10 Tips for an Organized Kitchen

When it comes to rooms that can get overwhelming, you will find the kitchen is at the top of the list. With some simple organizing, your kitchen can run smoothly and clutter can be kept to a minimum. As a result, your clean up time will drop, making your life easier!

10 Tips for an Organized Kitchen

10 Tips for an Organized Kitchen

Clear the counters.

The counters can easily become a catch-all for everything. This is bad because when germs spread in the kitchen the counters get a large chunk of them. The less stuff on the counter the less you have to clean to get rid of the germs and keep your family healthy.  Often the counter makes the kitchen look worse than it is so removing everything but vital items will make a huge difference.

Cut down on small appliances.

How many do you really need? So often we buy things thinking they will make our lives easier only to discover we do not really need them. In fact, these items that we thought we HAD to have ended up wasting space and frustrating us when we try to find what we really need. Keep track of what you use and sell the rest.

Organize the drawers.

We all have that one drawer in the kitchen that seems to be nothing but a mess. The odds and ends that have no real home from buttons to batteries you never know what you will find. Simple organizers can fix the disorganized mess that makes finding anything nearly impossible.

Related: This looks like a great tool to wrangle all those odds and ends!

Clean up the Tupperware mess.

For many of us, food storage containers are the biggest mess we face in our kitchen. Clean them out tossing any without a matching lid or base. If it’s in your budget, a new set would be a great investment if yours are a bit rough. Sometimes it helps to start fresh.

Organize the freezer with boxes or baskets.

This will allow you to store more and find what you need when it is meal time. Put like items with like items.

Use baskets to organize your fridge.

Small baskets and even serving trays can make getting what you need out of the back of the fridge easy. As an added bonus, they’ll catch spills making cleanup a breeze! The same system will work wonders in your pantry as well.

Get creative with storing plastic wrap, foil, and other tubes.

Paper towel holders can be placed inside cabinets to hold these items out of the way but always ready to use. Another great option is to store all of these items with plastic storage bags in a single drawer. Pinterest has tons of great ideas for storing plastic wrap, foil and other tubes.

Use a Lazy Susan.

Use a Lazy Susan to store spices and condiments. Simply spin it to find what you need. A small Lazy Susan is a great addition for the fridge and/or cabinets. A Lazy Susan of any size is a great tool for organizing your kitchen.

Install a shelf to hold your cookbooks.

Free up valuable cupboard space by putting up a shelf on one of your kitchen walls to keep cookbooks in one place where they won’t get damaged from being in the way. Place pegs or hooks under the shelf for a great place to store aprons, oven mitts, or even pots and pans.

Find a home for your pots and pans.

Place them on hooks, or stack by size in the bottom cabinets. When organizing your kitchen, giving pots and pans a home makes them easy to get to as needed.

Having an organized kitchen can make meal preparation so much more enjoyable. Being able to find everything you need in seconds? That’s priceless!

What room in your home do you find to be the most disorganized? I’d love to hear your fabulous tips for having an organized kitchen in the comments below!

25 Ways to Save Money While Moving

25 Ways to Save Money While Moving

It’s official. We’re moving in month’s time. I just can’t believe it. While a month still seems so far away (I’m just so gosh darn excited!), I’m sure it will zip by!

Anyways, as we’ve discovered, moving can be an expensive adventure especially if you are moving to a new province, town, or even another country. However, there are ways you can save while moving. Check out these 25 ways to save money while moving!

