Before you wreak havoc on your house and finances you need to get organized. This will prevent you from 1) spending too much money 2) buying things your kids don’t want or need and 3) will allow everyone to have much more organized spaces before Christmas gifts start rolling in.
Here are the two areas I think you should focus on.
Organize Your Kids’ Belongings
As parents we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to give our kids perfect Christmases. We want our children to have everything their heart desires and to see their happy, surprised faces as they unwrap their Christmas gifts.
I get it. I completely do!
The problem is if you’re unorganized now you’ll probably end up purchasing your kids things they don’t need and that will get played with for two hours before getting tossed aside.
Before you go all out purchasing gifts for your children do these things:
Clean Out Their Toy Box
Yes seriously, and get your child in on the action. Make it easy by doing the following:
- Immediately throw away toys that are broken and have missing parts. There’s no sense in keeping them.
- Donate toys that haven’t been played with in the past six months.
- Ask for your child’s input. Both of my kids surprise me with the things they want to get rid of and what they want to keep, which makes it super important for them to be in on the action.
- Organize like items together. (Building supplies together like Legos, Lincoln Logs, and K’Nex, craft supplies together, books together, dolls together – you get the point.)
Clean Out Kid’s Clothes
Another important thing you need to do is clean out their closets and dressers.
While I feel like I stay pretty on top of clothes and shoes. I was completely surprised to walk away with a trash bag full items my kids had outgrown.
- Get rid of everything that is too small.
- Get rid of severely stained up clothes.
- Move clothes that are currently too big into a designated spot in the house.
- Get rid of the items your kids simply don’t wear.
- Enjoy an organized closet!
Staying on top of your kids clothes will not only help them make quicker decisions when getting dressed in the morning but you’ll also be highly aware of what they really need and can fill in the gaps when Christmas shopping.
(For instance, I discovered my girls had both grown out of their snow boots from last year but luckily all warm jackets and coats still fit!)
Organize Your Finances
When I see a good deal online for someone on my shopping list you don’t know how tempted I am to purchase that item before even looking at my checkbook to see where I stand.
Even though we’re nearing Christmas I don’t want to derail myself from any of my other financial goals. I still want money going into my savings and investment account like every other month. I’ve managed to finish my girls shopping but have been putting off buying for others until my “spending” money is built back up.
Don’t ruin your finances over Christmas. It’s unnecessary. (And only fun in the moment! That high you feel from getting the perfect gift will quickly go away when you realize how much money you’ve spent!)
Do not wait until January to get back on track financially. Stay on track now!
- Only spend money designated for Christmas shopping.
- Shop with a list <—super important!
- Do not finance your Christmas. It would be better to dip into savings or pause savings for the month to fund Christmas versus using a credit card and not paying it in full.
- Figure out how much money you’re spending on Christmas this year (interesting fact: national average is around $1,000) and break it down so you can save all year long next year.
If you want to go the extra mile go ahead and map out your financial goals for 2016 so that you have that little bit of extra motivation to avoid Christmas debt.
I think the bottom line is that nobody sticks to New Year’s Resolutions. (Ask me how I know.) January 1st is absolutely no different than today if you’re wanting to work on goals. By organizing a couple of areas of your life you can save yourself a ton of stress and aggravation and have a huge head start when January does roll around.
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.