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Easy Entertaining stepsHave you ever dreamed of having family and friends over for a party but ended up not going through with it because you just find it too overwhelming to plan and do all the work, then got disappointed with yourself for not doing it? Or you have thrown parties but you were so stressed and exhausted at the preparing it was hard to enjoy your own party?

Imagine having fun inviting friends and family over without all that stress. You can throw a party without all the fuss and work…it can be done!

I use to stress a lot about throwing the perfect party, making sure everything was perfectly organized and spending weeks planning and preparing food. We throw a big Christmas party every year and the time to prepare was getting out of hand. I got the point where I thought it was all too much and I spend one party observing what people really cared about and what they did not…the answer was simple, people wanted to come to our parties to chat, visit, laugh and relax.  They were not there to inspect and judge my décor, my cooking abilities or my perfectly clean spaces.  They just wanted to have fun with us!

I can now throw a party with minimum amount of time and effort, and maximum amount of fun!

Here are my 6 Steps To Easy Entertainment:

Step 1 What is the goal of the party?

The main thing I want everyone to think about is their reason for entertaining.  I find this often gets lost in the preparations and stress of running around worrying if everything is perfect.

As you prepare for the big party (or parties) please keep in mind what your overall goal of entertaining is. If it is to impress people with your cooking abilities, you will plan a different party and menu then someone who just wants spend time with friends and not fuss with difficult recipes. There is no right and wrong here just different goals so plan accordingly.  My personal goal is always to just have a great time with friends and family - these steps are all about easy entertaining because that is what I preach...easy and simple!

Step 2 Have a master list and plan

Keep all your plans in one spot.  List what you need to prepare, what needs done, who will help, what’s on the menu.  Anything to do with the party keep in this one place.  It will help you keep it organized and it makes it easier to get others to help you. It also can serve as a template for the next party so you are not reinventing the process each time.

Step 3 Keep the invites simple

It is okay in todays digital age to use digital invites.  Facebook events are my favorite as it makes it easy to post, share and invite people.  If there are people on your list that are not on Facebook then text or email them.  You can also call them if they are not digitally inclined.  You do not have to have fancy paper invites, unless of course that is your thing and that is what makes the party planning fun for you!  This is all about having fun!

Step 4 FOOD does not have to be complicated or homemade

If you are not a gourmet chef and do not have the time to make all the food from scratch…that is OKAY!  Your friends and family will not hold it against you if you buy premade trays and food.  If you want to get fancy take the premade trays and transfer them to your own platters…I won’t tell!  For easy entertainment keep it simple.

ALLOW others to help you out.  I am not a gourmet chef; I am not even a non gourmet cook so I do not try to impress anyone with my lack of skills.  However, I have friend who LOVE to cook and love to show off their abilities, so who am I do deny them that pleasure.  When your friends or family ask if they can bring something…say YES!  By having the master plan, you can direct their offerings to compliment what you want at your party.  When they ask what can they bring give them an idea of what you need.   

It’s okay to buy food and it is okay to get others to help!

Step 5 Have a drink center

I find it important to have a serve yourself drink center so you do not have to be running around serving everyone.  Have simple offerings like pop, beer, wine and maybe a specialty drink for the night.  Make sure you have lots of water available, I find that having water readily available slows people down from over indulging. 

On a side note if you are serving alcohol please make sure you have a plan to get everyone home safe.  I normally stay sober at my parties in case I need to drive someone home (I’m not a big drinker anyway so it’s not a big deal for me) or I will have someone else like my son or daughter enlisted to be available if needed.  Cabs are also a great option!

Step 6 Prepare your space

My mom taught me years ago that I did not have to have a spotless house to have a party as things will get dirty when everyone is there…but you must have a clean bathroom. Do some surface cleaning but save the deep clean for after the party.

Move your furniture around to ensure easy flow of traffic when you have a crowd. You do not want people tripping over furniture and each other.

Hope these tips help you to throw a fun easy party and that you have a fantastic holiday season! If you have any tips of your own please share, we would love to hear them.

Happy Entertaining!

Kim

Get your car in your garage this year!

Did you know that your garage was meant for you to put your car in it? 

Do you have a garage that is so full of clutter and chaos that there is no way your car would ever fit in it?  Is your garage a dumping ground for stuff?

Imagine actually driving you car into your garage this winter.  Imagine getting into a nice warm frost free vehicle during a cold winter day.  Imagine using your garage to actually put your car in it!

I have one of the smallest garages around.  Our car barely fits into it even with next to nothing it in, which is not a reality in my life.  We have stuff in our garage including our deepfreeze and my husband’s tools.  That is the only place in the house those will fit.  We spent several years in this house without even trying to fit a car in there, but one year I decided that I was going to do it.  I measured my car and measured the garage and determined it was physically possible but changes had to be made…but I was determined.  I ripped out some built in counters that just piled up with junk and were too big for the space and I cleared out the junk.  After some sweat, tears and determination I did get my car in the garage for the winter.  I do have to reclaim it each fall from the bikes and junk that gathers, but I can tell you the pleasure of getting into a warm car on a cold winter morning is well worth the effort!

