Organized Christmas

House & Holidays Plan Week 7: Bedding and Bath Week

   October 14, 2018 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?    Read More >>

Get Ready for Christmas with the Christmas Countdown

   October 11, 2018 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 2018 Countdown on Sunday, October 21.

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, October 21!    Read More >>

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

   October 11, 2018 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:    Read More >>

Halloween Treat: Haunted Gingerbread House

   October 8, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

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!    Read More >>

House & Holidays Plan Week 6: Wardrobe Week

   October 7, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Get out your high-heeled sneakers, Baby--it's time to think of holiday finery.  This week in the House & 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!    Read More >>

Witches Brew: Spooky Halloween Drink Mix

   October 6, 2018 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.    Read More >>

Three Tips for Smart Catalog / Internet Shopping

   October 3, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Planning for Christmas, catalog or online shopping has many advantages over the holiday mall scene.

No long lines. No sore feet. No staggering to the car, weighed down by parcels and shopping bags.

Shopping becomes a pleasure, conducted from a favorite chair. Phone in your selections (or place them from your computer), sit back, and wait for the UPS man. Ahhhhh!    Read More >>

Christmas Organizing Secret: Try A Tear File!

   October 2, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Christmas magazines and catalogs are fabulous resources for seasonal decorating, gift ideas, and Christmas recipes—but en masse, they can become too much of a good thing.

When the piles avalanche from every side table, finding an article or a recipe that caught your eye a few weeks ago can be an impossible job.

How do you keep all that good information without being crushed by stacks or drowning in paper? Answer: a set of tear files.    Read More >>

Christmas Creep Alert: Buy Thanksgiving Treats Now

   September 30, 2018 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

House & Holidays Plan Week 5: House Room Week

   September 30, 2018 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.     Read More >>

No More UFOs! Get-Em-Done Strategies for Handmade Holiday Gifts

   September 26, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Scanning a list of handmade craft gifts is something like reading a cookbook: it makes you hungry!

Whether you wander the crafts store, settle in at the library's craft bookshelf, or flip through holiday magazines, visions of bright and beautiful gifts follow one after the other. Will this be the year you give hand-crafted gifts ... to everyone?

Give in to the impulse to overload on holiday crafts projects, and you're likely to find yourself drowning in UFOs: Un-Finished Objects.    Read More >>

Gift Closet Guide: Get Organized for Frugal Gifts and Giving!

   September 23, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

We should all have a friend like my friend Joyce. No matter what the occasion, she comes up with the perfect gift--even at short notice.

Her wrapped packages are lavish and lovely, her cards are sweet and well-chosen--and she does it on a budget and without last-minute dashes to the shopping mall. Her secret?

A gift closet.

It's a concept we love here at Organized Christmas: a dedicated space in the household to store gift items, gift wrap and cards. A gift closet holds a stockpile of gift items and everything needed to wrap and present them.    Read More >>

Master Gift List: A Holiday Shopper's Best Friend

   September 21, 2018 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.    Read More >>

You've Been BOOed! Halloween BOO Poem and Signs

   September 19, 2018 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?    Read More >>

Santa Savings: Make A Holiday Budget

   September 18, 2018 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.    Read More >>

Chocolate Coffee Spoons: Easy Holiday Gift to Make!

   September 17, 2018 by Cynthia Ewer

Chocolate-dipped coffee spoons are an easy homemade holiday gift. Make them simple and sweet or dazzle the tastebuds with custom flavors and colored chocolate melts!

Our basic recipe for chocolate coffee spoons outlines the method, but check out specialty recipes, too.

Whether they're white chocolate drizzled with holiday colors, or dressed up with crushed candy canes, chocolate coffee spoons are sure to please the coffee lover on your holiday gift list.    Read More >>

Schedule Smart for Stress-Free Holidays

   September 16, 2018 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.    Read More >>

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