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!    Read More >>

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.    Read More >>

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.    Read More >>

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    Read More >>

Chill Chaser: Make A Winter Warmer Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper

Winter Warmer Jiffy Pop Popcorn Topper

It's a cheery gift for a dreary day: a Winter Warmer Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper!

Add our free printable template to a package of Jiffy Pop® brand pop-in-pan popcorn for an inexpensive "popcorn topper" craft gift.

Paired with Snowman Soup, you'll bring warmth and fun to a wintry day!

How To Make Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Toppers

Printable Winter Warmer Popcorn Topper Template

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.    Read More >>

Puzzler Puzzle Mat: Make-It-Now Gift

Make a puzzle mat

Every parent knows the story: jigsaw puzzles are fun to work, but tough to work around. What's the solution to tying up table tops or floor space with a puzzle in progress?

Its a Puzzler! This one-seam easy-sew puzzle mat allows puzzles to be worked at will, then rolled up and stowed away between play sessions. It's crafted from a short length of craft felt and a recycled gift wrap roller.

Make them in multiples for the holidays. The Puzzler puzzle mat is perfect for teacher gifts. Paired with a new jigsaw puzzle, the Puzzler Puzzle Mat makes a special family gift.    Read More >>

Blizzard Bites In A Jar

Blizzard Bites Gift Tag

Crunchy and sweet, this no-bake snack mix in a jar is easy to make and fun to give.

Layer crunchy cereal, pretzels and peanuts with tangy dried cranberries and candied pineapple in a Mason jar or canning jar, then add meltable white-chocolate chips.

To make Blizzard Bites snack mix, recipients will melt white chocolate chips and coat the snack mixture with a sweet holiday topping. It's simple ... and sweet!

A great gift for teachers, Secret Santa exchanges or 12 Days of Christmas activities. Make it easy with free printable gift tags!

Candy Cane Soup: Tutorial for Hot Chocolate In A Cone

Candy Cane Soup

Ready to give a Christmas spin to a seasonal favorite, Snowman Soup?

Try Candy Cane Soup, layered hot chocolate in a cone!

A larger gift than single-packet Snowman Soup, Candy Cane Soup layers three or four servings of hot chocolate mix, fixings and a candy cane packaged in cone-shaped treat bags or disposable cake decorating bags.

Package this family-sized stocking stuffer in gift bags, add to movie gift baskets, or pair with a plate of Christmas cookies for an easy seasonal gift.

Choose your favorite printable gift tag to makes your handmade holiday gift sparkle!    Read More >>

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