It’s that time of year again; the holiday season is rapidly approaching along with a seemingly endless list of things to do, presents to buy, and parties to plan. If you entertain friends and family in your home, you want it to look its absolute best. I recently sat down with Paintzen, an online service that makes painting your home simple, to discuss how you can prepare your home for the holidays. You don’t need to go overboard. Instead, focus on the four key areas that will be most visible to guests: the entryway, bathroom, kitchen, and living room.
Resourceful Consultants clients can use code “RC100” to get up to $100 off of their first paint project with Paintzen! Here’s to a Happy 2019 from Paintzen and Resourceful Consultants.
We all know holiday prep has a way of spiraling into full on hysteria. From gift shopping and RSVPs, to party attendance and clean-up, managing your holiday schedule is a full time job. This season, approach “the most wonderful time of the year” with a clear, organized plan of attack. Keep calm and party on!
Buy gifts you love in bulk and give them to as many people on your list as possible. Gift cards are your best bet.
Have hostess gifts on hand and keep it simple. It’s okay to bring a bottle of wine or to buy a dessert instead of cooking or baking.
Take inventory of your holiday decorations before and after the holiday. Before the holiday, you can assess whether you need to buy anything new. At the end of the holiday, you can get rid of anything broken or soiled.
Keep a spreadsheet of all of the holiday tips you give. You may not remember how much you tipped your mail carrier last year, but he or she will.
If you have a social commitment that you’re dreading, be targeted about how you spend your time when you get there. Arrive early and spend a few minutes one on one with the host. Put in your face time, do the necessary networking, and be on your way.
Don’t feel obligated to save your friends’ holiday cards with their children’s pictures. Since you probably don’t have your own children’s photos perfectly organized; why would you add pictures of other children to the mix?
The time between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve can be the most festive, but also the most stressful time of the year. Between holiday parties, work events, shopping for gifts, eating too much and spending too much, sometimes we wish we could skip the entire season. But since that’s not an option, here are some guidelines to help you feel more in control this holiday season.
Say no. You don’t need to attend every party to which you’re invited. If you don’t go, you don’t need to find a babysitter, pay a babysitter, find something to wear, or purchase a hostess gift. Think of all the time you save.
Buy multiples of the same gift for as many people on your list as possible.
Have hostess gifts on hand. Whether it’s a bottle of wine, a candle, or chocolate, prepare in advance.
Purge your playroom. You have more leverage now than at any other time during the year. Tell your children you can’t buy them any new toys if there’s no space on those playroom shelves. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to donate what your children truly don’t use.
Get gift cards in a variety of dollar amounts. These take up almost no space, and are great for when you forgot about a last minute gift you might need.
Plan a go to outfit that you can wear to multiple parties. A simple black dress and a pair of black slacks and heels can take you through a variety of parties from business casual to more formal.
Breathe deeply and engage in some form of mindfulness each day.
Here are some helpful tips for getting through the holidays…
Be prepared with suggestions when someone asks what you or your kids want as gifts. If you’re at a loss, ask for a gift certificate. Return the favor and give gift certificates whenever possible.
Display holiday cards until New Years Day, then discard them. You’re not expected to keep pictures of children other than your own.
Don’t keep gifts you don’t want. If you can’t return it, give it away. You won’t feel any better about disposing of it in a year or two, so you may as well do it now.
Now is the time to clean out the playroom and children’s bedrooms. Tell your children that they can’t get anything new unless they make room on their shelves by donating what they no longer use.
Teachers like to send home all of the semester’s artwork just before winter vacation. It only takes a few minutes to look through the pile when it comes home. Most of it should be discarded. If you don’t do it immediately, you’ll end up shuffling the same pile around for the next 6 months. Then, you’ll discard it anyway.
When packing for a holiday vacation, think light. New airline regulations levy a charge for suitcases that weigh more than 50 pounds and most charge extra for more than one piece of luggage per person. If you’ve been accustomed to traveling with large heavy pieces, invest in some lighter weight canvas/nylon carryalls.
Before starting your holiday shopping, search your closets for those gifts you bought throughout the year and then promptly forgot.
Keep a supply of hostess gifts and gift wrap handy. A bottle of wine is always appropriate and can be put in a pretty bag in seconds.
If you entertain, keep a list of everything you prepare or order. Make notes about what you’ll need more or less of next year.
Create a spreadsheet of all of your addresses in Excel or another similar software program. This enables you to make labels for holiday cards that can be easily updated each year.
Distribute your holiday tips a few weeks before the holiday. The recipients will be able to enjoy the gift when it’s needed most, and you’ll be able to cross one big thing off your list.
Get ready for next year by keeping a list of all of the holiday gifts you give this year. In addition to family, include your hairdresser, housekeeper, nanny, doorman, garage attendant, secretary, teachers, and postal carrier. You’ll no longer have to wonder if you’re forgetting anyone, whether you’re giving anyone less than last year, or how much you need to budget.
I love shopping, and I pride myself on not getting sucked in by sales and not buying what I don’t need. But, based on the closets that I help organize everyday, most people are easily sidetracked and end up buying too much and not the items they need. So, for those of you who may be shopping on Black Friday or any other day, here are my tips for an efficient shopping experience.
Don’t be sidetracked by items you don’t need.
Check that inventory tags have been removed before leaving a store.
Have gifts wrapped at the store when possible. Also have them shipped whenever possible.
Don’t go into a store without knowing what you want and how much you want to spend.
Ask for help. If it appears that an employee is clueless, disengage immediately
When shopping in a department store, start on the top floor, get everything you need there, and work your way down.
‘Tis the season of many parties, and as invitations start appearing in your mailbox, you can’t help but be confused by the dizzying display of dress codes. There’s business casual, casual chic, country club casual, dressy casual, resort casual, and just casual. There’s also black tie, festive, cocktail, and my personal favorite, “dress ↑”. Dress codes, like Henry Ford’s Model T, used to be a lot simpler. Now, even when there is a dress designation on your invitation, it’s unclear what to wear. So, what can you do? Ask yourself these questions, and you’ll be dressed to impress this holiday season.
Who’s on the guest list? If it’s an office party, you might dress more conservatively than if the party will be attended by your still wild and crazy college friends.
What will your host/hostess be wearing? There’s no shame in asking when you’re really not sure.
Where’s the party being held? If the party is being held in a fancy hotel you can dress more formally then if the party is held at someone’s home or a more casual restaurant.
When is the party? Weekends, especially Saturday nights call for more formal dress than a weeknight party.
Why stress when you have a Little Black Dress? There’s a reason why this wardrobe staple has stood the test of time so well. No matter the occasion, there’s never a time when your LBD isn’t perfectly appropriate. Change your lipstick and your jewelry, and you can step it up or down in minutes.