Get organized for the holiday season with plans, printables, and Christmas inspiration.
House & Holidays Plan Week 7: Bedding and Bath Week
If the children are to be nestled, all snug in their beds, it’s time to get things straight in the linen closet! This week in the House and Holidays Plan, we’ll focus on linen closet and bathrooms as we get organized for Christmas.
We’ll declutter, organize and clean these areas, then do a quick linen check. Will we have enough sheets and towels? What’s the state of the tablecloth? Is the household stocked for winter colds and holiday guests?
Holiday Grand Plan Week 7: Guest Room Week
Guest rooms ready for holiday guests? They will be, after we tackle them during Week Seven of the Holiday Grand Plan!
This week, we deep-clean, organize and prepare for overnight guests.
In holiday prep, we keep plugging away on gifts, whether to-make or to-buy. Decor alert: Halloween is coming!
You've Been BOOed! Print Halloween BOO Poem and Signs
Autumn Calendar Check: Schedule Now for an Organized Christmas
When you think about Christmas from a few weeks away, there’s a luxurious feeling of “plenty of time”, but as December draws near, the season’s pace quickens exponentially. Where did the time go?
Take major action against the seasonal time crunch with a pre-season scheduling session. The goal: to arrange for all those little appointments that slip the mind so easily.
With the Christmas calendar as a guide, consider scheduling these important pre-season tasks:
House & Holidays Plan Week 5: Guest Room Week
Hospitality is a core value of the Christmas holiday season; time to plan for guests!
This week in the House and Holidays Plan, we’ll “think hospitality” as we prepare for house guests and focus on the guest room.
No guest room? Take aim on the multi-function area that houses sleepover guests; otherwise, it’s another bonus room week!
Our holiday prep focus turns to decor, as we begin planning seasonal decorations. A decor declutter clears surfaces in time to decorate for autumn.
Holiday Grand Plan Week 5: Master Bath
Holiday Grand Plan Week 4: Master Bedroom
We’re moving to the master for Week 4 of the Holiday Grand Plan!
This important week sees us move into the master bedroom to deep-clean and cut clutter, creating a serene and peaceful refuge for the busy days ahead. As the season changes, we’ll rout out the closet and organize clothing.
Our holiday prep tasks center on home-made gifts, and we’ll begin budgeting “to-buy” items week-by-week.
Ready? Let’s get organized with the Holiday Grand Plan!
Ready for Christmas: Make A Christmas Planner
As we get ready for Christmas, we’ll be making lists (and checking them a lot more than twice!), holding discussions with spouses, children and parents, and drawing up a holiday budget.
Too often, we record our plans piecemeal, consigning them to a confused clutter of scrawled envelopes, jotted notes and cryptic calendar entries—none of which make it to the shopping center with us when it’s time to buy gifts.
Simplify Your Holidays With A Christmas Calendar
Ask any mother of young children: time pressure creates a unique stressor during the Christmas season. Holiday events, school functions and holiday parties crowd December days; service projects, travel and worship activities double.
To keep holiday stress at bay, a calendar is a must-have tool for an organized Christmas. Even if you never rely on a family calendar the other eleven months of the year, December’s busy days call for a dedicated calendar for smooth sailing.
House & Holidays Plan Week 3: Me and Mine Week
Properly appointed, the master bedroom can be an inviting oasis of calm in the midst of Christmas commotion–but not if it’s choked and cluttered with misplaced stuff!
During Me and Mine Week at the House and Holidays Plan, we’ll declutter, organize and clean the master bedroom. Our goal: to create a refreshing space for renewal and rest during the busy holiday season.
When it’s time to get ready for the holiday season, it helps to have a plan. Weekly holiday plans set out an easy road map to an organized Christmas.
What’s the best road to calm and joyous holidays? It’s all about the plan! Preparing for Christmas with the help of a step-by-step plan makes quick work of seasonal chores, and leaves plenty of time, energy–and money!–to celebrate the season.
Here at OrganizedHome.com, we’re home to two of the Web’s oldest holiday plans: the Christmas Countdown and the Holiday Grand Plan.
