The holiday season is upon us and it is the perfect time to reflect on the art of giving. In our culture, it is all too easy to get caught up in buying the latest gadget for our homes, or toys for our children. While there is no denying that it feels good to give, there are often unintended consequences. The simple fact of the matter is that most of us simply have too much stuff. Too much stuff creates a cluttered home environment. And there is mounting evidence that too much clutter can cause anxiety. I think we can all agree that more anxiety is not a gift we want/need right now!

Here are a few tips to avoid creating clutter-induced anxiety during the holidays.

1.     Focus on quality over quantity. Choosing fewer, high quality items is truly a win-win. Not only do you avoid cluttering your home, well-made items will last much longer. When considering a gift for any loved one, ask yourself, “Will they love it? Use it? And how long will it last and bring them joy?”

2.     Focus on experiences rather than things. Not only is this a fun way to connect with your family and friends, it is a great way to support local businesses. Think about giving the gift of a massage, a trip to see Blossoms of Light, or even take in a show at DCPA. Or, hit the great outdoors and try something new, like snow shoeing, cross country skiing or an outdoor skating rink. Get creative! This year my family is  doing a surprise scavenger hunt around the city with our grown kids! (I sure hope they aren’t reading this blog!)

3.     Do  a gift exchange. Instead of each family member buying gifts for everyone which equals a lot of ‘stuff’), have each person buy for just one family member and agree on a spending limit. In our family, we put everyone’s name in a hat, and each pulls a name out. We only buy for that person.

4.     Give the gift of organization. Organize a space for your loved one. If organization is not your strong suit, schedule an on-site consultation with Create Calm. Sometimes it simply takes a little advice from an expert to get you moving in the right direction!

Remember, when in doubt, less is more. Happy Holidays!

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