Here are handy Christmas tips designed to make the festive season not only more enjoyable, but stress-free, too.
Instead of dismantling mantel arrangements and centrepieces after the holidays, simply store each as is in large clear plastic bags placed in labelled containers. Both decorating and cleanup will be so much easier. -- Jennifer Trussler, A Welcoming Home, Orillia, Ont.
When decorating for the holidays, remove everyday accessories and store them in your Christmas decoration box to reduce clutter and make your holiday decorations more noticeable. -- Kelly Brown, Tidy Trends.com, Stayner, Ont.
Store small, breakable decorations in labelled foam egg containers to eliminate the need to wrap each one. -- Duhita Speck, Your World In Order, Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Spend more time relaxing with family and friends by ordering a special holiday dinner. Many fine hotels offer delivery service. All you have to do is set the table! -- Andrea Hodgins, Organized Results, Vancouver
Hire someone to clean your house for the holidays. Consider it a gift to yourself and your family that reduces stress and increases the time you have for shared activities. -- Susan Yearwood, Yearwood Efficient Solutions, Ottawa
Carry a small notebook in your purse year-round. While shopping or looking through catalogues, write down gifts you see that would be perfect for someone. When Christmas arrives, your gift-shopping list will be complete. Use the book for birthdays and special events, too. Keep previous years' notebooks to avoid giving duplicate gifts. -- Jane Cownley, The Organizing Way, Milton, Ont.
If your stepchildren visit on weekends, help them properly schedule their time so they don't lose too much of their everyday routine. Plan for homework and chores, and make room for special parent-child quality time by organizing fun activities like tobogganing or festively decorating their bedroom for the holiday season. -- Clair Roxburgh-Giamprini, Roxburgh Organizing Solutions, Ajax, Ont.