CLEANING/ORGANIZING AREA: LIVING ROOM Begin by washing the outside of the windows in this room. You will appreciate being able to see outside when you sit down at the end of the week in your beautiful, clean, and organized living room! Take everything off walls, dust it, and set it aside. Dust or wash the wall, vacuum or dry-clean draperies and blinds. Get your favorite cobweb killer and sweep down ceilings, corners and tops of doorways Take cushions off furniture. Vacuum thoroughly, replace cushions, spot treat any stains and shampoo if necessary. Wooden furniture (and anything with drawers/shelves): Empty, sort and throw away what you really don't need. Put the rest where it belongs. Dust/polish the piece you've finished with and repeat with other pieces. Don't forget the maintenance on piano. Baseboards: depending on condition they're in, dust or wash them. Coat closet: empty, sort clothes (by family member, season). Remove any "off-season" items and decide whether to trash, donate, or store elsewhere. Replace only those items which should be in your coat closet. Clean the TV screen (if you have a set in this room). Don't neglect the stereo items either. Re-organize tapes/records/videos as per your needs. Clean/change the silk flower arrangements as per seasonal needs. Wash/trim any live plants in this room. Other items needing attention if your room has them: Fireplace/mantel/chimney/glass doors Lamps (does the shade need dusting or replacing?) Electrical cords (check for frayed wires) Mirrors (items framed w/glass) get out the Windex Doorknobs/drawer-handles (are they clean?) Now is a good time to measure furniture pieces and windows, to enter in your planner or Household Notebook and keep on hand for shopping for necessary items. Stacks (of anything!): Take time now to use the sorting method of trash/donate/store elsewhere. Now put these new piles where they belong. Vacuum the carpet and clean if necessary. Hang the items back on walls, if you haven't already and take a good look around. It should look pretty good by now. Take out camera and take pictures for inventory. HOLIDAY PREP In the kitchen: Buy extra flour, sugar, shortening, etc. Make one extra meal for the freezer labeled HOLIDAY MEAL. This should be large enough to feed the family plus two people. Browse Week: Develop ideas for gifts, decorations. Order Christmas cards and address labels. For your friends of other religions take the time to find out what their major holiday is and look for an appropriate card to send to them at that time. Divide gift responsibilities with other family members. Ask these questions: Do I see Christmas time primarily as a time for entertaining friends and renewing long lost acquaintances or as a time for family? How much emphasis do our Christmas activities place on the spiritual side of Christmas? How involved is my family in the Christmas preparation? What activities are particularly important to our family at Christmas? To myself? Why do we observe the traditions we do in our house? How important is an elaborately decorated house, homemade gifts or food, to my feelings about Christmas? What would my ideal Christmas be like? That's quite a list for this week!