Reign in the holidays months in advance.

We’re just more than half-way through the year, and you know what that means: planning for the holidays, because it’s never too early. There are a lot of reasons for getting started on the holiday season now, like smoother travel arrangements, the lack of rabid rival shoppers and–most importantly–the fact that there’s a lot to be done in just one month if you typically wait until Thanksgiving is done. Here’s some things to get started on right now for Christmas in July while you still have the time and patience!

Planning the Gifts

Many of us wait until December rolls around before even considering what gifts to give to others, which means battling crowds while shopping and hectic, stressful brainstorming sessions. Get a start on organizing a gift list right now: what have you seen recently that members of your family might like? Update your list whenever you see something that might make for a good gift, and buy it now if it’s on sale.

If you have a loved one who’s dedicated to a particular industry (someone who loves all things tech, or all things video games, or loves to keep up with the most-hyped books of the season), pay attention to trend forecasts projected for the rest of the year. What are the projected heavy-hitters of the holiday season? What have made headlines? Do a little research, and you’ll be able to supply the hottest gifts.

Organizing a gift swap in advance can be good idea as well, and can shake up the holiday in a fun way. Since you should be organizing travel arrangements with visiting family by now, broach the idea of a gift swap and what kind you would like to partake in: maybe a secret Santa or Yankee swap. Exchanges put less pressure on gift-giving, but as with anything involving a lot of family members, organize it in advance!

Making the Cards

Don’t wait until the last minute to buy cards; we’ve all visited a greeting card store too close to the holiday only to find an almost completely empty aisle. See if you can find off-season cards for cheap (with a great selection!), or even consider making your own. A crafty card designed with the recipient in mind can take some time, but from July to December you’ll have time to ensure everyone receives something heartfelt. And you can even sell surplus ones online!

You also may want to consider getting started on a  family newsletter. These are long cards or letters that update the rest of the family (or close friends) on what’s been going on in the past years. Start making a list and organizing your photos now so you don’t forget to include any juicy information later!

Having Decorations Organized & On Hand

Do you have a yard display for Christmas? Don’t let it be an afterthought! Plan out your display now so you can buy (or replace) anything you need to have it up right after Thanksgiving.

Speaking of replacement decorations, rummage through all the ornaments, lights and decorations you may have stored away and start organizing! Dressing up the tree is a huge hassle when things are stuck together and you suddenly realize your 14-foot string of lights no longer works thanks to one bulb. Do any replacement shopping now, because cute decorations can be hard to come by as the holiday season approaches.

Saving Money

Christmas shopping can become expensive fast, with a few hundred dollars spent on loved ones. If you’re not lucky enough to have a Christmas or year-end bonus, the holidays can leave you struggling for a month after. Start saving up now by setting a little bit of money aside here and there in a Christmas fund.

Also, make a checklist of everything you think you will need for the holidays. Buy what you can in sale, and you can’t go wrong buying wrapping paper in bulk. Once you’ve taken the mid-year steps in organizing your Christmas gifts and supplies, it will be smooth sailing from here on out!


 Listen In for more Tips to Get Organized now for Christmas:

Also check out our top 15 Ways to get Ready for Christmas in July!