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Holiday Decorations…Sort, Organize and Label

Now that the excitement of the holidays has passed, it is time to tackle the un-decoration! Just a few short weeks ago it seemed like such a great idea to decorate every room in the house.  At this point, you might even be avoiding rooms, knowing that there are more items to be packed away.

Perlman Christmas tree copy

“Sort, Organize and Label” we associate these steps with cleaning out closets, pantries and garages but they are also valuable in packing up holiday decorations.  Regardless of the holiday you celebrate, next year when you pull out your decorations, you will be thankful that you took a few extra minutes to sort, organize and label when packing things up, this year.

Before starting the Sort, Organize and Label process there is one more step…cleaning! At this point, you are probably thinking that this blog could not get worse.  Trust us, you will be glad you did this!

  • Check your tablecloths, napkins and holiday towels for stains-these wont magically disappear by next year, in fact, they will get worse.  If stains don’t come out you should thin about discarding the item.
  • Light strands-only pack them if all the bulbs are working
  • Hanukkah Menorah-remove the wax
  • Hanukkah candles-you need 44 each Hanukkah, so fi you have several open, half used boxes combine them-you might not need to buy candles next year.

So now for the “fun stuff”:  Sort, Organize and Label

  • When packing up your decorations store “like” items together, being sure to label the boxes:
    • Tablecloths, napkins and holiday towels
    • Stockings with stocking hangers
    • Wreaths with wreath hangers
    • Lights
    • Ornaments
    • Assorted decorations-group by theme or room, depending on what is more purposeful for your decorating style
  • Be sure that fragile items are stored in a way that they wont break or get damaged

christmas storage

  • If you have decorations that you no longer use but want to keep for memories or to pass along when your children get older, store those separate from the ones you will use next year-label them accordingly “For Suzie’s first home”, “Family Keepers”
  • Holiday cards are letters-stack them, wrap with a ribbon and attach a tag with the year.  These are fun to look through to see how friends and family have changed over the years…don’t forget to save one of yours as well!
  • If you have  special holiday pajamas, slippers or linens go ahead and pack them up-yes, it seems unusual to pack them with holiday decorations but when you think about it there is no need to store them in a separate location. Again, label accordingly!

So once again our running theme of Sort, Organize and Label is used in a different way!

Happy New Year!

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How many sheet sets does one household need?

How many sheet sets does one household need?

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If you found the last blog helpful, then you will probably be pleased with this one. After these two blogs you will be on your way to a well-organized linen closet. The key to not having an overflowing linen closet is to not have too many things in it-brilliant concept we know!! The pressing question is “How many sheet sets should I have?” Again, there’s no law, just suggestions and recommendations based on purposeful thought and no emotional ties to your linen closet.

Good news-the math is a bit easier with sheet sets versus towels-whew, big relief we know!  Here you go, plan and simple:

2 sets of sheets for each “Sleeping Space

What is a “Sleeping Space”? Any sort of bed family members and guest may sleep on.  This includes: sofa beds, blow up mattresses, campers, bunk beds, beach/mountain/lake homes (unless you keep linens there-in which case, follow the same rules).

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As expected, there are a few extra thoughts, suggestions and exceptions to the rule:

  • If you have a bed-wetter, keep an additional set for those beds
  • If you aren’t always quick with the laundry turn-around, pick up an extra set
  • Keep your spare beds made and ready to go, even with the sofa beds-sheets will fit folded in the bed
  • Consider purchasing similarly colored sheet sets so you can mix and match
  • Your old sheets can be donated to the animal shelter or cut into rags
  • To make changing linens easy (yes-that is a slight exaggeration, the only real way to make it easy is to have someone else do it), keep your sheet sets together in your linen closet.  Fold your flat and fitted sheets, then put them inside the pillowcase, extra pillowcases for the bed can also be placed inside.  This way when it is time to change the linens they are ready to go.

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“Finish the Cycle”

“Finish the Cycle”

While we know that we have some very good ideas, we also know that there are others out there who do too.  One of our go-to organizational guru’s is Peter Walsh. If you aren’t familiar with him, we recommend that at a minimum you Google him.  If you read The Oprah Magazine, then we know you have heard of him

The key to good organizational concepts is that they are easy to understand and easy to follow.  Most importantly, they are easy to maintain.  Maybe “easy” isn’t the right word because these concepts tend to involve some serious habit changing but if you stick with it you can have some real success.

So today we share a wonderful Peter Walsh gem:  “Finish the Cycle”

‘Consider your washing machine:  You’d never fill it with dirty clothes, let it run for 20 minutes, then turn it off and let the clothes sit for two days.  That would create a stinky mess! So it is with our daily routines:  Doing things halfway wreaks havoc.  That’s why it’s important to finish each cycle.  For example, if you bring a dirty plate into the kitchen, don’t leave it on the counter-put it in the dishwasher! When you pull on sweatpants after work, don’t toss your skirt onto the bed-hang it in your closet.  If you bring in the mail, don’t drop it on the table-sort it (recycle any junk/leave bills in a flat try).  Each of these tasks requires about a minute, which is minimal compared with the time you’d waste later looking for that skirt or bill.’

This concept fits hand-in-hand with our 2-minute rule.  They are both really good organizational habits to develop.  These blogs could focus on all of our bad habits that lead to the dis-organization in our lives; however, that would just result in everyone feeling bad and wouldn’t provide encouragement about developing good organizational habits. We prefer to focus on the positive! Makes us all happier…So Finish the Cycle!

Finish the Cycle

Back to School Boot Camp

Organization is the key for avoiding stressful school mornings.  To help you get “in shape” for the start of school we’re going to share our favorite tips to get Back to School Organized

Tip #1-Pick out school outfits for the week…Sunday is the perfect day to do this.  Have children stack shirts & shorts together so they can dress themselves.  This photo has two great ways to display the clothes (hanging shelves or labeled hangers), pick the one that fits your space the best.  Busy moms and dads may also find this tip helpful!!

clothes for week

Tip #2-Create a home file with a slot for each subject; color code the tabs to match with any folders used for each class.  Not only does this system give kids a place to unload weekly papers, it also helps them organize reference materials as the year changes.  You can even make one file labeled “papers for mom and dad”. These inexpensive creates come in lots of colors so let your kids pick their favorite one.

Home File - Tip 2

Tip #3-Create a snack bin in your pantry for the kids.  Place bins on a low shelf that they can reach and be sure to bag up snacks in healthy portion sizes.  You can even have the kids help, so they know what is available when they are hungry.  This is a great habit to get into as it makes packing lunches so much easier.

Snacks

Tip #4-Hang a calendar in a centrally located place in your home.  The kitchen refrigerator often works well or anywhere that is frequently accessed and visible to all family members.  Select a colored pen or marker for each family member.  Attach a magnetic strip to the pen/marker, so they don’t get lost.  record each family members important events on the calendar: practices, games, recitals, appointments, birthday parties, tests/projects due dates, etc.  This way you can keep your busy family activities scheduled.

calendar

Tip #5-Getting ready the night before will help make for calm mornings, less stress and fewer forgotten items.  Some things to do the night before:

  • Pack lunches
  • Pick out school clothes (if you didn’t follow Tip #1)
  • Gather sports/dance/other activity items needed for the next day
  • When homework is completed, put it directly into backpacks
  • Put backpacks in the car or at the front door