As a parent, or daughter, wife, husband or friend, have you ever thought how much time and effort goes into selecting gifts for loved ones during the year?

Just think about all the different events we all have in our lives to celebrate. From birthdays and anniversaries to engagements, weddings, the arrival of a new baby, as well as Easter and Christmas and the numerous other events we may all have depending on our faith.

I don’t know about you but I used to get terribly overwhelmed with all of these special occasions because, as a full-on and busy mother of three, events would come up and I would have to resort to buying gifts at the last minute.

Why last minute? Because I was busy being a mom, trying to work from home and most of my time would be spent being “reactive” and not “proactive”. After school runs, household chores, cooking, working from home, food shopping and so on, there would not be any time left for me to do much else.

If things came up, I would deal with them as they came up.  Of course, that was down to me being unorganized and therefore unprepared.  A baby doesn’t appear out of thin air, chances are you have known about a friend’s impending new arrival for a few months at least. Christmas is always a fixed date every year! No excuses there.

You’ll know the birthdays of your close friends and families, and guess what? These are fixed dates too!

So, really, buying gifts should not be something that comes to you last minute. You know in advance when these events are going to occur.

Tips for being organized when it comes to having good gifts ready:

1) Get organized
Always put these dates in your calendar and ALSO mark down in the same calendar a date ONE MONTH prior to the event date.

2) Get thinking
The “one month prior” date is for you to spend time thinking about the event (birthday/new baby/anniversary), the person for whom you are buying (spouse/brothers/sisters/parents/friends), write down potential gift ideas and price range.

If it is your husband, wife or children, you’ll have a good idea of what they want or what they need and what they haven’t got. Therefore this one is easy enough to do.

You might find that your Lego loving husband wants to get his hands on the Lego cafe Corner or your teenage daughter has been raving about adding to her collection of Monster High Dolls.

Or maybe, you know your friends love board games and you’ve heard that the Dixit Game is a great strategy board game which you know they will love.

By jotting down your ideas, you have a better idea of what to buy and hopefully this hasn’t taken up too much of your time.

When you are organized and plan things in advance, wonderful things happen: you free up more time to think and plan and don’t go down the usual route of rushing around last minute tiring yourself out in the process.

3) Shop for it
Unless you find store promotions and discounts at a store near you, it is better to shop online. It’s easy; quick, often you’ll find the best prices online and, the beauty of this: get the gifts delivered straight to your door.

Now, if you try this method you might find, just like I did, that my presents were carefully thought out and purchased in advance. This meant I was able to give presents to my loved ones on time and they were presents that were much appreciated because I had taken the time to think about what to buy.

Not only that, but I was no longer reacting to events. I had things under control and sorted out well before the event date.

It’s a wonderful feeling to be in control of your time.

Shelley Kim is the mother of three beautiful children and the founder of

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