Nearly There Week

Pottery Barn

 

 

 

I’m moving on to Week 16: Nearly There Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-15,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.


 

 

 

Houseworks Holiday Plan Week Sixteen

BY CYNTHIA EWER, AUTHOR

 

 

 

We’re nearly there!

Holiday parties, cooking and a growing sense of excitement mark this week before Christmas.

Around the house, only minimum maintenance is needed this week.

The week’s holiday prep checklist includes the last few chores to get ready for the big day.

Are you ready? A clean and organized home for the holiday season!

 

 

 

 


HGTV

 

 

 

 

Inspiration from the Web:

Traditions: When Is It Time To Change? Sandy Coughlin, The Reluctant Entertainer

Magic Minimum: Cleaning Secret of Busy Families

 

 

 

 


Beauty and Bedlam

 

 

 

 


This Week’s Houseworks Checklist

Minimum maintenance.

It’s the organized solution for busy times:

a rock-bottom chore checklist of must-do household chores.

Does your household have one?

Create a minimum maintenance checklist and post it publicly.

Encourage family members to pitch in and share the work.

Delegate, delegate, delegate!

 

 

 

 

 



Good Housekeeping

 

 

 

 


This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist:

Decorate and wrap baked goods. Ice the sugar cookies, assemble the goodie trays and wrap for giving.

Record a special holiday message for the answering machine.

Start or add to an ornament journal. Many families give children collections of holiday ornaments;

add meaning to the gift with a simple journal page recording who-what-where of each ornament.

Make a Christmas morning box. Think ahead: what will you need when opening gifts?

Include a notepad, pen, scissors, box cutter and plastic garbage bags.

Put together any “assembly required” toys.

Check and organize stocking stuffers.

Place each family member’s gifts in a separate grocery sack so Santa can get a good night’s rest on the 24th.

Hang sacks on clotheshangers in the back of a closet to keep stuffers from prying eyes.

Write letters to Santa. (And keep them. Misspellings and all, you’ll treasure them in later years).

 

 

 



Martha Stewart

 

 

 

 


This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print

Ornament JournalOrnament Journal


Final Clean ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

Country Living

 

 

I’m moving on to Week 15: Final Clean Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-14,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.

 

 

 

 

 

Country Living

 



Final Clean Week

 

Houseworks Holiday Plan Week Fifteen

BY CYNTHIA EWER, AUTHOR

Two weeks before Christmas? It’s time for a final finish cleaning at the Houseworks holiday plan.

Over the past weeks, we’ve decluttered and deep-cleaned;

This week’s goal is to bring the whole house into a ready state for the remainder of the season.

A “final clean” week will put a surface shine on our home!

In holiday prep, we’ll complete gift wrapping, plan Christmas dinner, mail Christmas cards and

bring home the ultimate seasonal symbol: the Christmas tree.

Celebrations ahead!

 

 

 

Pottery Barn

 


 


Inspiration from the Web:

Melissa’s Secret House Cleaning Ritual

Pier 1 Imports Holiday Planner

 

 


Pier 1 Imports

 



This Week’s Houseworks Checklist:

Do a final pre-holiday whole-house clean. Sure, we’ve tackled household areas week-by-week

and the deep-cleaning is done–but this week, it’s time to polish up the house with a last whole-house clean.

Play cleaning service this week, and give every room a top-clean session of dusting, vacuuming and final touch-up.

You’ll bring the entire house to a holiday-ready state. Time to celebrate!

 



Pier 1 Imports


 

 

 

This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist:

*Wrap party! Hold an informal “wrap party” brunch or evening for friends. Work on wrapping packages together.

*At the end of the party, swap leftover supplies for a fresh look next year.

*Use freezer meals on busy nights.

*Plan Christmas menus. Make a simple menu plan for Christmas week.

*Delegation is easier if you have an idea of what’s for breakfast … or lunch, or dinner.

*Update address book. As holiday letters and Christmas cards arrive, update the address book with any changes.

*Mail Christmas cards or holiday letters.

*Complete gift wrapping.

*Buy Christmas trees and/or fresh greens.


*This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print

Child's Gift ListChild’s Gift List


Storage ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan


 

Pottery Barn

 

 

I’m moving on to Week 14: Storage Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-13,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.

 

 

 

 

Martha Stewart.com

 

 

 

 

Here’s some inspiration to get you started!

 

Organizing the Holiday Decorations: Not Just for Christmas Anymore

Christmas Gift Wrap Storage

Cleaning Up & Clearing Out

 


 

 

 

Organize.com

 

 

 

This Week’s Houseworks Checklist

  • Organize storage areas. Ransacking a crowded attic is nobody’s idea of a good holiday time. This week, organize household storage areas as you bring forth holiday decorations. Whether it’s attic, garage, closet or shed, take time to tidy up household storage. Inexpensive storage organizers can help keep clutter from creeping into corners–and a neat storage area will make it easier to return decorations to their year-round home at season’s end.

