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Many people like to give gifts.  They see something, maybe something on sale, and think, "this would make a great gift".  This newsletter gives some ideas about how to plan your purchases and what to do with them when you get them home.

One key idea for gift buying which can be generalized for any kind of buying is to think through the purchase before it even makes it into your home.  At the store ask yourself, "who is this for, when am I going to give it, and how will I get it to them". By asking asking yourself just a few questions you force yourself to plan and avoid impulse buying.  Once you know who the gift is for and the practicalities of when and how the person is going receive the gift, the next step is to make sure you follow through.

Follow Through
You can follow through in a couple of different ways.  

-If you are someone who likes to use your calendar, you can look at your calendar and plan the time that you are going to give or send the gift.  You can write the name of the person on your calendar and also indicate where you are storing the gift so that you can easily access it.

-If you don't like to use calendars you can set up a container system for the different months of the year.  Have a drawer, box, basket, or bag for the first 4 months of the year and another container for the next months etc. You can put a little piece of tape on the gift with the name of the person and date you plan on giving it. At the beginning of each month go through the containers so you remember what gifts you are planning on giving. 

Yes, but...
These ideas are all fine and good but how do I deal with the gifts I already have? You can apply the principles I've talked about above.  

1. Sort and go through the gifts you currently have.  
  • Ask yourself the same set of questions I mentioned above (who is it for...).  Make a pile of gifts that have recipients and a pile that doesn't.  
  • With the pile that has recipients, follow the steps above, give them a home and decide how you are going to follow through with the giving.
2.  Set a physical limit.
  • With the pile of things that don't have recipients assess the the storage space you have for miscellaneous gifts.  Whatever the space is...a drawer, a box, a shelf -fill it with your favorite gifts and pack up the rest for a second hand store.  As you are packing imagine the person who you want to receive your donated gift (a young child, a hard working mother, a person who has lost their job). This might make it easier to let go of the gift.  If you don't want to give the gifts to a second hand store perhaps make your own gift giving day.  Have a "Happy Spring" and give your colleagues a gift or "Happy Friday the 13th" and give your book club members a gift.
  • Once you have established the space for miscellaneous gifts stick to your limit and don't buy another gift until there is space in the drawer.   
Good Luck and Happy Giving!
P.S. I'm now on twitter - check it out at



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