But, with all the To Do's on your list, how do make the time to get those thank you notes out in a timely manner? Here are 5 things that I do...
1) Always have Thank You cards (or nice stationery) on hand. This is a must! If you actually have to go to the store or make a card, chances are the card is going to be sent out very late, if at all. Buy generic thank you cards and always have a batch on hand. Even if you enjoy making your own cards, unless you always have 10 or more on hand, having some generic standbys will ensure your Thank You's go out immediately. By the way, same goes for having postage on hand.
2) Send it out the same day you get the gift. While the gift and the occasion for which you were given the gift is fresh in your mind, this is the perfect time to jot a few words of appreciation and get the card done, stamped and mailed right then and there.
3) In some cases, like for wedding gifts or funeral thank you's, you won't be able to get your cards out that day. In those cases, you do have some extra time. When you're ready, determine how many need to go out, and how many you can-- realistically--get out each day. For example, 20 cards divided by 5 days equals 4 cards per day. Once you're at this point, just write them out a few at a time--each day-- until you're done. To give yourself some assistance with large batches of thank you cards, print out mailing labels so you don't have to hand address each envelope.
4) Get a book that gives you ideas on how to say thank you gracefully. This way, you won't be staring at a blank thank you card forever, at a loss for words.
5) When opening gifts from lots of different people, like at a birthday party, be sure to ask someone to log the gifts and who gave them as they're being opened. You'll then be about to easily personalize your thank you's and be specific to your giver, rather than the more general and less appreciative, 'thanks for the gift' (whatever it was) card. This also reduces the chances of your thank you card going out late because you're still trying to remember what that person gave you.