7 things to do in November to save your sanity in December.

Ok, Halloween is behind us, now, as much as I don’t want to skip over November and rush though Thanksgiving – it’s actually my favorite Holiday – every year I try to use this month to accomplish as many Christmas tasks as I can, so that by the time December arrives I’m in pretty good shape. Here’s how I use November to relax in December.

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Take a Christmas picture.

Actually I get a jump start on Christmas cards a whole year before by shopping for cards on major clearance after Christmas. Then I pack them away so I don’t have to pay top dollar for them in November. Our family has made it a tradition to take a family photo on Thanksgiving. I then order 40-50 prints from Mixbook’s Holiday Card Collection There are plenty of creative options from cards to decorative boarders on your pictures. Then all that’s left is to address the envelopes.

Shop for gifts every Friday.

We have to budget for Christmas. I pay bills every Friday, so each week I allow $50 to buying Christmas gifts I’ve saved to my Amazon wish list through out the year. Since we are member of Amazon Prime I never have to pay shipping and can have a box of gifts delivered each week.

Check wrapping supplies.

I take 5 minutes to check my wrapping supplies in November, then pick up a roll or two of paper, shirt boxes, and tissue paper at the Dollar Tree.

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Start baking

Baking may not be your thing, but its a tradition in our family to make tons of different kinds of cookies each year. Not only do we have a cookie tray on the counter through out the whole season, we use them as gifts for the neighbors and the kids teacher and bus drivers. So each week starting in mid October I make 1 kind of cookie and freeze them. If they need decorating I sometimes save that step for the kids and I to do together when it gets closer to Christmas. I also double my pie crust recipe so I have an extra shell if I need to bring a dessert or something.

Make and freeze side dishes.

I always end up hosting at least 2 Christmas dinners at my home. I’m responsible for providing the main course. I try to make sure enough sides are made by those I ask. But I feel that if I have guests in my home, they shouldn’t have to worry about making something to bring. So I just double the ingredients at Thanksgiving and freeze. So then all I have to do come Christmas, is thaw and bake.

Shop for Christmas dinner.

Sometimes we host Christmas dinner. If is our turn, I make a list of what I making and shop for the ingredients a little bit each week on my regular trips to the grocery store. That way I’m not stuck with a huge grocery bill at the worst time of the year to spend more money.

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Plan Christmas activities.

Finally, I take a look at our December calendar and plan out when our other Christmas activities will happen. We always get our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, so that already there. Sometimes we go see a Christmas movie, some times we celebrate with friends with a white elephant party. I get it all on the calendar in November to save my sanity in December.

What are your tips and tricks for making use of the count down to Christmas?

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Here’s how to set a beautiful Thanksgiving table on a budget.

Its one thing to do the Thanksgiving menu on a budget, its another thing to set a beautiful table. Can you host 10 people for dinner and set a gorgeous seasonal table while on a budget? Certainly! And you don’t even have to be particularly crafty.

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Dishes and glassware: find beauty in the mismatched.

You don’t need a full cupboard of dishes to host 10 for dinner. There are other ways to set the table beautifully.

First strategy? Borrow. Ask guests and friends if you can borrow dishes. Keep everything in one palette. (white is always classic) for a blended, yet beautiful look.

Second strategy? Thrift store. Hit up your local thrift store. You can get a haul of plates for just a few dollars, and they will go together beautifully.

The same applies to silverware and glassware.Dollar Tree is the place to look for an even more inexpensive idea.

Greenery: Go outside (and go glam)

You can find inexpensive greenery at the Dollar Tree (We’ll come back to that), but for an even less expensive option, go outside and stroll through your neighborhood, gathering leaves and branches with fall foliage for your table. Candles are a great option and can be quite inexpensive. But you may want to visit Jewelry Candle Co – JEWELSCENT | Hidden jewel valued $15-$7500 in our jewelry scents for a way to decorate and bring out the scent of fall!

Skip the table cloth.

Table clothes are expensive. Skip them altogether and do a runner of brown paper. You can purchase this at Dollar Tree. Or lay a bright, pretty scarf down the center of the table for some color.

To capture all the memories from Thanksgiving… Don’t forget to visit Mixbook’s Homepage Where there are endless options to capture these memories for years to come.

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Things you can do now to get ready for Thanksgiving!

