Do you plan on starting your Christmas shopping early, then realize it is December and you haven’t planned on or bought any gifts yet? By this time the parking lots are full, the stores are crowded and items are out-of-stock. Here’s how to really get organized this year and come December you will be prepared so you can enjoy the season!
- Make a List and Start to Listen
First of all, prepare a quick list of everyone who you need to purchase gifts for this year. You can begin this months ahead of time, and then easily add to it if you forget anyone. It is quite helpful to do this on the computer, in this way, as you think of ideas during the year, you can easily add them to the list.
Pay attention and listen to your family and friends. Write down things they mention. People will frequently talk about things they like and want. Listen carefully for ideas so you don’t miss them.
- Prepare a Budget
Now that you have a list of who you’re buying for, it’s time to calculate how much you have to spend. Once you have that amount, you can split it between the number of people on your list. Generally, some people will be given more gifts than others, so take that into consideration. Doing this several months ahead of time is a helpful method to be sure Christmas expenses don’t get out of hand.
- Make a Shopping Plan
When you plan your gifts months in advance, there is a possibility that you will simply stumble upon the items while you’re out shopping for other things. Nonetheless, for those people who are more difficult to buy for, make a plan to do your Christmas shopping on specific days. Strive to have it all done by a set date e.g. December 12th. That way you can be sure you don’t have to keep going out on so many little shopping trips. Get it all completed in just a few instead.
- Keep Your List Updated
The list you prepared in step 1 needs to remain updated if you’re going to have less stress and stay organized. Each time you purchase a gift for someone, cross it off the list. If you need to keep close track of your expenses, you can also write in how much you’ve spent.
- Store Your Gifts in a Safe Place
Finally, be sure you have a safe, hidden place to keep all the gifts. Don’t forget to label them so you will know who you bought them for. If possible, wrap them right away and then you won’t have to worry about it later. Don’t forget to keep the gift receipts in a safe place, just in case someone wants to return or exchange their gift.