For those of you with organized gift wrap who can put their hands on the turquoise tissue paper that complements the gift bag that is the perfect size for your sister’s birthday gift, you are excused.
Or, you may stick around and gloat about how your gift wrap organization is better than mine.
For those of you with a wreck of wrap, I finally organized my mess into a system that works for me, and I’m so pleased, I’m sharing a few tips.
The before: My gift wrap was a pile of paper, assorted used gift bags numbering in the dozens (who throws out gift bags?), ribbons and bows, and a few empty boxes, sturdy and pretty enough I couldn’t bring myself to crush them.
When I needed to wrap a gift, I sorted through the mammoth pile in my office closet, chose something marginally appropriate and shoved the whole mess behind closed doors. Or I went out and bought the perfect gift wrap for something along the lines of 50% of the cost of the gift itself.
Tip 1: Sort A few weeks ago, I moved the whole jumble to the living room floor, where I spent the better part of an hour throwing out torn paper and bags, sorting bags into categories (Christmas, generic, fabric, printed shopping bags), gently folding tissue paper and corralling a half-dozen rolls of ribbon.
Tip 2: Contain Each type of bag was stored in the largest bag of its kind. I kept the shopping bags because they’re good enough quality to transport lunches, potluck odds-and-ends and other items I’m handing off to friends, and since I didn’t pay for the bags (at least directly), I don’t feel bad throwing them away at my destination.
I also stored the tissue paper and bows/ribbons in gift bags, meaning I had six gift bags of bags to deal with. Lining them up on the floor of my closet was only marginally better than having a huge pile of wrapping there.
I looked for a suitable device to store all my gift wrap, but nothing fit my collection (too few rolls of wrap, too few bows, too many bags), and they were all wildly expensive. (I’m so cheap I don’t throw away used gift bags — I simply couldn’t bear to spend $60 plus shipping to store my used gift bags).
Tip 3: Use vertical space For $8.98, I got four hooks that hold up to 3 pounds of stuff — and I used only three hooks. (Ooh, where should I use the fourth hook?)
So now that mess that formerly took up six square feet of floor space in my office closet is now filling only two square feet (it is probably occupying the same cubic feet, but I can’t do the math on that). In any case, I can actually close the door without worrying about landslides.
Ta da! I can find the bag I need and coordinating tissue paper in a flash.
Now, if I could just organize my receipts so neatly.