Which plan is right for you? Check out these options to get ready for a stress-free Christmas:
House and Holidays Plan
Dreaming of celebrating the Christmas season in a clean and organized home? Try the House and Holidays Plan!
Written by organizing author, Cynthia Ewer, the HHP is a week-by-week roadmap to clean and organize the whole house by December, while preparing for the holiday season in good time. The HHP takes you area-by-area through the home, where you’ll cut the clutter, clean and organize with weekly assignments designed to be do-able, not overwhelming. Along the way, you’ll learn skills to keep clutter at bay, cut cleaning chores and bring better organization to the home front.
Along with cleaning chores, each week’s assignments include a few holiday prep tasks. Breaking holiday preparations down into small steps makes it easier to celebrate without last-minute stress. Linking each week’s area focus with corresponding holiday prep chores–such as inventorying holiday table linens during Bed and Bath week–helps keep the plan focused and realistic.
Choose the HHP if you’re hoping to move from cluttered to calm on the home front. You’ll improve household routines, cut clutter, and prepare for the season week-by-week . to be ready for Christmas!
Holiday Grand Plan
Are you looking for the Holiday Grand Plan? Get it here: the Web’s oldest holiday organizing plan is followed by thousands. The 2021 Holiday Grand Plan starts on Sunday, August 29!
Published on the Web since 1998, the Christmas Countdown is a classic Christmas-only holiday organizing plan. Over six weeks, the Countdown takes you from holiday zero to Christmas sixty, breaking down seasonal chores into easy-to-complete weekly assignments.
Written by home organization author, Cynthia Ewer , the Countdown is for those who want to prepare for the holidays without a lot of cleaning or organizing. It’s a “just the holiday stuff” plan designed to let you cruise into December prepared and ready to celebrate!
Want a clean house in time for Christmas? The Holiday Grand Plan takes a week-by-week approach to get ready for the holiday season.
You’ve decided: this is the year you’ll celebrate the holiday season from a home that is clean, organized and ready for Christmas. You dream of holiday parties, overnight house guests, Christmas cookies, a decorated home and a calm and stress-free holiday season.
There’s only one problem: right now, you’re living in domestic chaos. How to create a clean home for the holidays?
Looking around your home, you don’t know where to begin. Cluttered counters, crammed closets and out-of-place possessions pile up everywhere. Dust bunnies and ceiling cobwebs announce that deep-cleaning is long over-due, and the guest room? Forget about it! It’s home to moving boxes, unfinished crafts and last winter’s stained jackets and unmatched mittens.
What’s the answer? You need a plan: the Holiday Grand Plan.
WEEK-BY-WEEK TO AN ORGANIZED CHRISTMAS
To have the holiday of your dreams, you need more than just a gift list and good intentions: you need a tried and tested roadmap.
That’s where the Holiday Grand Plan comes in! By breaking down tasks and dividing them into weekly assignments, the HGP will help you reach the season calm, centered and ready to celebrate from a clean and organized home.
Based on the companion Cleaning Grand Plan, the Holiday Grand Plan combines holiday prep, home organizing and cleaning components. Each week, the Plan focuses on one room or area. Beginning just as the summer ends, you’ll work week-by-week to declutter, clean and organize each room in your home.
Along the way, the HGP tackles holiday preparations, too. Whether it’s gifts, decor or holiday meals, you’ll be organized and ready for the holidays before they arrive.
To guide you, you’ll make a Christmas planner notebook to simplify your holidays. Free printable checklists and calendars make it easy to plan your progress and organize each week’s goals. Your planner will become your road map for an organized holiday season . in a clean home. Best of all? Next season you’ll start ahead of the game, thanks to the notes, records and reminders you’ll tuck into your planner as you work the HGP.
Ready to create an organized Christmas? Holiday Grand Plan 2020 kicks off on Sunday, August 30!
Getting your home organized for Christmas can be quite a challenge, especially considering the many other things on your “to do” list during the holidays. However, it will make the rest of your holiday plans go much smoother, once you tackle the job. In order to organize your home efficiently, there are several things to keep in mind.
