Gift-giving doesn’t have to be as emotionally taxing or financially draining as we make it out to be. It’s an easy recipe — just combine a good system for tracking gift ideas, an organized place to store gift wrap and supplies, and some tricks for saving money while finding the perfect present. Voila!
how much is it worth it to not deal have to deal with the crowds?
shop through catalogs and use online stores to save time and stress
just be careful about paying too much for shipping and convenience
plan ahead to avoid last-minute shipping fees
keep all of your gift-giving supplies in one place
set up your gift center nearest the point where you normally wrap gifts
set up a long under-bed box for storing rolled wrapping paper
set up smaller labeled tubs for tags, bows, ribbon, etc. — one for each type of supply
be sure to include scissors, tape, and a pen
also store the gifts you plan to give in the same place — one for “kid gifts,” another for “adult gifts”
make sure to include a flat surface for wrapping — a table, bed, couch, whatever
huge shopping lists create a strain on your wallet and time as well as feelings of guilt
option # 1 — give just one gift to each person on your list
option # 2 — have each person draw one name and give only that one gift, instead of gifts for everyone
option # 3 — buy gifts only for immediate family, then just the kids (not adults) in your extended family
option # 4 — buy or make the same item (cookies, candle, ornament) for many people on your list
option # 5 — make an agreement to skip gifts this year altogether
food — baked items, mixes, spices, wine, candy
events — tickets to a play, dinner out, a shopping trip
flowers, plants, and dried wreaths
personal services — babysitting, cleaning, a home-cooked meal
craft items — decorations, scrapbooks, centerpieces
recycled gifts — unopened items you received as gifts in the past
pay attention to items friends and family mention they want throughout the year
keep a running “wish list” of gift ideas for each person in your life
cross off each gift as you give it or know they have received it
use this as your shopping list for any special occasion — birthday, anniversary, holidays
be sure to include specifics — sizes, color preferences, brand names, etc.
never go shopping without a list — know what you plan to buy before you head out
know how much you are willing to spend on each item or person
have a clear idea of the type of gift you want to get someone
schedule your shopping trip geographically — hit every store in one area at the same time
with your wish list, you don’t have to wait until December to shop
keep an eye out for sales and discounts throughout the year
shop for interesting and unique gift items while traveling
pick up both gifts for specific people and generic gifts for anyone — candles, bath supplies, etc.
set aside a closet or storage tub for holding gifts you’ve purchased
wrap and tag them as soon as you get home to save time
contact your bank about special holiday savings accounts — can’t touch the money until December
if not available, set up your own separate savings account and commit to not withdrawing money early
put aside a small amount each month — pick a minimum amount, but you can add more if you have it
use savings just for gifts or to pay for all of your holiday spending — decorations, entertainment, etc.
promise yourself not to spend more than you have in your account
this is the easiest way to plan ahead, avoid debt, and stick to a budgetClick here for reuse options!
PS: Wanna instantly rack up some serious virtual cred? I've made it easy for you to share this content with your social networking friends, e-mail it to your peeps, or republish it in your own blog (thereby showing off how smart you are) with these links.
(iCopyright widget here)
Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.
If you would like to reprint this page, please contact me