Start Your Holiday Shopping Now

By Meagan Farrell

I'll bet you are expecting an article about getting organized as part of your New Year's resolution? Surprise! I am actually going to tell you to go shopping!! January and February are the best times to shop. The stores are marking everything down to clear out inventory and bring new items. Personally, I spend a lot of time at Target around this time, waiting for the 75 % off clearance sales to start.

Why am I telling you to buy things? Because, if you start your holiday shopping now, you will have much less stress come November/December. Here is an idea: Take several paper shopping bags and write the names of those you need to shop for each year on them (one name per bag). Keep these bags in your closet, garage or hiding spot.

As you are out shopping, check out the sales with your gift recipients in mind. As you find things for your loved ones, bring them home and put them in the appropriate bag. As birthdays or holidays come up, you can go to that person's bag and find already purchased gifts for them. Not only will you save a ton of money, but you will save a lot of time and stress. Instead of frantically running around at the last minute looking for the perfect gift, buy it when you see it. Chances are it will cost less and it will really be the ideal present.

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at

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