Clutter Clearing Before The Holidays!

Front Door

“Never in the history of the world have so many people been so rich; never in the history of the world have so many of those same people felt themselves so poor.” – Dr. Jerry Sheveland, Rejecting the Wealth of Poverty

Whether you’re hosting a family get-together or planning for all the gifts you will give and receive, there’s no better way to relieve the stress of the holiday season than by getting your home organized. Let’s find more contentment and a clearer perspective this holiday season by un-cluttering our lives.

  • Start with yourself…de-clutter your mind.  Take a walk, clear your head, and decide what your priorities will be this holiday season.
  • De-clutter your calendar:  Eliminate the non-essential commitments from your schedule.  Say no freely and reserve a few days in November and December for family days.
  • Identify spaces in your home that are the most often-used during the holidays, and tackle those areas first. Don’t forget the areas where you’re storing your gifts and planning your holiday wrapping!
  • For each space, commit to removing as many non-used items as possible. Donate, consign, or toss items not worn or used in a year or two. Clearing the space of items no longer needed is essential to staying organized! Every time you buy something new, commit to purging one item so you never outgrow the space you have.
  • If you identify items that are better stored elsewhere in your home when cleaning house, relocate them. Sports equipment stored in the closet? Move them to the garage. Stay focused and don’t start on another area until the first one is complete.
  • Think about how your spaces will function when the holidays arrive. How much countertop space will you need in the kitchen for baking/cooking needs? How will you accommodate guests?
  • Shop for organization solutions that will help contain the items that are staying in the space, as well as consider storage for new items you expect to receive. Try shopping after the holidays for storage solutions for holiday decor. Make sure to buy items of the same size and color for easy recognition. Don’t forget to label!
  • Group like items together. For example, in the kitchen, keep your baking supplies stored in a basket that you can easily remove from the pantry when it’s time to bake. Or, in the kid’s room, keep art and craft supplies all in one place.
  • It’s okay to ask for help. No time do this for yourself? Contact OAL!

‘Tis the season to get organized! 
This really is the most wonderful time of year if we take time to focus our hearts and our minds and simplify everything!

Fall Organization Tips

Fall Leaves

With the end of summer comes the urge to get prepared for winter. That means realizing that you will be indoors for a season, and that the house will need to be fully functioning. For children who are returning to school (and their parents) it’s a natural time to settle into a schedule. And late summer/early fall lends itself to changing schedules because of the shorter days. Here are a few quick seasonal organization reminders to add to your fall schedule!

School Days:

  • Clean children’s rooms
  • Rearrange & organize rooms
  • Sort, purge & donate children’s clothing and toys
  • Set up fall schedule, sports & lessons
  • Set up morning routines
  • Set up evening routines
  • Establish or remind children of drop zones


  • Arrange/do fall cleaning
  • Begin yard & garden winterization
  • Plant bulbs
  • Store summer sports equipment, repair & replace as needed
  • Winterize car, set date for getting snow tires mounted
  • Clean out freezer
  • Clean oven in preparation for holidays
  • Straighten garage & reorganize
  • Clean & Store lawn furniture
  • Store summer decor & replace with fall decor
  • Bake ahead for the holidays and freeze
  • Plan for holidays
  • Store summer clothing & replace with fall clothing

Happy Organizing!

Organizing A Smooth Move

Moving InLast week I gave you some tips on what to look for when buying a home, from an organizational perspective. Hopefully those tips were invaluable to you in your search for your new home. So what’s the next step? You get to pack up and move to your new home! This is often a stressful time no matter if you’re doing the move yourselves or hiring people to do it for you. Here are my budget-friendly, low stress ideas on how to prepare, pack and execute a smooth move!


  1. Pick your moving day. You’ll find cheaper rental truck rates if you move during the week. 
  2. If you can, create a task list 6-8 weeks before your move.
  3. Do your research and pick a reliable moving company and get the right size rental truck. My husband and I made that mistake and our Uhual was way too small!
  4. Book with movers and your rental truck as soon as you pick your moving day. Rates will be lowest in spring and fall months. Also, reserve furniture covers and a dolly for heavy lifting.
  5. Keep a brightly colored file/binder with all contracts and documents related to your move.


via A Bowl Full of Lemons


  1. Lowes and Uhual have like sized boxes that make for easy stacking and allow you to get more in the truck. Try to avoid using randomly sized boxes just because they are free.
  2. Measure each room in your new home to know if your furniture will fit. If not, have a garage sale, sell it on Craigslist, or donate it. There is no point in hauling it to your new home.
  3. Keep like with like and pack one room at a time to avoid any miscellaneous unlabeled boxes.
  4. Don’t overpack boxes especially your dishes and books. One person should easily be able to lift a box.
  5. Keep valuables close to you during the move and use proper packing material. Using old newspapers and your own linens saves money and they are great for packing.
  6. Keep a basic excel inventory sheet with the number of boxes and a short description of what’s inside each numbered box. Keep this with your binder.
  7. Create a simple color coded moving legend for all of your boxes. Each room gets a different colored dot (see photo above). This makes for easier unpacking. Make copies of this legend so your movers and family know how to properly unload.
  8. Load the boxes of things you will need right away at the very end. Label these boxes “Open First”.
  9. Throughout the packing process make sure to weed through your belongings and donate the items you no longer need.


via A Bowl Full of Lemons

Moving Day

  1. Make sure to pack overnight bags for your entire family for the first night at your new place. Think about clothing, toiletries, a shower curtain and hooks, and bedding. If you have kids make sure to have a few things to keep them entertained before, during, and after the move.
  2. Rest the night before and take some down time with your family.
  3. Pack a cooler for the day of with snacks, lunch, and plenty of bottled water. If you have friends and family coming to help make sure to feed them too.

Happy Moving!

Thanks to A Bowl Full of Lemons for letting us use their beautiful photos from their post “How to Organize Your Move“! Check out their website for more great organizing ideas.

Summertime Responsibilities

Schools out for the summer! With the kids home during the day there is likely more clutter to deal with. A few helpful ideas include giving kids responsibility early. Responsible kids are made, not born! Remember in a few short years your son or daughter will be someone’s roommate or spouse…will they make a good one??

Cooking, laundry, organizing, and money management can all be included as part of your kids daily routine. Here are a few of the summer “chores” that we did with our kids, so I know they really work! Have your kids help with summer meal plans and have them help cook. Younger kids can help put laundry away and older kids can easily learn to do laundry. Organizational skills are best taught through modeling. If you always return items where they belong your kids will learn to do the same. Talk openly with your kids about finances and teach them how to spend responsibly, save, and give back.

Lastly, reward your children with experiences, not things. Spending time together provides life long memories and living in the Northwest provides endless opportunities.