If you're dreading Holidays because every year your house gets filled with boxes, bags, and baskets of stuff you don't want, don't need, or don't know what to do with, early preparation and training are your best defenses.
Ready. Set. Go.
Holiday Gift Boot Camp in full effect starting now!
1. Begin decluttering your house now to get clear on what you have, what you have too much of, what you have enough of for the next 2 years, and what do you actually need or want.
2. Set up an Amazon Wish List with the items you and your family would love to receive for Christmas.
TIP: Keep updating it throughout the year to have a true wish list for the next holiday season.
3. Declare a Sanity and Space Saving Rule for your family (Yourself included!) - ONE THING IN, ONE THING OUT. Begin early training by first explaining and then reminding your kids and a partner that if any gifts come into the house, something will have to leave the house in order to make room.
TIP: Set up a donation box to the charity you want to support to encourage generosity and joyful giving.
4. Proclaim The New Law of the Land - no one has to keep every gift they receive! Adults, and more often children, feel like we have to keep every gift we receive at the fear of hurting the giver's feelings. Teach your family that gifts are meant to spark joy and happiness, not guilt and shame. Declare a family-wide permission to keep only what is truly loved and wanted.
TIP: Remind everyone of the charity you support and the impact the donation of unwanted gifts could have on their mission.
5. At Thanksgiving dinner begin a conversation with the family that you're wanting something different this year: You're decluttering and don't want anything new. You've cleared some space and now want experiences instead of things. You know people want to give you gifts and to make them meaningful here's what you actually need (pass around your email address to access your Amazon Wish List). You know you're loved and the best way to show it is to support your travel/remodel/charity plans with donations and gift cards.
6. Let the biggest givers in your life know that you love and appreciate them, and you're trying this new thing of being clutter- and overwhelm-free and that if you receive gifts that do not have room in your life you will donate them to support your favorite charity/organization/non-profit. Because you're generous and giving like that!
Last, but the most important: Become the intentional gift giver yourself. Consider whether you give gifts out of guilt, obligation, pressure, or to just make yourself feel good. Begin asking whether the thing you're wanting to give will add value to someone's life. Start listening to people around you and their wishes to make your decision making process easier. To eliminate clutter and overwhelm in your home caused by the influx of meaningless gifts during the holidays, avoid giving meaningless fillers. Give virtual gifts, experiences, or best of all - your time and love.
Happy Gift Boot Camping!
Feeling buff yet?