Monday, April 19, 2010

Blog anniversary and gift registry tips

Tomorrow marks a year since I started working on this blog. I find that really hard to wrap my head around, since I clearly remember writing my first tentative post, not sure that I would be able to sustain a blog solely about organizing for very long. Of course, soon after the list of potential blog posts grew exponentially, and I feel like I haven't even made a dent!

On another note, here are a few things I learned about registering for gifts during my recent experience getting married (besides the fact that I have very thoughtful and generous friends and family):

  • Registering for gifts does not solve the problem of getting duplicate gifts, nor does it banish unwanted off-registry gifts from turning up. But it does help with the above. And returning duplicates for store credit is simple, just...
  • Wait until you think the majority of the gifts have been given, then make a single trip to the store(s) where you registered and do all the returns in one go. You can then use the credit to buy things that haven't been bought off the registry: just make sure to remove them from the registry so late gift-givers won't send duplicates!
  • Find out if the stores you want to register at have a registry completion program. For instance, Crate and Barrel sends a certificate for 10% off anything left in your registry.
  • Avoid stores that don't have actual registries, but something similar, like a "wish list." Wish lists are a good way to get ideas for someone's birthday present, but for traditional events like weddings and showers, they confuse people.
  • Only register for things you actual want and will use (not to mention have a home for). This is an obvious rule to guard against clutter, but when you're receiving lots of gifts at once, it is especially important that you truly want each one.
  • Don't feel guilty about returning things. 
  • Keep a detailed list of who gave what, including their address for thank you notes, if possible. I'm using Bento to track the gift giver, what the gift exactly was, what registry it was from, if any, and if I've written a thank you note yet or not.
Which reminds me, I'm off to write some thank you notes!

 Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email 


  1. Congratulations on your blog-aversary and your recent marriage, and thanks for sharing these tips. I've never used a gift registry, except as a gift-giver, but this type of information would be really helpful in getting the most value from the resource.

  2. Thanks, Janet. I think most of us register for gifts so rarely that a few tips can help a lot when figuring out how best to use the service.