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2020 - Week 1 - Planning and Paperwork

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Holiday_Mom

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Well, here it is! The House & Holidays Plan officially begins today. It is Week 1 of planning for the upcoming holidays during this most unusual of years for all of us here at MHH. I know for myself that organizing and planning during these next few months will help me to feel moments of calm and peace as I navigate through the unknown waters ahead.

Cynthia Ewer has done a beautiful update to the Organized Home website. Here's the link to the assignments for Week 1:


What is on your agenda for the week?
 
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MrsSoup

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This for this week:
  • Declutter and clean the home office or paper handling area.- Just did this yesterday actually!
  • Set up a basic household filing system- I have one setup already, it's just being good about filing something immediately instead of setting it on the desk to be filed later that I need to get good about doing.
  • Make time to plan this week for the holiday season!- I will try if I have time in the afternoons during office hours to devote at least 5-10 minutes to thinking about something to do with holiday planning. Although this year, there doesn't seem like there will be much to plan.
  • Set up a Christmas notebook- I don't really use my Christmas notebook I have found over the years. I have a Gift List app on my phone that I use to track gifts and there's not much else that I write down honestly. I probably should but that's just more clutter in my house that I have to move when the time comes. I'll see about a digital notebook possibly.
  • Focus family values- In my house, as long as there is food, cookies, and presents no one cares. We usually donate gifts to the Angel Tree but i'm not sure that will be allowed this year so we'll have to find something else, probably one base to do since they seem to be more lenient with Covid things.
  • Create a Christmas activity center- This will be my desk or my spot on the couch.
  • Establish a holiday budget- We usually do this closer to the holidays and it's never set. We wait to see the kids lists and go from there.
  • Consider a Christmas savings plan- We have never done this but will probably start next year after DH's first retirement.
  • Begin a Master Gift List- I will see if I can come up with some ideas now, it's a bit early yet for me. - Update: I took the suggestion of the Google Doc and created one for each child and sent it to them and asked them to update with their wishlists.
 
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Holiday_Mom

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The office is going to be a bit difficult for me this year. Dh basically lives in it now 24/7. We have been trying to get it organized better ever since he moved to remote work. However, he is constantly dealing with video conferences. In fact, this morning, a major issue happened and he's been in the office. I think this particular room will be done in bits and pieces throughout the coming months.

Household Checklist

  • Declutter the home office.

Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Schedule weekly Holiday Prep time on the calendar.
  • Determine if Christmas notebook binder is small or large
  • Review answers from family on food/activities to do. (I did this back in June and will have to make lists now.)
  • Set up a Celebrate Christmas basket for myself: Christmas tea blend, scented candle, matches, hot chocolate, Christmas mug, maybe a Pepperidge Farm Christmas cookies (Some items won't be available yet but I need to work on gathering what I can. )
  • Talk to dh about budget.
  • Begin a Master Gift List. (My older dc have sent me an invite to an ongoing Google Docs list for Birthday and Christmas suggestions. It's actually helpful with pictures of items and any notes like "Name brand not necessary.")
 
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MrsSoup

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I like that idea of a Google Doc list for birthdays and Christmas. I'm going to ask my children to do that and share it with me!
 
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Myron's Mom

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The google list sounds interesting. Have no idea what it is lol, but I’ll talk to my son.

l don’t think the office will get done this week. Husband is preparing to teach a new class next weekend and has been living in there. There isn’t decluttering to be done just dust, polish furniture and vacuum. Our filling system is set up for our income tax.

My Christmas notebook is my daily planner. It has all my notes I made at the end of last year and reminders for this year. There isn't much to plan lol. No where to go! Brian should be home, house will be decorated, we have presents already, and food, so we are good.

Our master gift list is started usually in December. We don’t really have a budget, we shop wisely during the entire year. I keep a master list on my phone of things I need and what has been purchased with pictures. Everything is stored in one place. This year has been different. Usually we would wait for sales. Since everything is in short supply and very few sales we have bought when we find something. There won’t be as much this year. We have never had a Christmas club account.

My Christmas activity center is my sewing room. I have my Christmas music and tv in there. All my crafting takes place there and all my wrapping.

Today we spent cleaning the garage. Sadly we had a infestation of critters from the trash can (I will say no more, yuck!!). So everything is cleaned. My freezer is set up. There is a giant pile of trash down by the road for trash day. And the truck is loaded with junk for the thrift shop. I feel like I’m off to a good start.
 

PamelaG

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  • Establish a holiday budget- We usually do this closer to the holidays and it's never set. We wait to see the kids lists and go from there.
  • Consider a Christmas savings plan- We have never done this but will probably start next year after DH's first retirement.
We had a Christmas budget exercise when we took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class years ago. I don't think it was a specific part of the course but our group started talking about Christmas and how many extra things we don't think about during the holidays. We were challenged to come up with a list and it has helped me budget every year. I have had some form of a Christmas Club account - sometimes it's just another savings account where I put a certain amount each month. It's been a huge help to keep on track. I've attached the extras list I use below - track your holiday expenses and you'll be surprised how they really add up.
 

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  • CHRISTMAS EXPENSES.pdf
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MrsSoup

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We had a Christmas budget exercise when we took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class years ago. I don't think it was a specific part of the course but our group started talking about Christmas and how many extra things we don't think about during the holidays. We were challenged to come up with a list and it has helped me budget every year. I have had some form of a Christmas Club account - sometimes it's just another savings account where I put a certain amount each month. It's been a huge help to keep on track. I've attached the extras list I use below - track your holiday expenses and you'll be surprised how they really add up.

