If you are looking for a way to reduce your paper clutter, get organized and save money, you’ll want to read on. We recently came across a unique product that can help you do it all.
It was a board to write on, but without the paper. This liquid crystal board was designed so that you can write on it and then erase it. So you can reduce the clutter around your home and save paper. What a great idea!
How to Cut the Paper Clutter, Get Organized and Save Money
A liquid crystal board can help you get the job done. The one we tried is called a Boogie Board Blackboard and looks like this:
The one we purchased was 8 1/2 x 11 inches, which is the standard size of paper that fits in your printer or copy machine. Ours came with various backgrounds:
Honestly, it was the schedule that caught our eye. The thought of planning our week without using a piece of paper was very intriguing. It worked out just as we thought. We weren’t quite ready to erase our board, so we snapped a picture with our cell phone so we could save the schedule for the rest of the week.
The other backgrounds worked great for our purposes. We used the blank paper to draft an article for our website and later made a quick to do list using the lined paper.
The 8.5 x 11 inch board really suited our needs. However, it comes in smaller sizes as well as different colors. Just know that not all boards come with the handy lined paper or schedule backgrounds.
Do you wish there was less hustle and bustle around the holidays? What if you could have more time to relax and enjoy the Christmas season? We’re here to help with a few “Christmas in July” ideas. Consider doing just a few things in July to get a head start on Christmas and make your season more enjoyable.
Christmas in July Tip #1: Update Your Christmas Card List
Several family members and friends have moved in the last few months. Take a few minutes to update their new addresses.
Have you made a few new friends this year? Jot down their names and addresses. When it’s time to send Christmas cards, you’ll be ready to go. You will also have a good estimate for the number of cards you plan to send this year.
If you need a good system for tracking addresses, use our printable address tracker which keeps track of names, addresses, and cards received and sent.
Christmas in July Tip #2: Organize Your Gift Wrapping Paper and Bows
July is a great time to organize wrapping paper and bows. These are great projects to work on when it’s raining, or just too hot to go outside. Take inventory of the supplies you have on hand. Make a note of what you need for the upcoming season.
Be sure to group like items together. If you have gift wrapping paper in the cellar, in a bedroom closet and maybe even some with your Christmas decorations, pull it all together, and find one location.
We actually have a gift wrapping drawer. It is located in a hutch in our dining room. We keep birthday and Christmas wrapping paper here, along with all of the necessary supplies:
Colored Pens and Markers
Gift tissue for bags
This system has worked really well for us. When it’s time to wrap a quick gift, we grab our supplies from the drawer and use the dining room table to wrap the gifts. Easy, right?
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are referral links, which means that if you make a purchase, there is no extra cost to you, but Running A Household will receive a commission.
Christmas in July Tip #3: Make Your Own Gift Tags
Use scrapbook paper like this one from American Crafts to make gift tags for your presents.
Step 1: Simply cut a circle, or use a scrapbook tool to punch out the circles, like the Fiskars Circle Lever Punch. We love this one because it allows you to make consistent circles and it’s easy to use. Just insert the paper and press down to make a perfect circle.
Step 3: Attach a short piece of Curling Ribbon which can be attached to a present or gift bag.
Then when it’s time to wrap gifts, just grab a Sharpie Markerand add the “To and From” details.
Christmas in July Tip #4: Make a 2018 Calendar
A calendar filled with personal pictures is a great Christmas gift for grandparents and relatives. Since it requires gathering pictures for each month, start this project in the summer.
Create a computer folder for all of the 2018 calendar pictures.
Select a store online to create your calendar. We love Walgreens because their calendars are reasonably priced, good quality, and we can pick them up at our local store.
Upload your photos to the store website.
Start creating the calendar.
Over the summer, we will pull together the 2018 calendar for January – August. We also use pictures from last Christmas to get the December page set. Then, we just need to do September, October and November. We keep our eyes peeled for the 50-60% off sale day, and order in November. By following these steps, we save a lot of time and money, and can enjoy the holiday season instead of pulling pictures together on December 15th.
