5 Little Things You Can Do Right Now for a Calmer Holiday Season Later

The merriest time of year can quickly become the most hectic. Here's how to prepare now for a calmer holiday season to come.

Christmas gift wrap supplies
Photo: Getty Images

Between the cooking, shopping, and decorating, the most wonderful time of the year can quickly become the most hectic. To give Future-You the best chance at being able to actually enjoy the best parts of the season without all the stress, you can start preparing in little ways right now. Your home doesn't have to become Santa's factory overnight, but little things like setting up a gift wrap station and prepping your Christmas cards early will help you cross at least a couple things off of your holiday to-do list.

Buy Gift Wrap (and Don't Forget the Tape)

Want to save yourself a trip to the store the night you decide to wrap holiday presents? Stock up now on a variety of options that are sure to fit every present under the tree—rolls of wrapping paper, gift bags in a variety of sizes, and decorative touches like bows and ribbons. Then, order some extra double-sided tape and collect a few pairs of scissors from around the house. Store all of the gift wrap, tape, and ribbons in one designated spot. You'll thank yourself a month from now when you don't have to run out on a late-night wrapping paper run.

Cross Holiday Cards (and Thank You Notes!) Off Your List

If you're planning to send out a mass mailing of holiday cards this year, do yourself a favor and get them done early, ideally before Thanksgiving. Minted has adorable photo card options and check out Artifact Uprising's gorgeous hand-lettered holiday cards.

While you're at it, stock up on thank you notes, too. Each time you receive a gift, you can pull from your stash rather than having to make another stop at the store.

Make Space for the New

While the one-in-one-out rule of organizing can help tidy up your home most of the year, during the holiday season, it's almost impossible to stop the incoming of new toys, decorations, and cooking supplies into your home. To get ready now, start decluttering the key areas you predict will become holiday clutter hotspots, whether that's the kids' playroom or your own closet.

Book Doctor and Dentist Appointments Now

Many health insurance plans (and some FSAs) follow the calendar year, prompting you to squeeze in doctor appointments and schedule dental work right in the midst of the holiday rush. Because no one wants to have a root canal when they're trying to celebrate Christmas, book your family's appointments as early as possible. Plus, some offices may also be delayed due to COVID-19.

Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies

To skip the trip to the store before you start scrubbing, stock up now on the household essentials: multipurpose cleaning spray, stain fighters, scrub brushes, dish soap, cleaning cloths, and disinfecting wipes.

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