Hello Style Spotters! I hope the holiday season is in full swing for you all, and that you’ve got time planned to spend with family and friends! If you’re like me, you haven’t even started thinking about gifts or decorating or all those holiday shenanigans yet–and that’s ok. I’ve pulled together a few last-minute options for you to take a look at.
I love this simple copper card tree holder tutorial from The Nest. It’s perfect for showing off all the cute cards you receive this holiday season while adding extra Christmas cheer to your home at the same time.
I have a horrible track record with mittens. It seems like the day after I get them, they get lost. For the mitten-losers out there, try this adorable sew-your-own tutorial from A Beautiful Mess. Find an old sweater and start sewing! Hopefully you won’t lose your handiwork (Terrible pun intended. Bear with me).
Last minute holiday party? Look no further. Try this awesome Colorful DIY Christmas Party guide from Paper & Stitch. Go wild with bright colors or tame with more traditional red’s and green’s. Either way, you’ll have a room your guests will be sure to remember!
And there you have it! Enjoy the holidays, friends! See you next year!
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Be more organized is one of the most common resolutions that individuals jot down on their lists as they ring in the new year. Of course, the timing is perfect as we are coming down from holiday stress and influx of belongings received, however, being too generic with your organizational intentions may do more harm than good.
The idea of having every aspect of our lives tidy and organized is a beautiful thought, but not necessarily realistic. Organizing is an evolving and on-going process. It can’t be achieved over night, it must be sustained over time. So if you are looking to become more organized in 2015, here are my tips for helping you achieve organizational goals.
Being too broad with your organizational goals will only cause a frustration and a lack of direction. You may quickly find yourself feeling overwhelmed and biting off more than you can chew at once. It is important to take a look at your day-to-day routine, and focus on the items that slow you down or cause you to feel the most flustered. Make a list of the items that cause you the biggest headaches, and prioritize them based on what they are costing you financially, emotionally and time wise. For example, if your guest room closet is cluttered but you only access it a few times a month, then that area is less of a priority than your entryway drop zone, which is most likely used on a daily basis. Select the top items to focus on over the course of the year (be realistic about your achievable number of projects), and only take on one project at a time.
PLAN YOUR ATTACK
Now that you know what you are going to tackle, it is time to plan how you are going to tackle it. I like to jot down notes with specifics regarding the project; such as my end goal, a few key steps to get there, project budget, storage needs, etc… This gives me a clear picture of what I am truly attempting to accomplish and allows me to manage my money and time throughout the process. It is really important to think about your habits and problem solve how you can work the new system into your daily routine.
Some people really love to organize! For everyone else, it is important to find something to keep you excited about the upcoming project. To ignite the flame, reach for inspirational magazines (cough, BHG, cough), search ideas on Pinterest or check out your favorite organizing blog. Also, find ways to incorporate something you enjoy into the organizing process. Reach for a hammer and build new storage, paint the interior of the closet, create labels/tags out of craft materials, listen to your favorite book on tape or put in your favorite movie. Finding ways to pass the time and to integrate a little fun is a sure way to stay motivated and get things done.
Now that you know the projects you need to work on, have a plan and have found inspiration, I always recommend completely clearing your space. Empty that drawer, clear out the closet, remove every last item from the pantry. By starting with a blank slate, you will have the opportunity to touch each item and make an assessment whether it should stay or go. Clearing the project area also provides a fresh perspective of how to best utilize the area moving forward.
CREATE A HOLDING CELL
As you are sorting down the contents of your space, each item should be placed within a keep, donate or trash pile. If you are struggling making a decision on a specific item, place it in the donate box and store that box in a temporary holding zone for a month or two. If you forget about the item or don’t find yourself reaching for it while it is tucked away, off it goes for good.
LESS IS MORE
Having fewer items and less clutter typically results in more time, more space, more money and more freedom. That is why we love to organize right? The same idea applies to the storage you are utilizing to organize your items. While problem solving storage solutions for your project, it is best to think simple. The more complex the storage solution, the more challenging it will be to maintain the space once the project is complete. Select solutions that allow you to put things away in a single swift motion. If your solution requires you to go downstairs, open a drawer, open a bin and sift through a pile of folders just to file away a receipt, I would be willing to bet that the receipt would end up in a pile outside of that drawer instead due to the abundance of steps it takes to put away a single item. The goal is not to aim for perfection, it is to aim for simplicity and set yourself up for future success.
