Organized Christmas

Make-Ahead Holiday Gift: Melt-and-Pour Soap

   August 21, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

You've seen them everywhere from crafts fairs to bath boutiques: pretty handmade gift soaps. Clear and colorful or rich with natural additives for beautiful skin, they're a welcome holiday gift.

Best of all, they're easy to make using melt-and-pour soap. Heated in the microwave, clear or opaque glycerin soap base is combined with colorants and fragrances, then poured into molds to harden. When cool, soaps pop right out of the molds, ready to use.

Follow the soap-making tips and soap starter projects linked below to help you master this squeaky-clean craft.

Make It Now, Give It Later: Confetti Bean Soup

   August 15, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

Looking for a make-ahead holiday gift? Try this gift-in-a-jar treat: Confetti Bean Soup! Savory Italian herbs spark this hearty, easy soup. Paired with Texas Cornbread Mix, this duo is just the thing for cold winter weekends!

Better, it's a good keeper, so make this gift-in-a-jar ahead for holiday giving. Unlike cookie jar gifts, Confetti Bean Soup won't go stale in storage.

Makes 12 gift jars at a cost approximately $2 per jar.

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Santa Saves: Back-to-School Bargains for Holiday Giving

   August 5, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

With summer winding down, school is on the way--and so are rock-bottom prices on back-to-school needs!

During late summer, office supply stores engage in penny price wars, while discount stores bring racks of school supplies front and center ... and cheap!

Back-to-school loss leaders--products sold below cost to attract sales--are hot and heavy in the supermarkets these days--and even the crafts stores offer a variety of binders, stickers and backpacks at sharply reduced prices.    Read More >>

Too Early to Think Christmas? Starting Now Makes Sense

   July 28, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

Summer's in full swing--and baby, it's hot outside! Need a diversion? "Christmas in July" can be the perfect time to look ahead to the holiday season! But not everyone agrees. Many people resist the idea of starting early for an organized Christmas.

So why begin Christmas organizing early--and without the benefit of holiday sentiment? Here are six reasons why starting now makes sense:    Read More >>

House & Holidays Plan: Get Organized for Christmas

A Clean and Organized Home for the Holidays

Christmas is coming, and you're dreaming of a clean and organized home, decked out in holiday glory. Then you open your eyes to reality. Looking around the house, it's hard to imagine how to cut the clutter, manage fall cleaning and prepare for Christmas all at once.

How will you bring the current state of domestic chaos into holiday readiness: clean, organized, prepared? Try the House and Holidays Plan and make your house work ... for the holidays!    Read More >>

Cash In! Save Money For Christmas

   July 5, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

Think "Christmas" ... in July? Sure, if you want to make it an all-cash holiday! Holiday spending can be hard on the pocketbook--and bought on credit, "Christmas Day" can stretch into the new year for weeks or months.

Best idea: start now. Saving money for holiday spending is a little less painful with these do-it-now ways to come up with Christmas cash:    Read More >>

Make a Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper for 4th of July

   July 1, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

Looking for popping-good fun for America's birthday celebration? Make a Fourth of July Jiffy Pop® Popcorn Topper!

Add our free printable template to a package of Jiffy Pop® brand pop-in-pan popcorn for an inexpensive "popcorn topper" craft gift.

Share with family, friends or coworkers to bring a patriotic "pop" to Independence Day gatherings.

   Read More >>

Cut the Crazy: Choose a Holiday Plan

Plan Early, Plan Smart for an Organized Christmas

What's the best road to calm and joyous holidays? It's all about the plan!

Preparing for Christmas with the help of a step-by-step plan makes quick work of seasonal chores, and leaves plenty of time, energy--and money!--to celebrate the season. Which plan is right for you? Check out these options to get ready for a stress-free Christmas:    Read More >>

Christmas Countdown: Get Organized for the Holiday Season

Six Weeks to an Organized Christmas

What do you really want for Christmas? More time, more joy, and less stress? Welcome to the Christmas Countdown! We're kicking off the 2019 Countdown on Sunday, October 27.

A calmer, more centered holiday celebration is easy when you simplify your holidays with the Christmas Countdown get organized plan.

