During this season of giving it can be difficult to know when to stop. There are lots of people, places, and institutions asking for donations. I used to think it would be handy to have a small sign to pull out of my handbag which said something like “I already made a donation”.
Set Your Limit
That was until I decided how much money I could afford to give. Now, that I have set my limit (you can always modify your limit) once I have reached it, I know I have done my share.
It’s easy to overspend when all you do is whip out the credit card. Most of the time we don’t even have to sign our name on the receipt or the card reader. We can control the amount we spend when we create budgets and decide early on in this season of giving just how much we are comfortable spending.
Donations Request Box
I read in another blog about having a donation request box. I have set this up for myself as well as for many of my clients. I have a box into which I put any donation requests that come to me (or my clients) in the mail. I make my donations in December. Based on my limit I decide how much to give each of the organizations. This simplifies the task. Since the donation requests are collected in the box until December, there is no chance to give to the same organization twice.
There are places around town (the grocery store and some department stores) that also ask for donations at the register. This is where I wanted my sign “I already made a donation”. I used to feel like scrooge when I said ‘no, thank you’ after being asked ‘do you want to make a donation?’ It is easier for me now that I have set my limit. I am confident knowing that I have done my part.
Other Ways to Donate
The other day I was shopping at the Pet Store for my dogs, Miles and Josie. They love the toys they get for Christmas. The girl at the cash register let me know that they are collecting old towels and blankets for the cats and dogs at the Humane Society.
I know I have some old towels and blankets that I could bring to them. This would be a great way for me to empty a shelf or two in my linen closet and help the Humane Society. How about you? Do you have any towels or blankets that are not being used?
The Food Pantry in my town (and probably in your town) collects canned goods to fill their shelves. The Publix down the street from me has a collection bin for cans. If you get an extra can or two that will help.
A Gift for You
During this holiday season give yourself a gift and set limits for yourself. Be as generous as is comfortable for you. Overspending will leave you with a gift you don’t want – extra debt. Shop from your closets. Give towels, blankets, extra coats or sweaters you no longer need or wear to those who will love them. Speaking from experience, I am much happier now that I have set limits on what I spend during this season of giving. I think you will be, too.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization.