Your challenge this week is to organize wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and bows so you can access everything when you need it easily, and yet keep it out of the way the rest of year.
Everyone has to wrap presents now and then, throughout the year, but you are almost guaranteed to need to do this task during the holidays, which is why I chose this week to do this challenge.
While you're doing your last minute gift wrapping it is the perfect time to also organize all of your wrapping supplies and equipment into one area. When you're done you'll have everything ready for use, at your fingertips, when you need it, and can wrap presents with a minimum of effort.
The first step is to gather all of your gift wrapping supplies together, into one area. The advantage of this is that when you need to wrap a gift you don't have to spend the first 15 minutes of the process walking around your home gathering all your equipment together.
Are you new here? This week's challenge, about how to organize wrapping paper and gift bags is part of the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren't already a regular reader).
Here are the things you need to gather together:
If you don't have dedicated scissors and tape that are only used for wrapping gifts, I would highly recommend getting some. These items aren't expensive, and having them right with the rest of your stuff really makes the job of wrapping gifts easier.
The next step in how to organize wrapping paper and gift bags is to pare down the amount of supplies you have, if you've got a mountain of it.
I'm a sucker for cute wrapping paper, especially of the holiday variety, and have tended to buy too much of it. So much, in fact, that for about 5 years now I haven't bought any Christmas wrapping paper at all, once I decided I should use everything I own before buying more.
If you also suffer from "too much gift wrap syndrome" seriously consider getting rid of some of it by decluttering. It will be next to impossible to find a place to store all of it in one area in your home if you've got a lot.
At the least, stop buying more until you use what you've got and plan to put all the Christmas paper in storage with all the rest of your Christmas decoration storage. You won't use holiday paper (and coordinating ribbons, bows, etc.) except during the holiday season anyway, so you can clear out room for the less-seasonal stuff that way.
Eventually, your goal may become to winnow your stash down to 1-2 varieties of wrapping paper and 1-2 colors of ribbons or bows that coordinate. These can become your signature colors that you become known for amongst your friends and family. (Easier said than done, but it is something to aspire too!)
You can check out my list of holiday and Christmas decluttering missions here for even more ideas.
Consider a hanging gift
wrap organizer if you don't
have much space
The next step in how to organize wrapping paper and gift bags is to choose an area to store your supplies. The ideal area will have two characteristics: (1) a large flat surface nearby that you can wrap presents at; and (2) enough storage room to hold all your supplies.
This area doesn't have to be dedicated to gift wrapping 24/7 in your home. Since you only wrap presents every once in a while, this spot should definitely multi-task, and serve other functions most of the time.
Further, when considering what area to choose, think about how often you really need to wrap presents. If you do it only about twice a year, for instance, don't give the storage as prime of real estate as if you've got to wrap presents every single month.
There are all kinds of ways to store your wrapping supplies, with both homemade or commercial products you can use.
The most common storage solutions include those that:
You can read more about the pros and cons of each of these wrapping paper storage solutions here, including my recommendations about the best ones to purchase if you're looking for something new.
An under the bed organizer may work best if you
don't have lots of closet space to store supplies
Which type of storage solution you choose should depend on how many supplies you have, and where you want to create your wrapping center. The possibilities are really endless.
For example, a great way to organize wrapping paper and other supplies without buying a special organizer is to use a dresser, such as in a guest room. You can place your materials and supplies within the drawers and then use the dresser's flat surface to actually wrap the gifts.
No matter how you choose to store and organize wrapping paper, a few actions will help keep that area organized from now on. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
I would love to know how this week's challenge about how to organize wrapping paper and gift bags is going for you. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized this area of your home below in the comments.
I also love before and after pictures, and would love to see some of yours. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall Of Fame. You've worked hard to get organized, so now here's your chance to show off!
You can also read the submissions from others readers that have already been submitted about gift wrap organization ideas, to get some insipration for this challenge.
We're working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don't get too distracted from this week's challenge about how to organize wrapping paper and gift bags.
However, I know we all like to know and plan for what is coming up next, so I'll tell you that next week we're preparing for the new year, and the end of our old calendar, by starting a family calendar to keep track of everyone's activities.