HHP 2018 - Week 1: Planning and Paperwork

Discussion in 'House & Holiday Plan' started by Holiday_Mom, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    Today's the day that we begin to prepare our homes for the upcoming holiday season! :)


    Please post what you'll be doing this week and check in over the course of the week to update us. It's great motivation and sometimes the sharing reminds us of something we forgot or we learn something new.

    For those who are new to the plan, I want to encourage you to do what you can. Make the plan work for you. You'll find that some weeks you'll feel behind because life happens but you'll catch up at some point or decide to let go of some of those goals for this year.
    Minta, luludou, ejagno and 2 others like this.
  2. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    This Week's Household Checklist
    • Sort through the paper clutter in the drawers. DONE
    • File bills. DONE
    • File papers in the “to be filed” bin. DONE

    This Week's Holiday Prep Checklist
    • Look at calendar and set up weekly time for working on HHP. Put onto Google Calendar too. DONE
    • Set up a Christmas notebook. I copy and paste from the previous year of Google Sheets and update along the way. This year I will also use a binder for brainstorming/quick notes to self, etc. It's much easier than trying to start up the pc. DONE
    • Work on Family Values Worksheet. DONE
    • Create a Christmas activity center. I have been using an old picnic basket that I keep under the side table in our family room. It holds the Christmas cards and catalogs. I think I’ll put my Christmas notebook in there when I’m not using it. DONE
    • Establish a holiday budget. Hopefully, I will be able to sit down with dh to discuss the Christmas budget this week.
    • Begin a Master Gift List. I will start paying more attention to conversations/interests for gift ideas for the kids. DONE
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
    Minta and farmerswife like this.
  3. farmerswife

    farmerswife Active Member

    This week’s house hold chores:
    *Clean up and sort through all of my bills. I am in the middle of switching my system for filing and its been in flux for a while. Ideally I would like this to be done by the end of the week.

    Holiday Prep:
    *Notebook is done.
    I use a variety of digital aps to keep me organized.

    *Christmas center is done.
    *Master list is started
    *Making the promise to myself to work weekly on this project
    *Family values and evaluation still need to do.

    Glad to get going on this. Happy Beginning Day everyone. Let Christmas Begin!!!!
    Holiday_Mom, Minta and ejagno like this.
  4. Cindylouwho

    Cindylouwho Well-Known Member

    And here we go! :) I just went over all my notes from last year doing the whole "Where am I?" thing. I see from what I wrote I was really struggling last year with extended family, travel, college deadlines and having a house torn apart. I hope to have a calmer holiday this year. I'm thankful I wrote down what I did although my notes have been more thorough in other years. I have data in my digital apps too so that helps. Again it all confirms to me how important this plan is in my having a successful holiday.

    This year will be different as I don't have travel or drama on the horizon. But then, we never know what will happen so starting early really makes a different when life doesn't go as planned.

    This year DD is off at college as a Freshman. I'm now down to DS15 still at home -- at least until the holidays when the older kids come home. It will be so different to just have 3 of us. Of course now that DS is in high school sports I feel like I've just adopted an entire sports team so I have no idea how much of an impact it will make on my time. But I know right now there is MUCH to be done as we have been gone much of the summer and NOTHING was done on the house or garden.

    Here's my list for the week:

    • Declutter Office / Paperwork Center (calendars, paper, bills, mail, etc)
    • Overall Housecleaning -- 1 day of "broad sweep" housecleaning to help catch me up from summer.
    • FlyLady -- Match up this plan with hers. (Or my version of hers, anyway).
    • Make the promise! From now til the holidays, spend a little time daily preparing for the season.
    • Set up a Christmas notebook (I'm digital. But I'll review Pinterest & Evernote)
    • Do the family values exercise.
    • Create a Christmas planning activity center. (that's called my iPhone & Bullet Journal/Planner).
    • Establish a holiday budget.
    • Consider a Christmas savings plan & start setting aside the cash.
    • Begin a Master Gift List -- I've got this in Excel. Will use last year's as my base and just edit.
    • Hit the Labor Day and Back to School Sales.
    • Check out the flights to get DD home for the holidays.
    So who else in on here this year? :)
    farmerswife, Minta and ejagno like this.
  5. ejagno

    ejagno Well-Known Member

    This Week's Household Checklist

    Declutter and clean the home office or paper handling area.

