If you are anything like me, then you never want to waste a perfectly good chance to practically reuse something…like, say, a gift bag!
I am pretty sure I have had this same mentality since I was about 15, and have saved countless bags in my life since then. Which begs the question:
How do you store them all??
I have used a number of different systems in the past.
I have used under the bed rolling bins. The thing I love about this system is the maximization of unused storage space. The problem with it? Not all bags fit in the bin! Sometimes people give those monstrous sized gift bags or ones that are short but wide, so they are wider than the bin. It lead to me storing gift bags in TWO different spots, and if you have read enough of my other posts, you may have figured out that having more than one space to store one category of items is TOO much! (Unless its freezers!)
The other system I loved for a while is sorting like “gifting occasions” together and storing them inside a gift bag for the same occasion. For example, folding and storing Christmas gift bags inside another larger Christmas gift bag, giving purpose to those monstrous bags! I had two problems with this system. One, I had to store the filled gift bags somewhere! (Luckily at the time I had a storage unit at my apartment so I stuffed them down there). Two, the bags wanted to sometimes stay folded even after I put gifts in them, or they looked incredibly creased, which made them look super used, which made me not use them…perpetuating the keep and clutter cycle!
I recently sorted ALL of my gift bags. I am pretty sure I got rid of more than half of them! AND now I try to give them out as often as I can. It’s so easy to buy a specific occasion gift bag by walking into the dollar store and finding the perfect bag. But I simply can’t part with all of mine, because you really never know when you will need one on a moment’s notice!
Afterall, if I keep random gifts in a gift closet I must have ways to wrap them up quickly too!
To sort through the gift bags I had to keep asking myself, “do I really need these?” It’s hard to part with stuff if you have always trained yourself to keep it, or told yourself “you never know…” But honestly, what are all of these bags really doing for the function of my life? NOTHING!! They are collecting dust! You really need to spend time retraining yourself to think of it in terms of, “could I prepare a beautiful gift today?” But I am going to guess that you don’t need to prepare 100 gifts today! NEITHER DO I!! So why do I have so many?
The new decluttered and organized system that I am using now is simply to keep like “gifting occasions” together on a hanger and store them in my gift closet. I use a different hanger for birthdays, weddings, non-occasion or plain coloured, babies, and of course Christmas! It is a bit of a pain because I have to take a bunch of bags off the hanger sometimes to get to the one I need, but I find the system overall to be very easy to use. I love the ease of putting bags away! I would rather it be easier to put them away and a bit harder to pick out what I need, vs harder to put them away!
The other tip I will add, is to set a reminder on your calendar after decluttering any section of the house, whether it’s digital or on paper, to sort it again in 6 months or a year. It’s amazing how effective it is in retraining your brain to think more critically about your stuff. What you keep today, you may laugh and ask yourself “why?” in another 6 months!
Decluttering is never over!
It is the ultimate in never ending tasks!
Got any great tips on how you store your gift bags?
I love the ease of this idea.
Most recently my husband made a custom size box thin enough to slide under a cabinet and not be seen. It is still thick enough to store as many Xmas bags as I will likely ever need. It was hard to purge the rest though.
He did the same for birthday and other bags to store under a bed.
Problem is I do have 2 different locations for bags. I just have to start using the system enough to remember where I have put each stash.