Xmas is a time of joy & celebration with our loved ones. But it can also involve exhaustive shopping for presents, stressing about what is the right present & last minute dashes to the shops to find just the right present.
This Xmas, if you have a loved one in their third age who you know has too much clutter, please think before you add to it:
- A far better present is the gift of your “presence”.
- Taking them on an outing – to the shops, a cuppa at their favourite eatery or plant nursery or helping them with tasks around the house – sorting photographs, cupboards, clothes.
- Vouchers for their local movie cinema or shops you know they frequent
- Or gift them a service they can use – cleaning, gardening, even decluttering
- Consumable gifts – food or drink (that you know they consume)
- Be aware if they have diabetes, skin issues or any other reasons they cannot use some products/gifts
- Donate to their favourite charity, church or similar
At all sorters we see lots of Xmas presents from years gone by still in their wrapping in cupboards:
Not long ago I helped a 90+ year old client move to an aged care residence & as we sorted we found that several shelves in her linen cupboard was full of bottles of champagne & wine, still in their Xmas wrapping:
Mary: “Will you drink this?” Response: “I don’t drink & never have”.
Mary: “Who gave it to you?” Response: “Family, every year – But they are gifts, so I can’t get rid of them”.
Her linen cupboard was bursting. She had downsized to a retirement village years before & retirement units do not offer lots of storage space, so for years her linen cupboard was essentially unusable. In the end all the bottles had to be tossed because they were so old. What a waste, what a shame, no one had taken the time to consider what their ageing aunt would like or use. She loved plants & she loved visiting nurseries.
So as we enter the peak “gift giving” time of the year, it maybe wise to expand how you think about GIFTS
Gift giving brings joy & in the end it is the thought that counts. As I get older, I realise this more & more – it is no longer about the “tangible” item, but rather the fact that someone has taken the time to think about what I like & then give me a gift. I have a girlfriend who gives me nail polish of all things – which I love because I use a lot of it.
This Xmas, the greatest gift I want is a naughty smile from my 92 year old father.
What would really make you happy this Xmas – is it materialist stuff or the happiness of & time spent with your loved ones?
Based in Balwyn North, Vic, I have sorted 100’s of homes & helped 100’s of clients. I am an expert member of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers & have achieved certificates in Chronic Disorganisation, Aging, Life Transitions, ADD & Hoarding from the Institute of Challenging Disorganization (USA). I regularly speak about decluttering, downsizing & letting stuff go