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Holiday Organizing

As we approach the holiday season, many of us are looking forward to decorating our homes with all of our favorite seasonal decorations. However, sometimes when we bring out all of these holiday decorations our houses seem to look more "cluttered" rather than "decorated." Consider ORGANIZING for the holidays rather than DECORATING for the holidays! Here's what I mean by that...

When you start pulling out those holiday decorations, store your everyday items away, rather than "adding to" those mantels, tables and spaces. I have one shelf in a basement closet that I leave empty just for this purpose. As the fall approaches, I put my everyday decor items on this shelf, so that I can REPLACE these spaces in my house with fall decorations. This will help give your house a clutter-free look for the holidays. This method also eliminates you having to switch everything in/out of boxes throughout the fall and Christmas holidays.

Now that you have living spaces decorated in a clutter-free manner, do the same for your kitchen! Many of us have favorite Christmas mugs, glassware, platters and baking pieces we like to use during this time of the year. Instead of keeping these holiday items in your cupboards year-round, "cramming" these items into your cupboards or constantly bringing them up and down from the basement every time you want to use them during the holidays, how about REPLACING your everyday kitchen items with these special pieces? Store away your everyday dishes in the boxes or totes in which you pulled your holiday pieces from. Using this replacement method keeps seasonal items out of the way when they are not "in season." Wouldn't you prefer not to have seasonal items at your fingertips when they are out of season? Your things are made special by the fact that they are not ordinary. A Christmas mug that comes out only for one month of the year and then disappears has much more warmth and charm than one that is pushed around the cupboard day after day all year. Halloween books and videos that only appear on your family room shelves in October are much more inviting to your children's curiosity than when they are in amongst piles of other books and videos. Don't forget about holiday towels as well. Store away your special holiday towels right along with your holiday decorations. A festive bathroom hand towel is also a very simple and clutter-free way to add a splash of holiday fun to your bathroom. (from Annette Reyman-NAPO member listserve 10/09)

When you are getting your decorations out of storage and starting your holiday decorating, if there is an item that you no longer use or if your taste has changed and you no longer care for a particular decoration, put it in a bag and drop it off at your favorite donation site, such as Goodwill or Salvation Army. It may just be the perfect holiday decoration for someone who is shopping on a tight budget.

Grand Central "Wrapping" Station

Once you start bringing those gift purchases into the house, set up a space to use as your wrapping station. This can be a folding table, card table or any corner of the house. My mom has always used the top of the pool table down in the basement rec room during this time of the year! By having a designated space for wrapping, you save time by not having to put your materials away and take everything out each time you wrap. Be sure to stock up on masking tape and have a pair of scissors exclusively for this space as well!

Do You Really Enjoy Doing This?

"Old man winter" is right around the corner...now is the time to think about getting that garage organized before winter sets in for good. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to leave for work each day without having to scrape the ice and snow off the windows of your car before leaving? Multi-car garages are increasingly popular in today's society. However, many people are still parking their cars on their driveways during the cold winter months because they can't get into their garages due to stuff. Take advantage of these last few warmer days and organize your garage! You'll be glad you did come January!

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