Keep your artificial Christmas tree in pristine condition year round using a storage solution from Organize-It. We have bags to fit most-sized Christmas trees and a variety of options including standing and mobile bags. Check out our Christmas Tree Storage page for more information.
In a perfect world, money would be no object, right? Well, in this less than ideal world, most of us have a budget when shopping for holidays gifts, including a range for people, including relatives, friends and coworkers. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas for under fifty dollars. And if you are last-minute shopping and concerned about time, consider one of our gift certificates which require no work on your part. Just pay and plug in the recipient’s email.
Brava Wine and Cheese Set – $49.99
White Marble Wine Chiller – $31.99
Spiralizer – $49.99
Umbra Bathtub Caddy – $35.99
Cupcake Carrier – $36.99
Keurig K-Cup Holder – $36.99
Single Bike Storage Rack – $34.99
Wusthof Under-Cabinet Swinger Knife Block – $49.99
Green Gifts for your Eco-Friendly Family and Friends
Green gifts help put the green in Christmas – so why not indulge your eco-friendly family members in a way that suits their conscientious souls? There are so many ways you can sustain the environment while pleasing the earthy-crunchy people in your life, I’ve decided to share a few ideas with you…
1. Edible Green Gifts
Some people do like green eggs and ham, so consider giving food this holiday season. Whether it’s homemade cookies or a loaf of chocolate cherry sourdough bread, everyone loves food, including your eco-conscious friends. Find a recipe tailored to your gift recipient’s particular likes to make it extra special. Pack it in a glass food canister or some other non-plastic container so it can be repurposed for food storage after your gift is consumed. Homemade granola packed in an oval-sealed storage jar adorned with your favorite ribbon (or twine) makes a lovely holiday presentation.
Loose leaf tea packed in a basket or jar, combined with a travel tea infuser makes a lovely gift and encourages a little self-indulgence, while a selection of hand-picked bagged tea may be packaged (by you) in this delightful bamboo tea storage box.
Healthy food gifts presented in planters or small compost pals are a clever way to show you noticed while encouraging their eco-friendly ways. These are only a few edible green ideas to use as a springboard for your own brainstorming.
2. Green Gifts that Take Up Zero Space (for the True Minimalists)
Your minimalist loved ones may not want stuff for holiday gifts. Many prefer experiences: wining, dining, entertainment, sports tickets, etc. Experiences make great green gifts as they do not require maintenance, do not contribute to landfills, and do not require storage space. Think about your gift recipient. Who do they like? What are their causes? Classes in cooking, art, massage, essential oils, and blogging are just a few great ideas for your knowledge-hungry loved ones.
Digital music downloads and other entertainment services are great “experience” gifts that don’t take up physical space. Think subscriptions, online learning and media services (not advocating one here, just putting it out there – you know who they are).
3. Homemade Green Gifts
Homemade green gifts, especially consumable ones, are a great way to show people you care by adding a personal touch. Handmade soaps made from natural ingredients and essential oils make a lovely gift, as do gifts made from recycled goods. Buy some organic shampoo base and blend in their favorite oils for a personal gift tailored just for them. Making your loved one a luxury item goes along with the “experience” gift ideas by giving someone permission to ethically indulge in a soothing, luxurious activity.
4. Green Gifts Galore in the Form of Decor
Whether it’s renewable bamboo or hemp-woven rugs, sustainable decor makes a lovely gift for your favorite tree huggers. Organize-It has a huge selection of Lipper Bamboo products for just about any room or any purpose. Make your own set of office organizers from individual bamboo components, or deck out your loved one’s bath with gorgeous bamboo bath accessories. Fortunately, all of the Lipper bamboo and other products can be found in one convenient location on the Organize-It website.
5. Green Gifts that are Clean Gifts
While cleaning may not seem very exciting for a holiday, cleaning with Caldrea products almost seems like a luxury. Made with biodegradable ingredients with intoxicating essential oil scents, a thoughtfully selected array of Caldrea cleaners would be a welcome addition to most eco-friendly homes.
Caldrea sea salt/neroli-infused counter cleaner is a welcome addition to a vanity. Pair it with their corresponding laundry detergent and package in an attractive stainless steel compost pail, and you have a lovely, sustainable gift.
6. Green Gifts you can Grow Yourself
Even in the winter, plants make lovely gifts and serve as a pleasant reminder that the season will actually change, as they always do. These sets of small pails are ideal for planting herbs, but you could also fill them with homemade candies, seed packets or a variety of other items. They come in galvanized or copper finishes and include a deep tray to corral them (which looks great on a windowsill or countertop). Buying seeds is another idea and if you give your gift in a container, you can save the waste of all that wrapping paper (thinking really green).