This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Begin family Advent observances. Advent begins on Sunday; consider your family’s traditions carefully. New! Will a magic elfvisit your home this year?
  • Complete holiday decorating.
  • Order Christmas ham, roast or poultry.
  • Finish gift shopping. Where you can, wrap as you go to prevent a long night with the tape and ribbons on Christmas Eve.
  • Mail domestic gifts. Just say “no!” to lines at the post office; use USPS.Com to purchase postage, print shipping labels and arrange for carrier pick-up.
  • Check cameras and camcorders Be ready to capture the moment.  Will you need to buy film, batteries, cassettes or storage media?  Add any needed items to the shopping list.
  • Make an under-tree “emergency box”. Use a gift-wrapped box with removable lid.  Placed under the tree, it holds extra bulbs, fuses, ornament hooks and batteries.

This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print

Magic Elf LetterMagic Elf LetterMagic Elf PassportMagic Elf PassportMagic Elf ReportMagic Elf Report

Holiday TraditionsHoliday Traditions


Entry Space ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

Entry Space Week

320 Sycamore

 

 

 

 

I’m moving on to Week 13: Entry Space Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-12,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.

 

 

 

Here’s some inspiration to get you started!

 

 


Pottery Barn

 

 

 

 

House to Home

 

 

 

 


 

Melissa at 320 Sycamore shares her entryway transformation here

 

 

 

So, are you ready to get started on your entryway, front porch or front door?

 

 

 

 

This Week’s Houseworks Checklist

  • Prepare a welcoming entry space. Front porch or foyer, apartment door or entryway, this week’s focus is on the entry area of the home.Remove clutter, clean and organize the portal to your household this week. Check the front door, cleaning and polishing knob, knocker and any windows. Check the state of the welcome mat; is it time for cleaning or replacement? Check outdoor lights and replace any burned-out bulbs.Declutter doorway storage areas so outdoor shoes, umbrellas or keys find an efficient, attractive home.

    Clean out coat closets and add extra hangers for holiday guests’ use. Be ready to open the door to a wonderful holiday season!

This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Set the table ahead. Set the Thanksgiving table a day or two before. You’ll have time to spot (and fix) tarnished silver or stains on the tablecloth. Use sticky notes to mark serving dishes so it’s easy for guests to help.
  • Celebrate American Thanksgiving. (Canadian and UK friends? Enjoy the day off!
  • Shop Black Friday sales! Use your game plan to get the best deals quickly.
  • Inspect and inventory decorations. As seasonal decorations come out of storage, make a quick review of what you have. Test light strands, and add any needed parts or replacements to the shopping list.
  • Begin decorating.
  • Send party invitations. Having a holiday party? Send invitations early. Social calendars fill up quickly in December.
  • Wrap gifts as they are purchased. Every little bit helps, so wrap ahead where possible.
  • Status check. On the first of December, review where you are with holiday prep. Crafts projects and homemade gifts should be finished soon; check for any missing catalog orders.
  • Arrange for baby-sitters. Be quick to call for help as holiday invitations arrive; baby-sitters are busy in December, too.
  • Package send-away gifts for mailing. Be ready to mail send-away gifts by next week.

This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print:

Party PlannerParty PlannerParty BudgetParty BudgetParty Guest ListParty Guest List




 

 

Dining Space ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

Dining Space Week


Country Living


 

 

I’m moving on to Week 12: Dining Space Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-11,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.

 

 

With Thanksgivng just around the corner,

we’re going to spend this week cleaning & organizing our dining spaces!

 

 

Need some inspiration?

 

 

 


 

Kim at Starshine Chic has a great post on a Thanksgiving Tablescape here

 

 

 

 

 


 

Sweet Something Design has a beautiful Thanksgiving Tablescape here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cute & Crafty by Victoria has cute Thanksgiving Printables here

 

 

 

 


 

Blissfully Domestic has some great Kid’s table ideas here

 

 

 

 


This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Plan for Thanksgiving Day. Plan table settings, seating and a centerpiece for Thanksgiving Day.
  • Set up a Black Friday Sales game plan. Online bargain sites and e-mail alerts allow Web-savvy shoppers to spot the best deals days before Black Friday. Make entries in your holiday sales plannerand plan shopping strategy as information comes to light.
  • Double up on freezer-friendly dishes. Cooking for the feast, plan to double or triple amounts for any freezer-friendly dishes, and tuck the extras into the freezer for later use. Candidates include pies, unbaked stuffing and–surprise!–garlic mashed potatoes. You’ll enjoy lightening the load for Christmas dinner.
  • Plan holiday parties. If you’ll entertain next month, make plans now.

