Are you already struggling with the thought of Christmas shopping this year? It’s definitely going to be different, especially for those of us who are organised and out shopping in November – this lockdown has ruined those plans eh!
Oh well, shops or no shops, I was planning to do the majority of my Christmas shopping online this year anyway. I really like Christmas shopping but I think that’s because I make sure I’m as organised as possible.
The key to organising your Christmas shopping is to plan ahead, budget and do some research and I’m going to share my top 5 tips to get you started.
TIP 1 | WRITE A LIST
Firstly, it’s time to write out a list. I love a list, what organiser doesn’t? Grab a notebook and pen and write down all the people you usually buy Christmas presents for; family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues, clients etc.
This is a great starting point and will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to buy/spend. Make sure you also write down an amount next to each person of the maximum amount you want to spend, this will be needed for your budget which we’ll come onto at tip no 3.
TIP 2 | USE ASANA TO PLAN
Asana is my organisational lifeline – without it I would be in a right muddle and wouldn’t be able to keep track of all the things I have going on in my life. If you’re wondering what Asana is, you might want to check out my blog “What is Asana and how does it work?”
All my organisation and planning goes into Asana and that includes my gift list. On this list I have a running list of birthday presents, upcoming babies being born, anniversaries and at this time of the year I add on my Christmas shopping.
Sticking to your paper list is fine but I prefer putting everything into Asana to keep it together, plus it’s easier for me to save gift ideas which I’ll come to at tip no 4.
Start by creating a new project and select the board style, this style allows you to create a column for each family member. When you’re online researching for different gifts and you see something you like, save the web link and the image into the “description box” and you can start creating a list, just like I’ve done below. There’s something about having everything visual like this, it makes me happy.
Within each tile you can also keep a note of the price.
TIP 3 | BUDGET
I’m an absolute sucker for a spreadsheet as again, I like to keep things organised and I believe it’s so important to keep track of spend, especially at Christmas and especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget.
For tip no 1, I suggested putting down a max spend figure per person. If you total this up it will give you an approximate figure on how much you want to spend – this is your budget amount.
Create a spreadsheet in excel or google sheets. Create 3 columns; name, item and cost. If you know how to use formulas you can put your budget amount into a separate cell and subtract all the items you buy from the total – that way you’ll know how much you’ve left to spend.
Add a tile into your Christmas Asana project and upload the spreadsheet, that’s why Asana is so great as you can keep everything together under one roof.
TIP 4 | RESEARCH
Knowing what to buy people gets harder every year! That’s why it’s good to start planning ahead and start actively researching. Get some ideas and inspiration together.
Under normal circumstances I’ll never head straight to the shops without having some sort of idea of what I’m going to buy. I know you can get ideas by walking around the shops but that’s time a lot of us don’t have and who knows if the shops will actually be open in the run up to Christmas this year. Researching beforehand will really help.
To get started with some ideas and inspiration and to help support small businesses I usually see what pops up on my instagram feed.
Instagram is my favourite social media platform. It’s a place I love spending time and a place where I’ve met so many wonderful business owners. Instagram is home to a lot of product based businesses now and a great place to sell and buy. I also think it’s so important to support independent business owners and shop locally.
I’ve bought candles, scrunchies, beauty products, stationery, clothes, children’s toys/clothes and books from Instagram and it’s jam packed with ideas and inspiration and with Christmas around the corner there will be ideas aplenty.
When you see a post and think “oh that will make a lovely Christmas present” hit save, create a “Christmas” folder and keep it for later or add onto your Asana project.
To look for suitable accounts think about using hashtags to search such as :
#Christmasgiftideas #handmadeuk #GiftsUK #buyindependent #giftsforgirls #childrensgifts #childrensclothes
Or, say you want to buy a friend a gin related gift – search for #gingifts #BritishGin #ginexperiences
Pinterest is another great place to find ideas and inspiration. Pinterest is a search engine, just like Google and you can find anything and everything. A good place to start with Christmas shopping ideas is to type in “Gift Guides” where you’ll find loads of guides for different family members – see below.
Other favourite websites I like to get ideas from are Etsy (perfect for personalised gifts), Notonthehighstreet.com, John Lewis, Hotel Chocolat, Oliver Bonas and of course, there are many many more to choose from.
TIP 5 | CREATE A “CHRISTMAS RECEIPTS” EMAIL FOLDER
I think it’s inevitable we’ll be doing more online shopping this year so every time you make a purchase you’ll want to keep your online receipt somewhere you can find it. Create a folder under your inbox called “Christmas Receipts” and drag your emails here.
If a family member wants to return a present you’ll know where the receipt is. Hopefully that won’t be the case though, I’ve not had anyone ask if they can return a present… yet!
Don’t forget to add the cost to your budget spreadsheet, or save in your folder for adding later.
So there you have it, a few organisation tips to help you get started with your Christmas Shopping this year. Remember, planning is always key so rather than heading straight to the shops, have a look at what your family and friends might like this year.
I agree it gets harder every year to think of different ideas, that’s why it helps to sit down and do a bit of research.
Do you also buy presents for clients and/or work colleagues? If so and you need help sourcing the perfect gifts let me know, I’d love to help.