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Too much gift wrap & gift bags

Posted by bj_inatlanta (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 26, 07 at 9:33

My earlier post evaporated into computer outer space. I'm lost in the length of posting on the "Too much" thread and hope everyone will agree to a new subdivision for gift wrap, gift bags, and gifts bought in advance.

OK, I'm lazy and fumble-fingered so I love to use paper gift bags with coordinating tissue and hanging tags. How do you store this so you can reasonably access the various sizes??

I always end up with gifts (like big tools for DH) that are in huge boxes or require boxes, so I can't bag them. That means rolls of gift wrap. And, I'm cheap/poor so I use el cheapo curling ribbon. (Also never could tie a pretty fabric ribbon bow). Thanks to Celtic and tally sue I'll toss the printed Christmas wrap and use white paper with holiday color ribbon.

Lastly, we have some health problems that create sudden crises--never know when--so I like to buy gifts way in advance. Some I even wrap ahead. Lots of stuff to store.

Building a new house. I wrap on Dining Room table and have planned a closet into the Dining Room. After serving pieces and table linens, I figure I have half the closet for wrap of all these types and gifts.

Any ideas for how to handle the entire gifting scene?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

I have a Longaberger Caddy basket that I use for my rolls of ribbon. It works perfect. But you could obviously put a dowel rod in the top of your closet for your ribbon spools. I would have half of your closet be shelfless, like a broom closet, and use a rubbermaid wrapping paper holder, just make sure it fits before you design the closet. Get measurements. The other half, have a closet system installed, or DIY from a home store. Have a purpose for each shelf. One shelf for pre-bought gifts, one shelf for supplies in a clear, plastic shoe box with a hinged lid. You would also have room for another box with cards, and you could divide by occasion with extra large notecard divider tabs. One shelf for gift bags and tissue paper. Use a tall, narrow basket or clear plastic container(even better) for your gift bags so you can see what you've got and flip through them to pick what you want, kind of like a flip file. For your extra large, mondo bags, I would fold them at the bottom and store with the stand up gift wrap. Those will be tough, being so large.
You could also have a corkboard put on the inside of the closet door for yearly birthdays and anniversaries, plus any invitations you receive. And maybe a running list of current gifts you have on hand, so you dont'have to dig through what's on the shelf to see what you've got.
As for having too much wrap and bags, go through and get rid of(sell, give away) any you have not used in the past year. Don't keep an abundance of 1 type(baby) or color. I buy jumbo, cost effective rolls of solid color paper(hot pink, yellow, green) and then I just use different ribbon and bows to match the occasion. All the gifts look different, yet uniform. I have found this way so much simpler than buying wrap for a specific occasion.
Hope that helps! You have inspired me to build some kind of wrapping center into our new home we are building!


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

Good topic.

A section of extremely closely spaced labeled shelves might help keep the bags sorted by size and the papers sorted by color. Art studios and map stores have drawers and wire contraptions for thin horizontal storage of different paper. Or maybe deploy your top shelf into vertical slots for the bags on end. You'd only have to reach the bottom of a bag to select it, so it is a good use of high vertical space.

An alternative would be to commit to a style, a narrow range of color, and buy only items that coordinate. Your cache will get easier to manage and work with over time.

I became too frustrated with my disarray of bags and (increasingly wrinkled) papers. Never seemed to have the right size bag or the right colored paper for the right sized bag. I need simplicity. So I ditched all of it. My plan is to use brown kraft paper or white butcher's paper with very nice wide ribbon - black satin ribbon for a classy look and bright ribbon for a more fun look. Should I come across a roll of heavy, plain bright colored paper at a good price, I *might* expand my options. But no more patterned papers, gift bags and tissue papers for me. Lots easier to store ribbons.


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

you've got a huge head start over the rest of us in terms of INFRASTRUCTURE! (I love that word--but not as much as I love the word 'penultimate")

Now you just need to customize the inside of that infrastructure:
--Vertical slots to hold the gift bags (you can make this by standing a box on its side, perhaps--try the boxes that 4 gallons of paint come in, from the paint store). Put in a few slots, and you can sort into small, medium, and large.

OR....put in some long hooks, like this harness hook either on the side of the closet, or on the back of the door, to hang them on. I'v eseen nicer looking ones than this, that are about 5 inches or 8 inches long; the kind they mount on the wall in little doctor offices w/ hangers, for you to hang your coat on. But I can never find them online.

--shelves or cubbies you can use to lay the gift wrap on its side, much the way fabric stores lay their rolled fabrics on their sides--this will keep the ends of the paper from getting qute so dinged up as they do when you stand them on end. Just don't let the cubbies get TOO big, so that you don't stack too many on top of one another.

