The Secret to Staying Organized and Sane During the Busy Holiday Season

The following is a post from Crystal of Money Saving Mom. Crystal has just released another ebook which is all about Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas.  It is available now, until Thursday, for .99 cents on Amazon for Kindle only.

We all know that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one of the most stressful times of the year, for most people. But you do not have to be one of those people.

You’re obviously a faithful fan of the OrgJunkie blog, or you wouldn’t be reading here. So, I’m willing to bet that you’ve been reading here long enough to realize that organization and careful planning are one of the keys to avoiding stress and overwhelm.

It’s time to usher sanity and organization into your holiday planning and enjoy the fruits of a calm, organized, fun season… maybe even for the first time since you were little!

Let’s go over one of my favorite ways to smooth out some of the wrinkles of your holiday weeks, and if you’d like to read more ways that I calm down and simplify Christmas in my home, check out my new e-book Celebrating and Savoring a Simple Christmas.

Prioritize and Pare Down

Are you one of those moms who likes to squeeze in as much activity as possible, even if the result is a crazy, frantic pace that leaves your whole family exhausted, grumpy, and sometimes even sick?

You’re not alone! There are so many many moms who write me on a regular basis feeling so overwhelmed by their long list of activities they feel like they must do.

You know what? You don’t have to fall in step with the crazy busyness and hurry and scurry that you may find everywhere you look.

Instead, you can intentionally choose between the good and the best activities. I’ve found that when our family carefully chooses the best opportunities and activities versus just doing them all, we have a lot less stress and we can enjoy each activity more since we’re not worried about rushing off to the next thing.

What does this look like practically?

You could have a craft-filled Saturday, making a popcorn garland for your tree, a hand-sewn advent calendar, ornaments with untold amounts of glitter, and a huge dining table-sized Victorian gingerbread hotel. And you could end up exhausted at the end — with a very messy house, to boot.

Or, you could carefully choose one or two crafts that are the most age-appropriate for your children and that you’d all enjoy most, and just do those. You’ll be able to really focus on just having fun doing those one or two crafts, your house won’t be a disaster, and you will probably end the day feeling fulfilled and energized.

Do you see the difference here?

If you chose to pack in 15 different activities and crafts all into one day:

  • You’ll probably find yourself frazzled and trying to to hurry everyone through an activity because it’s time to move onto the next craft.
  • You just might be close to tears when Suzie spilled the glitter glue on the carpet. Not to mention the frustration you’ll experience as you try to scrub it up, when you have so many other things you need to be doing.
  • And if Johnny gets hungry and dips into the gingerbread, you will probably feel irritated because you won’t have enough left for the east-wing of your hotel!

If you chose the laid-back option of just making a popcorn garland and gluing some sequins on some store-bought ornaments instead of your idea of making homemade ornaments dipped in glitter:

  • You would be on your way to the Mom-of-the-Year award in no time, despite your pangs of guilt over the store-bought ornaments.
  • You would say, “It’s okay Johnny, you can eat some of that popcorn while you work on your fine motor skills. I’ll just make us some more!”
  • Or, how about, “No dear, take your time, we have plenty!”
  • And lastly, “Uh-oh Suzie, you dropped some sequins? No big deal, why don’t you help me sweep them up, then you can go back to gluing them on your nativity ornament.”

Do you feel the difference in these two scenes? Which scene would you prefer to be the child in?

Apart from the amazingly wise choice of substituting sequins for glitter, your kids are having fun because they aren’t being rushed, and you are relaxed because you’re not trying to move crafty mountains in one day!

Choose the best, leave the rest! And stay away from glitter.

Crystal Paine is a wife, homeschooling mom of three, and author of the brand-new ebook, 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life. For more encouragement to get your life and finances in order, visit her blog,

Such a great post, thanks Crystal!  Remember Crystal’s fantastic new ebook is on sale now for .99 cents for the next three days only!  Click on the banner below to purchase.

How will you slow down and savor Christmas this year?

Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Holidays, Organizing Basics


8 Responses to The Secret to Staying Organized and Sane During the Busy Holiday Season

  1. 2
    Josh from Uncle Bob's Self Storage says

    This is great advice. You see people overwhelmed during holiday planning all the time. A quick evaluation of the “good and the best” as you put it could make the whole process so much easier. Nice work!

  2. 3
    Amy says

    Just another hint…. I was recently introduced to Trello. It’s a website (and app for phones) that helps keep me organized. You can organize items into columns, then each column you put cards (or post it like notes), and each card can have comments, checklists, descriptions, etc.

    I just started a “board” for Christmas Gift Ideas. Each column (or list as they call it in Trello) is a person on my Christmas list. Then I have cards for gift ideas. In the card, I might have a link to a website (Amazon, Toys R Us, etc) and you can also add attachments, so I have added an image of certain toys for my kiddo. So that way when the grandparents ask me for Christmas ideas i can pull this up and easily give them a few ideas. I can even do it from my phone and at the same time put a note in that particular card that I told “grandma about this gift” so as not to tell someone else and get a duplicate!

    Check it out! The possibilities are endless!

  3. 4
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