This weekend I packed up all the Halloween and Fall decorations to make it easier to clean up the apartment before I can start brainstorming ideas for Christmas! It’s only a few weeks before we start pulling out the next holidays’ decor and I like some time in between to start doing a deep clean before it’s time for all the tinsel and garlands to get pulled out of storage.
It also meant that I could get started on making up this binder to start a game plan for the holidays! This is the third year that I’ve used this fantastic FREE Christmas planner from Organized Christmas to help make it less stressful to stay organized during this time of year.
Usually I’ve had it in a little file folder or duo-tang, but this year I upgraded it to a thin 1″ binder and included some of the awesome covers they provide.
Just to give you an idea of what it has looked like in the past, this was my 2011 planner which I still keep around to reference what gifts I’ve given or who sent us cards back, etc. I also made a smaller version back in 2010 when I first found the website and I keep that in there too.
Their holiday planner site has some amazing printables that make it super easy to keep track of everything from decor, cards, gifts, budget, cooking, baking and even your weekly meal list during the busy weeks of the next couple of months.
I even made some dividers this year to help make everything easy to find in the binder. I have to admit that I’ve been known to go a bit crazy with my label maker, but I just love the clean look it gives.
I love to send out Chrismas cards, and this list is a great way to keep track of which ones you’ve sent and which ones you’ve received. You can keep this lists for year to year because it gives you several years to track. I ended up rewriting my list this year to make corrections to address, as we had many friends move around in the past year.
We have a very busy November and December coming up, with lots of holiday events, shopping nights and busier work schedules. Having a Weekly Menu Planner helps me plan menu ideas that help keep us on track with healthy eating during this busy time of year. It also reminds me to stock up on some freezer meals in preparation.
You can do Christmas without something like this, but I have to admit that I love having something concrete in front of me to reference while I’m writing cards, online shopping, packing gifts or brainstorming decor ideas. Anytime I see something in a magazine that catches my eye, I rip the page out and put it in the binder pocket. I also keep a little folder on my desktop with holiday ideas that I find online. Don’t forget to utilize Pinterest too (Check out my Holiday Ideas and Holiday Recipes Boards!)