The Easy Way To Keep Track Of Cards And Gifts Year Round


& FILED IN Gift Giving 

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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 and find an easy way to keep track of cards etc… – and it worked!

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.

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).

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!

7. in drawers

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.

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…

The Easy Way To Keep Track Of Cards And Gifts Year Round - 495. the easiest way to keep track

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.


This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...