Monday, November 28, 2005

Holiday Tip #3: Use a Calendar!

December has not yet arrived. Not yet, that is. However, now that Thanksgiving has passed the holiday pressure is on and Simply Organized Life wants to make sure that you do not crack under this pressure! This leads us to our stress free (or at least less stress!) holiday Tip #3:

Tip #3: Use a Calendar!

Hopefully, most of you are already using some sort of calendar or planner in your daily life to keep track of personal, professional and family appointments. It does not matter what type of calendar you use (paper or electronic) but we recommend using one calendar for all appointments if possible. If you are not using a calendar, now is a good time to start (e-mail us if you don't know where to start, we will help!).

To avoid overbooking (and going crazy) during the holidays, put all of your appointments on the calendar. This includes the company parties, family gatherings and even your kids' holiday events. Be sure to ask your family members about these events and if you will be required to bring anything, dress a certain way or in general make any preparations. Remember, to say "no thank you" to events that do not fit with your holiday plan. This is the difference that will keep you stress free!

If any of your scheduled events require preparations, check to see if they fit with your holiday plan. If they fit with your simple holiday plan (i.e. it is something you want to spent time on), schedule time in your calendar for those preparations and do not forget to schedule driving time! For example, if you want to attend your company holiday party, but need the appropriate attire, schedule time in your calendar for shopping in person or on-line.

If the scheduled events on your calendar require preparations that do not fit with your holiday plan (i.e. it is something that you do not want to spend time on), try to outsource or avoid those duties whenever possible. For example, if your child needs treats for the school party and you are clueless in the kitchen, schedule time with your child to purchase or order an alternative. It can still be homemade, just not from your kitchen.

With so many service providers available these days you can outsource just about any holiday task from baking, to decorating, to even sending your holidays cards (ask Simply Organized Life what we can do for you!). The key is to make sure that you can afford to outsource holiday tasks. In our next blog we will write about making a financial plan for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Holiday Tip #2: Plan, Plan, Plan!

Our last entry covered Stress Free (or at least less stress!) Holiday Tip #1: Keep it Simple! In that blog we mentioned creating a holiday plan which leads us to...

Tip #2: Plan, Plan, Plan!

Once you have decided what is important to you for simple holiday celebrations, you need to create a plan to make it happen.

Going through the holidays without a plan is kind of like driving in the car without a map. I know, many of you will resist this metaphor with the logic that you do not need a map for somewhere you have already been. But if you got lost (i.e. stressed or sidetracked) the last time you went through the holidays, a plan for this holiday season is going to help keep you from getting in a wreck (i.e. overdoing, overspending, and regreting it come Janaury).

You can create a simple holiday plan, by writing down what you want to do this holiday season and scheduling time to do those things on your list. You do not need a fancy notebook or special paper, but you should have your calendar near by for scheduling time. Any paper or calendar will do, or if you are a techie, you might want to do this on the computer.

Next time we will talk more about using a calendar for scheduling both holiday events and tasks!

Monday, November 21, 2005

10 Tips for Stress Free Holidays

Yesterday Simply Organized Life participated in a Holiday Showcase Event in Ann Arbor with some other great local vendors. We shared our 10 Tips for Stress Free Holidays (or at least holidays with less stress!). These tips do not cost anything and will help you save time and money during this busy time of the year. After all...Everyone deserves a Simply Organized Life!

In the weeks ahead, we will elaborate on the 10 Tips and welcome you to share your comments with our readers!

Tip #1: Keep it Simple!

Complexity adds stress. It is that simple.

The key to avoiding stress during the holidays is to keep things simple. At Simply Organized Life we know that is easier said than done especially with all of the media messages, stores all decked out, not to mention the pressure to keep up with those crazy neighbors that always go over the top.

One of the ways to keep things simple is to focus only on the things that you enjoy during the holidays. This may take a little thought, as there are so many things we do "just because". Think about what you and your family enjoy during this season and why. For example, if you enjoy putting up a tree is it because the way the tree looks when you are finished or is it because your kids have so much decorating it with simple things? Asking yourself these questions, will allow you to focus only on the enjoyable elements and keep it simple!

As for those things that always stress you out (and maybe you never seem to get done) if it is not necessary, eliminate it from your holiday plan. What!? No holiday plan!? We will talk about making a simple holiday plan next time.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Simply Organized Life now has another home on the web! In addition to our main website at: we now have a weblog at: !

We are so excited about this new home on the web and cannot wait to start sharing information with you about our professional organizing, event planning and relocation services!