Organized Home - CLEAN HOUSE, CUT CLUTTER, GET ORGANIZED http://organizedhome.com/ en You've Been BOOed! Halloween BOO Poem and Signs http://organizedhome.com/crafts/halloween/boo-youve-been-booed-poem-signs <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">You&#039;ve Been BOOed! Halloween BOO Poem and Signs</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A socially-distanced Halloween game?  Yep!  It's the Halloween BOO: a "secret friend" game based on a porch drop for friends or neighbors. </p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">September 23, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/crafts/halloween/boo-youve-been-booed-poem-signs"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-boo-halloween-child.jpg?itok=zgdaARDM" width="850" height="470" alt="Halloween BOO game poem and signs" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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?</p> <p>You've been BOOed! Welcome to the wonderful world of Halloween BOO-ing!</p> <h2>Have You Been BOO-ed? </h2> <p>Sometimes called "Ghosting" or "the Phantom", the Halloween BOO is an Autumn take on "Secret Santa" or May baskets.</p> <p>Usually seen in neighborhoods--but sometimes in the workplace--BOO-ing is a friendly tradition for Halloween fun. Will your neighborhood be next?</p> <p>To start a Halloween BOO, one neighbor secretly leaves a small gift basket, a BOO poem, BOO instructions and a BOO sign at a neighbor's doorstep.</p> <p>The lucky BOO-ee is asked to post the sign near the door, alerting others that "We've Been BOO-ed!" That way, new BOO recruits won't leave a duplicate BOO on the doorstep.</p> <p>In turn, the neighbor is asked to BOO two other households, leading to a chain reaction--and Halloween fun.</p> <p>Day by day, the BOO signs proliferate. Soon, the entire neighborhood is sporting BOO signs, and everyone is guessing. Who's been booed?</p> <h2>How To Play The Halloween BOO Game</h2> <p>To start a BOO in your neighborhood, select your BOO poem and sign from the links below. Make one copy for each BOO-ee on your list. </p> <p>Make a small gift basket for each BOO-ee and add a copy of the BOO poem and BOO sign.</p> <p>Here comes the fun! Deliver the BOO secretly to a friend's doorstep--and watch the BOO signs multiply! Will your house be next?</p> <p>Ready? Set? BOO ... for neighborhood Halloween fun!</p> <h2>Print Halloween BOO Poems and Signs</h2> <drupal-filter-placeholder callback="\Drupal\insert_view_adv\Plugin\Filter\InsertView::build" 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token="Sb9oTCwtM9yXpaJEdb5tDHxigBqLg2ezjOuUHf1KcLs"></drupal-filter-placeholder></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/crafts" hreflang="en">Seasonal Gifts and Crafts</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/crafts/halloween" hreflang="en">Halloween BOO</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/organized-christmas" hreflang="en">Organized Christmas</a></div> Wed, 23 Sep 2020 22:43:47 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 119 at http://organizedhome.com Organized Pantry: Beginner's Guide to Pantry Pride http://organizedhome.com/kitchen-tips/organized-pantry-beginner-guide <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Organized Pantry: Beginner&#039;s Guide to Pantry Pride</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>With new demands on the family kitchen, what's the state of your pantry?  Learn the basics for efficient home food storage, rotation and retrieval.</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">September 18, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/kitchen-tips/organized-pantry-beginner-guide"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-pantry-organized.jpg?itok=F0CxL8jw" width="850" height="470" alt="organize the pantry" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A working pantry? It's the secret weapon of a well-organized kitchen. </p> <p>A planned reserve of foodstuffs and sundries used in the home, a pantry saves time, money and stress in the kitchen. Tap the pantry for unexpected meals and reduce trips to the supermarket.  Stock it with frugal finds to lower grocery costs. Set aside a supply of food and sundries for a rainy day and protect your family against weather emergencies or financial dislocation. </p> <p>Properly managed, the pantry is an integral part of an organized home. Polish your pantry pride with our best hints and tips.</p> <h3>A Pantry's Not A Place: It's An Attitude</h3> <p>"Oh, I'd love to have a pantry," writes a reader, "but my house doesn't have one!" Sure it does! If there's so much as a spare roll of toilet paper tucked underneath a sink, the household boasts a pantry.</p> <p>Don't confuse storage space with the reality of the pantry principle. Certainly, it's helpful to have designated cabinet space for pantry goods--but that's not the pantry. Think of the pantry as a reservoir of consumable goods which may be stored in any area of the home.</p> <p>Tiny urban apartment or spacious rural farmhouse, all homes can include a pantry. That some houses may or may not feature a specific storage area labeled "pantry" is beside the point. A pantry's not a place, it's an attitude!</p> <h3>Eyes On The Goal</h3> <p>What's the goal of establishing and maintaining a pantry? It's two-fold: household convenience and protection against unexpected events. A well-planned pantry means that the household will never run out of commonly used products such as toilet paper. </p> <p>More important, a pantry is a reserve against hard times. Whether it's job loss, illness, or natural disaster, a pantry ensures that the family will continue to be fed, clean, and comfortable in the face of adversity.</p> <p>A beginner's pantry focuses on convenience and contains back-up products for each storable item used in the home. The standard is simple: for each open bag, box or carton in the household, the pantry contains a second, back-up product, toothbrushes to tortellini. A good first goal: a three-day supply of food and hygiene supplies adequate to support your family plus one additional person.</p> <p>More robust pantries serve additional goals. A mid-range pantry can feed a family for a period of two weeks to a month in case of emergency. </p> <p>This pantry includes substitutes for fresh foods, such as powdered milk, dried fruits and vegetables, and protein products. A mid-range pantry offers convenience and basic protection.</p> <p>The most comprehensive home pantries are designed to meet long-term food storage needs. For instance, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) are taught to maintain a one-year supply of food and clothing for their families. </p> <p>To do so, these premier pantry managers stock versatile foodstuffs with long shelf life, such as whole wheat berries, together with a variety of preserved and dried foods. LDS home managers learn pantry-specific cooking techniques to enhance nutrition and appeal of long-keeping foods.</p> <h3>Inside the Well-Stocked Pantry</h3> <p>Traditional home organization advice often specifies long lists of "recommended pantry items", idea being that you buy them and voila! you've got pantry. </p> <p>Eighteen months later, you're hauling dusty cans of apricot halves to the Food Bank and wondering what ever possessed you to purchase them in the first place.</p> <p>Reality check! Each family's pantry will vary according to their own tastes, needs and standard of living. Storage space and financial constraints also affect pantry contents.</p> <p>For instance, single-income households with young children will build pantries replete with cold cereal, formula, disposable diapers and child-friendly snack foods--all purchased on sale with coupons. Empty-nesters with an active social life and his-and-hers diets will lean toward pickled asparagus, cocktail crackers and tiny jars of caviar for pick-up appetizers and hostess gifts.</p> <p>Dedicated home bakers include specialty flours, gluten, and dried buttermilk powder in their pantries, while non-cooks rely heavily on microwave entrees and freezer pizza. And just about every family can stockpile basics for kitchen and bath: toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry and dishwasher detergent, disposable diapers and feminine hygiene products, paper napkins and food storage bags.