To bag or wrap? That is the question! Let’s get organized, save money, be creative, and protect our environment. What you will need: clear storage bins for gift wrap and wrapping related items such as tape, scissors, bubble wrap, etc. An open table, counter or floor space to work in. TIP #1: Schedule time to get all of your gift wrap, tissue paper, gift bags, shopping bags with handles, ribbon and bows into 1 area where you can see your entire inventory. TIP #2: Recycle or discard everything that is too old or damaged to re-/use. Sort each type of item that you can keep and use into a clear container(s). TIP #3: Commit to using everything that you have before you purchase more (why waste $$). Decide to use bags rather than gift wrap whenever possible (easier for recipients to reuse). What about those bags from stores that you’ve been saving? You use these for gift giving or recycle them. Decorate the outside of the bag in creative ways even if the gift is not from that store, with photos and kids’ art.
The holiday season will be here before you can say “ho ho ho”! You want your guests to feel welcomed and comfortable, but your home is pretty full already and that feeling of overwhelm is setting in. Don’t panic, here are some ideas that you can begin to use. Remember my “1-At-A-Time Rule”: 1 area and task at a time. When you focus on 1 thing you will be more efficient, trust me. TIPS (these work all year round, even if you aren’t expecting guests): (1) Schedule time (at least 30 minutes) to organize each week starting now. (2) List the rooms/spaces in order of priority. Maybe it’s the guest room. Is the closet full? Go through the closet items and consider storing what you plan to keep under the bed in a bin. Maybe it’s the dining room. Do you have enough dinnerware, flatware and glasses? Are they chipped or in need of polishing? Be creative. Rather than buying a set of 10 or 12 matching place settings you can find sets of 4 that will complement and mix well with your existing set! (3) Be prepared, plan ahead. Gather what you will need before you start. Bags for trash, recycling, donations, returns, and so on. NOTE: Try not to combine tasks. Cleaning and organizing are 2 different tasks. After you declutter you can go back and clean! More advice from Outside In…before you go out and spend $$ on new bins, hangers, and other organizing tools, organize and re-purpose what you have. Maybe the baskets in the kitchen that you haven’t used in years will make lovely containers for guest toiletries. Buy only what you determine you need after you organize.
Do you know that the gifts you give say a lot about what you value? What is important to you when it comes to giving? Do you focus on what others want and need? Is it important to consider the environment? Is staying within your budget critical? When you organize your gift list, keep your priorities in mind. Here is an idea…have a wonderful dinner and send leftovers home to your friends in glass containers that they can keep. They’ll enjoy the great food the next day. In fact, give them a set of these containers and they will be able to get rid of those old plastic ones. Something special Something they can use Something environmentally friendly
I love using a gift list template that you can update every year. Who is on your gift list this year? Family: Immediate, Extended, Long distance Friends, Acquaintances, Neighbors Business: Coworkers, Networking colleagues, Clients, Referral Partners, Vendors Service Providers, Instructors Whether your list is long or short, whether you shop in person and/or online, having a detailed list makes keeping track of the details easier. At a glance you will see who is on the list, what you bought for them, and what you spent. Likewise, who do you still have to get something for and what ideas do you have for them? Need help crafting your list? www.outsideinorganizer.com
It’s time to start thinking about how to get ready and enjoy the holidays. Each year is an opportunity to make the holidays a meaningful time for yourself and others. That means finding ways to minimize and avoid stress. Keep your priorities in mind with each decision and choice that you make. If not over-spending is important, set limits and create a realistic budget.