Author: Naomi CookGeneral Holidays

‘Tis the Season for Regifting! (Fa la la la la, la la la la)

Do you have closets filled with items that you have never used?  Is money a bit tight these days?  Does the thought of shopping in crazy crowds make you feel sick?  Consider regifting this holiday season and you can go shopping in your own home!

Did you know that December 15th, 2011 is National Regifting Day?  What a great way to save some money and clear your closets at the same time!  Here are 3 valuable benefits to regifting:

1) You Save Space – Go on a scavenger hunt throughout your home for items that you have never used before and never plan to, or that you just don’t care for.  Why hang onto these things if they are just taking up precious space?  Unless it is a family heirloom, don’t feel like you need to hold onto anything you don’t want to.

  • In the Pantry look for good bottles of wine that have been unopened and other non-perishables that have come from gift baskets like unusual  jams and mustards.  As for that mystery fruitcake that has been sitting on the top shelf forever, please throw it away…nobody wants it, probably not even the raccoons who like to dig in your trash can!
  • In the Coat Closet look for unworn hats, scarves and mittens that aren’t your style or that jacket that you thought you wanted at the time, but that still has its tags on.
  • In the Bathroom/Linen Closet look for unused jarred candles, body care gift baskets and makeup kits.
  • In the Bedroom Closets look for sweaters that have never been worn.  Be sure though to check them to make sure no moths have taken a nibble out of them!
  • In the Hall Closet look for small housewares that are still boxed and board games that have never been played.

2) You Save Money – Like most of us feeling the effects of the down economy, buying gifts can create a lot of financial stress.  By regifting, you can treat your loved ones and colleagues to great items that just aren’t right for you.  However, make the gifts personal by buying new festive wrapping paper or a gift bag and a card that will make them laugh!

3) You Save Time – Since you don’t need to brave the mall, you can spend a little time to add a personal touch, like slipping a recipe or article that you know someone would appreciate, into their card.

All in all, have a happy and warm holiday season and most importantly don’t forget to make sure you don’t give the gift back to the person who gave it to you first!

Author: Annette ReymanClutter Holidays Home Organizing

Ten Clutter-Free Holiday Gifts

Need ideas for those hard to shop for people on your list?  Want to give something that won’t just sit around unused or add to anyone’s already full home?  Here are ten ideas for useful gifts to delight your friends and loved ones for the holidays:

1.  Collapsible fabric totes

These totes are the best!  They can be used in the top or bottom of a closet for a multitude of essentials: winter accessories, pet supplies, extra slippers, spare toiletries… just about anything!  And, when they’re not in use, they fold flat and store easily.  You can give a set of two or three, collapsed, or open each one up and fill them with snacks and treats to use as gift “baskets!”

2.  Slim non-slip hangers

Know someone with lots of clothes and not enough closet space?  These work great and take up less than half the bar space as the plastic ones.  Dress the gift up with a silk scarf (that will be sure not to slip off these hangers!)

3.  Craft Storage Case

Is there a knitter or crafter in the family?  So many craft stores now carry quite an array of craft supply organizers – from bead sorters to long knitting needle cases – thoughtful and practical gifts for anyone who loves to be creative.

4.  Under-bed Shoe Storage

Those zippered cloth shoe storage bags that can hold 10-14 pairs of shoes and slide right under the bed can be a perfect gift for someone who’s always wearing something different on their feet.  It keeps shoes out of the way, easy to reach and dust/pet hair free!  Want to add some pizzazz?  Top it with a pair of slippers or all-weather crocs.

5.  Lap Desk

Lap desks are perfect for almost anyone these days.  They offer a firm work surface while providing cushion for your legs.  They’re great for students sitting on a bed using a laptop or for grandma sitting on a couch doing a crossword puzzle.  And they store easily beside whichever seat you choose.

6.  Car Organizer

There are several different types of car and trunk organizers.  Some hang over the back of a seat and some sit upright on the floor or in the trunk.  Great for busy parents who are always on the go!

7.  Photo Storage Box

Although many stores carry photo organizers, my favorite type is the Power Sort Box sold by Creative Memories.  It holds and safely stores over a thousand photos and makes sorting them a snap!

If you know someone who has a lot of paper, numbers 8 or 9 might be the perfect gifts:

8.  Paper shredder

In this day and age of identity theft, there is nothing more necessary (or fun!) than having a paper shredder on hand.  It’s a wonderful gift of peace of mind.

9.  File Cabinet

If you’ve ever tried to battle with old file drawers that no longer slide easily, you can appreciate how much of a treat having a new, easy-gliding file cabinet would be!

10.  Gift Certificate

Make sure that any gift certificates you give can be used online or locally: Spa, Grocery Store, Movie Theatre, Babysitter… or time with a Professional Organizer!

Here’s wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and clutter-free holiday!

Author: Anna SicalidesGeneral Holidays Home Organizing

10 Tips To A Stress Free And Organized Holiday!

Dazzle your friends, family and maybe even yourself!  No more last minute holiday chaos for you.  Follow some of these tips and reap the rewards of a sane and organized holiday season!

Tip #1
If you use a lot of services, make sure you get them scheduled NOW.
•    Window cleaners
•    Carpet cleaners
•    Landscapers
•    Whoever installs your lights

Tip #2
Decide what date you will be decorating, set that time aside now. Many people do it Thanksgiving weekend. (Hopefully the weather will be good.)

Tip #3   Check & Order your wrapping supplies:
•    Personalized Wrapping Supplies
•    Eco Friendly
•    Bulk Wrapping Supplies

If you are having a party…

Tip #4    Choose your date (get it on the calendar and it will happen)

Tip #5    Create your guest list (you can always add and cut later)

Tip #6     Call your favorite caterer NOW

If you are doing a card…

Tip #7     Choose your photo now or, book your photographer holiday.

Tip #8    Review your mailing list

Tip #9    Choose how you are going to send your holiday cards:
Regular Card
, Photo frame, or the greenest of all Paperless Post

Tip #10    Create a holiday notebook (it can be digital, or paper). Create sections for your party, your cards, your gift lists, entertaining, travel, decorating. This is a great resource for the various components: List Plan-It

Now you have some tools that will help you approach the holidays with a smile on your face! Once you have these accomplished you will have a framework to sanity and organization. You will DAZZLE those around you, and maybe even yourself!