</p> <article class="align-right"><div class="media-library-item__preview js-media-library-item-preview"> <div class="field field--name-thumbnail field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_325x325/public/2020-08/food_shopping_list.pdf.jpeg?itok=yd6qEAyj" alt="food_shopping_list" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-max-325x325" /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-document field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="http://organizedhome.com/sites/default/files/2020-08/food_shopping_list.pdf" class="file-download file-download-application file-download-pdf" target="_blank" download="">Print Shopping List</a></div> </div> <div class="media-library-item__attributes"> <div class="media-library-item__name"> Shopping List </div> </div> </article><p>Where's the best place to discover your family's pantry preferences? A <a>shopping list</a>! </p> <p>If you buy it, use it, and it can be stored, it's a pantry candidate. Building a pantry from the grocery list is also a powerful antidote to Pantry Mania: the indiscriminate purchase of case lots of canned turkey chili or house-brand soups that no one in the household will eat. Hello, Food Bank!</p> <p>An expansive view of the pantry principle encompasses more than the traditional dry storage of canned foods and baking staples. Manage your pantry to include freezer storage and a limited amount of refrigerator real estate. Carrots, potatoes, oranges and apples enter the pantry zone when bought on sale and tucked into corners of the vegetable bin, while freezer convenience entrees qualify, too.</p> <p>Bottom line: build a pantry to suit your family. Whether it's Chef Boy-ar-dee brand ravioli or Wolfgang Puck's upscale line of condensed soups, feature your family's favorites on the pantry shelves.</p> <h3>Organization and Inventory Tips</h3> <p>To work the pantry principle, you've gotta get organized! Maximum pantry power requires that you know what you have, how long it will keep, and how to store it safely. Good organization and inventory techniques will keep your pantry cycling smoothly.</p> <p>Beginning pantries are relatively simple, and don't require complex organization systems. Create them by buying twice as many of each item as required for weekly use, then storing the extras. Use the last smidge of mayo making today's tuna salad? Retrieve the back-up jar from the pantry, and add "mayo" to the week's shopping list to replace the pantry jar.</p> <p>Often, the beginner's pantry can be stored side-by-side with opened or in-use items. For example, stack the open box of detergent on top of the pantry box or line up cans of chicken noodle soup front to back on the canned goods shelf. Remember to rotate! Add newly-purchased items to the back of the stack or row; use the front items first.</p> <p>Even for beginners, a dedicated pantry area can be a big help. Set aside a cabinet or shelf to hold pantry items. Organize them by category, stacking cans and boxes. Flat-bottomed plastic baskets support and contain bags of dried beans, rice, or pasta.</p> <p>One exception to the "store by category" rule: complete pantry meals. On a section of pantry shelf, assemble all the makings for three to five pantry meals: a family-sized can of clam chowder, extra can of chopped clams, and the box of oyster crackers shelved together make it easy to replace these items after use. Check your "pantry meals" area before shopping day. Empty spaces will remind you to stock up on the clam chowder as needed.</p> <article class="align-right"><div class="media-library-item__preview js-media-library-item-preview"> <div class="field field--name-thumbnail field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_325x325/public/2020-08/food_inventory_pantry.pdf.jpeg?itok=HkN5eQ37" alt="food_inventory_pantry" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-max-325x325" /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-document field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="http://organizedhome.com/sites/default/files/2020-08/food_inventory_pantry.pdf" class="file-download file-download-application file-download-pdf" target="_blank" download="">Print Pantry Inventory</a></div> </div> <div class="media-library-item__attributes"> <div class="media-library-item__name"> Pantry Inventory </div> </div> </article><p>More comprehensive pantries call for a more organized approach. Larger pantries require more storage space, often sited away from the kitchen. In this situation, a written pantry inventory can remind forgetful cooks of the existence and location of pantry items. </p> <p>To inventory the pantry, use a clipboard, steno pad, laptop computer or a<a> free printable pantry inventory</a> form. Record pantry contents, amount and location for easy reference.</p> <p>Before grocery shopping, check the pantry; will you need to replace any items that have been used? Include them on the weekly shopping list.</p> <p>Larger pantries may be stored in multiple locations around the house, so pay attention to food storage guidelines as you store. A cool, dry basement room is a good storage environment for root vegetables, apples, or baking staples; canned goods and dried beans can be safely stored in areas with greater temperature variation. </p> <p>Long-term storage pantries require a thorough approach to selection, storage, maintenance and use of stored foods. Families storing a year's supply of food and water must pay close attention to storage guidelines, safe packaging, and integration of pantry supplies into the daily diet.</p> <p></p> <h3>Building A Pantry On A Budget</h3> <p>Investing in the pantry principle pays off in savings of time and money, but it does involve an up-front cost. Even a beginner's pantry--a back-up product for each item used in the home, plus ingredients for three to five pantry meals--represents a significant financial outlay. </p> <p>Try these tips to spread the load:</p> <ul><li><strong>"Tithe" for the pantry:</strong> set aside a regular percentage of each week's grocery budget for pantry-building. Even a few dollars a week will start the process of stocking and maintaining pantry reserves.</li> <li><strong>Buy on sale:</strong> take advantage of supermarket loss leaders to stock up. Supermarkets routinely offer tuna, tomato sauce, canned soup and canned beans at drop-dead prices to get shoppers in the door. If it's a pantry candidate and it's on sale, buy multiples!</li> <li><strong>Buy in bulk:</strong> bulk-buying for the pantry really pays off. Using the pantry "tithe", buy the 25-pound sack of bread flour for $3.89 at the warehouse store, rather than spend $1.39 for the supermarket's five-pound bag. You'll save and stock up at the same time!</li> </ul><h3>Storage tips for small spaces</h3> <p>Even beginner's pantries may have a hard time finding a home in small houses or apartments. Try these storage ideas to tuck away a pantry in the tiniest home: </p> <ul><li><strong>Break the mold</strong>: look beyond the kitchen to store pantry items in a small home. Provided that temperature and moisture are not issues, any room in the house is a candidate for pantry storage. Who says cans can't live in the coat closet?</li> <li><strong>Disguise it</strong>: integrate pantry goods into the home. For example, stack two large bulk-food storage containers and top with a plywood circle and round tablecloth. Who can tell this attractive end table is really storage space for 50 pounds of flour?</li> <li><strong>Look high and low</strong>: make use of storage space under or over furniture. Fill shallow under-bed storage boxes with canned food, labels up, and push them beneath the bed. Similarly, cover cardboard records boxes with gift wrap or fabric, fill them with bags of pasta, beans and rice, and stash them away on top of tall bookcases.