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 A box divided into small squares allows for perfect and safe storage of Christmas tree ornaments.

Don't Stress Over Decor

Vicki makes holiday decorating an event and enlists the family. She likes to incorporate readily-available natural items such as boughs, holly and cranberries. "Resist over-accumulation, purge unused decorations and swap decorations with a friend." Before you decorate, "give the house a good cleaning," she says. That way, your house will be fresh-smelling and sparkly, in more ways than one.

"If you like to set up decorations the same way each year, do not leave it to memory," Lisa advises. "Write down steps, take a photo of your decor and store in a binder."

Holiday Clothing DriveA collection of shiny and festive Christmas gift wrap includes rolls of red, green, and gold paper.

Make a List & Check It Twice

Take an inventory before you buy. "It's very tempting to pick up new tableware and decorations," Lisa says. "Know exactly what you have before buying anything new" and set a budget. "Don't overspend. If a budget doesn't allow for cards this year, then send free e-cards," she suggests. Consider handmade gifts such as baked goods, photo gifts and customized playlists.

Vicki is a proponent of simple, heartfelt gifts as well, especially those that make shopping easier. She enjoys buying gift cards that encourage loved ones to spend time together, like dinner and movie. When it comes time to wrap, Vicki suggests throwing a wrap party. "Invite your friends and family, and make it collaborative and fun."

Holiday Clothing Drive

It's important to create a space for all of your wrapping needs. "Keep a holiday storage bin for gift-wrapping supplies," Lisa says. "It will keep everything in its place, and you will know exactly where to go for these supplies the next you need them."

Holiday Clothing Drive

After the Holidays

"Undecorate with ease by storing ornaments, wreaths and lights in separate containers that are clearly marked," Lisa says. "Christmas lights are always tricky to store, but there is a fast and inexpensive way to manage them with the leftover cardboard boxes or wrapping paper tubes. Cut silts around the edges/surface, and start wrapping the lights around the cardboard, threading the lights into each slit."

Holiday Clothing DriveRed holiday ornaments are organized in a white box.

Get inspired by the coming of a new year. "Find new and old ways to bring your life back into balance," Lisa says. "Whether it's getting your budget together, writing down goals or reinstating your gym membership, you must have a clear game plan for the new year."

For more information, tips and resources, contact professional organizers Lisa Adams at www.laclosetdesign.com. and Vicki Norris at www.restoringorder.com.

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