By Tracie Utter
It is time to give a gift, you are under pressure, and time is scarce. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go to one spot in your home and find a gift to give, something to wrap it in, and a card? Oh! You might need scissors and tape too. It’s not as far-fetched as you think. A couple of steps and you’re there.
Basically, all you have to do is designate an area in your house where everything can be stored and get it there. Hopefully, this project doesn’t seem overwhelming but working up the energy to get it done might, so get yourself motivated. Here are a couple of good reasons why a gift center is helpful:
+ So you know what you have and where it is located
+ So you can wrap presents attractively
+ So you don’t re-gift inappropriately, mark the original gift indicating the source
+ So you can act quickly when under pressure to give
+ So you don’t purchase too many supplies
Still need more motivation? If you are a person that does things at the last minute, having a gift center will reduce stress. In those precious minutes before you walk out the door to a party, you will be able to find everything in one area in a matter of seconds. Here’s what you need to do:
Where? Locate an area in your home that is out of the way. This is not an area that you will visit often so find a space that is not heavily used.
How big of an area? Enough to hold several large containers, especially the rolling kind. That might mean a small closet or a portion of a large closet, an area under the bed, or a couple of shelves in the basement. You do not have to have enough room to actually wrap the gift, just enough to store the supplies.
What to include? Wrapping paper, gift bags, a pair of scissors, tape (take a black Sharpie and write “gift center” on them), ribbons, and anything associated with wrapping gifts. Throughout the year, get all the extra bows, ribbon, and embellishments to this central location.
What else to include? Anything that can be given as a gift. This includes gifts you received, can’t return, and don’t want: wedding gifts, hostess gifts, gift cards, or things you have two of. Also include things you bought and never used: candles, clothing, books, movies, games, items bought on sale or on impulse. Also include things you bought with the intention of giving them as gifts. If you tend to forget what you buy, problem solved, it is all in one location.
Tip: if your gift center is overflowing, stop buying. Keep giving gifts until you have more room, then restock. Do not use “gift buying” as an excuse to buy clutter. November through January is a perfect time for you to start your gift center. As things come in and you find supplies throughout your house, get them to this central location.