An Organizing Challenge for the Holidays

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
An Organizing Challenge for the Holidays
Sat, 10-06-2012 - 2:31pm

Gear Up for the Holidays (Stress-Free)!

 It’s already October and the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner…but wonderful doesn’t always mean stress-free.

Avoid the holiday chaos and join the Get Organized for the Holidays Community Challenge®. Sign up now with just one click for our free 4-week program and starting November 12, you’ll receive daily emails filled with expert tips on the best organization strategies, daily DIY projects, and fun assignments to get you in the holiday spirit!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 12:23pm

More on the challenge from the Challenge Newsletter...

November 12, 2012

Welcome to the Challenge! 

  Get Organized for the Holidays Day 1Over the next four weeks, we’ll share simple strategies, ideas and advice for staying on track this holiday season – and keeping it meaningful.

Each weekday you’ll receive an assignment from expert coaches (more on us below), who will help you with week-by-week steps to keep your holiday plans organized. For you crafty types, we'll also throw in a fun DIY project each day (also below!). 

One thing we coaches agree on is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every holiday season.

There are recipes that always hit the mark, decorating ideas that you can repurpose every year, magazine articles you want on-hand, and tons of other ideas, resources and…well, just stuff to keep track of.

Find out my fool-proof process for keeping it all straight in today’s assignment.
- Katie

Meet Your Coaches   Get Organized for the Holidays Day 1

Sherry Petersik is one half of the married duo behind the hit home improvement blog Young House Love. She and her husband, John, are authors of Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love

Becki Singer is our go-to expert for your holiday shopping quandaries, and, she’s the founder of life/style blog Shopping’s My Cardio.

Katie Workman is the author of The Mom 100 Cookbook, creator of The Mom 100 blog, and founding Editor in Chief of, the website that shares tested, trusted cookbook recipes.

Go to today's assignment.

Special Offer from Paperless Post!  Get Organized for the Holidays Day 1

Express yourself with style this season with Paperless Post's beautiful digital designs.

We are excited to partner with Paperless Post to bring special offers for Challenge participants this holiday season. Check your Challenge email every Monday for each week's special offer.

This week: send festive holiday invitations with free coins! Sign up now and get 50 free coins — good for up to 50 invitations — for your holiday party.

Sign up now!

These are primarily Thaksgiving Organizing tips...

More Thanksgiving TipsDeliciously Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes50 Delicious Thanksgiving Side DishesOur Best Thanksgiving Menus

Daily DIY: Thankful Tree 

DIY Thankful TreeTake stock of of the blessings in your life and put them on display with our DIY Thankful Tree craft project. It's the perfect activity to do with your family this week!

Learn how now!

November 13, 2012

Set a Strategic Schedule 

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 2It’s never too early to make a plan - especially when it comes to Thanksgiving Day.

Today’s task is designed to bump you into planning mode. From setting your harvest table to cooking the turkey just right, today’s assignment covers it all.

Make your day-of game plan with today’s assignment - click here to get started!

- Katie

Daily DIY: Chalkboard Serving Tray 

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 2Our chalkboard frame DIY project works as either a fun way to serve your guests if you're hosting, or as the perfect hostess gift if you're going to someone else's place.

Arrive with it as a labeled appetizer or cheese plate and once the party's over, your hostess can hang it on the wall and reuse it as a message board! Pretty and practical - we love it.

Learn how now!

More Thanksgiving Tips Foolproof Thanksgiving Recipes for First-Time Cooks 50 Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes 50 Celebrity Chef Recipes for Thanksgiving

November 14, 2012

Pack Like a Pro  Get Organized for the Holidays Day 3

Wow – Katie certainly has us all off to a running start as we get organized this holiday season.

For those of you who are not hosting Thanksgiving, today is the day to get yourself organized for well-tailored traveling.

Find out how to make Thanksgiving travel a snap in today’s assignment.

- Becki

Daily DIY: Chiffon Hair Clip

iVillage challenge day 3Ornamented chiffon hair clips can be quite pricey, but lucky for you we've come up an easy way to make your own!

Our DIY hair clip is the perfect way to dress up any outfit you'll be wearing this holiday season.

Learn how now!

More Thanksgiving Tips Party-Perfect Celebrity Updo Hairstyle Ideas Layer It On! 15 Chic (and Comfy!) Thanksgiving Looks Hostess Gift Guide

November 15, 2102

Feather the Nest 

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 4I’ve been lucky enough to host Thanksgiving some years and be hosted by friends and family on occasion. Either way, I know how important it is to make a guest feel at home.