  1. Sell anything and everything. If you haven’t used or worn something in the last 6 months, sell it.
  2. Utilize Facebook. Facebook is a great way to post your items you are trying to sell quickly without hosting a garage sale. Do a search on Facebook for local Buy & Sell groups.
  3. Avoid hiring movers. It is much more cost effective to slowly get your items packed and loaded than it is to hire movers.
  4. Don’t buy boxes. Retailers that get products shipped in, throw out and get rid of their boxes all the time. Head out to local stores asking when their shipments come in and if you can have their broken-down boxes. We’ve gotten all our boxes from some friends who own an auto body shop.
  5. Borrow a truck. If you can, borrow a truck or trailer from someone. When you rent a truck, you not only pay for renting, but you pay mileage and gas.
  6. Move slowly. If you aren’t moving far from your old house, move your belongings slowly, if possible.
  7. Shop around for new services. When you move, you can either transfer your old internet services, or you can shop around for a better deal.
  8. Use old newspapers. Instead of buying moving supplies to keep your glassware safe, use old newspapers to cushion your fragile items.
  9. Shop around for insurance. Whether you are moving into an apartment or a new house, it is always wise to shop around for insurance on your things.
  10. Use coupons. When you need something like a carpet cleaning service, for example, look online or in your newspapers for coupons that will save you money.
  11. Ask for discounts. It never hurts to ask! While we weren’t moving, just replacing our broken dishwasher, we asked for a discount on the floor model dishwasher that we liked, and they gave us one! Look every which way to find a discount.
  12. Don’t use credit. You may end up paying much more in the long run, putting things on credit than you would if you pay in cash. Avoid those late fees!
  13. Start saving ahead of time. If you know you are moving, start a savings account just for moving expenses. Not only will you earn interest, but you won’t have to put any expenses on credit.
  14. Pump gas when it’s cheap. If you get gas to move, look to fill up on the days its cheapest.
  15. Fix up before you move. Before you move into your new home, do all the repairs that need to be done before moving in.
  16. Use a notary instead of a lawyer. For the legal aspect of moving, looking into using a notary instead of a lawyer. You may save yourself a bundle!
  17. Get furniture second hand. If you need new furniture, buy furniture at second-hand shops or online.
  18. Go to the dollar store. For last minute items, cleaning supplies, and snacks, head to the dollar store to save some money.
  19. Talk to your neighbors. Your new neighbors will be the best resource in helping you find whatever you need inexpensively.
  20. Shop for deals. The internet is full of ways for you to save money. Look for online deals before purchasing anything.
  21. Have a garage sale. If you are really short on cash, a garage sale can help you get that extra money you need.
  22. Talk to the real estate agent. Some real estate agents will have moving trucks you can borrow.
  23. Don’t forget to check Craigslist. Craigslist has some really great deals on moving supplies.
  24. Borrow a dolly from a friend. Instead of renting or buying a dolly, you can borrow one to help move big items.
  25. Keep everything organized. Keeping everything organized and marked helps prevent things from getting broken or lost, costing you more money to replace it.

What other ways have you found to save money when you move? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

52 Ways To Save: Get Organized

6 Ways being Organized Will Save you Money

The more I think about it, I really think that being organized is the key to saving money.  Not only does my sanity thrive when things are organized in my home, I find our bank account is happier too. 🙂

Here are 6 ways being organized helps to save me money:

Know what I already own

Having a spot for everything will help ensure that you know what you have on hand at all times. No need to buy the beans that are on sale because you know that you already have plenty in the pantry! Being organized (or more organized because we can’t be perfect!) stops you from spending money to replace items you can’t find.

I’ll avoid late fees

When you have an organized system in place for paying bills and returning borrowed items on time, you’ll certainly avoid the ugly late fees. Avoid paying late fees by implementing a system that will work for you. I have to tell you a story about the one time I had a late fee on the Visa bill. My bill paying “system” is not how my husband would do it and he suggested I try it his way.  His way was to pay off an amount as soon as there was a balance. My way is to pay it once a month on the due date, the balance of the statement in full. As soon as I receive the statement in the mail, I log into our online banking and schedule the payment to be made on the due date. Sure, it may be a larger amount doing it my way, but I’m never late in paying it! My husband has learned to just let me do my thing in that regard. 😉

Have time to plan a menu

When you’re organized, you’ll have time to set aside to plan the menu for the week. I’m a firm believer that having a menu plan in place will save you unnecessary trips to the grocery store and your sanity.  In our case, it saves us a ton because we’re avoiding the drive thru and actually eating what we buy from the grocery store.

Have time to cut and use coupons

If you’re a coupon user, being organized means you most likely have some time set aside for printing and organizing your coupons. Which also means you are probably organized to use the coupons at the store to pay rock bottom prices!

Know what projects you have on the go

Let’s pretend that I don’t know all about incomplete projects. (you know, those unfinished sewing and knitting projects that I found…) Every once in a while I get an urge to do something creative. But when I take the opportunity to have an organizing session, I usually discover a few unfinished projects.

Most recently, as I was going through my fabric stash, I found two unfinished projects.  A purse, which only needs to have the handles sewn on, and material for a sweatshirt I’ve cut out for my husband.   I now have two projects to finish to satisfy my creative urge without spending any more money!

