Tame the tinsel: Organize your holiday gift-giving

Spreadsheet can help keep track of orders, pick-up at stores
Posted at 5:23 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 05:23:32-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The holidays can be filled with good cheer but lots of clutter and confusion.

Professional organizer and founder of Urban Simplicity, Korinne Kubena Belock, said there are some ways to tame the tinsel.

Starting with the gift wrap and packing supplies, it is easy for the wrapping paper and bows to get sprinkled into multiple rooms.

Belock suggests pulling together the wrapping supplies, tags, scissors, ribbon and markers into one location. There are several containers that can help to collect the supplies for convenient storage. A gift wrap cart can be wheeled into a closet while a bin with a folding top can be slid under a bed.

When it comes to the gift-giving process, you can simplify a bit and aim for clutter-free gifting. Belock organizes her gifts into a spreadsheet, complete with a budget, to keep track of orders and pick-up at stores.

"Get your shopping organized, so make a spreadsheet or even a handwritten list, whatever is easiest for you, and kind of think through all of the people you want to include on your gift list. And then literally go through and write out the gifts and the budget and all the details so that you can kind of see it all in one place," she said.

Hostess gifts can be purchased from local small businesses in multiples, so you always have something creative and pretty on hand. Supporting the local business community can also be done through restaurant gift certificates, pre-purchased treatments at salons and spas, personal training sessions, staycations at hotels, golf lessons and more. The gifts don't require physical space and are experiential.

When new gifts come in, it helps to declutter. Belock suggests you declutter the high traffic areas of the home by walking around with a bin or box.

Donating some items in advance to local charitable organizations brings joy to someone else, while making space for new items. Gently used clothing and toys are needed in several places due to the strain of the pandemic.

Belock suggests The Lord’s Place and Adopt-a-Family of the Palm Beaches.

Holiday cards can grow to be an untamed system strewn across the dining table, Belock said. Use a small basket or bin to pull together the cards, envelopes, stamps, address labels, pens, address book and markers so the addressing can move with you throughout the house as needed. As cards come in, give them a place of honor for the season.

You can place them in a decorative basket or string them up with lights and clips. She said you can also snap a photo of incoming cards to become a new contact photo for your friend, while you save their address information on the spot.

"Inevitably, what ends up happening if you don't do that, your dining table then becomes this sort of like mail station, right? And you're like, 'How did this happen?' I like to make it a portable thing that you can take to the couch and put stamps on, or take it to my office and finish addressing or whatever that is," Belock explained.