</li> </ul></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/pantry-power" hreflang="en">Pantry Power</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/kitchen-tips" hreflang="en">Kitchen Tips</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/kitchen-tips" hreflang="en">Kitchen Tips</a></div> Fri, 18 Sep 2020 15:46:19 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 117 at http://organizedhome.com Master Gift List: A Holiday Shopper's Best Friend http://organizedhome.com/christmas/gifts-and-giving/master-gift-list-holiday-shoppers-best-friend <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Master Gift List: A Holiday Shopper&#039;s Best Friend</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>We've taken polls, and it happens every time: at Christmas, gift-giving leads the list of holiday stressors.  Take charge of gifting decisions with a master gift list: the "list of lists" to organize holiday giving--and supercharge your gift-giving flair.</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">September 18, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/christmas/gifts-and-giving/master-gift-list-holiday-shoppers-best-friend"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-master-gift-list.jpg?itok=6mSpPb1f" width="850" height="470" alt="Print a master gift list" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Every family has one: a gift-giver of extraordinary flair and creativity. Year after year, this paragon finds just the right gift, large or small, for every friend and relation, and all without breaking the bank. </p> <p>Her “just because” offerings are tiny jewels, she’s hip to the latest teen trends—and she never, ever hears the double-barbed response, “Oh, you shouldn't have--you <strong>really</strong> shouldn’t have!”</p> <p>What’s her secret? A master gift list.</p> <article class="align-right"><div class="media-library-item__preview js-media-library-item-preview"> <div class="field field--name-thumbnail field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/max_325x325/public/2020-08/christmas_planner_gifts_master_list.pdf.jpeg?itok=LKdAQdkE" alt="christmas_planner_gifts_master_list" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-max-325x325" /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-document field--type-file field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="http://organizedhome.com/sites/default/files/2020-08/christmas_planner_gifts_master_list.pdf" class="file-download file-download-application file-download-pdf" target="_blank" download="">Print Master Gift List</a></div> </div> <div class="media-library-item__attributes"> <div class="media-library-item__name"> Master Gift List </div> </div> </article><p>More than a simple “name-to-present” checklist, a Master Gift List is a power-giver’s tool of choice. It’s the place to record gift suggestions, track shopping, wrapping and shipping, and find inspiration for tough-to-buy-for loved ones. Started well before the holiday season, it'll buy precious time during December's busy days.</p> <p>The Master Gift List will be the start point for Gifts and Giving as we get ready for Christmas, so the time to begin one is now!</p> <ul><li><a>Print a Master Gift List</a></li> <li><a>Print a Master Gift List (Computer-Fillable)</a></li> </ul><p>Place the Master Gift List directly behind the Gifts divider in your Christmas planner for easy reference.  How will you use a Master Gift List?</p> <h2>Grab gift ideas</h2> <p>If there’s a single trait that sets apart a power gift-giver, it’s attentiveness. Inspired gift ideas don’t just alight from thin air, but spring from close attention to the needs and preferences of loved ones. That’s why the Master Gift List’s first function is to record fleeting gift ideas as they occur to you—whatever the time of year. </p> <p>Here's an example. Say you visit your brother and sister-in-law for a family cookout. You notice that Sis is trying to toss the salad with a mismatched pair of mixing spoons. Gift idea! </p> <p>In the corner, a teen nephew hunches in full thrall to a hand-held video game. Ditto!</p> <p>When you return home, make a quick note that “salad servers” might be a welcome gift for the family, and write “video game magazine subscription” next to your nephew’s name. </p> <p>Entrusted to the Master Gift List, those summer observations will make shopping simple come December.</p> <h2>Take charge of shopping</h2> <p>Rely on the Shopping Mall Method of gift buying, and your budget will rise like a helium-filled balloon. Without the guidance of a good gift list, you’ll drift from store to store, buying what the eye sees, not what the family needs. At day’s end, you’re likely to have multiple gifts for some recipients, nothing for others, and a flattened wallet to match your flattened feet.</p> <p>Shop with a list, and take control! Rely on the Master Gift List as you shop to resist retailing blandishments and put purchasing power back in your hands. Keep a running tally of gift purchases to protect the budget against seasonal temptation, and use the list to organize holiday shopping trips efficiently. Armed with a Master Gift List, you’ll save money, time and energy at a busy time of year.</p> <p>The Master Gift List. Don’t leave home without it!</p> <h2>Track gift-giving progress</h2> <p>Buying is only the beginning; holiday gifts must still be wrapped, packed and shipped. Who needs the stress of standing in line for overnight shipping on Christmas Eve?</p> <p>Add simple checkboxes for “bought”, “wrapped”, and “delivered”; they’ll let you see at a glance where you lie along the trail to the Christmas tree. Check the list regularly, and you’ll have a visual reminder to get gifts delivered in a timely way.</p> <h2>Lessons of Christmas Past</h2> <p>Finally, there’s no such thing as a “finished” gift list. Even at season’s end, the Master Gift List remains a treasure trove for Christmases to come.  </p> <p>Tuck the completed Master Gift List away behind the Christmas Past divider in your Christmas planner.  As you make next year’s lists, refer to it to avoid duplicating gifts, to recall gift ideas and to prevent violating the “unwritten rules” by veering from modest to extravagant gifts from year to year.</p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/christmas" hreflang="en">Christmas</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/christmas/planning-tips" hreflang="en">Planning Tips</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/organized-christmas" hreflang="en">Organized Christmas</a></div> Fri, 18 Sep 2020 14:05:57 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 116 at http://organizedhome.com Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist http://organizedhome.com/seasonal-spin/fall-cleaning-chore-checklist <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Fall is on the way and winter is coming.  Here's a quick checklist of the most important fall cleaning chores.</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">September 9, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/seasonal-spin/fall-cleaning-chore-checklist"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-fall-cleaning-checklist.jpg?itok=o8AGK_br" width="850" height="470" alt="Fall Cleaning Checklist" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>It's Autumn. Pumpkins glow in golden fields. Shorter days, crisp mornings signal winter's approach.</p> <p>Can the holidays be far behind?</p> <p>Use Autumn's brisk and breezy days to conquer deep-cleaning chores for a clean and comfortable winter home, and to wrap up summer's outdoor lifestyle.</p> <p>Our Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist will help you prepare home and hearth for the coming of winter:</p> <h2>Outside The House</h2> <p>Summer's come and gone--and left its mark on outside the house.</p> <p>Time to come inside for winter! Outside the house tend to these autumn chores:</p> <ul><li>Clean and store patio furniture, umbrellas, children's summer toys.</li> <li>Touch up paint on trim, railings and decks. Use a wire brush to remove flaking paint; prime bare wood first.</li> <li>Check caulk around windows and doors. Follow manufacturer's recommendations to re-caulk if needed.</li> <li>Inspect external doors and garage doors. Do they close tightly? Install weather-stripping, door thresholds if needed.</li> <li>Wash exterior windows.</li> <li>Drain and store garden hoses. Install insulating covers on exterior spigots. In hard-freeze areas, have sprinkler systems blown free of water.</li> <li>Check gutters and downspouts. Clear of debris if necessary. In cold-weather areas, consider installing heating cable to prevent ice dams.