One of the most colorful and fun areas of my home is my gift wrap station. Today I want to share some storage and organizing ideas for gift wrapping and supplies, regardless of what kind of space you have to work with. Storing gift wrapping can be a bit challenging, but once you create a station dedicated to gift wrap and supplies you will find how helpful it is and never go back!
Our Gift Wrapping Station
One of the things on my lists of musts when we built this house was an area dedicated to gift wrapping. My “love language” is “gifts” so giving gifts is really important to me and something I love to do and take time with (if you’re new to the 5 love languages, it changed my marriage and parenting, too. Learn more about it here!)
I’m also a mom with 3 kids (read : birthday parties!) love the holidays and giving hostess gifts, and gift wrapping is the kind of crafting I really like – it’s practical and useful. You could totally buy wrapping paper and gift wrap every time you buy a gift, but with online shopping and also last-minute occasions it’s always helpful to have it on hand and know where to find it in your home every time.
Our gift wrap station is conveniently located front and center in our home office. It’s a custom island I had made by Modern Nest along with the built-ins. The countertop is Carrara marble, the paint color is Benjamin Moore Conventry Gray, and the pulls are by House of Antiques. There are 9 drawers on each side of the island : the left is office supplies and the right is all the gift wrap. The very bottom drawer on each side is a long one that’s the entire length of the island to accommodate long gift wrap tubes.
I wanted a space where I could put everything out as I needed them and wrap right there on a counter, which is exactly what I do here now. I love it.
Before this home, we lived in an apartment. And before that we lived in a rental home. In both places I created an area for gift wrap. And I was working with some smallllll spaces, guys! It looked nothing like my current space, so keep reading if you are thinking “yes Mika, this sounds lovely but I don’t have an ISLAND.”
Regardless of what kind of space you might have, there are certain ways you can help create a gift wrap station in any home and some strategies that help you keep it organized.
7 Steps To Organize Gift Wrap
Alright, ready to get started? Here are my 7 steps for creating a zone or station like this in your home. As always, I get amped up when talking organizing so I’m going deep into some of these things. But I figured, the more details you have the better.
The photos below are in top-to-bottom order of each side of my gift wrapping station just to give you an idea of the flow of my space. I’m starting with the right column of drawers.
1. Do a cleanout
Wherever your current gift wrapping supplies may currently be in the house. Look in your office, look in your garage, look in your bedrooms, look everywhere. Then round them all up and lay it all out so you can see everything. You can do this on the kitchen counter or the floor or on your dining room table. Start grouping like items which will start to give you a sense of what you have. Toss anything crinkled or wrinkled and be left with the best of the best and what you really want to keep. Remember, the more items you have the more you need to figure out what to do with and store, so keep that in mind when deciding what to keep.
Hold onto your questions about holiday gift wrap – I’ll address it below.
2. Take stock of needed items
A well-functioning gift wrap station should have the basics of everything you need to wrap a gift properly from start to finish :
- bags (small, medium, and large)
- rolls of wrapping paper
- tissue paper (white plus colors)
- something to label the gift with
- pens to write on the label
You could also have gift boxes, decorative embellishments, string or twice, washi tape, and a stock of gifts to have on hand. But know that you don’t have to have A LOT of the above – just one or a few of each is sufficient to have a well-functioning, ready-to-go gift wrap station that’s available for you at any moment.
Here are a few of my favorite gift wrap supplies:
3. Replenish with coordinated, complimentary items
One thing that has helped me after I have done a clean-out is to purchase the items I need to replenish all at once from one store, specifically in a certain section of their gift wrap. The reason for this is that since they tend to all coordinate with each other, you will have a stock of gift wrap supplies that compliment each other and become very mix-and-match and versatile. When you buy from different stores, the sizes of the bags and colors and materials tend to vary even more, making organizing it and keeping track of what you have tricky. It just creates a streamlined look and function.
I do this sweeping replenishment whenever I notice my supplies are running low. Some favorite places to scope out coordinated gift wrap is Target (that’s what you see here) Papersource (their items in navy and white are my standbys for hostess gifts) and Sugarpaper LA (especially during the holidays – you can find those at Target, too. You can see my gift wrap station during the holidays in this older IG post!)
4. Decide on a smart spot to place all your gift wrapping supplies based on accessibility and space
Now that you have rounded everything up, weeded out what you no longer need or is no longer usable, and replenished your stock of supplies, it’s time to figure out where you are going to put all of it. There is no rule on where your gift wrapping station (or even just a few supplies!) should go. You want to find a place that is :
- Convenient : think of where you want to typically wrap gifts. Is this in your kitchen? In your home office? On the dining room table? Maybe in your bedroom?
- Roomy : the amount of space you need depends on how much gift wrap supplies you want to keep. This can be a cabinet, a shelf, a whole closet, a tub or bin, a basket, or even the back of a door ( more on that later.) Take a look around the potential sites you might be wrapping gifts in and see if there is a space that it can work in.
