Saturday Stuff: Facing The Holiday Clutter

Saturday Stuff: Facing The Holiday Clutter

ok, it’s time

I love the concept of these boxes but not once have my ornaments fit beautifully in them. It’s always a mess of mis-matched, mis-sized pieces :)!

How many of you are already cleaned up?

I am not – as you can probably tell by our banner photo

These 18 Gallon Sterilite Tubs are what I really use. I made (custom:) dividers for several different types of ornaments & layer them like a cake. Each is beautifully labeled (not:) with duct tape & a description. I chose them because they fit into the closets in the Cabin perfectly when stacked. I went through about 5 different prototypes before getting a system down that worked.

Have actually been avoiding it nicely – all snug with the tree & still trimmings up, back in the snow at Lake Tahoe

I see it though: the ribbon needs to come down, the garlands are seriously dropping glitter, the snowmen are looking tired and I know I must face reality

Cleaning up glitter off hand scraped hardwood is such a joy ;)!…play dough? I’ve tried it all. So I just put the music on and get to work….

So I have been boxing, clearing, cleaning & decluttering slowly


I have also been challenged these past few days to really think about what we can realistically achieve and what we can hope to begin in 2013 at Couture Chateau

It’s kind of the same process

What will I box?

What is “good” that Couture Chateau should put away for a season to focus on the GREAT?

From Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great

What will I clear?

The calendar? Are we over scheduled but under performing anywhere?

What will I clean?

Is there a mess we need to tackle besides my desk? Oh yes friends, I am a very messy desk person. I should probably take a class for that…

As a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) I am great at organizing others, I just have this one area (my desk) which never seems to be cleaned. The conference table? Perfection. The rest of the space? Lovely. My desk? A grouping includes: hand weights, coffee cup & papers…:)

What will I declutter?

This? The HARDEST part for me because I know it’s the Studio Library. We will tackle this as a team. With music & good coffee, three shredders at the ready…

 So I hope you now know, we are in this together…

Saturday Stuff: Cleaning it all up!

I once was told: “Ann you need to be a high achiever, not a perfectionist. There is a huge difference.” That lesson took me years to understand. I can now say – the high achiever is comfortable with my duct tape labeled ornament tubs….my former perfectionist self would never have been….I have peace…

 What is your Saturday Stuff?

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann

Sunday Stewardship: Thought For The Day!

Sunday Stewardship: Thought For The Day

“Down time makes us able to ponder, plan, be purposeful & pleasant”

Why don’t I remember that?

I keep forgetting little things that matter on the home front this Holiday Season

I’d like to stop

I mean, it IS December 23rd!

So I am in FORCED Down Time for at least 20 minutes

No skiing today. No baking. No shopping (well, maybe;), NO DECORATING (please? NO)…no…anything….for at least 2o minutes Ann!

I LOVE to ski. Fast, clean air, bad weather, good weather…something about the freedom of it fills me…

Reasoning with myself:

Do I need any more proof that down time, especially during the Holiday Season is CRITICAL than my own missed steps?

Down Time  = makes us able to ponder, plan, be purposeful & pleasant!

Pondering my REAL family, not my imagined one...

Pondering my REAL family, not my imagined one…Grandmother’s book & bench…

1. Ponder

What is important over the next 72 Hours? Our Homes are where it all begins….those who live with us in our custom creations know what we are really made of. What is important to you & to those you love? Down time (even 20 minutes alone) will help you figure it out, remind you of what you already know & how you can customize the experience you long for.

2. Plan

72 Hours isn’t a lot. No buying another tree or making cookies that have to set overnight…..DO take the time to plan what you pondered as important. Show someone. Be accountable & ask for help! Teenage boys can learn to wrap. They play video games with mad skills…we KNOW the dexterity exists.

3. Be Purposeful

Traditions are wonderful, if, as a grown up – YOU decide they are what YOU want to live with & embrace. Toss the ones you don’t really believe in your heart are contributing to the Family you are today. Embrace the traditions you love – but customize them for today. Better 2 Family Traditions with heart & soul than 4 done poorly with a grumbling leader.

… you can be 4. Pleasant

Ummmm…..I confess there was a year when Mrs Claus was rather cranky on one Lake Tahoe Cabin Christmas Eve. Santa had REALLY enjoyed the River Ranch Meal after a full day of skiing & candle light services in the snow….& those Hudson Bay Blankets called……so Mrs Claus & some faithfully equally “warmed” assistants were out building a custom ice rink in the back yard ala 2 am……

This is not ours, but I had a vision of something like this…ours was more “obtuse”…let’s just leave it at that ;)!

My Steps:

Ponder = I took the 30 minutes to be alone and think about what would bless my REAL custom family rather than just my VISION of my custom family

Plan = I dropped some things that weren’t part of what I realized in the “ponder” section. I am not skiing today so I can be purposeful. It’s actually freeing.

Purposeful? I dumped my need to have all the wrapping paper match the custom ribbon on the tree. (yes, I am indeed a Designer). THIS was (IS) hard for me, but I simply did not have the time this year……

So I am more pleasant. Why? I am not being pulled into thinking I need to create an experience for everyone around me….I realize I am not the entertainment chief…I am the “walk along side you” in this life we are living wife, mother, designer….chief

May YOU find the things that matter to you as you build your custom life & are pondering, planning those Holiday Traditions over the next 72 Hours.

And if you see me in Tahoe buying wrapping paper with reindeer, STOP ME :)! and I will do the same for you…

“Live a custom life. There is only one you.”™

xo Ann

ps. the ice rink was really cool…..;)