Thrifty Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day calls for a special celebration of relationships, but it needn’t cost a lot of money to show you care. You can use your creativity to craft a special gift. Good Housekeeping suggests an array of options including fresh-baked bread, hand-stitched sachets and a jar filled with a year’s worth of date-night ideas. Make a flower vase out of a disused Mason jar and make a heart-shaped bath bomb to pamper that special someone. Look for supplies at local craft stores and at thrifs supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org.

When Opposites Attract… Clutter

Whether you find yourself attached, dating or happily single this season, everyone will admit that opposites sometimes do attract. No two people are exactly alike, and as much as they might have in common, they may differ substantially in a couple of areas.

Astrological horoscopes promise to match people based on the broad tendencies ascribed to one’s star sign or the alignment of the planets at birth, while dating services and mobile apps use questionnaires and algorithms to come up with a range of compatible singles.

But what if you and your significant other (or roommate, or family member) differ in terms of #cleanliness and #clutter? And what if we’re not just talking The Odd Couple? What if one of you is Marie Kondo, and the other should be on A&E’s Hoarders?

If there’s no conflict, there’s no problem. Your relationship is probably healthy in other areas, and you likely make up for, or complement each other’s skills and shortcomings. You may already take on different household tasks according to affinity.

But if your other’s clutter causes you to clash, you must tackle the problem head-on. The first rule is to communicate, says Refined Rooms. Ask yourself why the clutter frustrates you or makes life more difficult, and tell them.

#Decluttering is a teachable skill, so consider hiring a professional #organizer to show you how to get a start on getting that stuff in check. Finally, learn to compromise on acceptable levels of clutter or create clutter-free zones in your home.

If, on the other hand, you are the cluttering partner, consider the formative influences that may have made you that way. Are you are ready to let them go or work through them, and actively manage your stuff in order to create a more harmonious home?

ClothingDonations.org can help with a donation pickup whenever you and a partner are ready to get rid of some of the disused and unwanted things in your home. In reselling the extra stuff to benefit veterans, we can also contribute to our donors’ happy relationships.

But “Trying to force anyone — your partner, your roommate, even yourself — to change completely is futile,” The Cut says. “A better strategy is to work together to set realistic boundaries and expectations — a process that starts with each side examining their own motivations for feeling the way they do about clutter.”

Have a happy, healthy and #clutterfree Valentine’s Day!

Make Memories This Valentine’s Day

Instead of buying things for Valentine’s Day, do things with the special people in your life. Shared experiences create memories and deepen relationships. Try volunteering with a nonprofit together, creating a memory book to collect mementoes of the times you’ve shared, or making time to engage in uninterrupted, one-on-one conversation. “Don’t fall victim to the prefabricated crutch of hackneyed floral arrangements and ill-advised, gigantic stuffed bears,” Frugalwoods says. “Instead, seek authentic intimacy with your partner, your family [and] your close friends.”

Valentine’s Day: It’s the Thought That Counts

On Valentine’s Day, it really is the thought that counts. To keep your celebration inexpensive yet heartfelt, Frugalwoods readers suggest tailoring all gifts and observances to their recipients. Outdoorsy types might like to take a hike in the woods; art lovers will enjoy a trip to the museum. Homebodies (and workaholics) might like to take a night off to bake some heart-shaped cookies, order a heart-shaped pizza or cook a special favorite meal. Make your own cards, or simply leave Post-its around the house inscribed with romantic affirmations.

A Valentine’s Date Doesn’t Need to Be Costly

Valentine’s Day deserves a good date night — and you can keep most dates cheap even if your love interest has specific tastes. Esquire suggests visiting a trendy pop-up museum, taking a cooking class, bowling or playing arcade games for “old-school” fun, taking a winter hike (with a tumbler of hot coffee), going to a bar for a karaoke or trivia night, scheduling an indoor rock-climbing session or spa day, and 16 other plans. Whatever you choose, none of the magazine’s ideas should cost more than $100, and all focus on a shared experience rather than material goods.