Welcome to Simply Organized Life! I am so glad you are here. Make your self a cup of tea and stay awhile. 

All My Best,  Carolyn

Carolyn making a holiday return at REI in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This past Christmas, Santa brought my family a few items that were not just right. 

With all of the extra stuff that the holidays brought to our home, things were getting a little cluttered. Leaving the packaging in place, I separated the items we really did not need.  

Then I went about gathering the receipts that I could obtain and scheduled making the returns in my calendar. 

Between appointments last week, I made my returns and even found a couple of bargains, making sure I did not bring more into the home than I left with. 

Overall, the process was super easy, especially at REI in Ann Arbor, Michigan where a fellow shopper agreed to snap a photo of me with REI team member, Matt (pictured above at left). 

I did not have the receipts for a couple of items, but it was clear where they were from. Both stores offered me a gift card credited with the lowest item price. In one case, the store credit was so low that I did not feel it was worth it to make the return (this item went into my re-gifting box). However, I accepted a gift card from the other store and will make a point to use up the credit for something that we need in the near future. 

In many cases gift cards or gift certificates do expire. Be sure to make a point of using up those gift cards in the next few months, before they expire or get lost in the shuffle. 

Carolyn Anderson-Fermann is a public speaker, organizing expert and founder of Simply Organized Life. On Saturday, January 14, 2012 Carolyn will be presenting "Simply Organize the New Year:  5 Simple Strategies to Keep Your New Year's Resolution" at the Women's Health and Fitness Day in Ypsilanti, Michigan, a free event. 

Your 2nd Chance: Chinese New Year

Packing Up the Holidays