TOP 10 TIPS for your next vacation:
If you are lucky enough to be heading out on vacation, maybe somewhere warm, you might enjoy these tips from my dear Divas ~ Gail & Karen ~ www.downsizingdiva.com.
- Pack fewer clothes and take more money!
- Remember airline regulations about shampoo, conditioner and other liquids. Be safe and pack them in your checked luggage.
- You can never bring too many pair of comfortable shoes – a sure sign we’re getting older!
- A corkscrew is an essential item to pack in your checked luggage! Hmmmm…
- Pack snacks just in case.
- Bring a great book – you might need it if you’re stuck beside a not-so-great seatmate!
- Travel with your own earphones and enjoy the movie in comfort.
- Arrive in lots of time for your flight and make sure your driver knows where he/she is going! Enough said!
- Try not to email, fax, text or phone home, unless absolutely necessary!
Relax and enjoy the trip!
Create your own personalized holiday place cards or buffet cards, hostess gift tags, labels and more…in just minutes. On the Avery website you will find a complete suite of holiday templates which you can download for free or you can use their Design and Print on-line service to create your own holiday theme items. Visit Avery to access these holiday tools for free!
Think of gifts you can give your family or friends that are a gift of your time! Some possible ideas – an evening of babysitting, shoveling the driveway, car washes, grass cutting and weeding, a day of house cleaning, grocery shopping for them, pet-sitting while they are on vacation or perhaps teaching them some computer skills. The list is endless, all you have to do is get a little creative, create your own paper Gift Certificate or I.O.U. and drop it in a holiday card. For organizers, package up some organizational ideas that you know would benefit productivity and lower stress, offer one hour of your time and deliver it with a time line of up to 6 months to use.
The Holidays are Upon Us…….let the organization continue! In some places, pre-stamped business sized envelopes are offered for the price of the stamp – another little gift of time for those of us without a sufficient supply of stamps, postage machines or staff. This can be a motivator for you to write that annual Holiday letter this year and still get it out in time for the holidays.
Make it a technological Christmas – for now and evermore! If you haven’t already discovered the convenience and portability of the “virtual” Holiday planner, this might be your year. Use your Outlook to organize your calendar, task and gift list and sync with your blackberry and cell; your schedule and lists are always with you, along with all the addresses and phone numbers required for shipping. Create a Task or Note in OUtlook and list all the people you need to buy for and what you are buying for them. Then organize it by category or store so your shopping is streamlined and organized! However, if you are still paper driven and feel more secure with a hard copy in hand, print out a paper copy of that critical holiday schedule and gift list. Keep one copy in the glove compartment of your car or in your purse and another in the command centre of your home and/or office. This is the modern day equivalent of a security blanket.
If you are the “wrapper”, with many competing commitments, wrapping may have lost its luster and become a test of your holiday spirit so here is an idea. At your local dollar store, purchase one color of gift bags – your favorite, of course. Choose armloads of coordinating tissue, either one or two colors that you will use for all the bags. You might also consider designing and printing your own personalized gift tags. Use colored markers to add the recipient’s name and tie onto the bag with a small piece of raffia or coordinating ribbon that you also pick up at the dollar store. Add present………and be proud of your unique look for the year. Next year you can change your colors.
If I told you I have a really easy way for you to get your holiday cards out this year, would you be interested?
SendOutCards is an on-line service, enabling a business or an individual to send real paper greeting cards from your own computer, using your own handwriting and signature. You choose the card you want to send, or create a card using your own photo on the cover. Then personalize it with your message and click SEND. SendOutCards does all the printing, stuffing, licking, stamping, addressing and mailing – all for about $1 per card!
Talk about simple! Take away the stress at this time of year ~ try it and you’ll see what I mean. In fact, you can check it out at SEND OUT CARDS. Your first two cards are on my friend Donna Smallin Kuper, tell her I sent you and you can send another three cards for free!
Become up close and personal with the world of internet or virtual gift shopping. Be very aware of shipping deadlines (usually a minimum of 2 weeks at holiday time) and shipping costs; as obvious as this may sound, try and lay out your gift lists either by person, potential gift category, or budget, so you can troll the major sites for ideas and capitalize on shipping.
Here is our holiday gift to you….think of our tips over the next few weeks as a Holiday buffet with something that appeals to everyone whether you are a small business owner; an organizer; a stay-at-home Mom; an empty nester; the confirmed bachelor, a senior, a newly-married couple; downsizers or right-sizers, or the professional executive. Here is today’s gift:
Repurpose your holiday decorations - take out your holiday decorations, review and purge what no longer works for you and donate to your local Goodwill or other charity, prior to the holidays beginning, to extend holiday cheer. You might also consider running a neighborhood decoration exchange.
As we wish you the happiest possible holiday season and ending to your year, we remind ourselves that our organizational skills are a great gift.
On that note, here is our dream wish list. We would love to receive an organizer’s time and skills to make our lives easier and smoother, more productive and stress-free. Whether it is a closet, a home office, a corporate executive or professional’s office, a garage, a basement or even the linen closet, we can’t think of a more wonderful gift to give or receive.
For those organizers, develop a list of your organizing services as a gift certificate idea for friends, families and clients. With a minimum of a three hour gift certificate purchase, you might even consider offering special clients a free hour. This may well be one of the most guaranteed to please gifts this year. We see this as a multi-faceted tool to help you advertise your business to clients as well as a gift resource for yourself to highlight and promote your business. You become the gift, whether you give it yourself or encourage others to do so by helping them think of organizing as one of their best and most creative holiday gifts.