Shopping sales for future gifts

January is a great month for winter clearance, white sales and holiday decorations to be marked down drastically. As a smart shopper, your mind goes straight to, “Who can I get this for?” After all, a deal is a deal!

How many times have we bought something for a future birthday or next year’s Christmas present, only to forget about it, or better yet, can’t remember where we put it. Yet with stocking up on gifts at such incredible prices comes the challenge of where to store everything and how to remember what you bought nine months ago and for whom.

-Storage options: Store extra gifts all in one place. A closet is ideal, yet a trunk, under-the-bed bins, storage ottoman or plastic crates are also creative solutions. When you need an unexpected gift, now you have a place to “shop” right in your own home.

-Keep supplies close by: Wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbon, tape, scissors and boxes should all be stored together. This controls clutter and makes gift giving simple and more organized. Wrapping supplies can add to the price of the gift, so consider how to make your dollar stretch by using a multi-purpose color scheme. Red is a year-round color for wrapping. Simply accent with white for Valentine’s Day, black for men’s gifts, pink for women’s gifts, and a bright color for children. Gold or green works well with red for the holidays.

-Gift journal: Start a small notebook listing the gifts already purchased for future occasions. Include names and dates for birthdays, anniversaries, special events and sizes. Jot down ideas for gifts you want to buy so you don’t forget. Before storing, label each gift with a sticky note to remember who it’s for.

-Re-gifting: Before you re-gift, make sure you remove any personal notes, prices, cards, etc. Always re-wrap the gift to make it look new and fresh. Add a serving dish to the cookbook, a bottle of wine to the glasses or scented lotions to the extra set of towels you are re-gifting to make it unique for the new recipient.

By putting these ideas in place, you can take advantage of saving money knowing you have just the place to store the gifts until it is time to give. So the next time you need a last minute present, you will know just the place to look.

Lisa Phillips is the owner of SimpleWorks. She can be reached at lisa_phillips@bellsouth.net or 981-7733.