Posts Tagged 'Holidays'

Get “In Order” for the Holidays!

Yes! It is time to get yourself and your life In Order for the Holidays!

Does this time of year find you hurried and harried rather than joyful and jubilant?
This 90 minute workshop will help you sail through the holidays in organized bliss, as you recapture some of that energy and joy that is so often lost in the details of the days.

We’ll discuss time saving strategies and ways to simplify your holiday plans that you can use year after year. We will talk about Expectations, Gift Giving, Cleaning and Decorating, Holiday Meal Planning and the Creation of a Wrapping Center.

Workshop: In Order for the Holidays

When: Monday, November 16th, 2011

Where:    The Marriage Resource Center, 255 Clifton Blvd, Suite 213, Westminster, MD

Cost:  $15

To Register:  Call 410-386-9003 or email

Don’t miss this opportunity to get yourself in “Order for the Holidays”, while  supporting the Marriage Resource Center of Carroll County……….”building healthy community, one marriage at a time!

Happy (and Organized) Days!

Get in Order for the Holidays, Part 6

Part 6, It’s a Wrap!

The big day is quickly approaching. Are you ready? Are you in the Christmas spirit?

It’s time to wrap up your preparations and your gifts!

Consider setting up a wrapping station where you can keep all of your wrapping supplies and gifts in the same area. Make it fun and festive by setting up your wrapping station near a TV. Then you can wrap and organize, while watching old Christmas classics or listen to Christmas music.

When you pull out last year’s wrapping paper, take the time to discard any wrinkled, outdated or damaged paper and supplies.

Get the kids involved!

  • Give the job completely to an older teen
  • Have younger children help by stamping, painting or decorating butcher paper to use as gift wrap

Wrap gifts soon after you purchase them to avoid the last minute rush. Be sure to clearly label each gift and cross the gift off your list.

Remember, don’t be afraid to cross off some tasks from your list! Your friends and family would rather have a joyful you with store bought cookies and than a stressed out, frazzled you with homemade treasures.

May you have joy in the journey!

Have a Blessed and Organized Holiday!


Get in Order for Christmas, Part 6

Part 6, Shopping and Gift Giving

If you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping, don’t feel bad. Surprisingly, your in the majority with 66% of the

Still Shopping.........

country right there with you! In fact, according to the the latest American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, one in five consumers (21 percent) will still be shopping for gifts the week before Christmas, with 4 percent expecting to shop on Christmas Eve (men??). I’m right there with the majority, still shopping away. Once upon a time, when the kids were little, and I could actually pick their clothes and their gifts, I shopped all year, created “theme” gifts, and finishing up nice and early. Times have changed and so have my kids. Actually, they are no longer “kids”. They are young adults and adults. I have learned that times and life change quickly at their stage of life.  I have also learned that their gifts are much more expensive. Consequently, they receive fewer gifts, making my job of shopper much easier.Case in point, the only gift my college age daughter asked for was money toward a reunion trip to be held over the New Year Holiday, out of state. She told me just last night that her plans may be changing, and she may not be going on her trip. I might need to get shopping!

Are you of the “Black Friday” mindset, where shopping becomes a challenge and a competition? Have at it and have fun! I’m of the opposite mindset, which we can call “White Tuesday”. I try to shop early in the morning and early in the week, avoiding the crowds (as much as they can be avoided at this time of year!).

Be sure to shop with an organized list. Jot down EVERYTHING you are looking for, including ideas and price range. Use the list you created in week 2, and you will avoid purchasing duplicates, overspending, and save time.

Don’t clutter up the lives of your friends and family. Consider some of the following gift-giving options:

  • Consumable gifts, including lotions, candles, great wine and foods

  • Cool experiences, evenings out, tickets to a play or event

  • Movie tickets along with popcorn and candy

  • Passes to a museum or zoo for a family

  • Classes for art, dance, golf or gourmet cooking

  • For Teenagers, consider gift cards for gas, coffee, fast food or restaurants

  • For teachers, consider gift cards for coffee, gas, fast food, restaurants, office supply stores or educational supply stores

  • Give of yourself; a car wash or lawn mow for an elderly neighbor, an evening of babysitting along with a gift certificate for a dinner out for young parents.

