Fool-proof guide to getting ahead for Christmas

There's always a lot to do at Christmas time, but what if we told you there were a few handy ways to be prepared for the rush?

From tidying up to delegating tasks, Gemma Quinn (Australia's Master KonMari Consultant) plots out a guide so you can smoothly sail into Christmas Day.

Get ready to be relaxed and ready to celebrate the festive season!

Clear a space

It may sound basic but clearing the areas that you're going to be entertaining people in is essential.

"Create a space which is welcoming and functions in the way that you need it. Having a clear and tidy area provides you with the space you need for preparation and allows you to tidy and clean up with ease," Gemma says. "Keep your favourite items out on display and anything that can go in a cupboard or drawer away."

Make a list and check it twice

Take a moment and write down all the things you need to do, suggests Gemma. "Allocate each task into a category: Important - Functional - Nice to Have. This helps you prioritise those things which mean the most to you and will keep things which will keep the day functional. It also allows you to have the nice to haves but reminds you that they shouldn't come at the cost of more important items," she says. "Be realistic, focus on the critical items and if the other things don't happen, it's okay."

Also, delegate some responsibilities, rather than tasks, to your family and friends to make Christmas Day easier. 

"Let them know that you need their help and when someone asks what they can do to help, you have your responsibilities or tasks ready to go," she adds. "In my family, I've always had the responsibility of ensuring everyone has a drink, this allowed my aunt and uncle not to worry and just send people my way if they needed help. This is far smarter than having to ask someone each time you need something."

The simple stuff

Gemma says that we often overlook simple things that can make life so much easier. Here's a list of her top tips that you may not have thought of:

  • Have a good heavy sticky tape dispenser, some sharp scissors and a nice pen, keep them in a box in one place for easy gift wrapping.
  • Identify a spot for non-perishable rubbish, use your rubbish bin space wisely.
  • If people are bringing food ask them to bring it in a way that is ready to serve with serving utensils. Also ask them to bring some containers so they can take home some leftovers, this also allows their serving dishes and utensils to be washed and taken with them when they leave, so they don't linger in your home for months on end. Have spare containers you are happy for people to take and not return, too.
  • Buy a paint pen so people can write on their glasses, this saves on washing up and drinks!
  • Identify anything, including food, which can be purchased early and buy it early, this way only the things left to buy are fresh perishable items.
  • Focus on what brings you joy, don't worry about Aunty Betty taking the bigger slice of Christmas pudding or if your Mum bought the wrong prawns.

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