Vacation Clutter

by Vickie Dellaquila

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Summer is full swing now with picnics, softball, swimming, and vacations. It's the time of year when you can re-charge your batteries and get away from it all. However, vacations can become shopping expeditions, and you can accumulate too many souvenirs. Think about it. Have you ever ended up shopping at gift shops for much of your vacation? If shopping takes up too much of your vacation, maybe you want to re-think how you spend your vacation time.

You may say, "But, I want to have some souvenir to remind me of my vacation." You're not alone. Yes, many folks do, but it does not have to be in the form of a key chain, mug, t-shirt, or snow globe. After all, how many t-shirts, mugs, key chains, and snow globes do you really need or want? Where will you store them?

One way to avoid bringing too many souvenirs home is to decide on the amount of money you will dedicate to souvenirs. This way, you will also stay within your budget. You could also decide to stick to only one kind of souvenir, for example pens. It is a small, inexpensive item that can be used and stored easily. Or a matchbook from wherever you visited is an inexpensive way to remember a place. Why not support a local artisan and purchase something from him or her to remind you of your vacation? Photographs and videos are another way to preserve the memories without adding to the souvenir pile.

You could also decide to just say no to souvenirs. Instead, remember the beautiful ocean view. A coffee mug is not really going to do justice to it. Preserve the memory in your mind or through pictures instead. You can also use pictures that you took with a digital camera as screen savers or desktop screens on your computer. You will have a wonderful memory of your vacation that you can change as often as you wish. Just imagine the pleasure of seeing the picture of your child playing on beach when it's snowing in February! I doubt a t-shirt or coffee mug will stir that kind of memory.

Think about why you went on vacation in the first place. It was probably to relax, to spend time with family or friends, and to discover and enjoy new places. You may want to buy some memento, but try not to come home with a suitcase full of stuff that will be long forgotten after the vacation is over.

Vickie Dellaquila is a Professional Organizer and owner of Organization Rules. Her primary focus is the residential market helping families, couples, and individuals de-clutter and organize their homes to simplify their lives. She also helps prepare homes for the real estate market and help people downsize to a smaller home. For more information call 412-913-0554 or

Reprinted with permission from Organization Rules.

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