An E-mail A Day Keeps The Clutter Away

In early 2010 I decided I needed to get more organized. My house was clean, but cluttered. I searched online for a solution. I found several sites that help with household management, but the one I found most useful was House Honcho.

House Honcho Web PageThe web page slogan is “Home Management Made Simple.”  That was exactly what I wanted, something simple, easy to follow, but made a big difference!

Daily To-Do List

I signed up for the Daily To-Do List. It is an email that is sent once a day. Each day focuses on a different area or room in the house. And Sunday is a day of fun or rest. There is usually 9 items on the list, divided into simple, intermediate, and challenging tasks.You just pick ANY 3 tasks to do each day and you should see an improvement in your home, which should lead to an improvement in organization, your available time, financial resources, and in your level of stress.

Depending on the time I had available, I might pick the easy things, like clean out the messiest drawer, or wipe all counter tops and other days I would pick more time consuming items such as clean the ceiling fan or scrub the carpet. Most days were mix and match.

The to-do list also included seasonal reminders and holiday countdowns to keep you on your toes!   For instance the email I received yesterday mentioned Father’s Day.

Enticed By The Site

Several things drew me to the House Honcho  site.

  • The writer was a woman of faith and that matters to me.
  • She was a professional working full time and also loved her home.
  • She didn’t act or sound perfect, but like a real person just like you and I.
  • Her solution was in bite size chunks that I could relate to and actually do, plus they were emailed to me every day.

I felt a connection to the writer and she was addressing the exact problems and issues I was dealing with.

The Woman Behind The Blog

House Honcho is run by Trisha Priebe. When I first started following House Honcho, I did not know who was running the site. I just knew the daily emails were helping me.

Trisha Priebe

Trisha Priebe

About a year later, Trisha revealed she was House Honcho and the person behind the site. When asked why she kept her identity a secret, she responded, “I wanted honest feedback from my friends and family. I was afraid if they knew it was ‘Trisha’s blog’ they would support it out of love (the way a mom puts her child’s paintings on the fridge even if they’re awful). Many of my friends follow mom blogs and/or house blogs, so I knew that they would be straightforward in their assessment of it if they had no idea it was mine. I knew the blog was successful when I was sitting at a Christmas party and the people at my table began discussing this new blog called ‘House Honcho.’ Someone turned and asked if I had heard of it. ‘Yes! I have’!”

Then the fun began. She announced she was behind House Honcho and we had the privilege of learning more about Trisha, her struggles and her triumphs.  Trisha was adopted at a young age and  has adopted two sons.  She has written many posts on the process of adoption, its rewards, and some of the problems and frustrations.

I remember many an evening when I would be reading her blog with tears in my eyes as she dealt with the waiting for a baby and the thrill of learning their child was available to adopt.  Then the long wait for paperwork and other issues of the adoption to be resolved.  During that time she and her husband, Luke, wrote a book about patience titled Trust, Hope, Pray.

Professional Woman With A Dark Secret!

Trisha describes herself as a professional woman with a dark secret!  She loves home management.  Keeping an organized home is her hobby.

Trisha believes that homemaking makes a difference. A well-run home lends order to an otherwise chaotic world. Time and energy are conserved when items are found where they should be. Health and wellness is preserved when the house is clean.

She blogs about everything in the home from recipes, cleaning tips, organization, adoption, childrearing, decorating, and more.

House Honcho and Trisha have come a long way since the early days.  Along the way a few things caught her off guard. She told me, “I am surprised by the incredible support that people (like you!) have given me along the way. We should hit 70,000 hits on the blog this month, and that’s pretty amazing! In a culture that doesn’t seem to value homemakers the way it once did, I am encouraged that so many people still care about keeping house. Managing the home has many benefits.”