    Sunday: Cleaned off my desk top. Wow, there was wood under those piles.

    Set up a basic household filing system.

    Monday: Paperwork is my personal weak link. Tackle the binders and stacks of papers. Move the remaining few bills to online instead of paper bills and set up auto draft. Set up new weekly desk day.

    This Week's Holiday Prep Checklist

    Make the promise! Plan time this week to begin preparing for the holiday season.
    ***My goal is to devote at least an hour each day.

    Set up a Christmas notebook.
    Wednesday***I moved most of my Christmas planner to digital last year so updating is easy.

    Focus family values. Done

    Create a Christmas activity center.
    My Christmas activity center is my desk so having this clean was paramount.

    Establish a holiday budget.
    *** I knew in January exactly what I wanted to spend per person and divided it up throughout the year tackling all of the gifts for that one person per month. I also worked a considerable amount of overtime which went to extra’s such as gifts for a game we play each Christmas, a trophy for our annual Christmas Eve gumbo cook-off, fabric and yarn to make each grandchild their own pillowcase and blanket for our annual holiday sleepover, etc…

    Begin a Master Gift List.
    I still have 3 people left to buy for from the original gift list I start at the beginning of each year. I’ll probably get one of those done tomorrow so I’ll be down to only two.

    Please don't assume that I have it all together because my office is also my craft room and that my friends will take me all week and then some to get back in order. I am way too crafty for my own good and it shows in this creative space. I worked my tail off today getting my paying job outside the home done so that I could focus on my holiday prep this week. I'm thankful that I can set my own hours but for many of you I know that isn't possible. I hope everyone was able to at least get a plan together to do a little each day for this week. Something is better than nothing and still puts you way ahead of the game. Keep us updated on your progress.
    farmerswife, Minta and luludou like this.
  6. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    Farmerswife - It sounds like you are off to a good start!

    Cindylouwho - I like the idea of using FlyLady to keep up with things through out the rest if the plan. I was so good at maintaining the house on a daily/weekly basis before. I've never really just found my groove once after school activities started.

    Ellen - Great job getting through the desk top! I understand how daunting that can be.

    Last night, I set up time on the calendar to work on HHP. I've learned that if it isn't on the calendar, then it doesn't get done.

    This morning I sat down with my notebook and went through the Family Values worksheet. As I reviewed things, I can see how this plan has made a difference over the years. Two things stood out to me.

    One was the things that cause stress last year were not self-induced. That's huge for me. I had unexpected dental/oral surgeon appts. for three of my children days before and after Christmas. I was able to roll with it. As I was writing this out on the worksheet, I felt peace. That tells me a lot. Often, when I recall things like that, peace is not what I feel.

    The second thing was the improvements I need to make are now getting to be the fine details. Last year, a good number of items weren't available in the stores on Black Friday. (I'm one of those cRaZy people who enjoy shopping in the early hours and finish up by 10 am.) When I got home, I immediately shopped online and then started to wrap the gifts that I was able to purchase. What I hadn't thought about when buying online on Black Friday was that a number of gifts were going to be straggling in until about mid December. This year, if I have to order online on Black Friday, I want to keep better track of email receipts, what was ordered and when it arrived.

    I love the Holiday Prep part of the plan but the housework part, well, I procrastinate on. I'll probably work on it Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
  7. farmerswife

    farmerswife Active Member

    So, I was able to accomplish putting my filing system back in order, now I am filed by subject rather than month.

    One question though, I know we need to keep tax papers and related material for 7 years, but how long do you all keep your credit card statements?
  8. Cindylouwho

    Cindylouwho Well-Known Member

    Where's our "quote" button?

