Hey friends! Today I’m sharing how I plan to stay organized this holiday season by creating a holiday binder!
Like I said on Facebook this past weekend, I don’t know about you…but every year when November 1st hits I become insanely busy and always seem like I’m in the midst of chaos. I’m tired of feeling that way. This year I want to enjoy the holiday season to its full extent but still get the stuff that needs to be done, well DONE.
I’ve seen holiday binders from other bloggers around the web, but they aren’t exactly what I need or don’t exactly fit my holiday organizational needs. So I decided to make my own version, and lucky for you there’s free printables involved to make your own if you like, so here we go…
I picked up a green 1 inch binder from Staples. It’s the same kind I use for my home maintenance binder. I picked green because it made me think of Christmas trees, but feel free to use any color you like. I also created this cover to slip into the front pocket. Again, just because it seemed festive.
Bentley’s nose totally photobombed this picture but I guess he was feeling festive too. He loves the holidays because he gets to have turkey, and prime rib (yes, I give it to him. I can’t help but spoil the big goof!)
I also hand drew this little tag to put in the binding pocket so I will easily be able to find the binder next year on the bookshelf.
Okay, so when you open the binder the first thing you see will be the contents. Today I’m just going to focus on the Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes sections. * To my Jewish friends I also made a printable for you for Hanukkah!
I keep most of the printables and recipes in page protectors that I will show in better detail in the YouTube video which should be up by this weekend.
The only thing that isn’t in a protector is the shopping list. That’s because I want to keep this system as simple as possible and be able to jot down what I need quickly.
So what you’re looking at above is right after the table of contents. The menu planner (for Thanksgiving) and the corresponding shopping list.
I staged these to give you an idea of how to set them up.
The menu planner will be the place where you write down what you will be serving. It’s categorized by type of dish, where you found the recipe (just in case the printed recipe in your binder gets lost or damaged) and any notes about it.
The shopping list I designed is categorized by departments. I find this is the easiest way to remember everything you need. I left enough space for you to write in your items yourself. Like I said above, this list is the only thing I leave out of a page protector because it just doesn’t make sense to continue to pull it out everything I remember something I need.
Now chances are you won’t want to bring this ginormous list around with you, or you may be picking up items from different stores, so that’s why on the inside of my binder in the pocket I will keep these big post it notes, that way if I’m running out to Costco and Target I can write down on the note what I need from each place, and cross it off my master list in the binder. Make sense? If not, I’ll try to explain it better on the YouTube video.
Okay, so now obviously because these sections are named the recipe sections of the binder, you’re going to need actual recipes!
I have a theory for probably at least 90% of us including myself. We usually make the same recipes every year, right? Maybe every couple of years auntie Sue brings in something different to the mix, but for the most part, holidays are filled with tradition including the meals. So here’s your chance to fill the recipe sections with your Thanksgiving and holiday go-to recipes.
So now you’ve planned, you’ve shopped, everything is in order and ready for the main event, but somehow on the day of you’re scrambling like a mad woman (or man) to get everything done, and be able to jump in the shower before guests arrived. I, for one have spent one too many holiday dinners with wet hair and no makeup so I’m getting it together this year by scheduling everything the night before!
If you know your guests are arriving by 4 pm, then jot down a jump in the shower at 3pm. If you still have cookies to bake or a pie to defrost; write it down. We ARE going to rock these parties out this year completely stress free!
Because the Christmas recipe section looks pretty much identical to the Thanksgiving one I’m going to end it here. But I will go through everything again in my YouTube video. I hope you found this extremely helpful, and would love to here your questions, thoughts, and comments below!
Now for the goodies…the printables…
- Holiday Binder Cover: cover
- Table of Contents: contents
- Menu Planner: menu_planner_printable
- Shopping List: shopping list
- Thanksgiving Schedule: thanksgiving_printable
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Schedule: christmas_day_printable
- Hanukkah Schedule: hannukkah_printable
While you’re here, why not take a peek at how I store my holiday decorations. It’s never too early to start preparing! I’d also love for you to stop by my Facebook Page, and give this post a “thumbs up” while your there!
Talk to you soon guys! Take care!