Guest Blogger, Vickie Dellaquila, an organizing guru, offers the following tips to help you relax more during the holidays:
The holiday season is once again upon us. Time for family, decorating, and presents. How does your list look? Do you have too many things to check off your list or people to shop for? Here are some ideas on how to focus on the holiday and make it a little less stressful.
Look at your shopping list. Can you eliminate some people? Perhaps nieces and nephews who are older now need to come off your list. Maybe you could exchange names within your extended family and even immediate family instead of everyone purchasing gifts for everyone else. With only one gift to buy, the spending limit could be raised, you would still save money, and perhaps it would even be a nicer gift. For many families, this is a relief when someone finally suggests it.
Give some gift certificates for things to do. The list is endless -- skating, movies, bowling, sport events, gym passes, zoo passes, restaurants, lessons to learn a hobby such as knitting. There are so many activities or places to choose from. Many people appreciate gifts of food, wine, homemade cookies, bath products, stamps and stationary.
Monetary gifts in the name of someone to your favorite charity are also valued.
When it comes to wrapping gifts, save money and the environment by using these tips: Make the wrapping part of the gift. For example, wrap the gift in towels, sheets, or blankets as part of the gift. Place small items inside the gift such as a crock pot, special pan, or re-usable basket. Be creative. There are so many ways to wrap gifts that don't involve paper that will just be thrown away.
Reuse gift bags. You know everyone does it (!) and it is good for the environment. When the gift bag becomes too shabby to give, use it as a lunch bag to carry your lunch to work: recycling at its best!
Use burlap sacks decorated for the holiday for wrapping gifts or make holiday sacks to use every year. Children will look forward to who will be receiving the special sack this year.
People usually make way too much food for the holidays. Make less or give your extras as gifts or to a shelter.
Keep receipts of anything you purchase as gifts in case they need to be exchanged or returned. You really don’t want to have a chia pet sitting around in February and not know what to do with it. Return it or give it to someone else who would enjoy it! The giver does not need to know. A gift is a gift and you get to decide what you want to do with it.
The holidays can be a stressful time for many people, however with a little planning and organization they can be a little less stressful.
Vickie Dellaquila is a (CPO®) Certified Professional Organizer, (CPO-CD®) Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization and owner of Organization Rules, Inc. She is also the author of the book Don’t Toss My Memories in the Trash-A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Seniors Downsize, Organize, and Move and the Moving Workbook. For more information please visit www.OrganizationRules.com