</li> <li>Have chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned if necessary.</li> </ul><h2>The Inside Story</h2> <p>Autumn's the time for "spring cleaning"! With winter coming, it makes sense to tuck the family into a freshly-cleaned home via fall cleaning.</p> <p>Deep clean now to take advantage of good weather and to welcome approaching holidays with a clean and comfortable home.  Try these cleaning tips:</p> <ul><li>Focus on public rooms: living room, family room, entryway, guest bath.</li> <li>Clean from top to bottom. Vacuum drapes and window treatments. Clean window sills and window wells. Vacuum baseboards andcorners.</li> <li>Vacuum upholstered furniture, or have professionally cleaned if needed. Move furniture and vacuum beneath and behind it.</li> <li>Wash interior windows.</li> <li>Turn mattresses front-to-back and end-to-end to equalize wear.</li> <li>Launder or clean all bedding: mattress pads, pillows, duvets, blankets, comforters. Tuck the family into a warm and cozy winter bed.</li> <li>Schedule professional carpet cleaning early this month! Warm October afternoons speed carpet drying. Carpet cleaning firms get busy by the end of October, so schedule now for best service.</li> <li>Prepare the kitchen for holiday cooking. Clean and organized kitchen cabinets, paying particular attention to baking supplies, pans and equipment.</li> <li>Clear kitchen counters of all appliances not used within the last week. Clear counters look cleaner--and provide more room for holiday cooking.</li> <li>Pull refrigerator away from the wall, and vacuum the condenser coils. For bottom-mounted coils, use a long, narrow brush to clean coils of dust and debris.</li> <li>Wash light-diffusing bowls from light fixtures.</li> <li>Inspect each appliance. Does it need supplies? Stock up on softener salt now, and avoid staggering over icy sidewalks with heavy bags.</li> <li>Check and empty the central vacuum's collection area.</li> <li>Clean electronic air cleaner elements monthly for most efficient operation. Wash them in an empty dishwasher (consult manual for specific product recommendations).</li> <li>Clean or replace humidifier elements before the heating season begins.</li> <li>Inspect washer hoses for bulges, cracks or splits. Replace them every other year.</li> <li>Check dryer exhaust tube and vent for built-up lint, debris or birds' nests! Make sure the exterior vent door closes tightly when not in use.</li> <li>Schedule fall furnace inspections now. Don't wait for the first cold night!</li> <li>Buy a winter's supply of furnace filters. Change filters monthly for maximum energy savings and indoor comfort. When the right filter is on hand, it's an easy job!</li> <li>Drain sediment from hot water heaters.</li> </ul></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/clean-house" hreflang="en">Clean House</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/cleaning-checklists" hreflang="en">Cleaning Checklists</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/clean-house" hreflang="en">Clean House</a></div> Wed, 09 Sep 2020 23:12:14 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 110 at http://organizedhome.com Organized Christmas? Try a Holiday Plan http://organizedhome.com/christmas/holiday-plans <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Organized Christmas? Try a Holiday Plan</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text--drop-cap">When it's time to get ready for the holiday season, it helps to have a plan.  Weekly holiday plans set out an easy road map to an organized Christmas.</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">August 29, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/christmas/holiday-plans"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-christmas-holiday-plans.jpg?itok=RD_jp7Go" width="850" height="470" alt="Holiday plans for an organized Christmas" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>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.</p> <p>Here at OrganizedHome.com, we're home to two of the Web's oldest holiday plans: the Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Grand Plan.</p> <p>We're also bringing you two newer plans for Christmas organizing: the House and Holidays Plan and the Rudolph Club.  </p> <p>Which plan is right for you?  Check out these options to get ready for a stress-free Christmas:</p> <h2>House and Holidays Plan</h2> <p>Dreaming of celebrating the Christmas season in a clean and organized home?  Try the <a href="https://organizedhome.com/christmas/house-holidays-plan">House and Holidays Plan</a>!  </p> <p>Written by organizing author, Cynthia Ewer, the HHP is a week-by-week roadmap to clean and organize the whole house by December, while preparing for the holiday season in good time.  Beginning on Labor Day weekend, the HHP takes you area-by-area through the home, where you'll cut the clutter, clean and organize with weekly assignments designed to be do-able, not overwhelming.  Along the way, you'll learn skills to keep clutter at bay, cut cleaning chores and bring better organization to the home front.</p> <p>Along with cleaning chores, each week's assignments include a few holiday prep tasks. Breaking holiday preparations down into small steps makes it easier to celebrate without last-minute stress.  Linking each week's area focus with corresponding holiday prep chores--such as inventorying holiday table linens during Bed and Bath week--helps keep the plan focused and realistic.   </p> <p>Choose the HHP if you're hoping to move from cluttered to calm on the home front.  You'll improve household routines, cut clutter, and prepare for the season week-by-week ... to be ready for Christmas!</p> <h2>Holiday Grand Plan</h2> <p>Are you looking for the Holiday Grand Plan?  Get it here:  the Web's oldest holiday organizing plan is followed by thousands.  The <a href="https://organizedhome.com/christmas/holiday-grand-plan">2020 Holiday Grand Plan</a> starts on Sunday, August 30!</p> <h2>Christmas Countdown </h2> <p>Published on the Web since 1998, the <a href="https://christmas.organizedhome.com/christmas-countdown">Christmas Countdown</a> is a classic Christmas-only holiday organizing plan. Over six weeks, the Countdown takes you from holiday zero to Christmas sixty, breaking down seasonal chores into easy-to-complete weekly assignments.</p> <p>Written by home organization author, Cynthia Ewer , the Countdown is for those who want to prepare for the holidays without a lot of cleaning or organizing. It's a "just the holiday stuff" plan designed to let you cruise into December prepared and ready to celebrate!</p> <h2>Rudolph Club</h2> <p>The <a href="https://christmas.organizedhome.com/rudolph-club">Rudolph Club</a> offers a monthly option for those who want to prepare for the holiday season throughout the year.  Organized by members of the  Organized Christmas community, the Rudolph Club meets on the 25th of each month.  By tackling one holiday chore per month, members spread the work--and expense--of the season over the year.  Sharing makes it fun!</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/seasonal-spin" hreflang="en">Seasonal Spin</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/christmas" hreflang="en">Christmas</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/christmas/planning-tips" hreflang="en">Planning Tips</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/organized-christmas" hreflang="en">Organized Christmas</a></div> Sat, 29 Aug 2020 23:52:45 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 14 at http://organizedhome.com Too Early To Think Christmas? Starting Now Makes Sense http://organizedhome.com/christmas/reality-check/too-early-think-christmas-start-now <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Too Early To Think Christmas? Starting Now Makes Sense</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Start holiday planning when summer rules?  Sure!  Here's why it makes sense--and cents--to start planning early for the Christmas season.