Buy gifts well in advance

When you’re on the ball with upcoming special occasions, you can buy ahead when you find a great deal online or in the store. Helping you to avoid paying full price for something near your deadline.

How does being organized save you money? In what ways would you like to be more organized so you can save more?

Get the Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle for just $47! This bundle comes with 38 different resources to help you get your home and life in order. I’m currently going through these and have found so many helpful ideas!

If you bought each one of these 38 resources separately, they would cost you a whopping $658.53. Even if you’re not crazy about every single item in the bundle, but there are 10 to 20 ebooks or courses that you’d love to read, that makes each ebook or ecourse only $2.35 to $4.70 each — which is a great price!

If you go through even a few of these resources and they help you get your life more in order so you can start saving more money, you’ll have earned back the money you invested in this bundle in no time at all!

So what are you waiting for? Go grab your Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle here!

See the other articles in this series, here.

The Conquer Your Clutter Bundle on Sale Now!

You often feel like you’re just one step away from flat-out crazy. Just when you get one closet decluttered, you find another closet door that won’t shut. Or when you finally get your inbox empty, another stack of papers comes in the mail.

So you start feeling desperate, wondering how to find the time to develop a system that works for you, how to squeeze in more decluttering, and how on earth you can get your family to participate. You wind up feeling MORE overwhelmed than you were in the first place.

But what if you could find systems that work for you, not against you? Solutions that will – at last! – be the organizational remedy you’ve been waiting for?

Well, I think I’ve found some resources to help you: The Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle from the Ultimate Bundles team.

It’s a carefully curated collection of 38 eBooks, eCourses, and printable planners to help you organize your life, created by people who’ve learned how to conquer all the different types of clutter (physical, mental, digital) in their life!

The combined value of the resources in the toolkit is over $650, but you get EVERYTHING for 95% off! (only $29.97)

In this bundle, you will find:

Cleaning & Chores

  • 2017 Motivated Moms Chore Planner by Susan Cramer ($9.00)
  • 30 Day Guide to a Clean and Organized Home  by Rachel Jones ($27.97)
  • Energy Budget: Time Management for the Chronically Ill (And Others With Long-Term Roadblocks) by Rachel Ramey ($78.00)
  • The Three Systems Every Family Needs by Saren Loosli ($24.00)

Decluttering

  • Chaos To Clutter-Free: 16 Realistic Steps To An Organized Home by Davonne Parks ($4.99)
  • Freed from Clutter: Declutter Course  by Becky Mansfield ($47.00)
  • Step-By-Step Decluttering: Your Guide To Less Stuff And An Uncluttered Home by Sarah Mueller ($15.00)

Family Organization    

  • 30 Days To An Organized Life by Kimberlee Stokes ($9.00)
  • Home Management For The Homeschool Mom: Simplifying The Big Things So You Don’t Miss The Little Things by Amy Roberts ($9.99)
  • Home Organizing DIY Assessment Workbook by Andi Willis ($7.00)
  • Organizing For School Success Kit by Saren Loosli ($27.00)
  • Organizing Life As Mom by Jessica Fisher ($12.00)
  • Sanity Savers For Christian Moms: Simple Solutions For A More Joy-filled Life! by Kristi Clover ($5.99)

Managing Your Time    

  • 5 Days To A Better Morning by Crystal Paine ($2.99)
  • Mindspace: 10 Practices To Help You Let Go Of Mental Clutter And Make Room For More Joyful, Creative Living by Melissa Camara Wilkins ($9.99)
  • Never-Ending To-Do List: A One-Hour Solution for Busy Parents Who Want  Less Stress And More Fun by Kelly Holmes ($4.99)
  • Routine Cards by Rachel Norman & Lauren Tamm ($6.00)
  • Spend Your Days: How to Control Time with Rocks, Bullets, Chisels, & a Boat by Tsh Oxenreider ($8.00)

Meal Planning

  • Meal Planning Made Easy by Kelly Smith ($7.95)
  • The Printable Recipe Binder Kit by Kalyn Brooke ($12.00)
  • The Ultimate Guide To Freezer Cooking by Crystal Barton ($10.00)