One would think Trisha always wanted to live in a white picket fence setting with the perfect home, but she said, “Growing up, I wanted to live in a high rise apartment in a city that never sleeps. I love the sound of traffic outside my window and wanted to wake up to it every morning. I loved the concept of walking or hailing taxis to get around town. Then I had kids. Now I love the idea of buying a house in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by cornfields perhaps. I’ve come full circle.”

Future Plans

House Honcho and the Daily To-Do Emails have had a huge impact on keeping the clutter at bay. An email a day truly does keep the clutter away. I was wondering what Trisha had in mind for the future of House Honcho.  Her response, “Great question! I think about this often. Above all, I want the site to be useful to people. I am hoping at some point to join efforts with other blogs or bloggers in a more formal way.”

We can’t wait to see what tidbits of advice Trisha and House Honcho dish up next!

House Honcho has been most helpful to me, perhaps House Honcho could help you too. You can also connect with Trisha on Facebook and Twitter.

Charlotte of This Lovely Place Has 12 Kids

If you’re like me you find yourself looking for a blog that will help you in your life as a homemaker. I read a lot of personal stories online and feel like I get to know my favorites. Sometimes I find one that I know will benefit a lot of others as well and that is what I’m sharing today. Charlotte Siems over at This Lovely Place has a great blog full of useful content, great stories and wellness tips galore.

1charlottesingleThis Lovely Place is centered around her home where she is wife, mother of 12 and homeschooling the remaining 5 that haven’t graduated yet. She shares tips and resources that any mom can use whether your kids are in public school or stay at home with you.

Charlotte also has coaching classes to help in the areas of Stress Relief, Time and Marriage Management. She uses her experience and knowledge to help others that are struggling through these tough issues.

In one of the sections of her page she opens up and shares her struggle with weight gain and her success of overcoming it at the ripe age of 47. After she reached her wellness goal she knew she couldn’t keep the life changing process to herself. She trained to be able to teach others so that they too can lead healthy, happy lives.

Her About Me page sums it up-  ”This Lovely Place is where I write about home life, faith, food, fitness, homeschooling and generally being a happy mama. I love to share the fastest, easiest ways to cook, clean, exercise and stay sane at home.”

A Chat With Charlotte

I had a chance to ask her a couple of questions and she was gracious enough to answer them.

Question: What are two things you would tell your pre-mommy self if you could go back in time?

Answer: 1) Your children will be adults most of their lives, so enjoy every minute while they’re home and 2) Take care of yourself so you can give out of the overflow rather than feeling thin, like butter scraped over too much bread (to quote Bilbo Baggins).

Question: What are the best and the worst things about being mom of 12?

Answer : Best thing about being a mom of 12: Extreme pride and joy watching our children grow up and be who they are (times 12!). Worst thing about being a mom of 12: Seriously, there is no worst thing. Sure, it’s been a lot of work but so is one child. Absolutely no regrets on having twelve!

Charlotte Reaches Out

On her Facebook page she shares encouragement and uplifting thoughts as she goes about her daily walk.

This is a recent status update that I enjoyed -

Runaway thoughts can get you rolling downhill as you start your day. Stop and reset–think about what you’re grateful for and look forward to the good things that will happen today!

Recently I’ve been following her efforts as her family went to some of the battered sections of Oklahoma to outreach and help in the much needed clean up there. It’s been great seeing the pictures of so many people stepping out of their own busy lives to help other people.

In short she’s just a humble homemaker who has chosen to share what she’s learned in raising 12 kids. Just the fact that they all have smiling faces in this photo is enough to convince me that she has at least a few tidbits of knowledge that I’d want.

1charlottefamily

In all seriousness though the recipes, stories and real life truth that she shares is inspiring my life daily as a stay at home mom and I know that it will be to you too.

To learn more about Charlotte visit her at This Lovely Place.

Nifty, Fun or Uber-Useful Gifts for Dad Under $25

Father’s Day is right around the corner. Fathers and other males in our lives play such an important role. You want to remember Dad, honor him and make him feel special.