This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print

"Black Friday" Sales Planner“Black Friday” Sales Planner



 

 

 

 

 


Food Storage Week ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

Food Storage Week

A peek into my pantry…



I’m moving on to Week 11: Food Storage Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-10,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.

 

 


I’m fortunate to have slide-out shelves – love them!


 

 

 

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to get our kitchen’s in order!

This week I will be working on decluttering my refrigerator, freezer(s) and pantry.

Lord knows they all need a good cleaning!

 


 

 

 


Ugh! One of my least favorite places to clean!

 



And, with the holiday stock up sales going on at the grocery store,

I need to make sure that my food storage areas are ready to be called into service!

 


 


First, I thought you might like some visual inspiration and tips to get you motivated…

Check out what Sarah at  Thrifty Decor Chick has done with her pantry

 

 


*Sarah’s Pantry Decrapification here

 

 

 

 

*Sarah’s New Pantry Doors here

 

 



This Week’s Houseworks Checklist - BY CYNTHIA EWER, AUTHOR
HOUSEWORKS: HOW TO LIVE CLEAN, GREEN AND ORGANIZED AT HOME

  • Declutter, clean and organize food storage areas this week.From refrigerator to freezer, cupboards to pantry, this is the week to cut clutter, clean and organize food storage areas.FIrst priority: a refrigerator clean-out. Make space for holiday cooking by tossing expired bottles and jar, and bring holiday sparkle to the Great White Whale with a top-to-toe cleaning session.In the freezer? We’ll cull the clutter, organize the contents, and make room for holiday baking and the fruits of a freezer cooking session.Finally, dry storage areas deserve a shake-down, too. Toss stale or expired food items, clean shelves and organize the survivors for efficient holiday cooking.Ready? Set … bake!

Inspiration from the Web:

This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Clean out the refrigerator. Seasonal cooking requires storage space, so clean out the refrigerator now. .
  • Clean out the freezer. Make-ahead baked goods and holiday freezer meals need room, too. Clean out the freezer to create a home for holiday goodies to come.
  • Set up a freezer inventory. Keep track of your frozen assets with a freezer inventory form.
  • Organize and inventory the pantry. The year’s best sales on staple foods lie just ahead. Know what you need–and make space to store it–with a pantry inventory form. Set aside foods you won’t use to donate to holiday food drives. A
  • Stock up on seasonal staples. It’s loss leader time at the supermarket, as merchants compete for your holiday food dollar. Take advantage of low prices and stock the pantry.
  • Plan potluck meals. If you’re part of family, church or social groups that hold Advent potluck dinners, be ready. Our potluck meal planner will help organize and delegate community dinners.
  • Add freezer meals to the freezer. Whether you do an at-home freezer cooking session, try the new meal assembly franchises or simply cook some extra pots of chili or spaghetti sauce, stow away a few pre-cooked freezer meals. In December, you’ll appreciate having dinner ready to go on busy nights.

This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print:

Freezer InventoryFreezer InventoryPantry InventoryPantry Inventory


Cooking Space ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan


I’m ready to move on to Week 10: Cooking Space Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-9,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.

 


This Week’s Focus:

Kitchen



Inspiration from the Web:


Kitchen Declutter: Cut Clutter in the Kitchen

Menu Planning: Save Time In The Kitchen

Holiday Baking Solution: Make It A Specialty

Save Money on Holiday Meals

 

 

 

This Week’s Houseworks Checklist

Get down and dirty with a kitchen clean-up! American Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners put new emphasis on the household’s kitchen. This week, we tackle kitchen clutter, cleaning and organization

Moving shelf by shelf, cupboard by cupboard, take on kitchen clutter this week. Using the STOP clutter method, bring food preparation workspaces to a lean, mean, efficient state.

Once clutter is conquered, a kitchen clean-out is in order. Rout out the grime and corral the crumbs for a sparkling holiday kitchen.

Don’t worry about pantry, freezer or refrigerator just yet … we’ll turn to food storage areas next week.

 

 


This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

Organize holiday recipes. It’s November … do you know where your seasonal recipes are? Dig out the recipes you use during the holiday season, and add them to the holiday recipes planner. Thanksgiving Day is too busy to waste time hunting for the Green Bean Casserole recipe.

Plan Thanksgiving menus. If you’re hosting the Thanksgiving feast, it’s time to make a menu plan. Use a menu planner form, and delegate, delegate, delegate!

Plan holiday baking. With recipes out, make a list of baked goodies you’ll make for the holidays. Our holiday baking plannerform is a good place to start.

Buy containers for freezer meals, baked goods or kitchen gifts. Holiday-themed disposable containers are available now. Double up on freezer food storage bags, too; they’ll do triple duty this month.

Order Thanksgiving turkey.

Bake any fruitcakes or Christmas cakes which require mellowing. Now’s the time to bake the Christmas cakes! You’ll have eight weeks to mellow them before the season.

