I love prettily wrapped packages, but I so often find myself without as much time as I want to make that happen. So, when it is time to wrap gifts the last thing I want to pull out is messy gift wrap supplies consisting of wrapping paper, tissue, gift bags, boxes, and ribbons.
It is almost time to wrap gifts that must be mailed. It seems like the deadline to mail gets earlier and earlier. If you are like me, you want to allow some extra time because that time is not guaranteed.
Before starting my wrapping process, I took 10 minutes to organize my gift wrap supplies. Diane Quintana and I have created a deck of cards, Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time, to help people complete any organizing task without stress.
While we don’t have a card that reads “Gift Wrap Supplies” we do have cards that can come close to most any organizing project. I chose the one that said, “Laundry Room Shelf”.
Here are the steps I followed to organize the gift wrap supplies:
- Pull out all the supplies:. For me this was 3 containers: one with rolls of wrapping paper, a bag of tissue, some bubble wrap, and scissors and tape; one with gift bags and collapsed boxes; one with ribbons and package decorations.
- Sort and consolidate items. I put all the tissue paper in one bag. Then I sorted the gift bags into two categories: Christmas and other. Finally, I sorted the ribbons by type.
- Put everything that does not belong in a bag to go elsewhere. For this step I found some tags that go with Christmas cards and do not belong with the gift wrap supplies. There were also bits and pieces of wrapping paper or tired looking paper that I put into the trash or recycle bin.
- Neatly replace items. I put all items back into the containers in a way that makes sense to me. Wine gift bags went to the side of the bag container as they were long and thin. The collapsed boxes went to the other side. I took a large Christmas bag to hold all the Christmas gift bags and a large birthday bag to hold the remainder of the bags. Then I rolled up any loose ribbon and put the rolls in the ribbon container. Finally, I tossed one almost used roll of paper that was looking tired and put the rest back.
- Replace the items in their correct spot. My gift wrap supplies live in the bottom of a closet, so it was easy to scoot them back into place.
This all took slightly less than 10 minutes. Now when I go to wrap my gifts I will be able to find the gift wrap supplies I need easily. That makes the thought of wrapping gifts less overwhelming.
From working with my clients, I realize that I have fewer gift wrap supplies than most people. If you have lots of gift wrap supplies, you may want to separate the steps I took into individual 10 minutes segments.
For instance, spend 10 minutes on rolls of paper. Then spend 10 minutes sorting and organizing gift bags. Finally spend 10 minutes working on the ribbons and box decorations. That is still a small investment of time to have all your gift wrap supplies organized and ready when you want to wrap gifts.
As you work through your process, think about how many supplies you need in any one category.
Ask yourself the following questions:
How many gifts do you wrap each year?
Do you usually use wrapping paper from a roll, or do you use gift bags?
If you have gift bags that you bought to support a fund raiser that really are not your style donate them.
Maybe you have ribbons that you have saved for years but never have used. It’s time to let them go. The fewer gift wrap supplies you keep the less mess you will have. Then it will be easier to wrap those gifts quickly.
This is not the time of year to dig into huge organizing projects. But it is a great time to work on small tasks that can be accomplished in 10 minutes or less. To help you get started check out our deck of cards Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time. Those simple 10-minute tasks will lessen the stress in your home.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release Repurpose Reorganize, LLC. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.