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Thanksgiving weekend is the time many households start decorating for Christmas. If you are like many households, sorting through last year’s decorations and gift wrap is nothing short of a nightmare of knotted ribbons, bows, broken baubles, and tangled lights. Before you start decorating and gift wrapping, get organized!

Rosie-Certified Partner, Get Organized with Bridges + Co., offers these quick and easy organizing tips that will help decrease the stress and chaos during the holiday rush this month.

Create New Habits

The proverbial “they” say it only takes 21 days to create a new habit. Start with these three now, and you will be golden by Christmastime.

Make Your Bed

Begin each day with a simple and quick ritual of making your bed. Taking two to three minutes to make your bed helps start the day off right so that you are ready to tackle your holiday to-do lists and tasks. If this is not a habit that you do routinely already then start today. You will immediately notice the difference it makes in your outlook and how nice it is to have an organized and made bed every day.

Stow As You Go

When you are rushing around, trying to get your house in perfect order for the holidays, immediately put away items you have finished using. This will alleviate clutter and make them easy to find next time you need them.

Do It Right Away

While this may seem very simple, it is a very effective time saver. The time you invest upfront will be well worth the time you save. A perfect example this time of year is the mail. We generally receive more than double than any other time of the year. Don’t let it pile up. Start by making a designated “home” for the mail items that require action or response. This will provide a designated place for items in your mail that require your attention, such as bills. The key is to establish a habit of going through the mail immediately after you pick it up. The same would apply to all those holiday goodies and groceries that you purchase and bring home. Put things in their place immediately to eliminate the clutter of letting them sit on the counter or another temporary location.

Gift Wrap

Before buying wrapping paper, bags, tissue, and ribbons, take inventory of what you already have and organize it. You probably have leftover wrap that’s in good shape. Use that first, then buy more if you need it.

If your gift wrap is a mish-mosh of mismatched paper, buy a few organizational containers and sort them accordingly. Here are some ideas:

  1. Buy a gift-wrap organizer that hangs in a closet or on the back of a door. These organizers usually hold roughly a dozen rolls of wrap and have room for ribbons and bows, too.
  2. Pick up a shallow, clear, plastic storage container that’s long enough to hold rolls of wrapping paper and flat enough to slide under a bed. Get one with a lid that fits at least a dozen rolls of wrap.
  3. Invest in a gift-wrapping station. It looks like a desk and comes with rods for hanging ribbon and rolls of wrap, drawers for storing tape and gift tags, and plenty of tabletop space for wrapping gifts and keeping scissors within reach.
  4. Use a sectioned toolbox or craft organizer box to store holiday odds and ends, extra extension cords, spare holiday light bulbs, extra ornament hangers, and more.

The Professional Organizer’s Golden Rules

Keep these rules in mind when storing your holiday items.

Golden Rule #1: Vertical is visible, horizontal is hidden. If items get stacked, you can’t see what’s at the bottom.

Golden Rule #2: Store it where you use it. Keeping like items together will help save time and keep them accessible when you’re ready to use them.

Golden Rule #3: Everything needs to have one home. Whatever you end up using to organize them, create one home for these items as they come out for use at the same time of year.

Future Storage

After the holidays are over, do yourself a big favor by taking the extra steps to pre-organize for next year.

Create one home to store your Christmas dishes, serving dishes, table decorations, etc.

Wash or dry clean linens after the holidays. Hang them up, and they will be ready to go next year.

Donate any decorations not used this year or in recent memory. We tend to use 20 percent of holiday decorations 80 percent of the time; downsizing will help you save space for next year.

If you want to replenish, wait until December 26th to buy when they are marked down as much as 75%. Then when you get them home, put them away in the appropriate storage places for next year.

Just a few simple adjustments to your holiday habits will save you time and allow you to enjoy the holidays to their fullest splendor.



Fall shows us the beauty of letting go, especially when it comes to cleaning and organizing the things you’ve collected over the decades. We discuss some ways to relieve the stress by organizing and reducing the clutter around your home for the holidays. From creating new habits to the three Golden Rules of professional organizers, take a deep breath and listen.

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