Organizing Paperwork & Digital Files

  • 10 Steps To Organizing Photos & Memorabilia by Lisa Woodruff ($3.95)
  • 2017 Budget Planner by Jessi Fearon ($19.97)
  • Evernote Essentials by Brett Kelly ($29.00)
  • Paperwork: Sorted! by Chrissy Halton ($12.39)
  • Spend Well Budgeting System: Printable Files To Help You Take Control Of Your Finances by Carrie Lindsey ($5.99)
  • The Sunday Basket: Weekly Paper Organizing & Planning by Lisa Woodruff ($7.95)
  • The Ultimate Unofficial Dropbox Guide by Jason Glaspey ($29.00)

Planners

  • 2017 All Inclusive Binder by Mique Provost ($19.99)
  • 2017 Christmas Planner by Mandi Ehman ($4.00)
  • 2017 Homestead Management Printables by Quinn Veon ($8.99)
  • 2017 Thanksgiving Planner by Mandi Ehman ($3.00)
  • Homekeeping Foundations Kit: The Perfect DIY Homekeeping Binder Kit by Clean Mama ($20.00)
  • Homeschool Mom Life Binder by Heather Bowen ($19.99)
  • How To Create Your Own Printables by Laura Smith ($49.00)
  • Printable Planner Stickers by Rachael Wynn ($28.46)
  • The Home Management Binder & Family Planner by Helena Alkhas ($47.00)
  • Wanderlist: Your Travel Planning Toolkit by Kimberly Tate ($12.99)

Bonuses

  • Exclusive $20 credit to SaneBox ($20 value)
  • 4 month trial to YNAB ($20 value)—only available to new customers

Check it out here.

If you’ve struggled to find systems to help you streamline your life and inject some much-needed peace into your home, the Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle will remove that barrier for you.

Worried you won’t know where to start with all the resources in the bundle? Don’t be! Inside the bundle you’ll find a handy Getting Started Guide so you can take action right away.

P.S. Remember to buy The Conquer Your Clutter before it expires on Monday, January 30th at 11:59 PM EST!

 

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy here.)

31 Things to Purge This Year

31 Things to Purge This Year

I love purging. Not just the feeling of satisfaction of having more breathing space in my home, but I always find purging to be a wake up call to my spending habits. It helps me realize just how much money I’m “throwing away” on things I end up not using or liking in the end.

If you want to enjoy a calmer home and keep more money in your pocket (because you’ve realized how much you’re wasting!), then I’ve got the perfect list for you! 31 Things you can purge this year. Choose a few or choose all 31 and get to work!

Even if you just choose a few things off this list it will feel so good to lighten up! Most of these things are items none of us need but we hang onto “just in case we need it” and feel panic at the thought of letting them go.

  1. Out of date makeup– It’s just unsafe for your skin and eyes! Toss it out and treat yourself to a new lipstick or eyeshadow!

  2. VHS tapes– If you are still clinging to vhs it’s time to let it go, it’s not coming back.

  3. Old cell phones– Many electronics stores or phone companies have boxes for recycling cell phones and batteries where you can toss them.

  4. Spices that have expired– Check your cupboards and pantry, toss out old spices. Here’s an article with details about how long spices last.

  5. Non working electronics– If you haven’t dropped off the stereo or dvd player to be fixed and have no immediate plans to do so, just get rid of it.

  6. Old stretched out bras– Keep those comfy old jogging pants but stretched out bras are not doing you any favors.

  7. Plastic bags– While it is handy saving your grocery store bags for other uses, we all wind up with an excess of them that we just don’t need.  Toss them in the recycling.

  8. Ragged towels and washcloths– If they can be upcycled for cleaning rags, cut them up into small pieces and find a new home for them. Otherwise get them out of there. Treat yourself to a new set if needed.

  9. Clothes that don’t fit– Clothes more than onr size too small/too big should be donated or sold in a garage sale.

  10. Unused or duplicate kitchen utensils– 6 wooden spoons? 3 meat mallets? Unopened egg poacher? Clean it all out of those drawers!

  11. Books– If you have read it and won’t read it again or you didn’t like it then it’s time to clean off your shelves and nightstand.

  12. Single Earrings– If it has been in the jewelry box for a year with no mate, chances are it will always be a single, go ahead and set it free.

  13. Single Socks– When you are all caught up on your laundry go through your odd sock basket and match up, get rid of any without mates.

