It’s that time of year when gifts are top of mind, so I thought I’d share some tips about what to do with gifts and gift-wrapping supplies. It’s actually a more complicated category than you may think! In this article I’ll give you recommendations for how to deal with:
- Gifts to have on hand: Where should these go so I don’t forget about them?
- Gifts you got that you don’t want: Maybe I’ll just stash this somewhere and pretend I didn’t get it.
- Gift wrap supplies: Why are these such a mess all the time?
Store gifts to have on hand in an obvious place.
Many people keep some gifts around the house to have available (for Christmas, a sudden kid birthday party, or dinner you’re invited to), and those gifts are often stashed in a random place and can be forgotten. I recommend that people store those gifts near gift wrapping supplies if possible since they’re a similar type of item. If that isn’t possible (some gifts need to be hidden from curious kids) then designate an area or box for those items, label it (cryptically if needed), and put it in a spot where you’ll see them from time to time.
Give gifts you may not want a time limit.
While organizing with people I often come across a random item in a drawer that turns out to be a gift someone wasn’t sure what to do with since they didn’t know whether they wanted it. We’ve all been there! My approach is to give that gift an opportunity to integrate into my life by setting a time limit. I’ll keep the item where it belongs (with other like items) and check in later to see if I want it or not. You can set a reminder if that helps. If it’s still not bringing you joy, donating the gift or regifting can help that item find a place where someone will love it.
Organize gift wrapping supplies by type.
In most homes where I organize, the gift wrapping supplies are messy because they’re all different sizes and often undifferentiated in a big box together. I recommend sorting gift wrapping supplies by type and size. I put gift bags together, in a gift bag, by size (usually one for small bags and one for medium/large bags). Ribbons and related items can be stored in another box or bag, and then tissue paper and flat wrapping paper can be together. Wrapping paper rolls can be stored separately, in a vertical format.
I hope these tips help with managing the perennial problem of managing gift and gift supply storage this holiday season!