See how easy it can be to make your space a welcome retreat for visitors in today’s assignment.

- Sherry

Daily DIY: Mod Podge Photograph 

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 4Our DIY mod podge photograph craft project is quick, easy and the perfect way to turn your favorite photographs into bona fide wall art.

It also makes a great last minute (and cheap!) gift for family and friends!

Learn how now!

More Thanksgiving Tips How to Speed Clean Your Home for the Holidays 20 (Mostly Free!) Apps for Your Home and Garden The 11 Cooking Tools You Need for the Holidays

November 16, 2012:

Get Ahead of the Cooking Curve 

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 5Your binder is filling, your menu is planned and hopefully you’ve even remembered to pick up some flowers for the guest room. Now, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and hit the kitchen.

This weekend can be a goldmine of time if you use it wisely. Follow my simple plan for staying ahead of the holiday rush, and you will be in great shape by Turkey Day.

Let’s get started with today’s assignment.

- Katie

Daily DIY: Fortune Cookie Party Favor

What are you thankful for this year? Share your gratitude with this easy and fun DIY fortune cookie craft.

Place a fortune cookie at each place setting on your Thanksgiving table to add instant cheer and goodwill to your meal!

Learn how now!

More Thanksgiving Tips 1 Crust = 10 Amazing Thanksgiving Pies! 32 Vegetable Side Dishes for Thanksgiving Secret Ingredients: 13 Foods Chefs Can't Live Without

November 19, 2012 --- looking ahead to Black Friday...

Shop Smarter 

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 6 Welcome back, friends. Isn’t it great to have your holiday process well underway as you begin this busy week? You’re welcome.

The coaches and I are ready to cover a week’s worth of things you need to know and do to make this Thanksgiving celebration meaningful. However, today I’ll skip ahead a little, in order to share my best tips for making sure Black Friday and Cyber Monday don’t suck you into a black hole of meaningless spending. Sound good?

Learn how to keep from getting caught up in the crazy in today’s assignment.
- Becki

Special Offer from Paperless Post! 

Paperless Post special offer25% off Holiday Cards with PAPER by Paperless Post

Give your family something to put on the mantle this year! PAPER by Paperless Post is offering holiday cards in thick and double-thick card stock. This 25% off offer is exclusive to iVillage.

Click here to use code IVILLAGEHOLIDAY at check out.

Daily DIY: Giftcard Holder 

DIY Giftcard HolderForget about boring giftcard envelopes this gift-giving season! Dress up your giftcards with our easy and fun DIY gift card holder project!

Do it now!

More Thanksgiving Tips 50 Under $50: Cheap and Chic Gifts for the Home Tips for Finding the Best Deals Online Weekend Prep: What to Buy & Skip at Costco, BJ's

November 20, 2012:

Top Your Table in Style  

Get Organized for the Holidays Community ChallengeToday is a great day to start gussying up your home with festive Thanksgiving décor. The dining table is always a focal point, so dressing it up before the turkey lands is always a good idea.

Today, I’ll help you plan your centerpiece and brainstorm a few table-scape ideas so your dining room is ready for action.

Get started with today's assignment.
- Sherry

Daily DIY: Glitter Pumpkins  

DIY Glitter PumpkinsAdd some serious sparkle to your table or fall decor with our easy DIY Glitter Pumpkins craft project!

Learn how now!

More Thanksgiving Tips 25 Autumn-Inspired Tablescapes 17 Thanksgiving Finds for Your Home 28 Simple Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

November 21, 2012

Tie Up Loose Ends  

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 8Tomorrow’s the big day, and for those of you who are hosting Thanksgiving, it’s time to tie up all of your loose ends so your festivities run smoothly.

Plus, you won’t want to miss our interactive Holiday Dinner Game Planner tool (below today's assignment) that will make you feel like the most organized hostess in history.

Get ready with today's assignment.
- Katie

More Thanksgiving Ideas 6 Must-Read Holiday Food Safety Tips Thanksgiving Cooking Nightmares and How to Avoid Them How to Carve Your Turkey

From Our Sponsor: More Prep Tips  

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 8As you hustle to get ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow, remember to test your drains.

Pick up some Drano® while you’re out shopping to take care of any slow or blocked drains today, before your guests arrive and the kitchen and bathrooms get busy.

There’s a Drano product for every kind of clog. Find your solution now.

Daily DIY: Snowman Decoration  

DIY Snowman DecorationGot an old cupcake or muffin tray you're thinking of throwing away?

