Green Organizing Tips for the Holidays


 

 

 

 

WRAPPING:

 

 

Save extra gift boxes to use as drawer organizers.  They keep “like” items together and prevent the contents from shifting.

 

-- Leslie Walden, CPO®,  It’s Time To Get Organized, LLC, Atlanta

 

 

Save and reuse ribbon, paper, bows and gift bags from presents you receive.

 

-- Leslie Walden, CPO®,  It’s Time To Get Organized, LLC, Atlanta

 

 

Make Re-usable boxes:

 

 

Collect sturdy boxes that have lids. Cover the boxes with upholstery fabric (samples are sometimes thrown out by department stores.) Glue wired ribbon and bows over the lids so that when the box is opened, the bow and fabric is stays attached to the box lid.

 

-- Madeleine DeNitto, STRESSED.PRESSED.MESSED, Charleston, SC

 

 

Use holiday fabric, napkins, or tablecloths as gift wrap and tie with a beautiful bow. Just fold them up and reuse next year.

 

-- Monica Premo, Practically Perfect, Bonaire, Ga

 

 

-- Save old newspaper comics and run them through the shredder to use as stuffing in holiday gift bags.

 

Monica Ricci, CPO®, Catalyst Organizing, Alpharetta, Ga

 

 

Collect old holiday cards and cut off the parts where they were written on to use as gift tags. Write family member names on the tags and use them for their gifts year after year as a new family tradition.

 

-- Madeleine DeNitto, STRESSED.PRESSED.MESSED, Charleston, SC

 

 

GIFT GREEN & CLUTTER FREE!

 

 

Give gifts of education or service, such as car detailing, spa certificates, cooking classes, dance classes, or a housekeeper for the new mom on your list.

 

-- Monica Ricci, CPO®, Catalyst Organizing, Alpharetta, GA

 

 

My favorite Green/Clutter-free gifts:

 

    * Tickets to a sporting event, theater, symphony, or concerts

    * Babysitting coupons

    * Meal Assembly gift certificates for places like Super Suppers, A Dinner A'faire and Dream Dinners

    * Lessons (art, golf, juggling)

    * Professional Organizer Gift Certificate!

 

For kids:

 

    * Movie rental/game rental passes

    * Music downloads

    * Memberships (a zoo, museum, gymboree)

    * Date night with a parent - dinner and a movie

 

-- Allison Carter, CPO®, The Professional Organizer LLC, Marietta

 

 

Give the gift of time – enjoy a cup of coffee, lunch or an afternoon with someone you care about.

 

Give the gift of service – rake the yard, complete a few household repairs or chores, run errands, or put up and take down holiday decorations

-- Monica Premo, Practically Perfect, Bonaire, Ga

 

 

My favorite suggestion for the holidays this year for everyone on anyone’s list: A pouch of 5 ripstop nylon shopping bags: www.Envirosax.com. They’re gorgeous and SO strong.

 

-- Monica Ricci, CPO®,  Catalyst Organizing, Alpharetta, GA

 

 

MORE GREEN TIPS:

 

 

The less stuff, the less there is to organize.

 

 

Go electronic! Save paper, postage, and time by communicating with your friends and family electronically. Send e-cards, letters and photos. Send electronic party invitations by email or from a service like www.evite.com. Upload your new holiday photos to photo websites and share with friends and family. 

 

-- Monica Premo, Practically Perfect, Bonaire, Ga

 

 

Minimize decorating. Try putting out just 50% of your decor items this year. A little goes a long way, and it's still the holidays, even if you don't go all out.

 

-- Monica Ricci, Catalyst Organizing, Alpharetta, Ga

 

 

Use the cardboard from small boxes, small milk cartons and the foam packaging to make  “gingerbread” houses. Add odds and ends to make windows, fences, snow and candies to cover the houses. Bonus: the decoration never attracts bugs, becomes stale or falls apart.

-- Madeleine DeNitto, STRESSED.PRESSED.MESSED, Charleston, SC

 

 

Use pumpkins as fertilizer once you're done with them.

 

-- Kevin Copeland, Just TRASH it, Atlanta, Ga

 

 

Get families interested in family volunteer opportunities and forego gifts entirely.

-- Mary Danowski Paguaga, SOS MARY Organization + Design, ATLANTA • NEW YORK

 

 

Put the collective sum of wasteful gifts into a home renovation or home reorganization instead of adding more of what no one needs.

 

-- Mary Danowski Paguaga, SOS MARY Organization + Design, ATLANTA • NEW YORK

 

 

Set up a recycling station for gifts, wrapping, and packaging before you open the gifts. Separate plastics, paper, boxes, Styrofoam, etc. and take it all to the recycling center.

 

-- Monica Premo, Practically Perfect, Bonaire, Ga

 

 

How long do you need to save boxes that gifts come in before recycling them?

 

Save electronics boxes for the length of the warranty. They often need to be shipped in original packaging when using the warranty. File the receipt and warranty together. Recycle immediately: boxes for toys, edibles, clothing, etc.

 

-- Allison Carter, CPO®, The Professional Organizer LLC, Marietta

 

 

They send you dozens trying to get you to buy. If you like to look through them, create a catalog basket where you do your reading. Recycle them all after December.

 

-- Allison Carter, CPO®, The Professional Organizer LLC, Marietta