Give The Gift Of Organising

By Anita Birges – Professional Organiser

Australians are spontaneous and wholehearted in our embrace of gift giving, especially at Christmas! – or perhaps we are just a nation of disorganised spendthrifts.

However you see it, year after year we’re increasingly generous in our gift giving and we are tipped to spend a collective $11 billion on Christmas presents this year. The average person will spend $593 this coming festive season alone.

Half of these “gifts” will end up in a cupboard collecting dust, re-gifted or returned or worse become landfill!

Let me tell you, I have no issue with the gift giving. I love it and the feeling of giving someone something always makes us feel good. It’s the“what” and “why” we are giving certain things that makes this all hard to digest.

Are we really putting thought into what that person actually needs or is it just the “right thing to do”? I’m not sure anymore.

There isn’t a week that goes by that doesn’t involve a decluttering session with a client who ends up saying to me somewhere throughout the day,

“I simply can not get rid of that. It was a gift” (this includes an egg flipper that looked like a hammerhead shark)

SO not only are we now giving gifts to people they don’t really need or want but we are also giving them the guilt of keeping them. Go figure!!

Now we all know that the holiday season not only puts a dent into our wallets, but it can also be a serious source of stress and anxiety. What to buy? What to spend? who to buy for? Who NOT to buy for?

And…. Can I just buy everyone a scented candle and be done with this?

A study by eBay found that present shopping can be as stressful as running a marathon. I for one, prefer yoga.

Don’t worry, all is not lost in the land of gift giving and festive sweaters with reindeers on them… there is hope.

Instead of running around endlessly and hunting through all those shopping centres for physical gifts you can consider giving cash, gift cards or experiences like spa treatments, food tours, bridge climbs or even a flight lesson? But sometimes that feels impersonal or overdone.

I’ll be honest, for my birthday this year (my friends know what I do on a daily basis) I was generously given presents. Approximately 50% of these presents were massages/ facials and spa gift certificates. I am so grateful and thankful for such thoughtful gifts and so happy that I got to celebrate with my friends and family, but I now need to find the time to have a self care treatment almost every week so I can use them all up within the year.

So that brings to my next point.

What’s the most valuable thing in our lives? Time.

Why is time so precious?

Time is precious because the time you have in your life is less every second. We need to spend it wisely by doing good, fun or beautiful things, preferably (but not necessarily) things that benefit yourself, others, or the rest of the world.

Giving the gift of organising is giving the gift of time.

We spend approximately 2.5 days a year looking for things, so why not give someone back a fraction of that time by getting their home, space and life organised.

Not only are we giving them the gift of time but we are also reducing someone’s stress levels, anxiety and overall chaos by minimalizing their clutter.

When someone hires me as a “gift” I just get so super excited as I know that this is the best gift they will ever get! HANDS DOWN!

I have organised a dressing table for a gorgeous mother’s 50th birthday, a garage for a handy father on Fathers Day, a bathroom for a daughter that loves her make up for her 30th birthday and a whole home for a lady who gave the gift to herself and had her friends contribute for her 40th birthday. To be part of that is special.

There is a gift of organising for everyone.

It’s a gift that lasts, it’s a gift of care and it really is the gift that keeps giving.

So keep this in mind this coming holiday season and maybe give yourself some time back as well.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Anita Birges is the creator and owner of Mise en Place – Professional Organising and Property Styling Services.

Organising is second nature to Anita. Balancing work, running an efficient home and being a mum of two kids has taught Anita the enormous value of staying organised. Anita has also completed her Professional Organiser Training, and is a registered member of IOPO (Institute of Professional Organisers). See more about IOPO here.