That's a wrap, yo

Who here has actually started Christmas wrapping yet? Not this chick, I’ll tell you that. Then again, I’m big on non material gifts so I never have much to do anyway. Work smarter, not harder, amiright? Regardless of how much or how little wrapping you’re doing this year, everyone should have a designated spot to store the tools needed to get it done. And not just for this time of year, but anytime someone’s birthday, anniversary, housewarming, or baby pops up (or out? Ok, that’s weird, moving on).

Now I’m not going to tell you you need to set aside a whole craft room or spend a ton on storage products (although I will provide some links in the event you want options!). This is more about carving out a small space so you can see everything and not have to be running out to the store last minute for extra tissue paper because you KNOW you have some somewhere but no clue where it is. I’m all about saving time AND moola.

I bought this rolling cart years ago by Honey Can Do (currently on sale at Macy's) and, guys, it’s like the best thing ever. My favorite part is the see through drawers as I’ve never been big on labeling so I can still tell where everything is. It’s big enough to house almost all of my wrapping materials and also all of my crafting/organizing tools. I’m sure I’ll touch on those in the future but for our purposes today, let’s focus on the presents. If you don’t have or want a cart such as this, we’ll explore other options below.

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It came without ribbons

There are a multitude of ways to organize ribbon, from standing dowel rods to wine racks (personally, I can find a way better use for the latter). Because I’m all about minimalism, less is more. You don’t need every color under the rainbow but rather the basics. The less you have of something, the easier it is to organize it. Rocket science, I know. So, keeping between 5-10 spools of ribbon isn’t hard to organize. I simply lay them flat in a shallow drawer, labeling some with a Sharpie so they’re even easier to grab. I also keep a few small fabric gift bags, perfect for giving jewelry *wink wink*

It came without tags

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Really going to sound like a broken record but the less you have, the easier your life becomes. Keep just a few tags on hand and, again, you can lay them flat in a shallow drawer. Since they don’t take up much space at all, I utilize the rest of the drawer for scissors, a gift wrap cutter, Scotch tape, and a Sharpie.

It came without packages, boxes or bags

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Most small to medium gift bags and boxes fit laying flat in these drawers as well. I always keep plain white boxes in different sizes as they’re really great for clothes or other hard to wrap items. I try to also keep a few generic gift bags and plain white tissue paper together. It may not mean the fanciest or most colorful wrapping job but it does...the job. And honestly, it’s about what’s inside that counts. For those boxes or bags that are too big to fit in the drawers, along with wrapping paper (probably the most annoying objects to store), I have a separate bin from Home Goods that I tuck away on the floor on my closet and simply pull out when it's time to wrap!

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As I said, if you don’t want or have the space for a cart like this, there are plenty of other ways to store the goods. There are over the door organizers that work great for the insides of closets. There are under the bed organizers that will fit most lengths of wrapping paper rolls and slide in and out (plus the fact that it zippers keeps things from getting dusty). Another pretty cool idea is taking a bucket - such as one you would use to wash the car - and wrapping a tool belt around it. The belt would hold the smaller items, such as scissors, etc. and the bucket would house the wrapping paper, etc. I gave my mom this hamper once and apparently it was too “nice” to keep in the bathroom (this woman, I swear) so instead I made her turn it into her wrapping paper storage!

With less than two weeks to go until Christmas, now is the time to start wrapping gifts as you buy them. If you wrap a little at a time, it prevents you from being overwhelmed at the 11th hour. I’ve heard complaints that when you wrap too early, you forget what’s what or what’s for who. Simple solution : make a list of everything you buy (even if it’s a note in your phone) and who you are giving it to and then when you wrap it, place a label with their name on it. Having all of your materials accessible should also help keep the stress at bay so I truly hope this helps! Now, pour some hot chocolate, put on an awful Hallmark Christmas movie, and get to wrapping! And, whatever you do, don’t freak out like Betty Lou Who...