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The easy way to keep track of cards and gifts year round

How many greetings cards and presents do you buy each year? How many times do you have to run to the shops to grab a last minute gift or card? I have what seems like a never ending list, and while I love to send cards and gifts to people, sometimes it can feel quite overwhelming – and so I decided to try and get organised about the whole process!

The easiest way to keep track of cards and gifts year round so you are never short of something to give

This process that I am currently testing out this year hopefully will save money, time and effort in the long run as well – and I’m all for that!

So, to start with, last week I shared how I set up my gift station, which included a place for all my cards:-
1. cards contained

As you can see, there are quite a lot!

I have been in the habit for some time now of grabbing cards I like and that are priced well, in bulk when I see them.

If I am in the supermarket I will grab a few cards of differing genres i.e. girls birthday, boys birthday, male and female birthday, blank cards and maybe a thank you/get well etc….

This way I always have a little “stock” in the cupboard to grab when I want to send a card.

The only problems with this method though is that I usually end up with cards I never use as they are not right for who I am sending to, or they are for things that I don’t use that often (no-one has got engaged recently, for example!)

As such, although I thought I was being quite organised, I was in fact creating clutter – arghh!

I wanted a system that ensured I bought the right cards at the right time, and had little waste involved.

organise my house

Step 1 – Creating a list

So first I went to my Home File and took out the list of Birthdays and Special events that I have in there.

This is a great master list of everything, and I use it to write into my diary any events so that I always can see what’s coming up and send the card/present at the right time – however, I wouldn’t want to carry this list around all the time as I want to keep it safe.

I wanted a list that I could carry around in my purse – specifically one that just had details of events on it that I had to buy cards for – so that I could see at a glance what I needed to buy when out and about.

I therefore decided to write on a sheeting of small labels and use this as my list – you can see on the picture below that I wrote down the date and the event (and if it was needed, who the card would be from i.e. just my daughter) on each label for each person – and I did this for the entire year…

3. Labels for dates (2)

The trick here is that as soon as I bought a card for a specific person on the list, I could take the sticker off and stick it to the cellophane on the card so I would firstly know who it was for when I got home, and secondly, my list would immediately have that person taken off and I would be left only with a list of who I still needed to buy for in my purse.

A simple idea that really works.

Yes, it takes a little setting up at the start of the year – but it saves so much time throughout the year that it’s so worth it!

I also wrote a list for gifts I needed to buy for the year as well – that’s on the orange paper behind (There aren’t as many of these as cards, and it’s harder to stick a label onto a gift without it making a mess, so for these I would just write what I bought next to them on the list and cross out the name).

3. Labels for dates (1)

It was actually nice to see everything written down in black and white so I could more easily quantify what I had to budget for in upcoming months.

TIP – Use these lists to write a monthly budget for cards and gifts so you can more easily keep track.
TIP – This means you can buy items way ahead of time in sales and know that you have already bought for that person – saving money at the same time (or it can enable you to buy more with the same amount).

organise my house

Step 2 – Keeping everything organised at home

So, I now have a list of everything I need to buy for, and a pile of cards in my gift station.

The next thing I did was go through what I had and stick the stickers on any appropriate cards that I already had. This was loads of fun as it meant that I was ahead of the game and this always makes me happy!

4. stick labels on cards

As each sticker also has the date of the event on, I decided to “file” the cards into a date order so that I could really quickly find the ones I needed when it was time to send them.

I simply used some coloured clips that I had in my office, labelled each clip on top with a month of the year so that I could see the month from above (as that was how I would have to see it in the drawer), and then clipped together all the cards for that month with it (or at least as many as I could!).

2. clips

2a. labeller
5. group in months
6. store in order

Such an easy system!

As you can see from the picture below, I store all my cards bought for specific people and specific dates in the plastic tubs, and I have extras in the drawer in case I need any.7. in drawers

 

 

I love this system for so many reasons:-

  • I can buy cards in bulk easily when offers are on in shops, and know that I am getting ones that are needed
  • I know at a glance in my purse what I need to buy at any given time
  • When I see something I think would make a great gift, I look in my purse and see who I need to buy for
  • I can try and get all my cards for the year early on (it’s my competitive streak!)
  • No more rushing to the shops because I have forgotten a card etc….