7. Green Gifts from Recycled Materials
Whether you are buying from artisans or making it yourself, recycling materials is a great way to please both your eco-people and mother nature. Recycle boutiques can be found easily on the internet – or you can roll up your sleeves, haul out the sewing machine, and make a divine mess on your kitchen table. Gift-making can be a great family project, whether your make homemade wrapping paper, ornaments, wreathes or other handcrafted items. How about a crazy quilt from outgrown clothes, or candy tins made from tuna cans and recycled Christmas cards from last year? Or a groovy retro-knit beer cap vest or pantaloons? You’re only limited by your imagination here. Be creative. Go crazy. You have my permission (and I’m sure you were waiting for it).
8. Green Gift Cards – You Don’t Have to Decide
Buy a gift card and let your green person select their own green gifts. Organize-It sells them here, and we have about 20,000 products (not all green, but all colors and varieties) to select from, including recycling products, kitchen accessories and techie gifts. Gift cards are also great because they are so EASY – no shipping, no packing, no wrapping. Just plug in the email address, pay, and leave the rest to us. It’s all digital, behind-the-scenes magic. Whatever you decide to do to make your holiday green, have a fabulous one!
Clutter Control Freak
It’s Mother’s Day again, a time to honor our mothers and thank them for their nurturing, devotion and friendship. A well-chosen present is a special way to convey your love, so here are some excellent Mother’s Day gift ideas from Organize-It, ranging from decor to kitchen essentials. No matter what your mother is like, we’ve got you covered this year for gifts.
My Mom has a Green Thumb
When nurturing includes the gift of making things grow, your mother will likely enjoy this vertical garden planter. The multi-tiered design is great for growing flowers, herbs and other plants in limited-space locations. It’s made from recycled, weather-resistant materials and has a compact, 45 x 8.5-inch footprint. Alternately, this single garden planter box, also made from recycled materials, makes a great display for pansies and other flowers on her porch or deck.
My Mom is a Culinary Enthusiast
Homemade meals are the hub of family life, and your Mom deserves the best kitchen tools for making her creations. Here are a few ideas:
1. Wusthof Knives
Wusthof’s finely honed, German-made knives are simply the best you can buy. Food prep is easy when your knives are super-sharp and have a profile designed for your particular application. Knife block sets are great for furbishing an entire kitchen. A single Santoku knife make a great budget gift, while adding efficient chopping to your mother’s kitchen. If you have never used one, the unique, Japanese-style hollowed blade design provides easy food clearance and smooth, efficient slicing of a variety of foods.
2. Blendtec Blenders
Another perfect pick for a mother who is worthy of the best kitchen gadgets. Blendtec blenders have the highest motor rating on the consumer market and come preprogrammed for a variety of food prep tasks. Make smoothies with the push of a button or puree soups in a minute using high-end jars that are built to last. She can throw out most of her other appliances when you gift her with a Blendtec.
3. Woll Non-Stick Cookware
High-end, Diamond Plus Cookware provides even heating and easy cleaning after cooking delicious meals. Anodized cookware is notorious for its short life and flaking issues. Woll Diamond-Plus Cookware is a revolutionary technology with a tough surface that outlasts most competitor brands. Buy one piece or a whole set.
My Mom is a Minimalist Tree Hugger
What to buy for your earthy crunchy minimalist mother who thinks less is more? Composting foods means reducing waste and rejuvenating her yard or garden. Given the functionality, composters hardly seem like a material gift at all! A small stainless steel compost pail fits nicely on the counter, while this outdoor model has a generous 6.5-gallon capacity, making it ideal for managing family food waste.
My Mom Deserves the Finest in Life
Whatever your Mother’s Day gift needs, you’re likely to find it at Organize-It. For instant savings and future coupons and specials, be sure to sign up for the Organize-It Newsletter (on the bottom of the main Organize-It page).
Eating and Exercising for Health in the New Year
Welcome to 2017. If you’re like a lot of people, you may have brought an extra couple of pounds with you into the new year. No need to beat yourself up over it. You aren’t alone. Lots of people are on the same boat, in fact. According to statisticbrain.com, 32.4 percent of U.S. resolutions are weight related. Whether or not you have recently put on weight, you may feel the need for a healthier lifestyle as you enter the new year. Feel free to add weight management and better health to your resolutions list. I sure am – and I’m happy to share a few of my tips with you.
Exercise is going to boost your metabolism. Whether you have a gym membership, take a spin class, or simply get on a walking/light exercise schedule, most experts agree that morning exercise is the best for boosting your metabolism. Even walking 20 minutes a day will help increase your metabolism as well as improve your heart function. Short on time? Incorporate a walk into your lunch break at work, or buy a small-profile stepper if your workplace has room to store it. There are a couple of gym memberships that are really affordable you can check out as well. Punching out for a quick workout is a good way to break up the day and increase your concentration during the afternoon hours, where it may start to wane after long hours of sitting.
