Eliminate Residential Chaos
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In This Issue:


Are You Guest-Ready?  Get Organized for Overnight Holiday Company!

eringreely251x167.jpgBy Erin Greely, Sr. Organizing Specialist™

The holiday season is quickly approaching. For many, this time of year brings out-of-town guests along with all of the holiday festivities. Make your guests’ stay memorable by planning ahead and taking care of the details to ensure they feel at home.  This will also help to keep you from feeling overwhelmed so you enjoy the time with family and friends.

Start your preparations a few weeks in advance so you aren’t scrambling the day of their arrival.  Think about the details and ideas below that make sense for you and assign each task a deadline.  With only three weeks before Thanksgiving, the time to prepare will breeze by fast!

Two to three weeks in advance

Prepare the Guest Room

  • Your guests will need a place to keep their things and feel like they can unpack a bit. Regardless of the length of stay, a place to set up their suitcase is helpful whether it be small guestbedroom_nov2013.jpg table, a folding luggage rack or just a bench at the end of the bed. For lengthier stays, consider emptying and wiping out a dresser drawer for your guests so they do not have to live out of their suitcases during their time with you.
  • Similarly, clear out a foot or two of hanging space in the guest bedroom closet and stock with ample empty hangers.
  • Ensure you have the proper bedding necessary for the number of guests and that it has been laundered.  Fresh sheets, extra blankets, and two pillows per guest is nice. If you do not have a guest bed, you may want to purchase an inflatable bed in advance to ensure it fits your needs.
  • Prepare a bedside table with a light for reading, alarm clock, tissues and bottled water. Place a rug by the bed if the guest room has hardwood flooring.
  • Will your guests need a charging station? Think through where one would make sense and set up the appropriate extension cords if needed.
  • A full-length mirror on the back of a door and a chair for putting on shoes is a nice touch for your guest room, if you have the space.
  • Place a small basket of extra toiletries on the bathroom counter.  Consider where a guest might place their toiletry kit and make sure the surface is clear. Install a night light in one of the bathroom outlets.

Prepare the Common Areas of Your Home

  • Determine the space where you will have guests place coats, shoes and satchels. Clear out some room in your coat closet or coat rack and shoe rack.
  • Rearrange furniture if needed to accommodate a larger group. When planning for an event in my home, I like to sit in each seat of my living area to test out how it feels if I were a guest, thinking through where I would place my beverage, if an extra pillow is needed for back support or if an ottoman would be nice.
  • Make up simple operation instructions for any systems in your home that may be complicated for a guest like the entertainment center or espresso machine. Print them out and place in a central location or near the device.
  • Walk through the guest room, common areas and outdoor spaces to see if any light bulbs have burned out or are dim and replace with fresh bulb to brighten up the space.

Other Details

  • If your guests will need a key, have them made in advance and labeled if needed. Write down any codes or you wireless password they will need while staying with you on a nice card and place it in the guest room. Consider creating a guest log in if they will be using your computer.
  • Prepare some meals in advance that you can freeze or just heat up to simplify cooking you while you are hosting.  Complete your meal planning in advance and make up your ingredient shopping list. Now you have one less thing to do when your guests arrive. If you anticipate dining out, make a list of dining options and bookmark menus online or send them to your guests in advance so they can consider the options before they arrive or have a recommended list handy if you are away.

 The Week Your Guests’ Arrive

  • Freshen the guest room by opening windows, dusting, vacuuming and placing fresh sheets on the bed. If you are using an inflatable mattress, roll it out a few days in advance so it can air out.
  • Stock the guest room with fresh towels.  For each guest, it is nice to have one bath towel, hand towel and a couple of wash cloths.
  • Keep the guest bedroom door closed to pets. Keep other family members out to keep the room ready for your company.
  • Set the thermostat where the guest will be staying to a comfortable temperature for day and nighttime living. If you don’t have thermostat controls in each room, consider stocking the guest room and bathroom with a space heater.
  • Set out magazines, books, photo albums or games that your guests may enjoy looking at when there is a lull in the holiday activities.
  • Make sure the house is stocked with personal items for yourself so you don’t run out of any necessities for your guests or have to make an unexpected trip to the store.
  • When stocking your pantry and fridge, consider food allergies or diet preferences or restrictions.  For example, if you aren’t a tea drinker but your guest is, pick up a sampler box of tea to have on hand.
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, get the fireplace set for starting a fire and make sure kindling, wood and lighter are stocked nearby so your company can easily get a fire going and keep it stoked. Additionally, stock the living and family room with throw blankets.
  • Catch-up on laundry and other behind-the-scenes chores so you don’t have to do these tasks on top of hosting and entertaining. You may even want to set an automatic response in your email so that your other family members and friends know that you are hosting out of town guests and will not be responding to email as quickly as usual.  Then you won’t feel like you have to keep up on your inbox as diligently while your guests are with you.

