Black Friday Tips!

With Thanksgiving just ten days away that means Black Friday shopping is almost here! Last year I found some great time-saving resources on the internet so I thought I would share them. Being a new I-phone user I also have a few apps that I just recently found and am hoping that I will be an ultra-organized Black Friday shopper this year!

Here is my favorite website for Black Friday

The main page gives you updates on all of the “leaked” Black Friday ads, current online deals and also allows you to sign up for email alerts so that you get notified immediately when they publish new ads.

The 4th tab “Store Hours” has been updated for all of the current leaked Black Friday Ads. The chart displays when the store opens on Black Friday, store hours for Thanksgiving Day if applicable, and when Early Bird or Doorbuster Specials end. Very important info to have for planning your day!The 3rd tab “Black Friday News” lists all of the deals (online & in stores) that are currently being published.

¬†Kohl’s¬†Fri 12:00am, Sat 6:00am 12am to 1pm

Old Navy Fri 12:00am, Thurs 9:00am-8:00am

Sports Authority 5:00am-3pm


Target 12:00am

Here are a few more Black Friday sites you may be interested

in checking out:         


And here are the iPhone apps I’ll be trying out this year: ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†                                                                                                                                  


Nearly There Week

Pottery Barn




I’m moving on to Week 16: Nearly There Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-15,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.




Houseworks Holiday Plan Week Sixteen





We’re nearly there!

Holiday parties, cooking and a growing sense of excitement mark this week before Christmas.

Around the house, only minimum maintenance is needed this week.

The week’s holiday prep checklist includes the last few chores to get ready for the big day.

Are you ready? A clean and organized home for the holiday season!










Inspiration from the Web:

Traditions: When Is It Time To Change? Sandy Coughlin, The Reluctant Entertainer

Magic Minimum: Cleaning Secret of Busy Families





Beauty and Bedlam





This Week’s Houseworks Checklist

Minimum maintenance.

It’s the organized solution for busy times:

a rock-bottom chore checklist of must-do household chores.

Does your household have one?

Create a minimum maintenance checklist and post it publicly.

Encourage family members to pitch in and share the work.

Delegate, delegate, delegate!






Good Housekeeping





This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist:

Decorate and wrap baked goods. Ice the sugar cookies, assemble the goodie trays and wrap for giving.

Record a special holiday message for the answering machine.

Start or add to an ornament journal. Many families give children collections of holiday ornaments;

add meaning to the gift with a simple journal page recording who-what-where of each ornament.

Make a Christmas morning box. Think ahead: what will you need when opening gifts?

Include a notepad, pen, scissors, box cutter and plastic garbage bags.

Put together any “assembly required” toys.

Check and organize stocking stuffers.

Place each family member’s gifts in a separate grocery sack so Santa can get a good night’s rest on the 24th.

Hang sacks on clotheshangers in the back of a closet to keep stuffers from prying eyes.

Write letters to Santa. (And keep them. Misspellings and all, you’ll treasure them in later years).




Martha Stewart





This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print

Ornament JournalOrnament Journal

Final Clean ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

Country Living



I’m moving on to Week 15: Final Clean Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-14,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.






Country Living


Final Clean Week


Houseworks Holiday Plan Week Fifteen


Two weeks before Christmas? It’s time for a final finish cleaning at the Houseworks holiday plan.

Over the past weeks, we’ve decluttered and deep-cleaned;

This week’s goal is to bring the whole house into a ready state for the remainder of the season.

A “final clean” week will put a surface shine on our home!

In holiday prep, we’ll complete gift wrapping, plan Christmas dinner, mail Christmas cards and

bring home the ultimate seasonal symbol: the Christmas tree.

Celebrations ahead!




Pottery Barn



Inspiration from the Web:

Melissa’s Secret House Cleaning Ritual

Pier 1 Imports Holiday Planner



Pier 1 Imports


This Week’s Houseworks Checklist:

Do a final pre-holiday whole-house clean. Sure, we’ve tackled household areas week-by-week

and the deep-cleaning is done–but this week, it’s time to polish up the house with a last whole-house clean.

Play cleaning service this week, and give every room a top-clean session of dusting, vacuuming and final touch-up.

You’ll bring the entire house to a holiday-ready state. Time to celebrate!


