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How to Organize All Your Gift Giving This Year

gift organization tips

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with gift giving this year with these 8 gift organization tips:

  1. Gather Wish Lists
  2. Stick to a Budget
  3. Keep a Planning Journal
  4. Visit the Store’s Website First
  5. Shop for the Future
  6. Keep Wrapped Gifts Organized
  7. Create a Gift Exchange
  8. Free Gift Organization Apps

There are many reasons to be more organized about gift giving each year. The winter season is a time of many gift giving holidays, but the rest of the year has lots of gift giving occasions as well. There are numerous birthdays to remember, graduations, weddings, Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, anniversaries, baby showers, and the list goes on and on.

You need to better organize your gift giving this year because if you don’t you’ll end up . . .

  • forgetting someone
  • going way over budget
  • doing last minute shopping
  • running into the problem where you’ve wrapped gifts and forget who gets what
  • accidentally getting one kid 5 gifts while the rest only have 3
  • confusing who asked for what while shopping

All of these things are pretty catastrophic gift-giving disasters that you do not want to happen to you. But don’t worry, if you just use these gift-giving organization tips you’ll avoid the chaos and have a whole new experience with gift giving.

Gather Wish Lists

The first thing you want to do each year is ask for everyone’s wish lists. Holidays that gather the whole family together are a good time to pass out a crafty wish list printout and have everyone write down what they’d love to receive for birthdays and holidays next year. That way when January comes around, you’ll already know what to start shopping for.

When you’re passing out wish list worksheets, you can also create a list of everyone on your nice list, or everyone you’ll be getting gifts for. That way you’ll have a master list of all your gift recipients so not a single person gets forgotten in the stress and turmoil of shopping and gift planning.

Free Downloadable Wish List Printable: Click Here

Stick to a Budget

After you’ve made a list of all your gift recipients, and gotten gift ideas from all of them, you can start creating a budget. It’s a good idea to create a budget specifically for gifts because unrecorded gift expenses can easily get out of hand. To help your gift spending not get out of hand, you can take out a small personal loan at your neighborhood Check City store.

Start by looking at your household budget and determining how much you can spend on gifts. Then divide that sum between individuals or events—whichever makes more sense for you. For example, if you have a $100 gift budget and you want to give gifts to John and Mary this year, then you can plan on spending $50 on gifts for each of them. If you want to divide your gift budget between events then you might decide to spend $50 on birthday presents, and $50 on Christmas presents for everyone that year.

Free Downloadable Christmas Gift Budget Printable: Click Here or Here

Keep a Planning Journal

Now you need a separate to do list just for gift giving. This will help you keep track of all that is expected of you throughout the year so that you don’t forget any important events. Try creating a separate folder on your computer just for all your lists. That way you can go to one place each year to find your task list for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and whatever other holidays and occasions you have to plan and prepare for. You can also keep all of this information in an event journal where you record all your tasks so that you can become more efficient at planning with every passing year.

You can use an event planner or folder to keep track of other to do lists like all the things you need to do to get your Christmas cards sent, or for your annual family Christmas party put together, or how you did that graduation party. You can also use it to keep track of gifts you’ve received so you’ll remember to send thank you notes to everyone.

You could also make all of this into a bullet journal if you want to get extra crafty. Then you could possibly keep it as a kind of Christmas journal to commemorate important moments as well as plans.

christmas gifts

Keep a Detailed Record

There is a lot to keep track of with gifts to give and holiday parties to plan. That’s why keeping a careful record is important if you don’t want to forget anything and create stress. One way you can easily do all your gift organizing is to use excel. You can make a spreadsheet on excel or create a table in a word or google doc to keep track of the following:

  • List of all the people you need to get gifts for
  • Your total gift budget
  • What you plan to spend on each person
  • What you bought for each person
  • How much each present cost
  • What Santa gift you got for each child
  • Whether each present has been wrapped yet
  • Whether each gift has been sent or given yet