Gifts for Dad come in all shapes and sizes. You can find many without breaking the bank. There are lots of fun and useful gifts for under $25.00.

Remember The Happy Times

photo-booksMy favorite memory type gift is a personalized Custom Hardcover Leather Photo Book. Photos forever capture the good times with Dad. Share those memories for generations a beautiful, professional-grade photo book. Prices start at $12 for an 8×6 20-page book.

I personally have made several of these books in the past and they are treasured keepsakes.

The Tool Guy

Magnetic WristbandIf Dad is a tool guy, he will love this Magnetic Wristband. It is embedded with super strong magnets for holding screws, scissors, and small tools.  The fabric close to the skin is comfortable and it is easy to put on and take off.

This is a handy little device that would be ideal for many woodworking, home improvement, and do-it yourself projects. I can think of dozens of uses for this handy-dandy device.

If Golf Is His Game

golf - dadIs your Dad a golfer? If so, he might enjoy a “Top 10 Best Golfers” t-shirt with his name listed among the professional greats of Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus.  This would be considered an “above par” gift by many a man! The shirt is available in black and white.

Keep Him Safe On The Road

aaa Road KitDoes he travel a lot for his job?  Or maybe he drives a distance back and forth to work or to the gym.  Even on short trips you can have an emergency. The AAA Emergency Road Assistance Kit will come in handy.

It arrives in a compact storage bag with handles to keep in the trunk. This 42 piece set includes flashlight with batteries, car care guide, booster cable, emergency poncho, first aid items, and much more.  Great for any emergency while traveling.   This would also make a great gift for a high school graduate heading to college.

Do It Yourself Guy

Handy DadThe “do-it-yourself” dad might get a kick out of this book, Handy Dad: 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids. Everything fun, from ziplines, go-carts, tree houses, slip-and-slides  and 21 other awesome projects ranging from simple to challenging. Includes step by step directions and lists of materials needed. Projects take anywhere from five minutes to a weekend to complete. This book also includes many color photographs and illustrations. An inexpensive way to keep kids and dad working together and entertained for hours.

Light The Way

flashlightEvery man needs several flashlights. This Floating Waterproof LED Flashlight has a carabineer clip so you can clip it to your pants, is a bright 32-Lumens for seeing under water and in the darkest places.

The size a construction of this flashlight fits perfectly in the hand and it has a shock absorbing rubber construction and yellow finish so it will be easy to find. This would be one of those useful gifts that any m an would love!

It’s A Car Thing

car care kit for DadIs his car his pride and joy? Some men just love having a sparkling clean car and will spend endless hours making sure it shines. If you know a Dad who loves his car, Meguiar’s Classic Wash & Wax Kit would be the perfect gift. It is an 8 piece kit that includes everything needed to keep his car’s exterior, interior, wheels and rims shining.

Portable Gardener

Pocket Hose 2Flower and vegetables might be his thing. Gardening is a fun pastime for many. One of the chores of gardening is lugging the heavy hose around. An ideal gift might be the new, lightweight, flexible pocket water hose.

The hose will never kink or tangle and delivers a high volume spray. It is compact, lightweight, and will automatically expand and contract.

This would also be a lightweight alternative for washing cars. I will be purchasing this gift for my father and maybe one for my husband.

The Grill Master

Grill MasterDads who grill are king! Help him express that will his own Grill Master Apron. Dad takes pride in his cooking and will be happy to let the world know what an awesome grill master he is. This apron is a polyester blend in black and one size fits most. Give Dad this and he might be tempted to take on the cooking duties more often!

World’s Greatest Dad

Every kid thinks their Dad is the greatest. Now you can make it official. Dad would be happy to post this parking sign knowing his kids have proclaimed him the “World’s Greatest.”

signThis sign can be customized and you get to choose the background and the text color, so you can use his favorites or maybe a favorite team’s colors.

