Organizing for the Holidays

I know it's August but I just received my first "holiday" email. It was from my mother telling me what she would like for Christmas this year. Of course, being the systematic individual I am, this inspired me to get the first instruments of organizing my gift lists together. I suppose it's never too early to head off holiday shopping stress!

Since my darling mother emailed me her "wish list", including the link to the website of where to purchase, I logically created a new folder in my Outlook: "Personal – Christmas – Mom." I now have the structure to get started for the rest of the family; so as I am perusing the internet, or if someone sends me an email with something that they like, I can just zip it over into their relative folder. It's all in one place and easy to find, which makes it so nice!

Now that I have my system set up, I can also email myself gift ideas from other websites. This way I can keep them in their folders without having to completely sole on my memory. Although this system works well when I am at the computer, what about when I am out running around? A purse size notebook, of course!

I have labeled each page with the name of the person I am planning on buying a gift for. As I see things I think the people on my list would like, I write the gift idea down on their page along with the price of the item. If I happen to pick something up for someone early, because it is just too darn cute to pass up, I put it on my list and mark their page as DONE. No sense in buying something else just because I forgot I already had a gift for them.

Essentially to get organized for the holiday shopping season, there are a few quick steps you can take to keep yourself from running around like a chicken with your head cut off the week of Christmas.

1. Make a list of the people you HAVE to buy gifts for: parents, children, siblings, loved one, etc.

2. Create a budget for each person.

3. Create folders in your email for the people you are buying gifts for.

4. Store the online ideas in each person's folder.

5. Get a small notebook and label each page with the person's name, include your allotted spending limit for each individual.

6. As you come up with ideas write them down along with the cost of each item.

7. If you buy someone's gift early, mark their page as DONE and make sure to cross their name off of your master list.

8. When it's time to go shopping be sure and transfer the online items into your notebook so you have everything in one place and in plain view.

9. Highlight the gift items you are going to buy and then order them online or run out and purchase them.

10. Cross each person off of your main list as you purchase their gift.

11. If you like me and hate to wrap, pay someone to do it for you !!!

12. Sit back and relax! You feel and look like a million bucks because you are sitting next to a cozy fire, sipping hot chocolate and enjoying being stress free!

It may not be "beginning to look a lot like Christmas", but it is just around the corner!

Happy Organizing!

Suzanne McLoone

Organizational Empowerment