Give the perfect Gift • Cat Morley

It's so horrible realising that someone's birthday is just around the corner when you don't have the slightest idea what to get them. It's even worse handing over a gift that you know you've not put any thought in to. To make sure this doesn't happen to you, here are my tips for giving the perfect gift.

June is a month full of family birthdays for me and my parents can be some of the trickiest people to buy for. Here are my predicaments:

The man who has everything: My Dad is super organised and knows exactly what he wants. Because of this, he buys the exact thing he wants as soon as he realises he wants it, leaving us with no ideas for presents.

She doesn't know what she wants: On the other hand, my Mum likes lots of things and has lots of interests and would appreciate lots of the same thing. My predicament is finding the perfect present, that will bring the most value to her, without creating clutter that she won't use.

The expert: If my parents sound difficult to buy for, they're nothing compared to Tom, who's an expert about every tech gadgets, beer etc. I'd like to buy him. Getting it wrong just wont do and he's the only person who can help me get it right.

1. Pay attention & take notes

This is something you have to do throughout the year. Pay attention when your family and friends mention something they want or point something out in a shop. I keep an entire to-do list dedicated to my gift ideas for other people, even if there's nothing I'd need them for coming up. It saves so much thinking time at Christmas, and panic when I realise a birthday is only a week away. The great thing is when they realise you were paying attention, or can't believe you remembered it… or even better when you knew what they want without them realising it.

2. Do some research

Do they keep an Amazon wish list? Check their Facebook likes, Spotify playlists, Pinterest boards. It may seem obvious but sometimes there's a lot more to my friends interests than I realised. Ask their friends and family for tips, though they may not tell you if they're also struggling for ideas. If you're still stuck, try casually bringing up their wish list in a conversation without being too obvious.

3. Think outside the box

4. Keep a birthday calendar

5. Buy in advance

6. Give a gift anytime