Valentine's Day Gifts that Don't Create Clutter 
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!

Happy Organizing!

Portland Resources and Events

Free Class from Free Geek: Are You Recycling Right? 
February 9th, 2019 1:30 pm

Portlanders love to recycle. The only problem is, it can be confusing and the rules change all the time! In this workshop you will learn about the rules and regulations about what you can and cannot put in your curbside recycling. 

If have a specific recycling question, Free Geek urges you to bring a photo of it for advice on how to recycle it. 

This is a great opportunity to bring in your old computers, devices and cables! Free Geek will wipe them for you and provide a tax-deductible receipt. Monetary donations are suggested, but not mandatory.

Date: January 14th, 2019
Location: Free Geek, 1731 Southeast 10th Avenue Classroom, Portland, Oregon 97214
Time: 1:30 pm

Room-By-Room Organizing Challenge | Month 12: Final Thoughts

As we round out January 2019 and the end of this year-long challenge, it's time to reflect back on all that you have accomplished!

Whether you started at the beginning and worked room-by-room alongside us, or are just jumping in, if you did even one thing to get organized, you have made progress! Well done.

Something that I recently learned when I wrote a review of Joshua Becker's book, The Minimalist Home, relates to the intense power of motivation. For many of us, the thing holding us back is the fear that it will be too hard, that we won't finish, that we don't have time.... READ MORE
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