Clutter Cutters & The Paper Academy

Baking Season is Here: Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Baking & Gift Giving

Baking season is here, so it’s time to check out and edit the spice and baking cabinets! A fun personal holiday gift idea is to create a plate of homemade cookies, bars, or candies for neighbors and colleagues. My boys and I do this each year and we derive so much joy from giving, and the people receiving the plates enjoy it also. The cookies are nothing fancy, just home cooked, done with love, placed on a tray and covered before delivering them so they stay fresh and yummy!

For years now, my family has been baking holiday cookies and delivering them to family and friends. These homemade personalized treats are our gift to them. We invest the time, energy, and love into making these, rather than purchasing a gift to give. However, I know it can feel just as overwhelming and stressful to make so many personalized gifts as it can to purchase gifts. 

That’s why I started doing a couple of different things to streamline the process, bring more freedom to the time frame, and making a tremendous difference in my stress level:

  1. I start by making the batter and freezing cookie dough balls in late October/early November. Making the batter ahead of time when I am in the mood to bake keeps the task enjoyable and the stress down. I put the frozen cookie dough balls in a Ziploc bag so I can easily make a batch of cookies when I’m ready to actually bake them.
  2. For cookie dough that does not freeze well, I will bake the cookies and then place the cooled and baked cookies in the freezer before I transfer them to gallon-sized Ziploc bags for storage till later. I make several batches and types, and hide them from my immediate family!
  3. Then when December comes around and I am ready to put the platters together to take to family and friends.  I can quickly and easily take out all the bags of cookies, divvy them up onto the different platters, then enjoy going around and giving the platters of cookies away. 

I like to make the platters up all at once and then deliver them. I enjoy the gift of giving and the recipients enjoy the gift of receiving. One bonus to having precooked cookies ready in the freezer is the fact that when you have guests stop by during the holiday season, you can pull out a few cookies and then sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and some cookies.

Cost Saving Tip – I go to the dollar store and buy the cute little Christmas platters and then cover them with Saran Wrap once they’re filled with the cookies. Then I will write the person/family’s name on a holiday card and attach it to the platter.

P.S. If you go to the stores after the holiday is over, you can buy the platters, boxes, or tins on clearance and then save them for next year.
Happy Baking! 

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Terina Bainter

I started my professional organizing business, Clutter Cutters, in 2012 to help others reach their potential by decluttering and organizing their homes. Having someone support you and teach you how to break each decluttering task into a step-by-step process makes any overwhelming project doable. Helping my clients create and maintain streamlined systems of organization is so rewarding! 

Through my work as a professional organizer, I have learned that the number one thing that clutters people’s homes and stresses them out is paper! That is why I founded The Paper Academy, to help my clients learn how to sort their mail, process their important papers, and create filing systems that keeps them on top of their paperwork. 

Ultimately, my goal is to help you improve your life and save you money by reducing the anxiety, time, and expense that your cluttered environment causes. Learning the skills to manage your items and your paperwork is the perfect place to begin your organizing journey!

Everyone deserves to feel empowered in their home and confident with their paperwork – including YOU!