By Denise Landers
Finding the right gift can be a stressor at any time of the year. Your parents probably have everything they need and more knickknacks than they have room for. Your own children may not need more toys or want you to pick out clothes for them.
Almost everyone has some area of their life that they would like to have better organized. Reasons people often procrastinate on organizing are that it may be too big for them to tackle on their own, they don’t know where to start, and it is not fun to do it on their own. When you give the gift of your time and assistance to get organized, you have provided what they needed: help with the job, guidance in setting up the work, and companionship while they do it.
For those close to you who do not need more material possessions, consider creating a gift that centers on becoming more organized.
Would your mother or father like help in cleaning out a garage or a closet that has accumulated years of possessions? Schedule an appointment with them. Your gift then could be a four-hour time block devoted to organizing a specific area together.
If they have boxes of old photos that they talk about organizing but have not gotten around to because it seems to be such a large project, choose photos albums together and work with them on the sorting. They have a chance to share memories with you, and you might learn new facts about them.
Are you always telling them to straighten out their rooms? How about a special day where you work together and then shop. You might buy bright-colored containers to hold their toys. Drawer and closet organizers would help in putting clothes away. When children have a say in how their rooms are set up, and they have places to put everything, it is easier for them to keep it up. In addition, when you make it fun, they have spent quality time with you.
If you have stacks of school work and drawings, collected throughout the years, you might purchase scrapbooks together then select the favorites to keep, creating memory books. This will also give you a chance to clear out accumulated papers brought home. Consider making this an annual project.
If you are the one who wants help getting organized, ask for coupons from your children for assistance, or a time block from your spouse to work on the spare room together.
Use the same concepts in thinking of gifts for your spouse and your friends. The catch on all of these is that the time has to be scheduled. If you just say, “I’m going to help you get organized when we have time,” it won’t happen. In the end you haven’t given any gift.
If organizing is not your strength, and you are not comfortable helping someone else, you can barter with a friend who does have organizing abilities, or you can purchase a gift certificate for a session with a professional organizer.
In an era where material possessions are overflowing available spaces, explore ideas on helping others cope with organizing issues.
Denise Landers is the author of Destination: Organization and the owner of Key Organization Systems, Inc. As a productivity trainer and organizing specialist she works with companies, government agencies, and educational institutions, as well as individual business owners and managers, to develop efficient systems for handling daily work flow.