So here are the steps you can use to finally get your car IN the garage this year:

1. Decide you want it – The decision is one of the most important steps you will take.  Decide you are going to put your car in the garage (provided it physically will fit) and move forward from there.  Nothing can replace determination!

2. Declutter – okay you knew that one was coming right.  To make room for your vehicle you will have to get rid of the junk that you don’t need or use.  You must be ruthless and determined!

3. Build Up – maximize your space by building up, adding high vertical shelving to store the things that live in your garage will get them off the floor leaving room for the car.

4. Find alternative storage – Where can you put that stuff you don’t want to get rid of but does not need to be in the garage.  Cold rooms, sheds or even possibly offsite – our off season tires get stored at the garage that changes our tires for us. 

5. Drive your car in! 

The myth you just don’t have space is bogus.  If your car physically fits into your garage, then you just have to decide you are going to get it in there and you make it happen.

If you need some help getting it done, contact me and my team and we can coach you through the process!  CONTACT ME

Getting Motivated to Start Decluttering Are you overwhelmed by ALL the rooms and stuff that needs decluttered and organized? 

Do you find yourself so overwhelmed by the clutter and chaos that surrounds you that you just put it off and continue to procrastinate on taking action, leaving you frustrated with yourself for never getting started? 

it is possible to get motivated and the opportunity is there to take control of your space, your time and your life.

We all have these moments of frustration and overwhelmed in our life.  Even as a professional in the decluttering field my space can get out of control once in awhile.  My garage is often a thorn in my side, it can become a dumping ground, especially after a summer of neglect when I am not using it everyday…it is amazing what can pile up in there.  But I can tell you that once the first frost hits and I have to get in a cold frosty car, I get motivated to take action and reclaim my garage for my vehicle. 

Here are 4 steps you can take to get started:

1. START WITH YOUR WHY!  You have to have a compelling reason to move forward, the why becomes the reason you decide to take action…and that is where it all starts.  Know your why – maybe you want to feel better by eating healthier so you need to declutter and organize your kitchen, maybe you are just so frustrated with living in chaos that you desire a peaceful calm environment to live in or maybe you are ready to downsize and need to start reducing the amount of stuff you own.  Find your why…it will help motivate you to start!

2. FIGURE OUT WHERE TO START! Close your eyes and image you home…go to that spot that drives you the craziest, the place that frustrates you the most.  That is a great place to start.  If you are saying that everyplace drives you crazy, then go to your bedroom and start there – it is the last place you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning so it is a great place to start! Visualize and just pick a spot!

3. TAKE ACTION!  Stop thinking about it and start doing.  Make the DECISION to do it.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result, if you keep thinking about it but never doing it, nothing will ever change…take some action, you will get results!  Put yourself in motion and take action!

4. GET HELP! If you cannot do this yourself then get some help.  Hire me, ask someone for help, find someone!  Get a good coach that can help you stay motivated, focused and help you move through the resistance.

You may be thinking you don’t have time and you can’t afford to hire a coach.  Well I am calling bullshit on these excuses.  We all choose what we spend our time and resources on.  If you really want to get your home decluttered and organized you will make it a priority, if you have a compelling why you will make the decision to do whatever it takes to get it done.  Stop making excuses and DECIDE to take action!

If you really want to take control of your space, simplify your life and have a great environment to come home to everyday to just breathe and be you then you will take the action, you will use the resources, you will find the money and the time to do it!

If you are ready to get that help and take action now, one of my coaching programs could be for you.  Check them out here : Kaos Coaching Programs

Decide today to take action!


 

Are you ready to clear the clutter on countertops and tables 1Is your kitchen table or counter top a landing strip for miscellaneous stuff – bills, keys, chargers, junk mail, school notes, bags, tags, receipts, newspapers, toys, thingies and more?  


You are not alone in this challenge; the kitchen counter is one of the most cluttered spaces in homes.  It is such an convenient place to drop things when you walk in the house that it naturally gathers ‘stuff’.

Have you tried putting a basket there to gather the stuff, only to have the basket quickly get filled up and overflow?  Have you yelled and nagged to all the family to clear the crap, only to have them ignore you?  Have you spent hours cleaning the space up to look clear and calm for a bit, only for it to fill back in?

Are you ready to tame that counter top chaos?

Here’s some steps to help you do it:

Step 1 – Understand What it is -  First you have to understand what all the stuff that is gathering is.  Sorting each item into like piles so you can actually visually see what it is.  You may have piles such as junk mail, school notices, newspapers, receipts, makeup, cords, glasses and any number of other stuff.  It is important to really see what it all is, that becomes the base of any organizing system.

