My Organizing Obsession: Holiday Ornament Organizer/0 Comments/in My Organizing Obsession /by Ellen
When the holidays are here, we love decorating our tree, our special ornaments from each year and enjoying the joy of the holiday. To keep our joy, holiday decorations need organizing or these get overwhelming. Our precious holiday ornaments need careful storage. Their value is priceless as they are gifts, memories and traditions bound into one element. I love holiday ornament organizers for this reason.
Both of these organizers have individual sections for each ornament. The cardboard dividers can be used as needed depending on the size of the ornament. The durable exterior keeps ornaments safe and clear during storage.
For your most precious ornaments, you can wrap the ornament in tissue and then store it in a center section of the organizing box. Mark your box fragile so all those who help you store and carry know the value of the contents.
More of my organizing obsessions here!
How to Fix Holiday Glitches/4 Comments/in Family Organizing, Holiday organizing /by Ellen
As holidays approach, we’re thinking of twinkling lights and not last year’s dry stuffing. Even worse, last year we may have spent much time preparing, yet not feeling that holiday joy. Heading into the holidays is the best time to think about the big picture of the holiday season. It’s time to assess what worked and what did not.
Here’s some oops moments that may have happened to you last year. There’s solutions for you to fix these holiday glitches.
|There’s so much to do for each holiday.||Set aside a planning time in early October. It’s a meeting for you, your list and your planner.|
|There’s so many activities and events every night during the holidays. You booked 2 events on the same evening.||Start early with your holiday planner and calendar. Enter every date as you receive each invitation.|
|You wanted to send holiday cards and you need a family photo and your address list updated.||Use a family photo taken during the year. Use multiple photos of faces only. Update your address list as new holiday cards arrive.|
|You need to decorate the house and your family is busy with school, sports and choir.||Downsize your decorating. Decide if your decorating should be a single tree, indoor decorations only, or another smaller effort this year.|
|You purchased too many items on Amazon and don’t know what your purchased are or for whom you purchased.||Open all the boxes and create an inventory of your purchases. Assign names with post it notes on each item. Assess if you have enough by setting a budget or a number of gifts.|
|There’s so much to wrap and you must bake, go to church and other things to do.||Pay a neighborhood teen or grandkid to be your holiday wrapper.|
|You want to go to the cookie swap and you need to bake 12 dozen cookies. When do you have the time for that?||Through social media, ask for referrals of local bakers, crafters or other small businesses to help you.|
|The holidays fly by and you feel you have not enjoyed the time together as a family.||Host a family meeting with everyone sharing what’s most important to them to celebrate the season. Share what’s most important to you and set aside time for this.|
As you prepare for this year’s holiday season, keep in mind your level of planning and organization. Balance your investment in time with your joy for the outcome of that investment. It will lead you to a happier holiday season.
How to Use Project Management For Holidays Happiness/3 Comments/in Holiday organizing /by Ellen
Holiday planning can be overwhelming and take the joy from the holidays. With so much to do and so many people to see, taking a project management approach to the holidays can make the season less stressful. Using project management you can plan, execute, and achieve specific goals.
Define your project objectives
The hoiday experience is about meaningful family activities. What’s most meaningful to you and your family? That’s the best starting place for you to know what you want your holiday to look and feel like. Write this down to keep on target.
Set your scope
How big is your holiday project? Is it defined by a budget and how much you plan to spend this year? Is it defined by the calendar and how many events will you attend each year? Set limits on your holiday project with these boundaries for your scope. How big will your holiday plan be?
Plan your itinerary
Your itinerary can include where you are travelling to, what homes you will be visiting, or what local experiences you will attend. Coodinating locations and time frames gives you a big picture plan for where you want to be and when you will be there. It’s often a time to consolidate and coordinate your purchasing too.
Your holiday expectations play a big role in the happiness. It’s a planning what your holiday can look like. Real family holidays are not perfect and are messy. Take perfectionism off the table, for holiday decorations, holiday treats or holiday gifts. Know what you want to be “perfect” and let the rest go. The best quality to focus on is the meaningful time spent with your family. It’s gauged by the smiles, hugs and precious time together.
Close your project
Close your project with an assessment what went well. What are the things your family enjoyed together? Did you meet your budget? Are there things you want to repeat again next year? Having a short recap with your family helps you enjoy the time together even more.
Don’t reinvent the wheel each holiday! Check out the holiday planning notebook here.
