Monday, November 4, 2013

Simplify the Season 2013 has begun with a… BINDER!

You thought I was going to say “with a BANG” didn’t you?!

As we move toward our time to Simplify the Season 2013, I have been pouring over my notebook to guide us along.  There are SIX individualized sections in my notebook: TimeLine, Party Planning, Baking, Portraits/Cards, Wish Lists, List of ME TIME Activities, Family Traditions/Outings. 

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TimeLine:  Contains monthly calendars of November-January.  I keep this separate from my planner because it contains ONLY my Simplify the Season plans.  These plans coincide with the weekly blogs you will read through the next few months.

Party Planning: Includes our plans for Thanksgiving Dinner through New Year’s Brunch and any party or family event that we host in between.  This includes guest lists, menus and “Who is Bringing What”.  (Perfect for that cookie decorating party with the little ones or a Mom’s Night In cookie exchange party.)

Baking: This is a great place to house your favorite Christmas goody recipes, the ones that are favorites year after year. 

In the past I had a Portraits/Cards section: This section holds my holiday cards, address book, and photos to insert into cards. (Stamps and a pen are housed in a pencil pouch in the front of my notebook.)  Also, if I receive a card for someone and have not previously known their address, I can Simply tear off their return address from their envelope and put it in this section to correspond with them at a later time. 
I now use an on-line service to send out my holiday cards.  I made the switch last year when I was so so ill for months.  I will continue to use the online service because it is so easy to make my own picture cards and send them directly from their site.  No more stamps, writing addresses out, or extra trips to the post office for me!  This has been a real time and sanity saver!
So this section still holds my list to update when I am away from my computer.  But other than that, it is becoming obsolete for me.  Still I know many of you cherish sending actual cards, so I didn’t want to do away with this section. 

Wish Lists: Every child’s favorite section! This section holds wish lists, budget, store locators, and “crafts for gifts” ideas.  I also keep an envelope marked “Christmas Receipts” in this section. 

List of ME TIME: so that I do not neglect myself during a busy holiday season, I keep a running list of ways to spend my precious alone time.  Watching campy holiday movies, getting a massage, treating my toes nicely, stopping by my favorite antique shops.  It is important to take care of ourselves during this busy, and sometimes stressful, time of year.

Outings/Traditions: Contains a list of area happenings that the family enjoys going to year after year – along with a list of new things we may want to try each year.  I have high hopes that one of these years, we will get to go on that scenic historic holiday trolley ride with hot cocoa!!! 

All wrapped up: This was just a plain green binder.  I recycled some old Christmas wrap that was past it’s prime, so that it would be a little more festive and gave my plain old binder a little bit of pizzazz. 

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So there you have it: my Simplify the Season Binder has finally been revealed to you all.  Now let’s get ready to SIMPLIFY YOUR SEASON!

If you are in the Jacksonville/St. Johns area and would like your home better organized (and your season simplified!) and would like the assistance of a professional organizer, e-mail  You can also find me on Facebook by clicking HERE or by searching for Organize With Julie.  Stalk me on twitter @juliebavi.

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