Use a To-Do List for the Holidays

to do list

by Basic Organization team member Tracy Wells.

Using a to do list is important to get through this time of year. Thanksgiving is upon us and the shoppers are headed out to the stores to grab the latest electronic or fashion trend. Many people are decorating their homes with pretty lights and scenes. Soon the cookies will be made and the trees will be decorated. People will exchange gifts and mail out cards to friends and loved ones. Perhaps you will take a family portrait.

Isn’t this the busiest month of the year?  How will you ever organize your time to get everything done? Well guess what? You will do it all even if it’s the night before so wouldn’t it be better if you made a to do list now? Write down everything you need to do before December 25 and then use a calendar planner to write down which day you will do each thing that needs to be accomplished. Make your list as detailed as possible. Do you think this is something you could do on a daily basis? If you are not sure, December is the month to at least see if you can do this.

Organizing your thoughts on paper is going to help you get it out of your head.  You will not forget what to do if you write it down and keep it somewhere visible in your home. Check your calendar several times a day to be sure you’re on track! So what are you waiting for? Make your to do list today!

Share this post:

Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Ronni Eisenberg on November 25, 2019 at 8:54 am


    I love the video and I got right into the mood. Though I have to admit you had me with Nat King Cole and Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. You see this is what I love about the holidays with the festivities and the music.
    Luckily, I’ve had my list in motion for a few weeks already because I like to plan ahead. For me the giftgiving is the tough part- finding the right gift for the right person. At least I know I tried.

    Wishing you a fantastic Thanksgiving!

    • Janet Schiesl on November 25, 2019 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Ronni. I to like all the sights, sounds and smells of the approaching holidays. It gets me in the mood as well. The planning part of gift giving helps with the challenge of getting just the right thing. I try for experience gifts for most people.

  2. Stacey Agin Murray on November 25, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    I think a To-Do List pad would make a great stocking stuffer! No need for all that holiday-related information to be swirling around your head–write it down. I advise clients to write ‘holiday notes’ and keep them somewhere they can access them year after year such as a file on their computer, a file in their file cabinet, or a productivity app on their phone or tablet. I use Evernote to store my ‘holiday notes’–I can’t imagine getting through the holiday season without that, my calendar, and my long to-do list pad.

    • Janet Schiesl on November 25, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      Great idea to keep a list from year to year. Then you don’t start at square-one each year. I’m going to try it. Thanks.

  3. Seana Turner on November 25, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    I think your suggestion to write down what you will do ON WHICH DAY is so key! As long as it is just an endless list, we will focus on what feels easy or familiar. It is so important to assign these many holiday tasks to a specific space on our calendar. Great tip!!

    • Janet Schiesl on November 25, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks Seana. It’s so easy to just do the easiest thing, but that catches up with you. Many things around the holidays are time driven, so you have to keep that in mind.

  4. Linda Samuels on November 25, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    I agree 100% that the planning is key. And getting things out of your head and down on “something” be it paper or an electronic list can take a lot of stress away. Like Stacey, I keep my holiday or party notes in both a paper file and as electronic Word docs. So I can easily edit them from year-to-year. But I go old school in that I print them out to “work them.” Some holidays or gatherings have one single document, and others, like Thanksgiving, have three- a shopping list, an overall list, and a day-by-day to-do list.

    • Janet Schiesl on November 26, 2019 at 8:20 am

      I agree that getting things down on paper makes it easier the “see” your to-dos. Thanks Linda. Happy Thanksgiving.

Leave a Comment