Simple Holiday Traditions/11 Comments/in Holiday organizing /by Ellen
Family traditions are part of what makes every family special. Your kids will reflect back to you what are existing traditions you may not realize your family has already. It’s in creating tradition that we connect with our family. It’s the simple holiday traditions that are memorable. Here are my top 10 holiday traditions.
1.Purchase a personalized ornament with the year on it for each child
Each year I add a new ornament to our kids’ collections. It’s a special reminder of the year gone by. I love that our kids will take these on to use on their family trees in the future.
2. An evening holiday walk to see Christmas decorations and sip hot cocoa
There’s nothing more fun that a walk to see the holiday lights in your neighborhood. Bring hot cocoa to keep warm.
3. Celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with 12 donations to local charities
Your holiday will be especially meaningful with donations to those who have little. Choose little ways you can contribute with either goods or funds.
4. Add Christmas songs to your Pandora channels
The music of the season brings a smile to our faces. Your music is always with you too!
5. Organize your Christmas cards by binding them together in a book
I love this small way to cherish the holiday cards we receive.
6. Purchase ready-made gingerbread houses to decorate and host a hot chocolate buffet
Assemble your gingerbread houses the day before so they are sturdy. Decorate and display for a week. Be sure to decorate your own too.
7. Host a holiday movie night and invite a family to join you
Whether it’s Charlie Brown Christmas or Christmas Vacation, all families have their favorite movie to watch every year.
8. Host a hot chocolate buffet and crazy Christmas sweater get together
Get crazy with hot chocolate mix ins like marshmellows, candy canes, cinnamon red hots and whipped cream for a hot chocolate buffet. Add in the crazy Christmas sweater phenomenon. It’s an evening full of laughter.
9. Gather up gently used family coats and bring the donations as a family
We all have coats, scarves and gloves we have not used in a while. Bring these as a family to donate to share the joy of giving.
10. Drop off treats for fire department, police station or other emergency responders in your community
We are supported by many in our community who keep us safe. Remember them this holiday season with homemade or store bought treats. It will bring joy to you and those you meet.
What are your holiday traditions? It takes just a few minutes of planning, a spot on your calendar and communication with your family to share the joy of holiday traditions.
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Easy Organized Thanksgiving/2 Comments/in Family Organizing, Holiday organizing /by Ellen
Thanksgiving is our national holiday for gratitude. We are abundantly blessed in our country with privileges and resources. The celebration focuses on an abundant table, set with all sorts of fabulous food. It can be a overwhelming to prepare for this holiday. Let’s plan an easy organized Thanksgiving this year.
- Thanksgiving is when our family and friends come together to celebrate. Start with a guest list and a meal plan. Knowing how many guests are coming makes setting up easier. Knowing your meal plan makes for easy delegation and participation for guests. Everyone wants to help, so when asked you are ready to share responsibility for side dishes.
- Write down a time line for food preparation. Frozen turkeys often take longer than expected to defrost so start early. Starting with the Sunday before the holiday, write down what you want to accomplish each day. Be sure to include dates for grocery shopping, pie baking and making side dishes.
- Not enough oven room? Think about crockpot dishes for sweet potatoes or green bean casserole. You can even do your turkey in the crockpot!
- Ask your family to help. They can set your tables early and make table decorations too. Set out your table ware and serving pieces and label these with post it notes. For guests bringing dishes, be sure to have serving pieces and spots available.
- Purchase inexpensive dollar store cartons for leftovers for yourself, your family and your guests. Sending leftovers with guests is a special gift for them!
Join me for more Thanksgiving tips on food and crafts on pinterest Happy Holidays.
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Holiday Technology Tools/4 Comments/in Family Organizing, Green Organizing, Organizing Skills /by Ellen
The holiday buzz starts early! In October and November is the time to get started on our holiday preparations. Not only do we need the time, it is tons of fun to stretch out the holiday spirit. Why not add some new tools to your holiday preparations? Get ahead this year with your holiday planning using holiday technology. Thanks to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, I am surrounded (virtually) by amazing women entrepreneurs and bloggers. I asked them to share what works best!
I use evite to organize all the gatherings for the end of the year holidays. From guests, who will come or not, what to bring, attire and super cute templates, I just love this online tool year-round. I also love Shutterfly’s shared websites to organize the kids’ classroom parties. Once you create the event you can add a sign-up list of what to bring, and afterwards we all share our favorite pictures. Having fun just got a lot easier with these tools!