You *could* hang a curtain rod or two on the back of the door to hang the papers horizontally to pull them off, but you probably will want the longest paper you can get (since you only wrap BIG gifts), and they might be too long for that.

And of course, fewer papers. If you usually wrap only BIG boxes, you need a few rolls of all-purpose paper that are the LONG size (kraft paper and butcher's paper may be too short for you).

Tissue paper--forgot tissue paper. Which is an important ingredient that gift-bag users need. Put very-closely-spaced shelves in there, so you can lay the tissue paper flat on the shelf, but not stacked too deep.

The ideal would be "just in time" gift-bag buying, but you've said that sort of approach doesn't really work for you.

If you're a "don't make me fuss" sort of person, and esp. if you only wrap BIG present, I'd say skip the ribbon. Go w/ bows, if you want adornment. I keep mine in a midsize plastic bin, and I'm careful not to squish them in, so they don't get deformed. That's all I need.

Then, of course, shelves you can put the wrapped gifts on. (just don't put bows on them until it's tim eto deliver them; then you can safely stack if you like.

I agree that if you stick w/ a basic color scheme (say, blues), then you can simplify things by mostly having tissue paper in a couple of blue colors, and maybe a yellow or pink now and then to break up the monotony. (you could also be on a blue kick for a little while, and then slowly slide over to yellow, for example, so as not to get bored)

And I'd like to urge you to consider the "buying generic gifts in advance" idea. To buy a *specific* gift in advance (your sister's bday is next month; get her that scarf you think she'd like now), that's one thing. But I know people who buy just "stuff" (a book w/ friendship saying; a vase; a frame) to use "just in case," and that always makes me think perhaps those folks just shouldn't give a gift at all on those occasions. "It's the thought that counts," they say, but those sorts of gifts don't really involve that much thought. I wish that we'd all just stop giving so many presents, and stick to ONLY birthdays, weddings, and Christmas. OK, wives & husbands can exchange anniversary presents, but nobody else.


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

On HGTV's Mission Organization Show they put together a wrapping center. What made a lasting impression on me was that they used a metal shoe rack (the one where the bars go accross and are at different levels) then they draped the tissue over the bars, like colors with like colors. It was light and portable and fit under a premade table surface in the closet. I think the bags were in clear boxes labeled "Bags". As for me I have my bags sorted by size season (ie xmas, easter, halloween, baby, etc) then they are further sorted by size for my everyday bags. I use one of the bags in that size to store the other bags of similar size and they all go into a large plastic box.

I really need to go through my stuff and PURGE...I have so many bags because I do alot of entertaining but no one recipricates so I get stuck with them.

I love these forums, they have helped me with alot of stuff. My kids laugh about forum friends : )
Heidi


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

I do alot of entertaining but no one recipricates

Isn't that sad? NONE of those people are reading their etiquette books.

When someone invites you to dinner, you are not obligated to bring a gift (gifts are only given when you stay overnight). You ARE obligated to return the invitation. I think people are bringing gifts in an attempt to buy their way out of the obligation--and they shouldn't!

(like I said, I think people *give* too many gifts. If I ever invite you to dinner, please don't bring ANYTHING! Not a gift, not food. Not even flowers, bcs that means i have to stop and put them in a vase, and I don't have anywhere to put them anyway--the table's full of food, so is the buffet, and the living-room end tables have lamps that fill them up.)

Oh---TISSUE PAPER: Maybe *that* would be the thing to hang on the back of the door, so it doesn't get wrinkled. Maybe a swivel or hinged curtain rod, to make it easier to load them?


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

Well you could always take the plain white paper/kraft paper idea to the next level and just buy plain bags as well, there'd be less to store then and you'd only have to sort by size. Even if you bought different colored ones, but that are solid colors instead of "themed", it'd be easier to sort.

I have a ribbon box where you can just toss in the little rolls of curling ribbon, pull out the end and it pokes out the side of the box. So I can see the colors I have and don't have to open the lid.

Ideas for tissue paper (my tissue paper is all white and sits inside my rubbermaid wrapping paper bin, so these are just brainstorm ideas):
Maybe hang on a skirt hanger that has the little "clothes pin" type grabbers on either side - or just use clothes pins on a regular hanger.
Or how about one of those pant hangers that's meant to hold multiple pairs of pants, would it drape over those?


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

I'm thinking about the tissue possibilities....

Jenathegreat: Perfect! When I use up all these printed bags I just buy plain ones. And they're much cheaper too at my local JoAnn's or the dollar stores. In lots of colors.

Talley sue nyc: Who are these people who're giving all these gifts? I like what you've said about generic gifts and all. We don't do that. Sometimes my husband bakes a cheesecake but sneaks it in for the hostess to keep for herself another time. Figure hostesses don't want their menu disrupted. He uses his Italian family recipe (he's from Queens) and it's very treasured.

