While I'm away, traveling for the holidays, I'll be posting a series of guest posts. I've selected these posts for their content, and have edited them as I see fit -- my edits will be made noted inline with the original content, and all photos are my own. Full disclosure: these posts are being sponsored by Extra Space Storage, whom I met at BlogHer earlier this year.
This post is a little masochistic for me...I would LOVE to have space in my house for a Gift Wrapping Station. Maybe someday I will, but for now, I just dream on Pinterest, and set up a temporary station on the dining room table. Good thing my gift wrap is all organized and easy to access in its plastic bins and such. Also, since we fly away for the holidays, and the TSA often unwraps wrapped presents (even in checked luggage), we tend to wrap at our parents' houses once we arrive. Someday, though. Someday...for now, enjoy this post that will torture you a bit. Unless you're one of those lucky folks who has a craft room, and you can set up a gift wrapping station, and I don't want to talk to you. Just kidding. I'm just jealous.
Create Your Own Gift Wrapping Station
In recent years my family started doing a round-robin for Christmas gifts, which means I only have to buy—and wrap—one present each season. Now that my holiday prep is so streamlined, I marvel at how I ever kept sane in the face of a whole pile of gifts demanding to be wrapped. Who has time? And where did I put the scissors anyway?
While I can’t buy more time for you, or convince your family to cut back like mine did, I can tell you how to find the scissors. It’s all about making a concerted effort to keep your wrapping supplies in good order.
The best way to do so is to set up a dedicated gift-wrapping station. Even if you don’t need such a thing year-round (ed note: I wrap presents throughout the year! Justification!), creating one at the beginning of the holiday season might just save your sanity when Christmas and Chanukkah arrive with their inevitable last minute wrapping binges (ed note: Chanukkah starts the day before Thanksgiving in 2013. Get ready, folks).
Here’s how to make your own wrapping command central.
Pick a place: Choose a table or other flat surface that you will keep clear of debris, preferably one large enough hold a spool of wrapping paper.
Stow your paper: Rolls of wrapping paper might be some of the most annoying objects in the world. (ed note: I agree) To marshal them to order, make sure you always secure the end of the roll with a small piece of tape or a rubber band. Then decide how you’ll store them. The options vary depending on whether your station will be permanent or temporary.
The most effective permanent option is a wall-mounted rack. Try building one yourself, and if you have a bookshelf to sacrifice, incorporate that into the plan. Alternately, think about keeping your paper in a large, flat drawer.
If you’re going for a temporary solution, try a vertical bin such as a plastic kitchen trashcan or mesh wastepaper basket. For easy stowing, keep your rolls in a special box designed for wrapping paper, which can be stored for next year without any fuss.
Wrangle your ribbon: If you’re not going to string your ribbon spools on dowels and hang them from your wall-mounted wrapping board, there are other effective solutions. One of the best is using a vertical counter-top paper-towel holder—just stack your spools and get ready to wrap. (ed note: This is a great idea!!) But, as always, make sure the ends of the rolls stay secured with tape; organized ribbon tangles just as easily. ed note: And what about when the end disappears into the roll? So frustrating.
Control your supplies: The odds and ends of wrapping are what gets me in trouble. Scissors, rolls of tape, little cards, and other decorations always end up spewed everywhere. Of course then I can’t find any of it, no matter how close at hand it all is. One great suggestion for keeping all this in order is a hanging toiletry bag. Include anything that might be helpful—a hole punch, a glue stick, pens, double-sided tape, bows, tags, and of course, scissors.
If you want a more stylish solution, consider attractive bins, baskets, and buckets of all sizes to keep things in sight and organized. You can reuse containers and other items from around the house. Here’s a gift-wrap station that employs a crib rail to hang gift bags and miniature buckets to organize markers and tags.
The solutions can be creative, but the priority for your wrapping station should be organization so you can release the best of your creativity on your gifts.
What’s your favorite wrapping organization solution?