Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year, New Beginnings

The holiday season is over. We sent the last of our holiday house guests on their way this morning. It was wonderful to see extended family the past two weeks and we will miss them, but now it is time to begin the new year. There are many little nesting activities I can do this time of year to mark the change of season and our new beginnings. I have already done these activities:

We took down the Christmas tree and the outdoor lights. As I packed the ornaments back into their drawers, I checked them for damage and assessed the ones we didn't hang on the tree this year. Do I still like them? Do I view them as too dated ? Is it time to pass on any I don't really enjoy? About five or six didn't make the cut and went to visit the garage sale boxes. (Below are keepers, not rejects.)The Christmas stockings are back in the cedar chest (some of ours are wool, and cedar protects from moth damage).

I purchased gift wrap and tags for next year on clearance. Total spent: $6.We made a new calendar and added important family dates to it. It awaits a visit to the print shop for binding.

We "closed the books" on the '07 budget. We came in under budget, just barely, but that includes what we added to our savings account, so we feel satisfied with our budgeting in 2007.
I hope to do these things this week:
The front door wreath and front porch poinsettias will be packed up today to make way for a different winter decoration.
The nutcracker collection and angel collection will be packed away.
The Swedish decorations and the candle arrangements will stay out for now.
All the remaining sweets and other goodies need to go to the freezer for eating later. I believe we are over-saturated with sugar and too-little exercise. I'm sure we will enjoy them more later, even if they do have green and red sprinkles.
It's time for a big pot of soup or stew and some homemade whole wheat bread. Enough rich food!
I will photocopy our budget sheet master pages and prepare them for 2008, then pop them into the budget notebook.

And a bit of nesting by organizing:
Our new (two years ago!) storage closet still needs a shelf. I already know that the shelving supplies will cost only $10, so that is now a priority. Once the shelf is added, I can reorganize the closet into it's intended purpose of storing mops, brooms, vacuum, folding tables, and gift wrap. When the cleaning tools can be moved out of the entry hall closet to their new home, I can reorganize the coat closet. And when the gift wrap leaves the laundry closet, I can create a place to store my stash of extra cleaning supplies and paper goods.

The game shelf needs a second shelf added above it so the piles of boxes aren't so tottery. That requires a new Elfa shelf and two brackets, which are on sale this month. Time to head down to The Container Store.

Time to clean out and tidy up my studio. It looks like a tornado went through while I wasn't looking. I think it became the Christmas season dumping ground. Three computers, sewing, crafts, and gift wrapping in a 6 ft x 8 ft space just don't blend well.

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