Easy steps to organise your Gift-Wrap Station this Spring as a Minimalist.

Yeah, it's almost spring

The weather is adjusting and warmer temperatures are making a comeback. I don’t know about you, but summer excites me. My mood in general is much lighter and positive during the summer season. Yeah, I know some of you might think, what is so great about the heat, being sweaty and struggling to sleep on a warm night right? I think investing in air-conditioning for your home is a sweet and comfortable way to bypass the heat at night and still be able to enjoy our great African sun outdoors during the summer season.

Considering that the COVID-19 pandemic has been part of our lives for almost two years means that we are probably more isolated and lonelier than we have ever been before. Living in isolation is not what makes us humans. We have evolved as a species to be in groups, to be social and to form networks, friendships and partners. I can’t speak on everyone’s behalf but I have come to miss having a bunch of friends over for a braai, a birthday celebration or just getting together at a restaurant to enjoy a meal and a few drinks with the people we care for. This is what we do! We socialise, we tell stories, we share our experiences and we care for one another. The pandemic suck! Enough said about that.

I am excited in part that it is almost summer and that I hope that COVID-19 restrictions can be expected to be slightly relaxed during this season as warmer temperatures are rising. Fingers crossed! Look, I’m not advocating for big get-togethers or anything like that but I am sure as hell going to make myself available to see some friends, celebrate birthdays and do what we have always done – celebrate life! A few Birthdays of friends and family in my midst are emerging over the next couple of weeks and that had me thinking about what to get them and if I should? See, I have been on a journey this last 14 months of decluttering my mind, my home, my life. If anything, I have learned that the decluttering process have brought me so much insight on what really matters. Relationships do, celebrating the small stuff we usually oversee. Making an intentional decision to spend time with your family, your loved one’s and appreciating those people you choose to share your time with. Is the stuff we buy for the sake of giving presents for the people we care for really adding value to their lives or should we re-think this cultural custom?

Can you expect a birthday present from a Minimalist? ​

To be honest, I don’t think people should buy anything for others unless if the recipient of the gift has specifically expressed what they would like. Otherwise, we end up buying useless stuff that we might think is cute but aren’t. Rather give some cash or a Loot gift card as a present for your buddy. On a serious note though we should rather gift our friends with experiences and kindness instead of filling their homes with items that add to clutter and that aren’t useful.

We are adding to the problem of accumulating clutter and we shouldn’t. You should also not feel obligated to buy people stuff. Your company and friendship is what they long for especially after being isolated for a couple of months due to this terrible virus and that should be enough! As passionate as I am on the benefits of decluttering one’s home and telling friends that you don’t need more stuff that adds to clutter, I also realize that some customs are here to stay and if it is well intended it probably should not be an issue. In an attempt to focus less on changing the behavior of people buying stuff and accumulating a bunch of gift wraps for birthdays and Christmas occasions, I thought I’ll share some insight into how you can easily get your gift wrap station organised & keep it that way.

How to organise a gift wrap station on a budget.​

We have recently decluttered a craft room and discovered a pile of gift bags, gift wrapping paper and ribbons. All of the items were placed in one cupboard section without having a system in place. Some wrapping rolls were also damaged. Ouch! During the planning of what organising system we’ll implement for our client to have the space more functional, I asked her why so many gift bags and if we can downscale a bit? No! She answered. It brings her joy. She explained that gift wrapping paper and bags are expensive and that having a child means having friends and birthdays and occasions where a beautifully wrapped gift can make the world’s difference. I did not offer a counter-argument. Organising all the gift bags and accessories is what we were hired to do and that’s what we’ll find organising solutions for.

It would have been awesome to propose a custom build, gift wrap station that allows for great storage of ribbons and bow’s neatly organised but we were on a budget so we had to get creative. Here is how the process went down:

It’s amazing what great things you can accomplish with a little creativity. Our first goal was to get all the gift wrap rolls organised and it needed a home. The troubling thing about gift wrap rolls is that they are long and varies in size and some of them were still new while others are half used. We found a wooden cupboard in the garage that were kind of used for storing tools of our client’s husband but with his consent, we now had our infrastructure. Without the tools of course.

Firstly, to ensure easy access to gift wrap rolls we purchased a collapsible basket from our friends at Gelmar and we placed a couple of gift wrap rolls in it to be held up straight and that can easily be accessed when the need arises to wrap gifts. It worked perfectly. The remaining “stock” if you will, of gift wrap paper, were neatly stored in one drawer of the cupboard. This ensures containment and an easy way to disguise multiple colours that may appear as chaos when exposed all at once.

Secondly, we got about 30 baby clothes hangers from Store&More and decided to hang gift bags on the clothing rail in the same cupboard. We first decluttered all the worn-out and damaged bags and sorted through the remaining ones. We started with categories. Gift bags for grownups, and then for kiddies and then for women and Halloween and so on. After categorizing all the bags we hanged them on the baby hangers. We stored five gift bags per hanger and placed them on the clothing rail according to height. This ensures a neat and tidy look and with everything being categorized you can find the perfect gift bag for any occasion or gift.

Lastly, we found some usable shoeboxes after decluttering a walk-in cupboard and used them for containment. It is a great idea as shoeboxes are relatively easy to find. They are also great to repurpose for containment and storage. We used some of the almost used up wrapping paper and covered the shoeboxes with them for a fabulous and uniformly look. In the first drawer of the cupboard, we placed four newly wrapped shoeboxes and used them to contain bows in one, ribbons in the other, stationary and scissors in the third and personalised cards in the last one. Sounds to me like a fully operational gift wrap station.

The organising session of the craft room was finalised with the cupboard being moved from the garage into its new room and it looks wonderful. Before and after pictures of this specific project as well as others can be viewed on our social pages on Facebook and Instagram by searching our handle @walleclutterfree

As for your craft room or gift section, I hope that our methods inspire you to think creatively and to get organised. I also wish for you and your friends to continue to share stories, gift each other with kindness, love and more importantly gift each other with your presence during a time where many people feel lonely and isolated.

Best wishes.

Riaan Saayman.

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