Wrapping it up

Today’s post is all about ideas to keep wrapping paper from over-running our storage spaces. Isn’t it amazing how needy a few rolls of paper and some bows can be when you want to keep them corralled out of the way?

Image courtesy of kevinandjenna.com

Frankly, I’ve been relieved when I heard clients grumble about this, too. Sometimes it’s nice to know you aren’t alone in household organization issues, even if they are inconveniences.

I have a few solutions to suggest and not just about keeping everything tidy. There are two things I did to solve my own wrapping paper issues and I have since helped clients solve this problem. Here’s the first solution, which solves 70% of the problem:

Stop Buying It

The first part of this step is the examining the idea of wrapping paper. It’s beautiful. Its very nature promises to be a part of happy occasions in your future. When you need new/more wrapping paper, you can already picture yourself using it in a joyous setting.

In a way, a wrapping paper can also be a representation of your own style. It’s like a great wallpaper that you don’t have to really commit to and you can share it with friends as you give it away.

Have you ever bought a particular wrapping paper just for a special gift? Can you understand how seductive a product wrapping paper can be when it is all lined up beautifully in your favorite store? This is exactly what we have to stop buying into. Our overly-emotional connection to all-things-gift-giving is the need that so many smart retail marketers are capitalizing upon. This emotional response to pretty paper can lead to a lot of over-buying.

Image courtesy of woosterandprince.com

The second part of this first step is even easier: stop actually buying more paper. Many of us have a perfectly functional roll of wrapping paper, but sometimes feel the need for something different/less “old”. Or we see something new in a store and want to add it to what we have at home to “be prepared” for future gift needs.

Step away from that new wrapping paper. The paper you have at home is not “old”, it’s just not new to you. Is your gift recipient going complain that they saw the same wrapping paper on a gift you gave to someone else last year? Have you ever heard someone complain about a choice of wrapping paper?  I’m guessing you answer “no” to these questions. Let’s get down to what we really need and reclaim some of that precious storage space. On to Step 2!

Use What You Have

This step means exactly what you think it means. Use up most of what you have before buying any more paper. When you have worked down to almost-out-of-paper, I have a suggestion for your next paper purchase. This method works in our house, and now also works in the homes of a some friends and clients.

Buy three jumbo rolls of paper. Here’s how to choose them:

Paper #1: This paper should be elegant and sophisticated. I like a black and white pattern, which allows me to use any color bow with it. I also like a paper with black on it because it allows me to use it easily for guy gifts.

This is great example of Paper #1 and it's on sale. Just click on the picture to link to the retailer.

Paper #2: This paper should be a floral pattern. You can use it for feminine gifts and romantic occasions during the year, such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, wedding/baby showers, etc.

Paper #3: For Parents  Choose one great, all-purpose kid-themed paper (with balloons, confetti, puppies, etc.). This should cover you for the 1001 events that call for kid gifts, including those for your own child. You can also wrap gifts for kids in either of the other two papers listed above.

Paper #3: For Non-Parents Choose one more classic pattern using the same guidelines as Paper #1. You can now mix and match all three papers easily.

These three papers should be all that you need for “Everyday”gift wrapping. You can read about how I handle Christmas wrapping paper over-load right here. Most importantly, you’ve saved some money and you only need to store three rolls of wrapping paper.

Store What You Use

The easiest way to store gift wrap is to find a good container to fit your storage area of choice. Trash bags may work great for many people storing rolls of paper under the guest bed, but they aren’t really practical for a basement table or the back of a closet.

Linked in the pictures below are the gift wrap containers that we use in our home and that I recommended for clients based on their storage needs. Less is more in the world of storage. Less stuff, more space.

Many people like the under-the-bed storage plan, which is easy to get to and can be put away quickly.

This container holds many rolls of wrapping paper, which would cover your “Everyday” papers and your Christmas needs. It has four interiors tubs, perfect for tape and scissors and gift bows/ribbon. I like that you could even use the lid as a hard wrapping surface if you were wrapping gifts on carpet or a bed.

We don’t have room for gift wrap under our bed in our home (we keep off-season clothing there), but we do have extra space in our coat closet. This is the gift wrap organizer we use:

It hangs up nicely and we can get to it easily. I keep one wrapping roll pocket full of Christmas paper and the other full of “Everyday” paper. I really like the gift bags storage pockets on the back. I use one to keep wine gift bags handy and the other for tissue paper and kitchen gift goodie bags. It even has little side pockets for tape and scissors.

Fo those of you looking for something more flexible, this bag can sit nicely in a corner of a closet or any other room you may use for storage.

This zip-close bag could also lay flat on a shelf or under a bed, without any bows, ribbons or gift tags spilling out.

There are lots of larger containers out there for wrapping paper supplies, but I’ve passed on those on purpose. Sometimes these bigger containers just give us reason to hold onto things we don’t need. Consider downsizing your wrapping paper collection and see if this another great place to save money in your household budget.

What are other areas of your home do you find difficult to keep organized? Leave them in a comment below and I’ll pull together some solutions in a future post. We all have similar clutter issues. Why not share ideas for solving them?

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Posted on June 30, 2011, in Lifestyle, Organization. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I definately need to get one of these paper organizers! Do you know of any retail stores (i.e. target, etc..) that sell these?

    • Tammy,

      Great question! The biggest obstacle is finding one of these organizers outside of the Christmas season. I have seen the last organizer in the post (the red bag) at Wal-Mart. It is a Rubbermaid product and Wal-Mart carries a lot of Rubbermaid brand products, so that might be a great source for other appropriately sized options.
      Also, Target has this organizer available at a decent price online, but not in stores.
      Hope this helps!

  2. My MIL made me one of those hanger bags. I would guess you could find a pattern pretty easily OR maybe find someone on Etsy selling them.

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