</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">August 27, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/christmas/reality-check/too-early-think-christmas-start-now"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-summer-christmas-start-early.jpg?itok=PYL4A-9z" width="850" height="470" alt="Start early for an organized christmas" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Summer's in full swing--and baby, it's hot outside! Need a diversion? Late summer is the perfect time to look ahead to the holiday season! </p> <p>Start Christmas planning now, and you'll reap abundant benefits come December. But not everyone agrees. Citing "Christmas creep"--the tendency of retail stores to display holiday merchandise while it's still summer--many people resist the idea of starting early for an organized Christmas.</p> <p>So why begin Christmas organizing early--and without the benefit of holiday sentiment? Here are six reasons why starting now makes sense--and will help you have more holiday joy, less holiday stress come December:</p> <h3>Keep Control of Holiday Decision-Making</h3> <p>Yes, the holiday spirit can be magical--and can lead to magical thinking. Those who wait until the spirit moves them to plan their holiday season often find their decisions swept away by the Christmas tide, not made by their conscious choice. </p> <p>Whether they over-spend, over-schedule or over-indulge, they're dancing to the season's tune, not in charge of their own celebration. Result: debt, stress and holiday chaos.</p> <p>Advance Christmas planning puts you--not sentiment--in the driver's seat. When setting a gift budget, making travel plans, or scheduling your time, you're more likely to have a realistic view of your limitations and your family's values when considering the season from a safe--and early--distance.</p> <p>Best of all, planning the holiday season early allows you to enjoy the season fully. Secure that your spending, activities, traditions and celebrations are those that truly reflect your values, you're free to enter into the spirit of an organized Christmas. </p> <p>Decide first, celebrate later!</p> <h3>Make it an All-Cash Christmas</h3> <p>For too many families, Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving, in the form of credit card balances that linger for months into the new year. When buying decisions are swayed by last-minute sentiment or the pressure of deadlines, it's too easy to turn to plastic to bankroll the holiday season.</p> <p>Setting a holiday budget now makes it easier to achieve an all-cash Christmas, while planning early helps find the funds to celebrate in style. Better still, having gift lists and pantry needs organized in advance helps savvy shoppers take advantage of seasonal specials as they arise throughout the Autumn weeks. </p> <p>Starting now means you'll spend less, get more, and keep the bills off the credit card balance. Because consumer debt is nobody's idea of a Christmas gift! </p> <h3>Take Time to Renegotiate Gift Exchanges</h3> <p>Growing families, economic circumstances or a new commitment to holiday simplicity can signal a need to renegotiate gift exchanges. Perhaps an office Secret Santa tradition has gone over-the-top in recent years. It may be time to readjust gift-giving practices in your extended family, or reel in inflated holiday expectations.</p> <p>Whatever the scenario, starting early makes it easier to renegotiate gift exchanges with a minimum of drama or hard feelings. Waiting until Thanksgiving to advise adult siblings that your family won't be participating in the annual gift exchange can backfire, if the sibs in question have already purchased gifts!</p> <p>Raising the issue before the season provides breathing room for what is often an emotional interchange. Even if the decision to scale back or renegotiate gift-giving isn't welcomed by all the participants, doing it now means there is plenty of time to have it out and have it over with before the holidays arrive!</p> <h3>Embrace a Handmade Holiday</h3> <p>Will you create your own holiday gifts and crafts this year? Planning ahead is essential to success; nobody wants to spend December nights rushed and harried at the crafts table.</p> <p>Whether you're new to giving hand-crafted gifts or not, starting holiday preparations now give you plenty of time to start--and finish--handmade holiday gifts and crafts. </p> <p>Similarly, crafters will find the season's best selection of kits, materials and supplies on sale now. </p> <p>Wait until December 1 to plan homemade gifts, and the project shelves at the local crafts store will seem mighty bare. </p> <p>Handmade is the new hot holiday gift--so start now to join the fun!</p> <h3>Tune Into Family Traditions</h3> <p>It's the most wonderful time of the year ... but not when it happens haphazardly! A disorganized Christmas celebration can leave out the most meaningful expressions of the season: family traditions.</p> <p>Starting early on holiday preparations ensures that seasonal traditions--not seasonal tasks--take center stage. You'll have ample time to purchase Nutcracker tickets, throw a neighborhood cookie swap, or take a drive to see the lights if you're not rushing around with last-minute checklist in hand.</p> <h3>Separate the Chores From the Celebration</h3> <p>One last reason to make holiday plans early? Joy!</p> <p>Sure, the holiday hustle and bustle can be very appealing--but who really enjoys a stroll in the mall when they're burdened by a long gift list and under time pressure? By tending to Christmas chores on the early side, you're free to jump into an organized Christmas with a happy, unencumbered heart.</p> <p>A long lead-in to the holiday season breaks down the work into small, easy-to-achieve steps. Doing a few chores each week, you'll be ready to celebrate the season more fully, more joyously--and without the stress that comes from too much to do, to little time to do it. </p> <p>You'll do less, enjoy it more ... with an organized Christmas!</p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/christmas" hreflang="en">Christmas</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/christmas/planning-tips" hreflang="en">Planning Tips</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/organized-christmas" hreflang="en">Organized Christmas</a></div> Thu, 27 Aug 2020 07:00:00 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 72 at http://organizedhome.com Seasonal Clothing Declutter: Who's Living In Your Closet? http://organizedhome.com/cut-clutter/clothing-declutter-living-your-closet <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Seasonal Clothing Declutter: Who&#039;s Living In Your Closet?</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text--drop-cap">Cleaning up the clothes closet at season's end?  Keep these ideas in mind as you declutter the clothes closet.</p> </div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">August 24, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/cut-clutter/clothing-declutter-living-your-closet"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-seasonal-closet-declutter.jpg?itok=BRbDX4sU" width="850" height="470" alt="Seasonal clothing declutter" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Once again, I mark the coming of autumn with a clothing closet declutter. </p> <p>I wade into the closet and find the boxes of out-of-season clothing. Try everything on, skin itching at the touch of wool when the temperature's 80 degrees. </p> <p>Sort the summer's keepers from items to donate. Look for "holes" and orphans in my autumn wardrobe. Count the upcoming dinners and holiday events, and divide them by the number of my party dresses. Try, for the 900th time, to locate some good transitional outfits: cool enough for warm autumn days, but not too summery or too bare.</p> <p>A closet declutter is more a ritual celebration of the change of seasons. It's a time for reflection, a time to face up to changing identities. Who's living in your clothes closet?</p> <h3>Multiple personalities</h3> <p>Why is it that the clothing closet declutter hits harder than neutral zones like the linen closet? </p> <p>Perhaps it's because we store more than clothing in our closets. We store other selves, other lives, other dreams. </p> <p>We store the romantic Laura Ashley dress (with flowing gathers) that we hoped to wear early in a pregnancy that never came to be. </p> <p>We store the business suit, purchased to launch a new career. It supported us staunchly as we made our first few client calls--but then we grew confident, and no longer needed the magic of a power suit.