  14. Unloved toys– Donate or toss toys as needed. After the holidays kids have an excess and this is a great time to purge.

  15. Unused sports equipment– Ice skates from lessons from two years ago that have never been picked up again? Donate them. Dry basketball? Toss it!

  16. Items that don’t belong to you– If you have a spot that houses casserole dishes, borrowed books, etc waiting to be returned to friends and family that you borrowed from,  go ahead and return it all asap!

  17. Paperwork– Junk mail, old bills, or other out of date filing. Grab an inexpensive paper shredder or toss them in the fire.

  18. Odd storage containers– You know that cabinet with plastic bowls that have no lids or lids that have no bottoms? Get in there and toss out mismatched pieces.

  19. Old linens– While towels may be cut down and used for rags in the garage, other items like sheets that either don’t fit or won’t be used on current beds, excess comforters (keep one spare) etc, can be purged.

  20. Blurry photos– If you have a box full of family photos through the years remove and toss the really bad ones, if that is the only one you have for an event you might keep it but otherwise just keep the best of the best.

  21. Ink Cartridges– If you have a stockpile of old empty ink cartridges you can find somewhere local to recycle or many places like Staples let you use them for credit towards new ones.

  22. Freezer items– Freezer burnt, well past their date, inedible or unappealing food should be tossed!

  23. Dried up pens– Take 5 minutes to go through the mug of pens on the desk or wherever else you keep them, test them all on paper quick and throw out the ones that are dried up or leaking.

  24. Manuals– I used to be one that kept every single manual/instruction book for every piece of equipment i owned, I had a drawer full of them and rarely ever needed to look at them.  Then I realized that I could find them on the manufacturer’s website should I ever need them and I tossed those suckers out!

  25. Spare change– Unless you are saving up for something really big, It’s time to grab that change jar, clean out  couch cushions, get that pile on the dryer and turn it all in. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi or a new top!

  26. Craft supplies– Take an afternoon to go through them and donate items you won’t use in the next couple of months to a Children’s program or somewhere else that could use them.

  27. Paint– Do you have a garage shelf full of paint that you keep just in case? If it’s just for touch ups pour some into a small mason jar with a lid to keep. Otherwise dispose of it properly

  28. Personal care items– Old perfumes, lotions,and shampoo bottles with 2” left in the bottom-get them out of the bathroom for good.

  29. Cards– Get in your wallet or purse and purge out customer loyalty, rewards cards, empty gift cards and the like.

  30. Pet toys– Toys that are shredded, dirty, and unplayed with should be tossed, just like kids toys they need to be purged and occasionally replaced.

  31. Boxes– Do you have a big collection of boxes somewhere, either packaging or packing boxes for another just in case? Clear them out and make room.

Anything else that you would add to the list? Did you get any good ideas for a starting place?

No Spend Challenge: Time to Declutter

I don’t know about you, but every time I do some sort of no spend challenge, I get the urge to declutter and organize. Maybe it’s my way of occupying my time instead of thinking I have to be in a store. What ever the reason, I love the feeling I get after  I finish a good purge. Really makes me consider why I want to buy anything new for the house.

Several of you have mentioned in the Simply Frugal Community that you have already started organizing without my prompting and I think that is so excellent!

I’ve actually done quite a bit of decluttering already (in December) because we were going to list our house for sale. I think thanks to our efforts, it sold really fast! As in, we listed it on a Friday, had a showing on Sunday, then an offer on Monday. Blew us away with how quickly everything went!

On that note, this week, we’re going to spend some time decluttering, organizing and cleaning!

I just don’t see the need in keeping or moving anything that we still won’t use, just because our house is bigger. Saves the hassle of packing it up!

Rather than following a set list of tasks, I’m going to list out a whole bunch of suggestions for areas/things you can declutter. Pick what speaks to you! Choose one, or choose a bunch!

  • Organize Coupons
  • Organize/Purge Toys
  • Organize Purses
  • Organize Board Games
  • Put Away Christmas Decorations
  • Organize Craft Supplies
  • Organize/Purge Footwear
  • Organize/Purge Books
  • Purge Clothes
  • Organize Bathroom Cupboards
  • Organize Nightstands
  • Organize Electronics (cords, batteries…etc)
  • Clean Under Beds
  • Tidy Desk/Organize Digital Photos
  • Refill Spices (wipe bottles)
  • Work on Filing System, Shred Papers
  • Clean Fridge and Freezers
  • Organize/Clean Pantry Cupboards
  • Organize Office Supplies
  • Tidy/Purge Linens (Sheets, Towels)
  • Organize Recipes

As I start packing up our stuff for the move, I’ll be going through everything. But this week, I really want to try to get my filing and recipes in order!

