Friday, May 8, 2009

Organizing Challenge - Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of the Spring Organizing Challenge!! How did last week’s challenge go?? Comments? Questions? Issues??

This week you are challenged to focus on your gift stockpile. You know, the bags of or piles or gifts that you purchased for someone else? If you don’t have one, read on, you might want to start one. I work with so many clients who, as we organize their homes, find items they purchased for loved ones, but then lost in the chaos. This seems to be a common issue as people don’t have a storage plan for this type of item. If this sounds familiar, read on:

1. Designate a space in your house for gift storage. Use a shelf in your closet, a section or your garage of a part of your basement.
2. Make a list of all the people you buy gifts for throughout the year.
3. Measure your space and divide that by the number of people you buy for. You can use paper bags, plastic containers or whatever works for your space. Label each bag/box with the name of one of your recipients. Don’t forget to leave an extra box/bag for miscellaneous gifts. These would be random hostess gifts, children’s birthday gifts, etc.
4. Walk around your house and garage and collect all the gifts that you have purchased for others. 99% of my clients have these scattered around. You know, the great book you found on sale that you know your mother will love for her birthday? Or the cute toy you found on clearance that you can use for someone’s special day.
5. Now put the gifts in the appropriate bags. If you have items left over that you no longer see as appropriate, make a pile for donating.
6. Get yourself in the habit of putting any items purchased in their bag/box immediately. When the holidays or birthdays roll around, all you have to do is go to that person’s box and wrap up what you have for them.

Here are the benefits:

• You will reduce clutter around your house by keeping all these items in one, organized area.
• You will save money because you will not forget that you already had something for Aunt Mildred and buy a second gift. You will also not overbuy for an individual because you will know exactly what you have for them.
• You will be environmentally-friendly because you are using what you already have rather than consuming more.
• You will save yourself a lot of last minute stress when holidays and birthdays come up because you will know exactly where all the gifts you purchased are.

Remember – share your thoughts!!! We all want to hear what you did, how it went, challenges you faced, etc. Good luck and have fun!!

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at

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