Christmas in July Tip #5: Listen Carefully and Start Your List
Keep your ears peeled for hints dropped by family members and friends. Maybe they will point out an item they like. Or, sometimes people will tell you that they wish they had a certain item. Take note, and start a holiday shopping list. This way, you’ll have a few ideas once the holiday season arrives.
Christmas in July Tip #6: Buy a Few Gifts While on Vacation
The holidays will be here before you know it. To make this holiday season a little less stressful, consider buying a gift or two while you are on vacation.
Whether it’s a gardening basket from your local farmer’s market, or a piece of jewelry from a place by the shore, these unique gifts will be sure to please your friends and relatives. Other ideas include:
If you have someone who has everything, or who is difficult to shop for, try shopping for them in the summer. You’ll be more relaxed and have a different selection to choose from. Plus, you will avoid last-minute shopping in December.
Christmas in July Tip #7: Shop for Gifts On-line During July Sales
We saved the best for last. So much of our time around the holidays is spent shopping. For years, I never started Christmas shopping until the day after Thanksgiving because of the great deals.
Now, retailers offer great prices in July. Be sure to check out this one on July 16-17, 2018:
If there’s an expensive gift you know you want to buy for someone, check out the price during this sale. You may be pleasantly surprised to find a great deal in the middle of July!
Did you miss the big sale? No worries. Check out these discounts:
Happy Shopping! 🙂
Here are a few articles on our website you may enjoy:
Are you looking for ideas for organizing ball caps or hats? We’ve looked into several ways to keep ball caps organized. Check out these three systems to see which one works best for you.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are referral links, which means that if you make a purchase, there is no extra cost to you, but Running A Household will receive a commission. Thank you for supporting our website.
Organize Ball Caps with an Over the Door Cap Rack Organizer
This one is simple. Just open the box and hang the Cap Rack Organizer over a closet door. This one holds up to 36 hats!
Organize Baseball Hats with Hooks
This Coat and Hat Rack has six hooks, and keeps everything nice and tidy. It also comes in a black or wood finish. Installation is fairly simple, but you’ll need a few tools like a ruler to measure, and a screwdriver to hang it securely.
Store Ball Caps in Bins
While spring cleaning, I added this feature to our mudroom. It’s a simple over-sized bin which sits on top of our ClosetMaid Stackable Shoe Organizer. This system really works for us. When we come home, the boys can simply take off their hats, and leave them in the bin. When we are ready to leave, the hats are right there by the door. We love the deep size of this bin, and it comes in many colors which you can see here: ClosetMaid Bin
Right now, we have about 8 or 10 hats in the bin, but we could fit many more. It’s spring, so many of them are baseball caps. In the fall, I’ll take out the caps with football teams on them. The baseball themed caps will go in a box stored in the coat closet. Pretty simple, right?
Christmas cards can start to arrive anytime after Thanksgiving. You’ll want to have a system in place so that you can easily display your cards. Check out these ideas.
Christmas Card Holder
One of the easiest ways to display your Christmas cards is in a Christmas card holder. This one is in the shape of a Christmas tree. The cards slide into various metal holders, and can be adjusted and turned easily.
This one even has a basket at the bottom to hold all of the extra cards and envelopes.
Twine and Clothes Pins
Another simple way to hang your Christmas cards is with twine and clothes pins. This has a more rustic feeling, but is very easy to set up:
Simply hang two hooks. Be sure to measure so that they are straight. For this project we used the Command brand hooks so that they could be removed easily.
Cut the twine and tie a loose knot at each end. Attach the twine to each hook, and you’re finished.
Hang horizontal cards over the twine. Use a clothes pin to attach the vertical cards. We went for a natural look, but you can certainly decorate your clothes pins for a more festive look.
One of the most common ways to hang Christmas cards is with Scotch tape. Simply attach Scotch tape to each card and hang on a door or wall.
If you’re concerned about taking the finish off of your doors or walls, consider using removable scotch tape.
This is a great product for hanging items temporarily. Just be sure to use a piece in each corner of the card, so that it sticks to your wall or door.
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