Which is why this truth about me makes me cranky:
I cannot wrap gifts.
There, I said it. I'm pretty clumsy at it, and packages from me look like they may have been scotch-taped together by a drunk raccoon. All my crafty efforts in other areas seem to make no difference when I'm confronted by a roll of paper and a gift box. It makes me highly, childishly irritable.
Over time, it's dawned on me that part of my problem with gift-wrapping is that it was such a big production in this house. I had two places where I stored some of the supplies. Tissue paper was scattered in multiple places too. And then I had to run down the tape and scissors from wherever the kids had squirreled it away.
By the time I got to the actual wrapping, I was already annoyed. Not a good way to go into anything crafty, or what's supposed to be an act of generosity. So it made sense to have a dedicated place to do this: a gift-wrapping center.
I actually resisted that idea for a long time. Because gift-wrapping centers smack of all the things I dislike about the Land of Lifestyle Magazine Make-believe-- that everyone's got loads of space in a blank slate of a suburban house and all the money in the world to customize it for a single-purpose use. And all the stuff on the shelves is color-coordinated with everything else and the room itself.
I am not saying that I wasn't attracted to the idea of that. This layout from Country Living is relatively simple and sweet and entirely doable:
|Photo Source: County Living|
I did decide that finding a dedicated space for gift-wrapping was worthwhile. It just wasn't going to be beautiful.
This was a few hours of effort, with mostly existing stuff, in the corner of the furnace room in the basement. The table is a surplused metal lab/study table from the local university that I moved from another area. The shelves and pegboard were already hanging there. The boxes and basket I already owned, and they hold bows and gift tags.
I purchased the dish organizer on the shelf to hold folded gift bags, and I bought the small metal trash cans to hold the giftwrap. Um, about that. I have an embarrassing amount of giftwrap, I know. I am of the opinion that about 5 rolls at a time are plenty. But my mom gave me her stash, and I got carried away at a sale, and here I am with two buckets of gift wrap. On the upside I should be good for giftwrap for the next 5 years, and I hope to empty out one of those cans for another use down the road.
The window a/c units under the table, which I use in the upstairs bedroom windows during the summer, were already there and I didn't have the gumption to move them just for this picture. They'll be stored elsewhere next season, and I might hang some curtains under the table to store extra shipping boxes out of sight. I also haven't really done anything with the pegboard, but that can also come at a later time.
One other small expenditure: this tape dispenser.
It's a double dispenser, with a small reel for adhesive tape and a larger one for box tape. It has a cubby for scissors and pens. It's also hard to walk off with.
I need to stock up on tape and fill the dispenser, and I'll be ready to go the for the next round of birthdays, or Christmas. I cannot promise that my gifts won't still be looking drunk-raccoon-esque, but at least getting the job done will be less of an ordeal.
As a bonus, the area is not completely dedicated to gift wrapping alone; it will be multi-tasking, and soon. But that is another blog post.
What organizing projects are you up to in your home? What's working for you?