You Are Here: Home - Expert Advice - The Organizer's Toolbox - Tip Sheets
Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.
- Gift-giving can be a stressful decision especially for big occasions and around the holidays. Clutter-free gifts are a gift of time, a gift of memories, a gift of an experience, a gift of health, or a gift that helps others who have needs beyond our imagination. Let those you love know how much you care by giving gifts that are clutter-free. Let’s break it down:
Can’t go clutter-free
- Choose a gift that donates a portion of its profit to a non-profit agency. Verify the charity at www.give.org
- Buy Christmas, Hanukkah, or general cards that donate profits to your favorite charity
- Gifts that support disease research
- www.CafePress.com—charity T-shirts and gifts
- www.agreatergift.org—fair trade gifts
- www.ugandangold.com—supports coffee farm in Uganda
- www.redcross.org—designate the victims of recent disasters
- Savings Bonds or TAP contribution
- Gift cards for long-distance minutes, gas, or groceries
- Gift cards for garden nurseries, restaurants, or local coffee shops
- Spa and pampering gifts
- Gym membership
- Museum membership
- Tickets to local symphony
- Tickets to a Broadway show
- Movie and a dinner
- Pottery/glass-making class
- Cooking lessons
- Dance/Yoga lessons (milestone birthdays)
- Self-defense classes (graduating seniors, newly divorced females)
Gift-giving on a budget
- During the holidays, pick a name from a hat with all the adults in your family. Family members with limited budgets will be relieved.
- Set a limit on gifts for children under age 16
- Set a budget and stick to it. Celebrate the holidays without creating a financial hardship.
- Don’t shop to get ideas or buy gifts for future gift-giving.
- Limit the number of shopping trips you make or better yet, shop online!!
Gifts of time
- Join a friend (instead of exchanging gifts): local art studio classes, yoga, book club, film club, scrapbooking classes
- Babysitting coupons for nieces, nephews and grandchildren
- Take a child: to lunch, on a day trip, to the museum, to a local college for a sports event, to the zoo
- “First Christmas Together” (or other name) coupon book: Make a list of the things you know your partner would enjoy and include practical and fun things: for example, a backrub, do the dishes for a week, make a candlelight dinner, do grocery shopping, etc.
- Give a gift certificate so they can choose what charity to donate to: Just Give.
- International Relief Fund: www.oxfamamericaunwrapped.com
- Green gifts for global impact: www.thegreenguide.com
- Life-sustaining gifts to help abolish global poverty or renew our planet’s environment: www.altgifts.org
- Donate an animal in honor of someone: donate.worldvision.org or www.heifer.org
- Find the closest toy drive: www.secretsanta.org
- Give a tree in honor of someone: www.newgrowth.com
Vali Heist is a Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She also writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called 'Ask the Organizer' and has a radio program called 'Organize This!' on BoomerGenerationRadio.com.
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.
- Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Greater Philadelphia Chapter of National Association of Professional Organizers
- National Association of Professional Organizers
Would you like to reprint this tip sheet in your publication -- or distribute it to a wider audience? Click here for reprinting instructions.
Click here if you would like to submit a tip sheet or checklist...