Create a Collage While Family is in Surgery

My sister-in-law recently had a major surgery.  While the surgery was scheduled as opposed to emergency, the family was stillapprehensive and emotional during the long surgery.  To help keep our minds busy, we used the time to create a collage for my sister-in-law.

We brought with us to the hospital waiting room magazines, glue, scissors and a large frame to mount our findings.  With five people participating in the cutting, it did not take long to produce a fun collection of words and images that represented this family member to us. read more

Gifts for the Teacher: Are you just spending money on clutter?

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just come straight out with it.

Many teacher gifts that I’ve received during past holidays have gone straight into my clutter-busting “To Donate” box My kitchen cabinet only has enough room for so many mugs.  I’ve got more scarves than any one person needs.  And my husband doesn’t like the smell of most candles.  So I pass them all along to someone else who I’m sure will use them and enjoy them.

I appreciate the thoughts and feelings behind the gifts.  I really do.  But I feel sad that people have spent money on something that I won’t be using. read more

Add Organizing Sessions To Your Gift Registry

After helping some recently engaged friends move into a new apartment together the bride to be let out a big sigh, looked at me and said, “We need to register for your services!”  My response was, “what a great idea!”

Merging households is by far one of the biggest life transitions a person will experience.  Finding techniques to handle the stuff in our world takes time and reevaluation regularly.  Unfortunately, there is no magic wand that will determine the perfect system for you and your mate.  Trial and error will enable you to learn about your work style, your mate’s work style and how to merge them. read more

True Story: How Having an Organized Jewelry Armoire Lead to a Beautiful Gift

This is a true story I wanted to share.  When my parents recently celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary my father was in need of a gift for my mother.  He knew she likes jewelry, but he did not know exactly what to get her.  My mother has organized her jewelry in a jewelry armoire (a video of my jewelry armoire can be viewed here).  This enables her to easily view and choose her jewelry from day to day.

Here’s where the story gets cool: as I said, my dad did not know what to get her.  He decided to look in my mom’s armoire to see what kind of items she already had.  He noticed that she had a significant number of blue and green pieces.  He took this tidbit of information to the jewelry store with him and decided to keep away from blue and green jewelry. read more

How to Spend Less on Gifts but Make Sure You Give Them What They Want

Are you looking for a way to simplify and save money when giving gifts?

Last year, we tried something new with my husband’s side of the family.  Because finances were tight for all of us, we all agreed to buy just one gift for someone else in the family. We drew names (and it couldn’t be our significant other) and set a price limit.   But – and this is the beauty part – everyone had to fill out a wishlist on  That way we could each be sure that what we were giving (and receiving) was something “good.” read more

Intangible Gifts

I compiled a list to offer as an alternative to giving ‘stuff’ or ‘things’ for the holidays. Let’s face it who really needs more ‘stuff’ that others choose for us? What about the children in our lives, do they really need more ‘things’, and do you really want to make more space in your home for all those ‘things’? As a way to reduce clutter and eliminate waste, I’d like to suggest intangible or consumable gifts for the holidays. read more