When was the last time you served a beautiful Christmas dinner on a nicely decorated table with your favorite poinsettia table runner, nice silverware and glasses, pine cones to decorate each place setting, and Thomas the Tank Engine napkins?? (huh?!? Uumm yep it happened). Check out the full story in the book under Project 20 Tablecloths, Napkins and Foof, Oh My!
For More Details: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 106
Well my friend, today we are not going to let that happen to you, no sir-y we are simply finding all of our table decorations and linens and getting them ready all in one spot.
Assignment and Supplies: Find your napkins (the ones you intend to use), tablecloths (wash it if there are spots), runners, napkin rings, plates, silverware and stemware or glasses.
**Note** if you are striving for simplicity this year and are going the shabby-chic method of paper or plastic, make a list of the things you need to purchase and where. (There is some real cute stuff out there these days that make a table look great. Don’t feel bad about it, remember your goal of simplicity). Embrace it!
Did you know that Evite has a blog section all about planning for parties? They can help you get ready so you too, don’t serve Christmas dinner with themed birthday party napkins! Check it out here.
Share Your Thoughts
Share with us! When did you have your party all set only to discover the teeny tiny thing of having no ______ ? What did you do?? This year, join us in our vow to be prepared! Plan today what you will need for tomorrow.
Take some time today to meal plan every day up until Christmas as well as Christmas dinner (I promise you will thank me later). Spend time in the kitchen today taking stock of what you have, what you need, and what meals you will make your family each night for dinner. Be sure to look at your calendar for any nights you have plans. If you need to take a dish to an event, mark that on the meal plan, so you know how to prep and shop.
If you have dinner at another home or event, revel in a night off! Either way, it goes on the meal plan. Make life easier by utilizing LOOP (Leftovers On Purpose) meals and frozen meals whether they are yours or store bought. Once you are all planned out, make a list of ingredients you need to buy as well as perishable items you will need to buy last minute.
Another great idea to make your life even easier is to have a frozen meal swap with friends. You can do this one of two ways: One way is to invite (with Evite of course) your friends to your home. Everyone brings ingredients to make a meal of their choice that is freezer friendly (enough to share with however many friends are joining in on the fun). Then you all help with the cooking, family portions are placed into gallon zip lock bags ready to freeze, and everyone goes home with a variety of meals to freeze and enjoy throughout the month.
Another way is for everyone to make something at home (enough to share family portions with anyone participating), freeze them, and swap them with friends. This way, you might have made a huge batch of soup, but you might end up with soup, enchiladas, lasagna, and a chicken casserole.
Assignment: Spend some Time in the Kitchen
- Create your meal plan for the rest of the month.
- Plan your baking list so you know what you need to bake and when you’re going to do it.
- Plan out your Christmas dinner.
- Make a shopping list of all necessary ingredients. Divide list into non-perishables and perishables.
- Shop for non-perishables and the next few days’ meals.
- Make a list of things you will need to buy at the last minute.
Plan on making at least two LOOP meals a week. Cook twice, at four times.
Planning a party over the holidays? Be sure to include grocery items you might need. Need some party ideas, check out the possibilities over at Evite.
For More Details: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 102
Supplies: 1) Calendar 2) Meal Plan 3) Paper for Lists
Share Your Thoughts:
How did you feel about planning out all the meals? Did this make shopping easier? Any great LOOP recipes to share?
Having a party and want to add party supplies to this week’s shopping list? Check out this list from Evite to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. You’ve got this!
It’s time to give the kitchen a little TLC. Spend some time today clearing any clutter hanging around your countertops. Put away mail, Christmas cards, leftover Christmas decoration containers, etc. Here are some basic tips of things you can do to spruce up real quick.
- Clean your sink up so it is nice and shiny.
- Clean out any science experiments from the fridge.
- Wipe out your pantry, fridge or cupboards of tiny crumbs.
- Complete your meal plan for the month finishing the shopping list.
- Pull out any serving dishes, holiday dishes or platters you may need and wash off any dust.
- Restock your pantry of any essentials you will need for cooking or baking.
For more details: Get Your Christmas Organized Page 83
Share your thoughts:
Share with us all that you accomplished! For some this may have taken a while, for others, it may have been easier than you thought. Did it go by quickly or did you take the time to gut your kitchen? Do you have any tips to share with someone else? What did YOU do?
Does prepping your kitchen (or the fact that it is December 1st ) give you the holiday jitters?! Check out this article about how to nix those pre-party nerves.
