Sunday, December 14, 2008

Clutter-Free Holidays- Some Ideas

Before Christmas arrives, and all the accompanying presents that arrive with it, I am slowly working on decluttering the house. Here are some of my goals:

  1. Bag up clothes we no longer wear for Goodwill or other charitable organizations.
  2. Post at least 5 items on Craig's List or Ebay to earn some money and get rid of a few things as well.
  3. Get involved with I love to have books in the house, but we are pretty much maxed out on every bookshelf in the house. With, I can get rid of some of the books we won't necessarily re-read, and then we will have credit to get the books we do want. I think the free public library is, of course, the best option, but I figure we might as well make use of the books we already have on hand.
  4. Conquer the paper-clutter! I'm sorting through paper-work, filing it instead of letting it pile up, getting ready for taxes, shredding documents we no longer need, and making sure we submit claims for reimbursable expenses.

On the gift-giving front, I have been stock-piling clutter-free gift ideas. Here are some:

1. Give a charitable donation in the name of the recipient.
See my blog entry- Saving Cash - So We Can Help Those in Need.

2. Give gifts people can eat- I got some great chocolate powder for making hot chocolate last year!

3. Offer services (yours or professional)
  • Babysitting
  • Lawn Moving
  • Several hours of helping to declutter someone else's garage, basement, attic
  • Assembly of a photo album
  • Breakfast in Bed
  • Knife-Sharpening from a cutlery service - or store like Sur La Table or La Cuisine.
4. Offer the gift of education
  • Art classes - watercolor, pottery, drawing
  • Yoga, Tai Chi
  • Cooking Classes - Everyone benefits when someone takes a cooking class!
  • Foreign Language Classes
  • Music Lessons
5. Memberships
  • AAA - especially great for a new driver
  • A local museum, zoo, or aquarium

6. Gift cards
  • I-Tunes downloads
  • Netflix or other movie rental certificates
  • To a favorite local boutique or restaurant

7. Experiences
  • Theater tickets - include babysitting if they have kids
  • Ballet tickets - How about the Nutcracker for a holiday season gift?
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • A day at the spa
  • Weekend at a bed-and-breakfast
There is an overwhelming amount of ideas at Fly Lady's Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for the Holidays Take a few minutes though to go through the list. You may find things you want to give, or find some good ideas to suggest for those buying for you.

If you have some especially good clutter-free gift ideas, please do include them in your comments!


Dr. Mom said...

Great ideas! My aunt babysat for us yesterday as her present to us for Christmas. We actually got to eat a meal without saying, "put that down, sit in your seat, don't touch your brother, get off the floor, and stop drinking the coffee creamer!" It was really nice!

Katy, Planet Perspectives said...

I am hoping my brother will offer us some babysitting for Christmas. Hint, hint.