Image courtesy of ScottChan / FreeDigitalPhotos.netThe season is upon us when we are encouraged to buy, buy,
buy. Yet the more we have, the more we
have to get organized to keep it all.
Ironically, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I love the traditions; the process of picking
gifts for friends and family; and the joy of giving gifts to others. But, by the time the New Year rolls around on
January 1, I am often overwhelmed by consumerism and glad not to have to deal
with major gift giving for another 11 months.
Even though the economy is in a slump, I still see the
buying trend continuing with my clients, friends and family. We look for the perfect gift or make
purchases simply to have something to
give. Our closets are full and our
wallets are empty. This year, I would
encourage you to think differently about your gift giving habits.
- Make a list of all those folks that you intend
to give gifts to.
- Think about your budget, set a number and commit
to keeping your budget. This one can be
tricky especially as you come closer to the holiday at hand and find there are
people you have forgotten.
- Think now about the gifts you would like to make
or buy. If you are overwhelmed by giving
and receiving gifts then others are, too. Keep your
gifts simple and think outside the box. Consumable items are less likely
to be clutter. The items you make are often much less expensive.
- Here are a few ideas: homemade applesauce, cookies and pies; a gift
certificate to babysit for a family with children while the parents enjoy a
night out; a picture you enlarged or painted; registration for a class for the
recipient to attend.
The effect of thoughtful gifts is
several-fold: there is less waste going into yours and your recipient’s homes
and the environment; you feel great about the gifts you are giving and good
about your finances, too; your gifts will truly be enjoyed.
There is a wonderful buy local
movement out called the ‘3/50 Project’ that encourages consumers to spend $50 a
month with 3 locally owned businesses.
If you think that $50 is a lot, look at your last grocery bill or
receipt from Target. What business could
you transfer to a local farm; gift shop on Main Street or bakery. Now you have gift that gives back and
supports the community you live in. You
can find out more at http://www.the350project.net/
The best gift you can give is that
of time. It is the least expensive, most precious and environmentally friendly
and fills the heart with joy. So, if you
are truly at a loss for that special someone in your life give a clutter-free
gift and make a date to spend time together.
© 2013 Nettie Owens, Sappari Solutions. All Rights Reserved.
Nettie Owens is a professional organizer, productivity coach and owner of Sappari Solutions. Since 2004 she has been helping overwhelmed professionals to streamline their lives so they may live!
Gift image courtesy of ScottChan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net