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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Fun Annual Tradition for Kids




Are your kids growing like weeds before your eyes?  Do you sometimes wish you could freeze time so you can remember them the way they are now?

{Well, maybe not when they're bugging each other during their school break :)  Only 5 days until school starts... oops, did I say that out loud?!  OK, back to the post... }

You can't stop time, but you can do things every year that capture your kids at each age.  And the end of the year is a great time to do that!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Storage Inventory List {Free Printable}




Are you packing up your Christmas decorations this week?  How do you store your decorations?  If you use the red and green totes, it's hard to know what you've stored in each one until you open it up and start taking things out.  If you've got several bins, it can get pretty overwhelming figuring out where to start!

After a busy holiday season, many people say they are going to simplify things next year, but by the next holiday, they're right back in the thick of everything and get too overwhelmed.  If that sounds familiar, then right now is the perfect time to take steps toward simplifying next Christmas! 

Here's a printable inventory list to record what you're storing in each container as you pack it up this year.  I'm also including tips for storing your decorations.  These two things combined will make decorating so much simpler next year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

It's a top 10 list! Top 10 posts of 2013 :)





I'm still in Christmas mode as we've been celebrating with each of our families the last 3 days, and today is the first quiet day we'll have at home to enjoy some of our gifts (and put them away so I can get my living room and dining room back!).

But this time of year, leading up to the new year next week, always gets me thinking about the year that's ending.

2013 has been a great year on the blog!  I'm so excited when I look back on how this blog has grown this year.  That means more of you are finding and using the organizing tips I've shared, which makes me very happy. 

And I've loved making new online friends this year!  It still amazes me how close I feel to people I've met online.  Our shared need for organization is a bond that ties us closely together!

Whether you're a new follower who started during the year, or have been a loyal reader all year, you may have missed some posts or could use reminders to help you start 2014 in an organized way.  So here's a top 10 list of posts from 2013 for you.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Organizing With My Friends!




If you are catching some mommy alone time with your computer...check out some of the awesome organization posts my organizing blogger friends have written!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!



It's finally here!  It's Christmas!  I gotta tell ya, I'm a wee bit excited :)  Maybe as much or more than my kids.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Simple Christmas Gift: Chocolates!




I've been sharing a lot lately about clutter-free gifts and today I'm talking about a long-standing tradition in our family... chocolates!

These are easy to make and everyone loves them!  We give them to neighbours, friends, and family every year. 

I initially made these with my parents when I lived at home, and I've made them every year since then {which totals up to over 30 years of making these chocolates!}. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Toys




Do you feel overwhelmed at Christmas with all the extra "stuff" in your home?

Before Christmas there are lots of holiday items taking over your home.  And after Christmas there are all the new gifts that need "homes".

One of the best ways to simplify Christmas is to declutter in the weeks leading up to it.  To help you do that, I've been doing a series of posts this month, sharing ideas to help you declutter your home for a simpler Christmas.  If you missed any of the posts there are links to all of them at the end of this post.  You can always catch up after Christmas if you want :)

Today I'm sharing tips to help you declutter toys.  It's so important to purge some of your kids' toys before the influx of new toys at Christmas.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Packing List {Free Printable}




Are you traveling during the Christmas holidays?  Many people have family gatherings, visits with friends, or vacations while school's out.

I don't know about you, but whether I'm going somewhere just for the day or overnight or for a whole week, I seem to have a lot to pack!  Especially since we had kids.  Sometimes I feel like we're staying for a week when we're just going to someone's house for the day :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

8 Tips for Packing Gifts When Traveling



Do you bring gifts with you to other people's homes over the holidays?  Maybe it's a hostess gift.  Or a few presents for grandparents or nieces and nephews.  Or, you may bring your own family's gifts to a family member's home to open there.

On Wednesday I shared 5 Tips for Simpler Gift Wrapping, but now how do you pack those wrapped gifts so they aren't damaged or the wrapping isn't torn?  Here are some tips to help you out!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

5 Tips for Simpler Gift Wrapping




Are you overwhelmed with all the gift wrapping you need to do this week?  Or, if you've finished wrapping, are you wondering how to store all the leftover wrapping supplies for next year? 

Today I'm sharing 5 tips to make wrapping gifts as simple as possible.  And the bonus is that this process also makes storing your wrap easy too!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Entertainment





Do you feel overwhelmed at Christmas with all the extra "stuff" in your home?

Before Christmas there are lots of holiday items taking over your home.  And after Christmas there are all the new gifts that need "homes".

One of the best ways to simplify Christmas is to declutter in the weeks leading up to it.  To help you do that, I've been doing a series of posts this month, sharing ideas to help you declutter your home for a simpler Christmas.  Join me!

Today I'm sharing how to declutter "Entertainment" items like puzzles, games, DVD's, and CD's.  It's a loose category so you can include whatever you want to declutter this week to prepare for Christmas. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Organizing Ideas for the Weekend: Avoiding Christmas Card Clutter




Happy Friday!  Ready for another organizing idea for your weekend?