SAVE VS. SPLURGE
Now that you know what items require storage, it is time to go shopping! However, don’t head out to your favorite department store just yet. Start by shopping your home. Look for empty shoe boxes, crates, trays, bowls and baskets. There are so many ways to reinvent unused items from around the home as storage, you may be surprised. Once you have used what you already have on hand, create a quick list of what is remaining. While sourcing and shopping, it is a good idea to invest in items that will remain timeless and relevant for years to come. Woven or wire baskets, acrylic drawer dividers and decorative storage boxes will always find a new place to land should your organizational needs change down the road. For bigger projects, lean towards furniture pieces that are also versatile. Dressers, credenzas, bookcases and armoires are my favorite pieces of furniture due to their limitless storage options.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN
As I mentioned above, organizing is an on-going process. As our routines, lives and family structures change, how we use our homes will also change. It is important to stay open minded and excited that there will always be projects waiting for you down the road. And if one of your first systems doesn’t work out the first time around, it is always OK to revisit it, tweak it and try again. No matter how much you plan, you will never really know how it will go until you use it for a few weeks.
Now that you know my tips for prioritizing your organizing projects throughout the year, below you will find my “go to” organizing products. These are items I find myself reaching for over and over again due to their versatility and reliability.
What one space are you most excited to get organized this coming year?
Trend: Holiday DIY Crafts
It’s my favorite time of the year and I just feel so inspired. The house is decorated, it’s chilly outside, and I have Christmas music playing. I’m so ready for some holiday crafting! I have a few gifts I still need to make for some friends and I’d love to decorate our table with something colorful and festive, so I’ve been searching for inspiration. Below you’ll find 12 Holiday DIY’s you should try this weekend. There’s a DIY for everyone here: from gold painted trees to a christmas tree cactus! Enjoy.
1. These gold dipped trees are the perfect thing to decorate your holiday table, from Studio DIY.
2. Make a custom cheese board for your appetizers, or give as a custom gift, from Brit & Co.
3. These gold scalloped napkins are so lovely, from Sarah Hearts.
4. These mini holiday wreath drink stirrers are probably the cutest drink accessory I’ve ever seen, from Project Wedding.
5. A hand stenciled kitchen towel would be the perfect gift for the chef in your family, on The Paper Mama.
6. Make colorful snowflakes out of wood veneer paper, from BHG.
7. Turn an old sweater into a cute gift bag, from House of Earnest.
8. Use a non-traditional color scheme to decorate your holiday table, from Paper & Stitch.
9. If you’re feeling ambitious, follow this DIY to make this amazing oversized Holly Garland, from The House That Lars Built.
10. These Letter Bag Toppers could double as favors and place markers for your holiday table, from You Are My Fave.
11. Not everyone has room for a Christmas tree, so you can make your own Painted Geometric Tree, from Lovely Indeed.
12. Another option for a small home that can’t fit a big tree: The Christmas Tree Cactus! So cute, from Sugar and Cloth.
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
Needless to say I love pattern of all kind. I do however hold a special place for geometric designs. I love the bold modern feel they can add to any space. Classic geometric designs that are even and perfect are great, however I am really loving the look of more organic geometrics at the moment. Organic geos are looser and less perfect than a traditional geometric pattern. They are often created entirely by hand and have a lovely personal feeling. The thing I love most about this pattern type is the feeling of movement they create. They are perfect to stand alone or mix into other types of pattern.
The last few weeks I have been in absolute heaven taking all of the holiday tours. It is a time of year when bloggers & homeowners open their homes and share their hearts in the process. Holiday tours are a wonderful way to showcase individual style & how to create meaning for our families during this joyful season. I was blown away by all of the beautiful homes this year and the creativity that was thoughtfully poured into every detail. I noticed some really fun trends this season that I am excited to share.
The idea of taking the time to handwrite something to someone we love. This may seem like a small gesture in this day in age of electronics and graphics but the thing I love about it, is we can leave it behind for our future families to cherish. How perfect is this Merry Christmas tag!
2. Faux Fur
Who doesn’t love something cozy this time of year. Adding faux fur gives that extra layer of texture that will welcome your guests with warmth this holiday . Using this trend in unexpected ways is also a hot trend, I used mine as my tree skirt.
3. Plaid & Tartan
Nothing says Christmas like red plaid & tartan. Sprinkling it into your décor, with a few accessories or in holiday wrapping is ideal. This buffalo check throw is the perfect accessory for this cozy front porch.
4. Winter Wonderland
Using unexpected things that reminds us of the splendor of winter. It often takes us back to being a child, the idea that a day spend outside is treasured by all. The snow shoes hung on the wall is a simple reminder of that.
