Home Organizing

5 Steps to Make Your Guest Bedroom Ready for Holiday Guests

A guest bedroom

The winter holidays are just around the corner, and I am C-A-L-M. We are getting ready early this year. We know who is coming over for dinner, and who will be staying with us. I know what the menu will be and who is bringing what dish. I’ve even made a shopping list. Bring it on! I admit it, I was feeling in control. Then, last night, one of the kiddos was feeling congested and he wanted the humidifier in his room. Piece of cake, I knew exactly where to look!

A few minutes later, as I am digging around in the guest bedroom closet, unsuccessfully trying to locate the humidifier, a terrible thought occurred to me. Guests will need to sleep in this very room and it looks like a tornado swept through here long ago! My smug holiday mood evaporated pretty quickly.

The door to the guest room is always closed, and for good reason! The bed hasn’t had sheets on it since the last guests stayed here (over the summer). On top of the bed, there are boxes and bags with various purchases needing to be returned to various stores. The Halloween bin is on the floor, empty.

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Hosting A Safe Holiday Gathering for Senior Guests

Having guests visit for the holidays is an exciting time for the whole family, although some needs may vary from guest to guest. Senior citizens are especially unique in their needs. If you’re expecting a few elderly family members in for the holidays, you’ll need to prepare accordingly. Whether they’re spry or a bit mobility-impaired, you’ll find it’s best to have a safe home ready for your senior guests.

Here are some adjustments for your holiday gathering that will make it safer for your guests.

Arrange transportation

While rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are a great way to save time and ferry your guests to and from the airport, it’s not always a good idea to use those as a substitute for a personal pick up. Particularly when your senior guests need assistance, it’s usually best that you or another family member meet them at the airport.

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Organizing Strategies – Make it Simple; Make it a Habit; Adjust it; Stick With it

Make It Simple

There is one big mistake everyone makes when they begin to get organized. Want to know what it is? Containers, baskets and bins. That’s right. People rush out and buy lots of containers before they know what they need and before they sort through what they have.

Here’s how to approach the organizing process. We like to call it the Clutter Clearing System.

Step One: Form a vision for the space.

Let’s take the kitchen. Family is coming over and you’ll be hosting the holidays. Are the counters cluttered? Are the drawers packed full?

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Organize Your Board Games

November days are short and rainy in the PNW. Fall sports seasons wrap up and we spend more time indoors with our families. Cozy weekend afternoons make a perfect time to play board games. This is also a great time to organize the board games you own. It’s as easy as tic-tac-toe.

Step One:

Board games need a central location where everyone can find them. Whether it’s a closet or a cupboard, the space just needs to be accessible and known to all the family members. Some families keep games in the children’s rooms. Board games for adults or older kids can go in a family room or another shared location.

Step Two:

You can’t play a game that doesn’t have all the pieces. Locate all the bits and make sure they are in the correct game box. Secure flimsy boxes with a large rubber band or a thin strip of Velcro. Toss any games with missing pieces. Donate unpopular games.

Step Three:

Sort the games. Group games played mostly by adults in one area, perhaps on a high shelf. Children’s games should be easily accessible to them. Utilize lower shelves unless it’s dangerous for very young children or toddlers. Use a lidded bin to store children’s wooden puzzles. Only bring out a couple of small puzzles out at a time and store the rest – that way clean-up is a cinch – you won’t spend precious time looking for lost puzzle pieces.

So, don’t fret the rainy afternoons or dark evenings, instead rally the family around the table for an exciting game of Exploding Kittens (no cats are harmed – I promise!) or an old favorite like Chess or Settlers of Catan. Thinking ahead to the holidays, if you would like to expand your collection with a new favorite board game checkout this list of the most popular board games of all times.

Some of us have a closet full of board games, but honestly, most of the gaming happens online. If you find that the only time you access the game closet is during a power outage, then consider really downsizing the volume of games. Be authentic to how your family spends time and consider whether the space being taken up by board games could be used for something else. Perhaps you have some craft supplies that need a home? Let us know if you’d like help figuring out how to best use the space in your home. We do love (excuse the pun) this kind of puzzle.

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A Tale of a Frightful House

cluttered house

On Halloween night…

Creepy skeletons, fuzzy black spiders and foam gravestones in your front-yard graveyard spooked the young trick-or-treaters aplenty, but only you knew that the truly frightful and terrifying was inside your house, hidden and unseen – because no visitors had been welcomed inside for a long time. Only on Halloween did anyone approach your porch.

Inside the house, no one opened closets for fear of what might come tumbling out. Everywhere were dusty piles of stuff

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The Instant Pot: Best Small Appliance Ever?

One of the most widely purchased kitchen products of recent times has been the Instant Pot. This new rendition of your mother’s pressure cooker has been heralded as the newest work-reducing, time-saving, must-have device. Now, I am not one to jump on trends, so I asked my girlfriends on Facebook whether the Instant Pot is something I should buy, what they liked about it, whether they used it frequently and what recipes they’ve tried.

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5 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Home Again

After you’ve lived in your home for a few years, it’s easy for the décor to start to feel a tad stale. In other words, it’s totally normal to hate your home sometimes. The good news is there are easy ways to change that and have you never wanting to leave the house again. These are the top five easiest ways to transform your home into one you love again.

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Style Guide: Prepare Your Home for Baby’s Arrival

If you have a baby on the way, you should start preparing your house for the new family member in advance. In just a few months, you won’t have time to deal with your house, so it’s better to get this out of your way as soon as possible. Not only will you be able to prepare your home for your baby stress-free, but you’ll also be able to create a stylish, safe and healthy environment for your family.

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Professional Organizer’s Guide to Writing Thank You Notes

Everyone loves a thank you note

A Professional Organizer’s Guide to Writing More Thank You Notes

I am a big fan of appreciation and thanking someone warmly for a gift or a kind act. I love receiving handwritten thank you notes (I don’t knock email notes either) because it means someone took the time to let me know they both received the gift and are favorably acknowledging the efforts made on their behalf. A personal piece of correspondence is the best kind of mail to get. It’s a treasure in the sea of junk mail, catalogs, and bills. I especially adore a thank you note that points out something spot-on about the item and/or something special about your relationship with that person – bonus points!

Apparently, I am not alone. An article in the New York Times, “You Should Send That Thank You Note You’ve Been Meaning to Write” from July 20, 2018, agreed that people like getting thank you notes. Seriously, who would not like getting a thank you?

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Declutter Your Desk in Just 5 Minutes

In our recently published book:  Declutter and Thrive: Overcoming 6 Common Disorganization Types to Reveal Your Best You, one of the types we described is The Overburdened Employee –  for whom clutter and disorganization at work is a daily struggle, negatively impacting their career.

Work with a professional organizer to reset your office or desk space. Then use the tasks listed in the infographic below

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