At a time of year when everyone is focused on "things," it's important to remember that often the gift of your time and skills or simply arranging to take care of something that needs to be done, makes the the best Christmas present. These aren't sexy or glamorous but we're sure the recipient will appreciate them.
Help clean something out. Through our organizing business, Simple Moves, we've found two of the hardest places for people to tackle are closets and garages. We have a 4-step strategy:
- Pull every single thing out.
- Group like-with-like.
- Sort it.
- Put back (neatly) what's to be kept. Immediately empty the trash and take donations to the thrift store.
Help haul things away. Does someone you love have appliances, old cars, yard debris, recyclables and electronics piled up because they don't know what to do with it all? Try this:
- Rent a truck (if you don't have one,) find out the hours of your local landfill/recycle center. Get a few strong backs, some gloves and go at it.
- Can't do it yourself? Hire a trash remover or try 1-800-Got-Junk?
- Having an old car or other motor vehicle (RV, boat, motorcycles etc.) hauled away is easier than you think. Donate it to a worthy charity. It doesn't cost anything and there can be a tax break.
- Visit Earth911 for a comprehensive recycling information and links to recycle centers in your area.
Mending/tailoring. Grab a needle and thread to hem pants or skirts, patch holes in jeans, or sew on a button. Don't want to do-it-yourself? Try Denim Therapy (repair for jeans,) or a find a good tailor.
Wash and detail a car. It feels wonderful to get into a car that sparkles inside and out. You can take a car in for professional detailing (check your local service providers,) or do-it-yourself. If you go the DIY route, read 5 Steps to a Perfect Car Wash & Wax, and 7 Steps to a Beautiful Car Interior.
Computer/electronics help. If you have any skills in this area you are probably already in demand with your family and friends. For added help turn to Lifehacker's How to Fix Your Relatives Terrible Computer, and Resolved: How to Keep Your Computer Safe, Clean and Backed Up.
Speaking of backing up computers, that is also a worthy gift in and of itself, especially if you purchase the external hard drive and run the backup.
Is their email a mess? Check out the new app, Unroll.me (still in Beta at this time.) It searches email inboxes, generates a list of email subscriptions and offers the option of unsubscribing from them all at once.
And that, Just-the-Right-readers, concludes our 12 Posts of Christmas Series. This weekend we'll be adding an article on our favorite free holiday printables so keep coming back!
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