Visit the Store’s Website First

Don’t just show up at your favorite stores and start shopping—this is how we quickly go over budget. Instead, visit the store’s website first. By going to the website before you go to the store, you can take an inventory of what the store has in stock, and easily compare prices between stores. This practice will save you time, energy, and money. Even if you still go to the store to buy your items rather than buying them online, by taking a look at the website first you’ll have a better idea of what everything will cost you and where it’ll fit in your budget. This way you can see ahead of time what you can get and what they cost to add up your gift totals and make adjustments from the comfort and ease of your couch before you even purchase your first gift.

Shop for the Future

In your gift giving journal or word doc you can keep track of all the events each year that include gift giving, and make your plans ahead of time for each holiday or occasion. This way you can have gifts ready well in advance and make better use of sales to save money. Shopping with the future in mind can also help you have a more relaxing experience while gift shopping, because you won’t be under any time constraints.

Free Downloadable Printout for Yearly Gift Giving Planner: Click Here

Keep Wrapped Gifts Organized

Once you’ve planned, recorded, and bought all of your gifts it’s time to start wrapping them! When undertaking the task of wrapping gifts it is important to stay organized by creating a system.

Pick a space (like your craft room or bedroom) that the kids can’t go into and use it as your base of operations for gift organizing and wrapping.

Use bins, boxes, or laundry baskets that have been marked with each kids name and put their gifts in their stack as you purchase them. This will keep their presents organized and you can even use the bins when you put the wrapped gifts under the tree. You can even decorate the boxes to look like one big present if you want to organize the gifts under the tree a bit and not lose anyone’s presents in the back or under a couch. You can also use the gift basket idea to help you stay organized while you’re wrapping. Keep wrapped gifts in their labeled boxes so there’s not confusion later on about what gift belongs to whom.

Lastly, don’t forget to put a clear name tag on each present once you’ve wrapped each one. This will keep your wrapped gifts even more organized and further keep them from getting confused.

Create a Gift Exchange

The one time having a lot of loved ones can become a burden is when it comes to giving gifts. You want to get everyone you love a gift, but that can be hard to do on a budget. One way to fix this problem is to organize gift exchanges. This is especially helpful for extended families that want to get gifts for their many loved ones but can’t afford getting gifts for both their immediate and extended families. christmas gift ideasYou can also do this with a group of your close friends so you all don’t have to get gifts for every friend you have.

Create your gift exchange groups and then designate a system for exchanging names each year. You can all draw names out of a hat, you can do a secret Santa, or you can do a name rotation. Then you can throw a party each year to exchange gifts with each other.

Free Gift Organization Apps

There are many free apps out there you can also use to keep all your gift giving organized. Here are a few free app ideas you can look into:

  • Giftster
  • Santa’s bag
  • Christmas gift list
  • Gift planner
  • Gift list diary
  • Christmas gift list

Planning out your gift purchases ahead of time is the most efficient way to stay organized and on budget this gift giving season. But the real reason to stay organized as possible this year is because the seasons are meant to be enjoyed, and if you have things planned and organized, then your holiday season will be much more stress free and enjoyable.


READ MORE

Read, “Ten of Our Top Tips for Organized Gift Giving” for even more great tips about staying organized this holiday season.

Visit “Organize Your Gift Giving” for more free holiday printable downloads!


When is Thanksgiving this Year?

when is thanksgiving

When is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is a great time of year. It’s a time to come together with our loved ones, put our differences aside, and be grateful for all we have. It’s a time to be together with friends and family and to remember all our blessings. Thanksgiving first began in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln made this day of thanks an official holiday. America was in the middle of the Civil War, but despite the suffering and hardship of war, Abraham Lincoln wanted to bring the nation together in remembrance of all they had to be grateful for.

