Guests of Karen Burton Mains, author of Open Heart Open Home, are often amazed at her creativity and organization in entertaining. What's her secret? I've shared several in my series on Holiday Hospitality. But Karen say her best secret are the four file drawers filled with folders stuffed with clippings from women's magazines.
Magazines are filled with great ideas and recipes, especially this time of year. Don't you love the ideas you find? Do you even go so far as to tear out the pages and collect the great ideas for use "someday"? The ideas won't be useful unless you have an easy system for filing and retrieving your collection of torn our pages.
Karen keeps four files:
You might add other folders for:
...whatever you like to collect
One caution, don't save the page of ideas unless you are likely to use it someday. (Warning: watch out for those "someday" I will _____ whatever!) If you never bake cookies, there's no point in saving cookie recipes, no matter how delicious they look on the page. Perhaps you could mail them or scan and email them to a friend who is a true cookie baker instead and tell her if she bakes them you'll bring the coffee and taste test them with her!
File your ideas immediately. Again, why save the idea if you won't be able to find it when you need it. Periodically go through you files to simulate your creative juices. If you've accumulated too many ideas take the opportunity to toss any you've not used in the past year or two, or those you'll probably not use in the near future.
Taking time to keep a useful file of ideas will help you with your entertaining during the holidays or any time of the year!
Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.