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Clutter-Free Holiday Gift Giving

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I see it all the time–people keeping something they don’t love because it was a gift. The guilt over letting go of an item that was given to them out of love or support or thanks is just too much to bear so it languishes in their home collecting dust. This holiday season, consider giving gifts of experiences rather than things. Here are some create-your-own-gift-card ideas:

  •  For children from parents: A day out with Mom or Dad, just the two of you. Have lunch at the child’s favorite restaurant and spend the day doing things he/she loves. My boys loved this one-on-one parental attention when they were young.
  • What would every young parent you know love? A day off! Take the kids (ideally overnight so the parents can sleep in), allowing the parents a day at home alone to complete a home improvement project or just enjoy peace and quiet in their own space.
  • If you are the parent of adult children, consider springing for a vacation together. For years my in-laws would cover the expenses for one of their adult children’s family to go on a trip with them. They have five children, so each year they rotated the son or daughter who got this special time with them.
  • A day of home or yard labor or an afternoon of lunch and errand-running together would be a welcomed gift for the older adult in your life.

Not into designing your own gift card? That’s okay; there are great pre-made options:

  • For children: Subscription to an online or print children’s magazine; membership to the zoo or a children’s museum; tickets to go together to a movie or a production the child will enjoy.
  • The teenagers in your life will be happy with a gift card for gasoline and/or fast food restaurants and your favorite college student will be forever grateful for a grocery gift card. This age group would also be thrilled with tickets to a sporting event or concert.
  • And for that special someone who provides a service to you, such as a teacher, minister, housecleaner or dog groomer, a gift certificate for a massage, facial or mani/pedi will allow them to take care of themselves for a change.

And last, but certainly not least, wouldn’t everyone on your list be thrilled to get a gift certificate for home organizing services from All Things Organized?! ■

Written by: Joanie Nicholas


Organizing Coach Joanie Nicholas, owner of All Things Organized, is not an ordinary organizer. She approaches your home from a soulful place. For over 20 years, Joanie has led people across the metro area in creating lasting, positive changes to their space. Joanie brings professional guidance, enthusiasm, empathy and humor to her hands-on work with each client. Connect with her at, or by phone at 913-390-3432. For regular tips and inspiration for your home projects, follow All Things Organized on Facebook and @ATOJoanie on Twitter.