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Santa Savings: Make A Holiday Budget

Organized Christmas -

   October 18, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

For many families, Christmas comes not once a year, but lingers on for months! Credit card bills arrive shortly after season’s end, not to be paid off until the following summer. Nearly two-thirds of American families don't know the true cost of their own Christmas celebration--and if they did, they'd be shocked. That much ... for a single day?

Fight the seasonal spending spree with the financial tool of choice: a Christmas budget. Try these ideas to create--and keep!--a holiday budget to save money on Christmas.

Halloween S'Mores In A Jar

Organized Christmas -

   October 17, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

Sharing seasonal fun with friends and family? Share some Halloween S'Mores In A Jar!

A simple layered gift-in-a-jar recipe featuring layers of graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows and seasonal candy-coated chocolate candies, it's easy to make and fun to give.

Free printable gift tags with the S'Mores In A Jar recipe bring a decorative touch to this Mason jar gift.

Get Ready for Christmas with the Christmas Countdown

Organized Christmas -

   October 16, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

What do you really want for Christmas? More time, more joy, and less stress? Welcome to the Christmas Countdown! We're kicking off the 2017 Countdown this Sunday, October 22.

A calmer, more centered holiday celebration is easy when you simplify your holidays with the Christmas Countdown get organized plan.

The Christmas Countdown is a free six-week Christmas organizing workshop from Organized Christmas. Written by author and Web publisher Cynthia Ewer, the Countdown has been online since 1998. Tested by hundreds of thousands of families like yours, it's a tried-and-true road map for an organized Christmas.

Countdown assignments, spread over six weeks, simplify the job of getting ready for Christmas. By breaking down Christmas preparation into small, easy-to-take steps, the Countdown gives you a holiday headstart for a stress-free Christmas season. We'll cover gift lists, cooking, decorating and fun--and you'll be ready for Christmas with time to spare.

Ready? We're counting down to an organized Christmas, starting on Sunday!

Witches Brew: Spooky Halloween Drink Mix

Organized Christmas -

   October 16, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

It's simple and sweet, a Halloween treat: Witches' Brew!

Combining apple cider drink mix, Halloween candy treats and a free printable gift tag, Witches Brew is easy to make and give.

Use small black salsa bowls from the Dollar Store to make Witches Brew in a Cauldron, or use creative packet-folding and a licorice rope "broomstick" to make broom-shaped Witches Brew packets.

Add free printable gift tags or bag toppers to make an easy Halloween craft.

Add Witches Brew to Halloween BOO baskets, share with co-workers or make it in multiples for Halloween party favors.

You've Been Booed! Halloween BOO Signs and Poems from the Web

Organized Christmas -

   October 15, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

It's that time of year! Have "You've Been Booed" signs been popping up in your neighborhood?

We've got a tasty selection of You've Been Booed poem and signs to print, but if you want something different?

Join the fun with these free printable BOO signs and BOO poems from the Web!

Whatever style you prefer, these free printables will help you start the Halloween BOO tradition with your neighbors and friends:

House & Holidays Plan Week 7: Bedding and Bath Week

Organized Christmas -

   October 15, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

If the children are to be nestled, all snug in their beds, it's time to get things straight in the linen closet! This week in the House & Holidays Plan, we'll focus on linen closet and bathrooms as we get organized for Christmas.

We'll declutter, organize and clean these areas, then do a quick linen check. Will we have enough sheets and towels? What's the state of the tablecloth? Is the household stocked for winter colds and holiday guests?

Boo-ing Friends? More Free Printable Halloween Boo Signs and Boo Poem

Organized Christmas -

   October 9, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

Looking for a simple one-page BOO poem for a last-minute Halloween BOO?

Enter BeenBooed.com! This tiny site offers three different Halloween BOO-ing printables (in color, black-and-white and outline versions) which feature the BOO poem on one side, a BOO sign on the other.

Even though the creator didn't find our BOO printables attractive (sniff, sniff), hey--simplicity works, too!

Ready, set ... BOO!

You've Been BOOed

House & Holidays Plan Week 5: House Room Week

Organized Christmas -

   October 1, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

Hospitality is a core value of the Christmas holiday season; time to plan for guests!

This week in the House & Holidays Plan, we'll "think hospitality" as we prepare for house guests and focus on the guest room. 

No guest room?  Take aim on the multi-function area that houses sleepover guests; otherwise, it's another bonus room week!

Our holiday prep focus turns to decor, as we begin planning seasonal decorations.   A decor declutter clears surfaces in time to decorate for autumn. 

You've Been BOOed! Halloween BOO Poem and Signs

Organized Christmas -

   September 30, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

They're popping up in a neighborhood near you: "We've Been BOOed!" signs that fly from house to house. First one neighbor, then another ... and then it's your house! What's behind it all?

You've been BOOed! Welcome to the wonderful world of Halloween BOO-ing!

Sometimes called "Ghosting" or "the Phantom", the Halloween BOO is an Autumn take on "Secret Santa" or May baskets.

Usually seen in neighborhoods--but sometimes in the workplace--BOO-ing is a friendly tradition for Halloween fun. Will your neighborhood be next?