Do a tabletop check. Inventory serving pieces, stemware, china and flatware. Check store flyers for sales. Will you be ready to set a pretty holiday table?

 

Public Spaces ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

I’m ready to move on to Week 9: Public Space Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-8,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.









Here’s what I plan to work on this week:

Declutter, clean and organize the living room or public space.




With the holidays hard upon us, your household’s living room or public space will be on display.

Prepare for family events and drop-in visitors!

Remove all clutter from the living room using the STOP clutter method, then deep-clean the room.

Move furniture pieces and vacuum beneath them, polish fine woods, and clean or vacuum draperies, window coverings or blinds.

Once the living room is clean and free from clutter, take a minimalist’s eye to the room ‘s decorations.

Will your holiday decor shine, or will it compete with current decor items?

Clear tabletops, shelves and corners for the holiday decorations to come.






This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist:

  • Buy holiday stamps. Seasonal stamp designs are available now, buy holiday stamps early for best selection. Order online fromUSPS.Com to avoid standing in line.

  • Begin saving packaging materials. Recycling makes sense … and cents. As catalog orders arrive, begin to stockpile mailing boxes and packaging material for re-use in December. Store them close to your wrap and mail center to speed holiday mailing chores.

  • Celebrate Halloween. Ready to join the neighborhood fun? Use our free printables to start a Halloween BOO tradition in your neighborhood. Spread the BOO joy!

  • Status Check! Review the progress of the Houseworks Holiday Plan on the first day of the month. If you’re falling behind, adjust goals to a more realistic level.

  • Decorate for Thanksgiving. Remove Halloween decorations and replace them with Thanksgiving-themed items.

  • Complete Christmas cards or letters. Christmas cards should be finished and ready for mailing. ; Stamp envelopes and set them aside until it’s time to mail them next month. Tip: leaving envelopes unsealed makes it easy to add a newsy post-script if the spirit moves.

  • Seasonal safety check. Observe Time Change Sunday with a seasonal safety checklist: change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and flashlights. Don’t forget the first aid kit; will you need to replenish any supplies?




 

Family Space ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

Pottery Barn


I’m ready to move on to Week 8: Family Space Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-7,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.



Pottery Barn



Here’s what I plan to work on this week:

Family Room Declutter, Organization & Storage


  • Declutter, clean and organize the family room or family area.  I need to declutter magazines that have accumulated, newspapers that need recycling and just an overall good deep-cleaning of our family “rooms”!  My glass shelves need to be cleared off and cleaned with glass cleaner…picture frames & knick knacks need to be dusted…








Pottery Barn


  • Then, I’ll straighten up my media cabinet and entertainment areas. I’ll reunite video games and DVDs with their missing cases, and return all entertainment items to their “homes”!  While I’m organizing my movies & music, I’ll do a quick inventory of our holiday favorites and make sure they’re easily accessible for the upcoming holidays.  Here’s a free printable to notate all of your holiday favorites on – this, along with many more free printables can be found at christmas.organizedhome.com.




Bed & Bath ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

I’m ready to move on to Week 7: Bed & Bath Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-6,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.




 

Here’s what I plan to work on this week:

Linen Closet and Bathrooms




* Clear away clutter in each bathroom, then deep-clean fixtures, floors and walls.

*Organize personal care storage and prepare for entertaining and guests.

*Clean out the linen closet.

*Return misplaced items to their homes, then organize sheets, blankets and towels



This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist:


Make a pre-holiday linen check. As you declutter and organize the linen closet, make a quick linen check. If you need sheets, towels, or blankets, add them to the shopping list now.

Start stocking up on bathroom basics. Running out of toilet tissue isn’t a major problem–unless it happens during a holiday party. Before the season begins, stock bathrooms with ample supplies to ward off embarrassment.


Set up a holiday wrap and mail center. Use an empty closet, corner or an under-bed organizer to gather gift wrap, ribbons, bags, tags and supplies. You’ll speed gift wrapping and parcel mailing with supplies all in one place.


Speed mailing chores with an account from USPS.Com. Power to the Postal Service! A free account with USPS.Com makes it easy to buy postage, print labels or arrange for carrier pickup. No more waiting in line!
Buy, wrap and package overseas gifts for mailing.Next week’s mailing deadline means that overseas gifts must be bought, wrapped and packaged for mailing this week.


Begin shopping holiday bazaars–or swaps. Clubs, church groups and organization offer great holiday savings–and a lot of fun–at holiday bazaars. Bazaar season starts in early October; add a few events to your calendar for gifts and decorations.
Divide the Christmas card list into five sections. Complete one section this week. Goal: to be finished writing, signing and addressing cards by November 15.


Inspiration from the Web:

Declutter the Master Bathroom

Gift Buying Solution: Think Consumable!

Christmas Organizing Secret: Set Up A Wrap And Mail Center