Angela Hoxsey, House in Order: Great Organizational Giveaways | Angela Hoxsey
If, as Tolstoy said, all happy families are alike but all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way, then we have all been in a family that was happy enough to share the vacation but maybe had a unhappy moment when dad bought a vacuum for Christmas. Like vacuums and mixers, organization gifts can be too practical or unromantic for most, but they could be the perfect gift for the organization specialist in your life.
You would be surprised how many organization obsessives do not have their own label makers. A good Brother P-Touch label maker makes a useful gift and even a little bit of fun. Pick up the mid-priced model, which is large enough to be typed in easily but doesn’t have a ton of unnecessary features. For extra credit, get a few rolls of duct tape. I like the black type on half-inch white tape, but if your recipient likes the color or is a teenager, try black on neon pink or yellow.
If your recipient already has a label maker, do your research and find out what size and brand of tape they use and offer a few rolls – tape is always appreciated by aficionados of the organization.
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Beautiful wooden or bamboo drawer inserts that expand to divide the drawer into compartments could be a wonderful gift if you’ve noticed the family cook has a messy kitchen utensil drawer. They also work well for the family “trash” drawer. Try Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Crate & Barrel where they’re available for around $ 30.
Smaller dividers are available to organize bathroom drawers and might be appreciated by a family member with an out of control makeup collection. Target and The Container Store offer small bamboo drawer dividers and utensil containers that can be used in narrow bathroom drawers. Clear acrylic is a good alternative if bamboo or wood is not available or does not match the decor of the gift.
A cool tape measure could be a great gift for the organized giveaway. I have a standard saddle leather covered tape measure that I bought from a Sundance catalog years ago that is the envy of all my organized friends. Sharper Image offers a digital tape measure with a laser for $ 80. Leatherology has an adorable pocket or purse tape measure for $ 45. There is a nifty chameleon-shaped brass tape measure – the tape is the tongue. You can find it online for around $ 17 for the Walmart version or $ 108 for what looks like the identical version from Coppertist.
Sheds have long been a great gift for teenage girls or college girls, and a box of Huggable, velvet-covered hangers is usually a sturdy extra gift.
Organization books are a good choice if you know what is already in the gift library. Check out the latest additions to the bestseller list or treat them to something a little outside their comfort zone, like a book on feng shui.
Book Mine (Napa and Saint Helena) and Copperfield’s (Calistoga) are great stops for interesting titles. Beautifully designed Home Edit books make lovely gifts. Wrap them in a wad of expensive binders or a box of useful Sharpie pens.
A really good toolbox or toolbox is a great organizational gift that is quite expensive. I drool over Home Depot’s large rolling tool chests that almost look like kitchen islands. A garage that has a lot of small homeless items can be organized in a jiffy with one of those for storage.
The best gift of all might be a card with an offer written to help the recipient organize family photos for four hours, or to give several hours on a Saturday for a garage or basement makeover. Be sensitive! Only offer organizing hours to someone who has expressed a genuine interest in completing the project – be careful that this is not presented as a review or that you give it away because the project is something you would like to see managed.
Ironically, organized giveaways won’t be welcomed by the unorganized person, so use your best judgment. For those obsessed with organizing supplies, however, a bundle of neon sticky notes or polka dot binder clips in the Christmas stocking will bring them a smile every time.
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