New Canaan resident Ronni Eisenberg, is author to an enormously successful series of ten organizational books - Organize Yourself!, Organize Your Life, The Overwhelmed Person's Guide to Time Management, Organize Your Home!, Organize Your Office!, Organize Your Home Office!, Organize Your Job Search!, Organize Your Start Up!, Organize Your Business Travel!, and Organize Your Family! She has written numerous articles for national magazines and newspapers, and was featured in a Questions & Answers column, "Ask the Experts" through Staples small business solution.
For over thirty years she has been called, “The Organizangelist” and has advised millions of people on how to manage enormous daily stresses that consume their lives. Teaching them how to make important choices that will add quality to their businesses and personal lives. Her media highlights include over twenty years of television appearances, which include helping a family organize their lives on the weekend Today Show, & Good Morning America. She even reorganized Regis Philbin's office on-air! Ronni has also appeared on QVC selling her own line of organizational products.
We are delighted to have Ronni join our impressive team of New Canaan HamletHub Contributors - where her title of 'Organizer Extraordinaire' is guaranteed to provide valuable advice to all. Without, further ado, following are Ronni's tips for Getting Ready for the Holidays.
"The true ingredients for a great holiday are family and friends and making time to enjoy them. You might be so busy getting ready for the holidays that before you know it, you look up and they are over. Whatever you do, don’t set unrealistic expectations that rob you of enjoying of the season.
Start your holiday organizing with a reflection about what this time of the year means to you and your loved ones. What is most important? Jot down a quick list of all the things that you plan to do throughout this season. You might find that some of the items could possibly be crossed off the list all together. I suggest that you use your list to choose the few most important events or traditions and focus on those, rather than trying to do too much within a limited time span.
Have a budget. And, consider using cash for purchases. Not only will it keep your spending in tact, it will help guard you against identity theft. Create a “Holiday” file and KEEP ALL RECEIPTS TOGETHER and in a safe place. (More tips on paper management at another time.)
Compile a list of people you are giving gifts to this year and have it with you at all times in case you have a new idea or go shopping.
Keep an eye out for the “perfect gift”. If you see something that is affordable buy it and set it aside – if you have time, tag and wrap it right away when you get home. (Time saver: ask the store to gift wrap for you.)
Also consider buying a few small gifts that work as a theme: an assortment of beautiful candles, a bottle of wine, port and champagne, or a basket of bath items, cooking items, accessories for a favorite hobby, books. Try subscriptions or gifts one might not buy for themselves: a cooking class, movie tickets, his and her massages, a spa day or a gift certificate for an indoor tennis lesson.
Think outside the box: Do a holiday grab bag and set the price ahead of time. Extend your budget by “going in” with another family member to purchase a more expensive gift.
Take out all of your decorations from past years and see what you have before buying anything new.
Donate, sell or giveaway anything that you no longer need or want to make space for the new things. It is often very hard to avoid buying the beautiful new holiday items that are in stores each year, but before you make the purchase take a moment to decide whether this is really worth having. (Money saver: buy decorations by the dozens and split with a friend or family member.) Remember, that you will probably use it for one of twelve months and will need space to store it for the rest of the time.
Store It Right
Oftentimes the end of the holiday season you are so tired that you do not want to take the time or energy to carefully take down and store your holiday items. A little bit of organization this year will surely pay off and you save time, money and energy getting ready next year.
Consider taking pictures or a video of your decorations so that you can easily recreate or revamp the look the following year.
Store like items in containers that are labeled for the occasion. You can also list some of the main contents in the box so you know which ones to open first. If you don’t like spending money on special materials for packing your breakables you can always use old wrapping paper or shredded newspapers for stuffing.
In terms of the gift giving, go back to your list from this year and make a note of what you gave each person and how much you spent. Save the list (in the holiday file you set up) and refer to it in the future for help with budgeting and selecting gifts.
If you find that you do not have the time to accomplish everything on your own consider hiring a Professional Organizer to help with gift wrapping and addressing cards. Above all, the key to holiday planning is to remember the true meaning of the season and make time to create lasting memories with the people that you love."