Since starting my organizing business, I’ve become painfully aware of the burden and overload that occurs from clutter! At the close of many client sessions, I am often in the position of donating UN-USED items to charities and drop-off centers. This always includes an abundance of items that my client’s have received as gifts they NEVER USED! This holiday, to avoid the clutter crush – consider giving different kinds of gifts:
1. Give Experiences – My kids are getting to the age that experiences are more meaningful and lasting than more toys. Last year, we took them to Great Wolf Lodge for an overnight stay and had a wonderful time in the water park and with the indoor games & spa! They’ve also received a day trip to the city from their grandparents complete with a tour bus ride and a show. Consider tickets to an event, lessons for something special, or admission to a museum, zoo, or garden.
2. Give Your Time – One of my favorite ‘gifts for mommy’ are homemade coupons I receive for personal services around the house. Consider coupons for: cleaning, massages, babysitting, dates, breakfast in bed, or help with household projects.
3. Give Consumables – One of my favorite presents ever was a gift basket that contained all home-made items from my sister in law: jams, canned goods, chocolates, mixes, and “Gifts in a Jar”: cookies, breads, soups. Consider items that your recipient loves: wine, cocoas or coffees, teas, arts and crafts or even foods such as steaks or seafood gift certificates!
4. Give donations in honor of the recipient – Think of contributing to a charity, shelter, church, or missionary that may be doing a coat or blanket drive during the cold winter months.
5. Give gift cards or gift certificates – This year the government extended the grace period in which certificates can be used to 5 years. This will avoid wasted money if recipients don’t have time to use certificates within short time periods. Consider your friend or family member’s unique interests and wrap their gift card in a unique way – perhaps in a big box. They’ll get the thrill of opening a present, and get something they love! Consider movie tickets, car washes. service cards, iTunes, Amazon, restaurants, or personal services.
6. Ask – Would you rather receive something you would use and love or receive a “surprise” that you don’t need or want? Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply ask. Personalize gifts with an accessory, or a unique wrapping method. Try to avoid clutter and give an experiential or consumable gift this year!