  • Instead of a traditional gift, agree to spend a special evening together with friends

  • Give a cow, a goat or chickens. Dig and stock a fish pond. Send a child to school. Provide life saving medicine, mosquito nets and emergency food. Purchase fruit trees, honey bees or a fishing boat. It’s never been easier to change the lives of those in need. Check out the World Vision Gift Catalog or the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog, and share the true Spirit of Christmas, while changing the lives of children forever. They make it quick and easy to send any of the above, along with many other ideas, in all price ranges. Check it out!

If you make homemade gifts, become a specialist. Find one thing that you love, make it well, and make many of them.

Finally, keep several generic gifts available for the last minute need. Consider some of the consumable gifts mentioned earlier, such as great lotions, candles, gourmet foods and excellent wine. If you don’t have a need for them, you can treat yourself after the holidays.

Happy “White Tuesday” and Happy Shopping!

If you missed them, check out Part 1: Take Time to Make Time, Part 2:  Budget and Gift Giving Guide, Part 3: Cleaning, Part 4: Meal Planning and Part 5: Decorating.

Have a Blessed and Organized Holiday!


Get In Order for Christmas, Part 4

Part 4, Meal Planning

We tend to cook more and entertain more during the holidays. There is much that you can do prepare for this busy time so that you can truly enjoy your celebrations.

First, ask yourself who, what, when and where? When you have your answers to these questions, you have the backbone of your plans.

Take time to prepare for the weeks ahead by doing some (or all!) of the following:

  • Organize, purge and clean your pantry, refrigerator and freezer

  • Do a quick inventory of dinnerware, glasses, silverware, linens and serving pieces. If there is a need, there is certainly a sale!

  • Prepare a flexible menu for the weeks ahead

  • Each week, make a shopping list from your menus and try to shop only 1 time a week. Go on off peak times of day—early in the day and early in the week, if possible

  • Take advantage of sales to stock up on non perishables that you will need for your holiday preparations

  • Prepare dishes, breads, cookies and desserts that can be frozen

  • Keep basics and easy to prepare foods on hand

  • Share the responsibility and joy of cooking for others—when your guest asks if they can bring something, say YES, and cross something off your list!

  • Consider pot-luck dinners for large celebrations

Remember your goal this holiday season! Look back at your “Holiday Mission Statement” that you created back in week one. How is your mission going? Are you joyful in the journey of your preparations? If not, it might be time to cross a few more things off that list of yours, regroup and move forward.

Have a blessed and organized holiday!

Check out Part 1, Take Time to Make Time, Part 2, Budget and Gift Giving Guide and Part 3, Cleaning.


Get in Order for Christmas, Part 2

Part 2: Budget and Gift Giving Guide

Create a budget for your holiday. Be sure to include gifts, decorations, travel, meals and entertainment.

Next, create a gift list with each person’s name that you plan to purchase a gift for, along with gift ideas and the dollar amount that you plan to spend.

As you purchase gifts, fill in the gift purchased and the dollar amount spent.  This will help to organize your shopping, avoid purchasing doubles, and keep to your budget.

If you happen to like forms and planners, check out the website, Organized Christmas. They have a form or planner for any aspect of Christmas that you can image (and many that you can’t imagine!). Personally, I use a lined piece of notebook paper in my home notebook. It works. Use whatever is easiest for you and whatever you will actually use!

It is too tempting to overspend during the holidays—don’t allow your good intentions and good will to be an excuse for irresponsibility.

“About the time we think we can make end meet, someone moves the ends.” Herbert Hoover

Don’t be that someone!

Check back often for parts 3-9 of the “Get in Order for Christmas” Series, which will give you tips and ideas for cleaning, meal planning, decorating, shopping and gift giving, wrapping and reflecting back on your holiday season.

Have a Blessed and Organized Holiday!

Check out Part1, “Take Time to Make Time”.


Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Follow inorderforlife on Twitter

Visit In Order for Life's Facebook Fan Page!

Click here to check it out!

NEW Home Learning Parties!

Organizing Just Got Fun!
Now Scheduling Home Learning Parties for Summer 2011
Gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! To schedule your party, call Cheryl at 410-259-1466 or email

My Favorite Things

Click here for my collection of favorites links for organizing products and other useful sites.

Reuse, Renew, and Recycle

Click here for useful tips and information to assist you in being environmentally friendly!

Proud Member of:

National Association of Professional Organizers