Pier 1 Imports




This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist:

*Wrap party! Hold an informal “wrap party” brunch or evening for friends. Work on wrapping packages together.

*At the end of the party, swap leftover supplies for a fresh look next year.

*Use freezer meals on busy nights.

*Plan Christmas menus. Make a simple menu plan for Christmas week.

*Delegation is easier if you have an idea of what’s for breakfast … or lunch, or dinner.

*Update address book. As holiday letters and Christmas cards arrive, update the address book with any changes.

*Mail Christmas cards or holiday letters.

*Complete gift wrapping.

*Buy Christmas trees and/or fresh greens.

*This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print

Child's Gift ListChild’s Gift List

Storage ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan


Pottery Barn



I’m moving on to Week 14: Storage Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-13,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.










Here’s some inspiration to get you started!


Organizing the Holiday Decorations: Not Just for Christmas Anymore

Christmas Gift Wrap Storage

Cleaning Up & Clearing Out





This Week’s Houseworks Checklist

  • Organize storage areas. Ransacking a crowded attic is nobody’s idea of a good holiday time. This week, organize household storage areas as you bring forth holiday decorations. Whether it’s attic, garage, closet or shed, take time to tidy up household storage. Inexpensive storage organizers can help keep clutter from creeping into corners–and a neat storage area will make it easier to return decorations to their year-round home at season’s end.

This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Begin family Advent observances. Advent begins on Sunday; consider your family’s traditions carefully.¬†New! Will a¬†magic elfvisit your home this year?
  • Complete holiday decorating.
  • Order Christmas ham, roast or poultry.
  • Finish gift shopping. Where you can, wrap as you go to prevent a long night with the tape and ribbons on Christmas Eve.
  • Mail domestic gifts. Just say “no!” to lines at the post office; use USPS.Com to purchase postage, print shipping labels and arrange for carrier pick-up.
  • Check cameras and camcorders Be ready to capture the moment. ¬†Will you need to buy film, batteries, cassettes or storage media? ¬†Add any needed items to the shopping list.
  • Make an under-tree “emergency box”. Use a gift-wrapped box with removable lid. ¬†Placed under the tree, it holds extra bulbs, fuses, ornament hooks and batteries.

This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print

Magic Elf LetterMagic Elf LetterMagic Elf PassportMagic Elf PassportMagic Elf ReportMagic Elf Report

Holiday TraditionsHoliday Traditions

Entry Space ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

Entry Space Week

320 Sycamore





I’m moving on to Week 13: Entry Space Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-12,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.




Here’s some inspiration to get you started!



Pottery Barn





House to Home






Melissa at 320 Sycamore shares her entryway transformation here




So, are you ready to get started on your entryway, front porch or front door?





This Week’s Houseworks Checklist

  • Prepare a welcoming entry space. Front porch or foyer, apartment door or entryway, this week’s focus is on the entry area of the home.Remove clutter, clean and organize the portal to your household this week. Check the front door, cleaning and polishing knob, knocker and any windows. Check the state of the welcome mat; is it time for cleaning or replacement? Check outdoor lights and replace any burned-out bulbs.Declutter doorway storage areas so outdoor shoes, umbrellas or keys find an efficient, attractive home.

    Clean out coat closets and add extra hangers for holiday guests’ use. Be ready to open the door to a wonderful holiday season!

This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Set the table ahead. Set the Thanksgiving table a day or two before. You’ll have time to spot (and fix) tarnished silver or stains on the tablecloth. Use sticky notes to mark serving dishes so it’s easy for guests to help.
  • Celebrate American Thanksgiving. (Canadian and UK friends? Enjoy the day off!
  • Shop Black Friday sales! Use your game plan to get the best deals quickly.
  • Inspect and inventory decorations. As seasonal decorations come out of storage, make a quick review of what you have. Test light strands, and add any needed parts or replacements to the shopping list.
  • Begin decorating.
  • Send party invitations. Having a¬†holiday party? Send invitations early. Social calendars fill up quickly in December.
  • Wrap gifts as they are purchased. Every little bit helps, so wrap ahead where possible.
  • Status check. On the first of December, review where you are with holiday prep. Crafts projects and homemade gifts should be finished soon; check for any missing catalog orders.
  • Arrange for baby-sitters. Be quick to call for help as holiday invitations arrive; baby-sitters are busy in December, too.
  • Package send-away gifts for mailing. Be ready to mail send-away gifts by next week.

