This is a guest post from Kerri of Cornerstone Organizing.

The Holidays will be here before we know it!  We are already starting to see advertisements enticing us to buy more things.  Did you know that Ads targeted to our kids are often created specifically to get them to beg us for things they don’t need?  When my daughter was around age 5, she begged for the Topsy Turvy Tomato plant with passionate pleas.  And she doesn’t even like gardening.  Or tomatoes.  Marketing works on kids, and on adults.  


Black Friday sales are designed to create a sense of urgency to “buy now.”  Those in the know realize that Cyber Monday sales may be even better deals than Black Friday… but there is still a false sense of urgency to purchase!  

Yes, you can get good deals on these busy shopping days.  But so often the result is lots of beautifully and temporarily wrapped gift boxes filled a bunch of things the recipient doesn’t need or want, that takes up room in our homes that we don’t have to spare because we’ve already filled our space with other stuff we’ve bought before.  

We are left with credit card debt, a lack of fulfillment, irritation and new things that we must now attempt to put away into our already overflowing closets and drawers.

Now is the time to take a thoughtful approach to your holiday shopping.  Be smart about what you can afford to spend this holiday season.  Starting the new year with holiday debt is an unnecessary burden.  Don’t get caught up in marketing mayhem that will tempt and confuse you.  

Instead, create your Holiday Gift Tracker to stay on course as you shop for the important people in your life.  This is a thoughtful approach to gift giving.


Follow these tips and be prepared to shop smarter this holiday season:

Set Total Budget.  Avoid paying off credit cards + interest months after the holiday!

Make a List of all the people you need to shop for.  Include each family member (parents, children, siblings, nieces, nephews, grandchildren) & service provider (caregivers, teachers, bus drivers).  Anyone for whom you would like to show appreciation.  

Determine your Spending Maximum for each person.  Spending Max must add up to less than your Total Budget.

Brainstorm.  Within the budget allotted, list a few gifts and their cost that the recipient will likely use and enjoy.  Think back to conversations you have had with people for whom you will buy a gift.  Did they mention a favorite color?  A collection that they have? Or did they mention something they like to indulge in?  Is there something special you can do for someone on your list?  Every gift doesn’t have to come with a price tag.  The best gifts are those that are well considered.  

Shop.  Remember to keep UNDER your Spending Max for each person.  Resist tempting sales and promotions.  Stick to your list to ensure you are staying within budget & on target.  (Notes of appreciation are Free!)

Enjoy.  The holiday season is about so much more than material gifts.  Take time to appreciate the people & blessings in your life.  

Download and use the free Holiday Gift Giving Tracker.  Bring it with you when you shop!

Organizing, simplifying & motivating others since 1993, Kerri Colombo has helped numerous overwhelmed women realize you can create an organized home filled with what you love, that reflects who you are, resulting in greater life satisfaction!   In 2010, Kerri became the Expert Organizer on The Learning Channel (TLC), and has appeared on Better Connecticut and FOX Connecticut News.  She is the recommended Organizer by Hartford Hospital’s esteemed Institute of Living: Anxiety Disorders Center.  Kerri is also a motivational speaker and hosts engaging interactive workshops with actionable change strategies.

Learn more about Kerri’s work at and on Facebook.