Step 2 – Eliminate the garbage – Take a look at your pile and see how much of it is garbage.  Often a lot of stuff that gathers is stuff that just did not make it to the garbage or recycle bin.  If this is the case then keep in mind you need to have a garbage close to this area, even if it is just a little bucket garbage can for papers as they come into the space. 

Step 3 – Create a Home. Take a look at what is left, this is where you will get the ideas for what needs organized.  Creating a home and a system for this stuff is the key to keeping the clutter under control.

Are there a lot of things that have a home elsewhere in your house but just did not make it back there – like toys or electronics?  Create a temporary space that holds all these misplaced things.

Have a basket for each person in the house where their stuff gets placed in it for them to clean up and take care of. Make it a habit before meals or before bedtime to hand everyone their baskets to go put things away…or if daily is too much, do it once a week. Giving a home to this stuff and a system to get it off the counter will take some habit breaking and remaking but it can be done!

When my kids were young and we had more stuff laying around, I actually had a whole drawer for counter top junk.  I would dump all the stuff left on my counters into this drawer, so when anyone was looking for their junk that they left lying around they knew where to look. Once a month I would clean it out, they were all warned to go through the drawer and get their stuff out…otherwise I was going to throw it out or give it away.   My drawer was a big one and I had a few baskets to subdivide the stuff.  It’s funny now as I look at that drawer and wonder where I put all the kitchen things that are now in it, the reality at the time was it was more important to have a space for all that junk to save my sanity then it was to have the baking dishes that are now in it. This is where you have to make decisions on the best use of your space for where you are NOW…knowing as things change so can your space use.

file organizerStep 4 – Tame the paper.  Paper is often a big issue on counters.  A lot of people, if they do have a filing system, have it someplace like an office or basement desk area.  Unfortunately, the bulk of paper comes into the main space like the kitchen and more often then not gets dropped there ‘for now’ and never leaves.  I suggest you create a paper system that will work where the paper actually flows into.  Having a place to put bills, school notices, coupons and other stuff will stop it from getting dropped on the counter and creating counter clutter. A table top file container works wonders as does a bulletin board for notices and such.

Clutter is just unmade decisions. Kitchen counter and table clutter gathers when you drop things there ‘just for now’. Creating an easy to use system can make it easier to decide what to do with that clutter. Dedication to use the system can help keep that clutter at bay. It may still gather occasionally but if you have a place to put it, the time it takes to tidy up will be reduced!  In this busy world we live in saving time and brain power is a necessity!

Now go tackle that clutter and send me a picture of your clear counters or of you actually having a meal at your table!  

If you want to get more declutter tips, tricks and stay up to date on any events sign up today for our weekly Newsletter (I promise we will not clutter up your inbox) Click here to subscribe : https://kaossolutions.activehosted.com/f/40

Kim


Bonus Tip: One way to keep the clutter off the table is to decide to eat at the table everyday…so you HAVE to keep it clutter free. Some clients I have actually keep their table set all the time in order to break themselves of the habit of putting other junk on it.  A table that is already set will gather no clutter as it is already in use, and it looks pretty too!

table is set

Organizing Your Wrapping Center 1I had a client this weekend ask me what I do with gift bags and bows and all that fun wrapping stuff that can clutters up spaces. So I thought I would share with you what I do.

I keep all my bags and tissue paper in a clear plastic container so I have easy access to it when I need it. This is the box I use the most as I prefer the easy use of bags and some tissue paper over having to wrap things with paper.  I also like the fact that bags & tissue are reusable so there is less waste.

ribbon box 600Bows and ribbons are kept in another box...although looking at this I now feel I have way too many. Full disclosure- I use to have a side business where I made and sold gift baskets. Most of these ribbons are leftovers from that business as I just don't use them that much anymore. After taking this picture I realize I have not bought ribbon in over 10 years and it is time to reduce it a bit as obviously I won't use it that fast. Yes even I have more stuff than I need sometimes.  Understand that most clutter is unmade decisions...I have just not taken the time to make the decision to let some of this go, I just realized it will seriously take me another 10 years or more to use all this ribbon. I do not need it or use it!  So I am letting some of it go!

wrapping paperI have another container for wrapping paper, bubble wrap and a brown packing paper roll as we do have family who live on the other side of the country so we do ship things that way occasionally.  Again I do not have a lot of paper and if I did not have a big house I really would not have this large of a container for paper.  Right now it works.  One idea I have used for clients in small spaces is hanging garment bags with all the wrapping stuff in it so it fits nicely in a closet and does not take up much space.  

How do you store your wrapping paper?  Share with us any cool ideas that work for you, we love to see new ideas!

Come over and join us in our Facebook Group as well for more support and ideas.

www.ClutterSupportGroup.com

Kim