Think about unplugging for a couple days during the holidays. Use your technology to plan better, such as google calendar. Automate as much as you can with holiday cards and automatic payments.
Managing the way I read the news and any other topics I’m interested has changed dramatically thanks to my favorite tool – Flipboard. It makes every story into a beautiful magazine-like page that can be ‘flipped’ through. Personally, I love flipping through: news, art, culture, travel, style and lifestyle topics to name a few.
I use a binder designated Holidays and fill it with lists for cards, crafts, gifts, meals and recipes. These are all printed from ListPlanIt, of course!
My favorite Holiday Tech Tool is SendOutCards. http://www.sendoutcards.com/11788. I used to spend hours writing personal messages, stuffing, addressing and stamping envelopes for my Christmas cards. Every year, to try to save time, the list would get shorter and shorter. Then I found SendOutCards. I now send over 300 greetings, each with a personal message, in a fraction of the time. It allows me to send my love and well wishes in a big way.
Stephanie LH Calahan – Business Vision Catalyst
During the holidays, I do much of my shopping online to avoid mall rage. (Closely related to road rage, but without vehicles.) I never shop for anything without first checking www.retailmenot.com to see if there are coupon codes for that site. I’ve saved on everything from ordering pizza to photos. Then I log into www.ebates.com where I get paid cash back to shop! The amount varies per store, per day but when I combine those two, I’ve saved sometimes up to 25% in discounts and getting cash back. Don’t shop online without these tools!
@kikimojo (twitter, instagram, Pinterest)
Managing holiday music has never been easier with Pandora radio. It is an option for the smart phone or computer. At www.pandora.com, you choose free music to play, choosing by artist or genre. It creates “stations” with various artists. The most amazing aspect is the “mix” Pandora radio creates with your station. The variety of artists is unlimited too!
Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap
Join me for more holiday tips on pinterest Happy Holidays.
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Home for the Holidays on Nov 2 at Kingwood Library/0 Comments/in Family Organizing, Organizing Skills /by Ellen
Leslie Sarmiento, Owner of Interiors by Decorating Den and Ellen Delap, Certified Professional Organizer and Owner of Professional-Organizer.com, are hosting a workshop on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Homewood Suites at 23320 Highway 59 North in Kingwood, Texas.
The topic for the workshop is “Home for the Holidays – Decorating and Organizing Your Home During the Holiday Season” and there is no cost to attend. The only thing the ladies ask of attendees is they bring canned goods for a food drive benefiting the Society of St. Stephens.
The Society of St. Stephens is a 501c3 community outreach agency serving people living in the Humble, New Caney and Splendora school district boundaries. They are 100% volunteer and have no paid employees. Weekly, they provide more than 400 individuals with food and clothing, and provide financial assistance (like utility and medication assistance), for about 20 families each week.
The Society hosts three special projects each year, including a “Back-to-School” drive, a Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner, and a Christmas Family Dinner and Gifts event targeting more than 400 families with children ranging in age from 1 to 17 years of age.
Leslie and Ellen knew this time of year is when the Society gets hit hardest and wanted to provide some help with their food bank. Both felt this was one way to give back and help those in the community, while sharing some great “show and tell” tips for decorating and organizing during the holidays.
If you would like to donate or would like more information on the Society of St. Stephens, call 281-358-7722 or visit their location at 1799 Woodland Hills Drive, Kingwood, Texas 77339.
For more information about the Food Drive and Workshop, contact Ellen at email@example.com or 281-360-3928.
Holiday Notebook/1 Comment/in Family Organizing, Organizing Skills, Paper management /by Ellen
During a recent meeting of Sharing Organizing Solutions (SOS) the most popular and valuable idea was the holiday notebook.
· Collate your holiday notebook by deciding what categories are most important to you.
· Choose a notebook with holiday theme colors
· Add tabbed dividers with labels for
holiday calendar with dates for activities
holiday cards lists with completed addresses
gift lists (including online purchases)
decorating ideas (with pictures of each room fully decorated.)
annual family traditions (websites for holiday entertainment)
· Include a pocket folder to hold receipt
· Keep coupons from various stores in the front pocket
· Keep in an easy to access spot for your use throughout the season!
A holiday notebook is a way to consolidate all your ideas, lists and more for the holidays! Finding ideas, adding ideas and accessing ideas are easy!