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The dreaded shopping season is upon us and Black Friday is just days away. Are you ready to dive into your holiday shopping?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by just the thought of it, try these ideas to get yourself organized and ahead of the game.

1. Make a list. Getting organized is half the battle when it comes to tackling your shopping. Write down every person you have to buy for, then create a list of two or three items you think would make good gifts for each person. Look for sales and purchase the item that’s the best buy.

2.  Make a budget. While you’re making that list, add a budget column. Have an overall budget and if you’re feeling really organized, break it down by person. If you get a great deal on something for one person, you may have a little extra to spend elsewhere.

3.  Ration your kids. It’s easy to go nuts on gifts for your kids at Christmas. But really think about what you are buying them and if they want it/will use it. Limit yourself to a certain amount of items per kid and a dollar amount.

4.  Utilize the internet. Are you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of shopping you have to do? Stuck at home with a nursing baby? Get online and start shopping! It’s easier if you have a specific item in mind, that way you can shop different sites to find the best deal. Amazon is my go-to for just about everything. Google any unique items and you’ll be surprised at how many options popped up.

5.  Go shopping … by yourself. If only a trip to the mall will do, by all means, join the crowds and make a festive day of it. Just don’t bring anyone else with you. Shopping with your list on your own will be way more productive than trying to drag your kids (or even your husband) along. Know what you’re looking for beforehand and you’ll get that list finished in one giant spree. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a nice, relaxing lunch!

6.  Get help! Don’t have a day to devote to shopping? Hand that list over to hubby or even your mom. If you know exactly what you want and where to get it, by all means, send someone else to do a little shopping!

7.  Designate a wrapping day/time. Your shopping is done and you didn’t break the bank. Hooray! But now you’ve got a mountain of gifts to wrap. Instead of looking at this like a chore, turn it into something to look forward to. I like to make some hot chocolate and popcorn, turn on a cheesy Lifetime Christmas movie and sit in front of the TV for a couple hours after the baby is in bed and wrap away.