“It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.”
Today is the day to start making your home look like Christmas. It is time to get our all of your Christmas decor. You don’t have to do all your decorating today but time to get a start on things, especially outdoor decorating. If you live in a climate that has a cold winter season, you need to get those lights and decorations out before the snow starts if it hasn’t already.
This also gives you some time to take inventory and go and purchase items you still need.
Today is a fun day and if you haven’t starting feeling the Christmas Spirit yet, today should get you in the mood. Amp up the Christmas spirit by turning on some holiday music, or your favorite Christmas movie, and inviting your family to help you decorate. Decorating can become something fun for everyone, and you will not feel like it is entirely your responsibility.
Assignment: Get some of your decorating done.
- Decorate outside as soon as possible.
- As you are unpacking your holiday trimmings, be sure to set aside anything you no longer use or love and give those items to charity.
- Make use of the boxes you are emptying and pack away some of your regular decor to make space for your holiday decor.
- Make a list of decorative items you need to purchase. (Remind yourself to make a list of items needed for next year when you are putting this year’s décor away.)
For More Details: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 77
Supplies: 1) Your Christmas décor boxes from last year. 2) A Christmas tree removal bag. 3) Ornament hooks
Share Your Thoughts:
Any tips for decorating? Were your decorations organized neatly from last year? If not, any tips for improving how they are stored for next year? How does it feel to have some of your decorating done? Did you throw away anything or donate to charity?
Love to decorate and be creative? Try your hand at making a candy wreath with these steps from our friends at Evite!
A Series by Paula Tobey
Either you are reading this because you, yourself still need some help, or you have a young (hopefully, young and not a 40 year old) adult living at home who needs a little help. Either way, it’s time we have a heart to heart conversation. The matter at hand here is usually disorganization and clutter.
To get to the root of the problem often takes examining what has gotten you here in the first place. Maybe it’s life change, or maybe it’s simply not having the energy to deal with ‘life’ and procrastination has become your friend. Whatever the case, it’s time to get busy. But don’t worry, this isn’t hard stuff to do, it just requires reflecting.
What has happened to make this procrastination take control? What issues are not being addressed? What pain is possibly trying to be avoided? On the flip side… what could you do with more space, more time, and more energy? How would you feel if you could be given those things? Would you feel free? Would you feel less stressed?
Let’s think of some of the physical and tangible things holding you back like some luggage you are taking on a trip. What could be causing you to feel this way? Is it possibly stuff… clutter… excess? Is it possibly not having enough hours in the day?
- Identify your luggage– (stuff, clutter, lack of time). Think long and hard about the root source and find ways to take small actionable steps (baby-sized steps) in dealing with it. An example is that you are carrying too many bags.
- Open the suitcase- What is stopping you from opening the suitcase to take some of the load off? Is it feelings of guilt or pain? Can those feelings be dealt with in a way that won’t knock you down for days? Lift the lid of the suitcase if so.
- Take out one item and think about it this way. Do I need it? Do I love it? Does this item bring me peace and joy or hurt or pain? If you can answer that honestly, you know what to do!! Sometimes we can trace back our memories of the object (or situation, if you are dealing with emotional stuff) and we feel like we need to keep them. Maybe it was given to you… or you happened upon it. Either way, you are allowed to decide what to do with it. It does not own you.
- Discard and Keep piles- and literally make some. If it needs to go, get rid of it. Bless someone else! There has got to be one person out there in real need of the item you possess. Allow them to have it! Take your keep pile and find places to safely keep that stuff. (Homes for it). If this is too daunting, ask for help! There is no shame in asking. I believe it says a lot about someone when they ask for help. It is honorable!
- Literally do it again. And the next time and the next… Plan on doing it again and before you know if, you have created yourself a habit!
Part of the problem we find ourselves in is: overwhelm. That is a nasty bugger and it can paralyze you. Don’t let your thoughts, worries and what could possibly happen, stop you from taking one step. You are too good for that! You deserve more!! Just start. That is what matters!
Want even more ways to get rid of the clutter and start living the life you were designed to live? Get Kathi’s book Clutter Free Quick and Easy Steps to Simplify Your Space!
What are your best decluttering tips for before baby? Tell us in the comments below and we will randomly pick one commenter to receive “21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids” by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory.
Do you want more great information to make your family the best it can be? Subscribe to Paula’s blog and get weekly posts and encouragement to help you on your parenting journey. http://phemomenallife.com/
Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be.