Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Countdown to Christmas!

Posted on: November 29th, 2017 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Checking...

“He’s making a list, He’s checking it twice …” Even Santa is a list maker!

The countdown to the holidays has begun. Don’t stress! A small amount of planning now can provide you with more time for those extra chores on your list in the coming weeks.


Check out these archived blog posts if you need some help getting started.

Planning for the HolidaysPart 1 and Part 2

A Gift Anyone Can Appreciate

Posted on: December 2nd, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments




This year, give the gift of organization to a friend–or even yourself–from A New Leaf Organizers!

CLICK HERE for more information.

Get Ready to Get Productive!

Posted on: December 17th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments


Get Productive...

  Here are our TOP 5 time-saving ideas for

MAKE A LIST, CHECK IT TWICE.  In addition to making a list before you head out, ask family members to provide you with their wish list in advance of the Holidays. Take advantage of online wish lists and store registries.

PLAN BACKWARDS. Look at your calendar in terms of deadlines. For instance, if you want your cards in the mail by December 10th, plan for all of the related tasks, such as writing a newsletter and getting stamps, and schedule enough time to complete them prior to your deadline. Do the same to plan for your gifts, meal planning, decorating and all the myriad tasks on your list.

STREAMLINE YOUR GIFT GIVING. Unless you REALLY enjoy them, avoid buying marathons by purchasing gifts online and even outsourcing to an assistant or family member. Having a list and a set budget can help reduce time lost to decision making and retracing your steps. Consider a gift exchange instead of giving a gift to all extended family members individually.

STRATEGIZE YOUR GIFT WRAPPING. Have a dedicated (and well-stocked) location in your home which everyone is expected to use. Encourage your family (and yourself!) to “wrap as you go” and NOT leave it all until the last minute. Another good idea is to purchase a number of the same gifts to give to teachers, hosts/hostesses, bosses, etc. Have a couple of these wrapped and on hand in case guests show up with an unexpected gift.

SIMPLIFY FOOD AND DECORATIONS. Stock your pantry with staples, so that you are well supplied for baking and food preparation. Not every dish and treat needs to be homemade–and neither does every meal! Consider a potluck dinner or giving out assignments. Have decorations like your tree and other greenery delivered.

These are just our TOP FIVE suggestions and you, no doubt, have many more. If you can think of some that we’ve missed, add your comments on our blog or FACEBOOK PAGE.


A Simple Plan to Simplify Your Holidays!

Posted on: December 8th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy Mendler 



Last month we talked a LOT about how to reduce stress by planning ahead and organizing your Holiday activities. No matter how well you plan, your stress level is likely to be proportional to the length of your to-do list! When we get caught up in all of the bustle, we not only run the risk of becoming tired, cranky and run-down; we can ALSO forget the reason for our preparations.

If your Holiday preparations are launching you into panic mode, it’s time to step back and control the chaos. Here are some reminders of the BEST of the many suggestions that we have provided to our Monthly Organizer readers to simplify their Holidays AND their lives!

1)    Write it all down! There are so many things to remember, aren’t there? Jot everything down, keep a calendar and a master list to help yourself stay organized.

2)    Start early! Divide your task list into smaller pieces and spread your tasks over as much time as you can. We aren’t fond of seeing Christmas décor on the shelves before Halloween either, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get ahead with tasks like house cleaning and Christmas cards.

3)    Take time to rest! Allow yourself time to rest and relax instead of hustling and bustling. Sometimes it helps to look at the Holidays through the eyes of a child.

4)    Avoid the crowds! Make your purchases early if you can or opt for gift cards, charitable donations or other gifts that can be taken care of with a few clicks of the mouse instead of a trip to the store.

5)    Get help! Don’t be afraid to assign tasks to family members, employees or associates. Your tasks may not be completed exactly the way you would do them, but at least they will be done!

6)    Don’t break the bank! If your gift list is long and your funds are short, consider giving handmade crafts, baking or offering a service. Don’t forget to make a budget and stick to it!

7)    Learn that important little word! It’s not “please” or even “thank you.” It’s “NO!” Set limits for yourself if you’re speading yourself too thin, and remember that you can’t do everything. Saying “no” can be hard but think of it as opening up more chances for you to say “yes.”