Thanks giving is coming up fast. But there are a few things you can do now that you can check off your list. That way, when its crunch time…you’ve already done it!

This is so important, especially when your hosting larger gatherings.

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Clean your china

Do you have seasonal or formal dinner ware that you use for this occasion? What about glass are? If you are like me, they have been sitting in storage all year and its time to wash the dust off of them.

Clean and iron the linens.

What linens are you going to use? A table cloth? Place mats? Napkins? Are they clean? Did you iron them? This is a huge time saving step you can do right now.

Polish the silver.

If you have silver or silver plated cutlery, they may require polishing. Take them out of the cabinet and decide if they need to be polished.

Decide your meal plan.

Have you decided what exact recipes your going to make? If you make the same thing every year and use the same recipes, great! We always try a new dish or two to see what is a hit or not.

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Make what you can ahead of time- and freeze it.

Now that you meal planned, is there some thing you can make ahead of time and freeze? Like maybe your pie dough. We make a soup sometimes that can be made ahead.

Early grocery shopping.

Are there things you can get at the grocery store now to prepare? For instance pie crust? Cranberry perhaps or pumpkin puree in a can? Don’t for get the coffee! Buy 100% Pure Kona Coffee

Below is a list of 25 things you can buy ahead of time.

  • potatoes
  • marshmallows
  • pie crust
  • turkey
  • ham
  • cream cheese
  • frozen veggie
  • butter
  • whipped cream
  • canned olives
  • canned pumpkin
  • seasoning/spices
  • soup
  • canned veggies
  • gravy seasoning packets
  • canned pie filling
  • canned cranberry
  • canned fruit
  • sugar
  • chocolate chips
  • cake mix
  • flour
  • crackers
  • chicken broth
  • stuffing mix
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Slammin sweet potato pie.

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 9 in pie crust

Preparation

  • pre heat over to 350 f
  • boil sweet potatoes in their skins 45-50 min
  • run under cold water, then peel skins
  • Blend potatoes in a blender for about 1 min. To make sure all fibers are broken. Place in a bowel, with butter and mix well. Add sugar, milk, eggs and cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg. Beat on med speed until smooth
  • Pour into pie crust and bake for 50-60 min. Let cool before cutting.

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10 tips for controlling clutter in kids bedrooms.

Kids bedrooms, Is there anything more scary to think about when it comes to keeping things clean, organized and clutter free then kids bedrooms? Maybe, but they certainly can be a clutter collector.

When all together, there are 5 kids in this family. 4 of which have to share a bedroom. I have become an expert in this area. I have mastered some techniques when it comes to making kids bedrooms liveable and manageable for our kids. At the same time, these techniques keep my boyfriend and I happy too. Since expecting perfection isn’t realistic.

You may want to watch for my upcoming post “how to encourage kids to be tidy.

In everything I have learned, I think there are 10 key ingredients in controlling the clutter in kids bedroom, and here they are.

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1 Limit the opportunity for clutter to collect.

This means keeping the amount of “stuff” they have in their rooms to a reasonable and manageable amount. This amount is completely personal and also depends on the size of the bedroom. You also have to take into account the availability of space in the other areas of the house for their things. It also depends on how many children are in the bedroom, and so much more. I cannot stress enough the importance of being reasonable in what is kept in your kids bedrooms and is not.

2 Train your children to be involved in controlling the clutter in their room from the time they can walk.

Kids who are only one can learn to put their pajamas on the bed for instance. Giving them age appropriate tasks from the earliest age is vital. Then, continue to train them while also holding them to age appropriate standard.

3 Declutter/cleaning needs to happen at least 2 times a day.

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I have discovered that kids are easily overwhelmed when it comes to keeping their own space clutter free. For this reason, keeping clutter under control is essential. This is also true for us, but teaching this basic concept to our kids early is setting them up for success in this area.

4 To keep kids bedrooms clutter free, you must have the proper tools.

As I have said in reference to other areas reguarding the things we need our family members to be a part of, we have to make is painfully easy for them to do so. Make sure there is ample storage available for clutter prone things. I find multi – purpose things are especially clever. The Dollar Tree has many options available.

