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Are The Holidays Wreaking Havoc On You? Get Organized And Take Control

















KETTERING, Ohio, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At the midpoint of the holiday season, busy schedules and stress levels continue to rise. To help you survive and thrive during this holiday season, ACCO Brands Corporation (NYSE:ACCO), a leader in branded office and consumer products and print finishing solutions, has several tips and tricks to help make yours memorable and stress-free.

"The holidays are a time for family and friends to come together and enjoy the season—however, this often gets lost in all the hustle and bustle associated with it," says Lissa Cupp, vice president, e-Commerce and Consumer Marketing, ACCO Brands. "The key is to capture lost time and use the time you do have efficiently and effectively.

"This is all easily accomplished through good planning and organizing," she adds.

The experts at ACCO Brands, makers of industry-leading AT-A-GLANCE ®, Day-Timer ® and Day Runner ® productivity and time-management tools, have several tips and suggestions to help get you through the holiday season.

  • Home is where the heart is. And it's also the gathering place for family and friends, so get yourself and the house prepared. Create a chore chart and timeline so you're not in this alone and focus on the "public areas" of the house, especially the kitchen. Maximize its space by cleaning and clearing counter tops. A professional carpet cleaning, which is recommended every 6-18 months, should be considered, as well.
  • It's Party Time! If you're hosting a holiday event, request RSVPs to ensure an accurate headcount. Then, create a plan that includes seating and space requirements, supplies and party favors—2013 calendars make great gifts. Be sure to plan for food storage and cooking/preparation space during the party—this is also a great opportunity to clean out the refrigerator.
  • What's a feast without Roast Beast? Unless you're in Whoville, you probably will feature more traditional items for your feast. Whatever they may be, write out a detailed menu, create a shopping list, gather grocery ads and coupons, and create a cooking timeline. Make sure to organize these lists and items properly to ensure an efficient trip to the store. Account for dietary restrictions and food allergies, too.
  • Away you flew like a down of a thistle. Maybe you're not staying at home for the holidays—make sure your travels to your destination are as stress-free as possible. Create and print out itineraries for the entire family. If traveling by car, go through the standard 21-point checklist or make time in your schedule for a professional mechanic to look over your vehicle—use of an auto record book helps you stay on top of required services. If traveling by air, pre-print boarding passes and other necessary documentation for faster check-in. Set up alerts through your mobile devices with the airlines to keep on top of delays or flight changes.
  • The other line moves faster. This always seems to be the case, and even more so when under the time pressures of the holidays. If you're going to make the most out of your holiday shopping trips, you must have a plan and stick to it. We have several tips and tricks designed to streamline and enhance the entire experience and keep stress levels at bay. See our article, " Take the Stress Out of Holiday Shopping Through Productive Planning."

"With jam-packed schedules and lists of what seem like never-ending tasks, you need to plan and prepare if you want to truly enjoy the holidays," says Cupp. "Be sure to use organizational tools to help, and don't be afraid to think outside of the box. For example, just because you traditionally use an expanding file for business documents doesn't mean you can't use it to store and carry shopping ads and coupons when you hit the shops."

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