Regardless of what gift you choose, be sure to wrap it with love and a heartfelt note and plan to spend some time with Dad when presenting his gift. Everyone likes to feel special and a handwritten note reminding Dad of the important role he has played in your life would be welcome and something he can read over and over.  It might even be his favorite part of the gift!

Did I miss your favorite gift for dad for under $25?  If so, please add your idea. How do you make the day special for the Dads in your life?

Overdone Party Themes For 2013

Birthday party themes range from the cute and adorable to down-right weird. Each kid is unique, wants to stand out, and have a super fun birthday party.

Birthday party

If you’re looking for another list of themes for your kids birthday party, this is not that list.

Instead, you should avoid the following themes because they’re so popular. Chances are several kids in your area will have one of these for their party this year.

I’ll admit that several of these are cool, but if you want to throw a unique party you want to steer clear of:

Girl Themes

  1. Disney Princesses 
  2. Dora The Explorer
  3. Justin Bieber (Tween)
  4. Hannah Montana
  5. Tinker Bell
  6. Minnie Mouse

Boy Themes

  1. The Avengers 
  2. Angry Birds
  3. Cars
  4. Thomas the Train
  5. SpongeBob SquarePants
  6. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

Think ‘Outside The Party Box’

Themes are supposed to be fun and that’s accomplished best when it’s not the same as every other kid on the block.

Take a little time and come up with a unique idea that fits your awesome kid.

You could even make the decorations with your kids to make sure it’s one of a kind.

Is there a theme you think should have been on this list? Are you now rethinking your party theme idea? Tell me about it.

5 Minute Red Velvet Mug Cake From Scratch

Yep, I mean from start to finish. This shows a cool new way to cook individual desserts. With a big family most of the time people like or want different desserts. With videos like this to guide you it’s a breeze to make several types of desserts, all in the microwave. That means more time to enjoy the dessert and less clean-up because you mix it all in the cup. I know you’ll enjoy watching this video as much as I do.

Even The Pros Have Laundry Woes

Last week I wrote a blog post about laundry and sites with tips to help with the process. The most popular comment I received online and off was about folding fitted sheets. I do a terrible job with folding fitted sheets and it seems many others have trouble as well.  I was searching for a video that would make this task a bit easier for us and wait till you see the video I found.  One that shows the process, but also shows how even the experts have problems doing this! I was actually laughing out loud as I watched.  In the end, I decided Martha has the best idea of all!  I hope you get a kick out of this video too.

Savvy Homemaking Bloggers Show Us How To Do Laundry with Ease

Laundry, sometimes it seems to never end. There are only three of us at my house, but we always seem to have a load or two of laundry waiting to be done. Just when you think you are caught up, someone throws more dirty clothes in the hamper. I could do laundry every day of the week and there would still be dirty clothes waiting to be washed.

Some people enjoy doing laundry and some people hate it. I look at it as a necessary task that needs to be done and isn’t that difficult.

With my new laundry room I now have room to sort clothes in bins prior to washing and that has made a world of difference. When family members bring their dirty clothes to the laundry room, they can sort them. I have each bin labeled as to what color/type of clothes go in the bin. It keeps the room looking tidy and saves time when you go to do a load. It also helps when others do the laundry, they don’t have to think, they can just grab a bin and empty it and get the load started.

Laundry With Ease

Doing laundry in general seems to take up a lot of time. I have been hunting for some ways to become more organized and  I found some laundry tips that will save me time and money. They might be helpful for you too.

Detergent And Stain Removal

It seems lots of people are fascinated with laundry. Have you ever made your own laundry detergent? It sounded like a lot of work to me. It just seemed easier to go and  buy it at the store. After reading about making homemade laundry soap and saving $50+ per year on detergent, and how much better it is for the environment, it doesn’t look so difficult.  I’m still debating if it is worth the time I would need to invest to purchase all the ingredients and mix it up.