5 Label where you want things to go.

Labels make it easy for anyone and everyone to put things where they belong. With out a label you husband may not know where the kids books or toys belong. This means that it will be very difficult for him to help. Labels also avoid kids being able to argue, “I don’t know where that belongs” as an excuse for being lazy. When labels are being used properly, it saves time since you will not have to continually go in and reorganize everything.

6 Be specific in organizing and labeling things down into smaller groups of like items.

When you have a bin labeled “trucks” ideally you wont be finding trucks put in a different area. If your bin is labeled toys, everyone will have a harder time finding things they are looking for. General labels will also make it more difficult to return things to the correct spot. Having a drawer labeled winter tights will be more organized then just having a place for tights and socks for instance. The Dollar Tree has many types of stickers that can be used as labels.

7 Don’t shy away from implementing “stuff rotation”.

Whether it’s clothes, books, toys, or something entirely different, proactively making sure there isn’t too much to get cluttered in the first place is key. One easy way to avoid this is to rotate the things in kids bedrooms every couple of months. Having less is often a welcome sign in many kids eyes.

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8 Involve your kids.

Allowing your kids to be involved in how their room works ensures that they will be more willing to help you keep their space clutter free. Give them a space they enjoy being and that they can take pride in.

9 Avoid being an emotional collector.

Don’t hang on to things for emotional or sentimental reasons. We all have things that are important to us. But limiting the amount of things we keep for the sake of keeping them is needed. Doing this is important for you. It is also important that your kids have a good role model in this area. There are numerous things you can do to preserve the memory while letting the item go.

10 Only allow approved items to come into your kids bedroom.

Kids bedrooms should not be a dumping grounds for things that belong else where any more then our master bedroom in the first place. As I have mentioned before when deciding on what to allow your child to have, keep in mind that everything they have must be stored.

Always being mindful of this has kept me from allowing certain things into my home just from a storage stand point. This was something I came to learn the hard way.

Clutter can so easily collect in kids bedrooms. But doing these 10 things has greatly helped limit the clutter issues we have in our kids bedrooms. They will help you as well.

Fall clean up – 5 Spaces to organize every fall.

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Its time for round 2 in the fall clean up. Round 1 was the list of 10 spots to purge every fall. Today digs deeper into organizing 5 areas as we start to prepare for cooler weather and busier schedules.

Fall kitchen organization

The decluttering step last week should have cleared out everything that was expired. So, now its time to organize what is left. I’d recommend thinking about the three things that make you crazy when you are trying to cook or put away clean dishes and focus your time on those. Here’s a few ideas from our kitchen.

I don’t bake often through out the year, but various baking supplies were spread through out the pantry. When I organized the pantry, I grouped them all together in a dollar store plastic bin. Before using the bin, I spray painted it to match the rest of the pantry accents. Now, when ever I’m in desperate need of home made chocolate chip cookies, I can pull the whole bin out to the kitchen.

Can organizer/storage bins Using bins to corral similar items also works inside the fridge. The hour I spent organizing the fridge like this two years ago was so worth it. It finally started to get out of control again this summer, so I’ll be getting it back into shape this week as part of my personal fall clean up.

The plastic ware is another great cabinet to tackle before the season of holiday left overs begin. I don’t know what took me so long to figure out how to store them, but I get a little excited every time I open the cabinet and see them under control.

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Fall coat closet/mudroom organization

If you’ve got kids in school, now is the time to figure out a landing zone for back packs, shoes, coats ect. Having a routine place to drop things and help control clutter.

You can fake a mudroom really inexpensively using a cube organizer on its side by the front door, with a bin for each family member. Above the bins, add coat hooks for back packs and your all set.

If you’ve really got limited space like we do in our garage entry, I’ve been really happy with the slim hooks we installed for coats. The hooks flip up flush when not being used, and hold a surprising amount of weight. Its great in the middle of winter when we load them down. It was a great way to utilize the space behind the door.

Organizing kids rooms

I mentioned that fall is a great time to de clutter kids rooms of toys and out grown clothing last week. But then what do you do with everything that is left? Bins and baskets are a huge help!

I will have more tips on this in a upcoming post “De cluttering and organizing a child’s room.”

Organizing the guest bedroom

Is anyone else guilty of letting the guest bed turn into a landing pad for the most random crap?

I kid you not, there was still Christmas junk on ours in June! Thank goodness we had some family come and stay with us so I had to clean it up.

