Keeping Track of Your Hidden Gifts + FREE printable

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home.

Don’t you just love catching a good toy sale, a pre-Christmas deal, or an after-Christmas clearance for gift giving? I sure do! But most of us know the caveat that comes with purchasing gifts in advance… remembering months later WHERE those special treasures are hiding.


Keeping Track of Your Hidden Gifts:

I know I’m not alone in this conundrum! I read all your replies written in response to the following question Laura asked,

“…what area of organization [do] you struggle with the most over the holidays?”

Yes, I actually read all 250 comments in one sitting. A good percentage of you mentioned gift tracking as your greatest organizational struggle, with many of those including the trouble of finding the gifts hidden earlier in the year. Michelle had me smiling over her comment, “I tend to hide gifts, forget where I hide them, and find them months later. (Once I found them two years later….oops!)” because I’ve done the very same thing!

For all you Santa Helpers hiding presents for Christmas, I want to share my fill-in-the-blank tracking list.

It’s a gift list I use that includes;

  • more than one gift line per name
  • check boxes for indicating if purchased, if wrapped, and/or if hidden
  • space to write your secret hiding spots!
  • room to write miscellaneous notes at the bottom

I didn’t find it necessary to re-invent the wheel; lists can work wonders if put to use! I know a gift template may not be the most profound idea or the only solution, but it gets the job done. No more hidden “Baby’s First” gifts found when he’s a Freshman in college. :)

You will notice a few things about this gift tracking list. One, it’s not decorated with Christmas cuteness. That was done intentionally so it can be used year round for birthdays and other gift-giving traditions. Two, it’s not brightly colored or significantly eye-catching. No need to draw attention if accidentally left in plain sight. Also, it uses less colored ink. Three, it’s labeled. I want to know what I’m reading at first glance. Hopefully my boring title font won’t be noticed by a potential gift snooper in your home.

If you really like the look of a decorative gift list, you can always print this freebie on seasonal paper. It looks pretty but still only uses the cheaper printer ink.

May I add one additional use for this printable? Tracking the hiding spot for your Elf on the Shelf character! You can use this list to keep track of where you hide him from January to November.

We don’t play Elf tricks but I know several families that do enjoy the fun. Apparently, it’s a no-no to put the little guy in with the regular Christmas decor (for fear the children would find him the following Christmas). Instead, parents hide him elsewhere and a year later have forgotten the whereabouts. A sweet friend of mine had to suffer the cost of purchasing a replacement Elf so her Littles wouldn’t loose their fun tradition. You can’t help but misplace something during a time lapse of 11 months. Perhaps this will save you a headache (and money) in 2014.


Keeping Track of Hidden Gifts

I find when I’m swamped during the busy seasons of life, sometimes all I need is to be handed (or virtually handed in this case) a tool to help simplify. It’s like a little nudge to move out of the overwhelmed stage and into the get-it-done stage. Speaking of tools to help simplify, click HERE for a direct link to Laura’s post that I quoted from earlier. If you haven’t read it, please do because it’s filled with Organizing Tools to Keep You on Track During the Holidays. It also has a few other free printables for regular gift tracking if you prefer a colorful Christmas design to record your presents.

Just don’t get too creative in hiding your master gift list. Imagine the irony of loosing a list you wrote to prevent loosing the gifts you stashed. :) Happy Holiday Season, Friends!

Rachel In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughter. My two worlds collided and began shaping into a blog. Useful Beautiful Home represents the hours I’ve dedicated to managing my household as efficiently as possible. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming. My goal is to share what I’ve implemented in my home to inspire you with fresh ideas and to encourage you to keep up the good work in yours!


Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Holidays, Lists, Printables, Rachel


12 Responses to Keeping Track of Your Hidden Gifts + FREE printable

  1. 1
    R Baird says

    Love this! And where did you get or how did you make that cute clipboard?

    • 1.1
      Rachel says

      Hi there! I took a plain clipboard and hot glued a bow on the ‘claw’ part but you could also tie a bow on through the hole at the top. Thanks for asking! :)

  2. 2
    Sarz says

    Thanks so much for sharing this is BRILLIANT!!!!

    • 2.1
      Rachel says

      You’re welcome! Happy to know it can be of help to you!

  3. 3
    Carrie says

    I love this concept. I wanted to point out, if you have snoopers like I do at home, and you’re tech savvy, use a Google docs spreadsheet. You have access any where at any time. You can track future purchases and review your list at the store. And it’s password-protected on your account to keep snoopers away!

    • 3.1
      Rachel says

      Excellent idea Carrie! Password protected and accessible from anywhere are great features for a gift list! Thanks for sharing!

  4. 4
    CJ says

    I love this idea! My mother-in-law is the world’s worst about hiding gifts everywhere and not being able to find them at Christmas. The up side is that you get presents all along during the year and you never know when she’ll find one for somebody. :)

    • 4.1
      Rachel says

      Thanks CJ, you honestly made me lol. Way to look at the positive side. :)

  5. 5
    Carmen B. Sanchez says

    I had to chuckle when I read the title of your post! When my three children were little, I would shop through the year for Christmas presents and hide them. I hid them so well that at Christmas time I could not remember where I put them, so… off to buy Christmas presents in mid-December!
    We all got a big laugh when my husband and I moved to our present home and we found some of those presents. The grandchildren got them! lol There was a dress that had been intended for my daughter, When her daughter saw it, she said, “Mommy used to wear a dress like THAT?” How styles changed :) There was no way she would even try it on,
    My question, Rachel, where were you when I really needed you?????

  6. 6
    Janet Barclay says

    I have special holiday-themed paper left over from something I did years ago – never thought of using it for printing Christmas lists, recipes, etc. – thank you for the inspiration!

  7. 7
    Jill Robson says

    I love lists, they keep me focused daily. Thank you for the printable, best one I have seen yet, I love the ability to use it year round, and make it seasonal with inexpensive paper!

  8. 8
    Seana Turner says

    Very good idea to keep a log of where the gifts are. I track purchased and wrapped, but since my kids are older, hiding hasn’t been a big issue. I think this is very smart for anyone with little kids:)


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