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Blog: Take The Stress Out Of Housecleaning
Last Minute Organizing and Cleaning Hints for Christmas

How is all of the shopping , wrapping and party planning coming along? Taking the stress out of the Holidays, is half the battle of being able to enjoy yourself, family and friends. Make it easy on yourself and think of all of the 'simple' things that you can do that will make it more enjoyable.
Here are a few tips that will help to make that possible:
Entertaining fast, easy and inexpensively
Do you have a lot of friends that you owe 'get togethers' to, friends that invite you over during the holidays, special friends and aquaintances from clubs or organizations that you belong to or fellow workers that you are close to? Would you like to have them stop over during the holidays, but the thought of all of those people and the separate parties is just to much to think of?
Try this:
Have several or maybe 'one big' OPEN HOUSE. Set a day and the time (say from 1-4 p.m. or 7-11:00p.m.) and send an open invitation to everyone.

What to serve: remember this is a 'social' get together, that has a lot of talking and a chance to meet new people.

You may have punch, several variations of flavored coffee or tea, sodas, fruit juices, alcoholic drinks or a combination of all. As far as the food goes, make it simple, you want to be able to enjoy your guests.

Finger Foods
Maybe several different types of bagels, flavored breads, cookies or donuts. You may want to go the snack route and have, pretzels, various chips, dips and salsa's.

Show off-open house
How about a 'Bring your favorite dessert' party and let everyone show off their expertise.

Easy Sandwich Idea
Order a large size sub (or maybe two or three) from Wal Mart or some Sub shop and cut in smaller 'sample' pieces so they can try everything and eat when they want.

Hot Food Ideas
Stay away from the 'cook in the kitchen' types of things, unless you are going to go with things that can be kept in a Nesco or slow cooker. In that case, try shaved ham on smaller dinner rolls or buns, baked beans, veggies and dips etc.
Cleaning up
This is the part that most of us tend to 'hate' at the end of the get togethers. I know I don't look forward to it, but there are ways of making this a fast project by taking the right steps all through the evening. By planning ahead, we can save ourselves a lot of time, energy and frustration.

Don't get out your fine china over the holidays, accidents do happen. Go with the paper plates and plastic fork items, clean up is a lot faster and easier on you at the end of the night.
Keep a spray bottle with vinegar and water handy, for those spills. It will clean up the mess and also help take care of a lot of possible stains.
This is a perfect time of year, for those handy little wipes, that are on the market. Furniture polish wipes, glass cleaner wipes, counter top wipes and even the leather cleaner wipes.One, two, three and everything is dusted, wiped and sparkling and all in a matter of about ten minutes for each type of cleaner.
Purchase a bottle of Odor Ban, to spray around the room and get rid of the odors drinks, food, smoke or just to refresh the room. This is a neutralizer and gives off a fresh eucalyptus aroma, that makes the whole house smell better.

Opening Presents
This is one of my favorite times during the holidays. I not only love to get gifts, but I love to see the look on some ones face when I have managed to find 'just the right gift'. The highlight of the holiday is to see the kids jump for joy when they have something that they have wished and wished for. After a ton of Christmas's, I have finally come up with a routine that keeps it organized and clean without creating stress and panic.

1. Have someone be in charge of putting the wrapping paper in plastic garbage bags, so it isn't lying all over the room
2. Let the children 'help' hand out the presents. Make a game of it. They have to act like Santa, say 'Ho Ho Ho' and give out a gift. Set a specific # of gifts they each are allowed to hand out, then an adult can take over so the kids can open their presents.
3. Give each family, a bag, in which to put there gifts in. A good idea is to have this ready before hand, with the name of the family on the bag. Then, when the day is over, they all can take the bag with their name on it and already have everything together and ready for them. This saves on forgotten gifts and lost items.
4. Have a designated area that the kids can play with their possessions so they aren't running and screaming while you are trying to converse. A great place is in a bedroom area. Try to keep the area in a separate place from your kids play room, so the toys don't get mixed up or lost.
5. Let the kids play a 'BOW' game after the presents are open, this may even become a family tradition. Divide the children into equal groups, give each group and even amount of  bows; now they have to use their little imaginations and make something. Set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes and then they can show off their master pieces. This might be a Christmas tree on a door made of bows, a colorful wreath or they may decide to decorate the refrigerator or the bathroom door. It really doesn't make any difference if they put the boys on wood. Simply wash the area with your vinegar and water and polish with your furniture wipe the next day.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All of You out there and may the good Lord Bless and Keep You until we meet again, Jan Hayner offers tips and hints to help take the stress out of organizing and cleaning your home, garage, workshop and yard.

posted on: 12/14/2007 10:00:00 AM by Jan Hayner
category: Homes

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Take The Stress Out Of Housecleaning

by Jan Hayner

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About Jan:

Jan Hayner is a Professional Organizer and the creator of www.organizingandcleaning.com filled with tips and hints on home organizing and house cleaning shortcuts. After years and years of making mistakes and wasting money she has used her own experiences to help take the stress out of life. There are so many shortcuts to cleaning and organizing, that when you apply them, you will have time for the fun things in life!

Jan's Website:


Fun Things To Do

  • Fishing Lake Michigan
    Whether it is by boat or off the pier, there is nothing like getting that first Coho or King.
  • Grandchildren are fun
    Making memories for your grandchildren of all of the fun times they had with grandma and grandpa is one of the best memories you will make for yourself too.
  • Camping
    A tent, a firepit and sitting in the woods is a campers dream. We spend a lot of time camping in Northern Wisconsin and I have tons of camping recipes to share.

TV Shows

  • American Idol
    I am hooked on this show, nothing interrupts me when this is on. By the time they get to Hollywood, I already have the top ten picked out.
  • Last Comic Standing
    I love to see how these people, take the judges advice and change their tactics to become great comics, instead of just a comic.
  • House
    Now really, isn't he the kind of doctor you want on your side? He always has a reason for his actions, he looks until he finds the cure and he has flaws just like the rest of us.
  • Any home make over show
    I get some of my best ideas off of these shows and I also find things that I wouldn't dream of doing to someone elses home. I will admit, there are times that I wish they would call me and ask for my help!

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