Organized Christmas

Christmas Countdown Starts On Sunday!

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 20, 2014

Ready or not, here it comes: the 2014 Christmas Countdown organizing plan begins on Sunday, October 26 here at Organized Christmas!

Led by editor Cynthia Ewer, we'll work together to create a calm, stress-free holiday season for ourselves and our families. Breaking down Christmas preparations into small, easy-to-finish tasks, the Countdown will see us to the first weekend in December, prepared and ready for Christmas.

Beginning Sunday, we'll start a six-week Christmas organizing plan. Week by week, we'll break down holiday prep into easy-to-complete checklists, build a printable Christmas planner, and read inspiring daily messages to keep us motivated and in tune with the holiday spirit.

Follow the Christmas Countdown on Twitter or Facebook, or via our RSS feed.

Ready to get organized for a great holiday season? Here we go! The 2014 Christmas Countdown starts on Sunday, October 26 ... see you there!

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Halloween Treat: Haunted Gingerbread House

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 19, 2014

Gingerbread houses aren't just for Christmas anymore! Use our easy-build methods to create a Halloween Gingerbread House to brighten your autumn home or workplace.

Using melted bark coating or candy melts makes this craft simple enough for kids.

A black cat peeps from piles of pumpkins. Orange and black gumdrops light the path on Halloween night. Spiders creep and bats flap.

Don't miss our friendly ghosts!

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House and Holidays Plan Week 8: Family Spaces

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 19, 2014

Christmas is a time for family, so center the season around a clean and organized family space. This week in the House and Holidays Plan, we take aim on the family room, playroom or family area.

Where does your family go to relax together? That's where we'll spend the week, cleaning and organizing shared spaces.

In holiday prep, the family room theme continues as we decorate for Halloween, review holiday movies and music, and craft a holiday housework plan.

Mailing deadline: mail overseas gifts this week!

Family Space Week Assignments

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Holiday Grand Plan Week 8: Kitchen

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 19, 2014

Week Eight sees us down and dirty in the heart of the home: the kitchen. It's Kitchen Week!

This week, we'll clear the decks for the holiday cooking to come with a kitchen clean-up and declutter. In holiday prep, it's Checkpoint Week and time to make plans for Halloween night.

Ready? Let's get organized with Kitchen Week in the Holiday Grand Plan!

Kitchen Week on the Holiday Grand Plan

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Witches Brew: Spooky Halloween Drink Mix

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 13, 2014

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.

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House and Holidays Plan Week 7: Bedding & Bath

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 12, 2014

If on Christmas night, 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 and Holidays Plan, we focus on the linen closet and bathrooms.

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?

With the deadline for mailing overseas gifts at hand, we'll get ready to wrap with a wrap and mail center. An account at USPS.com lets us print mailing labels, buy postage and arrange for carrier pickup ... online!

Bed and Bath Week Assignments

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Holiday Grand Plan Week 7: Guest Room

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 12, 2014

Guest rooms ready for holiday guests? They will be, after we tackle them during Week Seven of the Holiday Grand Plan: Guest Room Week!

This week, we deep-clean, organize and prepare for overnight guests. In holiday prep, we keep plugging away on gifts, whether to-make or to-buy. Decor alert: Halloween is coming!

Ready? Let's get organized with Guest Room Week in the Holiday Grand Plan!

Guest Room Week on the Holiday Grand Plan

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

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 7, 2014

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:

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Black Cat Halloween Boo Printables

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 6, 2014

Will your family surprise neighbors or co-workers with a Halloween BOO this year?

Create a BOO of a different--and pretty--stripe with the free printable template offered by blogger Cindy from the SkipToMyLou blog.

Her "pumpkin all dressed up" BOO container wins the creative cake--and she shares the fun with a printable Black Cat BOO template and instructions for a BOO tag. Good job!

Ready? Set? BOO!

How To Start The BOO In Your Neighborhood

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House and Holidays Plan Week 6: Wardrobe

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 5, 2014

Get out your high-heeled sneakers, Baby—it’s time to think of holiday finery. This week in the House and Holidays Plan, we’ll declutter, organize and clean closets and clothing care areas.

Think ahead to the holidays: will the family be able to strut their stuff all season long? A family wardrobe check makes sure everybody’s covered (literally) for the season’s events. Decluttering family clothing helps us add needed clothing items to the gift list or shopping list in good time to replace worn or out-grown clothing before the season.

Rounding out the week with holiday prep chores, we work on Christmas cards, brainstorm ideas for Secret Santa celebrations and begin catalog or Internet shopping.

Ready? Time to get cracking … on Wardrobe Week!

Wardrobe Week Assignments

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Holiday Grand Plan Week 6: Kids' Rooms

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 5, 2014

Will Santa be visiting your house this year? Time to sort out the short stuff!

This week, we focus on kids' rooms for deep-cleaning, decluttering and organizing. Our holiday prep assignments include assembling freezer meals, working on hand-crafted gifts, and continuing to buy gifts and holiday supplies.

Ready? Let's get organized with the Holiday Grand Plan!

Kid's Room Week in the Holiday Grand Plan

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You've Been BOOed! Halloween BOO Poem and Signs

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on October 1, 2014

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?

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House and Holidays Plan Week 5: House Room

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on September 28, 2014

Hospitality is a core value of the Christmas holiday season, so it's time to plan for guests!

This week in the House and 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.

Finally, we’ll schedule houseguests and build a little “pamper basket” to welcome them, as we begin writing Christmas cards or signing holiday letters.

House Room Week Assignments

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Holiday Grand Plan Week 5: Master Bathroom

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on September 28, 2014

Week Five sees us into the master bathroom and linen closets for Master Bathroom Week at the Holiday Grand Plan.

We'll clean and organize personal care and linen storage areas, and continue working on seasonal clothing plans.

Holiday prep continues to move forward on to-make and to-buy gifts, and includes a wardrobe check for kids.

Ready? Let's get organized with Master Bathroom Week at the Holiday Grand Plan!

Master Bathroom Week at the Holiday Grand Plan

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Simplify Your Holidays With A Christmas Calendar

Seldom acknowledged but often felt, 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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House and Holidays Plan Week 4: Close to Home

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on September 21, 2014

Here come the small fry! This week in the House and Holidays Plan, our hearts are close to home as we tackle the children’s rooms.

Empty nest or child-free family? Use this week to deal with any bonus rooms or areas in our home—or take a free week!

This is also the week we bring a little bit of reality to our dreams of a holiday house, with the Seasonal Spruce-Up exercise. Designed to get our head out of the clouds and our pocketbooks firmly anchored, the exercise cuts through Furniture Flyer Fog and brings sanity to preparing the house for the season.

Finally, in holiday prep, we’ll start on stocking stuffers, plan Halloween costumes, and begin working on Christmas cards or letters this week.

Close to Home Week Assignments

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Holiday Grand Plan Week 4: Master Bedroom

Posted by Cynthia Ewer on September 21, 2014

Week Four of the Holiday Grand Plan sees us move into the master bedroom to deep-clean and cut clutter.

As the season changes, we rout out the closet and organize clothing. We'll prepare to dress the family for holiday photo shoots, dinners and parties. Our holiday prep tasks center on home-made gifts, and we'll begin budgeting "to-buy" items week-by-week.

Ready? Let's get organized with the Holiday Grand Plan!

Master Bedroom Week at the Holiday Grand Plan

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