Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rudolph Day - Christmas Cards

One of the tasks for the House and Holiday Plan for the month of September (week 3 to be exact) is to make the Christmas Card List. I like the one they suggest because it has check boxes for both sending and receiving, and it can be used for several years.
If you don't like that one, though, there are a plethora of other options. Just check Google.
I actually use something even more different. I created our address list on an Excel spreadsheet many years ago. Each year I copy that to a new file, editing it for address changes and new friends, then I print it out. After using it to address the cards we want to send, I keep it in my planner to help keep track of the cards we receive. Finally, it gets filed in the Christmas Binder as a resource for the next year. (It has also come in very handy at wedding invitation time!)

So, that's what works for us. What works for you?

I love the tradition of sending Christmas cards, even if it might seem to be a bit old-fashioned, so I plan on keeping it around as part of our Christmas celebrating. I think letting friends and family members know you're thinking of them is the perfect way to share the love and joy of the Christmas season!

Friday, September 2, 2016

HHP Week One

As mentioned last week, I decided to follow the House and Holidays Plan to help me prepare for the holidays this year. There wasn't necessarily a lot to do for holiday prep because over the years I've developed my own way of doing things that works for our family. I did pull out our "Christmas Binder" and reviewed our "values" worksheets, which showed that my ideas of a "perfect" Christmas haven't changed. That's a good thing. I also printed out our Christmas budget to keep in my planner, along with the master gift list. (Links to all of these forms can be found here, or you can create your own.)

My main focus for the week was to make progress on de-cluttering and organizing our office. The plan says to set up a household filing system. Ours is already set up, and I didn't really get around to thinning out files (that's a good January task), but I did clear off the desk, something that needs to be done on a regular basis, and I finally moved the stack of frames that's been sitting on the cabinet for months.
My main focus was the closet, so I pulled down the bins and went through them. Technically the craft room is for next week, but I have some craft supplies in our office. I got rid of some items, consolidating three boxes into two, but more importantly I remembered what's in them to begin with and started the "craft projects to finish" list.
I'm most proud of the fact that I can see the carpet again in the closet, and that the dresser top is empty. That's true because I moved that milk crate filled with photos to the top of the filing cabinet, but I think I like it better there anyway because its hidden behind the door and not in my face when I open the closet. It's also easier to getinto without the closet rod in the way.
Next week I'll tackle the sewing room, but now it's time to enjoy our Labor Day weekend!

Time to Organize

I just searched my blog for tips on de-cluttering and organizing things, and was surprised to find nothing. So, I guess this won't be a duplicate post. Anyway, over the years I've read many, many books on how to organize your home and family, with lots of ideas for different routines and systems. Since it's been five years since we moved, I've determined that this fall I need to go through our closets and cupboards again. I know there are things stored that I haven't touched for five years, and I'm working up the courage to get rid of them. To help with that, here are some notes that I've jotted down as I've read various "how to de-clutter" books and articles. We'll see if any of these ideas are motivating enough!

Learn how to declutter your life, organize your home and simplify everything
picture from

I am not the same person as I was ten years ago. Things change.

Release things we've outgrown or outlasted, even if they have value. Let someone else enjoy them. Surrendering to new things helps us grow and improve.

Learn to recognize when a phase of your life is over. It's okay to get rid of children's toys and old manuals.

Leave 20% of storage space free.

Ask yourself, "What does 'organized' look like to me? How does it make me feel?"

You'll never find time to de-clutter and organize, you need to make time.

You can choose to create the life you want or you can continue to deal with the life you don't want.

Keep nothing unless you KNOW it to be USEFUL, or BELIEVE it to be BEAUTIFUL.

Ask yourself, "Do I still love or value this item?"

It's not junk if it generates happy feelings.

Think STOP--Sort, Toss, Organized and Put away--as you clear clutter from your space.

If those statements don't work, maybe this one will:

Let there be an hallowed influence go from us over all things over which we have any power over the soil we cultivate, over the houses we build, and over everything we possess. - Brigham Young

And remember this as well: "We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best." (Elder Dallin H. Oaks)