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Staying Organized This Holiday

The holidays are an extremely busy time of year for everyone. Personally, I have more to do in December than just about any other month. For school, I have evening concerts, elementary tour, assemblies, sing along, final exam and review, and we begin music and prep for our most intense concerts of the year. For myself, I always take too many gigs because I love to play, so every evening and weekend is filled with either a rehearsal or a performance and somedays both! It is also the busiest time for Lou’s Labors between custom orders and regular orders from my etsy shop! When school finally ends for the semester (this Friday!!!!), I can start thinking about and planning the multiple family holiday celebrations we do each year.

I love each and every one of the things I do at the holidays, but it really takes some work to stay organized and keep from being overwhelmed! Sometimes I do really well, sometimes I cry because of the lack of good night’s sleep, but my goal is to try to thoroughly enjoy each moment of the holidays. I know that I am incredibly fortunate to be able to do so many things and share my musical gifts, and have such an amazing extended family with whom to celebrate this time of year.

So, what is a crafty girl to do? Make a holiday organizer, that I dubbed a “Holiday Survival Guide,” of course 😉 !

I was looking at Pinterest over Thanksgiving Break, and I found the greatest idea – a homemade holiday planner! Jen, from Eighteen25, is seriously creative and made some fabulous printables. You can find the link here.

Holiday Survival Guide

Holiday Survival Guide

I followed her tutorial, but this year’s printables were not my favorite color palatte. I had about a million sheets of holiday paper from other crafts, and I always have tons of labels (teacher, remember), so I made my own set.

It was simple to make and really took no time at all. I traced the cover of a composition book onto scrapbook paper and glued it on using paper mod podge. I let that dry and then covered the seam with a sticky glitter ribbon. I cut out the tabs and attached them at several intervals in the book. I used small labels and Sharpie markers to make them. They say “TO DO,””THE LISTS,” “EVENTS,” “SCHEDULE,” “CALENDAR” and “OTHER.” It has been extremely useful, and you could make the tabs say anything you want.



I taped the tabs into place. I taped the calendar pages into place. If I make this next year, I will get some double stick tape so you don’t see it, but for the first time, it looks pretty good.

Calendar in place

Calendar in place

Doesn’t it look so nice with all the pages blank? I use the other section as a sort of journal/notes for next year place. It has been the least used section, but I feel better knowing it is there. I use the to do to keep a running list of everything I need to accomplish this season. The lists are gift lists for people, crossed out when purchased. Events is my planning section for events. For each event what do I need to bring, when is it, all the pertinent details for me. The schedule is for the incredibly busy days when I have to schedule even my free time so I can get everything finished. Calendar keeps the dates and deadlines hyper organized.

Tabs taped in

Tabs taped in

Several people have asked about me making them one, so I think I may try to get some of these together early next year and sell them. I may also add some pockets on the inside covers for receipts/coupons/other items not in the book. For this year, it is too late, as I am already doing enough! What do you do to help stay organized during the holidays?

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