Real Life Organizing: Victory Over the Wrapping Paper

Just so you know: this post is not about a new and life-saving method of storing rolls of gift wrap.

It’s a personal experience with the ordinary challenges of housekeeping: how I finally manged to put away our rolls of wrapping paper a few years ago and was happy with the results.


Real Life Organizing: Victory Over the Wrapping Paper


How We Store Our Rolls of Gift Wrap


The Problem

We have rolls of wrapping paper. We must store wrapping paper so that it’s not in the way, doesn’t get lost, and doesn’t get damaged. We don’t have a gift wrap box or other fancy solution.


The Solution

A few years ago I started storing the rolls in a used Priority Mail box in the back of my closet. It has worked great. The box is tall so it doesn’t topple over. It’s also small, which is great for not taking up much room but not so great for fitting everything in! (Update: it’s no longer in my closet! Yay! I still use the box method to corral it).


The Challenge

When I got ready to put the wrapping paper away a few years ago (in February!), I had some goals in mind.


#1 I wanted it all to fit in the box, if possible. I didn’t want to fight with, and damage, loose rolls in the back of my closet for nine months.


#2 I wanted to minimize rolling different kinds together (to reduce the number of rolls) and also rolling up smaller pieces and stuffing them down in the tubes.


I just didn’t want a mess!



Here’s What I Did


First, I sorted through the paper to see if there was anything I wanted to get rid of. I was serious about fitting it all in without a mess and thus was not in a saving mood. I got rid of three partial rolls of non-Christmas paper (inherited from someone else) that we had never used and I didn’t like.


Seriously, we hardly ever give gifts other than Christmas gifts and we do have other solutions now (once-used gift bags, Christmas paper that could be used for other occasions, leftover pieces of other non-holiday paper).


Second, I got rid of some scraps that were hindering my goal. You really can’t keep everything. We have never run out of scraps to wrap smaller gifts in. I don’t expect we ever shall.


Third, I re-rolled and secured rolls to reduce the messy factor. More on how I secured them at the end of the post.


Fourth, I double rolled duplicates. Sure, I might run into a break I didn’t expect while wrapping a large gift—but that’s not life-threatening (granted, fighting rolls of wrapping paper for nine months isn’t life-threatening either but it is noticeably more annoying).


Fifth, I cringed when I discovered seven new-this-year-rolls I had forgotten about. Groan. Just when I got it all to fit!


Sixth, many of the new rolls had little left so I rolled several of them together. Compromise. I gave up what I was willing to give up so that I wouldn’t have to give up what I wasn’t willing to give up. (That’s kind of Tweetable).


Seventh, I arranged the rolls in the box. They aren’t all the same size so the arrangement made a difference.


The Results

They fit! Everything fit except one sturdy roll still in plastic.


Neatly stored rolls of wrapping paper!


Some Lessons to Draw from This

#1 You can usually make something work better with a little effort. Rearranging can work wonders!


#2 Don’t just put away holiday stuff when you’re done with it. Sort it. And sort everything every year or two. Don’t assume that because you once wanted or needed something that you always will.


#3 Compromises are often necessary. They don’t mean that you need to give up. They also don’t mean, when you make them, that you’ve failed to meet your goal. Even though I did have to roll some paper together (which I didn’t want to do) I did comparatively little of that and I still met my most important objectives: to store the paper, minus anything unnecessary, in a neat, compact, and user-friendly way.


#4 Putting Christmas paper away in February is better than putting it away in May—or never putting it away.


Now for the Nifty Storage Tip

Cut a strip of scrap paper and wrap it around the roll. Secure with tape. I just used one in the middle but you could do one at either end.

Gift wrap roll storage tip.


Do you have any tips for storing gift wrap? Any experiences—good or bad?



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