Make this the year you actually sit and enjoy quality time with your company instead of scurrying around them keeping up with the tasks that come with hosting.   Whether it’s the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday or another reason to gather and celebrate, you and your guests will be thankful that you did!


Helping You Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

Just 3 weekends until Thanksgiving!

If you are pressed for time, or just don't know where to start, why not enlist the help of one of our Specialists?  They can help you:holidaydecor_nov2013.jpg

  • Decorate you home for the holidays - and organize the decor when we take it down
  • Organize the kitchen for holiday cooking and guests
  • Organize and prepare a guest room
  • Clean out closets or mud rooms making room for guests
  • Get your holiday cards done
  • Make space in your garage so you can park your cars inside for winter 

Contact Us at: 425.670.2551 | 509.392.7064 | 877.342.8592



Upcoming Classes

Increase Productivity Using Microsoft Outlook 2010
Date: Tuesday, November 12,2013
Time:  8:45 am - 10:30 am
Place: Norton Building | 801 2nd Avenue - 2nd Floor Conference Room, Seattle
Investment:  $74
Sponsor: Puget Sound Business Journal
Learn more and register:  Here

 
Right-Sizing: Less Stuff = Less Stress
Date: Thursday, January 16,2014
Time:  6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Place:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living | Woodinville, WA
Investment:  $22 before 12.31.13 and $29 after 12.31.13
Sponsor: 21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living
Learn more and register:  Here

 
Organizing Digital and Print Memories
Date:  Saturday, February 1, 2014
Time:  9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Place:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living | Woodinville, WA
Investment:  $69 before 1.6.14 and $79 after 1.6.14
Sponsor:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living
Learn More and Register:  Here

Eliminate Paper and Information Chaos
Date:  Saturday, March 1, 2014
Time:  9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Place:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living | Woodinville, WA
Investment:  $69 before 1.31.14 and $79 after 1.13.14
Sponsor:  21 Acres for Local Food and Sustainable Living
Learn More and Register:  Here




Organizing with Laura October Blog Articles

Get Crafty With Your Craft-Room Organization
Simplifying Hobby Storage
Kitchen Storage Worth Consideration
Cut Down On Coupon Clutter

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A Quick Handoff in the Key Relay

keychain_nov2013.jpgDid you know you can use a staple remover to save your nails when opening a traditional key ring?  It works wonderfully!  But, how often do you have a staple remover within easy reach? It certainly doesn’t make the cut when I pack my purse with the essentials. That’s why I love the Container Store’s Silicone Easy Release Keychain.  With its easy-to-release mechanism, it eliminates the need to devise clever ways to open your key ring while preserving your manicure. So whether it’s for a valet, a personal assistant, nanny or friend, you can hand off the necessary key in a snap. In light of the topic this month consider picking one up or purchasing online to place all of the spare keys on for your company.  This way multiple guests can remove and add various keys they need during their stay with you. So easy and so organized!
 


 Wishing you stress-free and peaceful holidays with friends and family,


laura-leist-signature.png
 

 
You may reprint this article in its entirety with the following credit:  © 2013 Eliminate Chaos.
  Reprinted with permission from Laura Leist, CPO of Eliminate Chaos. 

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  • Business Services
    • Paper Flow and Information Management
    • Workspace Organization and Space Planning
    • Productivity Assessments
    • Microsoft Business Contact Manager
    • Microsoft Exchange Migrations
  • Visit our business services site