The holiday season will soon be upon us, and consumer surveys show that most holiday gift givers start shopping in October.
If you’re among those who start their holiday gift giving now, here are the first of 8 tips to help you get the most of the time you’re devoting to your holiday gift giving. Plus, I’ve got a free gift tracker for you to stay organized with your holiday gift giving.
1. Shop where you are.
Getting as much done as possible in one place is a secret that time managers and professional organizers tell their clients. And shopping for gifts is no different—no matter where you are, from a hardware store to a discount megastore to a car dealership waiting room—gift ideas are all around you.
For example, let’s say you’re grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon and you realize there’s no time to sprint across town to the chic boutique to buy a hostess gift for the dinner party you’re attending that evening. No problem. Head to the floral department for a gorgeous bouquet or a healthy house plant; add a beautiful ribbon when you return home. Or, find a nice bottle of wine in the liquor department or box of quality chocolates.
The next time you’re in a time crunch and need a gift, no matter where you are, if you look at things from a gifting perspective you will find something prefect.
2. Shop when you are.
You know when Christmas is. You know when Hanukkah, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and your mom’s birthday are. If you find the perfect gift for someone but the occasion is months away, buy the gift now.
I used to think, “oh, I’ll remember” and even if I did remember, the item was usually gone when I went back. Buying a gift “when” you are will save you time and stress later.
Who knows, maybe you will be swamped with work or a family situation when the holiday or birthday comes around; by shopping when you are, you will have the perfect gift stashed away in your gift drawer.
To help you stay organized with your holiday gift giving, use a gift tracker. You can write down who you’re buying for, ideas for gifts and where to find it. Then, wherever and whenever you are, you’ll know what you’re looking for! Click the graphic below to download the gift tracker for free.
3. Create a signature wrap.
One of the best ways I’ve found to reduce stress in any area of life is to simplify and streamline. To adapt these concepts to holiday gift giving, develop your own personal style to present every gift you give.
Select one or two coordinating gift wraps (or gift bags), one or two colors and styles of ribbon, and one style of gift tag and keep these items in stock and handy. My mom often did this, purchasing multiple rolls of wrapping paper all at once (usually at a discount shop), even going so far as making sure everyone in the family has some of that year’s wrap.
Doing this decreases the amount of space required to store your holiday gift wrapping items, ensures you’re ready to wrap even the most last-minute of gifts and makes your gifts memorable. (Get more tips on creating a signature wrap.)
Plus, wrapping all your holiday gifts in a signature wrap creates a festive and cohesive look under your Christmas tree. There’s nothing like it! You can get creative with ribbons, bows and tie-ons.
4. Re-gift with confidence.
If you’ve ever asked, “Is re-gifting OK?,” think about these questions:
– Do you think recycling is OK?
– Is living without clutter OK?
– How about blessing someone else with a useful item?
As much as you strive to select the perfect gift, sometimes your recipient just won’t like it. Her tastes may have changed. She may not have room to store it. It may be a duplicate.
Whatever the reason, sometimes your recipient will pass your gift on to someone else. Is it OK? If the gift is perfect for someone else, then absolutely it’s OK. Your recipient appreciated your efforts and your remembrance of her occasion. Your gift will find the perfect home; just maybe not with the exact recipient you intended.
And by the way, the same goes for gifts you receive. Cherish the thought of your well-wisher, and let go of what would otherwise be clutter.
I once received a three-panel, brushed nickel picture frame. A nice frame, but I didn’t have space for it, and it did not coordinate with my home décor. I put it in my gift drawer, knowing that the perfect recipient would come along.
A few months later, a friend was visiting and while we were out shopping, she expressed a need for a brushed nickel frame. I pointed out a frame similar to the one I had unopened at home, she loved it, and it saved her some money!
Next week I’ll bring you 4 more tips for time-and-money saving holiday gift giving tips. Stay tuned! Be sure to download the gift tracker to get started!
These tips are adapted from my book Gift Giving for Busy People which goes more in depth on finding the perfect gift for anyone on your holiday gift giving list. You can get the Kindle version for a limited time for only $1.99!Read More