Don’t wait until right before Thanksgiving or Christmas to organize your guest space. No one needs more things to do around the holidays.

ATTITUDE

Office/homework/craft space organization.

The last place I think fall is the perfect time to organize is where ever you keep craft/and or office supplies. Even though I’m not currently in school (thank goodness) I get a bit excited about school supplies and office organization every fall. If you’ve been following along you know I got a jump start on this one and have my paper clutter and office organization under control. You can find this article under my organization tab on the home page.

There is a reason I think we should work on the organization of these areas every fall.

Our lives and habits evolve, which I believe is why some people think organization doesn’t work. They do it once and expect it to last forever.

Tweaking the system once a year lets you evaluate whats working and what needs to be updated. Having a designated season to work on key areas of your house will help you stay on top of everything year round. And that makes the time spent so worth it for me.

What do you think? Did I hit or miss the most important areas for fall organizing?

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Fall clean-up: 10 things to purge every fall.

Adding a fall clean – up routine to your year is a great way to get the house ready for the holidays with less stress.

Spring cleaning gets all the attention, but I don’t know anyone that has time to de clutter, organize, and deep clean their entire house each spring. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are easy things we could all work on in the fall to split the work load into something manageable.

In another post, we’ll talk about some things to organize in the fall, but today we’ll start out with some quick wins.

You don’t have to worry about making any of these areas perfect. Just grab a trash bag and donation box and try to get rid of as much as you can from each of the 10 spots. If your feeling like an over achiever, tackle the 2 bonus points.

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Fall kitchen decluttering

Spices and seasonings- Take all the spices, seasonings, and condiments out of the cabinet and give the shelves a quick cleaning. Before putting everything back, check all the expiration dates. I’m not hard core about throwing spices out on the marked date, but they lose potency after time, so its probably time to replace the pumpkin pie spice from 7 years ago.

Have a piece of paper handy to keep track of what needs to be replaced. You’ll be all set for holiday baking.

Freezer- Sometimes our freezer becomes a black hole where things go in and never come out. The fall is the perfect time to get it cleared out and ready for winter.

Bonus: If you have a little extra time, purge the pantry/food cabinet as well.

Fall closet de cluttering

Sandals and summer shoes- Be honest about what shoes were really worn this summer. Now is the time to donate or sell the others. The most effective way to tackle this is to remove ALL the shoes from the closet and then put back the ones that you wear. That also gives you a chance to wipe down the shelves or shoe organizer.

Swim wear- Fall is also a great time to purge the swim wear. I seem to add swimsuits and other cover ups, but never get rid of any. Why should I keep the extras around for another winter?

Bonus: Peek at the family’s winter coats and donate any that have been out grown or are no longer needed now before winter hits. Some one will be so great full you did this one.

Fall garage de cluttering

Toys- Any big toys the kids have out grown should be cleared out in the fall, before the holidays. Its the perfect time to donate them, and you don’t need to store them all winter if the kids will never use them again.

Garden tools and products- Clean – up, repair, and purge your garden supplies so they will be ready for you in the spring. Nothing kills my spring planting motivation faster than being ready to plant and finding everything a mess from the prior year.

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Fall living room de clutter

Magazines and books- Do a quick sweep and lighten the clutter by purging out dated magazines. Look for books you know you’ll never read again and pass them along to a new home. We both have books on our Christmas list every year. So fall is a great time to free up some space for them.

Throw blankets- At one point, I thought you could never have too many blankets around the living room. Then I kept adding new ones through purchases and gifts, and passed the saturation point. I didn’t realize how many there really were because we throw them in every corner. I was able to donate some, the rest we put in a basket so I can keep them under control.

Fall bedroom de clutter

Timer challenge- I feel like everyone gathers different kinds of clutter in the bed room, but that doesn’t mean we can’t address it. Set the timer on your cell phone or microwave for 15 minutes and try to find as many things as you can that can be removed.

Depending on the state of your bedroom, start with the floor, the flat surfaces (dresser top) or inside drawers. Our bedroom looks great on the surface, but I’ll be tackling my night stand drawers, you wouldn’t believe the mess hiding inside.

