The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Katie at Organizing Moms.
To get rid of that overwhelmed feeling, go through the gift-buying process one step at a time. By focusing on one step at a time, you’ll feel more in control and productive. It might even be a little bit fun.
Organizing the Gift Buying Process
Make a list. Just like Santa Claus, we need to make a list of everyone we want to buy for. That helps us stay within our budgets, and keeps all gift-giving information stored in one place.
If possible, contact the people on your list. Ask them if they’d like anything in particular. If you feel comfortable doing it, ask them if they’d like to forego exchanging gifts this year. Many families draw names for gift exchanges, and this helps them to save money and time, and helps everyone cut down on clutter.
Get inspired. There are so many wonderful gift guides online that can give you gift ideas for everyone on your list. Check them out, and get some good ideas for the people on your list.
Plan purchases. Write down your gift ideas, as well as the cost of each gift, next to each person’s name. Be sure to change things around to make sure your planned purchases fit into your budget. If you plan to make gifts, plan for buying supplies and materials.
Finalize your list. Double-check your list and make sure you’ve included everyone. I like to include a few extra gift cards just in case I need an “emergency” gift.
Do your shopping and get gift receipts. For me, the key to sticking to my budget is buying things online. When I’m in the stores, I tend to want to buy lots of little extras that make me go over budget. If I stick to my written plan by shopping online, I’m far less likely to overspend. By shopping online, you can strategize for better savings, get free shipping, and even earn cash back.
Don’t forget to make your own wish list! This can be extremely helpful to your loved ones, and it can cut down on clutter in your home after the holidays.
Wrap gifts. This is always much more pleasant if you can do it well in advance, with snacks, and with a favorite show playing in the background. Don’t forget to include gift receipts if you have them.
Gift giving can be fun if you can plan ahead and not have to worry about spending too much. If you decide to shop online, you might still want to take a trip to your favorite shopping center, order a hot chocolate, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of everyone’s holiday preparations. That hot chocolate will taste a lot better when you know your own presents are already wrapped back at your house.
Katie is a loving wife and stay-at-home mom to busy twin boys. She is passionate about making life at home more manageable through simple organizing solutions. Her love for organizing has spilled over into her popular blog, organizingmoms.com, where she shares realistic organizing solutions for busy moms. In addition to her love for all things organized, she also enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.