by Mary Cate Claudias of Charm City Organizers
Not trying to be a Grinch – just lookin’ out for the bottom of your closet and your budget.
With Halloween, the presidential election and a growing number of children’s school events teaming up on your schedule, you probably haven’t given Thanksgiving a whole lot of thought. But it’s right around the corner and I’m not going to advise on cleaning and getting ready for family. Instead I’d like to take a moment to focus on the day after this food-filled holiday: Black Friday. Not that I don’t agree with boosting our economy - and by all means, if you’re gonna shop, shop local - but do we really need to fill our closets and cupboards with more stuff right now?
Deals are great and it's nice that you want to buy gifts for friends and family (and maybe just that one shirt for you because it’s SUCH a great deal!) but take a second to consider the aftermath. The credit card bills in January, the guilt, and the question we as professional organizers encourage you to ask yourself: where will all that stuff go?
Tips for organizing BEFORE the holidays:
Purge now! Don’t wait to make it a New Year’s Resolution. Think of all the families you can help by donating good items before the shopping frenzies begin. This is a popular time of year for shopping, and not only for the major department stores! Your local charity will thank you!
Since you’ve now done a great job getting rid of some things in order to make space for others, truly consider if you need this new item, not if you WANT it. Same goes for kids. Capitalize on little kids’ short attention spans when they’re little! As they lose interest in a toy and stop playing with it soon after the new year, put it away and wrap it for Christmas next year. They might like it better this time and if not, the donation center will!
Dial in to your creative side. My favorite gifts over the last few Christmases have come from a good friend and former roommate who continues to make the coolest stuff on a budget. Thoughtful, functional and they take up hardly any space! Her home-made magnets are still on my fridge but I can’t say I remember wearing that scarf from Aunt Sarah often.
Don’t knock gift cards. P.S. – they’re no longer tacky, folks. Just plain functional and always welcome.
So with these small tidbits and reminders, go into this holiday season feeling confident in your savings knowledge, strong in your good senses and extraordinary in your giving capacity without overdoing it. It is possible! And I’ll bet that as the week between Christmas and New Year’s approaches this year, you’ll feel pretty awesome instead of overindulged.
© 2011-2012 Mary Cate Claudias, Charm City Organizers. All Rights Reserved.
Mary Cate Claudias is a Professional Organizer and owner of Charm City Organizers, LLC in Baltimore City, Maryland. Drawing on her experiences in teaching, coaching and non-profit management, she helps home owners and small businesses live less stressful and more productive lives. Mary Cate is currently the Marketing Director for NAPO Baltimore.