What’s our very best suggestion for simplifying your Holiday? Remember the reasons why you are celebrating and the things that are most important to you!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at A New Leaf Organizers!

P.S. Do you have other suggestions for simplifying your Holidays? Comment on our blog or Facebook page and let us know!

Give the Gift of Organization!

Posted on: November 26th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Gift Certificates

This year, give the gift of organization!
Send a gift certificate to a friend from A New Leaf Organizers!

CLICK HERE for more info.

Peace and Joy NOT Stress and Hurry!

Posted on: November 10th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments


   The Holidays are supposed to bring us joy.
 ..For many of us, it is also a time of stress.

Many, but certainly not ALL sources of Holiday stress can be relieved to some degree by prior planning and organization.

Let’s take a look at the TOP TEN Most Stressful Holiday Activities List from Franklin Covey, a global leader in effectiveness training.

1.    Spending too much money
2.    Deciding which gifts to give to whom
3.    Sending parcels and cards on time
4.    Taking care of health and well-being
5.    Not enough time for gift buying
6.    Not enough time to attend events
7.    Decorating and hosting parties
8.    Managing workloads in order to take time off
9.    Maintaining relationships with family and friends
10.  Creating and sticking to a Holiday budget.

Most of these items probably sound quite familiar to most of us, and almost every one of them could be reduced or even eliminated with a bit of prior planning and organization.

We recommend that you start NOW (it IS November!) to make your own plan to relieve your Holiday stressors.

If you need a few ideas, read on to check out our suggestions to reduce Holiday stress. Print out a Holiday Checklist.

P.S. What stresses YOU most about the Holidays? Comment on our blog or Facebook page and let us know!

How to Store Your Holiday Decorations

Posted on: October 9th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy Mendler

 Holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween are fun, but they
.can also create a challenge when it’s time to stow away those
.seasonal decorations. 

 We all know that the best solution is to store them out of the way, so that they don’t take up the space assigned to more frequently used things, but WHERE and HOW do you store them? 

Here are a few suggestions we share with our clients: 

1. Use a storage area like a garage, basement or attic, if you have one, so that they are out of sight but still easily accessible. 

2. Choose a place that is easy to access. If you store them in a place that takes too much effort to access, you might make organizing for these occasions a chore even before you start to celebrate. 

3. Label containers so you know where to look. If you are a fan of those giant plastic storage tubs (which, unfortunately, you can’t see through), be sure to use different coloured containers based on the event, such as red for Christmas, orange for Halloween and green for St. Patrick’s Day.

4. Group items by occasion or season. It’s okay to combine Halloween and Thanksgiving or Christmas and New Year’s decor, for instance, but try to avoid combining several occasions into one container. If you have only a few decorations, just use a smaller container.

5. Purge as you pack. Did you use those pumpkin lights this year? If not, what are the chances you will use them next year? If you’ve received a new item, try finding an old item for it to replace and PURGE!

Get started and turn over another leaf!

We wish everyone a safe, happy and organized October!

P.S. Check out our Facebook page every Monday to see a new MARTHA MONDAY organizing video on this topic…and many more!

Get Motivated to Declutter Your Holiday

Posted on: December 26th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Make Room for Holiday Cheer: 5 Ways to Declutter Your Home offers some great tips.

Get motivated to declutter!


Checklist to Organize Your Holiday!

Posted on: December 23rd, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

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Check out 5 Printables to Organize Christmas from Mary ORGANIZES.

Create your own holiday check list. There’s never a shortage of items to complete at this busy time of year!

Simplify Your Holiday Without Feeling Like a Scrooge!

Posted on: December 18th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy_Mendler_new-150-x-115  It’s December!

  The holidays are in full swing, and the end of the year is quickly _approaching.

   As the clock ticks down, and your to-do list gets longer, it often helps to be reminded to keep things simple.

 Take a moment to read Kat Lee’s article How to simplify the holidays without feeling like a Scrooge.

Whatever your plans for the holidays, I hope you take the time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends–whatever means the most to you!

January will be here before you know it. Big plans are in the works for 2015. Until then …

Let’s get started and turn over another leaf!