Stains, stains, and more stains!  I am forever finding grease stains on the front of my clothes.  This advice on removing grease stains has been so helpful. It even brought out stains that other commercial products did not bring out.

The Finishing Touches

Once that laundry is finished, then you need to fold or hang your clothes. I usually hang as much as I can because when I fold, things get wrinkled. Seems I never learned to fold correctly. Mamas Laundry Talk is teaching me how to fold, not just with written instructions, but with pictures of the correct folding methods.

I need to print the instructions and diagrams out and post in my laundry room so I can use it for an easy reference.

Who puts the laundry away at your house once it is folded?   Does each family member handle their own clothes or are you the maid that puts it all away? You will find the ideas shared about ending laundry chaos helpful. It gave me some new ideas to try.    

I can’t wait to put all these new things I learned into my laundry routine and then teach my husband and son. Do you have any tips to add or any blog posts about laundry we should add to our list?

Five Great Projects: Re-purposing Pallets Into Furniture

I have seen a multitude of pictures of furniture items that were made out of recycled materials. My favorite new addition to this recycling trend is turning old or new pallets into usable furniture.

I Love Making Great Stuff Out Of Free Or Cheap Materials.

So I went on the hunt for some examples of this creative craze. I found page after page on Pinterest of pictures but I had to search through to find people who had actually made this stuff. I was super excited when I found five great blog posts.

Bookshelves Anyone

The ladies over at Six Sisters’ Stuff found a neat alternative to standard bookshelves.

These stand out and could be catered to any book lovers’ needs.

Put at any height for the kids to reach, so you don’t have to worry about a big shelf getting pulled over.

pallet shelf

Versatile Dresser

This is a not so normal dresser made out of pallets and some brackets. It was made by Kim over at To Much Time On My Hands.

I love this because it is  thinking out of the box, from the materials to the outcome of it all.

scrnshtdresser

Anybody Sleepy?

The next pallet creation is this thrifty day bed made by Ashley Ann over at Ashley Ann Photography. Who would have thought, sleeping on pallets?

She did, and did an amazing job at it.

pallet day bed

Comfy Couch

This next piece looks extra soft and relaxing. Alena over at Fish Smith 3 has this couch in her outdoor seating area. They not only used pallets for it, but also a twin mattress to save on cushion costs.

pallet couch

Outdoor Chairs On The Cheap

Lastly is a set of those Adirondack chairs I see for sale everywhere. The guy with instructables did an amazing job breaking down this task and making it super easy to follow. This is our plan for outdoor seating ASAP!

Adirondack pallet chair

I hope you received tons of inspiration and got the steps ready to make some of your own furniture out of pallets. I wanted include one last tidbit on the pallet furniture as I found this list of unique things to do with them.

My hubby has already made me a shelf out of pallets and we’ve got big plans for more. Not only do we get cheap or free building materials, we’re keeping all that wood out of the landfills.

Do you know of a pallet furniture piece that should have been featured here?

Easy Tips to Green Up Spring Cleaning

When we clean our house we like it to be nice, shiny and neat. Especially, when spring cleaning comes around.

What’s The Cost Of Our Cleaning?

Are we doing more damage with the chemicals we use, than the dirt that they are meant to get rid of?

A lot of people suffer from allergies. I’m one of them. The prettier the flowers get, the worse I feel. Most people don’t realize that using a lot of cleaners in the house are making it worse. We’re breathing in all that junk which attacks our already overworked lungs.

Turn Your Cleaning Green

Do it with Eco-friendly products, natural items and reusable materials.

The three best all natural cleaners to start with you probably already have in your pantry.

1 three

Lemon Juice Or Lemons

This citrus juice will have a microwave sparkling and smelling great in less than 20 minutes, no scrubbing required. Put a microwave safe cup that’s 2/3 full with water and a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Microwave 5-7 minutes, or until boiling. Leave it closed for 10 minutes or so,and wipe it out with a rag.