Schedule Smart for Stress-Free Holidays

Organized Christmas -

   September 30, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

When you think about Christmas from a few weeks away, there’s a luxurious feeling of “plenty of time”, but as December draws near, the season’s pace quickens exponentially. Where did the time go?

Time takes on a slippery quality as the holiday season approaches.

Being proactive--and early--saves time and stress as the season's pace quickens.

Take major action against the seasonal time crunch with a pre-season scheduling session. The goal: to arrange for all those little appointments that slip the mind so easily.

Frugal Order: A Tightwad's Guide To Getting Organized

Organized Home -

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on September 28, 2017

Getting organized! For many, that phrase is synonymous with "Buy Me!"

Savvy retailers know that "Get Organized Fever" breaks out at predictable intervals, and tailor ad campaigns to capitalize on the desire to create an organized home. Too often, professional organizers hear the cry, "But I can't afford to get organized!"

No doubt about it, there are many marvelous products on the market to help achieve better home and personal organization.

Christmas Creep Alert: Buy Thanksgiving Treats Now

Organized Christmas -

   September 23, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

If you're planning to decorate your Thanksgiving table with a batch of Thanksgiving Blessings Mix this year, stock up on seasonal candies now!

Rising tides of "Christmas Creep" means you may not be able to find Autumn-themed chocolate kisses, candy corn or gift bags when you need them next month.

In the last two years, many readers reported that seasonal candies were very hard to find after Halloween, making it difficult to assemble Blessings Mix gifts. This year, Christmas merchandise is already crowding Halloween displays in many stores, and poor Thanksgiving has been elbowed aside entirely.

Smart shoppers will add these items to grocery lists now, to be ready for November's crafting. And while you're in the store, why not let the manager know how we feel about the loss of Thanksgiving from the seasonal rotation? Take aim against Christmas Creep!

Thanksgiving Blessings Mix Recipe

Master Gift List: A Holiday Shopper's Best Friend

Organized Christmas -

   September 21, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

Every family has one: a gift-giver of extraordinary flair and creativity. Year after year, this paragon finds just the right gift, large or small, for every friend and relation, and all without breaking the bank.

Her “just because” offerings are tiny jewels, she’s hip to the latest teen trends—and she never, ever hears the double-barbed response, “Oh, you shouldn't have--you really shouldn’t have!”

What’s her secret? A master gift list.

Start Small: Sneak Up On Freezer Cooking

Organized Home -

You've heard about bulk freezer cooking--an easy method of stockpiling prepared meals in the household freezer.

Commercial meal assembly franchises like Dream Dinners®, or Let’s Dish® have popularized the concept (at a cost), but smart home cooks know that feeding the freezer is an efficient way to feed the family. too.

Printables: 

House & Holidays Plan Week 3: Me and Mine Week

Organized Christmas -

   September 17, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

Properly appointed, the master bedroom can be an inviting oasis of calm in the midst of Christmas commotion--but not if it's choked and cluttered with misplaced stuff!

During Me and Mine Week at the House & Holidays Plan, we'll declutter, organize and clean the master bedroom.  Our goal:  to create a refreshing space for renewal and rest during the busy holiday season.

Daily Tips for Christmas Organizing: It's 101 Days to Christmas!

Organized Christmas -

   September 14, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

Need a gentle, daily reminder to get ready for the holiday season? Try this focus site from OrganizedChristmas.com: 101 Days to Christmas, devoted to preparing for Christmas day by day.

Need a daily dose of Christmas organizing, holiday tips and inspiration? Our new focus site is just for you! With daily holiday tips for the 101 days leading up to Christmas, we'll take you straight to a calm and stress-free holiday season ... day by day!

Whether you follow on Twitter, Facebook, or via an RSS feed, 101 Days to Christmas will help you prepare for Christmas day by day.

Beginning on September 15, 101 Days to Christmas brings you daily holiday tips to help you get ready for the holiday season. Use our feed as a gentle reminder that the holiday season is on the way--and prepare for Christmas day by day!

101 Days to Christmas

Seasonal Clothing Declutter: Who's Living In Your Closet?

Organized Home -

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on September 14, 2017

Once again, I mark the coming of autumn with a clothing closet declutter.

I wade into the closet and find the boxes of out-of-season clothing. Try everything on, skin itching at the touch of wool when the temperature's 80 degrees.

Sort the summer's keepers from items to donate. Look for "holes" and orphans in my autumn wardrobe. Count the upcoming dinners and holiday events, and divide them by the number of my party dresses. Try, for the 900th time, to locate some good transitional outfits: cool enough for warm autumn days, but not too summery or too bare.

A closet declutter is more a ritual celebration of the change of seasons. It's a time for reflection, a time to face up to changing identities. Who's living in your clothes closet?

Simplify Your Holidays With A Christmas Calendar

Organized Christmas -

   September 10, 2017 by Cynthia Ewer

Ask any mother of young children: time pressure creates a unique stressor during the Christmas season.

Holiday events, school functions and holiday parties crowd December days; service projects, travel and worship activities double. To keep holiday stress at bay, a calendar is a must-have tool for an organized Christmas.

Even if you never rely on a family calendar the other eleven months of the year, December's busy days call for a dedicated calendar for smooth sailing.

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