Conquering your holiday to do list

It’s the most wonderful and slightly stressful time of year. Holidays can be a magical time, but some of that magic can definitely slip away as you spend time worrying about which gifts are shipping on time and getting everything perfect.

Some of that stress can be alleviated by preparing things ahead of time and conquering your holiday season to do list in a timely fashion. Check out some ways you can make sure that your home is ready for the holidays: 

1. Set a budget

One of the first things that should go on your holiday season to do list is to set a holiday budget. You will want to take into account every expense that you take on, from normal bills to more trivial ones. If you are tracking even the smallest of purchases, you will be more able to adjust and not have any unexpected charges come January. This can help relieve a ton of stress as you know what you can and can’t spend to enjoy your holidays. 

2. Meal prep

With so many things to do this season, cooking every night can be a hassle. Between cleaning, gift wrapping, shopping and spending time with loved ones you might find there is less time to dedicate to planning meals daily. This can lead to some people going out to eat more often because it is easier and requires less time. However, this can cause you to spend more money in a season where there are already more expenses to worry about. Meal prepping can in turn be very useful for this time of year. You can either make meals for the entire week or make easily frozen meals that you can keep in your freezer until you need them. 

3. Declutter

Clutter can be irritating in the best of circumstances, let alone when you are trying to prepare for family or friends to come over. When you declutter, it frees up space so that your home appears more clean and tidy, and if there is a surprise visit from the in-laws, you won’t be as worried by the appearance of your house. Marie Kondo recommends having a house of items that “spark joy.” Plus, if you have your kids declutter their toys and games, you can help make room for the new ones they will probably receive during the holidays. 

4. Make a video card

Between planning out what to say and trying to schedule professional photos to get done, there are a lot of people who find end of the year holiday cards one of the most stressful things on their holiday season to do list. One thing you can try doing instead is making a video card! Dress you and your family up in your favorite and coziest sweaters and take a video with you all saying, “happy holidays!” It can be very low key and takes little to no time, plus you can send it out to whoever you want via email, text or even social media. 

5. Stock up on pantry items

‘Tis the season for baked goods and lots of them, make sure you are all stocked up on your pantry items! For a last minute cookie exchange or neighborhood goodie bag, you’ll be happy to have the extra flour and sugar on hand. Plus, other nonperishable items can be great last minute snacks to add to your meal preps. 

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