The first order of business is purging things that you no longer need. It is simpler if you attempt to organize one room at a time. Go through each space and sort through your belongings. Organize items into separate piles of things to keep, things to store elsewhere, and things to donate or throw away.
In the kitchen, go through storage containers, mix and match plates and cups, and potholders and dish towels that have seen better days. Look through closets and remove jackets, sweaters, caps, and gloves that are no longer used. In bedrooms, sort through clothing, toys, and other entertainment items. When you tackle the family room or the living room separate CDs and DVDs that are no longer popular with your family members and organize the items you’d like to keep.
Clear out the items that you no longer wish to keep and organize those that will remain. You may also need to pick up some additional storage bins or other storage containers to organize each room. This way, your entire family will have more space to store the new items each member receives for Christmas.
You may also find that Christmas shopping is a bit easier once you organize the things you already have. You’ll have a better idea of what is needed around the house and what to purchase for family members. You’ll be able to avoid purchasing duplicate items, and you’ll know if something needs to be replaced. If you get everything organized in advance, it will be much easier to organize the new items and find a place for everything.
You will also feel good about donating the items you no longer need, knowing that someone else can get use out of those things. You’ll benefit in at least two ways if you organize your home for Christmas. You’ll have a neater, more organized home and you’ll have the joy of sharing with others.
Moving can be stressful, but with these ideas, you can streamline the process.
While the thought of finally moving into your new home may be exciting (especially after weeks of negotiating and filling out plenty of paperwork), just thinking about preparing for a big move can make any calm and collected person frazzled and anxious. Now you don’t have to dread moving day (too much!). Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit, a full-service home organization company whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachel Zoe, have partnered with Target to act as the retailer’s home organizing experts. Their first task: to help navigate moving season.
Shearer and Teplin shared their best tips for a big move with RealSimple.com—from prepping weeks before, to getting everything organized the day of, and unpacking afterwards. Take a look at their step-by-step guide, and you’ll be ready to tackle moving day, so you can go straight to celebrating and decorating your new home.
1 Prep Early.
Don’t leave the decluttering and packing until a few days before, you’ll make it much harder on yourself (and your family). “To eliminate moving stress, we always recommend preparing in phases,” Shearer says. “Two to four weeks before packing, you should begin the ‘purging’ process. Once you eliminate the items that aren’t moving with you to the new house, you can begin to pack your belongings, moving room by room.”
But beware of being too eager to pack, unless you want to live out of boxes for a long period of time. “We do caution against packing your house too early, though—you don’t want to live surrounded by boxes!” Shearer says. “Depending on the size of your home, five to seven days should be enough time to pack with the purging phase already complete.”
2 Declutter Thoroughly.
Whether you’ve lived in your current home for one year or for 20 years, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of things that you no longer use or need—so don’t bring that extra stuff into your new house where it will most likely pile up. “We suggest moving room by room and leaving no stone unturned,” Shearer says. “Look in every drawer, cabinet, and closet and consider if the items fall into at least one of these buckets: You use it, you love it, or it has strong sentimental value.” Pack the keepers and donate or toss out the rest.
3 Organize Your Current House.
You might think organizing your current home would be a waste of time since you’re going to leave soon, but it might actually save you some precious minutes. “Put the items under your kitchen sink into a bin, or organize your bathroom products into drawer inserts,” Teplin says. “Once you’re in your new space, you can unpack the container and pop it into its new place, rather than having to deal with free-floating items. Since you might not know the exact dimensions of your new cabinets and drawers, try to buy products that are modular or a universal size that would fit most spaces.”
4 Pack By Room.
It will keep things streamlined and make unpacking easier. “Packing by room is the easiest way to keep your items organized throughout the moving process,” Teplin says. “Make sure each box only contains items from one room. Even if a box has extra space, you want to avoid adding additional items from another part of the house.”
5 Label, Label, Label.
Create a system to keep track of all of your items so you don’t get to your new place and realize you can’t find something and have to open all the boxes just to find one thing. “We love to label, and during a move, labels are your best friend,” Shearer says. “Label the contents of each box along with a box number, and keep a corresponding checklist for easy reference.”
