Oh, There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays!

There is no way around the news that 2020 has been a difficult year. And now here we are preparing for Thanksgiving, and Christmas is only a few short weeks away. For many of us feeling stuck at home, finding ways to be in the holiday spirit may be challenging this year. But good planning can help rejuvenate the experience.

Make a List. Check it Twice.

Start with making some lists. Who is on your list to connect with this holiday season? What are the most important parts of your holidays? Where can you make changes? What activities can you creatively adapt?  Taking stock of what is available to you in this trying year may spark some creative solutions to celebrating at home, with or without your usual company or traditions. Try visualizing your lists using drawings such as these to brainstorm ideas for planning gatherings in and out of your home, and virtually as well!   Ideas might include:

  • Cleaning out a garage space for a socially distanced gathering. Hang lights for ambiance.
  • Arranging a covered backyard or driveway space for picnicking. Add heaters, if required in your area.
  • Share favorite holiday recipes virtually using zoom, google hangouts or an app like Signal. Then you can share pictures of your creations after you make them!
  • If gift-giving is on your list, send gifts early and schedule time to open them together. Homemade and locally purchased items are particularly meaningful this year.

For more suggestions for entertaining virtually and at home, check out this article from the LA Times.

Consider Your Space

Whether you will be alone or celebrating with your select family or friends, consider spending some time organizing and decorating your space. It will lift your spirits and can also create some wonderful background for your virtual connections. Festive décor that is easy to change and to store is a wonderful way to reshape your surroundings and provide some respite from the difficulties of this year. Lights, candles, and greenery are simple and inexpensive ways to add some joy to your home.

Consider Others

During this season, many of us consider how to help those loved ones or strangers who have had economic and emotional difficulties through the year. With the pandemic and Oregon wildfires, many more people need assistance this year. Consider using your resources to provide help through one of the many agencies supporting holiday giving this year. Encouraging your family to agree on a local charity to support is a wonderful gift to others.


Make your lists. Check them twice. If you need help with the process of planning or organizing your holidays in a meaningful way, Queen B Organizing can provide expertise and a caring attitude to make your holiday spirit bright. May we all find some holiday joy.

Trains, Planes and….No, Wait! Just Trains!

This week, Queen B Organizing offers a treasure trove for model train engineers and enthusiasts!

Hundreds of pre- and post-war Lionel trains and more!

A client’s collection includes hundreds of pre-and post-war Lionel trains, and also several of the coveted K-Line brand, along with track, controllers, collectible scenery and more.  All will be available at our  “Beehive” multi-family estate sale the weekend of Friday, November 20-22nd.   Sale event at 2409 NW Kings Blvd, Corvallis, OR 97330 at the former “Maurice’s” retail location. Hours: Friday, Nov 20th-8am-6pm, Saturday, Nov 21st-9am-4pm, and Sunday, Nov 22nd-9am-2pm.

What is it about trains that captures our imagination?

Model train collecting began in earnest in the Depression years, after savvy retailers used them for Christmas displays in their department store windows. What child has not looked on in wonder as a train rolls by, wheels clacking, and whistle blowing! Tiny reproductions bring that sense of awe into your living room, garage, or entire home!

Who Plays with Trains?

And model railroad collecting is not just for children. Men and women around the globe participate in this activity. Why? According to the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA), it’s educational, family-oriented, and fun!  Just what is needed in our world today.

Not surprisingly, Oregon boasts several model railroad clubs for serious engineers, hobbyests, and beginners. In the Willamette Valley, you can check out the Corvallis Society of Model Engineers and A&P N-gineers Model Railroading Club in Eugene on Facebook, among others. The Willamette Valley Model Railroad Museum in Salem has a wealth of resources to spark your imagination and help build your collection. (Call for hours and availability due to Covid-19 State restrictions).

Fascinating Fun

Whether you investigate model railroading for its historical significance, engineering possibilities, or just plain fun, you will learn a great deal about our nation and our people.  See model trains in action here!

Are you looking for a fun way to spend time learning about our nation’s history and the railroad industry? Then visit our Beehive sale this coming weekend and explore the possibilities!

The Ant and the Grasshopper…And the B!

Remember the story of the Grasshopper and the Ant?

