1. Plan early. Don’t wait until you’re in the thick of the season, start your plan at least a month in advance and even more if you can find the time. Consider creating a calendar that includes all of the weeks prior to, including and following the holiday. Include what you have already scheduled like travel, parties, shows, when guests will arrive and work events. Add in all other important events as they come up but be sure you don’t double book. Block off days for shopping, baking and decorating and be sure to include deadlines so you don’t miss a thing. During this busy season you don’t want to forget yourself, so be sure to schedule in a day or two of rest and pampering, a spa day would be a great de-stress activity.

2. Create your goals. Don’t take too much on at one time. Make sure you create achievable goals. Don’t schedule your shopping deadline in the middle of week filled with out of town guests. Consider decorating early, this will help get you in the spirit of the holidays and let you achieve an important goal early.

3. Make “To-Do” Lists. It’s so easy to forget what needs to be done and when it needs to get done, so make a daily or weekly “To-Do” list. Prioritize your list so you get the most time sensitive and important projects done first and check them off as you go.

4. Know what you need. If you plan to decorate be sure you know what you need. Take an inventory of what you have and make a list of what you need. Add this project to your calendar and your “To-Do” list and set a goal to get it accomplished. Same thing for baking, wrapping gifts and preparing for guests. If you’re prepared, the event or project is so much more enjoyable and stress free.

5. Share the responsibility. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Delegate some tasks to other family members and friends. If you plan on baking, get the kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews involved. It will make the task so much more fun and memorable. Share tasks. Maybe you have a family member or friend that hates to bake but loves to decorate. You may want to have them do the decorating and in exchange you do the baking, or vice a versa.

6. Pack it away for next year. Be prepared, make sure this is on your calendar and your “To-Do” lists. It’s a daunting task to take everything down from the holidays and not have the right storage containers. Take inventory of what you have for storage containers and then another inventory of what you have to pack away. Transparent storage bins are the best holiday storage solution. They come in an array of sizes and not only allow you to store decorations but also extra gift wrap and gift wrapping tools. Pack with care. Ornaments and decorations are fragile so you’ll want to be sure you either save the original boxes or have the right wrapping materials to keep them protected. There are several eco-friendly cellulose based bubble wraps available in the market or you can also use recycled paper to warp each ornament and decoration before packing in the bins.

7. Label Everything. Now you have all these bins, so you are going to want to label them. Consider a 4X6 index card with a list of what’s inside taped to the outside of the bin, now you’re already eliminating stress for next year!

8. CELEBRATE! Now that the holidays are over have a fun potluck celebration with your closest family and friends. Have everyone bring their favorite dish or maybe even leftovers and just have a great time relaxing and reminiscing about the great holiday experience you just had!