Who here needs a gift card organizer?
I know I do! As it turns out, so do millions of other Americans. According to research, up to 47% of American adults have at least some form of unused gift card somewhere in their homes or their cars. These include things like store credit and vouchers amounting to an astonishing $21 billion. That’s an average of about $175 per person in unused gift cards.
Imagine what you could do with a random $175 of someone else’s money!
Why People Lose Gift Cards
I can’t speak for everyone but I know why I once lost (let’s say completely forgot it existed) a gift card.
A friend of mine and her husband work so very hard that they hardly have any time for each other. So, on one weekend, I offered to have their kids over to my house so they could have a solid 48 hours to themselves.
As a show of gratitude, my friend got me a gift card to one of my favorite spas. It included everything from a mud bath, to a facial, pedicure—the whole nine yards. That was in the middle of 2018.
I put it away and completely forgot about it. Then COVID-19 did its thing and the next thing I knew, years had gone by without me using the gift card. I came across it again in one of my drawers one day when I was organizing. That’s when I realized I needed a better system for keeping track of my gift cards.
One of the main reasons people lose gift cards is simple: they don’t use them as soon as they get them. This isn’t necessarily because we don’t like being gifted gift cards or because we simply have way too much money to care (at least, I know I don’t!). We often don’t use them for any of the following reasons:
- We forget that we have the gift cards.
- We can’t remember where we put the gift cards.
- We might have issues accessing the retailer or vendor in question, maybe due to our location or some other logistical issue.
- The gift card in question came with some inconvenient restrictions for which we didn’t care to find a workaround.
- We do use the gift card, but not in its entirety. We then forget to use the rest of the amount on it.
As you can see, most of these reasons can be solved by simply getting a gift card organizer or learning how to keep your gift cards organized in a way that keeps them fresh in the mind. This way, you remember to use them, especially when you have to buy something for one of those many birthday parties your kids keep getting invited to, and you just don’t have the budget.
Oh, and some of these tips would also work well for keeping your coupons organized too!
Top Gift Card Organizer Tips
By now, you know that I love finding neat little DIY tricks to do—well, everything around the house. Here are some of my gift card organizer tricks that could help you spend all of that $175 as well as a good chunk of the $21 billion that goes to waste due to unused gift cards every year.
Digital Gift Card Organizer Tips
Everything seems to be online nowadays; why not gift cards? I know some of us still like having the physical cards with us; it makes it feel like you are walking around with money, right?
However, if you aren’t about all that, there are some ways you can ensure that you always have your gift cards with you. The first way is the gift card organization hack, and the second is a way to make sure that you remember to use your gift cards.
Gyft is a wonderful website and app that allows you to not only buy and send but also organize your gift cards online. The best part is that it also allows you to keep track of how much you have spent on your gift cards. Gyft supports almost all major retailers, such as Amazon, Starbucks, iTunes, and so many others.
It’s the perfect digital alternative for people who are tired of having to deal with bulky gift cards in their wallets. All you have to do is download the app (both Android and iOS), upload all the necessary gift card information to that app, and there you have it: a walking, digital gift card organizer. You no longer have to worry about carrying actual cards or losing gift cards.
Use Google Keep to Alert You
Google has come up with many wonderful apps designed to make our lives easier. One such app that can be multipurpose into a gift card reminder app is Google Keep: It has a feature that allows you to get alerts when you are in a location that you have saved in the notes.
Say, for example, that you have a gift card for a local bookstore but forget to use it every time you go into that bookstore. You can easily create a note in Google Keep, set the location of that bookstore as part of the note, and just wait. The next time you are in that bookstore, Google Keep will send an alert to your phone reminding you.
To make sure you don’t forget to use your gift card, simply make sure the note is to remind you to use the gift card. And since you will already have that information on Gyft on the same phone, you will have everything you need, including how much is left on the gift card.
Rudimentary Gift Card Organizer Tips
Now that we have the digital tips and tricks out of the way, let’s look at some rudimentary ways to keep your gift cards organized at home.
Credit or Business Card Holders
Many things can prove to be pretty useful when it comes to organizing gift cards. For example, you can easily repurpose a credit card holder to become a gift card holder to keep all your cards organized and in one location.
A good example would be this 12-slot Black Credit Card Holder Wallet for those who want something small and compact.
However, if you find that you have many gift cards and would like to categorize them, you can use this basic plastic business card holder with protector sleeves. With this, you can organize your gift cards into categories and label them accordingly.
If, however, you want to go really hardcore, you can use this 900-pocket trading card binder to keep all your gift cards in one place. Not only does it have enough sleeves to keep almost every gift card in the world in there, but it’s also compact, well-organized, and easy to flip through.
Use a Key Ring
Another excellent idea is to simply punch a hole in the corners of your gift cards and put them all on a key ring. This way, you have all your cards in one place, and they are much easier to flip through when you need to choose which one to use. It is similar to how you would keep a store loyalty card for your favorite grocery store on your key ring for easy and quick access when it’s needed.
Now, of course, there’s the concern of how easy these cards are to remove from this kind of key ring, considering the fact that some cards are plastic or that you might not want to tear through them just to present them to the vendors.
To solve that issue, you can use something like this Lucky Line 5” Twisty Lock Key Ring; they are cheap and easy to open and close. You won’t have to ruin your gift cards at all.
Now, these rudimentary options, while very effective at keeping your gift cards organized and in one place, have one limitation: you won’t know how much you have left on the card unless you make a point of leaving a note with the gift card balance within the specific card sleeve.
For me, the best way around that is to simply use Gyft. It makes my life so much easier when dealing with gift cards. When combined with Google Keep, I have the perfect gift card organizer hack!