Holiday overwhelm comes in different forms.   A few days ago I stopped in at a local store/farmstand and immediately became overwhelmed by the displays and the sheer volume of ‘stuff.’  Trees, wreaths, ribbons, ornaments, greenery, gifts, holiday music, holiday scents, in front of me, next to me, above me, surrounding me…it was endless.   I had just stopped in to this store because I had a few spare minutes, and that was part of the problem.

So, taking a few steps back, I realized that I function best with a plan and a few targeted lists.   I need to think about what I am shopping for/preparing before I fill my cart or move ahead.    And, I re-visited past holiday planning success with a four step approach – Step One – Decorating, Step Two – Gift Buying, Step Three – Entertaining/Preparing/Attending, Step Four – Everyday (daily needs & self care), components that worked for me, each with separate To Do lists. 

This strategy helps me to compartmentalize and balance the holidays with my ongoing schedule. After all, just because the holidays are approaching doesn’t mean we get to skip our busy, every day lives.   And, that is part of the challenge that I find my clients deal with at this time of the year.   The holiday preparation and celebrations are added to our already full plates.   

So, as you approach the holidays this year, think about what organizational strategies work specifically for you and the way you live and work.   There is no one size fits all approach, just what fits best for you and your family.