Sunday, September 26, 2010

How to Organize Gift Wrapping Supplies

Do your gift wrapping supplies look a little like this? Are your rolls of wrapping paper getting torn or dirty because the storage is less than ideal?

Well, the holiday season is approaching ready for all that gift wrapping by organizing your supplies. You will get less stressed and spend less money since you'll be able to find that spool of ribbon that matches the wrapping paper you have. So, without further ado:

1. Pull it all out. Throw away any odds and ends that are torn, ripped, or otherwise in bad shape. Sort the rest into piles of like items (all the wrapping paper together, the ribbon together, the bags, etc).

2. Consider your storage space. Where does it make the most sense to have your supplies? Where do you have the space for them? Think under the bed, in a closet, under stairs, laundry room, or in a chest. Once you know where you want these items to live, now think about what storage container would fit best. If it's under the bed, look for under the bed storage unit. If it's in a closet, a laundry basket might work well. If it's behind a door, you'll need to get an over the door shoe rack with see through pockets for your items. Take any measurements that you need to.

3. Shop! My favorite. Look online for options. Then go to the store. If you reverse these, you may end up frustrated or with storage that doesn't actually work for you. Some of my favorite container stores are Target, Hobby Lobby, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Ikea, and The Container Store. Some things to consider while shopping:
  • The time of year you shop. After Christmas is a great time because there are more container options available than the rest of the year, and the sales are great. 
  • Think about clear. Yes, baskets are pretty but they are not practical. You need to be able to see what's in the container at a glance. 
  • Remember that you'll need something tall for the wrapping paper. There are plastic containers that you can buy for that purpose. Or even trash cans can work well for this. Or you can make something. Next time you're at Costco (or Sams or BJ's) ask if they have any tall boxes. If so, grab one and you can store the rolls of wrapping paper in them, cutting the boxes down if you need to.
  • Glass jars can look great for ribbon, bows, etc. if you have the space for it.
  • Free standing paper towel holders also look cute holding the spools of ribbon.
  • If you have a desk or bookcase that you are planning on using for the items, screw a dowel rod into it and put ribbon or even the wrapping paper on it. Just be sure that you rig it so you can slide the dowel rod out so you can change what you put on it.
  • There are also hanging organizers for closets that you can buy. And this one is really cool.
4. Put it all together. Put your like items together in the drawer or system that you chose. If you have a label maker, label the items for quick reference or for husbands (sorry guys). Then step back and marvel at how much more simple your life will now be.

Keep in mind that you can go as fancy as you want to. Want it to look like Martha Stewart did it herself? You can...but it will cost you time and money. This blog is dedicated to organizing with realistic solutions - which to me means keeping the spending down and using what you already have. That's what I did with my gift wrapping organizing.I used the storage I had already. Plastic stacking drawers. Do I love them? No. They aren't beautiful. They aren't clear. But they work and I don't need to buy anything else. And in this economy...that's saying a lot. I keep my gift bags and wrapping paper rolls in a laundry basket under my stairs. It's easy to get to and the basket keeps them all in one place. Here's what my ribbons looks like:

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