Get Organized

Set Up a Wrap and Mail Center

Wrap and Mail Center

Wrapping gifts for the holidays? Repeat after me: "This year, I won't be wrapping gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve!"

If there's a single most-underestimated holiday chore, it's gift wrapping.

Supplies lie scattered throughout the house, while space and privacy are hard to come by.

Translation: late-night Christmas Eve wrapping sessions, grumbling your way through the job.    Read More >>

State of the Closet: Pre-Holiday Wardrobe Check

Check holiday wardrobes

We’ve all experienced this seasonal panic: it's the night of the office holiday party and a spouse’s good white shirt has gone missing!

Calm the chaos with a pre-holiday wardrobe check!

Assessing the State of the Closet for all family members before the holiday begins means never having to say, "It's in the wash!"    Read More >>

Simplify Season's Greetings: Using Computers To Send Christmas Cards

Computers speed holiday cards

As an online old-timer, I can attest to this fact: few subjects stir as much controversy as computers and Christmas cards.

The questions come year after year. Should we use the computer to address the cards? Write a Christmas letter on inkjet letterhead?

What about pre-printed signatures? Is it okay to use e-mail to send holiday greetings?

What's the right-and-wrong of harnessing computer technology to make it easier to send Christmas cards and holiday letters?    Read More >>

Get Organized: Create A Christmas Planning Center

Center for Christmas planning

When planning for the holiday season, why try to wing it, on the fly?

Making lists on the go often finds them scattered in your wake, never to be found again.

To stay centered as you plan the holidays and get into the seasonal swing in comfort, find a place in your home to create an activity center devoted to Christmas planning.

A dedicated spot to make gift lists lists and track menus keeps holiday planning on track.    Read More >>

Ready ... or Not?

Planning eases Christmas stress

Are we ready to get organized for Christmas?

It's the traditional opening greeting of the Christmas Countdown. Problem is, each year when I ask the question, I have to remind myself to duck!

I've seen it happen year after year: we careen into the first day of the Countdown saying to ourselves, "It can't possibly be time to prepare for the holidays!"

For many of us, the coming of the holiday season brings a feeling of panic in its wake--and I am not one whit different.    Read More >>

Christmas Organizing Secret: Try A Tear File!

tear files

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 >>

Santa Savings: Make A Holiday Budget

Christmas holiday budget

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 >>

Schedule Smart for Stress-Free Holidays

schedule tips for the holiday season

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 >>

Simplify Your Holidays With A Christmas Calendar

Make a Christmas calendar

Ask any mother of young children: 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.    Read More >>

Before The Season: Focus On Holiday Values

Focus Holiday Values

What do you really want for Christmas? Our ideas may differ in the details, but most of us want much the same thing: a seasonal celebration focused on faith, family and friends.

We want the excitement of the season without the disruption that too often comes with it. We want to draw closer to those around us, not to be thrust apart by hectic schedules. We want to enjoy as well as to prepare, and to keep the Christmas season in a manner that is joyous and spiritually centered.

Problem is, it’s easy to get caught up in the seasonal whirlwind! Tradition, the media, family expectations and the economy lean on our decision-making, each with a different agenda. Unconscious forces can distort our celebration for reasons that have nothing to do with what we truly want from the holiday.    Read More >>

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