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.
“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!
The Challenge 2014 is underway and it brings even more goals to accomplish. But how do we make organizing work? Here are Four Quick Start Evaluation Steps to make any organizing goal more manageable:
1. Find two friends (at least) to do the project with you. It doesn’t matter if they’re phone friends, Internet buddies, or face-to-face girlfriends you meet with at Starbucks down the street. Find someone to keep you accountable.
2. Pick a room—any room to start the purge. I would pick the room that’s giving you the most stress and start there. You’ll feel better when some of the pressure is taken off.
3. Evaluate your plan. This is where people often give up. If something doesn’t work, they will scrap the whole idea. You decide what steps you’re going to take each day. Then after trying it, see if that is a good goal. Feel free to change it, but just keep your focus on trying to organize areas of your life.
4. Be flexible. The intention of The 2014 Things Challenge is not to add stress, but to make your life simpler by removing the clutter from your life and helping you stay organized. Just do something, intentionally, every day. If you can be flexible in the day to day goals, you will learn to be flexible when things come up that you cannot control. And in this way, we are no longer jut purging clutter from our homes, but also the clutter of disappointment or anxiety if something doesn’t go perfectly in our life. Because let’s be real. Life on earth is not perfect. But we do have a perfect God that will help us get through it!
You can accomplish a great deal while watching your favorite TV program. Here are 30 Organizing Projects you can do the next time your favorite show is on.
1. Clean out your handbag
2. Clear out your phone of email
3. Clean your keyboard
4. Take unused keys off your keychain
5. Match all your unmatched socks
6. Go through a stack of magazines and recycle anything older than three months
7. Check the balance on a gift card online and write the amount on the front with a permanent marker
8. Put bookplates in your books
9. File Recipes
10. Shred documents with personal info on them (only during commercials)
11. Make a meal plan for this week
12. Go through all your pens and throw out the ones that are dried up
13. Go through your DVDs and put any in a bag that you don’t watch anymore so you can give them away
14. Sort your mail
15. Clean out your diaper bag
16. Answer 10 easy emails
17. Grab a kitchen drawer and sort through it and wipe it down
18. Address and send birthday cards for the month
19. Write 3 thank you notes
20. Start a shopping list
21. Fix a button on a shirt
22. Fold three loads of laundry (and put them away during the commercials)
23. Cut out coupons and put them in your wallet
24. Gather up any business cards and put them in your computer contacts
25. Take pictures of your kids artwork before “thinning it out” (throwing it away)
26. Clean out your child’s backpack
27. Make sure your family calendars match
28. Download photos from your phone to PC (or set up for it to be done automatically through Facebook)
29. Order supplies online (ink, batteries, craft supplies, specialty foods, vitamins, etc.)
30. Download movies, audio books or music for your next flight or road trip
Q4USo tell me – what do you like to get done while watching your favorite TV show?
Stay with me here. I know that those piles of books seem better left untouched- like they just might lead to more bad than good if messed with. But like all organization projects, it is necessary and freeing once accomplished! For ideas on how to organize your books, check out my Pinterest board.
Cull – this means going through your books and making decisions about what to keep, what to put in other rooms, and what to give away. Use my Three Boxes Two Bag System to sort through your books:
1. Purple Box
These are all the books you want to (need to!) keep. Here is my criteria for what books to keep:
a. They are books I read on a regular basis. (The Bible Baby…)
b. They are books I refer to on a regular basis. (Commentaries, devotionals, etc.)
c. They are books I love reading over and over again. (Bird by Bird, Bitter is the New Black,)
2. Orange Box
These are books that have made their way onto your bookshelf, but need to be in other places in your home:
a. Kid’s books
c. Reference books
3. Green Box
For all the books you want to give away, sell, etc.
4. Bag 1 Garbage
There shouldn’t be too many in here, methinks. Your kid let a Popsicle melt on a book, it’s a child’s book that you can’t recycle because of the binding, etc.
5. Bag 2 Recycling
Again, hopefully few – books that no one would want (How to Raise Great Kids by the mother of O.J. Simpson, things like that.)
Once you’ve got them all sorted, you are ready to put them in their place. For all the books you decide to keep, download and print the name plates provided here and put them on the inside of those books. If you print them out on a full sheet of sticker paper (try these full size Avery labels) you simply cut and stick, or use rubber cement if you use card stock.