Holiday Organization: Top Tips From Leading Experts to Keep You Sane This Season

If your seasonal celebrations could use a little more peace and joy, heed this advice from the pros.

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Holiday Clothing Drive Lisa Adams, LA Closet Design, is a professional organizer to the stars.

Some people are born with a propensity toward organization. The rest of us are not. If the thought of an organized office, pristine closets and a pretty pantry do not motivate you, how about a merrier Christmas? We asked top organizers to share their tips for adding more joy to the holiday season.

Holiday Clothing DriveA few people donate items during a clothing drive.

Start With Your Closets

Lisa Adams, owner of LA Closet Design, has a golden rule: Donate or purge anything that you haven't used in one year. "People get paralyzed under all the stuff," she says. Separate clothes by season if your closets and drawer space will allow. Sorting that way makes sense, and such a system will simplify seasonal cleaning. Visibility is also important when organizing closets. "If you can't see it, you don't use it." First and foremost, Lisa says, "Figure out what works for you, and stick with it."

Holiday Clothing DriveProfessional organizer Vicki Norris

"Dig out. A lot of people are buried," says Vicki Norris, organizer, author and founder of Restoring Order. "Organizing is not an activity; it's a lifestyle," she says, a lifestyle which can't rest during the holidays. Be prepared when relatives ask what to buy your spouse and children; Vicki suggests checking toy chests and closets.

Simplify Card Giving

As for the often daunting task of card sending, Vicki suggests, "Give yourself a break during the busy Christmas season, and consider sending cards at a different time of year."

"Automate your card list," Lisa advises. "Enter contact information in a spreadsheet using separate columns for each category such as first name, last name, street address, city, state and ZIP code. Add columns for gift ideas, ages and birthdays. Refer to it year after year, without having to invent the wheel each time." Go a step further and convert a spreadsheet into mailing labels. Addressing cards is as easy as print, peel and stick.

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