Staying Organized Before, During and After Christmas

staying organized

If you’re like a lot of Americans, “Santa” may have gone overboard at your house this year…again! You may have shopped ahead in an effort to save money, but then forgotten about some of your purchases. Or, the “hottest” toys hit the stores, and you ended up buying more than you anticipated.

Once you factor in friends and family buying gifts as well, it can be overwhelming to think about all the toys and gifts that will be in your home in the next week or so. It’s time to get ahead of the mess now and plan how you’ll get organized for the New Year.

First, organize what you already have.

We know you’re thinking When do I have time to organize anything right now?But the investment of even a few hours can make a huge difference in getting organized. Start by doing a quick purge of your kids’ toys. Get rid of all the small kid’s meal and gumball machine toys that somehow multiply overnight. They won’t be missed!

Consider when the last time you saw your kids play with each toy. Has it been months? Is it something they’re bored with or have outgrown? Time to pass it along! There are many kids in need, and your local thrift store is the perfect place to re-home gently used toys.

You’ll also want to find an organization method. Put all your board games together, action figures somewhere else and Barbie needs her own place, too. Stop by the store and get some medium sized storage totes to put each different kind of toy in, and then stack them on shelves in a closet. This way, they are visible and accessible, but not all mixed up together.

Then, plan for the big day.

You already know it’s going to be crazy. The wrapping paper, tape, bows and boxes will be everywhere. Everywhere! So go ahead and set the expectation that gifts are handled with care and that ALL trash makes it into a designated trash bag before moving on to the next gift. By doing this, you won’t be left with a mountain of paper after an hour of opening presents. If you save gift bags, go ahead and fold them up and you go, stacking them in a neat pile for future use.

Try to open only one toy at a time (or one toy per parent/helper) so that all pieces, parts and instructions are accounted for while trash makes it into the bag. After all, you already know how many little twist-ties and small plastic pieces are holding toys in boxes. If you’re not careful, you’ll be finding them around the house for weeks to come!

Finally, find a place for everything.

Presents have been opened and the rush is over. Everyone is now settling in to inspect their new treasures and see how it all works. But there is still work to be done! Now it’s also time for you to assess all of the new additions, sort through them and find places for each thing.

Even if that means that some things don’t HAVE a place. Did you get a gift you know you’ll never use? Or something you know your kids will never reallyplay with. Just go ahead and set it aside unopened. Maybe it’s something you can re-gift at a later date or donate now to a charity where it can have a better home. It’s better to be honest than to let it end up unused in the corner of a closet for the next six months.

Once you’ve decided what you want to keep, it’s time to find places for everything. Remember how you organized toys into storage containers? Now that’s paying off! New dolls can go in the same place you’ve already got some organized. Action figures can be added to their box, and board games can be added to their stack as well. Of course, you’ll have some miscellaneous things that don’t really have a place, but that’s OK. You made it 90% of the way there!

Many of us have a New Year’s Resolution to be more organized in 2019 – but don’t wait until then to begin. Start your New Year out right by getting organized now, so it’s something you can maintain instead of another project to tackle.

Why Christmas Babies Are The Best

Christmas Babies

When it comes to babies, some people would say there’s no specific time that is best to have one. I would have to disagree. Maybe I’m biased, but having a baby during the holiday season was actually pretty spectacular, in my opinion. There was never going to be a cozier and more family-oriented time to bring new life into the world.

Traveling is for Fools
Did you ever notice all the movies that showcase traveling during the holiday season include never-ending traffic jams and massive catastrophes? Home Alone. Need I say more? Seriously, there are plenty of movies that bring to life that home for the holidays feeling without actually showing you everyone traveling home for the holidays. Cue, The Family Stone. That’s because no one wants to see the long lines at the airport, the meltdown over lost luggage, or the arguments couples get into on Christmas Eve when driving eight hours each way to see distant family members. I digress… traveling is the worst and perhaps only bad part of Christmas.

Enter, a newborn baby. There will never be another Christmas when you have a better excuse to stay home. Not only do you get to exempt yourself from traveling out of state to Grandma’s house for the yuletide event, but everyone also collectively understands that you just had a baby and need alone time to bond. So no one is going to try to come stay at your house this Christmas, either. Is it sounding good to you yet?