Tomorrow, look for a post outlining 31 items you can purge right away. You know, in case you just need a list telling you exactly what you don’t need to hang on to any more. 🙂

I’d love to know what you will be working on this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Christmas Decoration Storage Inventory Printable

Christmas decoration storage inventory printable

Well, Christmas is finished for another year. You may be thinking of taking down all your decorations but dreading the mess that your storage area becomes. Or what about next Christmas when you can’t find the specific decorations you’re looking for?

Look no further, I’ve got you covered with this handy Christmas Decoration Storage Inventory printable! Simply print out a page or two (depending on how many boxes you have) and get to work filling the paper out as you put away decorations. Label the boxes with the corresponding number that you have marked on the papers. For example, on the paper, box #1 includes all the Christmas lights. Be sure to label the actual box with #1 too!

Print your Christmas Decoration Storage Inventory printable here.

Free Printable 2017 Weekly Household Planner

Here’s a GREAT freebie from The Confident Mom! It’s a FREE printable 2017 weekly household planner!  If you are a day planner user you’ll want to check out this free (and pretty!) 2017 planner!  You receive two versions with your download: a ‘blank’ version and a ‘just tell me what to do’ version.

If you’d like to build a complete home management binder, you can also purchase a special supplement pack for only $7.00.

The Weekly Household Planner Supplement includes the following digital fill-in forms:

Master Family Planner. Keep track of the entire family’s activities on a daily/weekly basis all in one convenient place.
Special Occasion Calendar/Gift Planner. You’ll always be prepared for the next birthday or special occasion.
Holiday Gift Planner Worksheet. Keep track of your holiday shopping list and purchases and what still needs wrapped or delivered. Never forget that well-hidden gift again!
Babysitter Information Form. This form makes it easy to provide your sitter with all the information he or she needs so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
Quick Contacts. Helps you keep important emergency contacts available for easy reference when you need them in a hurry as well as frequently used numbers.
Family Emergency/Medical Information Form. Record your family’s medical and insurance information on this form—it will be easy to find and share with those that need it.
Website/App List for Kids. An easy way your kids can list the websites they want to visit, or apps or songs they want to buy. This gives you a chance to review first and make sure the content is age appropriate!
Website/App List for Me. A place to record websites you want to visit or apps you want to buy during your downtime.
Account Keeper Sheet. Keep track of online accounts, including usernames and passwords. Never get locked out of your account again!
Household Maintenance Log. Record when you did routine maintenance items, such as changing your furnace filter.
Special Occasion Reminder Chart. To help you plan card gifting for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
Gifts Received List. Record gifts received which also creates a log for thank-you cards you need to send.
Let’s Plan a Party Form. Keep track of party planning details such as guest list, menu, party favors, and activities.
Blessings For Your Home. Because everyone needs some daily inspiration.
Weekly Menu Planner/Shopping List. So you arrive at the store prepared and don’t over-purchase.
NEW—Track Donations. Make tax time easier when you write down all your donations on one form for the year.
NEW—Freezer/Pantry Inventory. Helps with meal planning and also saves you from purchasing something you already have on hand.
NEW—Multi-Store Shopping List. Get rid of all those little sticky notes and scraps of paper! List all your shopping list items for different stores on one organized form.
Monthly Bill Schedule. Never miss a payment again when you record your monthly bills and payments on this new form!
Bible Bookmarks. Use these monthly reading bookmarks with suggested reading each day of the month, enabling you to read the entire bible in a year.

The printable 2017 planner is free, but you can add the supplemental home management forms (which are editable) for only $7.00!

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Order Christmas Cards

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Order Christmas Cards

It’s about this time of year when I really start to get excited about the Christmas season.  I get a bit of an urge to turn on the Christmas carols and swap out my fall decor for some winter decorations.  Also, have you seen Pinterest lately?  This is the time of year when amazing Christmas stuff gets pinned!

Alas, it’s so easy to get carried away dreaming about all the projects you want to do.  Adding too many crafts, baking and activities can be overwhelming!