This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print:

Party PlannerParty PlannerParty BudgetParty BudgetParty Guest ListParty Guest List



Dining Space ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

Dining Space Week

Country Living



I’m moving on to Week 12: Dining Space Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-11,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.



With Thanksgivng just around the corner,

we’re going to spend this week cleaning & organizing our dining spaces!



Need some inspiration?





Kim at Starshine Chic has a great post on a Thanksgiving Tablescape here







Sweet Something Design has a beautiful Thanksgiving Tablescape here







Cute & Crafty by Victoria has cute Thanksgiving Printables here






Blissfully Domestic has some great Kid’s table ideas here





This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Plan for Thanksgiving Day. Plan table settings, seating and a centerpiece for Thanksgiving Day.
  • Set up a Black Friday Sales game plan. Online bargain sites and e-mail alerts allow Web-savvy shoppers to spot the best deals days before Black Friday. Make entries in your¬†holiday sales plannerand plan shopping strategy as information comes to light.
  • Double up on freezer-friendly dishes. Cooking for the feast, plan to double or triple amounts for any freezer-friendly dishes, and tuck the extras into the freezer for later use. Candidates include pies, unbaked stuffing and–surprise!–garlic mashed potatoes. You’ll enjoy lightening the load for Christmas dinner.
  • Plan holiday parties. If you’ll entertain next month, make plans now.

This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print

"Black Friday" Sales Planner“Black Friday” Sales Planner






Food Storage Week ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

Food Storage Week

A peek into my pantry…

I’m moving on to Week 11: Food Storage Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-10,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.



I’m fortunate to have slide-out shelves – love them!




With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to get our kitchen’s in order!

This week I will be working on decluttering my refrigerator, freezer(s) and pantry.

Lord knows they all need a good cleaning!





Ugh! One of my least favorite places to clean!


And, with the holiday stock up sales going on at the grocery store,

I need to make sure that my food storage areas are ready to be called into service!



First, I thought you might like some visual inspiration and tips to get you motivated…

Check out what Sarah at  Thrifty Decor Chick has done with her pantry



*Sarah’s Pantry Decrapification¬†here





*Sarah’s New Pantry Doors¬†here



This Week’s Houseworks Checklist –¬†BY CYNTHIA EWER, AUTHOR

  • Declutter, clean and organize food storage areas this week.From refrigerator to freezer, cupboards to pantry, this is the week to cut clutter, clean and organize food storage areas.FIrst priority: a¬†refrigerator clean-out. Make space for holiday cooking by tossing expired bottles and jar, and bring holiday sparkle to the Great White Whale with a top-to-toe cleaning session.In the freezer? We’ll cull the clutter, organize the contents, and make room for holiday baking and the fruits of a¬†freezer cooking session.Finally, dry storage areas deserve a shake-down, too. Toss stale or expired food items, clean shelves and organize the survivors for efficient holiday cooking.Ready? Set … bake!

Inspiration from the Web:

This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

  • Clean out the refrigerator. Seasonal cooking requires storage space, so clean out the refrigerator now. .
  • Clean out the freezer. Make-ahead baked goods and holiday freezer meals need room, too. Clean out the freezer to create a home for holiday goodies to come.
  • Set up a freezer inventory. Keep track of your frozen assets with a¬†freezer inventory form.
  • Organize and inventory the pantry. The year’s best sales on staple foods lie just ahead. Know what you need–and make space to store it–with a¬†pantry inventory form. Set aside foods you won’t use to donate to holiday food drives. A
  • Stock up on seasonal staples. It’s loss leader time at the supermarket, as merchants compete for your holiday food dollar. Take advantage of low prices and stock the pantry.
  • Plan potluck meals. If you’re part of family, church or social groups that hold Advent potluck dinners, be ready. Our¬†potluck meal planner will help organize and delegate community dinners.
  • Add freezer meals to the freezer. Whether you do an at-home¬†freezer cooking session, try the new meal assembly franchises or simply cook some extra pots of chili or spaghetti sauce, stow away a few pre-cooked freezer meals. In December, you’ll appreciate having dinner ready to go on busy nights.

