Intangible Gifts

I compiled a list to offer as an alternative to giving ‘stuff’ or ‘things’ for the holidays. Let’s face it who really needs more ‘stuff’ that others choose for us? What about the children in our lives, do they really need more ‘things’, and do you really want to make more space in your home for all those ‘things’? As a way to reduce clutter and eliminate waste, I’d like to suggest intangible or consumable gifts for the holidays.

Intangible & Consumable Gift Ideas © Janine Cavanaugh, Professional Organizer

Restaurant and coffee shop gift certificates
Food or beverage gift baskets
Tickets to a concert, sporting event, play or show
Movie passes
Gift certificates for a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure
Flowers, floral arrangement, or live wreath
Memberships to a fitness center, gym or the YMCA
Phone card or phone minutes
Passes to a museum, zoo or aquarium
Donations to a charity in receiver’s name
Game or movie rentals
Gifts of your time to a senior relative
Day pass to a spa
Home made coupons for baby sitting, household chores, or together time
Plans for a weekend get away
Grocery store gift cards
Utility or heating bill assistance to someone in need
Behind the scenes adventures at an aquarium or zoo
Firewood or fire starters
Homemade goodies or preserves
Ski lift tickets
Passes for bowling, indoor golf, or paint ball
Art, music, or dance lessons
Edible arrangements
Household goods basket with detergent, soap, sponges, etc.
Music downloads
Gas station gift cards
Calendars or date books
Bath and shower products
Perfume or makeup
Cologne or shaving products
Chocolate or candy

Garage & Attic Cleanup

The leaves and temperatures are falling, and before you know it the gift giving season will be upon us.  Before that happens why not take the opportunity to organize two areas in which autumn is the perfect time to work, your attic and garage.  The temperatures, now, are just right for tackling these two areas, and once you’re finished you’ll be ready for packages, gift bags, and bows.

Autumn Days

Your attic and garage are the typical storage areas in your home and are usually filled with a variety of items.  Therefore, when it’s time to organize them, you are faced with making decisions about items that you don’t want, but aren’t sure how to get rid of, and on items that you think  you should save, just in case.  I’d like to offer some solutions.

First of all, getting rid of items safely can be time consuming and troublesome, but with a bit of effort you can make it happen.


Solutions for getting rid of items:

1.  Contact your local recycle station.  They will be able to tell you what you can recycle and when you can get rid of bulk trash and hazardous waste.

2.  Contact second-hand shops and drop off your unwanted items.  Try SaversSaint Vincent De Paul or Goodwill.

3.  Contact donation centers and see if they will pick up at your door.  Try Big Brother Big Sister Foundation, Salvation Army or the Epilepsy Foundation.

4.  For information about electronic recycling try one of these websites,, or

5.  Call a junk removal company.  Try Clean Out Your House or 1-800-got-junk.


Solutions for saving items just in case:

1.  Ask yourself the following questions:

A.  Have I used this item in the last 5 years?

B.  Can I see myself using this item in the next 5 years?

C.  Does this item fit into my current life style and serve a purpose for me and my family now?

If you answered ‘no’ to all three of these questions it is time to let go and to toss, donate, or sell the item.  If you need more convincing ask yourself the following questions:

D.  I need this item when…?

E.  I use this item when…?

F.  I love this item because…?

If the phrase “but I might need that someday” escaped from your lips, the jig is up.  Let it go and move on.


If you’d like more assistance or a personal helper call me for a complimentary consultation at (508) 699-6652 or email me.  I’d be happy to help you.