    Ellen ~ I love that you start so early in the year with your shopping! I have leftovers from the previous year that get's my gift closet started -- usually clothes. With growing teenagers I don't trust doing it all in advance, in fear they will want something else more instead by the time Christmas comes around. Maybe when they are older? I could do better with the stocking stuffers for sure though.

    HolidayMom -- You make a very good point about the online purchases. They are hard to keep track of. Now that you mention it I might add a group of lines onto my Excel sheet to track those. I will ponder. I enjoy Black Friday with DD and her friends. I don't know if she will be home at Thanksgiving yet this year so will have to get that figured out. I've only been doing Black Friday for the past few years but it has been VERY productive!

    Off to get DS to the first day of school and then I'm on my overall housecleaning day. After that -- I will have to steel myself to stay within the FlyLady schedule (which I have to type out). The first month is always so painful because I want to do it ALL. And really it takes a full month -- section by section.
  9. Cindylouwho

    Cindylouwho Well-Known Member

    Got through my overall houseclean day yesterday (which is every Tues except I've been gone) so everything is vacuumed, dusted, caught up on laundry etc. Feeling more in control. I have a few areas that need real decluttering after moving a college kid out and FIL into retirement home. Lots of boxes and wreckage ended up here. Add to that the areas that are the usual suspects and I've got some real decluttering to do!

    Also got car serviced so I'm early on that one. While I was in town I got 1 box of returns handled so those are out the door.

    Today is the office and more on my planning and paperwork (now that I no longer have to hike over a mountain of dust bunnies to get to it!)

    It's mid-week. How is everyone doing? :)
  10. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    I file our bills and credit card statements in an A-Z expandable file. At the end of the year, I clear it out, put it in a grocery bag, label the year on the bag and set it aside in a box for 7 yrs. Then we burn in after 7 yrs. A few times I have gone back to check on bills. We probably don't need to keep it that long.
    farmerswife likes this.
  11. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    Just hit "reply" and then the quote shows up. I just show what I am responding to in particular.

    Right there with you! This week is tougher than I remember. I want to jump in with both feet but I will drown if I do. The "to-be-filed" papers in the bin apparently were last filed this time last year.:rolleyes: It was worse than I thought. I did finish it today.
  12. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    I want to spend more time just doing a basic clean up of the rest of the house before I tackle the next section of paper clutter. It's been so busy this last month. My brother had his ceiling crash down during one of the many rainstorms this summer. We've spent most of our free time there with clean up and beginning repairs. Our own place started to go to shambles.

    I added two items to the master gift list. I'm reworking the Christmas notebook. I wasn't planning on doing but I found small notebook pages and sheet protectors at Walmart which inspired me to change things.

    I think I'll feel better once things are in better shape.
  13. farmerswife

    farmerswife Active Member

    Happy with my progress this week. Still working on the family evaluation. Pretty much have that done in my head though. Just want to get it down in writing, then I am done for this week.
    Holiday_Mom likes this.
  14. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    farmerswife - Good job this week.

    It's the second day of school and I'm adjusting to a new schedule with sports and music. The house is in order, for now. I went through the drawers and sorted through the paper clutter. I think I've tossed two grocery bags of paper this week. :)

    I want to get the bills filed and work on a stocking stuffer list too.
    farmerswife likes this.
  15. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    This was an intense week of cleaning/organizing/prepping. As I was getting the schedules in this week, I realized that most of the HHP will have to be done during the week. Most of my fall weekends will be spent either at college visits or at volleyball games. This week was a wake up call for me.

    I still need to talk to dh about the budget. Other than that, I'm satisfied with what I got done. As I got rid of the paper clutter in the office area, I realized that I could probably rework my bill paying system and location better. Of course, that will require more time and space so I will think long and hard this weekend on whether this is the right time of year to do this project.

    I hope everyone else is having a productive week!
  16. Cindylouwho

    Cindylouwho Well-Known Member

    Me too! Figuring out my new world with DD in college and DS in high school sports!
    Holiday_Mom likes this.

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