- Accessible : whatever room you decide to store the gift wrap supplies in, make sure you can easily access the supplies. You might reach for the tape more often than the decorative embellishments, so make that more front and center of the space than the less-used items.
One you start figuring out where it’s all going to go, start placing items in the space. This takes a little bit of Tetris-type work at times, and there is no hard rule on what goes where. The important thing is that like items stay together. This will help guide you in finding what products you might want to look for to keep this system in place.
5. Odd spaces can work, too
If a door or a bin or basket might be a better (or your only!) solution for you, know that it can totally work. This is when you will need to go buy the storage supplies before placing all the items into the space – because right now there is nowhere to put them.
For over the door, this system is versatile and is super handy. I am typically not a fan of back-of-door organization but this is actually what I used when living in our last apartment. We had just over 1,000 square feet for a family of 5 so I had to get creative and used the back of our master closet door. Which actually made sense, because our home office was in our bedroom (by home office I mean a desk!) and that is where I did a lot of my wrapping. So, in the master closet it went, and the system worked great. If you’re strapped for space, consider this back-of-door organizer and adjust it to fit the items you have.
Cart or Basket
For a house with zero available space including back-of-door, you could use something free-standing like this cart, or have a bin or basket that stores it all in one moveable system. The one thing about a cart is that it still takes up space – so you have to figure out where you’re going to keep it when it’s not in use. The good thing about the bin or basket is that it might take up less space, and if it’s a more decor-friendly basket it might look better left out. Some examples are these, these and these. For small items, I would use these zip pouches or small plastic bins inside to hold the small items like tape. However, it’s still going to be “out” and visible, so keep that in mind.
I’m not the biggest fan of under-bed gift wrap storage systems, simply because I am not a fan of under-bed storage in general. I think you can tend to forget what you have under there. However, that might be your only option especially if you have a lot of wrapping paper rolls. I linked a few below, including this set.
6. Find simple storage solutions that support the system
Well, isn’t THAT an alliteration mouth full??! This simply means once you have all your supplies in place of where they are going to go, whether that’s cabinets or drawers, this is when you go out and get the products that will help keep them divided and in their space. That’s the purpose of organizing products – YOU DO THE ORGANIZING, and then the PRODUCTS KEEP THE ORGANIZING IN PLACE.
Before you go out and buy items :
- Measure the space – height, width, depth, length. Get to know your space
- Take pictures – take pictures of the drawer or shelf with all the supplies on or in them. This will help you when you go to the store and are faced with options of what you can get and you need to remember what it all looked like.
- Make a list – write out the items that you think you might need
There are a TON of great products out there to support your organizing system. When you are at the store, keep an eye out for the following versatile pieces :
- Drawer dividers – I love these spring loaded bamboo ones. These are ones where you can cut and create custom length dividers. This is what I used in the top drawer you see above with the ribbon and tape, because the bamboo dividers were too long for my drawers.
- Clear, color-less plastic bins – these are my favorite because they are neutral and they go with everything. See below for labeling these bins.
- Paper sorters or magazine holders – these are great for “filing” gift bags in a cabinet. I put a couple options below but I like this one for its neutrality with acrylic.
If you’ve noticed, what I am recommending is very neutral. If you start adding colored organizing products with colorful gift wrapping supplies, it might be a little like a color explosion and look busy. As I recommend in all spaces, keep items neutral and simple.
I know it might seem like an effort, but this will be the hardest part – and you will just have to do it once!
7. Arrange items by color and size
Once everything is in their place – on the shelf, in the drawer, in the bin, etc. – then arrange them by color and size. This creates a really nice visual look. Do it just like the color of the rainbow. You can totally skip it, but I think you’ll be surprised by and happy with the little “extra” factor this creates.
And there you have it! Take a step back and admire because you are the proud owner of a brand new organizing station 🙂
Helpful Tips :
Holiday gift wrapping – I just buy it and replenish every year. Although I have done it before, I don’t like finding a place for storing it all year long just to bring it out once a year. I find that my regular wrapping paper tends to go down just around the holidays, so I fill up with holiday wrapping. Then when I use all that, I then fill up again with regular wrapping. If you prefer to keep holiday wrapping paper, then find a way to incorporate it into your current wrapping station. Or, use the above steps to create a mini holiday wrapping situation.
Labeling – If you create a system using bins, I would highly suggest using labels. This way, you know what everything is at a glance AND you know where to put everything back (key for labeling – it makes life and cleanup easier.) You can find more info about labeling specifically in this blog post here.
Giant bags – Extra large bags are sometimes needed for large toys, but I don’t have the space for it. So this is one thing I buy as needed. I try to buy smaller toys just for this reason (plus I don’t think parents at birthday parties want GIANT toys to take back to their house? lol)