Organizing Your Paper, Spaces & Time 

Organized & Productive 
November/December, 2014   

Lisa S. Griffith, CPOŽ

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."   

~ Melody Beattie


As we head into the height of the holiday season, the barrage of television ads, catalogs, and enticing store displays increases every day. Since it all began as far back as September, it's no wonder that sometimes we all become susceptible to the onslaught of buy, buy, buy. Then, the post-holiday reaction sets in. We survey our homes filled to the brink with stuff, our bank accounts depleted, and resolve never again - at least until the next holiday season begins! I propose that instead of reacting after it's too late, we are pro-active, starting now. We can remember that our Thanksgiving Day shopping means that someone working retail can't be home with their loved ones on Thanksgiving Day. We can remember that our local small businesses (our neighbors and friends) need our business more than ever before on Small Business Saturday. And we can remember that what ALL of us need is more time, more attention, and more love - and less stuff. 

Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for what we have already have

You can start a stuff-free holiday, right now!  


"Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel." ~Author Unknown



As you shop for your holiday gifts, remember that most of us don't need more stuff to clutter our homes and lives. What people value most is that you took the time to think about them and what makes them special. How about giving the gift of an experience, or your time, or education and enlightenment? Think consumable goods - things that can be used up and enjoyed and not leave the "footprint" of clutter in someone's home. As a former teacher, I can tell you that as much as I appreciated the thoughtfulness of my students and their parents, my home could only hold so many mugs, candles and scented soaps! The most meaningful gifts were things that my students made, especially a handwritten card of appreciation (I know, all teachers say that, but it's really true! I've saved some for years). One of the most touching gifts I received over twenty years of teaching was a donation in my name to Heifer International - an organization that uses donations to buy live animals and other items for families which can provide years of food and a sustainable living, like eggs from a gift of live chickens.


My personal favorite this year? A donation to the heroes of Doctors Without Borders, and Samaritan's Purse - for those medical professionals who selflessly serve on the front lines of Ebola-wracked countries. Their sacrifice deserves recognition and support. There are so many worthy organizations that need help, and so many landfills that are overflowing with stuff that gets thrown away each year (and so many homes that are overwhelmed with clutter. Remember, the less stuff you have, the easier it is to manage and the more time and money you save!)


  ~ A donation to their favorite cause in their name

  ~ Vouchers for home-cooked meals

  ~ A personal correspondence basket, with stamps, note cards and nice pen.

  ~ A basket of ingredients for a special meal or treat: Clam bake, Italian, Romantic picnic  

      (loaf of bread, bottle of wine), Barbecue, Ice cream sundaes.

  ~ A membership to your local YMCA, health club, museum or zoo  

      (great for someone with young children)

  ~ A movie ticket package - tickets & refreshments (try AAA for great packages) 

  ~ Voucher for babysitting

  ~ "Date Night Special": movie ticket package and babysitting voucher -  

        great for a couple who have just had a baby!

  ~ Gift certificate for spa services - manicure, pedicure, massage, facial.

  ~ Gift certificates for personal services such as a professional organizer, computer training,

      personal trainer, life coach (think New Year's resolutions!)

  ~ Tickets for any kind of performance or sports event: game, play, show, concert

  ~ Lessons for a skill your gift recipient would love to learn or improve upon -  

      musical instrument, cooking, a sport like golf or tennis, computer skills.

  ~ Grandparents: Instead of buying another plastic toy that your grandchildren will soon  

      outgrow, how about a voucher for your time and attention instead?  "A Day with Grandma

      (or Grandpa)", including lunch, movie, zoo, whatever your grandchild would enjoy most!  

      Remember that the gift of YOU is far better than any material item you could give.


This year, think outside the box - literally - and make it a "stuff"-free holiday!   





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In order, in joy, 



Lisa S. Griffith, CPOŽ 
The Organized Way
Organizing & Productivity Specialist/Speaker 
Phone:  (401) 289-0042
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