The secret to giving the perfect gift

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From your children’s teacher to your mail carrier, many of us want to show our appreciation for the people in our lives this time of year.

While any gift is thoughtful, most of us don’t need another picture frame or decorative pillow in our home.

Naples’ Premier Professional Organizer Marla Ottenstein says the secret to a great gift—make sure it’s perishable.

Ottenstein likes to support local businesses by shopping at farmer’s markets.

For under $15, there are options for everyone. There is local honey for the tea drinker, pet treats for the animal lover, colorful pasta from Italy for the cooks and orchids.

“With an orchid, they can just put it out on their lanai, or stick it into a tree. But something that’s perishable, so that people don’t feel committed that you gave them something, therefore, they can’t get rid of it,” Ottenstein says. “We all have enough clutter in our lives; we don’t need more stuff.”

If you’re shopping for a teacher, call your child’s school to see if your parent-teacher organizations ask teachers to fill out a “favorite things” list at the beginning of the year. For example, the PTO board at Three Oaks Elementary asks teachers to list everything from their favorite sports team, to their favorite take out restaurant, even their favorite nail salon.

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