This Week’s Christmas Planner Pages to Print:

Freezer InventoryFreezer InventoryPantry InventoryPantry Inventory

Cooking Space ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

I’m ready to move on to Week 10: Cooking Space Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-9,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.


This Week’s Focus:


Inspiration from the Web:

Kitchen Declutter: Cut Clutter in the Kitchen

Menu Planning: Save Time In The Kitchen

Holiday Baking Solution: Make It A Specialty

Save Money on Holiday Meals




This Week’s Houseworks Checklist

Get down and dirty with a kitchen clean-up! American Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners put new emphasis on the household’s kitchen. This week, we tackle kitchen clutter, cleaning and organization

Moving shelf by shelf, cupboard by cupboard, take on kitchen clutter this week. Using the STOP clutter method, bring food preparation workspaces to a lean, mean, efficient state.

Once clutter is conquered, a kitchen clean-out is in order. Rout out the grime and corral the crumbs for a sparkling holiday kitchen.

Don’t worry about pantry, freezer or refrigerator just yet … we’ll turn to food storage areas next week.



This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist

Organize holiday recipes. It’s November … do you know where your seasonal recipes are? Dig out the recipes you use during the holiday season, and add them to the¬†holiday recipes planner. Thanksgiving Day is too busy to waste time hunting for the Green Bean Casserole recipe.

Plan Thanksgiving menus. If you’re hosting the Thanksgiving feast, it’s time to make a menu plan. Use a¬†menu planner form, and delegate, delegate, delegate!

Plan holiday baking. With recipes out, make a list of baked goodies you’ll make for the holidays. Our¬†holiday baking plannerform is a good place to start.

Buy containers for freezer meals, baked goods or kitchen gifts. Holiday-themed disposable containers are available now. Double up on freezer food storage bags, too; they’ll do triple duty this month.

Order Thanksgiving turkey.

Bake any fruitcakes or Christmas cakes which require mellowing. Now’s the time to bake the Christmas cakes! You’ll have eight weeks to mellow them before the season.

Do a tabletop check. Inventory serving pieces, stemware, china and flatware. Check store flyers for sales. Will you be ready to set a pretty holiday table?


Public Spaces ~ Houseworks Holiday Plan

I’m ready to move on to Week 9: Public Space Week

as I am keeping up with the schedule at Organized Christmas.Com

If you are just joining me and would like to see what we worked on in Weeks 1-8,

click the Houseworks Holiday Plan link in the Categories box on the right side of the page.

Here’s what I plan to work on this week:

Declutter, clean and organize the living room or public space.

With the holidays hard upon us, your household’s living room or public space will be on display.

Prepare for family events and drop-in visitors!

Remove all clutter from the living room using the STOP clutter method, then deep-clean the room.

Move furniture pieces and vacuum beneath them, polish fine woods, and clean or vacuum draperies, window coverings or blinds.

Once the living room is clean and free from clutter, take a minimalist’s eye to the room ‘s decorations.

Will your holiday decor shine, or will it compete with current decor items?

Clear tabletops, shelves and corners for the holiday decorations to come.

This Week’s Holiday Prep Checklist:

  • Buy holiday stamps. Seasonal stamp designs are available now, buy holiday stamps early for best selection. Order online fromUSPS.Com to avoid standing in line.

  • Begin saving packaging materials. Recycling makes sense … and cents. As catalog orders arrive, begin to stockpile mailing boxes and packaging material for re-use in December. Store them close to your¬†wrap and mail center to speed holiday mailing chores.

  • Celebrate Halloween. Ready to join the neighborhood fun? Use our free printables to start a¬†Halloween BOO tradition in your neighborhood. Spread the BOO joy!

  • Status Check! Review the progress of the Houseworks Holiday Plan on the first day of the month. If you’re falling behind, adjust goals to a more realistic level.

  • Decorate for Thanksgiving. Remove Halloween decorations and replace them with Thanksgiving-themed items.

  • Complete Christmas cards or letters. Christmas cards should be finished and ready for mailing. ; Stamp envelopes and set them aside until it’s time to mail them next month. Tip: leaving envelopes unsealed makes it easy to add a newsy post-script if the spirit moves.

  • Seasonal safety check. Observe Time Change Sunday with a¬†seasonal safety checklist: change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and flashlights. Don’t forget the first aid kit; will you need to replenish any supplies?


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