Three Post-Holiday Organizing Tasks That Set You Up for Success Next Year


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One of the top three resolutions every year is getting organized. You’ll make the chore easier by decluttering and streamlining what you have. As you take down your holiday décor, here are three things you can do be organized next holiday season:

Reevaluate your decorations. As you take down your holiday trimmings, don’t just store them all away for next year. Get rid of anything that is broken or no longer fits your design scheme. If you have ornaments that have been in your family for a long time but no longer spark holiday joy, for example, ask a sibling or cousin if they might appreciate them. Offer to share what you have or donate to a charity.

Properly store your lights. No matter how gently you store your Christmas lights, they always seem to be tangled up when you pull them out next season. This year, wind your lights around a cord reel, coffee can or oatmeal container, which will make hanging lights next year easy because you’ll just need to unwind. Also, label each strand with a small piece of masking tape, noting the date you started using it. You’ll know how old lights are and when they’re due to be replaced.

Update your address book. Before you put away holiday cards, make sure you have friends and family in your address book. If it’s been a while since you updated your addresses or you find yourself having to call, email or message a friend to get their address, it’s time to put your contacts in one place. Whether that’s a nice address book or an electronic version or spreadsheet, sit down and add anyone whose holiday card you received this year. Move to family, friends, professional contacts, as well as people whose services you use. You can arrange in alphabetical order, or separate by category.


Last Minute Shopping Survival Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also the time when malls are crowded, sales people are overworked, and hot items are out of stock. If you’ve got some last minute shopping on your list of things to do, set yourself up for success by being prepared. Here is your five-step blueprint for keeping your cool and finishing your list:

Speaking of lists – have one! It can help you be more efficient if you think of gift ideas before you head out the door. Have a few items in mind, in case you can’t find what you want. Stuck for ideas? Consider giving gift cards or think about the gift that person has given you in the past; people often give the things they most want to receive.

Set a time limit. With your list in hand, give yourself a reasonable amount of time to shop, set a timer on your smartphone, and then leave when time’s up. This will help you avoid idle browsing that can cause confusion and overspending.

Pack a drink and snacks. Food courts will look enticing if you’re hungry. Unfortunately, they also offer a lot of goodies that are high in sugar and fat, causing you to crash later. Instead, pack healthy snacks, such as nuts or cheese, and bring a water bottle to keep you hydrated.

Have a meeting plan. If you’re out with family and friends, decide where and when to meet after you’re done shopping or if you get separated. This is especially important if you’re shopping with children.

Remember where you park. It’s easy to get lost in the overcrowded mall parking lot. Use your smartphone to take a picture of your parking area, and remember which door you enter when you go to the mall. Your feet will thank you.

Of course, Art Van has lots of great holiday gifts for everyone on your list. Click here to find a location and hours for a showroom near you.

Three Wise Hostess Gifts

Wine is always an appropriate token of appreciation when you’re invited to a friend’s home for dinner, but your vintage can easily get lost in a crowd of other bottles. Why not bring something a little more unique? Here are three ideas for hostess gifts that will stand out in a sea of vino.


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A Ceramic Pitcher

Flowers always brighten up someone’s day, and bringing a pretty bouquet arranged inside a beautiful pitcher makes it extra special. Your hostess will love using it later as a vase or to serve beverages.


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A Cutting Board

Cheese is an excellent appetizer, especially when served with wine. If you’re bringing a dish to pass, why not use a pretty cutting board that you can gift to the hostess? You’ll find some beautiful handcrafted wooden boards that would be very well received, or learn how to turn a standard board a keepsake with these instructions.


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A Fire Starter

Tis the season for fires in the fireplace. Why not bring a fire starter that includes a pretty birch log or two, some kindling and a box of long matches. Tie it up in a ribbon, and you’ve got a great house “warming” present. You can also make your own pinecone fire starter with these directions.

Holiday Wrapping Ideas

The Christmas season is almost a wrap, and if you’ve still got presents to get under the tree, how about some trendy gift-wrapping inspiration? We identified some trends for holiday decorating, and choosing paper and trim that coordinates with your holiday style will add that designer touch. Take a look:


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Rich and luxurious, Opulent Luxe holiday style features glitz and glitter. Give your packages a similar feel by dressing them up in white paper and adding silver and gold ribbons, trim and bows.


Photo Credit: Love Create Celebrate

If your holiday décor was inspired by the Wilderness landscape of Northern Michigan, bring the feeling into your giftwrap by using brown or black paper and embellishments such as twine or a spring of evergreen. Your gifts will exude natural beauty.


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Playful and Bright holiday style features a sense of whimsy with touches that are festive and fun. Wrap gifts in unexpected bright colors that catch the eye, such as hot pink and royal blue, then dress them up with touches of silver and gold.

Three More Tips To Find Calm During The Holiday Chaos

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year – if you plan to leave behind the stress. Here are three more tips from the Mayo Clinic for enjoying the season without feeling overwhelmed:

  •  Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
  • Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Get plenty of sleep. Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
  • Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm. Some options may include taking a walk at night and stargazing, listening to soothing music, getting a massage and reading a book.