That's a wrap! OK, not yet. But we need to wrap it up. Our presents that is!
Hopefully you're already shopping and gathering gifts. The biggest piece of advice I have is WRAP IT WHEN YOU GET IT! You don't have to put it under the tree or anything, just get it wrapped. You may have sneaky children or a nosy spouse, so you don't have to put the name on it yet. But make sure you have a system so you know who it belongs to!
We've used a couple of top secret techniques in the past. For a couple of years we wrapped each persons gift in a different wrapping paper. (Thanks to all the fundraisers we were forced into.) They don't know which is theirs until Christmas morning! That's kind of fun because you can put them under the tree!
There's also the tried and true colored dot system. Sharpie or garage sale dots work great for this! All you have to do it put a tag on it Christmas Eve and you're good to go!
The motto of this week is to Be Prepared. I've got two Eagle Scouts in my house, so this is something we are super familiar with! When it comes to wrapping gifts it's not rocket science, but if you don't have the right tools, it can end up being a big ole mess.
Pull out all your Christmas wrapping, ribbon, boxes, tape, scissors, tags, tissue and bags. We're going to do a quick inventory and PURGE. Yes, purge. It's time to throw away (or donate) the stuff you've been hanging on to for years but are never actually going to use. If you've picked it up and put it back while saying, "I might use that someday" or "that's a really great box", that's your sign to let it go!
If you have a mishmash of wrapping paper, try the one per person technique and clear your stash this year! If you're ready for a change, donate everything and buy the two sided Costco wrapping paper that you will use for several years to come. It's great quality and affordable.
TISSUE PAPER and GIFT BAGS
This really is a problem. As a professional organizer I saw it all! Closets, drawers and bags STUFFED with recycled tissue paper and gift bags. No one, and I mean no one, needs a gigantic stash of mismatched gift bags and recycled tissue paper. It doesn't serve a big enough purpose for the amount of room it takes up. Would you pay $2 to not have that big mess? Well that's all it's going to cost you to buy the bag and tissue paper next time you need one.
If you like to have them on hand, that's great! Generic bags and tissue is the way to go. Now you don't have to wait for a baby boy to be born amongst your family and friends to use that "Welcome Little Guy" gift bag. You can donate it and move on with your life.
Now I understand that this is a compulsion with some people. The gathering of (not using of) ribbon is a time honored tradition. I'm not coming after your stash. But if you have ribbon that is more than a few years old, you may have a problem. I am giving you permission right now to let go of the cut pieces and themed ribbons you've been holding on to for years (decades?). You want to have spools of generic ribbon ready TO USE. Bakers twine is especially versatile and easy to store.
DECORATIVE GIFT BOXES
IMHO these are actually the WORST! They are so beautiful and so inexpensive to buy at HomeGoods and Hobby Lobby. We dream of lavishly wrapping our gifts in beautiful boxes and over the top bows and tags. Sometimes we actually follow through, but more often than not, we STORE these boxes for YEARS. Nope. It's time to end the cycle. Use them this year or get rid of them. Like the gift bags, they don't serve enough of a purpose for the room they take up.
Now this is something I can get behind! I love these things! They are INEXPENSIVE and so so useful! They come in a ton of sizes and can hold any number of things. They also disguise what the gift is with their nondescript rectangular shape. And they STORE FLAT! I highly recommend using these (or from your favorite store) for Christmas and keep a few on hand for the rest of the year.
I firmly believe that every family should have an actual desktop tape dispenser. They are inexpensive, weighted, non-slip and a total time saver! I've never found a ton of plastic tape dispensers around someones home. We just don't buy them like that. But we all use tape! Get the dispenser and buy the rolls in bulk. They are easy to store and then you never have to rifle through the junk drawer to (cross your fingers) find some tape.
This is more of a hot button topic than I realized. People are very connected to their way of addressing gifts. There are the tie taggers (1), the sticker squad (2) and the ornament offerers. Growing up, we were the old school wrapping paper wranglers. We'd use a scrap piece of wrapping paper, fold it in half, cut it to a rectangle and that was the card. Which one are you?? (They are all perfectly acceptable.)
If you're looking for a new idea, or something for those special gifts from Santa, check out these personalized gift tag ornaments in my shop.
We ALWAYS have batteries on hand. Weird flex, I know. The Kirkland brand at Costco are INEXPENSIVE and work great! It's super easy to pick some up and keep them in the drawer. Start running low and just add it to your next Costco run.
Christmas Eve or worse, Christmas morning, is not the time to discover that the batteries were not included! Pick some up this week.
BROKEN HOLIDAY DECOR
While we're talking about tape and batteries, do you have broken ornaments you never get around to fixing? Do you need new batteries for those special decorations? This is the week to fix, mend, tape, glue and power them. Ask yourself, would you rather fix it or get rid of it? Let's make those decisions and not save them again for next Christmas.
Head on over to our Facebook Group and tell us your favorite wrapping techniques! You may find some great ideas from our other members or be the inspiration that someone else needs!
COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Clean and prep for Thanksgiving and get caught up!