5. Reinventing the Christmas Tree
Thinking outside the box when it comes to Christmas trees seems to be all the rage this year. I love this idea of using vintage crockpots to form a tree. Who needs a real one when you can do this.
6. The Tree Box
Another alternative to the traditional tree skirt is a tree box. You can use a vintage box or build one yourself, either way it is fun way to add a rustic touch. This beautifully decorated Christmas Tree is perfectly complimented by this worn and weathered tree box it sits in.
7. A Simple Tree
We have all heard the saying less in more, well it can also apply to the Christmas Tree. By adding simple holiday touches its beauty is amplified. I love the modest decorations on this tree below, it is a perfect reflection of this trend.
8. Bottle Brush Trees
Whether vintage or new, bottle brush trees seem to be all the craze this year. They are a fun texture and add a whimsical touch to any décor. These make this festive table complete.
9. Pom -Poms
Adding cozy textures to your holiday décor can give that essential layer of warmth to your home. Pom-poms are super easy & affordable to make and exude coziness. They look beautiful layered on this slender Christmas tree.
10. Rustic Chic
Mixing rustic elements with chic details can give a personal style to your holiday home. I love how this piece of reclaimed wood is used to give height and purpose to this lovely vignette.
11. Glamming it Up
Adding a little glamour to any decorating style is a great way to keep things merry & bright. I LOVE this idea of using vintage broaches as napkins rings, it exudes individual style.
12. Nostalgic Christmas
Taking a trip down memory lane during the holidays seems to bring out the child in all of us. This holiday vignette is full of sentiment & beautiful details. The once used family sleigh and vintage touches makes us feel connected to traditions past.
Have a beautiful week,
Jen- City Farmhouse
Even though it is chilly outside, I am giving the month of December a nice, warm welcome.
This month can quickly become overwhelming and busy with all of the holiday hustle and bustle, however, a little organization and forward thinking will ensure you have time to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year. Here are five super simple tips to prepare you for the magical season ahead.
1. Make a Plan
It seems as though there is always something going on during the month of December; holiday parties, volunteer time, shopping trips and school musicals just to name a few. The beginning of the month is the perfect time to take a few extra minutes and make a plan. Pin up a calendar in a central location and jot down every obligation for the entire month. Once you can see everything at a glance, really determine the importance of each commitment. People tend to over-schedule themselves during the holiday season, which takes away from the overall enjoyment factor. Try to prioritize the events (and maybe even axe a few from the lineup), while also blocking out days for rest and relaxation. A calendar is also a great place to keep track of your holiday to-do lists as well as your cleaning plan for the month.
2. Speaking of Cleaning Plan…
My next tip is to put together cleaning caddies to store within the most commonly used areas of the home. Because December is already so busy, there is no sense in adding the stress of constant cleaning. However, with the amount of parties and people stopping by to mingle, you will most likely want your home to remain visitor ready. By keeping cleaning supplies easy to access in the bathroom and kitchen, a quick cleanup each day will prevent things from getting out of control over the course of the month. Bonus points for adding peppermint essential oil to your homemade cleaners, or picking up a pine scented all purpose cleaner at the store. Another tip is to set aside a total of 5-10 minutes each day for a quick de-cluttering. Simple steps such as putting away shoes, tossing mail into a basket, cleaning the kitchen counters and straightening seating areas, will make a dramatic impact to the main areas of the home.
3. Drink Up!
I personally love to create a small holiday-ready beverage station each year. I fill a tray with necessities to whip up seasonal drinks; everything from marshmallows to candy canes to cocoa powder and even a little Irish Cream. It is great to have a “go-to” spot when a neighbor stops by to chat or mom pops in with a bag of goodies for the kids.
4. That’s a Wrap!
With the number of holiday parties, gift exchanges and school events that arise throughout the month, it is extremely handy to have a fully stocked gift wrap station. I also prefer to leave small treats and gifts to individuals in the service industry, so a gift wrap station saves the day at a moment’s notice. Whether you add an organizer to the back of the door, fill a drawer in your office or store everything in a storage container under your bed, corralling rolls of gift wrap, gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and some blank cards will be a December smile saver more than once.
5. Be the Hostess with the Mostess
My final tip for making your home holiday ready, is to make your home guest ready. Spend a few minutes to make up the bed with fresh linens, set out a stack of laundered towels and fill a basket with toiletries, bottled water and snacks. This will ensure that should a guest decide to stay in town at the last minute, you can welcome them with open arms.