Today I'm sharing ways to display your Christmas greeting cards.  You've probably been receiving some in the mail already, and if you're like a lot of people, you look at them and then pile them up on a table or counter somewhere, causing clutter.

Nobody needs clutter during the holidays... even Christmas clutter!  So find a creative way to show off those lovely cards and eliminate the pile at the same time.

I chose easy ideas because I know with less than two weeks to the big day you're probably not interested in adding another project to your to-do list. 

Check them out!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Simple Gifts: White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark




I've been sharing a lot lately about clutter-free gifts and today I'm sharing one of my favourite things to make and give... White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark!

This is so simple that even my kids helped make it last year.  It makes a great stocking stuffer, hostess gift, or neighbour treat. 

I heard about this from a colleague over 15 years ago and I've been making it ever since.  Here's how!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Clothing





Do you feel overwhelmed at Christmas with all the extra "stuff" in your home?

Before Christmas there are lots of holiday items taking over your home.  Decorations, gifts, lights, craft supplies, activities and projects for kids, holiday CD's, special baking supplies and tools, candles, Christmas cards, gift wrap, holiday dishes, and Christmas clothing.  Just to name a few!

And after Christmas there are all the new gifts cluttering up your home. Toys, books, electronics, games, clothes, and more decorations!  It can make your home feel cluttered.

One of the best ways to simplify Christmas is to declutter in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  To help you do that, I'll be doing a series of posts this month sharing ideas to help you declutter your home for a simpler Christmas.  Join me!

Today's decluttering project is to declutter clothing.  I don't know about you, but we receive a lot of clothing as Christmas gifts, plus my daughter's birthday is in October and my birthday is in December and we both tend to be given clothes for birthdays too.  So, usually around this time of year I go through all our closets and dressers to purge clothing and make room for the new items we receive.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Organizing Ideas for the Weekend: Clutter Free Christmas Gifts




Happy Friday!  Ready for another organizing idea for your weekend?

Today I'm sharing some great clutter free gift ideas.  Many of us struggle with clutter all year, but are most overwhelmed after Christmas when we need to find places for all the influx of "stuff" in our homes.  And in our consumer-driven society, we worry what messages we're sending our children.

I've been reading a lot about this lately and want to share some great insights from other bloggers on clutter-free gift giving.

Note: this post is not intended to offend those of you who love shopping and giving gifts.  It's simply something I'm learning about and wanted to share with you!  And for those of you, like me, who have already finished your shopping for this Christmas, you can keep these ideas in mind for next year.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Takeaways From My First Organizing Conference




Have you ever felt like you met a group of "kindred spirits"?  People who shared your passion for something?  Who thought and felt the same as you?

I felt that way when I went to the Professional Organizers in Canada national conference last month.  Every conversation was with someone who loved organizing as much as I do.  Who understood the freedom of purging, and the exhilaration of seeing an organized closet or garage.

And it was as if every keynote speaker and every workshop leader was speaking directly to me.  The tools and resources they shared are ones I can apply to my organizing business and this blog {think of this post as a preview to some of the topics I'll be blogging about in the new year!}.

I know some of you have been to blogging conferences and know what I'm talking about.  Join me today while I share some of what I experienced and learned {and check out some fun pictures}!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Simple Gifts: DIY Laundry Soap




Need to do Christmas on a budget?  Want to give a clutter-free gift to people on your list?

Last Christmas I really wanted to give practical gifts to some of our family members and I needed to do it on a limited budget.  Since I started making homemade laundry detergent a few months earlier and I loved how it cleaned our clothes, I thought I'd make an extra batch at Christmas to give to some family members to try.

They'd heard me talk about it already, but they weren't sure if they'd like it enough to make it.  So it was a win-win all around!  They got the opportunity to try out DIY laundry detergent and I got to give practical, clutter-free, budget-friendly gifts.

Here's how I made it.

Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Holiday Decorations




Do you feel overwhelmed at Christmas with all the extra "stuff" in your home?

Before Christmas there are lots of holiday items taking over your home.  Decorations, gifts, lights, craft supplies, activities and projects for kids, holiday CD's, special baking supplies and tools, candles, Christmas cards, gift wrap, holiday dishes, and Christmas clothing.  Just to name a few!

And after Christmas there are all the new gifts cluttering up your home. Toys, books, electronics, games, clothes, and more decorations!  It can make your home feel cluttered.

One of the best ways to simplify Christmas is to declutter in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  To help you do that, I'll be doing a series of posts this month sharing ideas to help you declutter your home for a simpler Christmas.  Join me!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Family Goals Printable and December Blog Goals




It's December!  Time for another monthly family goals printable for you!

December is one of my favourite months of the year.  Not only because it's Christmas, but because my birthday is on the 21st!

December is typically a very busy month for most people, with extra celebrations and an ever-looming deadline for your "To-Do List".  In all the busy-ness of this month, it's extra important to set goals as a family so you can make sure you prioritize your time and energy and actually enjoy all the festivities!