Monday, November 9, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November - The Month of Thanks & Sharing

November is the month that officially welcomes rain, cold and gray dreary days and early darkness here in the Pacific Northwest. Yet, it is also the time of woodstoves burning brightly, warm and cozy houses and homemade soups and bread. In our house, we celebrate each change of season, or at least I do; brightly colored arrangements fill the house with the oranges, browns and yellows of fall, softly burning (battery operated) candles flicker brightly in subtle areas of the house and the woodstove heats the house while the soft glow of fire brightens the living room through the stove’s glass window. My house is very cozy in the winter months, something I look forward too as summer ends and fall approaches. I love each season for the sensations and feelings they each bring into my life. I try to show the children how different each season is, the new life of spring, the wonderful joy in the summer sun, the fall harvest and the winter’s quiet white.

As I write this entry I am surrounded by the warmth of my home, the love of my family and the peace of having so many blessings in our lives. As I ponder how lucky we are, I am also aware of those that do not have so much. November is also a time to begin gathering food, blankets, coats, shoes and other supplies for families in need; the time of year when my children can learn to share with those less fortunate and to be thankful for the blessings that they can share with others. Each season offers a lesson in living, this time of year we learn to share and be generous; thankful for what we have and for what we can give to others

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When Halloween Party Planning Organization is Key

In three days I have a huge Halloween party for my kids. I expect somewhere near 50 kids to arrive, give or take, as I don't know who is bringing brothers and sisters and who is not. I have yet to plan the menu or the games as my youngest son is sick. Today, in a "power planning" session, I am going to get it all organized and ready to roll...if this happens to you, do not panic. As they say in emergency preparation courses, panic leads to death...same for event planning. Without hyperventilating or screaming, gather your resources and make lists for supplies, food ingredients, a menu for sweets and treats, games for the kids, arts and crafts activities, etc. and then strategically plan the event from the moment you wake up until the hour you drop into bed. Organization is absolutely fundamental to success...I have hosted this party for the last five years so it is a bit easier for me to plan the event due to my personal familiarity with the project. However, if you find yourself in this same position, just take a deep breath and make lots of notes and lists. If you are looking for last minute ideas, check out for some great ideas

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Organize by Season & Holiday

As Halloween approaches, many families will have to search high and low for their seasonal Halloween decorations. If this is you, take the time to purchase a seasonally colored tote in bright orange and black. Use this color coded tote for storing all autumn, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations; this makes locating them each year much easier. Organization is about simplicity and having time to live your life, make sure that you make your organizational goals a one-time effort, there is no use having to recreate your efforts every time you turn around.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Organize Once...Then Maintain

I have a wonderful friend that is always "organizing" something in her home. This is a great housekeeping practice to maintain order in you home. However, in my friends case, her house isn't that big and she shouldn't need to re-organize her home so many times a year. The problem is that she gets everything organized and then completely lets he house go and has to start all over again. This is exhausting to say the least and leaves her feeling defeated every time she has to start again.

Learning to organize any aspect of your life or your home should be a one-time process. Organization is a simple process when done effectively the first time- clean, organize and maintain. Any more effort than that means you are keeping too much "stuff", a term made famous by the late George Carlin, and not fully organizing your space the first time. Follow along for the next few weeks as I offer real-life solutions to popular organization problems, I may have one that helps you too.