How to Organize Your Christmas Shopping – 7 Simple Steps to Create a Master Gift List

Do you get stressed out about buying Christmas gifts? Do you worry about overspending? One easy way to get rid of the overwhelmed feeling is to create a Master Gift List. This list will help you organize the whole process of whom to buy gifts for, what gifts to buy, and how much to spend. So create the Master Gift list to make your holiday gift shopping this year and years to come a lot more enjoyable.

Step 1 – Gift recipients. The easiest way to set up your list is to take four separate pieces of paper and label them; Family, Friends, Co-workers, and Service People (hairstylist, child’s teacher, etc.). Go through your address book and list only the people you want or feel obligated to give a gift to. Once you have completed the lists you can continue to use the paper copies or set up the lists on the computer at this time.

Step 2 – Create a budget. First figure out the total amount you are able or willing to spend on gifts this year. Then write down next to each person’s name how much you want to spend on them. Add up the total dollar amount from everyone.

Step 3 – Revising the list. If the total amount in Step 2 is over your budget it’s time to revise your list. You can reduce the dollar amount on some or all the individuals and/or cut some of the people off the lists.

Once you have gone through the lists add up the total from each one. If the total is still over your budget repeat Step 3 for any or all of your lists.

Step 4 – Gift Options. Now that you know the budget for each person it’s time to come up with list of gift options. Next to each name write down several gift ideas you think that person would like and are in the predetermined price range.

Step 5 – Gifts that need mailing or shipping. Make a note of the people you will need to mail or ship a gift to. If you are buying a large or hard to pack gift consider shopping online or at stores where they will pack the item for you. Don’t forget to figure packing and shipping costs in your budget. Also, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to shop and mail the gifts so they arrive in time for the holiday.

Step 6 – Shopping time. Take a copy of this master list with you to the stores. Every time you finish a shopping trip take a few minutes to update the original list (paper or computer) and the copy. Be sure to cross off the names on the copy you take to the store. The original list at home will have all the details to help keep you organized and within budget.

Step 7 – Save the list for next year. After the holidays are over you’ll want to briefly go over the list again. Make notes of any changes you made with the gift options or people added or deleted from the list. Keep this list in a place where you can access it all year-long. When you get an idea for a gift for someone make a note of it next to their name. That will give you a head start for your list next year.

This Master Gift List will help put the fun back in shopping. You’ll be more organize and in control of the gift shopping and your budget. No more feeling overwhelmed about what to buy or surprises when the bills come in.

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