6 Take It All In.
Moving can be exhausting both emotionally and physically, so Teplin suggests taking some time to breathe and think on moving day. “Take a minute to enjoy the milestone moment,” she says. “Half the work is already behind you, and the hardest part is out of the way. Focus on setting up your new home and celebrate the fresh start.”
7 Make Some Organizing Goals.
Now’s the time to start fresh. “Do you dream of a neatly, well-stocked pantry or a linen closet with the perfect amount of space to hold your precisely folded blankets and towels? Identify what’s important to you so you can ensure your new home incorporates everything you want from the start,” Teplin says.
8 Unpack With a Timeframe.
“We recommend immediately getting started, but working at your own pace,” Shearer says. “Give yourself a realistic goal and try to hold yourself accountable. Whether it’s one to two rooms per day, or the whole house in a week, setting a time limit will help you stay motivated and focused.”
9 Create an Organizing Plan.
Once you’re unpacked and the boxes are gone, you can begin to think of an organization strategy. “Start by taking dimensions of the space you want to organize—don’t forget to reference your priorities,” Shearer says. “Take note of the height, width, and depth so that you can shop for product supplies that take advantage of every inch. We always suggest buying a few different options to experiment with, and extra quantities in case they are needed. You can always return anything left over, or use them in other areas of the house.”
How to create a calm and stress-free holiday season? The tool of choice is a Christmas planner: a one-stop location for lists, calendars and menus.
Use these printable calendars, gift lists, holiday menu planners and planning pages to create your own power tool for an organized Christmas.
Get fillable .PDF versions of our holiday organizing printables: Fillable Forms
Track the time until Christmas with free printable monthly calendars. Add them to your Christmas planner notebook to get organized for the holiday season!
Get ready for Christmas with these free printable calendars, planner pages, gift lists and inventory sheets. Create your own Christmas planner to simplify the holidays!
Getting ready for Christmas with the Christmas Countdown six-week organizing plan? Use these free printable calendars, checklists and cover pages to create a Christmas Countdown planner.
Make your Christmas Countdown planner easy to use with free printable divider pages. Keep track of calendars, checklists and holiday planning information . and make it an organized Christmas!
Following the House and Holidays Plan this year? Use these printable calendars and checklists to make a holiday planner to track your progress.
Organize your Christmas planner with these colorful divider pages. Get organized for a stress-free holiday season!
A pretty cover brings a warm touch to your Christmas planner! Browse our selection of free printable covers and spine inserts to decorate your power tool for holiday organizing.
Blank lined stationary pages for your Christmas planner. Use these pages to record notes, make lists, or track memories of the holiday season.
Making a pretty Christmas pocket planner to simplify your holidays? These free printable planner forms (three to a page) are right-sized to fit inside the planner pockets. Take your Christmas planner with you . in style!
Lean Six Sigma isn’t just beneficial at work or for businesses, it makes life easier and more enjoyable at home, too! Here are a few great ways to use Lean Six Sigma concepts and tools at home every day.
1. Our knife drawer has its own Shadow Board.
This helps because all knives have their specific place (see photo above). This helps us put knives away more quickly and find them more easily when we need to use them.
2. We use a Kanban system for our groceries.
We keep a pad on the refrigerator door with a grocery list. Anyone who uses the last item or notices we are running low on an ingredient puts that item on the list. The next person to do the grocery shopping will take the Kanban list to replenish supplies. We never run out! – Colleen Kindler
3. We set up the cabinet above the dishwasher to Minimize Motion Waste.
To minimize wasted motion and reaching while doing the frequent task of emptying the dishwasher, we set up the cabinet above the dishwasher with all the plates, bowls and glassware so the motion is minimized for the heavy and fragile items which are frequently used. – Colleen Kindler
4. We store our Christmas decorations in red and green boxes for Visual Management.
We always know where they are and don’t need to read or find a label. – Carol Knight-Wallace
5. We use Poka Yoke to prevent anyone from mistakenly turning off light switches.
In the example below, we placed a plastic cover piece (50 cents from the hardware store) over this light switch that controls a motion detector spotlight in the driveway.
