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The Home and Office Organizing Blog
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Photograph Holiday Decorations

Oh, the holidays! It is always in fun time at my house especially with all the decorations, food and activities. If you especially liked your decorations this year, make your 2008 holiday decorating a breeze by taking photos of each room with each decoration in place. For instance did you enjoy the look of the bathroom? Take a photo. How about the kitchen or dinning room buffet? Take pictures of these areas so you remember what items went where. If you don’t get a chance to take the photos right the location of the item on a piece of tape or post it note and attach to the bottom of the item. If there are a few items left over in you holiday supply that didn’t get used this year, write that down on the post in note – “Did not use 2007”. If you don’t use them again in 2008 you might want to rethink storing for 2009.

Bonus tip – Store each room of decorations together. Be sure to pack delicate items carefully in smaller boxes with compartments or wrap in bubble wrap and tissue.
Happy Packing!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007
Gift Cards - An Organizers Dream

I have 10 nieces and nephews ranging from 7 – 22 years old. I can remember only 1 year that I gave them Christmas presents they actually enjoyed. I usually fall into the trap of getting the wrong gifts and I can tell they are really not interested. I don’t buy the coolest or the latest for them because I just don’t know what to buy. So this year they are all getting gift cards to Starbucks and Mcdonalds. I figure its just like money and they will actually use them. It took me all of about 30 minutes to buy for ten people. That was easy for me and I’m sure they will all be happy.
I will keep you posted on the Christmas gift reactions!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Bells Are Ringing

Are you still finding loose change everywhere around your home? Did you find a container to hold all of your change? Well, if you have been filling up your container and haven’t had a chance to drop if off at the bank or coin machine give it to a good cause. Bring the container full of change to your local shopping center and give it to your Salvation Army Red Kettle. Volunteers are outside ringing the bell of hope and would be thrilled to have you pour all of your loose change in the kettle.

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Friday, December 14, 2007
The Gift Of Regifting

A couple weeks ago I began decorating for the holidays and stumbled upon 8 gigantic pasta bowls. We stopped using these supersized bowls and now they were taking up way too much prime real estate in the cabinet. So, I stuck them in a bag and lined them up by the door for the next donation run.
As it turned out my husband’s holiday work party was the next day and they were having a gift exchange called the “white elephant”. This is where you give a gift that is gently used. He was trying to figure out what to give and I said bring those pasta bowls! He was a little hesitant because he thought nobody would want these bowls. He also had to carry them on the bus and walk 3 blocks to work. I convinced him to take them for the exchange and it turned out the recipient absolutely LOVED them! It’s a great feeling to give away something that does not work with your lifestyle any longer. We enjoyed them for a time but things change and were no longer needed them. We said goodbye to large pasta bowls. It doesn’t mean we’ve given up pasta, it just means we’ve of an opted for smaller bowls that also double as soup bowls.

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Friday, December 07, 2007
Big Holiday Bake Off

I love baking cookies during the holidays. But all the prep and clean up can be a litttle discouraging. This year make it easy on yourself by pre measuring each of the ingredients before you start mixing, baking and eating.

Here are my tips for easy baking

1 - Set out all of your mixing bowls, measuring cups, spoons and ingredients.
2 –Separate each recipe card by about a 12”. You will need plenty of room on your baking surface for the bowls of ingredients you are about to measure.
3- Measure dry ingredients such as flour, salt and baking soda for each recipe into a small bowl. As you measure each ingredient cross it off your recipe card. Use another small bowl for the sugars, a large bowl for the butter and a smaller bowl for the eggs and vanilla. Keep the recipe and bowls together so they do not get mixed up with the other recipes
4-Put away all your supplies like bags of flour sugars and boxes of baking soda, salt and toss those eggs shells. Now your space is clear of extra ingredients and now you can get ready for the mixing!
5 -Work on one recipe at a time, bake a few test cookies then conitinue baking the rest of the batch.

We made 3 different types of cookies but did not want to have cookie baking overload. So we rolled up the rest of the cookie dough, separated into batches of 8 and put in the freezer. So the next time my sister has a holiday get together she can have a few different varieties of freshly baked holiday cookies.

Happy Baking!

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Monday, December 03, 2007
What’s in your wallet?

I love the festivities the holidays bring. The lights, parties, seeing friends, family and of course the gifts! But sometimes during all the excitement we forget to play it safe especially while shopping for all of those gifts. This year clear out your wallet of any unnecessary credit cards and personal information just in case you loose your wallet. You will have piece of mind knowing you only need to cancel one lost card instead of 10. By removing additional cards your holiday purchases will be easier to calculate post holiday.

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