Entries tagged with “holiday”.


 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

“Artificial Light,” Anderson Park, Redmond, WA by fiber artist Suzanne Tidwell, March 2012.
Photo by Tracy Zettner

Setting up a gift wrapping station can save you a lot of time and energy this holiday. If you do not have a counter with fancy spindles and ribbons, you can set up your station in a guest bedroom. Start with rounding up all the supplies: paper, ribbons, tape, scissors, bows and gift bags.

Gift wrap can become a huge mess, especially when it is not stored in an organized fashion. Rolls of paper can end up a wrinkled mess, bows are inadvertently smashed and ribbons turn into a snarled unusable cluster that can never be disentangled. After you have wrapped all the gifts, this would be a good time to organize a gift wrap station that will last you all year. One idea is to use a long under-bed box like the one pictured here from The Container Store. 

The first step, before you begin is to, purge, purge, and purge some more to get rid of anything that is in bad shape, or things you will never reuse. You can use  plastic shoe boxes to store bows, ribbon and tissue paper. To keep gift bags in good condition, carefully fold them at the seams, and  store them inside of a larger bag. They are easy to thumb through while searching for just the right one. No more hunting for squished ribbon/bows at the bottom of a storage bin!

Better Home and Gardens Photo

Another great way to store wrapping supplies is an over-the-door Elfa rack. This rack works well, with the added bonus of something that does not get drilled into walls/doors, it can go with you if you move. This organizer would also be great for a pantry or bathroom or laundry room or garage.

Here is a link to all of the over-door Elfa components
If you would like some help getting organized after the holidays, Seamless Moves is ready to help!

 

Welcoming Holiday Front DoorYou might not have days to get your home looking like new for your holiday guests, but you can make a few simple fix-ups and your home will be welcoming. About.com suggests that you make sure you don’t forget the outside of your home and Houzz.com has some tips for getting ready inside.

1. Enter As Your Guests Would
Walk outside your home by the front door all the way to the sidewalk or the street, turn around, and look back at your house. If you need to, sweep the sidewalk, use a broom to clear off spider webs or major dust, and clean off the front porch. Replace burned-out light bulbs. Freshen up the planters, get rid of droopy fall mums and replace with sprays of holiday greenery. For color, add some big red bows.

2. Clean out your coat closet
If there’s room, push your coats and jackets to one side of your coat closet to make room for what your guests will be wearing. If your closet is too small, move some of your own coats into bedroom closets temporarily. Get rid of wire dry cleaning hangers and be sure to clear room on the closet floor if you’ll be collecting boots or overshoes. Don’t forget to clean the space, too — dust, sweep and give everything a good wipe down. One of our favorite organizing tips is to use a hanging shoe organizer to store gloves, scarves and winter hats.

3. Organize the bathroom
This would be a good time to get your bathroom just the way you want it – toss out old beauty items. Make sure it’s clean and organized so your guests can find what they need. If you’ve been collecting sample toiletries from your travels, put them out in a basket for your guests to use.

4. Double-check safety precautions.
Don’t forget to make sure the first aid kit is fully stocked and that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working. Check your flashlight batteries, firewood and candle supply in case of stormy weather.

One of the best parts of celebrating the season is the opportunity to spend time with friends and loved ones. Getting your home ready for guests will make you both feel more comfortable when they arrive.

According to Houzz.com, holiday parties and house guests can be a blessing and a curse — you may not have as much time as you’d like to get your home in order for hosting. Here are a few tips to make your home welcoming and make your life easier.

1. De-clutter your junk drawer. Despite your efforts to keep your junk drawer hidden, the drawer’s often prominent placement  in the kitchen means guests are likely to happen upon it at some point. Use plastic or wooden bins made for drawer organizing to group small items.

2. Organize your pantry. Whether you’re hosting a party or having family stay for a few days, you’ll probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Simplify and restrict the pantry to (mostly) food and paper goods; it will make it easier to see and grab the contents. Organize items by category or use to make them easy to find and use see-through bins to hold small items such as spices and sauce packets.

3. Get your fireplace ready. In the Puget Sound area, many of us have fireplaces. Make sure yours is in clean and safe condition for winter nights. Dispose of any leftover ash and call in a professional to service both wood and gas fireplaces and chimneys before you get a roaring blaze going.  Clean the glass or louvers for safety and enjoy your cozy space.

4. Freshen and clean the linen closet. Make sure you have a neat and tidy space for fresh towels, extra sheets and other necessary supplies for your guests. Linens can become musty when they sit. If you get a whiff of less-than-fresh fabric, wash it. Tip: a bit of vinegar in the wash cycle removes stale odors from most fabrics and won’t damage them, but check the label to be sure. If you don’t  have a dedicated linen closet, clear out a space in a bathroom cabinet where your overnight guests can grab an extra pillow or towel easily. Bonus tip: If you don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet, check out this video.

Stay tuned–next week we will share a few more tips. If you just can’t wait, you can read these tips and more here.

After dinner with guests is over, I love to do the dishes with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day brand dish soap which smells SO GOOD! They call it aroma therapeutic, which is an understatement; the dish soap is just the sneakiest way to add some holiday aromatherapy to your evening.

The holiday scent this year is Orange Clove and it’s a great way to clean up before or after entertaining and make the house smell delicious at the same time. Whenever possible, they use materials from renewable plant resources such as palm, coconut, corn, soy, and olives and all their liquid products are biodegradable. I also recommend their candles and hand soaps, which would make great holiday and hostess gifts!

Lindsay Loeffler, Seamless Moves Team Member

Ed. Note: We are not an affiliate seller of Mrs. Meyers Clean Day and have not received any free products. {But we’d be happy to give out our mailing address should anyone want to send some over ;) }

As the holiday cooking season begins, I do an inventory of my herbs and spice jars to see if all are filled and fresh. Frustration can set in and crash the party mood as you reach for that key ingredient, usually a spice or herb, and it is down to the nubbin. Freshness is also paramount. Why buy fresh ingredients for our cooking, then add a year-old spice or herb to the recipe?

Purchase good quality dried herbs and spices at affordable prices from stores that sell in bulk like Whole Foods, PCC Natural Markets or Fred Meyer. Using the small bags provided, filling up is easy and you may enjoy a few moments of aroma therapy. Returning home, I replace the old seasonings in my jars . . . and all of a sudden, with a twitch of my nose and a twinkle in my eye, the kitchen is a holiday wonderland!

Happy Holidays,

Cecilia Sullivan, Seamless Moves Team Member