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Blog: Organize This!
Think 'One-of-a-Kind' for Holiday Gift-Giving

The impending holiday season can bring about emotions from anticipation to delight. If you're not organized, the season can bring feelings of dread to being totally overwhelmed. Choosing the perfect gift can be part of that dread if you are looking for a one-of-a-kind gift or something especially unique. Handmade gifts are a special one-of-a-kind present if you possess the skills and the organization to make it happen. Last month, my column was about reorganizing that extra room in your home to spark creativity. If you missed it, you can go to my website and read it to get some ideas to set up that crafty area and start creating!    
My sister and I have been crafty people since we were young. We both learned to sew at an early age and that has been a skill we use to this day. One of my favorite Christmas presents from my sister was a yo-yo dresser scarf she made out of the scraps of dress fabric my mom used to make us dresses when we were children. Upcycling is another way to make something special it is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or value. For example, my sister-in-law paints used chairs and personalizes them for the recipient. She painted a chair for me with the words "Live Simply and Simply Live" all around the base. It sits in my office to inspire me. You can see these crafts and others on my Pinterest.com account on the Crafty Ideas and Upcycling boards.
Here are a few upcycled gift ideas I've created over the years:
  • An accent pillow made out of a wedding dress
  • A table or dresser runner made from childhood dress material
  • A throw pillow made from a favorite t-shirt from a vacation or sport's team
  • Twin size quilt made out of twelve t-shirts
  • Ceramic tile made into a mosaic table top
  • Framed cross stitch piece made into an accent pillow
Diane Pepple, a crafter and upcycling specialist recycles light bulbs into Baby's First Christmas ornaments and recycles neck ties from a loved one into a rose lapel pin. She displays and sells her items at one of our local artisan's stores. Many artists have used their passion to upcycle ordinary items into something extraordinary. Look for specialty shops in your area that have one-of-a-kind creations for the special people on your holiday gift list.
Of course the Internet has its share of one-of-a-kind and hard-to-find gifts:
  • eBay.com is the place for hard-to-find items
  • Etsy.com is a popular site for artisan and one-of-a-kind gifts
  • Smilebox.com is the place to make virtual Christmas cards
  • Shutterfly.com can help you make a 12-month personalized calendar
Finally, go to my website at www.thecluttercrew.com to purchase my book "Organize This!" for the special people on your holiday gift list. You'll also find other holiday helpers such as:
  • Clutter-free Gift-giving Made Easy
  • Simplify the Holidays
  • Party Planning Made Simple
Please send your upcycled gift ideas to me to add to my Pinterest.com boards and include them in my next book!
Clutter Quote: "Creativity is the defeat of habit by originality." Arthur Koestler, British writer

posted on: 12/15/2012 2:30:00 PM by Vali Heist
category: General Organizing Tips

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Organize This!

by Vali Heist

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About Vali:

Vali Heist is a Certified Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She is the author of "Organize This! Practical Tips, Green Ideas, and Ruminations about your CRAP. CRAP stands for Clutter that Robs Anyone of Pleasure! She writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called "Organize This!". Vali's bachelor's degree is in Business Administration from Shippensburg University and her Master's Degree is in Higher Education from Kutztown University. Vali has an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education including training, administration, project management, writing, and editorial production. Her passion has always been organization and how it relates to the simplification of work and personal life in order to enjoy both to the fullest. Her ultimate goal is to continue finding simple, easy to implement ideas that work in the real world and pass them on to her clients.

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