This morning there was frost. Carved pumpkin faces are fading, and pumpkin lattes are keeping us fueled. First frost always reminds me of the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant.

The Ant was steadfast in gathering corn and other grains to store for the long, winter months, while the Grasshopper flitted about singing and enjoying the sunshine.  Don’t we all long to be the grasshopper?

Who Do You Long to Be?

Grasshoppers are considered lucky in some cultures. They can fly and they do, in fact, produce music through stridulation. These characteristics make them sound ‘flighty,’  but fun!

Ants are industrious and live in communal structures. Like bees, their colonies support only one queen, and there are workers whose sole function is to keep the colony prospering. In the fable, the Ant is portrayed as a boring killjoy.

Productivity Wins

Actually, ants are remarkable creatures that can move 50 tons of soil per year in a square mile. They accomplish all this because they are amazing communicators and the put the needs of the colony above their own.  They use established pathways to move through their day, and this makes them incredibly efficient and productive.

Ben Franklin is said to have quipped, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” What does an hour earned mean to you? Is it time spent alone with a book? Planning a special activity for a loved one? Following a business lead? Or, hiking an unexplored path?

There are many ways to organize your things, your days, your activities, or your business. If you make time to do just one small thing each day, think of all the time you can spending doing things you love.

Professional Organizers Can Help

This is the reason that Queen B Organizing exists. Our goal is to bring more peace into your life by tackling those projects you know will help you be more productive. Our worker bees do this in the same way the ants approach their tasks: communication, established pathways, and thinking of others’ needs.

As a NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) certified organizer, our Queen B, Kristin Bertilson, has trained her team to use the best professional practices for meeting our clients’ needs, and, more importantly, to follow the NAPO Code of Ethics, assuring the integrity of our interactions and our work.

Let us “B” Your Ant Army

Kristin and the rest of the Queen B Organizing team can help you prepare for the shorter days ahead.  Let us be the Ant, so you can be the Grasshopper a little longer.

Call for a consult for yourself or a loved one today!     541-231-6964

Photo by Ray Bilcliff from Pexels

Making Room for a Grateful Heart 2020

As if 2020 hasn’t been stressful enough, the holidays are now looming. How will you spend your time and energy keeping you and your loved ones connected and safe?

Perhaps you can clear out your garage and make space for an open-air meal with select family or friends, or rent a heated tent for your yard, if that is in your means. You may share a meal or cocktail or a blessing on Zoom with loved ones near or far. Whatever you decide will work for you, having a clean and clutter-free space will help raise your spirits and give you piece of mind.

Keep in mind that deep cleaning and organizing your home and all your “stuff” can be emotionally draining and overwhelming. Here are some tips from Adventure Wednesdays writer Stacey Newman Weldon that could help you approach this task from a heart-centered place:

•Remember, you are not your things. Your worth is not dependent on “keeping up with the neighbors” or the cost of your car.

•Let your friends and family know that you are going to be downsizing, and that you  need them to be emotionally prepared for all the sentimental journeys you’ll be going on as you sift through it all. Have at least one person who is willing to do it with you.

•Find a friend who is great at organizing. See if you can rope them in to helping you. Having a “third party” who is not attached to your stuff is very helpful. Queen B Organizing can provide this service if you’d rather have a professional.

•Organize your things into a one-day “free sale.” Gather items and put them out on the lawn with a FREE sign. You never know who you might help that way.

•Sell your things online. If you’re good at eBay, awesome. Use Craigslist, Facebook groups like marketplace (find ones in your specific area or that deal in particular items), or apps like LetGo if you have the time and inclination to meet people or mail items. (And of course, take precautions to keep yourself safe!)

•Find places to donate.  In the Corvallis area, we have four excellent centers that accept donations– Goodwill, Salvation Army, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and The Humane Society Thrift Store. This option saves you time and effort and benefits the organizations and the people who shop there. Donating to organizations that share your values also helps your heart.

•“Re-Home” your belongings. With sentimental or useful items, share them with family or friends as gifts that bring you to mind when they see or use them.

•Give yourself permission to be sentimental. Allow some time for processing your feelings and making decisions about the best way to part with each item.  All this giving will make you feel good!

Now you will have more physical and emotional space to celebrate the holidays! Let us hear from you what you are thankful for in 2020.

Edited with permission from Stacey Newman Weldon