De-Clutter Your Gift List

Now that the holiday season is upon us, we're all shopping around for gifts to give this winter.  How often do you find yourself returning to stores because there's something you forgot to pick up?  Are you constantly returning things because it was the wrong size, color or you'd already bought a gift for that person?  Let's clean up that gift list!

The best place to start is by creating your shopping list.  Write down whoever comes to mind first.  Then, sit down with the list and your address book and fill in any gaps.  You might have three categories of gifts to give: 1) give a gift, 2) give homemade treats (baked goods or crafts) and 3) just a holiday card.  Some people may fall into multiple categories - that's okay.  Make your list as expansive as possible.

Count how many cards you'd like to send.  Will they be for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just the holiday season?  How many will you need of each kind?  Write that down!

How many people are you making something for?  Figure out what you're planning on making and how much supplies are needed for one batch or completed craft.  Multiply it by how many you'd like to make.

If you're one of the many, many homes that has a stash in a closet somewhere of "gifts to give," we'll visit there next.  Take your list to that stash.  Is there anything in there that's appropriate to give to anyone on your list?  Pull it out and place it near where ever you'll be putting the gifts once they're all in the house (preferably near the gift wrap!).

Who's left?  Have an idea of what you'd like to spend on each person/couple/family.  Write that down near their name.  Also, mark down any ideas you have for a gift or sizes you might need. 

Check your coupons!  Now is the time to grab the store coupons or discount cards you've been shoving in an envelope or the car door for the past few months.  Check expiration dates. 

Your list will look something like this:

- 30 Holiday cards
Baked goods for 5 people:
- 1 bag flour
- 2 boxes sugar
- 3 packs butter
- sprinkles
Gifts for:
- John: $35  books
- Rebbecca: $35  size medium
- Morris: $50 Toys 'R Us
- 6 gifts cards to Target for $15 for co-workers
- Mom and Dad: $75 flowers
- Tanya: $20 Disney movies - have in the gift closet already!

Now, which stores will you visit to get these items?  Know where they are and the hours they're open.  Map out your route ahead of time, based on how many of the stores you'd like to go to in this trip. 

No more doubling back because you forgot something, didn't have the discount card or weren't thinking about how to get from store to store!

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