Lemons will also get out most household stains. Just rub it into stained cutting boards, plastic bowls, or counter tops and leave for a while or over night. Rinse it and dry well.

Adding a few teaspoons to your dishwasher will fight grease.

Baking Soda

Instead of buying air freshener packets for smelly trash, just pour in some baking soda before putting in the trash bag for an instant and long-lasting odor neutralizer.

Baking soda is also an abrasive cleaner, you can sprinkle some on counter tops, or stove tops with just a little water and rub it out with a rag.

As a booster you can sprinkle it in the dishwasher before starting the cycle. It will get rid of more of the stuck on spots.

Vinegar

Vinegar draws out almost any smell, even that moldy smell that clothes get if you forget to put them in the dryer fast enough (again). Run a complete cycle with 3/4 cup of white vinegar to get the smell out.

Surface cleaner: Mix equal parts vinegar and water and put into a spray bottle. This handy mix does mirrors, windows and porcelain surfaces. Just use lint free fabric or two week old newspapers so your fingers don’t turn black.

Your House Is Full Of Natural Cleaners

Salt added to the above cleaning mixtures will help it be even more effective on tough spots.

Olive oil can be used in place of a product like WD-40 to stop that creaky door.

Ketchup is a great copper cleaner. Just rub onto the surface, let it sit for a few minutes and rinse off. It’s that easy!

Don’t Use Disposable Wipes Or Paper Towels

Instead use cut up old t-shirts or towels as rags.

Old newspapers can be used to clean up spills or wipe away lint.

Reusable dusters are great, and cut down on waste.

If you just love the disposable wipes, make your own: Take the cardboard out of a roll of good paper towels, put them in a large zip top bag with your cleaner of choice. Voila, cleaning wipes that will dissolve easier and clean better that the store bought ones.

Greening up your spring cleaning is just that simple to get started. Look around your house, get creative and use up what you have to get green clean.

What’s your favorite green cleaning tip?

Tips For Planning A Successful Family Reunion

reunion blog post 2xxSummer will be here before we know it and with the warm weather comes picnics and family reunions. Does your family have a reunion on a yearly basis? Mine does. We get together the third Sunday in August every year for an extended family reunion.  I get to see relatives that I only see once or twice a year and catch up on their lives.

Over the years, I have been part of the planning committee and in charge of various aspects of the reunion. Below are some tips and other helpful information to help you plan your own successful reunion.

Why Plan A Reunion?

Reunions are lots of fun. They are also a way for your children to connect with the extended family and for members of the extended family to bond together. Reunions usually give you lots of pleasant memories.

Reunion fun for blog

Yes it is work, but it is worth it to feel part of a big extended family.

I suggest if you are planning a reunion, get others involved and have a committee in charge. There is a lot to do and it is just too stressful for one person to handle all the details. Not only will spreading the duties ease your stress, but it will also help other family members to bond working on a common project.

Who Will Attend?

Your relatives of course. But which ones? Only you and the planning committee can answer the question. Do you want just 1 level of extended family to attend? Or do you want your great, great uncles kids to attend? Or maybe you live in a small town and anyone with your last name is invited. It is totally up to you. No right or wrong answer.

If this is your first reunion, I would limit to a certain number of people you think you can successfully handle and the facility where you are holding the reunion can accommodate.

Make sure once you have the details nailed down, everyone is invited. You can send postcards, flyers, or make phone calls, but be sure to do it far enough in advance that people can plan accordingly. Especially in the summer when there are vacations and other events to plan around.

When Will You Hold It?

We automatically think of summer as the season for this, but many families hold their reunions in the early fall and some hold them over the holidays. Plan a time when the majority of people invited will be able to attend. If you are planning to hold the event outdoors, schedule during the time of year when it is relatively warm.

Where Will It Be Held?