Thanks Pamela! I always track the expenses for the holidays, we just don't typically save throughout the year for it. We don't struggle or anything and never have a problem buying Christmas and we don't use credit cards (don't even have one actually) so i've just never created a specific budget or account for it. However, with retirement looming and all the extra expenses that will come with no longer being in the military, I will have to start thinking about those things.
 
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Ahorsesoul

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Thanks PamG. I'll look it over when I get home tomorrow.
 

luludou

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Week 1:
  • Declutter and clean the home office or paper handling area.- Actually was on my to-do list this week. With all that is going on in there... telework, crafting, etc... it needs to be decluttered.
  • Set up a basic household filing system- Already have one and I shred old papers as soon as I file new papers.
  • Make time to plan this week for the holiday season!- to do
  • Set up a Christmas notebook- Already done, need to look it over
  • Focus family values- with covid will have to give this one careful consideration
  • Create a Christmas activity center- Usually in the guest-office room.
  • Establish a holiday budget- Don't have a 'set' budget but tend to respect the amount given previous years... except this year no waiting for sales either, buy as we see.
  • Consider a Christmas savings plan- not necessary
  • Begin a Master Gift List- Already in the works
 

Cindylouwho

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Hi everyone! I woke up and am so happy I'm logging in on time! Hope everyone is healthy and happy out there. It is a crazy world right now. We are still in summer mode here in the Pacific NW. Social distancing in the great outdoors. Hope to eek out a little more summer but the nights have been getting nippy this week. School in Washington State starts online this week. The girls are home from college on a gap semester -- but are continuing to stay involved in their school via internships, clubs, audit classes, campus online jobs etc. Really don't know how this is all going to go as much of it starts up this week. No idea how the holidays are going to go either but am thankful to have my family together through this. It will be different but we will figure out a way to make it wonderful - just gotta stay healthy. My word for the year has been CLARITY because we have found 2020 to be extremely eye-opening.

Will log back in later and do all my catching up in the threads. Don't think I've been online since January but I think of all of you throughout the year and wonder how you are doing as I watch the news of various places.

For now, here is my list for the week. I do NOT have a serious plan yet but I know it involves the office. I'm out and about today in our masked world here trying to get dentist appts and things done before any next big lockdown gets announced as we move into the Fall.

WEEK 1: PLANNING & PAPERWORK

Home:

  • Declutter Office / Paperwork Center (calendars, paper, bills, mail, etc)
Holiday:
  • Make the promise! -- I promise! :)
  • Update my digital Christmas notebook
  • Do the family values exercise. --DD actually brought this up yesterday.
  • Create a Christmas planning activity center.
  • Establish a holiday budget & start setting aside the cash for Christmas.
  • Start figuring out what the big gift for the family is going to be. (We usually do one big one that establishes the budget for the rest).
  • Begin Master Gift List.
More later! Virtual hugs to all! I have missed you!!
 

Holiday_Mom

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I've attached the extras list I use below - track your holiday expenses and you'll be surprised how they really add up.
The food and drinks is what gets me. I always forget to budget for extra food and drinks for the parties. This year probably wont' be an issue though.
 

Holiday_Mom

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More later! Virtual hugs to all! I have missed you!!

It's so good to see you here again, Cindylouwho! It has been a year, hasn't it? Right now we have 4 of our 5 dc at home. Dh is working from home until at least the end of the year. It's crazy trying to find a space to do video conferencing where no one is talking in our house.

I'm really looking forward to this plan keeping me focused on preparing for the holidays and not losing site of spending time with those we love. I'm finding it very easy to get distracted with all that is going on in the world.
 

happy2bme

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To do this week:

Household Checklist:
reorganize filing system - done
declutter/clean home office area - done


Holiday Prep Checklist:
begin Master Gift list

establish holiday budget - done
set up Christmas notebook on phone -
done
 
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halimer

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For some reason I am being blocked from the site by m virus program. Anyone having this problem?
 

MrsSoup

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For some reason I am being blocked from the site by m virus program. Anyone having this problem?

Jane posted that she was also having this problem.
 

Berta

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WEEK 1: PLANNING & PAPERWORK

Home:

  • Declutter Office / Paperwork Center--found the top of my desk and am trying to get in the habit of working at it, rather than taking computer to the comfy chair...my hope is that I will be more productive this way...and maybe, just maybe, less clutter will accumulate on the desK?
Holiday:
  • Make the promise! --Scheduled time each day this week
  • Christmas notebook--working on it right now! Thanks to Pamela for the budget list!
  • Do the family values exercise--actually did this last week!
  • Create a Christmas planning activity center--that's at my comfy chair, with daily planner and Holiday binder handy
  • Establish a holiday budget--lucky to be able to set funds aside all year long in a separate account. It will be interesting to see how retail sales roll this year in the time of COVID...
  • Begin Master Gift List--printed out gift ideas planner pages and the master gift list pages...now to plant the seed that the Elf is now taking ideas!
 
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missjane

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For some reason I am being blocked from the site by m virus program. Anyone having this problem?
Log in at organizedhome, instead of organizedchristmas.
 

halimer

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Thanks Jane, that works
 

Holiday_Mom

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It's nice to see you here, happy2bme!

Welcome, Berta!

Jane and Debbie, I'm glad that you were able to log in. I don't know why it wasn't working.

This is my notoriously hard week of trying to figure out when to fit in time for HHP. It's the first week back to school. Every year there are new school schedules and this year there are also new COVID-19 inspired changes. I'm still trying to figure it all out.
 
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Myron's Mom

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I’ve kept busy cleaning the rest of this week. Husband helped me clean his office yesterday and he did a good job! Back hall, laundry room, main floor bathroom, sunroom and dining room have been cleaned too. Staying focused on cleaning instead of problems.