It’s the holiday season and all that goes along with it – happy gatherings, glorious music, decorations, lights and, of course, presents. Wearing my de-cluttering “hat,” here are some suggestions to perhaps decrease your own and perhaps others’ clutter, too.

Reduce. Many people already have enough stuff. What to give? For something memorable, how about something intangible, like a special restaurant meal, or an experience. Yes, this is a repeated idea from last year, but still feels valid. Concert tickets? A hot air balloon ride? Or, how about an especially good bottle of wine, with the promise to share it over an equally impressive homemade meal, including a truly decadent dessert? A built-in bonus – time together which, in these increasingly busy times for many of us, is precious. Perhaps save this gift for the New Year, after all of the holiday busy-ness, when you might be able to relax and enjoy it more.

Reuse. Another reprised suggestion, but what to do with all of that newly-used wrapping paper? Sure, while responsible to recycle it, you also can use it again. How, since it might look less-than-wonderful now? If you have access to a shredder, run it through, then save it for padding when storing fragile ornaments. Or, if you’ll have to send boxed gifts in the near future and have storage space, you might bag it for when the time comes. Another easy reuse – as written last year, egg cartons are great to snugly store ornaments.

Recycle. Yourself. Yes, by donating blood, also suggested last year. Donation centers experience drops in contributions at this time of year, though the need remains constant. Even if you can’t stand needles, and I’m no fan, it’s not all that bad. It normally takes ~45 minutes, and you’ll feel good for having done it – like voting! The Red Cross will be grateful for your help.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle