Get It Together for the Holidays: Recap of November 2018 Organizing Workshop

Please accept our apologies for the delay in posting this recap of a workshop that took place in November 2018 in anticipation of preparing for the holidays. Thankfully, much of the advice is helpful for organizing any major event! Many thanks to Shawna Boell of Get It Together Mom for presenting this workshop.

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On your mark – get set - let the holidays begin!  Happy December from all of us at Sisters U!  The start of holiday cards, gift giving, and parties -- school events, volunteer activities and parades!  It’s the busiest time of the year for most.  To recap our November meeting, we had speaker Shawna Boell, owner of Get It Together Mom, give us the lowdown on how to “get it all together” for this time of year so we can still have time to relax and enjoy with our loved ones. 

 A little about Shawna - she wears many hats, especially this time of year.  A mother of two, her business focuses on home organization, where she helps organize and create spaces in homes with busy families.  For the holidays, Shawna volunteers with the Dear Santa Society, takes part in local parades and is involved in many other family and school activities. Christmas is one of her favorite holidays!  One fun fact she shared with us is her Grandparents used to dress up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  They had five children of their own and fostered 25 other children, which truly does sound like something out of a Christmas story!

 In order to manage everything, Shawna suggests setting time limits for different projects.  Creating deadlines on a calendar is a great and efficient way to check off tasks for projects, stay on a committed timeline and results in less stress and anxiety.  If there are different parties, you can create different lists for those parties. 

Nowadays there are plenty of apps that allow you to see what people are bringing to parties, whether it’s a school party, house party, or work party, so that people know what is still left to purchase.  An RSVP deadline keeps you on task so you can check how many people will be attending.  When you go to make your cards, have some extras on hand in case you forgot someone.  If you have a big extended family, consider holding a Secret Santa or Pollyanna with a set budget, so no one gets left out.  Shawna recommends documenting your gifts, price, when you bought them, when you wrapped them and when you gave them to ensure everyone gets what you planned to give them.  Several apps she recommended to keep track of things, which can also assist in helping you find gifts and price are Santa’s Bag, The Christmas Gift List and Gift It.

 If you end up being under budget when all is said and done, consider donating leftover money to Toys for Tots, or Dear Santa Society.

You see, being organized isn’t about being perfect;
It’s about customizing your whole world to work for you.
— Anonymous

Many thanks to Erin Plank for writing this blog post.