Clutter be gone!

Recently I have been trying to get organized and learn how to live with less clutter. I'm not a hoarder, nor am I a slob, but there are lots of corners and counters and piles of clutter in my house (and garage!)  (and computer hard drive!)  that 1)I'm used to SEEING and therefore don't acknowledge it and 2)have lots of homeless items where I don't know where to put them away, therefore they are "out".  And of course 3)  unfinished projects in varying stages of completion/design.

Found this blog today and now I'm inspired again to try and get to a state where I can "be" organized instead of "get" organized.  http://declutteryourhomes.blogspot.com/  I've only skimmed a few posts but this one totally hit home for me. This is the main reason I have such a hard time giving gifts... (and receiving them!)  because I want so badly for gifts to be useful and simplifying, rather than clutter/something new to take care of, learn to use, find a place for, dust, etc.

Here's the post in its entirety - a must read!

Gift Giving Shouldn’t Add Clutter/Junk To Our Homes!

Do you buy a gift just for the sake of giving a gift, because it is expected (or you think it is expected)? Several years ago I quit buying gifts just because someone was having a birthday or because it was Mother’s Day or Father’s Day! Don’t get me wrong…I love buying gifts for people! BUT…I realized that so many gifts add to people’s clutter! We all have faced the dilemma “I don’t like this, but it was a gift so I have to keep it”. I don’t feel that way anymore. I have been in many homes that are so cluttered and it is all things given to them by loved ones! I had a woman tell me one day “I bought this item because I liked it. After that everyone thought I wanted to collect things like that so I am constantly being given gifts. I don’t even like it anymore but I don’t know what to do!” Another woman told me “I like recipe books and so every birthday or holiday, my family buys me more. I have so many and I can NEVER use all the books I have!” I didn’t count but I bet this woman had over 100 recipe books!

Not only are we adding to clutter in people’s homes, but we are wasting our money! Have you ever thought about that? Every time you give a gift that adds to junk/clutter in someone’s home or life, you have WASTED your money!

This holiday season make a commitment to NOT do that! Be wise with your spending/giving. Put thought into your gift. ONLY GIVE A GIFT IF IT IS WANTED OR NEEDED.

Now that brings up another problem…children always think they want this or that. Don’t add to the children’s clutter either. If they do want new toys, help them make room for the new ones by going through and donating or throwing away some of the old ones. One toy out for every new one that is in.

So what should you do with Birthday’s, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc? Take your loved one to lunch, spend some time together. That is always so much better than a gift. Does this make you feel guilty? I announced to my sisters and parents what I would be doing. There were no objections. For my children (they are all grown), I give them money so they can buy what they will love. For Christmas I still give gifts but I have them complete a questionnaire so I know the things that are important to them.

Has this been a hard change for me? Sometimes. There are times I am in a store and I throw something in the cart because so and so will like it. Usually, I come to my senses and put it back, realizing that once again, I am falling into the clutter trap. Am I glad I made these changes? YES! Holidays and birthdays are so much less stressful and I know the gifts I give are loved and meaningful.

So my challenge to you is…change your gift giving habits! Make every penny you spend count and don’t add to other’s clutter!

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