By Alejandro Costello
It’s that time of year again. This holiday season we’re helping you ‘thinkoutside- the-box’ with handy and practical tips to make the holidays less
stressful and more organized. Below are 6 innovative tips that will save you money, time and frustration this holiday season.
Holiday Photo Cards –
Photo cards are great on the refrigerator but not in late January after the holidays have passed. Once the New Year starts create an album/binder especially for holiday photo cards. Organize the album/binder by year using labeled dividers. After collecting a few years’ worth of photo cards, the album/binder will make a great family memento or a good coffee table book for holiday visitors. Our favorite card organizers can be found at www. CardMemories.com.
Fragile Ornament Storage –
Say goodbye to broken ornaments forever by reusing common household items. Instead of purchasing an overpriced ornament container, try storing small fragile ornaments in empty egg cartons throughout the year. For larger fragile ornaments, store them in an empty 6-pack bottle carrier. For extra large ornaments or tree toppers, store them in a padded stocking or in between the folded tree skirt. Add extra protection by wrapping each ornament in old tissue paper or bubble wrap before storing.
Create-Your-Own Ribbon –
Skip the traditional (and not to mention overpriced) gift-wrap ribbon when wrapping holiday gifts. Instead, try folding contrasting colored wrapping paper into 1 inch thick strips. Fold the ‘ribbon’ around the gift as you normally would and tape it into place. This ‘think-outside-the-box’ ribbon idea also works well using decorative or colored duct tape.
Less is More –
Some people go overboard when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Instead of swapping out every item in your family room to make space for the holiday lanterns, try decorating perennial items with small fillers and accents. Keep a large glass bowl on a side table and swap out only the contents (red/green ornaments in December, mini-pumpkins in October, faux lemons/limes in June) instead of the bowl itself. This also works well for a wreath on the front door. Hang a plain wreath year round and dress it up each holiday with seasonal accents. Try decorating with less. You’ll save time and storage space.
Holiday Pantry Staples –
The worst part of holiday cooking is forgetting that one random ingredient in the middle of making your recipe. Before Thanksgiving rolls around, get organized by stocking up on holiday pantry staples including: corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, flour, powdered sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, baking spray, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, coconut, cranberries, raisins, walnuts, and pecans. Your significant other will thank us for saving them endless trips to the grocery store.
Cookies, Cakes & Calories –
Tis’ the season for extra baked goods! With all of the edible goods you’ll be receiving this holiday season, it’s important to know how to store them properly to maximize their life span. Extra cookies should be stored in tightly sealed plasticware or tins lined with wax paper and kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. Cakes and breads should be wrapped in foil followed by plastic wrap and then stored in a freezer bag and kept in the freezer for up to 6 months as well. If it’s too late to save the stale cookie or bread, try crushing them into crumbs and storing them in a sealed bag in the freezer for a yummy ice cream topper.
Less stress and more time always makes the holidays more enjoyable. For more tips, visit our blog at www.color-coded.net/blog
Born in the Washington DC metro area, Alejandra Costello founded www.colorcoded.net Color-Coded Organizing in 2008. She designed Color-Coded around a consulting firm business model in order to tackle complex problems with the diverse skill sets of teams of professional organizers and productivity experts. Alejandra is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD) and actively serves in the DC Chapter.