Decide well in advance where you will hold the reunion. There are lots of possibilities. You can always hold the event at a family member’s home. If the group is fairly large, you will want to have it where you can accommodate more people. You could consider the following:

  • Community Park or Pavillion
  • Theme Park
  • Historical Site
  • Family Gathering Place
  • Restaurant
  • Resort

Take into consideration the costs associated with the various places, will there be room for the kids to play and whether you want to keep people in a central location. If you want all ages in the same proximity, you probably don’t want to go to a theme park where everyone will scatter.

What Will You Eat?

reunion food hhNow this is my favorite area. Nothing like wonderful food to make a family happy! If you come from a family of wonderful cooks, having everyone bring their favorite dish is ideal. Even if you are not great cooks, it would be the easiest and least expensive alternative.

You can also consider having the meal catered or having the main dishes like meat and potatoes catered and everyone else bring a side dish, salad, or dessert. A side dish that is awesome to take to get-togethers and serve with tortilla chips is Hillbilly Caviar. I make this and everyone begs for the recipe. Best part is, it is low fat and good for you.

Remember if children are included in this event, you will want to have items they enjoy or spark their interest to try. The most important things is to have a variety and lots of it for children and adults alike.

Activities To Thrill Everyone

Once you get everyone there and they eat, then what? How do you entertain a large group of people of a variety of ages?   This is where you need to be creative and come up with something for all people to do that will be enjoyable. If you have a committee, each person could handle a different age group. Some will just want to sit, talk, and catch up with each other’s lives. But the younger crowd will want something to do.

Depending on the location, you might have room for a volleyball net, horseshoes, or even softball. These activities often are appealing to multiple age groups. If it is hot, anything with water is a hit.

Games like guessing how many pieces of candy are in a jar, etc. are great for all ages.

reunion tshirts At the very least, I would plan some activities for the youngest in the group. At our family reunion we have different people take turns each year planning the children games. There are lots of simple games and we have prizes for the winning teams. They enjoy games like candy scramble, relay games like fill the cup with marshmallows, etc.

A huge hit is the frozen tshirt contest.   You wash the tshirts, but fold them wet and put in individual plastic bags and seal then freeze. The object is to get the tshirt out of the bag, unfold and get it on your body the quickest.   It is hard to do since the shirts are frozen and they are very cold. The kids love it.

Our family also has an auction. Everyone brings in a gift labeled man, woman, boy, girl, etc. and then we have a pretend auctioneer (family member) run the auction and the highest bidder gets the prize. It helps us to raise some funds to pay for the other game and prizes.

One year we had clowns, and another year we had the local fire company come and give the children a ride on the truck.

Recording The Memories

Regardless of where it is held or what activities you plan, you will want to record the memories.  Have someone assigned to take pictures.   Or buy disposable cameras and put them on each table and ask guests to make sure they have taken all the pictures available on the camera before they leave.  Then you take them and get them developed or put on a CD.    Video is also great!  In the future people will look back on the photos and remember the great time they had at the reunion.  I also post our family reunion pictures on our Family Facebook page. This way everyone can view them. You could do the same with a web page.

Every couple years we make a photo collage and display at the reunion so those who are not online can enjoy the pictures also.

Make sure you have everyone sign their name and give you an updated address and email info so you have a record of who attended and can reach them to invite them to the next reunion.

After The Guests Go Home

Your reunion was a huge success!  Now what?  For starters you want to make sure you pay any bills associated with the reunion.  If money is left over you might want to start a bank account so you have start-up funds for future reunions.

If you have pictures or video you might want to post them so everyone can enjoy them.  Those that couldn’t attend can see what they missed.

Make a list of what went well and what didn’t so you can improve or eliminate for next year.

Keep all your reunion information together in an envelope, file folder, etc. so you can find it easily for next year.

Breath a sigh of relief and relax a bit.  You made wonderful family memories possible.

Have you helped plan reunions before? Please leave us some of your favorite tips in the comments below.

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