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Christmas Getting Ready in October

October Christmas Checklist

Last month I talked about the benefits of starting early getting ready for the Christmas holidays and that I would be sharing preparation ideas for each month up until December.  I was pleasant surprised at how many favorable responses I received.  Special thanks to everyone who commented and grabbed the printable.   I wanted to help and give advise but was very shy to mention Christmas in September.

Christmas planner, christmas organizer,Christmas Checklist

Last month you made your appointments, set budgets,  created your wrapping station, completed a third of your shopping and discussed gift giving plans with your family.  If you didn’t participate last month here is the list of ideas.

Here is my wrapping station for this year.   As you can see its not glamorous but it does have everything in one area, the large bag is full of folded boxes the remaining boxes are stacked on the side.

Christmas planner, christmas organizer,Christmas Checklist


October Tasks

Have you ever visited a home that has Christmas ornaments set out on top of the every day decor and they literally had stuff everywhere?  Christmas is the most cluttery time of year, you have the presents, all that food,  guests and their luggage, winter coats and all that beautiful decor.  In October reduce as much clutter as possible now, to leave you some extra space during the holidays.

October preparation isn’t glamorous or  a fun month of preparation, but I promise it will help you enjoy November, oh will you enjoy November.

Christmas planner, christmas organizer,Christmas Checklist

The designed lists contain the same information as the post.  If you want the printable list they are uploaded into the Faerie Insiders page.

Baking Pans

I enjoy baking and my family enjoys my baking.  I use to bake for a whole week when everyone was home, but now I bake for a couple of glorious fun days in November.  In October I look through my baking pans, toss the ones that are too grimy and scrub all the other ones.  It can be labour intensive so ask Hubs if he would consider helping you out with them.  I then buy any pans that I may need as  a treat for cleaning all that.

Serving Ware and Dishes

Do you have really beautiful dishes that are for special occasions?  October is the month to wash them so they are ready for serving guests.  Also wash your wine glasses, martini glasses, etc.  so that you don’t go to pour the wine and have to give them a wash first.

Its very likely that the majority of these dishes are clean, so it doesn’t take very long to make sure they are clean.  This job is more dusting that scrubbing so I do it myself.

Clean, Inventory and Restock your Pantry

Have you noticed how prices go way up on baking supplies in November and December?  If your a baker  I recommend  checking your supplies and buying the every day things you are in need of.  Butter, lard, flour, sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, raisins, dates, chocolate chips, condensed milk, canned milk, dipping chocolate, currants, walnuts, vanilla, cocoa, bitter chocolate, corn syrup, salt, baking powder, baking soda, parchment paper, plastic wrap.  A word of caution, don’t buy more than you will use.  Wash out your canisters and store everything  pretty and organized.    If you usually don’t have all this stuff year around,  put it in a nice neat box all together and pull it out when your baking.

Spend one solid half hour and check the dates of your condiments, specialty foods and things you rarely use.  Toss anything outdated like last years left over seafood sauce,  this  helps make room for this years.

Organize the Freezer

October is the month that I go through my freezer and actually write down what I have on hand.  I then make one or two every day casseroles to eat while I am busy decorating etc in November.   The menu for October consists of whatever we already have in the freezer.  This gives me some more room for the Christmas goodies.

The only items I purchase because I know they go up are short cut spare ribs and chicken wings.    If you order something special from the butcher, I order it in October, check on it in November and pick it up when I need it.

The Front Closet and Guest Closets

Remove everything you can from these closets.  I know ours still has sandals in it.  Leave one or two coats per family member and one pair of boots or shoes.  Make sure there are extra hangers.  Remove what you can from the guest closet and give them some hangers as well.

Ask/ Tell  Family Members its Destash Time

Give each member of the family a garbage bag to fill with their stuff.    If you can trust them let them do it on their own.  If encouragement is needed do one bag a night.  It doesn’t take long to fill only one garbage bag and it does make room for the new stuff that’s not going to stay in pretty stacks under the tree.

Oh Sure – but where do I find the time?

Don’t plan any guests for October if possible.    In Canada is Thanksgiving but otherwise try not to pack your calendar with guests if you don’t need to. ( Hubs actually has family coming in October for a week or so.)

Let your family know your busy and its popcorn and milk tonight, or sandwiches.  Anything you like that takes less then 20 minutes and no dishes.  A couple nights of super casual meals won’t kill anyone.  Especially if they see your busy working on something.

Those freezer meals I mentioned earlier, instead of one lasagna make two.  Nothing with a recipe, just a proven family favorite.  A little more cooking but you will save time on clean up.

Put elastics around the handles of your china cabinet (cupboard) to remind the family that those dishes are in holiday mode.  Clean a shelf worth of dishes as you have time, but no one uses them.

Clean the main floor bathroom, but let the master bath go for a couple of weeks.  You will do a deep cleaning before the decorations go up, so let the everyday stuff slack a little, sweep every second day, use a swifter instead of really dusting.

Treat Yourself

Hubs loves beer and I rarely drink it.  To surprise him I asked if when we went Christmas shopping if he would like to go grab a tasters pallet of beer with our lunch.  He actually said he could not believe he heard me right.  We had the tasters pallet of beer flavours and a couple of appetizers after we finished Septembers shopping.  It was awesome as he didn’t mind going shopping at all.

Happy October


  1. Hi Leanna,
    Great ideas for prepping for Christmas! I’ll share them for you. 🙂 Funny you were talking about decluttering… I’ve been on a small mission to donate unused clothes of my hubby’s and mine and weed through all that this fall. The kids are grown and on their own but that’s always an annual chore. Great job with your husband! I’m sure he enjoyed the day with a fun treat afterwards. Bribery can be a good thing. 😉 <3

  2. This is a great overview Leanna! Great minds think alike!!! I have already start building my freezer inventory of soups and casseroles, so I have a little wiggle room but not having to cook. We have Christmas at my cousin’s house, so don’t really have company for Christmas. Still, I decorate away, especially since my cats love the Christmas tree. I think you are brilliant for ‘bribing’ you hubs that way – very smart!

  3. Great post!! I keep a binder where I have everything written down from what I bake, a shopping list for the baking items I need, what I serve for or traditional Holiday meals and a shopping list for that along with party lists. I keep a record of how much a spend on each person and since we no longer buy gifts but give money, it is easy to stay on budget. I have already started to decorate. By Halloween, the entire upstairs will be decorated with 7 Trees up and decorations in each room…..
    Thanks so much for stopping by my Christmas Blog. I will be posting there on a regular basis starting in November…..

  4. Love this checklist to bits! Will be following it for sure as we are having Christmas this year for the first time in our new home this year and want to be organised. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Your new home is gorgeous Sam, I am really enjoying the little tidbits of it I see in your latest blog posts.

      Blogging and this list will keep you hopping busy but it will make December so much better I promise.

  5. Whoa when it’s all down on paper like that it sounds like a lot of stuff to do but, somehow it seems more managable. Christmas is always such a mad rush, maybe if I try following your checklist I could actually enjoy this really special time instead of running around like a headless chicken.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Michelle. I know the things that stress me out and really dislike approaching deadlines. The lists are suggestions some people may do more or less, but for me getting these particular items off the list make Christmas an actual holiday for me.

  6. Excellent suggestions Leanna. Especially doing things your hubby enjoys so it is fun for him and you.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Bribery helps men to shop. My hubs enjoys shopping but the American Girl store was not his thing lol A lunch out at the pub half way through really made his day more of an outing to enjoy than, a tag along shopping trip.

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