Week One is List Week at the Holiday Grand Plan!
During this week, we kick off holiday prep with lists, lists and more lists. We'll print helpful calendars and forms for Christmas organizing and begin to create a Christmas planner.
This week's cleaning focus is the front porch: We'll clean and organize the area around the front door so that our home will be ready to welcome visitors during the holiday season.
Ready to jump into List Week? Let's get organized with the Holiday Grand Plan!
CLEANING/ORGANIZING AREA: FRONT PORCH
This week's assignment, from Katie Leckey's Cleaning Grand Plan:
The front porch is an important asset to your home. First impressions are important. If the entrance to your home is a mess, then it doesn't matter how organized the inside is, you're still perceived as a "messie". Assemble your supplies, broom, window cleaner, screwdrivers, paper for lists, trash can.
Start at the front door. Is there a dead rug for wiping feet? Is it savable? Toss it into the driveway for hosing down, into the trash, or into the laundry basket.
Remove everything from the porch that you can. Trash bags, recyclables, kids' toys, those boxes that go to Goodwill. Set things in the grass if you have to but get them off the porch.
Is there a swing? Look at it closely. Are the hinges catching on clothes? Is it a disaster waiting to collapse? A quick turn of the screwdriver can fix that. How about the cushions? If cleanable, put them with the rug for hosing down. If trash, then trash them. Write down "get new cushions" on your list.
Take the screens off the windows. Put them with the rug & cushions for hosing. Using the broom, sweep every windowsill & doorframe.
Sweep down the outside walls. Look up high-are there cobwebs in the corners? Sweep 'em down!
After doing the walls & frames, then you can sweep off the porch itself. Don't forget the steps. Open the front door and sweep off the sill too. Do you need to change the light bulb? Put new bug lights on your list.
Wash the outside of the windows. While they're drying, get out the hose & spray off the rug, screens & swing cushions. Put the screens back on the windows.
Now step back and admire what you've done so far. Look at the mess in the yard that came off the porch. Does any of it belong back on there? Do you have to keep the weekly trash there or can you hide it somewhere else? Toys in the back yard? Perhaps a big bucket for front yard toys? Only you know what can stay there.
Do the hedges in front of the porch need trimming? Either put that on your list for the next nice Saturday or get out your clippers & trim them up now.
Does the front door need painting? How about its screen? New hardware can make a big difference. What about the mailbox? Does the doorbell work?
Write down any fixes and set a specific time to do them. And then do them when the time comes!
As long as you've done this much, go ahead and look at the sidewalks & driveway. Too much junk? Remove it to the backyard. Sometimes it's easier to hose down the driveway than to sweep it
Now go out to the street and really look at what you've accomplished. Aren't you proud to live there now? You should be! Head inside for a well deserved rest.
HOLIDAY PREP: LISTS, LISTS, LISTS
- Print the Holiday Grand Plan calendars for reference.
- Make the following lists:
- Gifts to be given, amount to spend (include family, friends, school, church, etc)
- Christmas card list (computerize it!) Print list and update it, if needed. Decide how many cards are needed.
- Visits to make
- Menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, other parties
- Goodies for Sharing/Gifts. Decide how much needs to be made and divide it between the weeks from now through December 1.
- Favorite Meals of Family members for freezing ahead.
- Long-term shopping list divided into: canned foods, perishables for each holiday, linens and dishes, decorations, etc.
- Create a Christmas planner to organize holiday planning.
TO READ THIS WEEK
- To Early to Think Christmas? Start Now!
- Simplify Your Holidays: Make A Christmas Planner Notebook
- Make A Master Gift List