In a way, creating the Thanksgiving holiday was another one of President Lincoln’s efforts to join the divided nation again as he called upon all Americans to:

“commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

(Abraham Lincoln Online, Proclamation of Thanksgiving)

It was then decided that Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday in November each year, and it’s been bringing families and friends together for some quality mealtime ever since. But to make this holiday special there is a lot of things to do! There’s preparing to host guests and there’s all that Thanksgiving food to plan and prepare. Hopefully this master Thanksgiving prep checklist can help you get everything done in time this year.

Now that you know that this year’s Thanksgiving is Thursday the 28th, you can start preparing! If you want to be a stellar Thanksgiving host this year then there are a few things you’ll need to do to get ready. When there’s so much to get done it helps to have a master checklist so you don’t forget anything important:

Thanksgiving Master Checklist

when is thanksgiving

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year, then you don’t just have food to prepare, you have a house to prepare as well. A good host has a clean house that’s ready to meet every need a guest might have. For instance, if you’re having people stay over you’ll want to prepare sleeping arrangements that are comfortable, you’ll want to have clean, visitor-friendly bathrooms that aren’t cluttered with your personal hair products, you’ll want to add some fall decor to give your house the right feel, and you’ll want to plan the menu and cooking so you’re prepared and able to get dinner done on time.

  • Clean house
  • Put up fall decorations
  • Prepare the guest bedrooms/guest sleeping arrangements
  • Plan your Thanksgiving menu
  • Do the grocery shopping
  • Make cooking/baking schedule and assignments

Thanksgiving Host Cleaning Checklist

Part of being a good host is to have a clean house to host in. To keep all your preThanksgiving chores organized, use a free Thanksgiving cleaning checklist by clicking on the image to the right.

thanksgiving cleaning checklist

  • Wipe down kitchen
  • Wipe down all the counters, the sink, the exterior of the fridge, the cabinets, and any other surfaces that could use cleaning and sanitizing before you begin preparing all the food.

  • Clean the oven
  • One thing that can ruin Thanksgiving Day is a burning oven, smoking up the house. You can avoid this by giving your oven a good cleaning before the big cooking day. You can run a cleaning cycle on the oven, or you can clean it more manually by using oven cleaner or a baking soda, vinegar mixture and a hard brush.

  • Clean the stovetop
  • How you clean your stovetop will depend on whether you have a gas or electric stove. Just remember to take apart what you can and get every nook and cranny.

  • Clean the dishwasher
  • You’re going to have a lot of dishes to do during Thanksgiving so it’ll help to run a quick cleaning cycle on your dishwasher. It’s super easy to do, just place a cup of white vinegar in the top rack, or sprinkle a cup of baking soda in the bottom of the dishwasher and run a hot water cycle. This’ll get rid of any grease, hard water stains, or odors and help your dishes come out clean every time.

  • Organize and declutter the kitchen
  • Our kitchens can get cluttered, but you don’t want anything in your way when it comes time to cook and bake. This may include making more counter space in your kitchen or going through the pantry closet to make sure you know what you do and don’t have.

  • Organize and declutter the living room
  • Another place you’ll spend a lot of time during Thanksgiving is in the living room. So make sure there isn’t unnecessary stuff kicking around so that your guests can comfortably relax there too.

  • Clean the couches
  • People often forget to clean their couches, but they need some cleaning care as well. You can do some regular cleaning by vacuuming the cushions, not forgetting to vacuum under the cushions as well. You can get an even deeper clean on your couch by using a shampooer.

  • Tidy bedrooms
  • If you’re having guests stay over for the holiday season then you’ll want to clean up the guest bedrooms (if you have them) or arrange the area where guests will be sleeping and staying. Make sure you provide the basic things guests need, like blankets, pillows, fresh bath towels, toiletries, and the Wi-Fi password.

  • Clean bathrooms
  • Make sure your bathroom is not only clean and smelling fresh, but also make sure it’s free of your personal bathroom clutter. While guests are around, it’s a good idea to keep your personal bathroom products off the counter so your bathroom is tidy and guest ready.

