Wrapping packages is a pleasure when you have the right supplies
organized and at your fingertips. Wrapping your house with lights and
other holiday decorations is less of a chore if you can locate the items
easily--and find them in good condition, not smashed or cracked. And
once the right storage system is in place, you can take advantage of
the postholiday sales to stock up for next year.
Organize wrapping materials
Purchase under-the-bed storage plastic boxes specially designed for gift wrap. Look for ones with lift-off inner trays for ribbons, tags, tape and scissors. Consider buying two: one for the major winter holidays, the other for the rest of the year.
Dedicate a dresser to wrapping supplies. Lower drawers can hold gifts you've bought ahead (see 357 Organize Gift-Giving in Advance). Label everything (see 57 Live Better Through Labeling).
Make the most of minimal storage space by keeping supplies in a large, compartmentalized hanging bag or vertical organizer (available at sites such as StacksAndStacks.com and TheContainerStore.com) designed specifically for gift wrap.
Outfit a small closet as a wrapping center. Store rolls of paper in a 5-gallon wastebasket or an umbrella stand. Mount a flip-up shelf on one wall to use as a wrapping surface, keep ribbons and tags in open baskets on low shelves, and hang double-prong hooks on the inside of the door to hold gift bags.
Store seasonal decorations
Keep fragile holiday ornaments safe in compartmentalized boxes. Many cardboard units are available in holiday colors, making them easy to spot among other boxes in crowded storage spaces. Also check out vertical seasonal storage towers.
Use wreath boxes for storing artificial wreaths, garlands and large bows. Or place wreaths and garlands on clothing hangers. Protect them with plastic bags or, for items too large for standard- size bags, covers made from old pillowcases or sheets.
Prevent snarled light strands by storing them in special boxes that come equipped with hanging plastic or cardboard frames to wrap the strands around. Coiling each strand and putting it in its own plastic bag also works well. Store extension cords in the same box as the lights.
Tips & Warnings
- Buy wrapping paper in solid colors. A few colors will work for many different occasions, which means you can buy and store fewer rolls.
- Buy a ribbon holder that feeds the ribbons through slits in one side, or make your own from a shoe box and a dowel.
- Keep decorations in tubs labeled or color coded for each holiday.
- Wrap thick candles in plastic to keep away rodents. Store them in a wine carton with cardboard dividers.
- Store a reminder list with the holiday decorations, telling you what lightbulbs, ornament hooks or other supplies you need to buy early in the season before the stores run out of stock.
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