Goods Step Seven: Acquire the Things You Don’t Expect to Receive as Gifts

Some things you won’t get as gifts. What are those things and how will you get them?

Goods Step 7 (part 1) is the seventh step in a step-by-step guide to acquiring what you need to set up housekeeping. You’ll find all the posts in this series in The Goods Steps: and Overview.

Did you miss Step 1?

In step five, made a list of things you need to acquire (things you need that you don’t already have) based on these six categories:

  1. What you want to register for (which you did in step 6)
  2. What you could register for if you need to add more items to your registry (keep as a back up for step 6)
  3. What you might get as gifts, even if you don’t register for them (don’t buy any of these things before the wedding unless you don’t get them ahead of time and absolutely must have them immediately)
  4. What you intend to buy yourselves (what step 7 is about)
  5. What family members are making for you or that you will have someone else make for you (may be promised gifts or step 7)
  6. What you will be making yourselves (what step 7 is about)

The things you, personally, must acquire are #4, #6, and possibly #5. In other words, anything other than potential gifts. This might include personal care products, clothing, groceries, furniture, home appliances, electronics, books, cleaning products, vehicles, or tools.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

The Goods Steps ~ Step 7: Acquire the Things You Don't Expect to Receive as Gifts

Double Check That List!

What should be on it? You should already have one or more lists of things you need to acquire yourself from Step Five. Unless you just made that list, you might want to go over it again and make sure it contains the following:

Things no one would think of. That depends on the “ones” who are your family and friends.

Things no one would buy as a wedding gift: building supplies, gardening supplies, food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, groceries, hobby supplies, etc. (take into consideration special themed wedding showers and your own individual families).

Things that don’t relate to you as a couple or to setting up housekeeping but that you still need: a new printer, hiking boots, toiletries.

Things no one would buy for you unless you specifically requested it: large appliances or furniture, for example.

Things you haven’t specifically requested or suggested (and therefore, no one would give to you).

Things your family and friends know you intend to pick out yourself, even if it would make a good gift.

Things you want to have custom made: furniture or clothing, for example.

Things you want to make yourself: for yourself, your future spouse, or you new home.

Things you intend to buy used (so they obviously can’t go on a gift registry or a gift suggestion list).


You can’t afford everything you might think of, and if you’re a thorough list-maker, you don’t even really need everything you can think of. Prioritize.

You can give each item an A, B, C, and even D priority. You can label things as must have, need, would like, etc. You can prioritize things on a scale of 1-10 or 1-5. You should already of some of this in place from Step One (see Goods Step One: Prioritizing and Paring Down) but you may want to revisit it.

Break It Down

Would each item on this list be purchased or handmade? You may have already decided this in Step Five. If so, great! If not, now is the time to finish deciding.

Next, break the list down further by sources (where you’ll get it), timing (when you’ll get it), who (who buys it or makes it, who selects it, who pays for it), and how (online, mail order, in person).

We’ll cover purchased and hand-made (including custom-made for money) goods in more detail in the next two posts.

Keep in mind that I’m not saying that you must decide about every item RIGHT NOW. Planning ahead is helpful but you can’t know what you want to do until you know!

But Which List Does It Actually Go On???

Heads up about buy vs make, and also make vs receive a known handmade/DIY gift: some things are kind of both. I mean, what if you’re going to PAY someone else to MAKE it? What if you and your mom are making something together and she’s funding it as a gift to you? Technically, you can organize it however you want to, but here’s what I think:

In general, things that you plan the making of, in whole or in part, (even if it is family members, and not you personally, making them, or you’re making them together) would go under MAKE, even if 1) They fund the project as a gift, 2) They are making the things or helping you specifically as a gift, or 3) You are paying the person something for their work (and/or supplies).

In general, things that you have custom made by other people you don’t know or by people you know but who are making them without your assistance or direct planning, would go under BUY. These would be bought from people who customarily make things for sale, not just family and friends who are doing a do-it-yourself type project for your benefit. Make sense?

In general, things people told you they were going to make for you as a gift (without your solicitation), and things family members customarily give as gifts (for example, your grandmother makes every grandchild a quilt as a wedding gift), would go under GIFTS.

Next, we’ll move on to detailing and executing your buy list!

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