It's time to get organized for the holidays!

Yes, it's time to prepare an "Organized for the Holidays" binder to help alleviate the stress and confusion that often accompany our preparations. This is a very simple project, one you can set up with supplies you may have around the house or can find at a local office supply store.

You will need three full-page calendars for the months of November, December and January. These can often be printed off the computer and will allow you to mark out those days when you will not be available to get ready for the holidays because of previous commitments and other pressures. This way you can plan some pacing for upcoming preparations.

An Organized for the Holidays binder is completed by putting these three full-page calendars in the front of a 1-inch view binder (which will be labeled on the spine, front and back with Organized for the Holidays). You will want to purchase five dividers and label them: To Do, To Give, Decorate, Entertain, To Buy. Then, in the back of your binder, put a sheet protector with a heavy piece of card stock labeled Receipts. You will also want sheets of lined paper upon which to do your planning and maybe even a binder pencil holder for pens, coupons and a calculator.

No matter when the holidays happen during the week, most of our preparations would best be done by the end of the previous week. In addition to that, many of us will have children at home from school sometime before the holidays begin. So most of our holiday preparations should really be wrapped up and done sooner than later.

I encourage you to get started soon on your holiday preparations by preparing this Organized for the Holidays binder, putting the calendars in front, purchasing and labeling the dividers and getting everything all set up.

What will happen because of this preparation? Ideas will come to you about that piece of clothing you can easily give away to charity and you can now make a written note. You will find a magazine description of a project you would like to do and you now have a safe place to keep it. A gift you would like to get your husband this year or maybe your father or the neighbors will occur to you and you can now make a list of items to purchase. In other words, you have one central location for all this information to go! When you begin to buy items, you have a place to put your receipts.

And, when more ideas come, you have a place to write them down.

So be sure to get your Organized for the Holidays binder up and running now. It will make for a smoother, easier and much more organized holiday season. Take good care now, for the holiday season will soon be upon us!

Marie C. Ricks is a motivational speaker and the author of a new book, "Project Organization, Quick and Easy Ways to Organize Your Life." To order her products, offer comments or suggestions, go to © Marie Calder Ricks/House of Order