Organizing Christmas Gift Giving

Occasions for giving gifts comes up fairly often.  If you have kids, there are plenty of birthday parties.  There are also times when you need a gift for a friend’s birthday, or even someone from work.  Also, Christmas is just around the corner.  Why not get the gifts you need ahead of time and not spend the last two weeks in December trying to get it all done? Running to the store at the last minute is not much fun, and there usually isn’t enough time before you need to give the gift (or before your child tells you he/she has a party they are supposed to go to).  Here are some ideas to help you get ahead!

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I have many clients that have space dedicated in their homes for a surplus of gifts ready to save the day for such an occasion.   The problem they most often encounter is that the gifts are stuffed into different cupboards and not all contained in the same location.

In this cupboard the top 3 shelves hold all the gifts, and the bottom shelf has 4 of the plastic bins stacked behind each other.  There is a bin for large bags, one for medium bags, and one for small gift bags.  Behind the bags is a bin for all the gift paper and small gift boxes.  Everything is right there.  In an adjacent cupboard there is a container with gift cards/envelopes.

Keeping the gift wrapping supplies near the gifts creates a win-win when it comes to gift giving. Another nice added benefit for buying gifts/bags ahead of time is you can save money by picking up items on sale or clearance!

What about Christmas shopping?  The best tool I have found for keeping all of my gift giving under control is the Fly Lady Holiday Control Journal.  On pages 17-19 & 21 there are fill in the blank pages that help organize your shopping.  There is a list of items to purchase, items to make, and then a list of your online orders so you can keep track of them all.  This really helps when you are buying for multiple children to ensure you don’t buy too much for one child who is easier to buy for, and then only have a few gifts for another child.  It helps you keep track.

Christmas gift boxes on wooden table with snow. Top view with copy spaceHere is another gift giving idea which helps create a more simplified Christmas.  It’s commonly referred to as the Want, Need, Wear, & Read Christmas.  This idea focuses more on each specific child and what they are really interested in versus on accumulating a lot of gifts under the Christmas tree.  I also added a Santa Gift to the list for my kids.  I told my kids we were going to try this idea and they were reluctant, but in the end, they all got something they had wanted and it really made my job of creating an enjoyable and affordable Christmas a reality.  The Want-Need-Wear-Read Christmas really made the holiday season easier when I tried it for my family.

How many times do you find unopened Christmas gifts, like games, art sets, or toys stuffed in the back of a closet?  When you get your child something they really want then you know that it won’t be stuffed in a closet.  The next item, the need, could be a new set of headphones, or even a new backpack, you decide what your child needs. Then, picking out something they can wear could mean a jacket or a new outfit. Usually, in the case of teens though, I like to get a gift card to their favorite clothing store so I know they will love it.  And the fourth gift, read. When buying books for my kids, I like to get them one from a series they are reading or an  audible book from Amazon.  Christmas made easy!

I also like to keep the gifts in a tote, hidden from the kids until I am ready to wrap. And sometimes, after I wrap them I still keep them in a tote.  I have a few sneaky kids that like to peak and shake the gifts.  Then I go over my lists of gifts and make sure that I have gotten all the ones that I have ordered and that I don’t need to run to the store.  This year my goal is to get everything purchased and wrapped by December 1st so I can enjoy this special time of year with my family.

Gift Cards

Some of my clients keep plenty of gift cards for popular restaurants , music, or Amazon on hand for gifts.  In this case an entire cupboard or closet isn’t necessary.  You could easily devote a drawer with the gift cards.  In this drawer you could also the keep some of the old fashioned gift cards that you actually write in.  By keeping them  near the money filled gift cards it will make for easy gift giving.

After all is said and done, gift giving is meant to come from the heart.  Keeping your gifts, and your gift wrapping/bagging supplies in an easily accessible and organized place will make your life that much easier.  Also, by organizing your Christmas shopping, you will be sure to know what it is you have purchased and what you still need to buy.  Another plus is that by staying on top of your Christmas shopping you have a better chance of staying within your Christmas budget too.  Make Christmas Great Again!


Happy Organizing!