My girlfriend, Kate ( the Mensa member who belongs to the yahoo slide rule group) is a FANATIC about clutter. She lives in a tiny 500 square foot house with her husband and 2 home schooled kids. She won’t move because they are in middle of the city and love the area. Her house i ORGANIZED beyond belief. I am in awe. I am the friend that everybody has that makes you fell better about you OWN housekeeping skills.We have a ridiculous amount of stuff. Even after moving and purging ENORMOUS quantities of clutter from our home- we are packed to the rafters… add to that my blase attitude towards house cleaning in general. House is not dirty – just *things* everywhere. I would rather read, bake, paint, scrapbook, watch TV than clean.
Every once in a while I get nutty from not being able to find something and I go on a tear- I try not to suck my family in- its another problem that I have hit my limit. I also de-clutter… constantly. My girlfriend Kate doesn’t have these issues. She refuses to allow STUFF into her home. She came up with the concept of clutter-free gifts. She doesn’t allow stuff into her home .
I am going to embrace this concept. Every Christmas and birthday my back goes up thinking about all the money that get spent and wasted… how most of the things people spent all that money on will get donated.
Of course- some things have great play value and are well received- but often well meaning relatives will buy something without thought- gift that is WAY too young or badly made. Or things I never use. I get wine glasses very year. I don’t drink. We rarely have dinner parties and pretty much none of our friends drink. We have pool parties in summer and we use only plastic glasses on the deck. When some one comes over with wine and tries to pour themselves one- they don;t have wine glass… so we get wine glasses at Christmas. And I have no where to put them and I give them away.
My kids get all kinds of clutter- they are responsible for the clutter! ( or so I tell myself)
So this year I will asking for AND giving clutter-free gifts.
This has a lot of potential.
My husband LOVES coffee. He loves good coffee. So much so- that he almost never buys a coffee . He has to make his own. He lovingly grinds the beans, heats the milk to the right temperature and uses and old fashioned Italian espresso maker to make his coffee on the stove-top. I have found him the perfect gift. We live in a small town- really small. We have to drive a ways to find a gourmet coffee shop of any kind… It has hard for him to get good coffee and once on went on this thing where I bought green coffee beans and roasted them myself in hot air popcorn maker ( works- but awful smell!) .
I am going to get him a Coffee of the Month Club membership. Every month featured selections will be are mailed to our house- samples of 100% Arabica, fresh-roasted coffees from award-winning, premium coffee growers. That way- he can try all different , interesting kinds of coffee from around the world- and when he hits one one that he likes- he can just keep on ordering. I was looking at the prices- and the cost would be even BETTER than buying fresh coffee around the corner- to to mention better quality.
It is clutter-free- because it is consumable :-) I also like the thought that every month his Christmas gift will keep coming. so he can think of me and how much I love him every month when his package arrives :-)
Now.. If I could just get the kids to be enthusiastic about a “cheese of the month” gift!