Holidays

The Best Holiday Gifts Ever

For years, I have been saying that the best gifts are experiences, not things (see Better Ways to Spend and Putting the Holidays in Perspective). Now it seems that the rest of the country has caught up to me. The storage company SpareFoot has just released the results of a survey: “79 percent of the U.S. population, and 89 percent of millennials, say they never use some of the gifts they receive each year.” As a result, “a  whopping 81 percent…

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Gems Among the Stocking Stuffers

As a Professional Organizer, I find the holiday season agonizing.  So much emphasis on shopping — buying things that will be given to people who probably don’t even want them. I love getting my weekly e-mails from the Container Store, but when they sent me one about this year’s collection of “Stocking Stuffers”, I got nervous. Stocking stuffers are the ultimate junky gift — emphasizing quantity and low price over quality.  The Container Store offers free shipping if you order $100 worth…

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Decluttering For The Holidays

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I imagine many of you are in a bit of a panic, looking at your “lived in” home and wondering how you will ever get it into shape in time for next week’s onslaught of guests.  (I certainly am!) At a talk I gave earlier this year, a woman asked me how to ensure that she and her husband regularly keep their apartment free of clutter.  I advised her to give a dinner party once…

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Putting The Holidays In Perspective

Every year, from Thanksgiving until New Year’s, the business pages of the newspaper are filled with prognistications of whether holiday retail sales will meet expectations.  In 2011, holiday sales represented 20% of total retail industry sales.  For some retailers, holiday purchases represent 40% of annual sales. Those people are allowed to stress out about the holidays.  But why are the rest of us so stressed out?

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