</p> <p>Look in any clothes closet. Behind the hangers and shelves and boxes lies a second reality. </p> <p>To declutter a clothing closet, you can't stop with the clothes. You have to move on to the clutter of the psyche that lies behind the possessions.</p> <h3>Of two minds</h3> <p>To clean and declutter a clothing closet, you need two mind-sets: one decisive, one sentimental.</p> <p>Yes, you must do the conventional, and bring clutter-cutting decision-making to the job. Empty the closet, sort the out-of-season clothes and box them up for storage. </p> <p>Try on everything that's left, and donate or sell anything that doesn't fit, that's out of style, that hasn't been worn in a year. Hang the survivors according to weight and color, and look out for good combinations for outfits.</p> <p>The second mind-set, though, is more personal. It's sentimental and wistful and nostalgic. A seasonal closet declutter brings you face-to-face with some of the old selves that must now be dispensed with, like the worn-out clothes in the "donate" bag.</p> <p>These flowered summer shorts? They belong to another person, one who lived in the South (and had to compete with the azaleas to get noticed). The '90s-era blazers with suited skirts? Another century, another career, another personality.</p> <p>Decluttering the clothes closet means saying good-bye. It means relinquishing hold of the cast-off shells of who we used to be. It means confronting the changes of age. </p> <p>But it also means greeting the new and developing person we are now, today, this moment.</p> <p>To come to terms with the conundrum, balance the memories of the past with an encouraging glimpse of the future. </p> <p>Will the new hand-loomed jacket come to stand for a new career, an exciting new venture? Will this party dress eventually remind the wearer of many happy evenings with husband and friends? </p> <p>Reassure yourself! The new wardrobe, like the old, will acquire its own patina of memory and experience.</p> <p>Autumn closet declutter. Look back for a moment . . . but set your sights ahead. There's a whole new season dawning!</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/clothing-wardrobe" hreflang="en">Clothing and Laundry</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/time-money" hreflang="en">Time and Money</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/cut-clutter" hreflang="en">Cut Clutter</a></div> Mon, 24 Aug 2020 07:00:00 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 3 at http://organizedhome.com Household Notebook: Free Printables for an Organized Home http://organizedhome.com/printable/household-notebook <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Household Notebook: Free Printables for an Organized Home</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Bring new order and calm to your home with these printable planning pages, calendars and forms. Add them to your household notebook or bullet planner ... to get organized at home!</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">August 21, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/printable/household-notebook"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-printable-household-notebook.jpg?itok=OI26eAnI" width="850" height="470" alt="Printable pages for home management" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>So you think businesspeople are the only folks who need a personal planner?  Think again: families need an organizer, too, to keep life moving smoothly on the home front!</p> <p>A planner for the entire household allows anyone--child, visitor, babysitter--easy access to the information they need. It's a one-stop information center for busy families.</p> <p>How will you use it? Whether it's a carpool schedule or a co-worker's phone number, the household notebook holds the information you need to check each day. Addresses. Phone numbers. Rosters for sports teams, prayer groups or civic organizations. </p> <p>Ready for an evening out? Flip the Notebook open to the "Emergency Information" page, and the babysitter will always know where to find you.</p> <p>Time for dinner? Menu planners, recipe organizers and shopping list make it easy to feed the family night after night. </p> <p>Clean house fast with cleaning schedules, chore lists and seasonal checklists for home maintenance. Keeping tabs on children's activities, sports team phone numbers or emergency information is as easy as flipping a divider.</p> <h2>Printables for Household Planning</h2> <h3>Calendars</h3> <drupal-filter-placeholder callback="\Drupal\insert_view_adv\Plugin\Filter\InsertView::build" 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token="MiXEwpsbkV66LHCkMkclgZAiQFu1nXWMLAH48N5n8UY"></drupal-filter-placeholder><h3>Household Planners</h3> <drupal-filter-placeholder callback="\Drupal\insert_view_adv\Plugin\Filter\InsertView::build" 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token="ed-jFxvbHApcz_Dh3VH5b2Pbw7IIHXTZ03sxQG2eMtQ"></drupal-filter-placeholder><p> </p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/get-organized" hreflang="en">Get Organized</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/get-organized" hreflang="en">Get Organized</a></div> Fri, 21 Aug 2020 22:37:18 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 69 at http://organizedhome.com Home's Cool! Get Organized for Home School http://organizedhome.com/back-to-school/14-get-organized-home-school-homeschooling <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Home&#039;s Cool! Get Organized for Home School</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Homeschooling this year, ready or not?  Whether you've chosen at-home education, or are adapting to school closures, use these tips for time, space and structure to get organized for home school.</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">August 20, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/back-to-school/14-get-organized-home-school-homeschooling"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-homeschool-student.jpg?itok=yJ-5VAyH" width="850" height="470" alt="Get organized for homeschooling" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Homeschool families, like Tolstoy's happy ones, are all alike: drowning in a sea of clutter! </p> <p>Whatever the organization arena--time, space, money, computer access—-homeschool families have it worse. They have more stuff, less time, more distractions, less money, more chores and less space than just about anybody else. </p> <p>How do you get organized for homeschool? Don't despair, homeschoolers! Here at OrganizedHome.Com, we've assembled the best tips, ideas, resources and links to get your new school year off to an organized start.</p> <p>You don't homeschool? Hang around anyway! The principles used to organize full-time home schooling families also work for every other family where you find children and learning and love.</p> <p>Ready? Get organized for homeschool, because home's cool!</p> <h2>Time Management for Homeschool Families</h2> <p>Time. It's a homeschool family's most precious resource--but the claims on a homeschooler's time are many and noisy! </p> <p>School work, housework, sports and family activities crowd the calendar. </p> <p>How do you get it all done each day?</p> <p>Here are <strong>OrganizedHome.Com's</strong> best time management ideas for homeschool families:</p> <h2>Build a plan...with a planner</h2> <p>Homeschoolers, parent or child, need a beacon through the busy days. Whether you call them planners, activity calendars, schedules or daily assignment sheets, all homeschoolers need a guide for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities. </p> <p>Brush up your planner power with these tips:</p> <ul><li>Teach time management first. Nursery schools know that small children thrive on a routine. Homeschool runs more smoothly when everyone knows what's on the plan for the day. From a simple picture-based schedule for little ones, to a sophisticated student planner for high schoolers, bring your student up in the planner habit.</li> <li>Learn what you teach! Parents must set the course where time management is concerned. Do you use a planner properly? Brush up on basic planner skills here: <a>Tap the Power of Planners</a>, then visit our <a>Printables Library</a> for a wealth of free printable planner pages.