TIP – keep stamps and postage wrapping supplies to hand as well to make it even easier!
TIP – Also keep a buffer amount of cards and gifts or extras such as childrens birthday parties, gifts for when you are a guest at a friends house etc…

 

 

495a. the easiest way to keep trackTo sum up

I keep my list in my purse at all times of special events for the year, and buy cards/gifts as and when I see them to save special trips and more expense.

I then label them with who I have bought them for, and keep them in specific places in my home (cards=gift station, presents = all together under the bed!)

As and when a special event comes around, I have the card and/or gift ready to be written, wrapped and sent.

Easy!

 

Would you use a similar system? Do you already? I’d love to know so please leave a comment below – thanks in advance x

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10 Responses to The easy way to keep track of cards and gifts year round

  1. Danii Bradley Jul 23, 2015 at 9:08 pm #

    I have something similar, not as organised though. For the past couple of years I have bought all birthday cards for family and friends early January and put a post it note on each for who it was for. I love the idea of the clips and month labels!!

    • Chrissy @ Organise My House Jul 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

      Hi Danii – so pleased there are a few extra tips in here that you like! I love that feeling when I’ve got it all pretty much organised and ready to go – and it really does save so much money! I’ve just done an online shop for cards as well which saves even more time and money!

  2. Eve Mar 3, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    Hi Chrissy, I made a whole lot of cards (in the shape of bookmarks) myself on a large piece of paper for all different occasions during the year. I then photocopied them in colour and cut them out. When I have an occasion to give a gift, I simply grab one of the cards (there are about 5 different types for each occasion) and write on the back of the bookmark and then stick it inside the gift. It’s working really well. My gift drawer is a real mess though so I am looking to organise that soon too. Thanks for your lovely ideas, I enjoy reading about them.

    • Chrissy Halton Mar 7, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

      Great idea Eve – thanks so much for sharing! x

      • Karen Mar 9, 2015 at 6:31 am #

        I had a similar issue, I had tried writing out what cards I needed over the next few months, so when I saw an offer, I was buying cards I actually needed, not just ones I might use. It worked ok until I got past the first year, then I wanted something I didn’t need to keep writing out.
        I ended up typing the info onto the computer & setting it to the smallest font. Once printed I cut it into 2 lists that I could put back to back & laminated- a list of 30+ events down to the size of a credit card to go in my wallet. When I buy any cards I cross them off with a sharpie pen, I hope to be able to clean it off to re-use next year!
        The cards are ordered by month & each month I slip the relevant ones into the correct week in my diary to remind me to write & post.
        I like the idea of your labels, I use post it notes to label with the name & date, but a lot aren’t in cellophane, so not sure labels would work.

        • Chrissy Halton Mar 12, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

          Hi Karen – love the idea to be able to re-use this year after year – something I need to do is to write it out each year, which some may find a pain so yours is a good idea to stop this – thanks for your comment! x

  3. Stacey Mar 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Oh my goodness! That is absolutely genius. I had already planned to write a list of all cards I needed and to start collecting them (I usually end up missing birthdays because I don’t find time to get a card) and then also have a gift card box to store them in – but to combine the two ideas is just fab. I shall definitely be working on this in the next couple of weeks. People will be amazed when they actually get their cards on time for a change!

    • Chrissy Halton Mar 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

      Hi Stacey – glad you like the idea – it has made my card and present shopping so much easier since I started doing it this way – I’d love to know how you get on! x

  4. Dan Feb 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    What a simple idea – knowing what you’re buying cards for, at point of sale, means much less procrastination and pottering through the card isles…!

    As well, organising the cards by month is a great idea – I already do this for presents, but never thought about extending it over to Birthday (and other special occasion) cards.

    There is nothing worse than realising you’ve missed the post for someones birthday or special occasion (so as a side comment, you do need to remember to add time for postage, especially when birthdays are early in Month x – you may need to put the card and reminder in the previous month)!!

    Well worth investing in the label maker (comes in handy else where too), but clearly that’s not required. This can all be handwritten.

    Thanks again…

    • Chrissy Halton Feb 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

      Hi – thanks for the comment! – love the idea to put the early cards for the month in the previous month so you don’t forget to send in time – thank you!

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