Have you ever taken the time to organize your gift giving?
For many people holiday shopping is a frenzied, chaotic experience that perpetuates stress and often debt. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Gift giving can and should be fun and fulfilling. For this to be the case all that is needed is a little advance planning.
Check out these tips for more organized (and enjoyable) gift giving.
The first step to organize your gift giving is to determine who you’ll be giving gifts!
Don’t feel obligated to purchase gifts for everyone you associate with. Focus on those people who mean the most to you or whom you wish to recognize in some way.
Make a list of people you’d like to recognize with a gift and stick to your list. Don’t feel obligated to purchase a gift for someone who isn’t on your list because they unexpectedly present you with a gift. This is one of the most common reasons for overspending during the holidays. Thank the giver graciously with a hand written card and stick to your list.
Record keeping is a great way to organize your gift giving.
Several years ago I developed a simple chart for keeping track of the following:
I like this chart because it allows me to see all the pertinent information relating to my gift giving at a glance.
This chart is available as a free printable. Just click on the link below the thumbnail to download it.
Use the Ideas column to keep track of
inspiration. I find myself making notes
in this column year round. If I visit
the home of someone on my list and notice something they need, I jot it down as
a potential future gift. When someone on
my list says “I really want a…” or “I wish I had a…” or anything else along
those lines, I write it down in the idea column next to their name. This practice saves me a lot of time and
effort when gift giving occasions arise because I usually have a supply of
ideas to choose from.
The Have column is where you keep track of purchases you’ve already made. I find this helps prevent duplicate purchases, especially if you are in the habit of shopping early and stashing things away.
Use the Need column to derive your shopping list.
In our family we celebrate Christmas. Each year each person receives certain things (an ornament, a book and a pair of pajamas) in addition to a more personalized gift. I use the Have and Need column to keep track of each item. I keep my chart on the computer so it’s easy to edit. I simply add the following to the Need column at Christmas time:
As I acquire the needed items, I transfer them to the Have column. It makes it easy to see at a glance how my shopping is progressing and how much I still have to do.
In addition to purchases, keep track of clothing/shoe sizes for the people on your list with the free printable chart below.
As you organize your gift giving remember to keep track of your purchases. I have found it useful to keep a master list of my hiding places. It may sound silly, but I’m not the only person I know who has purchased gifts several weeks or months before a holiday and then forgotten where they were hidden! Below is another free printable chart for just this purpose.
A good way to avoid overspending during the holidays is to shop year round. With your handy list of gift ideas, you can always be on the lookout for the perfect gift. Year round shopping has a number of benefits.
Taking the time to organize your gift giving allows you to put the emphasis where it should be during the holidays: on thoughtful expressions of love toward friends and family.
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