</li> <li>Get a realistic grip on time. The biggest single time management mistake most people make is misjudging the time necessary to complete a task or finish an activity. Take a week to note the time your children need to complete spelling worksheets or finish a Saxon math assignment. Build success into your scheduling by being realistic with time estimates for homeschool activities.</li> <li>Pad the time budget for smooth transitions. Even with a realistic view of the time needed to complete each task in a homeschool day, you'll need to take a tip from structured schooling, and plan for between-class breaks. Whether play periods for young children, meals or scheduled recess, don't forget to account for the "time-between" each day's list of school tasks. </li> </ul><h3>Skill with scheduling</h3> <p>Homeschool demands scheduling--but the devil is in the details. An organized parent of one or two children may succeed with a very flexible, very sketchy schedule, but the older the child or more numerous the students, the more important scheduling becomes. </p> <p>Here are some ideas to help with homeschool scheduling:</p> <ul><li>Start big--and work backward. To schedule a homeschool student, start with the year. List all courses, coursework, books and service activities necessary to complete the year. For each task, develop list of monthly goals: so many Saxon lessons, so many books, so many hours of service, so many worksheet pages. Break down each category by week, and review each week's goals with your student. From the weekly goal comes the daily school schedule. Working backward prevents both make-work and over-scheduling, because it focuses on the big goals, not separate time increments.</li> <li>Get feedback from the student. Time management bottlenecks can often be solved by the students themselves, if parents are willing to be flexible. So what if you feel math should be done first thing in the morning? Your sleepy-headed teen may do better when permitted to tackle math last thing in the day. Give your child a chance to solve scheduling problems. He or she may surprise you!</li> </ul><h2>Home Management for Homeschool Families</h2> <p>Homeschool is school, but it's home, too--and housework will be with us always. </p> <p>How do you manage to keep up with household chores while homeschooling your children?</p> <h2>Lower your standards.</h2> <p>Two-career families with household help may achieve that pristine designer look, but a homeschooling home is rumpled and comfortable. Accept the fact that a homeschooler's decorating scheme can be best described as "Early Science Experiment." </p> <p>Forget the decorator frills and concentrate on the most important home management tasks: meals, clothes, keeping the health department at bay. You've got better things to do, like teach your children!</p> <p><strong>Plan, plan, plan!</strong> Homeschool families can get by with seat-of-the-pants home management only so long. Savvy homeschoolers set up simple home management routines for shopping, cooking, laundry, and cleaning. </p> <p>Write them in your household notebook, or set up a simple tickler file for household tasks. Get it in writing, and you've taken the first step to getting it done.</p> <h2>Bring your children onboard.</h2> <p>Housework is a part of life, and should be part of your curriculum. Integrate math lessons with shopping and cooking. Examine the chemistry of surfactants as you do the laundry. Older children learn about child development as they entertain little ones while you school the kids in the middle. </p> <p>Sending teens to do the shopping or setting them to pay the family bills teaches consumer education in a real-life setting. Harness those little hands to help out at home, and your future sons- and daughters-in-law will rise up and call you blessed.</p> <h2>Schedule the housework first.</h2> <p>Add rock-bottom necessary chores to the daily schedule or planner before planning each homeschool day. Meal preparation, child care and essential laundry chores can be delegated to children or planned for breaks between scheduled school activities. Schedule the chores first, and they'll get done without impeding the school day.</p> <p><strong>Look for new methods to save time.</strong> Learn to do home management chores the modern way. Many homeschoolers find bulk freezer cooking saves time each day. Read more about bulk freezer cooking with our <a>Freezer Cooking Guide</a>. </p> <p>Modern speed cleaning methods involve team concepts ideal for home schooling families. Find out more about efficient cleaning with our <a>Clean House Guide</a>.</p> <h2>Stoke your own fires with a support group.</h2> <p>Being a home schooling parent is a hard, if rewarding, job. With all the demands of children and school and spouse and house, it's easy to burn out. Build time for rejuvenation and renewal into your own home management routines. </p> <p>It sounds paradoxical, but it's true: the more you feed yourself, the more you have to give to others. Find a supportive friend or support group, and feed your soul!</p> <h2>Storage Strategies for Homeschool Households</h2> <p>Homeschooling families? It's time to get your stuff together! Seasoned homeschoolers know that "school stuff" has an amazing bread dough tendency. </p> <p>Whether books and papers, manipulatives or models, it can be difficult to keep materials and supplies contained and in order for homeschool use.  Try these storage strategies for homeschool families:</p> <h2>Stowing Kid Stuff:</h2> <p><strong>A place for everything . . . but not where you think!</strong> Use "school" as a model for homeschool storage, and you're apt to reach for "bookcase" and "file cabinets." For homeschoolers, storage outside the box may be more efficient:</p> <ul><li>Plastic dishpans are a homeschooler's best friend. Stand picture books on end in a dishpan for a flip-through library.</li> <li>A set of dishpans holds a younger child's school materials subject-by-subject: math manipulatives and workbook, language arts flashcards and materials, art supplies store neatly in their own dishpan. Put-away is a breeze!</li> <li>Plastic storage cubes and hanging file folders solve paperwork storage for an older child. Color-code hanging file folders by subject. Inside each folder, individual files hold work-in-progress, worksheets to be corrected, daily lessons.</li> <li>Bookcases can be frustrating storage tools for smaller children. Use magazine storage boxes, clear shoebox-sized organizers, dishpans or shallow cardboard boxes to store homeschool materials on bookcase shelves.</li> <li>Replace flimsy cardboard boxes with see-through plastic storage ontainers for easy-to-find storage of games, puzzles and toys.</li> <li>Game pieces, manipulatives and puzzle pieces live happily in large zipper food storage bags. Heavy freezer bags can be hole-punched and inserted into notebooks to hold art supplies, cut-outs, and desk materials.</li> </ul><p><strong>Color-code it!</strong> Creative use of color simplifies homeschool storage. </p> <ul><li>Color-coding simplifies life in multi-child families. Assign each child a color. Colored organizers, file folders, storage cubes and report colors sort Kid A from Kid B in bedroom, schoolroom and on the desk.</li> <li>Color-code subjects and activities. Use colored pens to add entries to a parent's planner or child's study organizer: red for math, green for English, blue for science. Colored file folders hold papers and worksheets subject by subject. Use assigned colors to highlight daily assignment sheets or schedules.</li> <li>Color-code labels. Using a computer, it's easy to add color-coding to computer-generated labels. Slap them on everything, from storage boxes to file folders to maps to art supplies.</li> </ul><h2>On the desk:</h2> <p>Homeschooling parents know paperwork is a big part of the job. From record-keeping to selecting curricula and materials, homeschool parents must sift and shuffle papers, catalogs, and documents. </p> <p>Try these ideas for efficient paper-handling in your home school:</p> <ul><li>Use lightweight, sturdy records boxes to hold homeschool materials. Hanging file folders fit these boxes nicely. The boxes stack neatly and are easy to handle. Sort by child, curricula, subject or year. Labeling is easy with permanent markers.