Have you met anyone who hasn’t wanted a less-stressful holiday season?

Me either!

And, having a stress-free holiday in 2020 just about seems impossible!

But we want you to enjoy the peace and beauty of this holiday season. Our hope is that a little advice from Feng Shui Joan’s Way will help!

Here is a short list of ways to de-stress your holiday and reduce clutter — both physical and mental!

Top Tip: Make Your Gift Requests Known

“Creating gift lists and providing them to family members well in advance of holidays and celebrations can be a very helpful tool in limiting the clutter collection.”

  1. Cruise through the holidays. Ever heard of the The FlyLady? Well now you have! This Southern belle at FlyLady.net developed a plan called “Cruising Through the Holidays.” The premise? Pretend you are leaving on a 3 week cruise on December 1, and have to have everything ready for the holidays by then. This approach works wonders for allowing yourself to enjoy (virtual) holiday parties and family time without the worry.
  2. Reduce clutter before the holidays begin. Start now to move out old clothes, toys, games, books, movies and more. Our clutter clearing service can help! And once you are ready to move items out, contact the Vietnam Veterans Association to schedule a pickup.
  3. clutter free christmas Oxfam donation.Shop consumables.   Most people don’t really want to have it all. That’s when a great, clutter-free, consumable gift is perfect. Something sweet is always a winner try The Cannoli Pie Company in Bridgeport, CT. They deliver their famous one-of-a-kind pies all over the country. Or how about gift cards for a local tea shop that knows all about how to deliver calm to your life. One of my favorite places to relax is Open Door Tea in Stratford, CT. These gifts will be appreciated for their personal touch and every community has local favorites.
  4. Share the Season – Shop Local – Shop Small! There are a host of small businesses that need local patrons now more than ever. Give gifts that deliver positive energy, inspiration, and support for your communities. Here are just a few links to help you deliver smiles: Shop Small Stratford; Music Together (virtual music classes for children); City Line Florist (flowers, plants, and gift baskets); Wag Central (for our pets);
  5. Get charitable.  From goats to jewelry and shoes, nothing says “I love you” like a charitable gift. The Toms company not only sells great shoes, but donates a pair of shoes directly to people in need. Looking for even less? Buy a llama for a family through Heifer International, or Support a Refugee, through Oxfam. Make an important donation in the name of your friend or loved one: Sterling House Community Center, Stratford;  Homes for the Brave; Bridgeport Rescue Mission and so many more!
  6. Give the gift of a “Gift Exemption.”  Instead plan for a virtual holiday get together. I’m thinking – pull out your ugly holiday sweaters – wear it for the party.
  7. Exchange services or good deeds.  Everyone has skills that others only WISH they had. Sewing, canning, computer skills, handywoman, cooking, an eye for landscaping. Consider YOUR skill and how you can share it with friends and family.
  8. Be Giver-Focused. Want to be surprised? Recent psychological studies on gift-giving have found that gifts that are giver-focused — a gift that allows you to share who you are, like a favorite product or book — are by far more well-received than recipient-focused gifts.

    Even though people thought they preferred recipient-focused gifts, it was actually giver-focused gifts that brought people closer. It seems as though there’s greater meaning in a giver-focused gift. So the next time you’re gift shopping, try to find something that lets you share something of yourself with the person to whom you’re giving a gift.

  9. Reduce and reuse in gift wrap. Nothing fills the landfills every holiday like wrapping paper. If you are crafty, you can opt to sew your own easy drawstring bags, which can be gifted or re-used annually. Or invest in re-usable paper gift bags.

What are your favorite tips to make the holidays stress free? Let us know in the comments.