids’ birthday presents received during the year then give them to your children over the holidays! This helps prevent toy overflow. Sounds sneaky but I know LOTS of parents who do it! Take it one step further and dedicate a second bin for “Gifts for Others” – a solution I always use for my clients with young kids. Use both bins for all holidays. Store the bins in the same area and you’ll know exactly where to find the gifts at any given moment saving time & money.
Create a spreadsheet (google sheets is great for this) of gifts for your kids and when friends and relatives ask what to get them (or you know they will be purchasing something) – send each relative a few items from the spreadsheet so they’ll know exactly what to buy. This eliminates extra work for the gifter and prevents unwanted toys and junk from coming into the house.
Year round, keep a running list of holiday gift ideas for your family (and yourself). When you purchase the gift, cross it off the list.
Set out your serving trays and label each tray with the dedicated food item. This makes the serving process go faster and allows for multiple people to help you with set-up. Plus, guests get to see what’s for dinner as they arrive. The bonus? It looks beautiful.
Label the linen closet shelves or use bins for guest linens, guest towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes and all other bathroom needs. Your company will be able to help themselves to whatever they need without asking you.
Place a set of towels on each guest’s bed so they don’t need to go and grab more. If they are staying more than two nights, set out two sets of towels for each guest. Not only with this will cut back on laundry, but it’s a thoughtful way to host AND looks so welcoming.
Designate a specific area for kids and set out art projects them. Not only does this encourage creativity, but it helps keep them from pulling out lots of other toys. The BONUS? It makes for an easier clean-up.
PACKING & TRAVELING
Make a packing list the week before you travel and edit the list throughout the week.
If you’re going away for an extended amount of time, make sure to get prescriptions refilled.
Plan out your outfits in a list and when you pack, layout each outfit.
Cross items off the list as they go into the suitcase, and again when they go into the car if you’re driving.
Dedicate one SMALL carry on bag per child (or one total for the kids if you can get away with it) and let them put inside whatever items they want. Keep this bag right under the seat in front of them so that they have access to what they need throughout the flight.
Unpack when you get to your destination! Dedicate one drawer or corner of the room to each family member’s belongings. I ALWAYS do this and never understand why others do not. I’ve seen parents lose wallets and kids lose toys and go totally bonkers in a hotel rooms because everything was still packed in the suitcase. This keeps a mess at bay when multiple people are getting dressed at the same time in a small space.
Purchase storage solutions ahead of time so clean-up is easy. There are plenty of options when it comes to organizing holiday decor. Instead of buying holiday colored bins, aim for something that matches your existing storage solutions. Lean toward the clear and neutral colors so that you can avoid visual clutter from mismatched bins. Here are a few of my faves:
I LOVE this product line of Clear Plastic Storage Bins for storing anything and everything and the accessory box specifically fits Hanukkah candles perfectly! The bins are affordable and come in several shapes and sizes.
I’ve heard great things about this Christmas light cord wrap solution. You can store the lights in the deep sweater box (same product line as the accessory box above) or any of the other larger boxes from that same product line at the Container Store.
You can find more from ShelfieNYC here, and for more tips solutions make sure you’re following her on Instagram.
Shelfie founder, Sara Losonci, is a Detroit native living in Manhattan for thirteen years. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a specialization in Behavioral Social Sciences. For 8+ years Sara worked in Publishing and Digital Advertising Technology. She desired a career that would allow her to make a positive impact on others lives while truly enjoying the work at hand and knew it was time for a change when she no longer felt fulfilled. Considering the majority of her free time was spent decorating, organizing and re-organizing her apartment, the answer was obvious and Shelfie was born. Sara urges you to invite her into your home and Treat YoShelf 😉