I’m so excited to share my long time friend Danielle Wurth of Wurth Organizing‘s professional organization tips on this blog post. Here are her 8 tips on how to shop year-round (and be done by end of summer), store gifts, save money and time!
Christmas in summer – seriously! Not only are summer temperatures hot, so are the deals!
Since both my hubby and I celebrate our birthdays in the summer, it became tradition for us to plan a fun day out shopping for ourselves and gifts for our loved ones. We realized how much we enjoyed living in the moment on our own time vs. planning for holiday gift giving with a deadline and so the concept of “shop for Christmas all year long” was born.
This approach allowed me to take back Christmas by avoiding the hurricane of holiday over commercialization, it prevented me from turning into a crazed mad woman dashing around town and online with this “gotta get it all done” mindset. Instead, I looked forward to embracing all the endless post dinner family time sipping hot cocoa being memorized by the twinkle lights on our tree or making s’mores in our fireplace. Here’s to less crowds, more joy, and how to get you there! – Danielle Wurth, Wurth Organizing
1 / Plan with a printable and a pouch
Having everything together in one place, one system is a non-negotiable savvy solution.
- Download a Christmas shopping list printable and bring it with you (a quick Google search will pop up many options).
- Place the printable in a generously sized zipper pouch to hold future spending cash, gift cards, vouchers and the receipts.
- Pop in a few fancy pencils because everything is more fun when using something fancy!
2 / Customize your list and costs
If you have a spouse or partner that shares in the gift giving expenses it’s imperative to hit the pause button from your busy lives.
- Together, brainstorm and discuss gift giving ideas and budget limit for each person on your list.
- Keep track of your loved ones measurements in the notes section of their contact file on your phone or via a list app on your phone.
- Mark down your “gift value” budget per person. For example, if you marked a $50 gift value for your sister, but were able to purchase that item at 50% off, you saved $25, which places you in savvy shopper rock star status!
3 / Identify the gift storage location
This is were most folks go deadly wrong. Your once brilliant idea of buying early has fizzled out by multiplying the madness of storing gifts in multiple locations. Whatever location you use, divide the area into themes to avoid confusion. For example: immediate family, extended family, kiddos and misc.
Don’t have the storage to offer it one location? There’s your sign to start purging and paring down your belongings – like pronto!
Locations to consider:
- Under the bed – Buy a set of bed risers and divide the area into four sturdy containers or use vinyl zip top storage bags.
- Spare linen or coat closet – add a slide lock to prevent curious kiddos if necessary. If the solution works for one season, then later install a key lock not only for future gift storage, but also to conceal jewelry or other valuables when away traveling. Check out the large utility tote from 31gifts.
- Guest bedroom closet – This is my housing preference! I purchased a set of the modern graphic shirt boxes from Container Store. They are generously sized in both the small and medium shape, hearty in durability and decorative to view on the shelf all year long.
- Garage – Use 18 gallon size totes with snap lid vs. hinged lid. Snap on lids are more efficient to just pop a gift in the tote vs. hinge lids require removing the tote from it’s shelf to open the lid and eventually the plastic hinges break off.
When shopping for a loved ones birthday, purchase their Christmas gift at the same time.
Under The Sea Christmas wrapping paper via Minted
4 / Maximize your shopping slot time
When shopping for a loved ones birthday, purchase their Christmas gift at the same time. My gift giving motto is – I came, I saw and I am here to conquer some fantastic gifts! Upon returning home be sure to mark your spreadsheet accordingly to stay on task and on budget.
5 / Out of state gift giving and shipping
This part can get tricky however services thru Amazon and being a Prime member do simplify the process greatly.
- Pay for personalization – It is so worth the time and energy to pay for professional gift wrapping and personalized card via direct ship vs. handling it yourself and pay double shipping and efforts.
- Start a USPS Account at USPS.com It is free, they guide you how to measure your package, print the label and arrange for front door pick up! Done!
- Tackle those out of state folks first, then in state folks are easy peezy!
6 / In state gift giving – simplified & personalized
Most restaurants around the holidays offer a gift card incentive such as for every $100 spent you get a $20 bonus gift cards. There really isn’t much brain power to invest in this scenario so select your theme, be creative and personalize your presentation.
- The Movie Goer – purchase a gift card to an upscale full service theatre venue or or boxed tv series, include gourmet popcorn and theatre size box of their favorite candy.
- The Foodie – purchase a selective array of grilling rubs, sauces or sweet treats from Williams Sonoma. They will even box it up and gift wrap it beautifully for you.
- The Active One – Gift card to mini golf, bowling or raceway. Include a set of sports bottles and protein bars for them to take to the outing.
7 / Create a family friendly gift station in the living room
Uber easy for all family members to wrap anytime without bugging you 10,000 times to find the supplies. Store: wrapping paper rolls, scotch tape, scissors, twine and gift tags. Store core supplies in a decorative ceramic pot or mini mobile drawer unit, nice enough to be openly stored in the living room near the tree or menorah.
8 / Ditch the bows and go for twine
Way long away and in a galaxy far, far away I once stored a gazillion puffy pre-made bows only to find they took up too much space, were early damaged, and not worth storing the other 11 months of the year. I donated the bows and use only raw jute twine. It is reasonably priced, easy to cut, durable to ship, and compliments all wrapping paper from whimsical to vintage.
Now it’s time to add more mini marshmallows to your hot cocoa, indulge in another holiday treat and spend your time reflecting on the true reason for the glorious season!
Danielle Wurth is a professional organizer, speaker and owner of Wurth Organizing, LLC, a professional organizing company who has transformed families using her psyche-based approach to live clutter free with hands on organizing sessions and speaking events in Scottsdale, AZ since 2007. She is honored to be the Exclusive Brand Partner for the Container Store in Metro Phoenix and contributor to The List TV Show, InRecovery Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, Fox 10 News, Ch 3 Good Morning Arizona, 1360 KPXQ Faith Talk Radio and The Arizona Republic. Danielle can be reached at (602) 579-5274 and Danielle@WurthOrganizing.com. Visit WurthOrganizing.com for more organizing tips and services.