Every year I struggle with wanting to make all sorts of neat things to feature on Simply Frugal.  But the reality is, I have limited time with a two very busy little girls underfoot and other responsibilities to deal with.  So any project I do accomplish has to be simple and quick.  Preferably something I can do in about an hour, including picture taking!

All this to say, you don’t have to pack your schedule full of Christmas activities, baking, crafting and shopping in order to have a festive and memorable season.

This is why I’m breaking down the steps to an organized Christmas by one task a week.  It’s good to have direction and a plan in place!  I know without a plan, I become quite scatterbrained! 😛  8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas is about creating a more relaxed Christmas season with just the right amount of extra projects and activities.

Here’s this week’s task:

Order Christmas Cards

Now, I realize that many of you are not likely to order custom Christmas cards but for those of you that do, now is a great time to do so!  Custom Christmas cards can take a while to arrive in the mail and if you want them to be sent out to friends & family in a timely fashion, I’d get on it this week. 🙂

Here are a few designs I love, along with some deals!

vistaprint

Vistaprint Canada has a great selection and currently offering their Christmas cards at 50% off for a limited time with the coupon code CHRISTMAS.

v1

Shutterfly usually has some great coupon codes going that should save you a bundle on high quality cards!

Pink dot Design has a wonderful selection of Christmas cards!

Etsy also has a ton of shop owners who create beautiful custom cards and templates!

If you aren’t the type to order custom cards you can of course buy a set of boxed cards and add a photo and a letter if you wish!  That’s what I’ll be doing this year.  I bought a box of cards last year on clearance so I’ll be sticking in our family photo and hand delivering to friends and mailing to out of town family.

Oh, and I’ve got a post telling you how you can create your own FREE custom photo cards.  You won’t want to miss it!

This week along with ordering/buying Christmas cards, take care of these tasks as well:

  • buy stamps, envelopes, if necessary
  • write Christmas letter, if desired
  • put family photos inside, if desired

Do you send out Christmas cards each year?

Here are the posts in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series so far:

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Plan your Holiday Calendar

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Plan Your Holiday Calendar

There are so many fun things to do throughout the Christmas season.  Gingerbread house making, caroling, Christmas plays, cookie exchanges, dinner parties, Christmas light looking, craft making and even holiday movie watching.  There is so much to do, there may not be enough time to do it all!

Why won’t you be able to do everything you want to do?  Well, because there’s grocery shopping, laundry, dinner making and everyday life stuff that still has to happen!

This is where planning comes in really handy.  After all, life is busy, and it’ll be hard to get the fun things on the schedule if you don’t plan ahead.

Here are the steps to take if you want to do a lot of fun holiday things this year:

Grab your Calendar

First of all, grab your calendar and mark down all the things you know will be happening regardless of the holidays.  Doctor’s appointments, school activities, office parties…etc.

Talk as a Family

Next, you’ll want to gather the family to discuss all the activities each of you want to do.  Sledding? Cookie decorating party? Christmas play watching?  Brainstorm to your heart’s content.  Make sure to write down all the Christmas movies you want to watch and even the crafts you want to do. (I have a cool Holiday Bucket List included in the Holiday Planner that’s available in the new Simply Frugal store that should come in handy!)

Prioritize

Since there are likely more ideas than time, take a look over the calendar again and plan for the activities you can realistically accomplish.  Even with the regular everyday life stuff added in.

Back to the Budget

Before you get carried away with grandiose plans, go back to your budget.  What did you allot for fun?  The case may be that you’ll have to save some activities for future years.

Fill in your Calendar

Now fill in your calendar with all the activities that you can set in stone. Buy those concert tickets and finalize plans with friends, then put them on the calendar.  Make sure to allow for some quiet nights/days at home!

Holiday activities are supposed to be fun so don’t stress about doing everything.  Just make a point of doing the things you want to do instead of wishing they would happen. Planning in advance will make the season more relaxing.

I’d love to know, what’s one thing you’ll be adding to your calendar this year?

Sign up for the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas newsletter to receive a FREE Christmas Dinner Checklist!  This checklist is quite detailed and will help you remember all the details needed for a memory filled dinner with family and friends. You’ll also receive a weekly email with each week’s “task”.

Here are the posts in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series so far:

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas