With the holidays fast approaching, gift-giving will be on the rise, along with the challenges of clutter and debt. An alternative? Giving experiences as gifts.  The benefits go beyond reducing clutter: traditions, memories, and relationships all benefit from more intentional gift-giving. That’s why episode 22 of The Positively Living Podcast is about clutter-free gift giving!

Experiences over things. Have you heard this phrase? If you search social media you’ll find tons of memes and infographics sharing the benefits of giving experiences as gifts. The most obvious is reducing clutter, of course, but there is far more at stake: traditions, memories, and relationships all benefit from more intentional gift-giving. That being said, it’s not always easy to make this happen, especially when we’re challenged to have experiences. In 2020 COVID changed how we interact with others and how we experience in-person entertainment. There are also other potential challenges such as family preferences and budget that we need to take into account when celebrating. Today my guest and I cover all that and more. Our goal is to inspire you to give gifts intentionally in a way that will impact the giver and the receiver all while keeping the clutter at bay.

Giving gifts in a way that feels good to you, feels safe, works within your limits, and honors others requires some reflection. It requires some decluttering of your mindset around what it means to give gifts and an understanding of your personal why as well as the preferences of those to whom you are giving. This is all very doable, but I thought it might take a little guidance and that’s why I invited Katie Zurawski to join me today on the Positively Living Podcast.

Katie Zurawski is a professional organizer and blogger based in northeastern Wisconsin. Calling herself the “Decluttering Queen”, her goal is to help others discover the peace and serenity waiting for them underneath all that stuff. Through workshops and her blog, she hopes to encourage others to simplify their everyday making room for what’s most important. Katie is a wife and mother to three crazy kids and two fur babies. She enjoys scrapbooking, running and the occasional 90’s rom-com. This ties in nicely to the answer she gave during our interview about the song that always makes her dance. Be sure to listen for that!

One of her greatest joys is helping others take the first step in their decluttering journey.

I heartily agree and I’m excited for you to hear our conversation.

Katie and I cover intentional holiday planning (recognizing your own and other love languages, tracking app for spending, what new traditions can we incorporate) and we provide concrete examples of gift ideas that will work this year and beyond (consumables, experience envelopes, and ways we can support local businesses while getting creative).

One important thing Katie adds is how our experience this year with COVID has taught us the importance of making real connections with others. We have an opportunity as gift-givers to let people know they are thought of and cared about now more than ever. I will add that making these connections and creating future plans together is also more important than ever. Our suggestions can help you do that.

During our conversation, I encourage you to check out the Five Love Languages. For those who don’t know, it’s a book and system designed to help you understand in what way you experience feeling loved. The five categories are Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Acts of Service. Can you see why those would inspire creative gift-giving? It’s also an efficient way to ensure you are giving someone something that they will acknowledge. Have you ever worked so hard on a gift only to have someone–I’ve often seen this with children–not really get it or appreciate it? A system like the Five Love Languages helps you understand the receiver and it can help avoid that wasted time, energy, and money. Also the quiz page, which I’ll link to in the show notes, has one for couples, children, and teens as well. 

Many people want a simpler way to celebrate the holiday season or loved ones and events throughout the year but they don’t want to give up the impact…what makes it special. Katie and I know it’s possible to have both and today we’re helping you with some first steps…










Work with Lisa! 


5 Love Languages

Santa’s Bag App

Music by Ian and Jeff Zawrotny

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