Organization is not limited to keeping your stuff in the right place. It also applies to preparing for big events like holidays and parties. In November it can also mean preparing for the biggest shopping event of the year: Black Friday.
Here are a few tips to help you get ready and get shopping.
Start with the List
The list is the core of your Black Friday experience. It begins with all the gifts you plan to buy for family and friends and expands to include any holiday items like decorations and clothing, you need to acquire. Lastly, be sure to add any household and personal items you’ve been needing for yourself or your family that you know are cheaper during Black Friday sales. Consider that new toaster, bedding, or computer to be your gift to yourself.
Do Your Research
It used to be that you had to wait until Thanksgiving morning to find out what would be on sale on Black Friday. You no longer have to wait for the newspaper. Most retailers will leak their Black Friday sales a week or two ahead of time. So mark their websites, sign up for email alerts, download shopping apps, and find the aggregate websites that will consolidate all the Black Friday deals in one place.
It is important to do the research early because Black Friday no longer starts on Friday. Many top retailers open their doors at midnight — or earlier on Thanksgiving Day. Last year some stores started their Black Friday sales at 6pm — meaning that dedicated shoppers had to get in line before dinner was served.
Create Your Plan
Take the items on your list and the information about sales and figure out where you need to be when in order to complete your list and take advantage of the best sales. This may involve dividing your list between family members who then wait in line at different stores. It may also mean that you have to make a choice between saving several hundred dollars on a laptop or getting a free door prize at your favorite boutique. Stores will have specific sale hours for certain hours and limited stock on many items. Make your choices and create a final plan of action.
Take Care of Yourself
Saving money to make the most of your holiday budget is important, but so is your health and well-being. Make sure that you get adequate rest and food ahead of time. Wear comfortable, appropriate clothing. Bring along dry snacks and plenty of water to stay hydrated and prevent crashing. If at all possible, schedule your shopping with breaks and downtime. And, no, standing in line for three hours is not the same as downtime, though it is a good time for eating and drinking.
Having a detailed plan, knowing your budget, and taking care of yourself should go a long way to reducing the mental and physical stress of Black Friday shopping. Unless, of course, you choose to stay home and take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales.