If you are one of those super organized, ultra stylish people that has plenty of time to create grand, artistic gifts so elegant the receiver hates to open them, turn away now. If you’re like me and often realize your son has a birthday party to attend just half an hour before he’s due to arrive, keep reading. This is totally for you.
Every holiday, every birthday, every possible occasion, it happens. You fumble and fuss, trying to remember where you last saw the tape, the cards, the wrapping paper. And you could swear there was a perfect gift bag around here, somewhere.
I know, because I do it, too. Or, rather, did do it. Until I got completely fed up one recent afternoon and finally took the time to get all of my giving materials together in one little corner of my laundry room. If for no other reason than to save my already waning sanity. And you know what? SO much better (the organization, not the sanity).
If I hadn’t been doing the whole nerd-o blogger has-to-take-pictures-of-each-and-every-step-of-something-her-readers-might-find-useful thing, I seriously would have been done in under 15 minutes. And you can, too because if I can create something that’s actually orderly, anybody can.
All you need:
1. Use what you have! All of the gift wrapping paraphernalia that’s lying in various places around your house right now. So, rolls of wrapping paper, bags, tissue, cards, labels, tape. Go collect all of it. If you already have it all in one general area, you’re ahead of most of us. Once it’s all assembled together, it’s also a great time to take a little inventory and make note of anything you need so you’re not rushing around the next time you have to quickly throw a gift together. I like to buy packages of kids birthday cards and keep them on hand for birthday parties my son goes to, so this was one thing I realized I was low on when doing my own inventory. I stocked up on them again, just in time for his next round of invites!
2. Small-ish organizer-type bins and / or boxes– even shoeboxes will do. If you’re like me, you have some lying around already, which you may or may not have bought on sale ages ago, thinking you’d use them for something like this and then never did.
3. A spot to put it all in once you have it organized. Make sure this spot is accessible to make it that much easier to throw a nicely wrapped gift together at a moment’s notice.
For my own little spot, I chose a small section of open shelving that was available in my laundry room. I found a few pretty containers and a small organizer unit with drawers, gathered my gift bags, wrap, tags and embellishments, then got to work putting it all together. Now, believe me when I say, I am not the queen of organization. At all. So all the credit for how well this turned out goes directly to the designers of those pretty storage boxes- they really do make a big difference and turn what could be a boring and ugly wrap zone into something even Martha might approve of. And if she doesn’t, well hey… my mom liked it.
I used separate boxes and containers for each of the following:
- pens, markers, rubber stamps, ink pads, scissors, hole punch, paper clips, etc.
- gift bags and tissue (I organized mine by occasion, but size is also a great way to do it)
- tags, labels, gift cards
For rolls of gift wrap, I just used the shelves to stack them, but if you have some of those actual gift wrap storage containers, all the better.
Arrange your stuff in a way that is both practical for when you need to get to it quickly, and hopefully easy on the eyes as well. Making it pretty isn’t a requirement, but for the sake of aesthetics, it is fun and pleasing to create and enjoy.
And that’s all it takes! Carving out a little space and taking just a little while to get it all together makes things so much easier when you’re short on time before that next big party. The 15 minutes or so that it takes will save you countless minutes of fumbling and searching later. Totally worth it.
Do you have a gift zone or craft area like this one in your house? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks for keeping it organized- be sure to share in the comments below!
Creating a gift basket? We’ve got a great post on how to easily create a professional looking treat for someone special in this post about easy gift basket assembly.