Day 12: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — Colleen at 9:37 am on Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wow, we made it to the last day! How did you do? What did you accomplish? What is still left on your list?

Today we are wrapping up by cleaning and clearing our laundries and bathrooms. Here are some tips to make it happen!

Today is also the day to finalize our advent calendar activities as we discussed on Day 1.   I always try to have a few very easy activities such as “drink hot chocolate” or “cut out snowflakes”, so that if something comes up and the day is hectic, I switch the activity I have planned and since my kids open the activity envelope each day, they don’t even know when a change has been made!  Remember, the point is to not get wrapped up in the Christmas chaos and forget to do those things that make it feel like Christmas to you and the things that you want your kids to remember about Christmas.

I just saw that my gym is hosting a Toys for Tots collection.  I’m now thinking of putting money in the activity envelope and taking the kids shopping to buy gifts for the needy.   I’m also finding a ton of cool stuff to make on Pinterest, so I need to narrow my activities down to those that will enhance the holidays and those that will realistically get done without adding stress!

Today’s the day to drop off your bags of donations!

Happy Organizing and Happy Holidays!!!


Day 11: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — Colleen at 9:37 am on Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Today’s mission is fun, but don’t do it on an empty stomach.  Today we are planning the FOOD part of the holiday.  I plan on making a Pinterest board of just the food that I hope to make over the Holiday.  This will be different from the Pinterest board that I have for Christmas, because this board will be my “A list” recipes.  These are the ones that I will realistically make this year.  I’m hoping to not just include the side dishes I’ll be bringing to pot-luck meals, but also the cookies I’ll be baking!

If you aren’t into Pinterest, spend some time pulling out your favorite Holiday recipes so that you will have them at your fingertips!

Don’t forget to fill a bag to donate and freeze a dish for December!

Bon Appetite!


Day 10: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Articles,Holidays — Colleen at 7:36 am on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Today we’re cleaning and clearing our bedrooms.  See how many donation you can come up with!

Here are organizing tips for this project.

If you are cooking today, remember to freeze a dish for December!

Happy Organizing!


Day 9: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Articles,Holidays — Colleen at 3:41 am on Sunday, November 18, 2012

Prep the Outdoors

Today we are getting the outdoors ready for the holidays.

Step 1: Prioritize what outdoor decorations you want to use this year.
Step 2: Get out your outdoor decor and take an inventory of what you have. Untangle and test your lights. Make a list of what you need.
Step 3: Decorate. Ok, it may feel early because we haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving yet. However, you could put up the lights before it gets colder out and just not turn them on until you are ready to acknowledge the holidays. I’m planning on focusing on the lights and just staging my bows, garlands, and wreaths, so I can easily put them up when I get inspired post-Thanksgiving.
Step 4: Clean up your yard. If you haven’t put away your patio furniture or other season items, now is a good time to do it. Spend a little time giving your yard any attention it needs. Clean up your porches and entries to you home.

Don’t forget to fill a bag to donate and make a dish for your freezer!

Happy Organizing!


Day 7: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Articles,Holidays,Uncategorized — Colleen at 8:26 am on Saturday, November 17, 2012

Today we are getting ready for the holidays by making a gift wrapping station.

Gather all your holiday wrapping paper.   Inventory your supplies.  Do you have gift bags, tissue paper, wrapping paper, gift tags, scissors,  tape, and an assortment of boxes?  If not, make a list of what you need.  (And don’t forget the list when we do our shopping day tomorrow!)

Decide where a good place would be to wrap your gifts.  If you have a spare bedroom, you may be able to set up a temporary table to wrap gifts.  If you are short on space, consider using an under the bed storage bin to house all your supplies.  You can then easily pull it all out when you need it.  If you have room under a couch, you may also be able to slide your supplies under there.

Don’t forget that kids remember wrapping paper!  If there are believers in your house, be sure to have a different wrapping paper for Santa to use.  And find a good hiding place!

Don’t forget to fill a bag for donations today and freeze a meal if you are cooking!

