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0 Comments | Dec 21, 2011

Re-Gift Your Clutter

It’s December, and once again we endure the onslaught of commercialization and consumerism that now characterizes a season meant to celebrate miracles, love and giving. In the true spirit of Christmas-Chanukah-Kwanzaa, I’ve got 10 tips on how to make organizing an act of giving by “re-gifting” your clutter to others who need it. Focused giving helps to take the sting out of parting with what you don’t need, and the time spent de-cluttering is a gift to yourself. Best part: the gifts don’t cost you anything!

You Get When You Give: 10 Ideas to Turn Your Clutter into Christmas Joy

1) As you set up your holiday decorations, get a box to collect the d├ęcor you don’t need/use/love, and get it to a thrift store while it’s still in season. (Goodwill can store it until next year if it’s donated after Christmas.)

2) Help your kids to collect their unused toys. Motivate them by a) reminding them to make room for new gifts, b) identify a specific recipient they can emotionally connect to-a toy drive, an agency for needy families, etc. Send the mound of crayons off to a kindergarden.

3) Donate a coat to one of the many coat drives. Throw in that pair of old snow boots while you’re at it.

4) Got extra bottles of wine sitting around that were hostess gifts, or booze you’ll never open? Make someone’s day by gifting it: to your mail carrier, your barber, your barista who never forgets your order.

5) Go through your pantry and donate everything you won’t eat to a food drive, a homeless shelter, a halfway house. Even I, the allegedly organized one, managed to come up with a whole bagful for a food drive last week.

6) Bring your surplus office supplies to your church, synagogue, school, or favorite non-profit.

7) Donate DVD’s, novels and magazines to a retirement home or hospital.

8) Give your old sports gear to a foster child. These kids often arrive at a new home with all their worldly possessions in a plastic grocery bag. Go to http://fostersports.org to learn more.

9) Take those unused craft supplies to a girl scout troop. Find a group that quilts or knits for the needy and unload excess fabric and yarn.

10) Roll down your car window and give some of that spare change in the ashtray to a homeless person if you’ve never done it before.

The possibilities are endless, and I’d love to hear your ideas! Recycling clutter in this way helps make the holidays environmentally friendly, too.

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