6. We apply 5S to the laundry room.
- We Sort the garage in half so that the laundry can be done cleanly on one side and the dirty car stuff on the other. The laundry care goes on the right side of the garage and automotive care/work goes on the left side.
- We use Set In Order in the laundry room so dryer sheets don’t go in the washer and detergent doesn’t go in the dryer. Everything is in order by the washer and dryer. There is a colored clothes bin and a white clothes only bin. On top of the dryer:
- Spot treatment spray
- Dryer sheets and balls
7. We use a milk Kanban for essential groceries.
When anyone uses the last of the milk, we put the carton on the counter so the next person who goes to the store knows to grab another carton. For the rest of the groceries, we just add it to the list, but due to the number of tea, coffee and cereal fans in the house, the milk gets it’s own system!
8. We use Visual Managemen t for our winter clothing.
We only need them for a few months out of the year, but after reaching for the wrong basket a few times, we decided a few pictures would do the trick. We thought about using actual mittens and hats and sewing them right on the front of the baskets, but the size of a sweater ended that idea.
9. We use a tennis ball as a Poka Yoke in the garage.
When driving our car into the garage, we know exactly how far to drive before stopping. When the tennis ball hits the windshield, we’re done! This way there’s no unexplained dents or mangled bicycles.
10. We use Lean Tool Placement o f “cheaters” in the bathroom.
One of the more basic principles in a Lean work space is to place tools and materials in the most appropriate place. This led us to use a little fishing line and some “cheater” spectacles to hang a handy pair of reading glasses in the bathroom. This is a big favorite of our guests, proving that ergonomics matter no matter where you apply them! – Elisabeth Swan
11. We use Visual Management in the kitchen to reduce Waste.
I write the date down on the packages when I opened them. When I do this to keep track of things like stock, milk, and yogurt, this reduces food waste and prevents the risk of eating or cooking with spoiled products. – Ryoko
12. We use Visual Management to create a balanced meal plan.
We use a handy, little whiteboard in the kitchen to list our one-week dinner plan. This helps us:
- Visualize what we need to eat to balance out the food variety
- Prevent Overproduction by keeping us from eating too much food (no carne asada twice a day!)
- Create an informal family RACI to allocate the cooking duties between me and my husband
- Keep inventory low by using all ingredients up within the week, and sometimes have leftovers!
How do you use Lean Six Sigma at home?
After completing your Free Yellow Belt Training (or if you’re already familiar with Lean Six Sigma), share your ideas with us by commenting below! Each month, we’ll give away a FREE Green Belt Training & Certification to the most popular idea. You can vote for ideas by clicking the “^” button on the bottom left of each comment.
We’d love to hear how you use Lean Six Sigma to make your house run more efficiently!
Need a gifted interior decorator for your home? Do-it-yourself with this blog for organizers! With great tips on how to organize home, bathroom, closets, office, drawers, and more. Begin organizing messy rooms today! Plenty of videos, articles and other information to keep you and your family organized.
Spring Cleaning Checklist
Checking in with my fellow organizers. Have you started your spring cleaning yet? Well if not, here is a list to help you get started.
1. Computer document, music, pictures, cookie, temp, and other stuff taking up hard drive space.
2. Phone storage –dumping useless stuff including apps you don’t use.
3. Digital camera (for the old school) when do you plan on transferring or printing out photos from like 2010?
4. Vacuuming (and shampooing) all rooms (including vents, baseboards, ceilings, and light fixtures, behind and under furniture).
5. Wiping walls, doors, knobs and light switches.
6. Dusting all those dust collectors including shelf units.
7. Closets (removal of old clothes, useless shoes, etc.)
8. Cabinets (how many containers, cups, pots, etc. do you really need?)
9. Drawers (so that’s where your stuff has been hiding?)
10. Paper files (wouldn’t it be best just to scan them and then pitch?)
11. Tools (are you really using all that stuff?)
12. Books (someone can read those).