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Pregnant Pauses Workout Classes and DVD

Use Code LOVE2018 to get 25% off your purchase for Black Friday 2018! The code is good for for the entire Black Friday weekend.

As you prepare to shop for Black Friday this week, don’t forget to shop for yourself, too! You probably feel a little like Santa Claus, with a shopping list that you’ve already checked twice making sure you haven’t forgotten anyone. You’ve looked through all of the sale ads and making sure you’re getting the best deals.

Well, we want to reward you for your selflessness and commitment to doing for others. At Pregnant Pauses, we believe that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and we want to help you fill yours up this holiday season. If you’re pregnant or looking to have a baby in the near future, our Pregnant Pauses exercise program is one of the best ways you can invest in yourself.

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Thanksgiving Survival Guide for Moms with Babies and Toddlers

thanksgiving survival guide

Whether you’re hosting a meal at your house, visiting local relatives and friends or traveling, Thanksgiving can be stressful when you have young children. From the interruption of schedules to dealing with picky eaters and everything in between, we have some tips to help you survive this holiday with your sanity intact!

Plan Ahead

The best way to prepare for Thanksgiving (or any holiday!) is to plan ahead. Know what time you need to get places, how long you’ll need to plan for travel, etc. If your little one has a specific naptime, try to accommodate by leaving earlier or later – just let your hosts know ahead of time. Most family and friends will understand!

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Tips for a Safe and FUN Halloween with Babies and Toddlers

safe baby halloween

Halloween can be a very fun, festive time of the year. It’s like a kick-off for the holiday season with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and then the New Year just around the corner.

If you have a baby or toddler, you may be excited but tentative to participate in Halloween activities. We have five tips for a fun, stress-free and most importantly safe Halloween.

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Review of the Ergobaby Omni 360

ergobaby omni 360

When you have a new baby, it will feel like she wants to be held 24/7. And of course, you understand and want to indulge. They say that you can never hold and comfort a baby too much in those first months. After all, she is used to be warm and snug inside your belly, listening to your heartbeat and the sound of your voice all day long. So that is where she finds comfort.

Chances are, there will be (many!) times that she doesn’t even want daddy to hold her – just mom. But you still have things to do around the house and with your older kids if you have any. You may want to cook, clean, do laundry or even go for a walk. So how do you get things done AND hold your baby at the same time?

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The Back-to-School Emotions

back to school emotions

Whether you have a little one starting kindergarten, going into 3rdgrade, or starting a whole new school, the beginning of the school year can be stressful and full of emotions. Your kids are excited and nervous – and so are you! We’re going to highlight tips to help you with both excitement and stress this school year.

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Family Fun for Labor Day

family fun labor day

To many working Americans and families, Labor Day is just another 3-day weekend. But it’s not! It’s a day to recognize the hard work you put in each and every day. So this year, we want to help celebrate YOU! If you’re at a loss for what to do this Labor Day weekend, we have a variety of ideas to get you started.

Pay tribute to history. If you’ve never visited your local museums (or even if you have!) plan a day trip. Explore, learn something new, and teach your kids about the importance of American history.

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Easy DIY Nursery Decorations

DIY Nursery

When you’re expecting, one of the most exciting things to do is decorate for your baby! Whether it’s an entire nursery or the wall of a room being shared with an older sibling, we have plenty of DIY nursery decoration ideas to help you stay on a budget and even maximize your space. Each one can be customized for a boy or girl and can go along with any “theme” you choose.

Alphabet Wall Hangings: One popular nursery decoration is to use the letter(s) of your child’s name. First, you’ll want to find a large piece of cardboard. Then use a sharpie to trace the outline of a letter. If you need font or style inspiration, search online. Once you’ve got it all traced, cut out your letter of choice. Now you can wrap the cardboard letter in thick yarn like this or pin flowers and foliage all over it.

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Importance of Reading as a Family

Reading as a family

Reading is arguably one of the most important skills to have, and one that impacts every aspect of your life. It is never too soon to begin reading to your children and doing so has many developmental benefits – especially in the earliest years of life. Sharing a love of books with your newborn, toddler and school-aged children will help them build a foundation for future success and instill a lifelong love of reading.

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