8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Get Your House Holiday Ready

Learn how to get your house holiday ready in no time flat with this free holiday cleaning checklist!

Can you believe we’re one week away from Christmas day?  Wow!  Time sure flies when you’re having fun! (or being busy?)  Since we’re one week away from Christmas, this also means we’ve reached the last week of the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series!  I sure hope you enjoyed it.  I also hope it helped you to have a more simple and manageable holiday season!

Christmas usually involves company and no one likes to show their guests a good time in a messy home.  So, today, I’ve got a free printable Get Your House Holiday Ready Checklist!  It includes suggestions of cleaning tasks to do each day leading up to Christmas day.  There’s even plenty of room for you to add your own tasks.  I kept it fairly simple, because really, who has time for crazy cleaning this time of year?

Remember, these are suggestions only!  Click on the image below or here to print your holiday cleaning list.

Holiday Ready Cleaning List

What tasks are on your holiday cleaning list?  Are you ready for Christmas?

Here are the rest of the posts in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series:

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Tie Up Loose Ends

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Tie up Loose Ends

Can you believe there are only two posts left in this series before Christmas day?? Crazy!

This week, we’re going to focus on tying up loose ends! (Or in other words, finish the things we skipped over 😉 )

That means we’ll:

  • finish shopping for gifts
  • send out those remaining Christmas cards
  • bake delicious cookies
  • buy as many groceries as possible for Christmas day
  • finish decking the halls
  • do those holiday activities that you want to do
  • wrap gifts

What do you still have to finish?  I’ll admit, I have to get our Christmas cards sent out still!  I’m also waiting for some gifts to arrive in the mail so I haven’t started wrapping yet.  But, I like to do that all in one sitting while I watch a Christmas movie! 🙂

For fun, I’m leaving you with a link to Christmas music playlists and a list of Christmas movies to watch!

If you’re looking for some Christmas music, check out Spotify for some fabulous playlists that you can listen to 24 hours a day.

Here are some Christmas movies I think you might enjoy:

  • The Holiday
  • Arthur Christmas
  • The Bishop’s Wife
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Christmas in Connecticut
  • A Christmas Story
  • Elf
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • The Polar Express
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Santa Buddies
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • Scrooge
  • The Snowman
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Frosty Returns
  • Holiday Inn
  • Home Alone
  • Home Alone 2
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Jack Frost
  • Jingle All the Way
  • Love Actually
  • The Santa Clause
  • White Christmas
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol

Do you have any other Christmas movies on your ‘must watch’ list?  How are you coming along in your Christmas preparations?

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

Simple Ways to Cope with a Tight Budget During the Holidays

For some of us, the holidays always seem to land during a time where everything else hits. This means a tight budget during the holidays is a common issue that most of us will face at some point in our lives. If you find yourself with a tight budget this holiday season don’t let it ruin your fun. This year make the most of the holidays even if you are on a tight budget by changing your mindset.

If you find yourself with a tight budget this holiday season don't let it ruin your fun. This year make the most of the holidays even if you are on a tight budget by changing your mindset.

Focus on Meaning

Focus on the meaning of the holidays instead of the frills and trappings. The holidays are about friends and family so focus more on making memories than having a fancy holiday. Make homemade decorations, bake cookies, and spend quality time with the people you love.

Make Homemade Gifts

Save money but still enjoy the gifting part of the holiday with Homemade Christmas gifts. Use the things you have on hand to make personalized meaningful gifts for the people you love. It is the fact that you thought of them and wanted to do something special that makes gifts so wonderful. Baking homemade gifts is a great way to use items you have on hand to create a great gift someone will appreciate.

Earn Extra Cash

A great way to cope with a tight budget during the holidays is to work on simple ways to earn extra cash. Sell off things you do not need or crafts you have made that others can give as gifts. Cleaning houses and clearing snow are both great ways to earn extra cash as the season wears on. This is the best time a year to pick up a part-time seasonal job for extra money if you have the time to spare.

Make a Holiday Budget

To help you thrive during any time with a tight budget, create and stick to a budget. This is a plan to help your family stay on track financially. Plan all of your regular expenses first so you don’t end up making your situation worse for the sake of the holidays. This will leave you with a clear idea of how much you can really spare and how much you should try to earn instead of going ahead blindly.

Look for Free Activities

Look for free fun activities to do. You can still make the most of Christmas even when you can not afford much. Go for a stroll and check out neighborhood light displays, volunteer to help others down at the soup kitchen or food bank. Find reasons to be grateful for what you do have this season, and coping with a tight budget won’t be as hard as it sounds!

What are your best tips for making a meaningful but frugal Christmas season?

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Plan your Food

I think this will be a fun week in the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series!  It’s all about food! Specifically, we’re going to plan our holiday menus.  You’ll want to think about:

  • Christmas dinner
  • Christmas brunch
  • Christmas eve
  • Boxing day

And well, any meal surrounding Christmas day.  My planning is quite simple.  My parents cook our Christmas brunch and dinner so all I have to do is bring the cheesecake and some baking!

For inspiration, I highly recommend taking a look through Pinterest.

While you’re planning out your dishes, be sure to start adding items to a grocery list.  You don’t want to forget anything!

To help you out, you’ll want to check out the Christmas dinner planner and grocery list that are available in the Holiday Planner, here.

Also be sure to print off the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas checklists to make sure you’re on track for the final week’s until Christmas day!

What will be on your holiday menu?  Leave it in the comments! Any food traditions you have to uphold?  How do you keep on budget?

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: Decorate and Plan your Baking

8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas: Decorate and Plan Your Baking

Here we are, week five of the 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas series.  That means there are only 28 days left until Christmas! Hopefully you’re feeling a bit more organized than usual because you’ve been following along with the series?

We have a “rule” in our house.  One that I actually grew up with so it sort of just stayed in place now that I have a home of my own. Christmas decorating (and Christmas music listening) doesn’t begin until December 1st.  Maybe you have that same “rule” in your home?  Either way, December 1st happens to be this week.  Thursday to be exact.  So that puts the focus of this 8 Weeks to a More Organized Christmas post on Christmas decorating!  (I’m going to add in Christmas baking planning too since it’s nice to have a plan for all those parties and gifting opportunities.)

It’s easy to get carried away with Christmas decorating.  After all, the stores are really good at displaying Christmas decorations juuuust right, so you want to buy them all.

This year, focus on decorating simply. Bring out only your favourite decorations.  If you must buy something new, limit yourself to one or two things thing.  Find contentment with what you already own. (Ahem, something I’m telling myself…)

Here are a few ways to decorate frugally for Christmas:

Buy Secondhand

Head to your local thrift stores to see if you can snag any good deals on Christmas decor, Christmas linens or even objects you can transform into holiday decorations!

Get your Craft on

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to get the whole family involved in creating some cute homemade decorations. Pinterest is full of family friendly craft ideas to help make your home more festive.

Shop the sales

Even before Christmas you can find some great sales on Christmas decor.  There seems to always be some sort of Christmas light sale going on, especially at hardware stores.  You might even find some clearance deals on last years stock!

How do you save on Christmas decorations?

Now for the baking.  Start making a list of everything you want to make this year.  At some point this week, purchase all your baking supplies so you’re good to go whenever you have a spare moment.  When you start baking, make the items that can be frozen, first.

Here are some ideas from Simply Frugal to get you started:

Here is a free Baking List printable for you to download that should come in handy!

What will be on your Christmas baking list this year?

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 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 Canada has a great selection and currently offering their Christmas cards for up to 50% off for a limited time.

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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.

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: