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Top 10 Tips: Gifts That Don't Create Clutter

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The end of the year is finally here! It's time to spend time with or think about the people we love or who have brought us joy along the way.

In my world as a professional organizer I walk into many crowded spaces filled with things my clients no longer use or need or desire. Many of them tell me that some of the clutter is gifts they've never needed but guilt kept the gift trapped in their home!

I listen to the holiday gift-buying commercials. Television and radio ads encourage you to buy things that people will LOVE, and then the ads change, reminding consumers that since they didn't get the gift they really wanted, they can exchange it for something they'll love! No one, it seems, wins at this game of gift giving/receiving.

A Clear Path is all about gifting that doesn't cause clutter! Being of service, cooking a great meal, helping someone organize... now those are gifts everyone can use!

So with a grateful heart I offer you our top 10 list for the holiday season: gifts that don't create clutter!

1. Take people you love to dinner or cook for them. Cook something you know the person likes to eat or take them out to one of their favorite restaurants or dessert spots. Some of the best memories are shared with loved ones at the table.

2. Help a friend de-clutter their closet. Start by emptying out the space you want to organize and create three piles: toss, donate, and keep. Help your friend by asking them, "do you really need/use that?" when deciding which items to keep. Each item you put back should have a "place."

3. Professional organizer gift certificate. When you know someone who needs organizational guidance for tough jobs or putting an organizing system in place, a professional organizer is an effective way to get the job done. You will also receive guidance on how to maintain an organized environment. For more information or to order a professional organizer gift certificate, call 818-400-9592 or e-mail regina@aclearpath.net.

4. Experience Gifts create lasting memories and are often more enjoyable and fulfilling than any material object. Whether it's a tour of the city, a hot air balloon ride, or a trip to the spa, your loved one will be happy to be spending time with you enjoying the experience.

5. A calendar. New year, new calendar. Everyone needs a new calendar during the year. Make yours unique and special by gifting one with custom pictures or choose a theme you know the person receiving the calendar will enjoy.

6. Gift cards are great gifts for everyone. You can get someone a gift card to a grocery store they frequent, clothing store, gas card, or even just a prepaid Visa gift card.

7. Household appliances the gift recipient actually needs and will use on a regular basis. Whether it's a wine opener or food processor, be sure the item will not clutter the kitchen and the person has space for it.

8. Digital photo frames are a great way to display many pictures without taking up much space. The recipient can also upload his or her own photos in addition to the ones loaded on the frame.

9. Consumables: Food, wine, and other alcoholic beverages, chocolates and other special treats are one good way to spread holiday cheer. Put together a food basket hand picked with the person's favorite items to personalize the basket.

10. Charitable Gifts are perfect gifts for someone who has everything or immensely supports a charitable cause. Consider making a donation in the person's name; be sure it is a cause that is important to the person, not just to you. Find ways to donate to environmental, children's, health research, and many other organizations online.

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