  • Floors
  • It’s a good idea to tackle your floors last and all at once. That way you can go through with the broom on all your hard floors, and then tackle all your carpet with the vacuum. Don’t forget to mop at the end to really free your house of dust and grime.

  • Catch up on laundry
  • You don’t want to have loads of laundry in the way, and you want blankets and towels to be ready for guests. It’s also always polite to provide fresh clean sheets for guests, so it’s a good idea to catch up on all your laundry before guests arrive.

Plan the Thanksgiving Menu

Plan your Thanksgiving menu by choosing appetizers, sides, the main dish, beverages, and desserts. Everyone has their own traditional Thanksgiving dishes and this is your chance to plan those out and include everybody’s favorite Thanksgiving food.

Likewise, everyone has their own traditions about when to serve Thanksgiving dinner. But if you’re new to hosting Thanksgiving you may be wondering when to serve Thanksgiving dinner. Generally, Thanksgiving dinner is served in the early afternoon between 1:00pm and 3:00pm.

Thanksgiving Appetizers

You don’t have to have appetizers, but a lot of people don’t really eat before the main Thanksgiving meal so having some predinner appetizers laid out can help tide people over until the main course starts. The following appetizer ideas are realistic for Thanksgiving Day because they aren’t too carby, meaning they won’t fill your guests up too much before the actual meal.

  • Put together a cheese board
  • Put out some light fruits like grapes or clementines
  • Chips and dip
  • Veggie tray and dip
Thanksgiving Side Dishes
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Green bean casserole
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Potato salad
  • Stuffing
  • Vegetables like cream corn
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Salad
  • Dinner rolls
Thanksgiving Dinner

Some people prefer having traditional roast turkey for Thanksgiving while others prefer ham, or going out to eat instead. The beauty of the holidays is that you can celebrate them however you choose. You can also get creative with your main course and make it stuffed or use a special recipe for optimal flavor.

  • Turkey in the oven
  • Turkey in the crockpot
  • Turkey in the instant pot
  • Ham in the oven
  • Ham in the crockpot
  • Ham in the instant pot
Thanksgiving Desserts
  • Pumpkin bread
  • Pie
  • There are endless types of pies you can make like, pumpkin, chocolate, apple, cherry, blueberry, shoofly pie, and pecan pie

  • Apple crisp
  • Pumpkin cheesecake roll
  • Rice pudding
  • Cobbler
  • Cookies
  • Creamy jello
  • Cranberry fluff

Now that you’ve decided what foods you want to include in your Thanksgiving menu, you’ll want to actually schedule when you’ll do all your grocery shopping, when you’ll prepare each dish, and who will prepare each food if you have helpers in the kitchen. It can help to have a specific Thanksgiving calendar plan to write out all the details of your preparation.

Planning your Thanksgiving out now can also help you save on Thanksgiving dinner this year. By planning beforehand you can even shop for groceries online in order to better budget how much you spend on food this year. But in either case, you can always use a small personal loan that you can pay off in just a few short months to help you pay for Thanksgiving this year. Click on the image below to print out your own free Thanksgiving week calendar.

thanksgiving day

There’s a lot to do to get ready for Thanksgiving, but don’t forget the reason for the season. The whole purpose of Thanksgiving is to be together with the ones you love, reconnect across long distances and after long periods of time, and take a moment to appreciate one another and all we have.

We’d also love to hear from you about your own Thanksgiving traditions! This can be anything from what foods you always make to other Thanksgiving activities you always do. Share this article and then share your favorite Thanksgiving traditions.


READ MORE
Visit the Thanksgiving Page on Delish’s website right now to get actual recipes and even more great food ideas.

Food Network also has a Thanksgiving Recipes page.

Check out these interesting statistics about what time people serve their Thanksgiving meal.

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