Can you believe the holiday season is here? I love this time of year which holds so many treasures. Approaching Thanksgiving brings so much excitement as, traditionally, our family will take the time to stop and reflect on past and present blessings. It’s also a time to give and show acts of kindness to those in our community.
It’s a time for old and new traditions – like Grandma’s lemon pound cake and sweet potato pie, watching traditional Christmas movies on local TV networks, and visiting friends from out of town. For me, preparing the home is an important ingredient which helps me relax when company arrives and allows those ‘traditions’ to flow more smoothly. Through the years I’ve learned that everything will not get done on my To-Do List; however, I try to hit the ‘personal hit list’ to help with preparations.
I’ve put together a few things which are this year’s focal areas. I hope it will help you prepare as well!
#1 – Last Minute Thankful Garland
#2 – Pantry: Clear for a Great Cause
I don’t know about you but by this time of year, my pantry could use some attention. The need to feed those who are without is great this time of year. Organizations who feed our homeless, such as the Downtown Rescue Mission are supported 100% by gifts from private citizens, businesses and churches. As homeowners we can make a positive difference just by clearing un-used or forgotten items to make a difference in our community.
Here are three simple tips to begin the clearing process:
- Start with one shelf and free up space by tossing anything expired.
- Evaluate what to donate and help someone or an organization who can utilize it the most.
- Sort the items you’d like to keep by type and go to the next shelf.
#3 – Stock Your Spices
With company coming and the kitchen full of cooks, I recently spruced the spice cabinet in preparation for the big holiday traditional cooking. The consolidation of spices helped clear the clutter.
Going vertical with the measuring cups and spoons will help with time, as well as, make it easier for the kids to get involved with cooking this year.
#4 – Scarf Organizer
With three growing teens, staying warm is not as important to them as being fashionable. Scarves are a hot commodity, in our household, and one of the most beloved winter accessory. Since these ‘sharable’ articles are abundance, we’ve defined an area that’s out of the way and easy to maintain.
#5 – DIY Natural Home Fragrance
I love fragrance through candles, plug-in air fresheners, lotions, etc. Here is a natural fall home fragrance recipe to try hours before the guest arrive: orange peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, whole nutmeg, peppercorn, & dried lavender (if you have some).
DIRECTIONS: Bring 2 Spice Bags and 8 cups of water to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer 3-4 hours before company arrives. This will create a fall festive home fragrance to enjoy.
#6 – DIY Tile Coasters: Unique Gift for Christmas
Have any left over tiles from a previous project? Consider creating ‘Picture Coasters’ and gifting them this year. These coasters are simple, sentimental and a low cost-option for Christmas.
So easy, it can be done with a child. All you need is your desired picture, mod podge and natural stone sealer if using natural stone tile. The full instructions are HERE.
TIP: Consider asking a home improvement business for leftover tile from their previous jobs. Often these pieces can be purchased at fractions of the cost and make great projects.
My hope is that everyone has a wonderful holiday season; having those critical areas of your home tweaked with solutions to help will allow the host to enjoy the holiday season.
Benita Hampel blogs about home & life organization over at The Wizehouse. A former engineer, she's blessed to be a WAHM, wife, and aspiring entrepreneur. She's a lover of DIY, the DE-cluttered life, sewing for her girls, and creating systems which bring ease & energy to on-the-go family living! You can see more of her home organization tips on Pinterest and by following her on Twitter.