Sunday, October 19, 2008

31 Things to do before Christmas – What's in your attic? Know what you have so you don't waste money

(This is #10 of 31 in the 31 Things to do series)

What's in your attic? Know what you have so you don't waste money.

How frustrating is it when you only have a few bucks and you waste them on stuff you already have simply because you forgot what you had, or you knew what you had but you couldn't find it. And you know what usually happens, you find it about a month after you needed it, when it's too late to return the duplicate you bought because you used it. Well there is a simple solution to this -- having a place for everything and everything in its place.

Most people who have an attic or basement store all of their Christmas stuff in one these places. So now is the time to pull it out and take inventory of what you already have on hand, BEFORE you go shopping. Remember, a good deal is not a good deal if you didn't need the item to begin with.

By the way, when money is tight, will it really kill you to use the same Christmas decorations you used in previous years? My Christmas tree has looked identical for the last several years, because I have plenty of ornaments, most of which were given to me, and I see no need to change my color scheme. By the way my theme is eclectic, in other words, if I like it and I have it on hand, I use it. It doesn't have to all match. This also makes it easy for me to use all the cute little ornaments my kids have made in school through the years. It never gets old to them seeing their ornaments on the tree and knowing how much I appreciate them.

Here is a common list of items people use around Christmas. And I can almost guarantee you, unless you are starting out from scratch, you probably already have some of the things on this list.

  • A Christmas tree (if you use artificial)

  • ornaments and ornament hangers

  • gift wrap, gift bags and gift name tags

  • tissue paper

  • tape

  • Christmas lights

  • a tree skirt

  • a tree stand

  • Christmas wreath

  • Christmas cards

  • Christmas stockings

  • extension cords

Why spend your money when you can use what you already have on hand? Really when you think about it, you only used the stuff for a few weeks out of the year, so you should get at least a few good years of use from them.

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