Upcycle it into our DIY snowman decoration! This craft is a fun and easy way to welcome winter this year and get into the holiday spirit.

Learn how now!

Our last Thanksgiving tips...November 22, 2012

Build Memories Together

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 9Happy Thanksgiving Day! We are so grateful that you are sharing this time with us.

Now that you’ve built beautiful harvest tables (thanks, Sherry!) let’s think about how to build beautiful holiday memories and traditions.

Today, I’ll offer great ideas for how to get your family focused on each other throughout the day. For those of you with kids, I’ve got a few easy tricks for keeping them entertained at the table.

Have fun making memories with today’s assignment.
- Katie

Daily DIY: Snowglobe 

DIY SnowglobeWho doesn't love snowglobes?! Learn how to make your own with our easy DIY snowglobe craft project.

Fill them with your fave family mementos or make them as gifts and personalize the scene inside so it's filled with things the recipient loves.

Get the step-by-step instructions here.

More Thanksgiving Tips 17 Tasty Potato Side Dishes for Thanksgiving Our Best Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and More! Best of the Web: Top 10 Holiday Desserts

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 12:26pm

Moving into thte Christmas/Hanukkah season, starting with Black Friday/Cyber Monday!

November 23, 2012

Establish a Crafty Tradition  Get Organized for the Holidays Day 10Make the most of family time this weekend by getting the whole clan involved in easy, fun crafts. If you are not the crafty types, at the very least, take a family portrait!

Either use it as a holiday card or simply keep it for posterity, but with the whole family together, it’s a great time to capture the moment.

Get crafty as a family in today’s assignment.
- Sherry

Daily DIY: Holiday Greeting Card  DIY Holiday Greeting CardCrafty, sparkly and easy to make, our DIY holiday greeting cards are the perfect way to send holiday cheer through the mail to your loved ones this year!

Learn how now!

More Holiday Tips Our Best Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes Black Friday Cheat Sheet: Where to Score Big This Year DIY Home Gifts

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Wed, 12-05-2012 - 12:36pm

November 26, 2012


Reclaim Your Home

At laaaaast! Your home is yours again…almost. Although your guests might be gone, chances are there are still a few lingering reminders of their presence. And speaking of ‘presence’, we need to start thinking about presents!!

This week, we’ll cover everything you need to do to build your budget and tackle your gift list. But first, it’s time to cleanse your home after the fun family turkey-fest. Today I’ll share a few chemical-free tricks to make some of the nastiest problems disappear.

Get started with today's assignment. - Sherry

Daily DIY: Washi Ornament 

Usually used for origami, Japanese washi paper can also be used for collaging. We used it to cover plain cardboard ornament shapes that can be found at any craft store to create bright and cheerful decorations that you'll want to display long after the holiday season has ended!

Learn how now!

Custom Gift Offer From Paperless Post

25% off Personal Stationery

Give the gift of correspondence with custom stationery from PAPER by Paperless Post. This 25% off offer is exclusive to iVillage.

Use code IVILLAGEGIFT at checkout on Paperless Post.

More Holiday TipsHow to Speed Clean Your Home for the Holidays Help for the Holidays: 21 Tips for an Organized Home (and a Saner You)Merry and Bright Holiday Decor

November 27, 2102 - SOME GIFTING GUIDELINES:

Build Your Budget

Today’s the day, my friends…it’s time to start budgeting for this year’s holiday shopping. I promise, I won’t leave you to do it all yourself – from who to include on your list, to how much to spend - I’ve got you covered.

Also, I’ll share simple tips that will keep your head in the right place when picking presents for each unique recipient.

Bottom line: if you need budgeting help, you won’t want to miss today's assignment! - Becki

Daily DIY: Gift Wrapping  Not every gift needs to be wrapped extravagantly, but there are occasions when a well-wrapped gift is required - and for those times, there's nothing better than homemade wrapping paper and customized wrapping decorations. Use this DIY project the next time you need to wrap a hostess present or a gift for that extra-special someone.

Learn how now!

More Holiday TipsHot Holiday Gift WrapKids Gifts Under $15 That Are Actually Awesome50 Men's Gifts (Starting at $6!)

NOVEMBER 28, 2012...

Pick Perfect Presents 

Now that you have your master gift list in place and your budget ranges in mind, you’re ready to start brainstorming amazing gift ideas that will wow every person on your list.

Feeling unsure of how to pick wisely? Never fear, my Top 5 Favorite Gifts for 2012 are here!

Find out what they are in today’s assignment. - Becki

Daily DIY: Clothespin Decorations

Use these adorable clothespin decorations to brighten up holiday gifts or use them as ornaments on your Christmas tree.

