Wednesday, January 12, 2011

4 Reader Space: Wrap your brains around this storage solution!

That's right!  You probably guessed from the "out there" title that today we are heading back to the topic of gift wrap!  And seriously, how many of you shuttered this year when it was time to pull out all of your wrapping gear?  Or at each holiday/birthday, when you have to dig for ribbons and boxes and bags.... oh the horror!

Of course, in a perfect world, we would all have a space that resembles this...

Oh, but we all know the world isn't perfect.  Close maybe.  But many of us don't have the space needed for a setup like this, just for wrapping....

In actuality, many of us live in small spaces and have to maximize our storage options.  That's why this project is so fantastic.  And I couldn't wait to pass it along, because I love Cyndi's real life space saving storage solution!

Cyndi wrote:

I'm sure all of your emails start with how much your blog motivates others to get to organizing, and helps others find great organization options. So I will skip all the gushing and simply tell you thanks for being in the blogging world. 
So anyway I am back to "normal" life after renovating empty space into a loft apartment, moving in, and throwing a DIY budget wedding. It's now time for me to get to organizing. (and soon, our baby girl is due in February) I've been blogging some of my efforts, mostly, to keep myself motivated and accountable, but also to help motivate others, as your blog does for  me.
I wanted to share a recent project I completed. Please take a look at my blog post about my gift wrap box. Its a small project in the middle of a huge project, the craft room, which I blogged the begining of here but it is a work in progress, I will let you know when the room is finished (for the time being, anyway)
Thanks for checking me out, and I would love to hear any tips, or advice or encouraging words you may have.

So, to be green and to save green, I am always saving gift bags, tissue and ribbons. The reusable gift wrap in addition to rolls of paper, greeting cards and gift tags have, for years, just stored in a long tote. It seemed however to just get fuller and less organized as time went by. Recently when wanting to wrap a gift, I had to all but dump the entire box out to find the right sized bag, or right color tissue paper.

Then to make matters even less organized, came the bridal shower and wedding gifts. The influx of gift wrap made some changes to the organization necessary.

This does not include any specifically Christmas wrapping stuff, it has its own box in the attic it only comes down when the Christmas decor does, I can wait to wrap gifts for now.
First, the before:

2nd: take everything out of the tote and sort it:

I decided that the best place for all the gift wrap(for now) is back in this box. It is as large of real estate as I wanted to allow the gift wrap to take up, its perfect lenth for wrapping paper rolls, and most everything fit inside before it was organized.

3rd: put it back, but organized this time.

From my previous efforts to organize this box, I know that the rolls of paper should go along one side, stacked up {rather than along the bottom, where they'd get buried, or the top where they would be in the way}.

I rubber banded the rolls, and tucked scraps of paper inside an empty tube {I opted to use the empty tube, rather than a full tube because it will remind me there is paper inside, rather than forget there is blue paper inside the flower paper roll}.

To keep the rolls from rolling across the bottom of the tote, I inserted a shoe box {that previously housed bows and ribbons} this kept them all stacked nice along one side. {this later was moved}

Let me share an easy tip for next time you open a roll of paper: Slide the paper out of its cellophane sleeve, cut a piece of the sleeve off, and then slide the band of cellophane back onto the roll when you're done wrapping.

No need to find a rubber band, no icky sticky tape to tear off next time, and its right there, and free. {You can even make a few extra bands, for previously opened paper you already have in your bin}.  And no unrolling!

Another gift wrap organization tip: Buy generic paper, its often cheaper, and you can use the same roll for multiple different occasions, for boys or girls birthdays, for anniversary's {really, how many anniversary gifts will you give this year?} baby showers etc. just dress it up with ribbons, bows, stickers etc. Ive been doing this long enough most people know which gift is from me, because of the solid colored paper. This prevents you from having a different roll {or 2} for every gift giving occasion to store. {Same idea goes with ribbons and bags, the receiver can reuse the bag for any occasion}

Next, I started putting in the gift bags, somewhat organized by size. The larger ones had to be folded against their natural folds, to make them fit and not flop open, I used some tape. 

All the bags go in the box:

But I'm not done, that's not all I took out of the messy box.

I found a bunch of small bags and boxes (you would think I get a lot of jewelry, nope) all the bags and boxes were nested inside another box I had been saving for gift wrapping.

Don't forget all that ribbon {a lot of leftovers from my Spring Wreath}:

Gift tags always got lost amongst the bags and tissue, now they are all together in a Ziplock:

Another thing that found a new home in Ziplocks, tissue paper:

Each color got its own bag, easy to find the right color for the gift! {mostly organized Roy G. Biv style, I love that guy}

Now, the moment we have all been waiting for {some longer than others}:

You will notice I have a baggie for the tape, pen, and Paper Cutter having it all handy makes for easier wrapping, they all go back in the box when wrapping is done.

I highly recommend the Scotch brand wrapping paper cutter. Its important to get the one designed for wrapping paper {rather than other crafts} because it has a little bump thing on the back for curling ribbon {others do not}. The paper cutter makes easy work of cutting wrapping paper straight, and the tip is great for peeling up price tags. It takes less space than scissors, safer for kids to use, and, wont get stolen out of the gift wrap box to be used for other purposes. {Most ribbon can also be cut with it}. I used to have a small pair of kids scissor in the tote before i found the cutter.

I have a separate one in my Christmas Wrapping paper box, so I don't forget it on one box or the other and have to go up in to the attic to get it for January birthday gifts.

Note: Now I had originally thought I would have to keep out the specifically "wedding" gift bags {I had soooo many}, tissue and ribbon, but I ended up having plenty of space for those in this box, all the bags are together, same with the tissue and ribbon though, so that I can find them easily, and if need be, move them to a smaller, separate bin later on.

Eventually, I would love to have a space like Jenny Free Style has, check her out! She shows how to make the organizer board on her post!

Oodles of thanks to Cyndi for sharing this inspirational project!  You really made use of every inch of that bin!  I am in complete awe with how much you were able to store in there!  Way to make every inch count!!

Another awesome before and after?!

What do you all think?  Are you giving Cyndi virtual high fives for tackling this and sharing it with us?  Are you as impressed with the amount of storage she snagged out of one bin?  Love that she used Ziplocs to keep things in order and separated!  This system looks like it will be really easy to maintain, which is also such a key thing when organizing any item or space!

Anyone else tackle wrapping paper this holiday season?  Or just because?

P.S.  Have an awesome story to share?  How about some organizing tips and tricks?  Maybe a project completed from an inspiration found?  Please send your story and photos to and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!


  1. Go Cyndi!!! I do this as well! =) Just recently I started storing everything wrapping related in one giant VS bag and I love the idea of putting it into a storage box to keep it from wrinkling but also keeping it from exploding all over the house and office! =)

    Small spaces can be such a blessing b/c they really test our creativity on a daily basis! ;)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  2. I desperately need to do that as well. Right now my wrapping paper is half sticking out of a garbage bag under my dresser. *embarrassing*

  3. I have xmas wrapping paper in one of those rubbermaid bins intended for paper. Then our everyday ones I have in a flat rubbermaid one. I keep the ribbon in a smaller box and the gift bags in a basket. I have alot so it is hard to contain it!!

  4. I really like the idea of keeping Christmas wrapping supplies separate from the rest. I am definitely going to apply that when I tackle the wrapping chaos under my bed!


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