Happy Organizing!


Day 8: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Articles,Holidays — Colleen at 2:39 am on Saturday, November 17, 2012

Shopping Day

You’ve made your list of who you’re buying for this year. Now it’s time to brainstorm some ideas of what to get them and start shopping!

I completed this task on Monday. My husband doesn’t have to work on Veteran’s Day, but my kids have school. So we’ve made it our tradition to do Santa’s shopping that day. I tried the “Better Christmas List” app that I shared earlier in the week, and our shopping has never gone so smoothly. All of the money we spent was easily tracked and organized!

Another app I love is Amazon Price check. If you aren’t sure if an item is a good price, you just scan the barcode and it gives you the item’s prices at other retailers. I have an Amazon Prime account which gives me free shipping on most items at Amazon, so whenever I find an item on my list that is cheaper at Amazon, I just put it in my virtual cart.

While you are out shopping, pick up a couple generic gifts to keep on hand in case you forgot to add someone to your list or if you need a last minute hostess gift.

Have fun! And enjoy that there should be ample parking and minimal lines. Think of all the time and stress you are saving yourself!

Happy Organizing!


Day 6: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — Colleen at 12:34 pm on Friday, November 16, 2012

Wow, we’re halfway finished!  How is it going?

Today we are cleaning and clearing our kitchens.  Get those stains off your kitchen counter and sink!  Clean your microwave and refrigerator!  Wipe down your cabinets!  Purge your kitchen gear and take inventory of your food on hand.  What baking items do you need to stock up on and what to you have plenty of?

For tips on organizing your kitchen, click here.

Just one week until Thanksgiving!

Happy Organizing!


Day 5: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Holidays,Living Areas — Colleen at 7:27 am on Thursday, November 15, 2012

Today we are purging our clothes. As you go through your clothes, take inventory of what you may need for the holidays. Does everyone in your family have something they can wear to your holiday events? Are you noticing other clothes that are needed that perhaps you could put on your Christmas list?

Read this for tips and inspiration on how to purge your clothes!

Try to get at least one bag of clothing to donate and to freeze a meal today!


Day 4: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — Colleen at 9:51 am on Wednesday, November 14, 2012

If you are just joining us, read the overview here.

Today is the day to clean and clear your living spaces.   Deep clean your living spaces and get rid of the clutter.  Now is the time to do those little things you keep meaning to do.  Update your framed pictures.  Rearrange the furniture.  Discover what is under your couch!

Here are  tips to help you with your living areas!

Don’t forget to fill a bag to donate and double a dinner dish to store in your freezer for those busy December days!

Happy Organizing!


Happy Organizing!


Day 3: The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — Colleen at 8:52 am on Tuesday, November 13, 2012

If you are just joining us, read the overview here.

Today we are making our gift lists.  Jot down who you will be shopping for this season.  Include your family, friends, co-workers, school staff, neighbors, and any domestic helpers you may have.  Start to consider your budget for each gift.

Overwhelmed by what you need to get this year?  Consider changing some of your gift-giving traditions.  Is there a group on your list that  could start a Pollyanna or Secret Santa exchange instead of exchanging individually?  Are there people on your list for whom you could make some home gifts? Or perhaps you could start a new tradition?  Last year, my neighbor and I stopped exchanging gifts and instead went out to dinner.   I really enjoyed that meaningful time with her more than any gift we had ever exchanged.

App lover that I am, I found a Christmas list app that I’m trying this year.  I love how it tallies what you have spent as you go.  And it allows me to see what I’ve spent on each kid too!  Here it is:

After you make your list for others, spend some time thinking about what you and your family would like to receive this year.  While it is the season of giving- not receiving,- inevitably people will ask you for ideas.   Sharing ideas with others allows you to minimize the clutter coming into your home.  It also allows Santa to scale back a bit if other members of your family purchase some of “must have” items.   I’m always a big fan of “experience” gifts.  I’ll often ask for memberships to museums or the Hershey Gardens, so my family can enjoy the gift all year long.

Happy Organizing!


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