Fall bathroom declutter

Product purge- Chances are you you’ve got some beauty products that are never touched lurking in the bathroom. I’m definately guilty of trying out products, not liking them, but not wanting to get rid of them because the bottle is 3/4 full and I spent money on it. That is just crazy though! Keeping them around to clutter up the bathroom isn’t doing any good. Get rid of that old make up too.

Not too bad, right? It shouldn’t take too long to tackle all the spaces on the list, and I bet you and your home will both feel a bit lighter when you are done. For our house, I’m especially excited about the items that feel like I’m getting a head start on the holidays, like the spices.

How to host a freakishly frugal Halloween party.

I’ve thrown a lot of parties in my day. But have only been able to host a few Halloween parties. And so far, the last one was really epic. So if you are thinking about doing an epic party, here is my step by step plan.

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Step 1 THEME

First you have to decide what type of Halloween party you want to have. Do you want to go gory-slasher flick style? Or do you want to do a vampire theme? Mad scientist? I decided to do a more generic haunted house theme. I love to create a creep spooky atmosphere.

Step 2 DECORATIONS

You could throw up a few fake spider webs, but to throw an epic party, you have to commit to the decor. Once you’ve decided your theme, you can figure out which direction to take your decor. I put those fake spider webs all over the place. You really have to stretch them to get them to look realistic. And then I threw up some fake spiders. I covered my furniture in sheets so the house looked abandoned. I decorated with lots of creepy decorations like skulls, ravens, and some old country pictures which look eerie with all the other decor.

I made the entry way extra creepy, since its the first impression of the house. The front porch has lots of pumpkins and hay bales along with some creepy signs I picked up at the Dollar Tree! Once you enter the house you’ll see tons of spider web and tattered fabric draped around.

There were other little touches here and there. You can use old antique looking pictures and frames. I searched images until I found one I liked and printed it out. Or if you have some of your own tucked away…

Step 3 LIGHTING

Lighting is literally one of the most important parts of the spooky factor. We turned off all the over head lights. You can get strings of colored lights at the Dollar Tree. Candles, tea lights and lanterns all add to the feel.

Step 4 SPECIAL EFFECTS

You could do some sort of dry ice or fog. Or you could project some images to make it look like there are ghosts in the house.

Step 5 TABLE SCAPE

And this is actually my favorite part. I set up my table with bowls and plates of treats. So everyone can help themselves. Just put out a cheap black table cloth then add some creepy touches like candles, pictures, skulls, what ever you have.

Step 6 FOOD

Food is a simple way to add decor and its fun. You can always find Halloween colored candy and even gummy worms will work. Green colored frosting, red colored drinks and the list goes on. Its so fun!

Step 7 DRINKS

You can serve your drinks in champagne glasses. This adds to the creepy factor. Place a bucket with dry ice to make the foggy effect. Or set out bottles of soda with creepy labels in place of the original labels.

Step 8 GAMES

With an epic party you just cant hope everyone will be satisfied with decorations and special effects. Plan some activities! You can make a bean bag toss out of a card board box. Use strings of lights to light it up. Use which hats for a ring toss game. A fun team game to play is the “mummy wrap” Using crepe paper, the first person to use up all the paper wins.

So you see, with these 8 tips, and epic party is very easy. And you can do it all on a budget! Just look around your home for what you cant find at the Dollar tree or local thrift store.

Fall bucket list ideas.

Every list is going to be different, but here are some ideas to add to your bucket list.

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Fall is my favorite season. Here in Wisconsin, the weather is perfect, the foliage is beautiful, and there are a ton of fall activities to do with the family. Our family is really big on doing activities together, but with so many ideas , its sometimes hard to keep them all straight, and make sure they all actually happen. Creating a fall bucket list has been the perfect solution to ensuring we intentionally plan out the fall season and maximize our time together as a family. Prior to creating out bucket list we would frequently say “one day we should do ___” but they never seem to happen. Either we forget about them, or simply run out of free time to schedule them. That’s why having a personalized fall bucket list is a must have.

Why do you need a fall bucket list?

  • Do you sit around wondering how you can fill your days?
  • Are your weekends filled with various birthday parties and get together’s, and you never have time to fit in your own family fun?
  • Do you look back on prior months and wish you did certain things that you never got a chance to do?
  • Do you always intend to catch up with certain friends (or schedule play dates) but never come around to doing it?
  • Do you have a list of books you want to read, movies you want to see, or concerts you want to attend?
  • Do you wonder what to do with the kids on a rainy day?
  • Do you look back on the fall and wonder where it went, but don’t have anything to show for it?
  • Do you want to maximize your fall and have the most fun ever?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you need a fall bucket list.

