Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Countdown to a Simple Christmas Series

Planning ahead is the key to an organized and less stressful Christmas.

Okay, are you thinking about Christmas yet? Well, if you aren't you should be. This year I have devised a plan to make this the simplest most organized Christmas ever.

We will break down the plan into two sections: Preparing your home and of course preparing for Christmas.

First in the series let's look at your home. You are entertaining and having family come to stay. You need your entire house ready for company. Do you want to be killing yourself with all the housework and sprucing up just at the time you need to shop, bake and wrap all those gifts?

I will share my plan for my home and you can adapt it to yours. I have roughly 12 rooms or spaces in my home and five months until Christmas so I will take two to three spaces per month to spruce up.

Here are my areas for the month of August:
- Entry Way
- Front/Piano Room
- Dining Room

These rooms are all joined so they make sense to do at one time. Look at each room. What needs painting? Do any areas need deep cleaning that you didn't get to in spring? We all have these right?

Last week I tackled the entry way. The walls needed painting. They take a lot of traffic as this is our main entry to the house. I took everything off the walls, patched and painted in one day. Oh boy, paint makes a difference.

This is the before shot. We even moved the clock out of here.

Because we took a trip over the weekend I have to finish up in here in the next couple of days to stay on track. I also took a braided rug outside to clean and hung to dry.
The trim in here is next. I am just going to wipe down, sand lightly and touch up chips in the paint.

The easiest way to clean after you are done is from the top down.
Wipe down any cobwebs and dust up high over doors and furniture
Clean light fixtures
Wipe down walls and hand prints
Touch up paint on walls or repaint as needed
Clean windows and glass
Wipe down and dust molding and trim including baseboards
Clean rugs and floors

Next we will start our gift buying for the month of August so stay tuned. 
Your homework:
Break your rooms down to five areas and start with one room this week. August is almost half over so don't delay.


  1. Well I'm ready to get started, watching 'It's a Wonderful Life" while walking on the treadmill this week. I'm a Christmas movie addict.

  2. With no little children or grandchildren we have made Christmas very simple by going on a family vacation for the holiday. We pay for the vacation as the present. We draw names and last year went to just one big present and a stocking. This year we are simplifying more and just drawing names for stockings - no big presents. We all have more than we need and we L O V E our family time together.

    And because we are away, the decorations are pared down to simple things in every room. I know when we have grands, it will become a hoopla again, but for now - SIMPLE.

  3. Looking forward to seeing and reading all about this. I have started my shopping. Cleaning is next, thanks for sharing.
    Blessings to you

  4. Love this Elaine. It's time to get moving!

  5. You are so organized! I do alot of my Christmas gifts that I make early, but that's about as far as I get on early preparations.

    Good suggestions!


  6. Thanks for the tips, it could have been me talking, thats exactly the way I start preparing for Christmas, I somehow get distracted and get off track...lol...thanks for reminding me to stay on track...Phyllis

  7. Great idea......it has to be a little cooler for me. I have bought one Christmas gift. I will look forward to your ideas.

  8. Ohm you are so right. We need to get started with the bigger deep cleaning chores and paint touch ups now!

  9. This is a great idea for those in warmer climates, but for those of us in The Northwoods, we're hanging onto every minute of summer because it's so fleeting. :-)

  10. Hello Elaine,

    Love your Christmas series!
    Believe it or not I am actually almost done with my shopping.
    I shop all year round for gifts and stash them away.

    Right now I am working on my gift wraps. Recipients here do keep their gift toppers ALWAYS...especially the little ones. :o)


  11. I am thinking about Christmas already. Not because I want to, but because I want to be prepared. Good series!
    Hope you had a great trip!
    xo Kris

  12. Sorry, but I laughed a bit at this- my kids are grown (starting their own families), no one else family-wise comes for the holidays since they're all out of state. I don't really remember what entertaining means any more! I guess I lead a simpler life. I tend to do home repairs across the summer since I'm off work then. It's hard to do this when you work full time and only have nights or weekends. Most of my good friends are pretty forgiving anyway since no one really ever has a "perfect" house. I've scaled WAY back on winter celebrations to really focus more on the peace of the season, and have more quiet, reflective time. We try to focus more on people and less on stuff. Less stuff= less time to organize all of it. Works for me...

  13. ...I'm with you, Elaine...... time to prepare!!
    Here in Australia we're fast heading into Spring ... in fact it has felt like Spring for a few weeks now.
    My family has a Christmas get together in the middle of November here at my place...so I'm well into deep cleaning and Christmas organization.
    Love this time of year....
    ..Hugs and Blessings
    Barb xxx

  14. Aren't you organized and thorough! Great idea!

  15. Good idea to start early. I have been out of work for the past few weeks, but it was so hot I didn't feel like cleaning. I start a new job tomorrow, and it is nice and cool out! I will just try and do a little bit each evening.

  16. Yeah...love this. Ihave started to buy for Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year.
    I love starting early so I will start with you and follow along. So, I am starting with the back porch! Dianntha

  17. I'm in!
    I'm gonna try to work along with you, even though we'll travel during the holiday. I love the organization! Thanks!

  18. This is making me laugh :D I thought I was the only one. I was just telling people how freaked out about how Christmas is ONLY 134 days away. We are almost done (hopefully by the end of this month) renovating our home - maybe by then I can sit and focus on gift making *.*

  19. Why am I so excited about this? Bbbbbeeecause of the organizational skills ! Plus Christmas!!!!!!Yeah! With it being just Julua(14) and I we have a teeny tiny place yet I'm breaking down our little sections along with! Good times!

  20. This is just the kick in the pants that I needed to get started Elaine. Thanks for the suggestion. It makes sense to plan ahead and break it down into manageable chunks to avoid that feeling of pressure just when we should be having fun!