Holiday Shopping That Won’t Break the Supply Chain

With supply chain issues affecting shipments of goods at ports worldwide and postal slowdowns in the the U.S., holiday shoppers are eagerly snapping up whatever merch they can get their hands on early in the season.

So far, few of this year’s “it” gift items are selling out — and if Black Friday and Cyber Monday were any indication, supplies of new TVs, voice assitants and other computer-enabled gadgets are meeting strong demand. But things can (and will) sell out.

If you want to satisfy everyone on your list this year, there are several ways to do so while avoiding supply chain issues:

1. Buy consumer goods now. Retailers started the shopping season early to cope with potential supply-chain issues, and regardless if those problems materialize, the best deals will disappear as shopping deadlines approach.

2. Order early to avoid delays. Dec. 11 is the last day certain retailers will guarantee delivery by Christmas due to distribution issues and shipping slowdowns. That’s a full two weeks ahead of the actual holiday, and your Prime membership may not help.

3. Give experiences instead of things. A gift certificate to a cooking class, massage therapist or local restaurant might be a thoughtful gift that doesn’t depend on the U.S. mail to arrive on-time. Digital subscriptions also deliver instant gratification.

4. Buy local, perishable and handmade. Not only will you support people and businesses in your community, but you’ll be able to sidestep any supply chain issues by buying goods and services that are already available locally.

5. Make your own. If you have a knack for sewing, woodworking or some other craft, get creative with your giving. The people on your list will appreciate a one-of-a-kind keepsake that took real effort.

6. Regift and thrift. Quality hand-me-downs make great gifts. If there’s something you own that just doesn’t get the love it would if you gave it to someone on your list, wrap it up and hand it off.

Also consider #decluttering and #donating any lightly used #clothing, household goods and other #stuff you no longer use to ClothingDonations.org. When you #donate used items, they are resold to fund a variety of veterans programs.

The #thrift stores that ClothingDonations.org supplies are a great source of holiday swag and ready-to-gift items, too! #Resale and #reuse is the ultimate in low-impact giving. Happy shopping!

Start Planning for the Holidays Now

The ongoing supply-chain issues that emerged after the #pandemic have many people wondering if their holiday plans will be upended for a second year in a row in spite of effective vaccines and loosened restrictions.

We at The Organizing Blog can’t predict whether all of the gifts you want to buy will be available, if there will be shortages of turkeys or if your flights will be cancelled. But it can’t hurt to plan ahead!

For example, you might want start shopping for gifts today. CNBC says that consumer demand will be high, while slowdowns at manufacturing facilities and ports of call worldwide will affect supplies of many of the things people want and need.

Think about what the people on your gift list might like starting now. If you can get the jump on buying those things, it will free up more time as the holidays draw near, keep you from stressing about gifts last-minute and spread the costs over several months.

Minted suggests creating a budget and gift list eight weeks out from Christmas — and that’s next week. If you plan to have a family photoshoot, you can also set the date and start getting your mailing list together for holiday cards.

You may also wish to stock up on the foodstuffs you’ll use to create Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. Early in the pandemic, staples such as flour and butter sold out on grocery shelves; buy them now so that you can treat your family to cookies and pies.

A good #decluttering and #cleaning will help prepare your home for holiday parties and other goings-on. Clear and dust any surfaces where you’ll display holiday knickknacks and check the string lights. It will help stage your home for the holidays that much faster.

As for the #stuff you declutter, bag any lightly used clothing and household items and contact ClothingDonations.org for a #donation pickup. Your #donations will be resold to help fund veterans programs, so you’ll be spreading good cheer all season long.

The holidays were stressful enough before the global pandemic, but #COVID-19 has brought new challenges to annual celebrations. Prepare for them early, and you can sail through the holidays with as few disruptions as possible.

Make Boxing Day Into Boxing Week

In the major countries of the former British Empire, the day after #Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day. A legal holiday, the event grew out of a custom for wealthy landowners to offer their servants and workers a box of edible goodies, gifts or a monetary tip during the Christmas season.

Stateside, many make the erroneous assumption that “Boxing Day” is on the calendar as a day people might set aside to box and store their Christmas #decorations for another year. In #quarantine times, however, the Organizing Blog would like to propose a modest compromise:

Let’s celebrate Boxing Day as a way to #declutter and #donate to a good cause. And since we have plenty of time at home due to pandemic travel restrictions, let’s take the whole week to do it.

The first step is to declutter. Start with the stacks and stacks of shipping boxes you’ve likely accumulated buying gifts from Amazon and other outlets. With online shopping up 40% from 2019, households are drowning in cardboard. Break down and #recycle any box that can’t be repurposed.

Next, conduct an organized destaging of all of your household holiday trappings, including wrapping paper, decorations, tree, lights, ornaments, and tchotchkes. Take your time and store everything in dedicated, labeled bins and boxes for easy access next year, or use these clever suggestions from HGTV.

As you pack up, toss anything that’s damaged or dingy. Dead light strands, cracked ornaments and worn fabrics aren’t worth saving or storing. Then, set aside any items that don’t provide a Kondoesque “joy.” These items may still be of good use to someone — just not you.

Finally, gather those unwanted and orphaned items together in extra boxes and bags and contact ClothingDonations.org for a donation pickup. Consider it a tax-deductible gift to the nation’s veterans, made in the true spirit of Boxing Day. You may not be landed gentry, but every little bit you give helps veterans access health care, housing and other resources.

Take advantage of a pandemic-era “Boxing Week” to get rid of the things you don’t want and show your appreciation for those who served. Happy New Year from the Organizing Blog!

Give Your Used Stuff to Benefit Veterans

Give the gift of #support and #charity this season simply by gathering up some of your old, unused stuff and #donating it to ClothingDonations.org. When you get a free, #contactless pickup, your lightly used clothing, decorative items, books and household goods are resold, and the proceeds go directly toward programs that fund #veteran housing, health care and community events. The bonuses? Donating your extra stuff is tax-deductible and can help you keep your home cleaner and more organized. Happy Holidays!

Digital Gifts Deliver on Demand

Looking to give a thoughtful #gift at the very last minute? Try a digital gift! Beyond the obvious content streaming services for in-home entertainment (Netflix, Amazon), there are options that concentrate on specific genres such as Shudder, Mashable suggests. Or you might consider #gifting a (virtual) party game package that recipients can play via a Zoom get-together, or a virtual gym membership for those health-conscious friends who are coping with mandated restrictions on health club capacity.