A fall bucket list is a simple resource that encourages you to brain storm all the fun activities that you want to plan. Having a fall bucket list encourages you to think about the life that you want to live and is the first step to putting it into action. By putting together a fall bucket list you are forced to think about all the things you want to do, people you want to see, places you want to go, and put them out into the universe to happen.

Putting together a family fall bucket list gives everyone in the family a chance to choose adventures and contribute to your family’s precious memories.

How do I put together a fall bucket list?

Typically, you put together a fall bucket list in the beginning of fall. But there isn’t any reason you can’t start mid fall! All you need is a paper and pen.

To start, brainstorming all of the fun activities and adventures you want to go on. I like to categorize my bucket lists into the following categories.

  • Outdoor
  • indoor
  • night time
  • places to go
  • play date’s to schedule
  • people to visit
  • things to make
  • things to learn
  • book/movies/concerts

I like to do this together as a family. That way everyone gets a say and can contribute to planning the fun.

Putting your fall bucket list into action.

Once you have your personalized fall bucket list, you have to put it into action. Writing it all down is a good first step, but planning it out is even better. Grab a calendar to start scheduling out when you want to do the various activities on your list.

I prefer to schedule out the big activities in advance but leave some room for spontaneity (you cant predict the weather, so it would be hard to schedule all the out door and indoor activities in advance with out knowing the weather.)

What to put on your family fall bucket list.

Every list is going to be different, but here are some ideas that we have on our bucket list.

Outdoor fall activities

  • Apple picking
  • bobbing for apples
  • decorate your porch
  • do a corn maze
  • farmers market
  • fishing
  • go to a foot ball game
  • grave yard tour
  • have a fall scavenger hunt
  • Halloween trick or treating
  • haunted house
  • hiking
  • jump in a corn pit
  • jump in leaves
  • mini golf
  • park/picnic at the park
  • play catch/foot ball
  • take a hay ride
  • take family pictures
  • visit a brewery/winery

Indoor fall activities

  • bake pumpkin pie/bread
  • bowling
  • bounce house
  • build a blanket fort
  • can your veggies and fruit from the summer
  • carve a pumpkin
  • cook a new recipe
  • create a care box for our troops
  • create a memory box or time capsule
  • eat/drink pumpkin spice everything
  • make an apple pie
  • make candy apples
  • make pumpkin seeds to eat.

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  • play board games
  • rock climbing
  • trampoline park
  • visit your local library
  • write a letter to a friend

Night time fall activities

  • campfire smores
  • drive in movie
  • game night
  • have a sleep over
  • make fondue
  • star gazing
  • make your own pizza

Things to make in the fall

  • build a scare crow
  • create a fall wreath
  • create a halloween costume
  • create a summer photo book
  • leaf painting
  • make a pumpkin volcano
  • make a thankful tree
  • make homemade ice cream
  • make a no sew blanket

Other ideas for your fall bucket list.

  • books to read
  • concerts you want to attend
  • movies you want to watch
  • people to visit
  • places to go
  • play dates to schedule
  • things you want to learn about.

5 bad habits that keep your home a cluttered mess.

Good habits can put a clutter – free home on auto pilot for you. And bad habits can ensure that things stay cluttered. Forming new habits isn’t easy, but its worth it.

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Want to know the difference between those with cluttered, messy homes, and those with mostly clutter free homes?

HABITS!

Good habits can put a clutter-free home on auto pilot for you. And bad habits can ensure that things stay cluttered. Forming new habits isn’t easy. But it’s worth it.

Imagine returning home after a busy day. You walk in the door tired, but your glad to be home. Look around. Your house looks pretty good- not perfect, but tidy enough that you feel you can relax for a few minutes before starting dinner.

Isn’t that what you want? Its what we all want. Keep reading to learn which bad habits have been keeping you stuck. Replace bad habits with good ones to create the decluttered home you really want.

I’ll walk you through every one of the habit changes, one easy step at a time.

Sick of all the clutter in your life? Learn the 5 bad habits that keep your home cluttered.