</li> <li>Stackable letter trays serve many functions on the desk. Use them to sort papers to correct, correspondence, or lesson plans.</li> <li>Color-code, color-code, color-code. Use color in hanging file folders, file folders, pens and labels. Whether it's child by child, subject by subject or unit by unit, color does the job!</li> <li>Tab position is another tool to organize homeschool records. Bought a box of third-cut file folders? Don't just use them 1-2-3, 1-2-3. Instead, use all "first cut" folders for Child 1, "second cut" for Child 2, "third cut" for Child 3. Tab position can help you sort by child, by subject, by topic.</li> </ul><p> </p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/back-to-school" hreflang="en">Back-to-School</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/family-ties" hreflang="en">Family Ties</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/seasonal-spin" hreflang="en">Seasonal Spin</a></div> Thu, 20 Aug 2020 07:00:00 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 64 at http://organizedhome.com School-Year Plan: Teach Kids the Planner Habit http://organizedhome.com/back-to-school/13-teach-kids-planner-habit <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">School-Year Plan: Teach Kids the Planner Habit</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-mt-subheader-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Key tool for keeping kids on-track and organized during the school year?  A student planner.  Help your child learn planner skills with these ideas.</p></div> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><a title="View user profile." href="/user/1" lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">Cynthia Ewer</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">August 19, 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="images-container clearfix"> <div class="image-preview clearfix"> <div class="image-wrapper clearfix"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="overlay-container"> <span class="overlay overlay--colored"> <span class="overlay-inner"> <span class="overlay-icon overlay-icon--button overlay-icon--white overlay-animated overlay-fade-top"> <i class="fa fa-plus"></i> </span> </span> <a class="overlay-target-link image-popup" href="/back-to-school/13-teach-kids-planner-habit"></a> </span> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/images/in-page/in-page-teach-kids-planner-habit-tips.jpg?itok=XPNxLoIo" width="850" height="470" alt="Tips for teaching kids the planner habit" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-large" /> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Teachers, parents and homeschool families know that training kids to the planner habit makes for successful students. </p> <p>School districts throughout the USA issue planners to pupils and integrate planner use into the school day. Homeschool families use planners to track and organize lessons, chores and activities, while tech-savvy teens rely on smartphone calendar and to-do apps to organize their work.</p> <p>A student planner is only a tool. How do you teach a child to use one? Try these tips to teach kids the planner habit.</p> <h3>The Right Stuff</h3> <p>Match the planner to the child. The most costly leather-bound business planner won't organize a single day if the kid never cracks the cover! The best student planners are streamlined, colorful, and designed with children in mind.</p> <p>When selecting a student planner, look for ease of use and durability. Sturdy plastic covers, snap-on page finders and flat-fold spiral binding help young users get comfortable with this time-management tool. </p> <p>Built-in paper pockets help organize homework, permission slips and school notices. Because children often carry their world in a backpack, consider weight and size when selecting a student planner.</p> <h3>Master The Art</h3> <p>You can't teach what you have yet to learn! Review the principles of planner use before teaching your child. </p> <p>Here are the basics that any planner user must master:</p> <ul><li>Enter all dates, assignments and activities in a single planner</li> <li>Keep your planner with you at all times</li> <li>Check your planner at regular times to orient your day</li> <li>Prioritize tasks and carry them forward if undone</li> </ul><h3>Get The Teacher On The Team</h3> <p>Most teachers are delighted with any method that improves home-school cooperation and student organization. </p> <p>Tip off your child's teachers that you're teaching new time management skills, and enlist their help as your child learns the ropes of planner use. </p> <p>They can help reinforce the planner habit in the classroom.</p> <h3>Start Slowly</h3> <p>Tempting as it is to lay down the organizational law and demand whole-child change along with a new student planner, resist the idea. Too often, that "new leaf" will last only as long as an adult enforces it. The minute the adult attention wanes, the child lapses back into relaxed disorganization with a sigh of relief.</p> <p>Independent planner use is a habit, and like all habits, must be established over time. </p> <p>Begin with a single planner function: writing down homework each day, or checking a daily chore list. It will take three to four weeks of daily reinforcement to build this habit. </p> <p>When the first step is a regular part of the child's day, move on to a new facet of planner use.</p> <h3>Establish A Planner Routine</h3> <p>Habits and routines are two sides of the same coin. To establish the habit of planner use, set up a simple routine for you and your child. Sit down with your child each evening to review the coming day, and encourage them to check the planner before beginning the day's homework.</p> <p>For example, make "check your planner!" the first task of each afternoon homework session. Store student planners in each child's launch pad, whether it's a dishpan on a shelf or a school backpack hung on the back of the child's chair. Finally, hold a final planner-and-homework check each evening before bed. Tuck completed homework into planner pockets for a smooth start to the next day.</p> <p>As the grown-up, you'll need to enforce the routine integrating planner use for some time. Expect some falling by the wayside, but both parents and children will soon appreciate how much time and stress is saved by a daily routine.</p> <h3>Motivate, Motivate, Motivate</h3> <p>At first, children don't appreciate the benefits of planner use. Because they live in the moment, it's hard for kids see writing down each birthday party, swim club practice and school assignment as more than just another chore. As time goes on, children begin to appreciate the security of having all their homework, chores and activities in one place, but in the short term, it's up to the adults to motivate them.</p> <p>Use stickers, stars or smiley faces to reward planner entries. Hold family calendar meetings in which every family member (parents, too!) updates his or her personal planner; having a planner just like Mom and Dad makes planner use seem glamorous and grown-up.</p> <h3>Take It Personally</h3> <p>Evaluating children's planners while preparing to write this article, this adult writer found their bright pages busy and distracting. Not so my child consultants! They loved the graphics, puzzle pages, games and mazes. "It makes it fun!" said one 7-year-old planner wannabe.</p> <p>Take a tip from my short-stuff experts, and encourage your child to personalize his or her planner with stickers, drawings and photos. A set of colored pens makes planner entries fun to write and draw, and encourages color-coding for home, school and extra-curricular activities. </p> <p>The more children make a planner their own, the more they use it!</p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/back-to-school" hreflang="en">Back-to-School</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/family-ties" hreflang="en">Family Ties</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-mt-post-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix field__item"><a href="/seasonal-spin" hreflang="en">Seasonal Spin</a></div> Wed, 19 Aug 2020 07:00:00 +0000 Cynthia Ewer 63 at http://organizedhome.com