Organized Christmas

Christmas Countdown: Get Organized Week

   October 23, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

Welcome to Get Organized Week!

The first week of the Countdown is a time for planning and calendars and lists, and for setting our values and our overall course. As we break down holiday preparations into small, simple steps, we'll sketch out the outline of the holiday season to come.

This week, we begin to build a Christmas planner to organize holiday chores, assess the state of the house, and prepare for Halloween festivities.

Ready? Let's get organized for a stress-free Christmas season!

Christmas Countdown Day 1: Get Organized!

   October 23, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

Are you ready to get organized for Christmas? Will it surprise you if I say, "Me, either!"?

Welcome to the Christmas Countdown! I'm Cynthia Ewer, author of this six-week Christmas organizing plan--and like most of us, I come careening in to Day 1 of the Countdown firmly in denial about the passage of time.

Today's reading assignment pretty much sums up how I'm feeling: it can't possibly be time to start preparing for the holidays!

But time waits for no man ... or woman! The Countdown is here, and it's time to get ready for an organized Christmas.

Ready or not, what I can tell you is this: the Countdown works.

Make a Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper for Halloween

   October 22, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

It's ghoulish-good fun: a printable Halloween topper for Jiffy Pop® popcorn!

Add our free printable template to a package of Jiffy Pop® brand pop-in-pan popcorn for an inexpensive "popcorn topper" craft gift just right for the spooks and goblins on your gift list.

Paired with Witches Brew Halloween mix, it's perfect for Halloween BOO-ing, co-workers or classmate gifts.

Christmas Countdown Starts On Sunday!

   October 21, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

Ready or not, here it comes: the 2014 Christmas Countdown organizing plan begins on Sunday, October 26 here at Organized Christmas!

Led by editor Cynthia Ewer, we'll work together to create a calm, stress-free holiday season for ourselves and our families. Breaking down Christmas preparations into small, easy-to-finish tasks, the Countdown will see us to the first weekend in December, prepared and ready for Christmas.

Beginning Sunday, we'll start a six-week Christmas organizing plan. Week by week, we'll break down holiday prep into easy-to-complete checklists, build a printable Christmas planner, and read inspiring daily messages to keep us motivated and in tune with the holiday spirit.

Follow the Christmas Countdown on Twitter or Facebook, or via our RSS feed.

Ready to get organized for a great holiday season? Here we go! The 2016 Christmas Countdown starts on Sunday, October 23 ... see you there!

Christmas Countdown

Boo-ing Friends? More Free Printable Halloween Boo Signs and Boo Poem

   October 21, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

Looking for a simple one-page BOO poem for a last-minute Halloween BOO?

Enter! This tiny site offers three different Halloween BOO-ing printables (in color, black-and-white and outline versions) which feature the BOO poem on one side, a BOO sign on the other.

Even though the creator didn't find our BOO printables attractive (sniff, sniff), hey--simplicity works, too!

Ready, set ... BOO!

You've Been BOOed

Halloween Treat: Haunted Gingerbread House

   October 20, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

Gingerbread houses aren't just for Christmas anymore! Use our easy-build methods to create a Halloween Gingerbread House to brighten your autumn home or workplace.

Using melted bark coating or candy melts makes this craft simple enough for kids.

A black cat peeps from piles of pumpkins. Orange and black gumdrops light the path on Halloween night. Spiders creep and bats flap.

Don't miss our friendly ghosts!

You've Been Booed! Halloween BOO Signs and Poems from the Web

   October 16, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

It's that time of year! Have "You've Been Booed" signs been popping up in your neighborhood?

We've got a tasty selection of You've Been Booed poem and signs to print, but if you want something different?

Join the fun with these free printable BOO signs and BOO poems from the Web!

Whatever style you prefer, these free printables will help you start the Halloween BOO tradition with your neighbors and friends:

House & Holidays Plan Week 8: Family Space Week

   October 16, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

Christmas is a time for family, so center the season around a clean and organized family space. This week in the House & Holidays Plan, we take aim on the family room, playroom or family area.

In holiday prep, the family room theme continues as we decorate for Halloween, review holiday movies and music, and craft a holiday housework plan.

Mailing deadline: mail overseas gifts this week!

Witches Brew: Spooky Halloween Drink Mix

   October 15, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

It's simple and sweet, a Halloween treat: Witches' Brew!

Combining apple cider drink mix, Halloween candy treats and a free printable gift tag, Witches Brew is easy to make and give.

Use small black salsa bowls from the Dollar Store to make Witches Brew in a Cauldron, or use creative packet-folding and a licorice rope "broomstick" to make broom-shaped Witches Brew packets.

Add free printable gift tags or bag toppers to make an easy Halloween craft.

Add Witches Brew to Halloween BOO baskets, share with co-workers or make it in multiples for Halloween party favors.

Pumpkin Poop: Recipe For Halloween Fun

   October 14, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

Just in time for Halloween: it's Pumpkin Poop!

Treat your favorite trickster with this simple, silly gift.

Easy to make and inexpensive to give, it's a good choice for workplace surprises or Halloween parties or a Halloween BOO basket.

Add a packet of Witches' Brew for a happy harvest-time treat.

House & Holidays Plan Week 7: Bedding and Bath Week

   October 9, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

If the children are to be nestled, all snug in their beds, it's time to get things straight in the linen closet! This week in the House & Holidays Plan, we'll focus on linen closet and bathrooms as we get organized for Christmas.

We'll declutter, organize and clean these areas, then do a quick linen check. Will we have enough sheets and towels? What's the state of the tablecloth? Is the household stocked for winter colds and holiday guests?

House & Holidays Plan Week 6: Wardrobe Week

   October 2, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

Get out your high-heeled sneakers, Baby--it's time to think of holiday finery.  This week in the House & Holidays Plan, we'll declutter, organize and clean closets and clothing care areas.

Think ahead to the holidays: will the family be able to strut their stuff all season long?  A family wardrobe check makes sure everybody's covered (literally) for the season's events.  Decluttering family clothing helps us add needed clothing items to the gift list or shopping list in good time to replace worn or out-grown clothing before the season.

Rounding out the week with holiday prep chores, we work on Christmas cards, brainstorm ideas for Secret Santa celebrations and begin catalog or Internet shopping.

Ready? Time to get cracking ... on Wardrobe Week!

Schedule Smart for Stress-Free Holidays

   September 30, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

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.

You've Been BOOed! Halloween BOO Poem and Signs

   September 26, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

They're popping up in a neighborhood near you: "We've Been BOOed!" signs that fly from house to house. First one neighbor, then another ... and then it's your house! What's behind it all?

You've been BOOed! Welcome to the wonderful world of Halloween BOO-ing!

Sometimes called "Ghosting" or "the Phantom", the Halloween BOO is an Autumn take on "Secret Santa" or May baskets.

Usually seen in neighborhoods--but sometimes in the workplace--BOO-ing is a friendly tradition for Halloween fun. Will your neighborhood be next?

House & Holidays Plan Week 5: House Room Week

   September 25, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

Hospitality is a core value of the Christmas holiday season; time to plan for guests!

This week in the House & Holidays Plan, we'll "think hospitality" as we prepare for house guests and focus on the guest room. 

No guest room?  Take aim on the multi-function area that houses sleepover guests; otherwise, it's another bonus room week!

Our holiday prep focus turns to decor, as we begin planning seasonal decorations.   A decor declutter clears surfaces in time to decorate for autumn. 

Santa Savings: Make A Holiday Budget

   September 19, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

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.

Simplify Your Holidays With A Christmas Calendar

   September 16, 2016 by Cynthia Ewer

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.