‘Tis the season to think about gifts and gift giving! You may have been shopping for your gifts long before the holiday season, but if you aren’t quite that organized you might find yourself trying to shop on short notice.
One way to alleviate the stress and additional expense of last-minute gift shopping is to start a gift closet.
Even if you’re already prepared with gifts this year, it’s the perfect time to set up a gift closet because you’ll be prepared and organized for the year ahead. It’s really quite easy to set up a gift closet. Not only will you be creating a designated space to store gifts that you buy for specific friends and family members, but you can stick to a budget as you begin to shop sales and stock up on great gifts for birthdays, showers and weddings throughout the year.
Most of us have had the experience of shopping so far in advance that we actually forget where we put the gifts and cards we bought when the time comes to actually give them! A gift closest will not only help you prepare in advance but it will give you the peace of mind that you’ll never misplace another gift again.
So what do you need to get your own gift closet organized?
1. Start with a gift giving list.
Who do you give gifts to? Make a list of everyone you shop for and the type of gifts you regularly need, including gifts for teachers, weddings, showers, birthdays and housewarmings. Print out your list and keep it with you (or store it on your cell phone!) so you can watch for the best deals and perfect gifts for everyone throughout the year.
2. Find a designated spot for gifts.
You might have an entire closet available, which is of course ideal to allow dedicated space for all sizes of gifts. But even if you are short on space, you can designate a shelf, cabinet, space under a bed or even a shelf or bins in the garage or basement. The important thing is that you have just one spot so you know where to find and put gifts.
3. Set up space for the gift wrap.
Part of the joy of gift giving is wrapping the gifts, but if you don’t have the supplies handy you’ll feel disorganized. Right after the holidays is the best time to stock up! Look for non-themed paper that you can use all year, too.
4. Prepare to shop!
Now it’s time to prepare to shop and fill the gift closet!
If you shop for children, periodically update their sizes, ages or favorite activities on your gift giving list so you’ll be even more prepared with the perfect gift for their ever changing needs.
Keep notes whenever you find some key information that might help you in gift buying, such as the recipient’s special collections, preferred colors, favorite brands of cookware or other items they might enjoy, and any particular needs or wants.
Watch for sales and special deals. It helps to set a monthly gift buying budget so you can stock your closet all year round without overspending each month. Pick up a few generic gifts that would work for almost any unexpected gift giving opportunities. You might even stash a couple of non-expiring gift certificates in your closet so when you need a gift in a hurry and don’t know what to get, you have a little something to give.
Lastly, be sure to keep track of gifts you’ve given in the past or have bought for the future, so you’ll remember what you already bought!
A little organization will go a long way when it comes to saving money while being a generous giver.