How To Stay Organized and Manage Holiday Chaos

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The month of October was a blur…..Halloween costumes for three kiddos, endless Halloween events, “boo-ing” neighbors, day dates to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins and ALL the candy! I kept telling myself “as soon as this week is over, things are going to slow down and get back to normal.” But the truth is, chaos is our normal.

Fall and winter can be such a fun time of year, but it’s also the busiest time of year! We are all BUSY, especially during the holidays when there is added pressure (that we put on ourselves) to make it memorable. For me, it helps to be organized so I can to attempt to keep our life “together” while still making the memories, having fun and not losing my mind in the process! My tricks are nothing you don’t already know, but the reminders will hopefully save you some time and help to manage the chaos.

Tips to Stay Organized

  1. Stay on top of things! When the kids get out of my car, I clean out the cupholders. I gather up the extra coats, water bottles, shoes and “things” that belong inside. After school, backpacks are emptied, forms signed and lunches unpacked. I can’t stress this enough to avoid chaos! When things pile up, I’m instantly overwhelmed!
  2. Organize life on Sundays. I don’t work outside the home, but my husband does SO if life isn’t organized walking into Monday morning you can guarantee chaos! We attempt to get all the laundry done and put away, chores completed and groceries purchased and put away. We sit down and discuss the calendar (that we share electronically) and figure out the day to day must dos. If we are feeling extra motivated, we attempt to meal prep and plan out our meals for the week. Considering kids after school activities when planning meals has been a game changer for us! Also simple things like grilling a bunch of chicken for the week, washing fruits and veggies ahead of time, or even making extra pancakes on Sunday morning helps so much!
  3. Set alarms! And wake up BEFORE your kiddos! I need to do a better job of this, but enjoying just one sip of coffee alone is a win! Bonus points if you set your coffee pot to brew automatically. If I manage to get myself dressed before my kids wake up, this is an even bigger accomplishment! My Type A self is tired, but I want to check things off my list. So anything I can do before I hear the pitter patter of their tiny footsteps is a win.

    Set an alarm to wake up before your kids!
  4. Set out clothes, backpacks and coats the night before. Mornings are always a challenge, and my girls have many opinions on what they will and will not wear. I live with three fashionistas, that each have their own unique style! I am more patient with outfit selection when we aren’t rushing in the morning, and planning ahead just gives us one less this to worry about during the morning rush.
  5. Create a drop zone for backpacks and coats, and also find a spot for ALL the paper that comes home. I have labeled bins for each kid and I put artwork, writing and tests in the correct bin IF I want to save it. I also have a bulletin board that is covered in artwork. If it’s not something that needs to be saved, we look at everything together – ask questions, share, give praise, etc. and then we move on. I purge this stuff when my kiddos aren’t around. =) Staying on top of the chaos of paper clutter makes a huge difference, and my sentimental self has finally found a balance. It’s okay to not save every last paper that comes home!

What tips would you add to help calm the chaos during the holiday season?

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Kristen is a mama to three blue eyed girls, Bryn (7.5), Maya (4) & Tessa (2.5) and has called Columbus home since 2004. She was born in Pennsylvania, but her family moved a lot when she was growing up. Her family has been in Ohio since 1999 which is the same year Kristen became a Bobcat at Ohio University. In her 4 years at OU, Kristen met some of her very best friends, learned to stumble with grace down brick streets, rowed on the OU Women’s Crew team, joined a sorority, fell in love with her now husband Justin AND earned a degree! A “big girl” job in Retail Real Estate at LBrands brought Kristen to Columbus, and if she’s being honest so did the guy. They married in 2007 and started a family in 2012. When baby #2 arrived in 2016, Kristen became a stay-at-home mom and 18 months later, baby #3 arrived! It’s the hardest and best “job” she has ever had! In her spare time, Kristen enjoys exploring Columbus, reading, running, Crossfit, decorating, documenting the days through pictures, hiking, yoga, organizing and labeling things, attempting to be crafty, bargain shopping, DIY projects and spending time outdoors. Her favorite things in life are the beach, her girlfriends, travel, wine county, Mexican food, bike rides, sunsets, red wine, french fries, ice cream and her of course family!