Learn how now!

More Holiday TipsCheap Thrills: Shop Fall's Best Jewelry TrendsStocking Stuffer Ideas20 Edible Holiday Gifts Under $20

November 29, 2012

Use DIY-Time Wisely

So, friends…here’s the thing about gifting from retail versus making something yourself: there is always an “is it worth it?” component that you need to treat in the same way you would a stack of dollar bills.

Time is money, so make sure you DIY only when it pencils out. I'll guide you toward making the best decision, and Sherry will join me with an awesome DIY gift idea.

Get started with today's assignment. - Becki & Sherry

Daily DIY: Bow Ring

Our DIY bow ring project is an easy and inexpensive gift to make for friends, family and yourself!

Learn how now!

More Holiday Tips30 Fantastic DIY Edible Gifts for the Holidays50 Holiday Cookie Recipes Hot Holiday Gift Wrap

November 30, 2012:

Make Yummy Gifts

Thanks for giving us all so many great shopping tips, Becki!

For those who are still trying to nail down a few fill-in gifts, see if any of these easy ideas for delicious do-ahead treats will help fill in the gifting gaps. Not only does a homemade gift say that you took time to make something personal, making things in big batches saves time and money.

Let’s get cooking with today’s assignment. - Katie

Daily DIY: Advent Calendar

Countdown the days until Chistmas with our DIY Advent Calendar craft project. Personalize the gifts inside by using candy, trinkets or family chore I-O-U's.

Learn how now!

More Holiday Tips21 Holiday Treats That Are Perfect for Shipping 5 Tips for Shipping Cookies19 Easy Homemade Holiday Candy Recipes

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 11:59am

It seems I can't edit the previous post in this thread today so I'll try a new one...

December 5, 2102 - PLAN A PERFECT PARTY

Make Your Party Memorable

Get Organized for the Holiday Day 18Holiday time is nearly synonymous with party time, but we all know how repetitive the holiday party circuit can be.

To make your holiday party a meaningful occasion, set a theme ahead of time. You’ll help differentiate your party from others, give guests an expectation of what they will do there and present an opportunity for their involvement.

No matter what type of party you choose, you’ll need a few pieces of décor to set the mood.

Check out my great theme and décor ideas in today’s assignment.
- Becki

Daily DIY: Ornament Wreath 

DIY WreathMake our DIY ornament wreath for the holidays now or stock up on ornaments in post-holiday sales and make it later.

Either way, it's an easy and festive way to brighten up your front door all winter long!

Learn how now!

More Holiday Tips DIY Nail Designs We Love! Party-Perfect Celebrity Updo Hairstyle Ideas 50 Easy Holiday Brunch Recipes

December 6, 2012  - How about some party menus?

Cook with Confidence

Get Organized for the Holidays Community Challenge Day 19There’s a lot of pressure to build a holiday dinner menu that combines the best of every category into one meal. Don’t you wish you had a guide to make it easy?

Today, I’ll share my top five holiday recipes that you can make or adapt to your liking. Plus, I’ll include a few things you should stock in your pantry to be prepared for surprise visitors or failed cooking attempts. Having a last-minute appetizer or a dessert ready to go is worth a lot during the holidays.

Let’s get cooking with today’s assignment.
- Katie

Daily DIY: Glitter Heels

DIY Glitter Heels

Pair our DIY glitter heels with your fave LBD and you've got the perfect holiday outfit!

Learn how now!

More Holiday Tips 31 Incredible Holiday Main Dish Recipes 50 Delicious Thanksgiving Side Dishes 45 Decadent Holiday Dessert Recipes

December 7, 2012

Ensure a Stress-Free Season 

Get Organized for the Holidays Day 20It’s the last day of our Challenge and we hope you are feeling more prepared than ever before. With a few weeks left, you still have time to get many things accomplished so don’t lose steam now!

To keep you moving through the rest of the month, we’ve put together a short list of our best tips from the Challenge that you can use again and again.

Now let’s get started with your last assignment.

Happy Holidays!
- Sherry, Becki & Katie

Daily DIY: Glitter Party Banner 

DIY Glitter Party BannerAdd a personalized, celebratory sparkle to your next party with our DIY gllitter party banner craft project.

It's perfect for New Year's Eve parties, but you can easily change the message for whatever the occasion may be!

Learn how now.

More Holiday Tips 50 Under $50: Cheap and Chic Gifts for the Home Stocking Stuffer Ideas Under $20 Kids Gifts Under $15 That Are Actually Awesome