I love this time of year, but with our homes full of more stuff than usual – gifts, decorations, baked goods and entertaining items – the challenge is keeping things in order. Janet Hennick of J.R.H. Creative Concepts in Toronto, who swears it's possible to keep a house clutter-free during the holidays, offers these tips to help you stay organized (and sane!)
Label gifts with temporary tags (if you're buying for a lot of people) and place in a designated spot – a guest room, basement or other seldom-used space, suggests Janet.
Organize a basement closet to store gifts, decorations, entertaining items and other holiday overflow early in the season, if you have time.
For gift-wrapping paraphernalia, use a big plastic container that fits under the bed or in a closet. Inside, keep all the materials you need sorted in separate containers. Include wrapping paper (lay rolls in one area; no need for a separate container), tissue paper, gift bags and tags, metallic pens, ribbons, bows, scissors, tape and crafty items, like faux holly sprigs, for embellishing wrapped gifts. Take the kit to wherever you're wrapping and put it away when you're finished.
Co-ordinate holiday decorations with your existing decor to create a visually uncluttered space. A colour-coordinated scheme not only looks organized, it's so beautiful you'll want to leave it up all year.
Preparing for a holiday get-together? Here's some advice!
1 Store plenty of candles in one place
2 Use attractive baskets as garbage cans; place them in visible locations
3 Clean table linens, polish silver, and handwash and dry crystal in advance
4 Rent a coat rack for a large crowd
5 Offer only one or two types of drinks, like eggnog and/or punch
6 Set up only one food station: serve food buffet-style from the dining table
7 Treat yourself: rent dishes, glasses, cutlery and table linens, or hire caterers, florists and cleaners