I do like to buy a special gift for everyone for Christmas and I buy for my parents for mother's/father's day and for any young children on their birthdays. I like to buy when I see something I know someone would like. Can't stand to wait till right before the occasion and buy what I can find at the time. Works for me.


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Sounds more like too much gifting...

I wish that we'd all just stop giving so many presents, and stick to ONLY birthdays, weddings, and Christmas.

My family started a holiday gift exchange that saves money, time, and cuts down on clutter. Everyone participating wraps up a 'regift' - it must be a previously received gift. We draw numbers from a hat, then select from the pile of wrapped gifts. Trading is allowed after opening. (Some versions allow 'stealing' after opening your gift). Much reduced stress than usual, and a lot of fun.

-Lena


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

Gift Cards! They don't require any wrapping paper.


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

I think the white and kraft paper suggestions are good. We've been whittling down our stash of decorated wrapping papers and if we ever get through it all (down to one box now) I won't buy more. I just keep everything in clear plastic boxes on a shelf in the garage - a long one for the paper rolls and a square one for bows and ribbons. And one big bag that holds all of the other gift bags. I usually don't have to buy gift bags as I just re-use the ones I get.

For really big items that are hard to wrap I write up a hint in a little box as to where the real, unwrapped present can be found (attic, closet, shed, neighbor's house, car trunk). You can make this as simple (one hint) or as complicated (treasure hunt) as you like.


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

Wrapping paper is one of those things I won't give much space in my home. We have a low dresser in the dining area with long, shallow drawers. Lousy for clothing, but great for rolls. I keep one kid oriented paper and one all purpose. I keep my holiday paper with my decorations. I don't like gift bags, so I don't use them. I rarely use ribbon, but find having white ribbon will handle those few times I want it.

This dresser is perfect for envelopes and stamps, batteries, camera, etc. I can't imagine not having it in our dining or living room.

Gloria


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

I bought a very shallow but long plastic under-bed storage container with a lid (Walmart). It has wheels on it. It holds the long rolls of wrapping paper, tissue, bags, ribbon, tape, cards and scissors--everything you'd need to wrap a gift. It easily slides under the bed in the spare room. Perfection. No more searching for this and that. I LOVE it!
Hope this helps.


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

I had so much wrapping paper and bows. I noticed that they ended up in bad shape, wrinkled, torn, sometimes even damp, from storing in a basement closet. So I threw it all away, replaced with neutral, generic paper that I now keep in a plastic box in an upstairs closet. For Christmas I buy red and green ribbon and do fancy tying (bows and loops).


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

One other thought that hasn't been expressed on this thread, and that might help with "big lumpy gifts" problem:

Make cloth gift bags--drawstring ones. In holiday colors or in other colors. I have a set that we use and reuse, and it's really great!

You could even make a really HUGE one or two to hold the power tools the OP is buying for her DH.

But you could make enough so that you were willing to give a few of them to people who might take them home. It could still be less repetitive work.

They don't get damaged easily; they can be ironed or laundered. They're easily stored, too--stick 'em in a box.


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

I don't have but a few rolls of paper, and I store it on end in an empty soda box. The kind that holds 12 can for the fridge.


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

We're planning a closet -- typical hall closet size -- that'll have a lock instead of a doorknob; thus, it'll be accessible only to me and my husband. This closet'll have shelves top to bottom, and maybe basket type shelves on the inside of the door for bows, ribbons and so forth. The closet will serve a couple purposes:

- gun safe
- purchased-ahead gifts
- gift wrap
- a small amount of cash that we keep on hand

As for buying ahead, I do pretty well with it. It's rare that I buy something that just sits around forever and ends up at Goodwill. When I wrap things, I just do basic wrap and use a sticky note to remind me what the item is. I add the bow at the last minute so that I can stack boxes without messing up th wrappers.

I like the idea of putting your gift wrap items near the dining room. Practical and efficient.


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

For paper rolls, I used wide grosgrain ribbon and thumbtacks -- just wrapped the ribbon around the top of the rolls and tacked it into the wall -- made a "container" for the rolls where they aren't falling all over the place.

I had a perfect size cardboard shipping box -- tall and wide but not too deep -- that I put all of my gift bags in, like a file system. All the tissue paper is folded neatly in the front of the gift wrap box.

Curling ribbon is in it's own plastic container in the office cabinet (which is a large armoire). I bought a beautiful second-hand dining room table that I refinished and use as my office desk, so I have a nice big area in there to wrap.


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RE: Too much gift wrap & gift bags

DayByDay.., I'm intrigued by your grosgrain ribbon / thumbtack solution. Can you show a pic?


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