Why You Should Organize Your Holiday Shopping Receipts This Year — 2 Simple Ways To Do It

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women exchanging gifts at Christmas

Have you been doing a lot of holiday shopping?

The news reports indicate that online holiday shopping is way up from last year. Of course it is! We've all been told to stay home!

The CDC advises us to stay away from the shops and to avoid other people, so of course we're doing more shopping from the comfort of our computers.

There are some gifts, though, that you may want to go and pick up from your local stores.

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Holiday shopping receipts will come to you in two different ways — digitally through your email and printed on paper when you purchase your gifts in person.

What do you do with all these holiday shopping receipts?

Don't toss them out right away! Keep your receipts!

A major reason why you should keep your holiday shopping receipts is so you know how much you've spent.

Do you budget a certain amount of money to spend on holiday gifts? That amount is easier to track when you keep your receipts.

Here are 2 ways to organize your holiday shopping receipts this year.

1. Double-check your orders.

If you're standing at the register and waiting for your paper receipt, take a minute or two to verify that it shows the total is the amount you expect to see there.

Sometimes mistakes are made at checkout. Make sure that you've only been charged for the items purchased by double-checking your receipt.

Do the same thing if you're shopping online.

A couple of weeks ago, I almost accidentally purchased two gift certificates for my daughter-in-law. I must have clicked the up arrow by mistake, and didn’t notice until I was ready to check out and saw that the total amount was much more than expected.

Once you select the item you want to purchase and have it in your cart, double-check to make sure the amount is correct. As you know, there are usually additional taxes as well as shipping and handling fees.

Also, make sure that everything you think you're buying is in your shopping cart.

I thought I bought a new dog leash along with two new collars. When the email invoice came to my inbox, I realized I forgot to add the leash to my cart.

Miles, my dog, doesn’t really need a new leash, so I didn’t go back and reorder it.

But, it pays to double-check your orders before you place them.

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2. Create holiday shopping receipt folders.

For your online shopping receipts, create a folder in your email and put all your email receipts in it. As the packages arrive at your door, delete those receipts from your email folder.

Having all the holiday shopping receipts in this folder makes it easy to remind yourself when you ordered the gift, how much you spent, and to verify when the gift is expected to be delivered to you or someone else.

If you're shopping in person, take the paper receipts out of your bag when you get home and put them in an envelope or folder. Label each receipt with the name of the person receiving the gift.

If you bought multiples of a certain item, write out each person’s name on the receipt.

Put the receipts in an envelope labeled, "Holiday Gift Receipts." This will make life easy for you if someone wants to exchange the gift for something else. You will know exactly where to find the receipt for them.

It also helps to keep your bag clutter-free — an added bonus!

It’s hard to know when to keep receipts, for how long, and where to keep them. You don’t always need to hang onto receipts. Some you can delete or toss without a second thought.

These receipts, though, fall into a separate category as they are holiday gift receipts.

Since you’ve gone to the trouble to buy someone a gift, you want to be able to verify when you purchased the gift, when it was shipped to you or the recipient, and that it arrived.

Or the recipient may want to exchange your gift and need a copy of the receipt.

Keeping your holiday gift receipts organized allows you to easily do these things.

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Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane specializes in residential and home-office organizing and working with people affected by ADD, hoarding challenges, and chronic disorganization. Please contact Diane for a free 30-minute phone consultation.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.