Wednesday, December 3, 2008

2008 Gift Guide

Are you searching for that perfect holiday gift? Here are some ideas to get your family and friends more organized for the new year.

1. Gift Wrap Organizer
Do you know someone with a lot of wrapping paper, ribbons, and gift bags? Consider giving a gift wrap organizer as a gift. They come in hanging bags, flat boxes, vertical boxes, and more. The Container Store has the best selection I’ve seen.

2. Collapsible Colanders
It’s uncanny how much I love my collapsible colanders. They are constructed with combination of hard plastic and rubber, so they fold flat. They save space in my kitchen cabinets, and they take up less room in the dishwasher. I have a few from Bed, Bath & Beyond, but Target and Crate & Barrel also carry versions. They retail from about $15 to $30.

3. Mailmate Shredder
With the growth of identity theft crimes, it’s becoming more and more essential to own a shredder. I love my MailMate desktop shredder from Staples. It may be too small if you shred a lot, but I find it perfect to shred junk mail and personal forms once or twice a week. Because of its size, you have to empty it more often, but I consider that a benefit. I recently destroyed a shredder because I didn’t lubricate it often enough. With my little MailMate, I just lubricate it every time I empty it, using Staples lubricated shredder sheets. (Include these easy shredder sheets with your gift—they’ll thank you later!) The shredder costs about $60, and shredder sheets are $10 per dozen.

4. Method “Detox Your Home” Cleaning Kit
If you know someone who wants to go green but doesn’t know where to start, try the “Detox Your Home” kit from Method. The cleaning supplies really work, and they leave rooms with nice scents that don’t make you feel dizzy. I especially love the peppermint bathroom cleaner—very refreshing! Purchase it for about $28 from

5. Calendars and Planners
I usually don’t advise giving people calendars as gifts because they feel like they have to use the new one along with the five other calendars they already have. If you have someone who asked you for a new calendar though, consider these options:

• Taylor Planner. Designed by renowned time management expert Harold Taylor, this weekly calendar is a simple, straight-forward way to keep track of your schedule. Pair it with one of Taylor’s time management books for a great gift set. Order the planner for about $30 at

• Artalendar. Do you know a creative type who has yet to find a calendar that works for him? Professional Organizer Colleen Warmingham created a calendar called the Artalendar for people who like to “color outside of the lines.” It sells for about $20 at

• I’m FLYing Calendar. This family wall calendar from the FLYLady helps you complete your appointments and household chores. It even includes stickers and a dry-erase board. Purchase the calendar for about $18 plus at

If none of these gifts float your boat, consider “clutter-free” gifts such as gift certificates to stores, theatre, or museums, or donations to charitable organizations. Overall, remember what the holidays are really about, and have a safe and joyous season!