Gift giving season is right around the corner!
And once Halloween is over, we’re jumping into our Gift Guide Series every Friday until Christmas.
So I’m putting a bug in your ear: the holidays are easier to manage and more joyful if you put a little effort into getting organized now.
Back in March, I set up this gift closet and it has been SO useful.
I love gift-giving, evidenced by our very popular Gift Guides.
Giving thoughtful, beautifully wrapped gifts and sending personalized notes is like a love language for me.
So today, I’m sharing how I put our gift closet together, with items I already had around the house, the staples I keep on hand so I can always wrap a gift, without having to run to Target every time and how it helps minimize my anxiety.
How Organizing Helps an Anxious Brain.
I talk pretty openly about my anxiety.
I do many things in my daily life to keep it in check, but the number one factor, for me, is my environment.
If a space is messy and disorganized, I cannot function. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but clutter and chaos are a genuine receipt for disaster for my brain.
I’m really fun to live with.
But I learned something interesting in this process that I wanted to share.
While I feel so much better when things are neat, the process of organizing is also very therapeutic.
For many of us, work is all-consuming.
I work seven days a week, and my mind is always thinking about the business.
And that’s okay, it’s where I am in life, and I love what I do.
My challenge is that the nature of what I do is never-ending.
When you create content every week, it resets. So in many ways, whatever I wrote and produced the week before doesn’t matter.
The constant need to develop something creative and relevant is draining.
I discovered that the feeling of starting and finishing a project, like creating a gift closet, gives me an energizing sense of accomplishment, like a little shot of dopamine.
And the finality that comes with it, the fact that the project is over, is very calming.
Plus, the process of putting things in place helps me put my thoughts in place/
So creating a spot for everything is wildly beneficial for how my home and brain function.
Anyhoo, I digress.
Why a Gift Closet is Helpful
My gift closet came out of a larger project we took on last spring.
A few years ago, we converted our garage to a gym and office, leaving us with just a storage room in our basement to store everything.
And it quickly turned into a disaster.
When we got in there and started to purge and sort items, I realized there was gift wrap everywhere.
Christmas gift wrap was in the storage room, shoved on a dark and dusty shelf; gift bags were under my bed; stationary was on my desk, and tissue paper was in a random drawer.
We had a lot of nice, usable things, but I was still running to Target every time I needed to wrap a gift.
So I devised a solution by creating a stand-alone gift closet to house everything in one neat and pretty space.
I needed to add a piece of (inexpensive) furniture, but you can take these ideas and put them to use in a closet or drawer, even in a box, as long as you keep everything together and it functions for you.
We’ve had this for over six months now, and I can say with certainty it’s saved me so much time and money.
6 Steps to Creating a Gift Closet
Isn’t she pretty?
Designate a Space
I spent a couple of days looking around the house and using Pinterest as inspiration to decide the best space to utilize.
People have a lot of room to spare online!
But I didn’t have many options. Every closet and corner of our home is being used for something else.
It turns out that I had about 3 feet of wall space next to my desk down in our bonus room.
We use this room for many things, but you saw it featured in our recent post, How to Create a Guest Room When You Don’t Have One.
So I pushed my desk over a bit and purchased this small white pantry closet on Amazon.
The closet is the only thing I had to buy.
Then I ran around and gathered everything we had: gift wrap, tissue paper, stationery, bags, ribbon, from all over the house.
Like editing your wardrobe, you want to have everything in one spot before editing down.
I found things I forgot I had, like the ELF Gift Wrap Cutter I ordered at Christmas last year, but it arrived after I finished wrapping.
When it was all in a pile, I couldn’t believe how much I had.
Editing down was easy. You can trash and recycle all the ripped slivers of paper and ribbon.
I was holding on to a good amount of junk I was never going to use.
Getting rid of it feels so great.
Organize With Purpose
Now for the fun part.
I thought about the space and how I wanted it to function.
What’s nice is there is a large table in the middle of the room, so I have a surface to work on.
With that in mind, I put everything into categories. And I saved money by using baskets and containers I had lying around.
ALWAYS use what you have first!
The basket on top of the cabinet (from Pottery Barn years ago) holds tissue paper and gift boxes.
I have these acrylic drawers all over my house. I use them for many things, like school supplies,I put them in bathrooms, and my girls’ bedrooms for all their makeup and hair accessories.
Here I put gift wrap tape and gift tags in them.
The green things on top are the ELF gift wrap cutters; they’re pretty cool.
Thank you notes, custom stationery, pens, and stamps are in a desk organizer I bought but never used.
Tip: You can order affordable personalized note cards from ETSY. I had some made for myself and my girls so we can get thank you notes out quickly. They also make lovely gifts!
For ribbons and bows, I had ordered these bins at Target for my pantry, and they were too big, but they work fabulously here!
Probably my favorite part of the space. They are from their Brightroom line and only $12 each.
We dressed them up with labels made on a Cricut.
Then a shelf for gift bags because I’m the crazy lady who saves all the ones that come into the house.
Tip: Look at Target before you step foot in The Container Store. The prices are so much better, and the quality is fantastic.
Another discovery was that I have an abundance of greeting cards. Like, so many cards.
For example, I have not one, not two, but three anniversary cards for my husband that I never gave him. Sorry!
You’ll see a grey box at the bottom of the cabinet where I keep all those cards and other stationery.
And my final wrapping tip, keep a few neutral rolls of wrap on hand.
I like to use craft paper and dress it up with navy ribbon during the year.
To store rolls of gift wrap, I removed one of the shelves so everything could stay inside and sit straight up.
After all the categories had a place, I added anything I thought I would need: scissors, packing tape, pens, markers, stamps, etc.
And then, I added all the little gifts I had stored around the house, mainly in my closet.
The Capri Blue Volcano Candle is one of my favorite scents that everyone loves. They make a fabulous thank you or small hostess gift.
And we always bring a bottle of wine. I have some styled here in the photo above, but have since moved them to our beverage fridge.
Speaking of wine, I just ordered these wine bottle boxes, that hang over the neck of the bottle and you can fill them with little treats.
I’m going to do chocolates with a bottle of champagne, or some flavored salts or special seasonings with olive oil. So many ideas!
Here’s everything I keep on hand so I can wrap just about anything:
Small Wooden Gift Baskets – these are great to corral a lot of tiny gifts and gift cards.
Assorted Boxes – this is an awesome set that has all different shapes and sizes at a great price.
Wine Bags – I recently discovered Lucy Grymes paper supply and her wine bags are so fun and pretty.
Baked Good Packaging – if you like giving homemade treats, I have several of the Kraft Boxes from JHS Home. They are wonderful for breads, muffins and cupcakes, scones, etc.
Leave Room to Grow
Having everything in one place makes putting any kind of gift together easy, and there is plenty of room to add and grow.
Starting next Friday, we’ll start to share all kinds of gift ideas, starting with some of my favorite Hostess Gifts you can give any time of year.
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