Seasonal Storage Tip: Make a Holiday Stragglers Box

Holiday Stragglers Box

Christmas has come and gone ... or has it?

Lights are stored, the tree is down, and holiday decor rests in boxes in the storage area, waiting for next year.

Then you turn the corner and spot an overlooked Santa, shining on top of the piano.

In the refrigerator, the holiday butter dish hides the last remnants of a stick of butter. Holiday linens, napkins and kitchen towels pop up in the laundry area this week, next week and the week after.

Organized Christmas? Easy Tips to Get Ready For Next Year

Christmas is here ... but you're not ready? The e-mails in my inbox tell the story: "I wish I'd found this site earlier!"

During this time of year, I hear from scores of readers who came looking for holiday help at the height of the celebration-and faced with the reality of Christmas chaos.

Stumbling over our site, they see that it's possible to be organized--and joyous--during the holidays. They just wish they'd found us in time!

So say you're starting now, to think about next year. What's the secret to a stress-free season? Plan ahead!

Post-Holiday Debriefing: Get Organized for Next Christmas

It's over for another year!

Wild and woolly or sane and sedate, we've passed through the holiday season and into a new year. Breath caught, it's time to debrief.

You know debriefing, right? The astronauts do it, spies do it, pilots do it: a measured after-the fact evaluation of the mission or flight.

Smart holiday planners should do it, too--because taking time now to note what worked, what didn't will be a road map to a more organized Christmas next year.

Keeping New Year's Resolutions: New Year, New You!

New Year's Eve ... a festive beginning to a new year. It's a good time to take stock and decide to move toward a happier, more organized life.

But too often, what looks so easy as the minute hand approaches midnight falls away in the cold light of January days.

For most of us, New Year's resolutions die a slow and quiet death. They're tossed aside, along with the party hats and noisemakers.

As January winds down, so does motivation, energy and desire for change.

Get Organized for the New Year: Post-Christmas Clean-Up!

Ready to start the New Year from a clean and clutter-free home? Try these post-Christmas clean-up tips from sister site, Organized Home.

These simple, do-it-now strategies can reduce clutter and conquer Christmas chaos. We like this one:

Sort Before You Stow

Once the New Year arrives, most families take down holiday decorations and store them for the following year--but too often, there's a sense of "sling it in there and worry about it later" when it comes to putting away Christmas ornaments, holiday linens and outdoor lighting.

This year, pay it forward: sort and declutter holiday decorations, linens and specialty cooking items as you store them. Cut the non-working, the tattered, and the tired from the herd as you put away holiday decorations. Has-been decor items can be recycled or donated; stained linens can be repurposed as cleaning cloths.

Streamline holiday decorating next year: sort before you stow!

Post-Christmas Clean-Up

Tiny Christmas Craft: Graham Cracker Gingerbread House

Graham Cracker Gingerbread House

Simple, no-bake Graham Cracker Mini-Houses are a sweet holiday treat. Use them as place cards for holiday meals, or hang them as ornaments on the Christmas tree.

Decorations are applied while pieces are flat, then pieces are assembled with melted bark coating in a plastic squeeze bottle.

While an adult should trim the graham cracker sections, decorating and assembling is easy enough for kids.

Makes 10 - 20 houses, depending on breakage and number of crackers.

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