Uncluttered Holidays - Priceless

Holiday Candle

Holidays are fun once we are gathered with our families, feasting, drinking and enjoying the holiday spirit. However, the energy it takes to get there can be exhausting. Time is limited, we are all running around trying to stay fit, work, volunteer, eat right, and take care of our families. Finding the time to purchase gifts either by going to a store or even spending the time online is hard to do. When trying to figure out what to purchase as a holiday housewarming gift, a gift for dad, a gift for Uncle Rich, a gift for Aunt Jill, often we get confused and overwhelmed. How many times have you opened a box with another pair of black gloves, another sweater, another scarf or yet another candle?

As professional organizers we see many holiday gifts shoved in closets or hidden in bins in a basement or attic (often never even opened). One of the many ideas we encourage is to give an “experience” over actual material gifts. For example, wouldn’t it be great to open up a package and see tickets to your favorite concert or play? How about a gift card to a spa for a day of rest and relaxation? Maybe a gift card to a favorite restaurant or exercise class?  Hmm, maybe a gift card for someone to come organize the playroom or garage? By doing this you have not added more “stuff” to the person’s home, and have given the person something they will really remember.

Kid visiting petting zoo

This applies to children as well as adults. Yes, it is fun to watch kids tear open gifts and see their happy faces when they get something they have been asking for. How about just a few presents and a few experiences. Trust us, the Doc McStuffins nursery will be out of style next year and a new toy will be more popular. It will sit in the corner of a playroom, collecting dust and end up being eventually donated. By giving children experiences, you will have less clutter in your home which will put a smile on their face and yours. How about tickets to a children's performance or museum, just think of the terrific memories they will have. When grandparents ask what to get, maybe suggest movies tickets and ice cream after?

Another idea is to give the gift of time. As mentioned above, our time is so limited and valuable. Weekends are spent at kids sporting events, kid’s birthday parties, visiting children at college or elderly relatives in assisted living, paying bills, food shopping, etc…Finding time to catch up with friends and family can become almost impossible. How great it would be to open a gift and see written: “lunch and museum in the city with me my treat!” Or, “dinner and movie together, on me!” Being with your partner or best friend, spending time together no matter what the monetary value is priceless. It doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive, just hanging out talking, laughing and making memories is better than a sixth pair of gloves, sweater, scarf or candle.