1 You’re so overwhelmed with it all that you’ve given up trying.

Solution: Don’t give up yet! Its not hopeless. Keep reading!

2 You don’t put things away through out the day.

You (and your family)

  • Leave papers scattered through out your home.
  • leave dishes though out the house, on the coffee table, side tables, dressers and bedside tables.
  • Leave clothes (both dirty and clean) strewn about the home, on the floor, on the couch, over the backs of chairs.
  • Leave other items all over the house rather than putting them away when finished using them.

Don’t feel bad. These a very common sources of clutter. And good habits can help you do away with this type of daily surface clutter.

Solution: Make putting things away an automatic habit you practice as you go about your day.

  • When you leave a room, take dirty dishes with you and load them in the dishwasher immediately. If there are no dirty dishes, take other -out-of-place items and put them away. (clothes, papers, ect.)
  • After you fold laundry, put it away. It really doesn’t take long. Enlist some help from family members to make this even quicker.
  • When you take off clothing, hang it/fold it or put it in the hamper. Teach your children to do the same. It will take time for this to become a habit, but its possible. Put hampers in every room where dirty clothes get left.
  • Put important papers that need attention in an inbox/basket.
Don’t for get to check Dollar tree for organizing solutions.

3 You don’t put things away upon returning home.

Keys, jacket, bags, phone, mail, ect. Are all deposited in the most convenient spot.

Solution: Practice a threshold routine.

You’ve probably heard of morning routines, evening routines, and daily routines. Those are all good things.

But you also need a “return home routine” That rolls off the tongue slowly, so I like the term “threshold routine”

When you cross over your threshold with stuff in your hands, put it where it belongs.

  • Hang jackets
  • put keys on hooks, or in a basket/bowl
  • Put your phone, purse, and other bags in designated places.
  • Empty shopping bags, put everything away, and store/recycle the bags.
  • Open/recycle/shred papers, putting important ones that need attention in an inbox/basket.
  • Open packages, put things away and recycle the boxes.

This goes A LONG way toward helping you maintain a decluttered home.

It may sound like a time-consuming process but, really, its not. Try it and see. If you time yourself, you’ll see just how quick it is to do these things.

4 You don’t have a “place for everything” That’s working for you.

  • Your previous organizing efforts are a bit troublesome to use, there for no one is using the system you set uo including you.
  • You haven’t de cluttered closets, drawers, and shelves of things you don’t need or use. This makes it difficult to put things away (see #2 & #3 above) which keeps your home messy. This creates a vicious cycle, but it can be broken!

A place for everything, and everything in its place:

That’s my motto, and sort of my mantra that I keep repeating to myself, to make sure I stay on track. And its the most important organizing principal for maintaining a clutter free home. Making the ‘place’ easy and convenient to use help ensure things get put where they belong rather then left out on the most convenient surface.

Solution: Set up easy to use on hand storage solutions, like open baskets, trays, hooks. Frequently remind your family menbers to use them until this becomes a habit.

5 You don’t follow a daily routine

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” Benjamin Franklin

We all need a basic routine to follow each day.

Will you accomplish everything you plan to each day? Not likely. But that’s no excuse to give up completely. And let the days get away from you day after day and week after week.

Solution: Create a simple daily routine on paper and start using it. Put it some place in easy sight, like the fridge door. And hold yourself accountable.

To create a simple daily routine, get a sheet of paper. Across the top of the page write Monday – Sunday. Down the left side of the page write each important task you need accomplished each day. Those tasks should include things like:

  • unload the dish washer before breakfast]was/dry/fold/put away one load of laundry
  • decide on/prep dinner
  • one urgent task

If your just getting started with a daily routine, keep it very simple. If you add too many tasks to it, you may quickly become discouraged and give up.

Start with micro habits so small that you have no excuse not to do them.

The four tasks listed above are the bare minimum chores required to successfully run a household. You need to be able to load dirty dishes to keep your kitchen reasonably clean through out the day. You and your family need dinner. You and your family need clean clothes, and most days have at least one really urgent task that needs to be completed. Complete these four things each day and you will feel like a success.

Once you fall into habit with these basic tasks for a few weeks or a month try adding one more task to your daily routine.

You can do this!

Your home will be cleaner, and you’ll be happier.