My gift to you, a guiltfree holiday.Today’s message is just say NO! I am sure you know exactly what I mean. Those invitations and “special” activities that you really don’t want to do, but feel obligated to do, can really put a damper on your holiday spirit. Are you finding that you have less patience, are more tired and a bit crankier than last year? Well some of that could be the constant negativity we are hearing on the news each night about how bad things are. Hearing how many people are out of work and the fact that we haven’t hit bottom yet is very disheartening. At the same time the media is emphasizing that people are doing things differently this year. Even if you are lucky enough to have not been affected by this economic downturn, take advantage of the situation to change some of the “rules” you have been following for your holiday preparation and celebrations.


I am giving you permission to say no to those things that you cringe at as soon as you think about them. For you it may mean the big holiday dinner, writing a long family letter to include in your cards or the hours you spend at the mall searching for the “perfect” gifts (which don’t exist). Now don’t get me wrong I am a strong believer in tradition or in at least having some traditions, but I also believe that each year is a chance to start a new tradition. Our life situation is constantly changing (the young kid stage, teen stage and grown up kid stages, empty nest etc.) so why cling to old traditions when making a new one might work better for all concerned?


This year, I especially like the “unstressed mom” tradition. Being a professional organizer comes with its own pressure, the pressure to do it all and make it look easy. Many of my organizer friends finish their shopping before December even begins-but not me. I crave that adrenaline rush that can only come at 10:30pm December 23rd at the mall. This year though everything will be bought and wrapped by the 15th and the house will be decorated (I am going to make this one too!) The dinner for 35 people on Christmas day will also be simplified (wish I could do pizza but no one will deliver). Who says everything must finish cooking at the exact same time when there is only one oven and a microwave? After all I am THE ORGANIZER! I can simplify and set up systems for handling this dinner just like I can organize any space in the home.


The point I want to make is that YOU are in control. You can say no, you can do things differently as long as you are happy and your family is happy. Talk to them, they want you to be happy too. Work together and make this your best holiday ever.

Wishing you a peaceful, unstressed, organized holiday season.

Start the New Year off right by attending our Tackle and Tame Your Mountain of Paper Workshop on January 14, 2009 at the Norwell Middle School Community Room in Norwell, Massachusetts. Send an email with your name and a contact number or email address to register.

Holiday? What holiday?

Happy 4th of July!! 

I hope you are enjoying the holiday….really enjoying it. It seems that many people see a “holiday” as just another day to get more things done. We work hard enough the other five days of the week and yet continue to work away our weekends and extra days off. Why is that?


Yes, I admit there are times when I shop on a Sunday but if the stores were not open, my world would not fall apart. I try to make a point of staying away from commercial businesses especially on holidays. The one thing you can depend on is that the post offices, government offices and banks will be closed. Stores, auto dealers, and restaurants will all be open offering bigger sales…what about the people that have to work in those places? Don’t they deserve a holiday too?


 Webster defines a “holiday” as, “a day on which one is exempt from work; specifically : a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event.”  I hope you take the time to celebrate this Independence Day in the way that it was meant to be celebrated. Take in a parade or some fireworks and wear your red, white and blue. Running low on patriotic spirit? Bristol, Rhode Island has the longest parade I have ever seen and the whole town really shows their colors weeks in advance. Sit back and enjoy and forget about that “to do” list. It will still be there tomorrow.


Found this fitting quote on Monica Ricci’s blog  “Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.”

William Feather
American Author and Publisher
1889 – 1981