Cash In: Start Now to Save Money for Christmas

Think Christmas ... when it's summertime? Sure--if you want to be prepared for a stress-free holiday season.

Starting holiday planning now makes sense ... and cents! Saving ahead for holiday expenses spreads the financial demands of the Christmas season over several months--and being prepared with a cash budget means you'll be less tempted to put holiday spending on credit cards.

Sister site Organized Christmas has some clever ways to start now to save money for a debt-free Christmas celebration:

Clever checkbook management can lead to a Christmas stash. When paying bills each month, "round down" the bank balance to the next even amount--say, from $967 to $900--by writing a dummy check for $67 and deducting it from the register. Don't cash it, but hold it for Christmas. Over a few months, those "round it down" amounts will add up to holiday funds.

Cash In! Do-It-Now Ways To Save Money For Christmas

Summer Cooking Tips: Cool Off in the Kitchen!

Who can imagine summer without summer food?

Steaming corn-on-the-cob, each kernel bursting with sweet flavor.

Burgers and barbecue. Ice cream sundaes.

The crisp red smile of a watermelon wedge, dripping with sweet juice.

There's a darker side to summer meals. Food budgets groan under the strain of substituting quick-cook steaks and chicken breasts for thrifty stove-top casseroles.

Print An Activity Binder for Stress-Free Family Vacations

Planning one last trip before the start of school? Here at OrganizedHome.Com, we love 3-ring binders. That's why we adore this travel tip for families with children: use free printables to create a kid's activity binder before traveling.

Use these links to print free coloring pages, word games, puzzles and activity sheets.

Assemble a binder for each child, and add a zipper bag containing crayons, markers, pencils and game tokens to keep the kids amused for hours of peaceful drive time.

Find free printables for kids at these Web sites:

Spoonful Printables

PBSKids.org Games, Stories and Coloring Pages

TheKidzPage.com Coloring Pages

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Summer Cleaning Chore Checklist

summer cleaning checklist

Summer's here, hot, high and sweaty. Vacations beckon. The garden takes on a life of its own.

Busy families don't have much time for home chores these months.

School's out, travel's in and it's easy to let life slide on the home front.

Still, summer will run more smoothly if you keep tabs on these important areas in the Summer Cleaning Chore Checklist.

Our summer cleaning chore checklist list tackles hot-weather issues, summer health and safety.

School's Out! Summer Survival for Busy Moms

summer vacation tips

They're here! Tumbling from the school bus, fresh from Field Day, with papers and projects and petrified sandwiches spilling in their wake: your children.

Summer vacation is wonderful, no doubt about it.

Damp heads and wet bathing suits, backyard tents and fireflies in canning jars.

"Look, Mom!" rings out a hundred times a day, from the top of the pool slide to the bug-dotted bottom of an upturned rock.

Travel Tips: Get Organized For Family Vacations

tips for vacation travel

Memorial Day is on the horizon, and school will let out soon for summer vacation. It's time to think "road trip"!

Family vacation travel can be enriching, enjoyable and exciting--but only if you're organized.

The family that fails to plan for summer travel can end up frazzled, frustrated and longing for the quiet comfort of home.

This year, get ready! Whether it's car trips, plane travel or close-to-home "stay-cation" trips, we've assembled OrganizedHome.Com's best, easiest tips to organize summer vacation travel.

Frugal Order: A Tightwad's Guide To Getting Organized

get organized and save money

Getting organized! For many, that phrase is synonymous with "Buy Me!"

Savvy retailers know that "Get Organized Fever" breaks out at predictable intervals, and tailor ad campaigns to capitalize on the desire to create an organized home. Too often, professional organizers hear the cry, "But I can't afford to get organized!"

No doubt about it, there are many marvelous products on the market to help achieve better home and personal organization.

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