The Christmas Countdown is a free six-week Christmas organizing workshop from Organized Christmas. Written by author and Web publisher Cynthia Ewer, the Countdown has been online since 1998. Tested by hundreds of thousands of families like yours, it's a tried-and-true road map for an organized Christmas.

Countdown assignments, spread over six weeks, simplify the job of getting ready for Christmas. By breaking down Christmas preparation into small, easy-to-take steps, the Countdown gives you a holiday headstart for a stress-free Christmas season. We'll cover gift lists, cooking, decorating and fun--and you'll be ready for Christmas with time to spare.

Ready? We're counting down to an organized Christmas, starting on Sunday, October 21!    Read More >>

House & Holidays Plan 2019 Calendar

Week by Week to an Organized Christmas

Will you clean house, cut clutter and prepare for the holidays by following the House & Holidays Plan this year?

The 2019 House & Holidays Plan begins on Sunday, September 1! Join us to get ready to celebrate the holiday season in a clean and organized home.

First step: check in with the Plan calendar. In the weeks to come, you'll schedule STOP clutter and deep-cleaning sessions for each area of your home and set aside time for holiday planning and preparation.    Read More >>

Fun BBQ Recipe: Beer Can Chicken

   June 26, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

In the Ewer household, it's a "can-do" barbeque treat: a whole chicken cooked on a hot seat. Grilled upright. while seated on a half-full can of beer, soda or stock, Beer Can Chicken is steam-basted from within, grilled smoky golden-brown without.

The unusual cooking method, combined with a spicy rub and aroma from smoker chips, creates a tender meat, dripping with tangy juices. Beer Can Chicken is a late-summer favorite paired with potato salad and a platter of homegrown tomatoes. Happy grilling!

Holiday Grand Plan Week 9: Pantry and Closets

October 26 - November 2, 2019

Pantry Week sees us move into food storage area, this week at the Holiday Grand Plan!

This week, we focus on food storage, the pantry and any additional closets. Taking time to declutter, deep-clean and organize these storage areas will pay off when holiday baking begins.

Holiday prep chores this week see us begin to address Christmas cards, continue to work on holiday gifts, and start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner.    Read More >>

Patriotic Recipe: American Blessings Mix

   June 26, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

It's a sure-fire hit for patriotic celebrations like Memorial Day or the 4th of July: American Blessings Mix.

This easy recipe creates a simple snack mix favor to remind us of our nation's blessings.

Bagged in favor-sized gift bags and decorated with a patriotic poem, American Blessings Mix brings a festive touch to July 4th celebrations.

Follow the recipe below, and get packaging and assembly how-tos with our Blessings Mix Tutorial.    Read More >>

Holiday Grand Plan: A Clean House for Christmas

   June 25, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

You've decided: this is the year you'll celebrate the holiday season from a home that is clean, organized and ready for Christmas. You dream of holiday parties, overnight house guests, Christmas cookies, a decorated home and a calm and stress-free holiday season.

There's only one problem: right now, you're living in domestic chaos. How to create a clean home for the holidays?

Looking around your home, you don't know where to begin. Cluttered counters, crammed closets and out-of-place possessions pile up everywhere.    Read More >>

Dreamsicle Cookies In A Jar

   June 24, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

A favorite hot-weather sweet sparks a great gift in a jar: Orange Dreamsicle Cookies!

Taking the name--and flavors--of a cool summer treat, Orange Dreamsicle Cookies are punched up with vanilla baking chips and a burst of citrus.

Layered and decorated with a pretty gift tag, Orange Dreamsicle Cookies In A Jar are perfect "just-because" gift or gift basket item.

We make it easy with a free printable gift tags.

Beat the Heat: Make A Cool Tie!

   June 4, 2019 by Cynthia Ewer

Beat summer's heat with this sew-simple craft project: a cool tie!

This bright cotton neckerchief has a summer secret: a filling of water-absorbing polymer granules from the garden center.

Soaked in water, the cool tie's polymer granules absorb more than 200% their weight in water. Tied around the neck or worn as a headband, a cool tie provides all-day cool relief through evaporation.

A cool tie is simple to sew, requiring only a straight-stitch sewing machine. It makes a great gift for gardeners! Printable Cool Tie gift tags adds a splashy note to your hot-weather gift.    Read More >>