The January Challenge: You Took It

Thanks to everyone who decided to participate in the 2009 SpouseBUZZ Challenge. January's challenge is over, and kudos to those of you who participated. Several of you took the challenge, but didn't send in photos. You need to send at least one photo in each month per the rules.

I received a lot of email from milspouses vowing to start the challenge in February and that's great because if you missed January's challenge,it's not too late to climb on board. Should one of these ladies skip a month or two, it's anyone's game. Someone is going towalk away with a boatload of prizes. February's challenge will be posted the first week of February, so stay tuned...

If you want to be placed on a mailing list alerting you when new challenges are posted, send me an email and put "2009 Challenge" in the subject line.

For newcomers, click here to read the rules.

Meet January's participants:

Wendy went from boxes to organized tubs, and had this to say:

Thanks for the great motivation. As I was moving things from my randomly stored boxes I found several items I thought were missing...I also found4 strands of lights. odd. Next December will be better!



"Smiles" took the challenge.

Bought new Christmas bins and got it all organized and put away. Got rid of stuff we never use that wouldn't fit in the new bins anyway. Working on the Christmas list. No luck with the shopping; 'friad that will always be last minute.

Behold her lovely red and green, organized containers:


From Penny:

The decorations are sitting in storage now hehe. The address list, they were index cards and I just got a notebook and wrote the names in black ink with the addresses in blue ink. Actually originally, I just used all the cards we got..

Here is the proof:



Amanda went all out:

Here is my entry for the January challenge. I finally bit the bullet and renamed the file that contains our addresses (I'd been going off our wedding invitation file for far too long!). I use an online tool called Backpack to keep a gift list for family and friends. I also note their birthdays by their names, so that I can remember those important dates when I'm shopping, as well. I find this system works well because then when I see something they might like, I can add it instantly, and come back to my lists when I need them. I note the dates I purchase something (and where I put it!) next to the item once it is bought. If you look at the sidebar, you can see that I use also use Backpack to keep a continuously updated set of lists and notes for Christmas (recipes, to do lists, travel plans) and PCS info (under relocation). This allows me to keep my tried and true lists, as well as add important info about new duty stations, etc. I am including pictures of our packed decorations (my husband had already put our two trees away). I also took a picture of my weeded Christmas decor. And a close up shot of the most embarrassing item: my New Kids on the Block Christmas tape. I know NKOTB are making a comeback, but we don't have a tape player, so it was time to let it go. :)

Discarded Decorations

Christmas Storage

Gift List

Vicky organizes beautifully:

I bought an organizer with different compartments for all the ribbons, gift bags, bows and wrapping paper and got it all put together. I also bought a large stand up container for my larger rolls of gift wrap. I did label the large container. The other is self explanatory. Along with the wrapping I put the ornaments I sorted through, decorations and light strings in the large plastic container. Both my card list and gift record are electronic so I can't show them but did send pics of the storage items. I have purchased 3 gifts for next year and recorded them already. I added some names to the card record that I hadn't thought of and updated some addresses so thank you for doing this challenge.




Bobbie Jo got busy....

This was fun to do & took my mind off the day! So, the January Challenge is as follows:

Create or prune your holiday card list.


The beginning- I sit down with my address book(written in pencil) and go through all the cards I received this year-note address changes if need be change them. I am a firm believer if I get one from you then you will get from me. There are a few people who we never get one from but we still send to them because of their circumstance.


After that I throw away all the envelopes and keep the picture cards and rip off the fronts of the others and send them to:

St. Jude's Ranch for Children Card Recycling Program100 St. Jude's Street Boulder City, NV 89005

Weed your boxes of unused/unwanted items. Weeded, put the junk, this is what's left!




Red bins w/green lids family decorations.


These are the kids stuff and when they move out they will have a nice collection of ornaments. Start a record of gifts purchased for 2009 - This is one that I try to do every year but am never successful since my kids taste change on a dime but I do pay attention in late October early November.

Army Reserve Wife worked all day long....

Andi-I have been putting away Christmas stuff all day! LOL.

Mylabeled tubs. I have to say I have done this for years.



Headed to trash broken/old/not wanted anymore decorations:


My ready to go Christmas gift list for 2009 (admittedly I haven't purchased any gifts yet):


ARW also submitted a photo of herChristmas card excel spreadsheet.

TW took the challenge and sent a photo of her Christmas card list:

TW christmas card list

And finally, I took the challenge along with you.

My gift registry, where I hand write my gift list:


My newly-organized and labeled tubs:


Nice job, everyone. Wait until you see next month's prize(s)....

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