Even moderate weight training several times a week replaces fat with lean muscle and helps increase your resting metabolism, which is highly desirable for weight loss. Whether you do it with a trainer, videos, or YouTube tutorials, weight training is a major component in regulating blood sugar, increasing metabolic processes and building strength in your muscles. Both cardio and weights are recommended for all around conditioning and also for managing glucose. Of course, if you have health problems, you should seek the advice of a professional but a good diet consists of two components – exercise and dieting – for optimal results.
It’s a lot easier to manage your weight if you make your own food. It’s a fact. Fast-food and restaurants are generally super-caloric, high in fat and simply not geared towards health. And it’s difficult to control portions when the gigantic pile of American-sized food is plopped in front of your watering pie hole. The anecdote? Just make it yourself – and you’ll be glad you did.
Freezing food in measured portions is one idea, or simply preparing your meals for the week in standardized containers. If you take that whole dish of casserole to work, it’s just too tempting to have one more bite.
Regardless of the diet you use, portion control is cited as one of the most important aspects of dieting. Measuring and dividing your servings as you prepare your meals will help you resist the temptation to overeat. Collapsible measuring cups are a space-saving way to pre-pack your lunches and high-quality food storage containers like these ensure you limit the quantity of your lunches.
This mega-set has airtight, latched-lid containers in a variety of sizes to carry soups, stews, sandwiches and more, and they are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe. This would be perfect for a weekend cooking mission, in which you could prepare your food a week or two in advance and refrigerate or freeze it for future use.
Scales are also great for controlling portions, especially if you are doing a strict diet. I use one to weigh fish portions for the week when I’m being extra strict. This Polder digital scale weighs up to 11 pounds of food and has a slim design for super-efficient storage.
Metabolism Boosting Foods
Omega-3 Fatty Foods – including fish, flax seed and reduce inflammation and boost resistance to leptin hormones, which are a factor in fat burning. You can also get these from supplements. Recommended dosages range from 1000 to 2000 mg. per day. Fish is one of the few “meats” you can easily cook in the microwave (which you could even do at work). This fish steamer is inexpensive, at only 8.99, and you can throw in some asparagus or other vegetables for a quick healthy meal.
Tree nuts, lean proteins like cottage cheese, natural Greek yogurt, and spinach are other foods that help keep you in burn mode. Also, most bodybuilding sources recommend eating smaller meals throughout the day, which keeps your system burning (digestion, by itself burns calories). Follow up an intense workout with some healthy protein to add muscle while you’re still in burning mode.
Reduce Trans Fats
Probably one thing all the experts can agree on is that trans fats are bad. Trans fats cause inflammation and slow down the bodies’ ability to burn fat. Avoid the office donuts, fried foods, most fast foods, margarines, and well, um, you probably should start checking your food labels if you haven’t already. You’ll be surprised at what’s in a lot of the food you buy.
Eat Lots of Greens
Whether you like cooked greens or salads, greens are so low calorie, they’re practically a free food, provided you don’t add lots of fattening dressings and toppings to it. Here’s an idea, make your own low-calorie dressing using healthy ingredients. You can spare yourself the harmful preservatives and make it from your own fresh ingredients, including fresh fruits like orange (don’t go crazy) and healthy oils. Rice vinegar with only small amounts of oil is a great way to enjoy a salad without the fats. Use a sugar substitute to further reduce calories.
This OXO bowl makes quick work of salad making as you can chop the ingredients right in the bowl with the included rolling cutter. It has a 5.5-quart capacity and continuous curves for quick, smooth cutting.
Reduce Carbs like Pasta and Bread
Low-carb diets such as the Paleo are very popular and many people respond well to them. There are several bread alternatives that I wrote about in an earlier post that give you a “sandwich-like” satisfaction without all the carbs.
Pasta lovers are turning to things like shirataki noodles to satisfy their cravings, but substituting vegetables for pasta is another really delicious alternative. This spiralizer is an easy way to make ribbons from zucchini, beets and other vegetables for use as low-carb pasta substitutes – or even for salads and garnishes. This is a great way to enjoy a pesto or other indulgent dish without the guilt and the calories.
Planning your meals ahead of time ensures you have what you need on hand for healthful cooking, meaning you’ll be less apt to binge or resort to eating out. Whether you use an app or paper, planning is going to help you monitor what you eat as well as give you a creative space to arrange meals that satisfy your need for variety as well as nutrition. This 55-sheet magnetic Meal Chef notepad gives you 55 weeks’ worth of meal planning, so you can schedule ahead as far as you need to. The magnetic back means you can hang it right on your refrigerator for convenience.
Whether you choose a Paleo or other diet, remember that your metabolism may acclimate to what you’re doing after a time. Also, there is no perfect diet for everyone. Listen to your body. If what you’re doing stops working, it might be time to switch up your diet, change your exercise routine, or do something different. If you have the means, consult a dietitian, an exercise physiologist, or some other health specialist for recommendations on what’s right for you.
Love, Clutter Control Freak
You might also enjoy our “getting organized – 2017 – making and keeping New Year’s resolutions” post on our Organize-It blog.