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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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« Family, Friends, Nature & Clutter | What's Your Clutter Tolerance? »

Clutter-less Gifts

There are gift-giving alternatives that can minimize clutter and increase positive memories. This is an idea to consider as spring brings us into one of the gift-giving seasons with graduations, weddings, anniversaries, father’s day and birthdays.

Growing up, our daughters certainly had their share of toys, but often they invented their own games and fun. Celebrating birthdays and special events along with gift-giving was integral to their childhood. Over time, however, it became increasingly difficult to find the right gift because neither of them, especially Cassie, wanted more “things.”

When Cassie was quite young, we asked her what she would like for one of her birthdays. She asked if we could “give her experiences instead of things.” Cassie’s question helped reframe our view about gifts. We changed our focus from giving things to doing things. We substituted clothing, jewelry and toys for plays, special days, and adventures. It’s been interesting to replace giving “stuff” with instead giving opportunities for more time together. We’ve received the benefit of minimizing clutter, creating more family time, and filling our hearts with wonderful memories.

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Reader Comments (4)

I love this Linda! One of my own mantras is to give only 'usable & consumable' gift items...things that create an experience or a memory. Also, giving only usable/consumables 'relieves' the recipient of the unspoken obligation (guilt) we all often feel...that we now have to keep the item, even when it's usefulness wears out.

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSheila Delson

How great that you use this as your gift-giving mantra, Sheila. I love the added benefit of giving not just clutter-less gifts, but also "guilt-free" gifts. Brilliant!

May 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Great thought provoking alternatives, Linda. In the same vein, I suggest to my clients that rather rewarding their children with "things", they should receive priviliges like "extra bedtime book", "choice of family movie" or dinner, extra "mommy/daddy time" "extra hugs/kisses , "late-night", etc. These rewards are far more valuable and memorable than any new toy or material thing could ever be. Very powerful and clutter-less.

May 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Borg

Nancy- What great suggestions about clutter-less rewards. As a professional organizer, I'm sure you see first hand how many children are overrun with too many toys, clothes, etc... De-emphasizing the importance of "stuff" and affirming connections to one another is as you said, a "powerful" way to be. It's always great to hear your voice and I appreciate you taking the time to join the conversation.

May 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

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