I’ve fallen a little behind on my holiday preparations with the Grand Holiday Plan. But following the plan has been really good for me – particularly with thinking ahead to our holiday plans and setting our priorities for the Christmas season. I did take our children to the portrait studio on Monday for their Christmas portraits. Other than our son playing hide-and-seek behind the backdrop and trying to get in other families’ portraits, we came away with some great photos. In years past I have waited until Thanksgiving or later to schedule an appointment…when they are super-busy and always running behind schedule. I am hoping when we are ready to take Christmas portraits next year, our newest little guy or gal will be home with us — maybe?!
As for the Grand Holiday Plan, I need to catch up on deep-cleaning our kitchen and getting our closets organized. (I see a trip to Goodwill in my near future.) I picked up a copy of Houseworks by Cynthia Townley Ewer from the library. She’s the woman behind the Grand Holiday Plan and her book focuses on cutting clutter and cleaning your home. This is probably one of the best books I have seen on this topic. She shares a story in her introduction about what brought her to the point where she realized she needed to get organized:
“It was the evening of Christmas Day. Recently divorced, I had sent my two young children to spend the day with their father, so I visited my parents’ home for Christmas dinner. But when I returned to my little house late that night, broken glass littered the front porch. Someone had tried to break into my house while I was away! I called the police and waited, shivering on the porch. An officer responded, approached the house cautiously, and slipped inside my front door. A few minutes later, he emerged, scratching his head. “Lady,” he said, “I don’t understand it. Your deadbolt held and the door wasn’t opened – but somebody got in and ransacked your upstairs.” Embarrassed warmth flooded my face. “No, no,” I protested, “that’s just the way I left it!” The officer peered at me keenly. “Do you know what it looks like up there?” — Excerpt from Houseworks: Cut the clutter, speed your cleaning and calm the chaos
How embarrassing! I like her book because it is practical and helps you consider your type of clutter personality: the hoarder, the deferrer, the rebel, the perfectionist and the sentimentalist. It even includes a section on how to get the most for your money when grocery shopping and getting your children involved with household chores.