Why do we buy presents? 

We received our Riverford box this week and the message from Guy was about waste veg.  Having been responsible for the waste contract of a large restaurant and pub chain I’m always interested in what’s next and how we can reduce waste as it’s scary what volume is thrown away on a regular basis.

This then got me thinking about gifts (tenuous link I know) and how gifts can be wasted.  Why do we buy gifts?

It’s Easter which means chocolate.  I know Easter doesn’t mean just chocolate but unfortunately that’s the first thing that the commercialised world thinks about.  Back in the day I was given a CD from someone instead of chocolate and now my tiny human is given cash.  Don’t get me wrong, this is lovely but how has it got to this, why do we feel the need to buy presents.

Birthdays and Christmas are difficult.  How often do you get too close to the date and panic about what to buy people.  There are some people who you will find easy to buy for – everyone thinks they are easy to buy for but they are wrong, some of the time anyway!

When you have that panic, what do you buy?  How much thought goes into it? Maybe you resort to a voucher?  To me a voucher is a bit last minute and to some of my friends, thoughtless but just think you can literally buy anything with an Amazon voucher and when I say anything, something you actually want.

This is the problem with gifts, some of them become clutter straight away in your home.  I’m not ungrateful but, think back to what gifts you have received which you don’t like or have never used.  I come across this so often when working with someone, they want to keep something just because they were given it – they don’t even like it but feel guilty about throwing it away.

My suggestion to this is to try and sell said item and use the money to buy something you love then, there’s less guilt as technically they have bought you something you would use and enjoy and you have less clutter in your home.

My advice to the gift buyer, if you’re not sure what to buy someone should you be buying them a present?  Controversial question?  Not really.  When I spend time with my friends and talk to them – face to face or facetime to facetime I get an understanding of where they are, what they’re up to and what they need.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not the perfect gift buyer (I’m envious of those people) but I like to buy people what I think would be useful to them.  If you’re buying for the sake of buying then would a card or other gesture be fine instead?  What would you like to receive?

Alternatively, buy someone an experience.  We’ve started this in our family and we are off gliding in the Summer – when would you have ever done that?!

NOWOrganise Week 7th – 13th November Day 4 / Tip 4

Thanks to all for watching my videos this week.  Please let me know how organised you are, whether you’ve tried any of the tips I’ve sent and send before and after pictures.  I love to see how others are organised as it means different things to different people.

Today is all about asking for help and using your strengths to make the most of your time.

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If you can relate and need help organising, get in touch via E-mail or phone to discuss how we can work together to organise your home or work.

My ideal home is on Pinterest, if only I could create it in real life – and not a Pinterest fail!

The P for procrastination, Pinterest.  Not heard of it? It’s the app to look at whilst you make yourself a cup of tea for 10 minutes, then the next thing you realise, your tea has gone cold and at least an hour has gone by…….. but, you’ve found your ideal home, every room in your home, planned every birthday, Christmas and halloween (even though you’ve never celebrated halloween in your life!)

Now, for home stuff when searching (if your home is anything like mine) you need to add “small” in the description as being mainly American you need a ranch or house in one of those cheesy family films to have rooms the size of the whole of my downstairs!  I started with a “house” board and now I have one for every room the only problem is actually getting stuff done.  It was different when having a tiny human as we had 9 months, a deadline and a plan for the room which gives you a bit more motivation to get the room how you would like it.

In normal circumstances you have the ideas and pass the room or job every day and just think you should really get that done, without a timeline, push, help, things don’t always get done, plans are not followed through and tasks are not completed.  This is where a personal organiser can help.  If you were building a house or a large extension you would have a planner or project manager to ensure tasks are completed and the job finished to your satisfaction, an organiser does this but on a small scale to work with you to ensure your home is finished to the standard you would expect – and make it your home!

We can declutter, tidy, put your possessions in order and find homes for things so you can find them again but we can also organise tradespeople to finish tasks, put up pictures and finish those small annoying jobs which you walk past everyday.  It may even be that you no longer notice them and have forgotten that the door handle will fall off it you pull it too much or until a visitor comes you realise you have to explain how to turn flush the loo properly.

Make a cuppa and grab a pen and pad, walk around from room to room and make notes in each of what tasks need finishing or doing full stop, what annoys you when you are sat in the bath or when you’re making the spare room up for guests write it down.  Alternatively, if it’s something that will take 5 minutes, do it straight away.  Once you’ve got your list, give a personal organiser a call to talk through.  We can give you an idea of costs and timelines to make your house your home and your sanctuary.

Feel like you can relate to this and need some organisation, get in touch via phone – 07772 773992 or e-mail – sarah@starfishorganisers.com If I am unable to help, I can find someone who can.

We provide an initial free consultation via phone or Skype or, visit for an hour for £25 + mileage which is redeemable against your first booking. 

Stop buying stuff, do you really need it?

We all like to spend money and buy stuff whether it is because it makes us happy or we need it, I mean, really need it or is a distraction from something else.  However, if we only spent money on things we actually needed and had a purpose how much would be saved every year.

Every house could do with decluttering in some way.  Whether it is stuff, paperwork or even food, there will be a drawer, cupboard or room even that will need organising – even Monica in Friends had a cupboard full of stuff!

I have to admit I’m not a great shopper and cannot wander rounds shops all day.  I go in, buy what I need and leave.  That’s not to say that my house doesn’t need decluttering sometimes.

When looking around the house or even the room you are sat in now, have a think about what you may have which you either don’t like, use or have any sentimental feelings about.  There may be other reasons why those items are in the room but, if not, how do you feel about them?  Do they bother you? If so, they could be zapping your energy.  If not, then no worries – carry on!

Where you do have energy zappers they need to be addressed to make you feel better about life.  Mainly because life will be so much simpler without them.  Sounds crazy?  Imagine that feeling when you’ve sorted the washing pile or dishes and cleaned up, it’s the same feeling when you’ve cleared items that bring nothing to each day.

The simplest way is to not buy stuff but where is the fun in that? Another way is to sort through what you have already (possibly finding things you forgot you had along the way – I met someone who forgot they had a 20ft yacht, true story!) go through everything in the house, breaking the house down room by room and getting rid of things which do not meet one of the 3 criteria mentioned above.  If you are unsure about anything then box it up to put in the loft to think about it again in 6 months time.

When getting rid of things, have a think about where stuff can go.  Can you sell them? Should they go to charity or are there things that just need to go in the bin.  Obviously anything that can be sold is a bonus as it is money you don’t have!

Once you’ve gone through everything which could be from kitchen utensils to clothes then work out where the gaps are, what you need, what are you missing?  Or, if you have managed to sell something, use the money to treat yourself!  Don’t go out and buy mindless stuff as this will lead to cluttering again.

I’ve found that thinking about purchases and deciding how much they are actually needed has saved us money.  We have either not purchased something as actually we didn’t need it in the first place or, found a substitute in something we already owned.  So many purchases are not thought about or, bought on a whim – yes, we own a drone.  No idea why and it’s been used twice in a year so is now cluttering up the spare room and bothers me every time I go in there.

Have a think, look around and I promise, if you got rid of things that are not useful, sentimental or not liked you will feel so much better about your home.