With the majority of Americans in a Netflix-induced, Marie Kondo organizing frenzy, Goodwills and thrift stores are seeing a drastic uptick in donated items. As organizers, we are completely thrilled to see people embracing this new lifestyle!
But these changes in our post-consumer lifestyle require an even deeper look at the
source of clutter - not just how to get rid of it. Unless you put strongholds in place to prevent more clutter from coming in, the cycle is doomed to repeat. And creating change all all starts with our buying habits - especially around the holidays.
This Valentines day marks the first large national gift-giving holiday since the release of Marie Kondo's show. We are interested to see whether her proposed culture of living with less will encourage gifts of the heart rather than the wallet.
In celebration of this fervent hope, we are presenting you with a list of non-clutter inducing gifts. Gifts that say "I love you" without saying, "now figure out where to put this thing."
The gift of time. As Rick Warren said,
"Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it.
Your time is your life." What could be more romantic? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Set aside an evening without cell phones, distractions or to-dos
- Create a "home date night", complete with getting dressed up and cooking a special meal - or go out for a meal!
- Homemade pancakes in the morning (Or for dinner, because why not?)
- Create a special movie night at home, including popcorn and a meal of your partner's choice
- Take the time to write a poem or special letter for your partner
The gift of service.
If you have read about the five love languages, you will know that "acts of service" is a gift that speaks to many people. Here are some examples of acts of service that don't cause clutter (in fact, they help remove it!)
- Organize your digital photos into a slideshow that can be played on a desktop and actually seen and enjoyed
- Clean and detail your partner's car
- Take the time to organize a room or drawer in your home that has been irking your spouse or partner for ages, then surprise them with a reveal
- A "home spa" experience (think hot bath, face masks and foot rubs!)
The gift of experience / education. Like giving your time, the gift of an experience is often far more memorable than giving flowers or chocolates. Here are some great examples to give you inspiration. These gifts do require a little help from the wallet, but they won't clog your home with stuff.
- Purchase tickets to a concert, play, comedy show, sporting event or ballet
- An annual pass (or one time ticket) to a museum, art gallery, botanical gardens, zoo or fun local attraction
- Art lessons, cooking lessons and music lessons - check Groupon or Udemy for ideas
- A subscription to Audible
- A digital newspaper or magazine subscription such as The New York Times or Architectural Digest
Have other non-clutter causing gift ideas? Please reply and we will include them in our next blog post on the topic!