How to organise your gift giving in 30 minutes

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While I really wanted to get straight into de-cluttering and organising as part of my 2014 sustainable goals I also know that de-cluttering and cleaning is my favourite form of procrastination. Plus with bubs number three mere days away I know I really need to get my gift giving under control for the first part of the year if I’m to meet my goal and feel good about the gifts I am giving.

Here’s what I need to do to get organised:

  1. Set aside 30 minutes by myself (the alone time is important so I don’t have small hands rifling through the present box with me). Get out my present box and my gift planner.
  2. Go to my ‘Birthday and Anniversary List’ (previously known as ‘Gift Planner Reference List’ changed because I don’t think I have ever called it that… Okay, I’ll admit, at the time, I was trying to sound professional with these titles…I think I failed!) This is a list of all the birthdays and anniversaries I have for the year that may need a card or a present. It generally needs a little touch up as new friends have been made, babies have been born or new anniversaries have cropped up.
  3. Because it’s the start of the year I’ll review the contents of my ‘Present Box’ (previously known as Gift Reserve Box…Oh dear), checking if there is anything in there that seemed like a good buy but as the year went on I never gave because well…it was crap. These things are either donated back to the second hand shop or Miss Logical and Master Mayhem score random gifts.
  4. Next step, update my ‘Present Box Content List’ (previously known as ‘Contents of my Gift Reserve Box’…of course). For the start of the year I will start a fresh one…just because it looks nice.
  5. Once I have my ‘Birthday and Anniversary List’ updated and I know what is in my ‘Present Box’ I then have a look at my ‘Present Brainstorming List’ (Previously known as my ‘Gift Planner Action Worksheet’…why did nobody stop me?) This is where I note the birthdays coming up, if I already have something organised or have an idea of what I would like to get. This is really worth taking the time over as you will find you come up with much more thoughtful gifts when you are sitting thinking about the person and what they would like rather than wandering around last minute trying to find anything… anything that will do. Plus, it is a great feeling when you check this sheet later and realise you already have a plan.

As part of the brainstorming I also try and look for any ideas that I could make myself and work out how much time I need to make them. Or try to be a bit creative and think of things that can be found easily second hand and will be in good condition – playdough, toys, books, clothes for example – which could be matched with a homemade item.

And one final tip, while I do try to have a vague idea for presents for the year I generally focus only on the following three months, this way it doesn’t become too overwhelming plus you don’t know if people’s interests will have changed by the end of the year.

Done! Gift giving is organised.

Posted at Small Footprint Fridays

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