Sourcing & Planning

Do you have a Gift Closet?! (A Peek Into Ours)

October 4, 2021  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Do you have a gifting closet?! My good friend, Kelsi has a gift closet that she keeps stocked with gifts! Anytime there’s a kid’s birthday party or birthday or neighbor drop off or the holidays–she is prepared and with no stress she can shop her closet! I’ve always thought it was so genius and knew when we moved into this house–I wanted to find space for one.  So I’m starting my own gift closet. I’m constantly coming across gifts and deals that are too good to pass up– even if I don’t know who I’m going to give them to yet. The solution? Purchase now and save for later. I’m introducing the start of my own small collected gift closet, it’s located in our home office so it’s out of the way of little eyes.

I’ve already started collecting some of my favorite hand soaps, candles, coffee table books, throw blankets, and more to stock things that could be given as a house-warming gift, or for celebrating an anniversary, birthday, or holiday. Just staple pieces I love and would love to give.

And I’m also keeping my eyes on gifts for my girls and nieces and nephews. Growing up, my uncle Victor had a collection of things he would buy and gift to us at birthdays. They were one-of-a-kind pieces found in some unique store with some unique story. That was the magic in receiving one of his gifts. A gift that he couldn’t pass up in the store, but would be saved for a special day. It always made me feel so loved and I hope my gift closet can someday grow into a carefully curated, almost coveted closet. There will likely be some wish-list toys that I found on sale, too! (I’ve already started making Christmas lists for the girls so I can look out for those things.)

Shop the closet

 

Gift Closet Essentials

Of course, every gift closet needs some gifting essentials. I’m leaning into all-season gift wrap, ribbons, twine, and gift bags. The goal is to make this closet a one-stop shop for all my gifting needs, including the gift AND the wrapping. Of course, here’s a round-up for all the things you could need. Do you have some sort of gift closet, or cupboard, or shelf? I’m hoping this will also make the holidays a little simpler.


Shop everything here

 

1. Fable Wrapping Sheets $10
2. Jute Twine $5
3. Olive Gingham $8
4. Festive Stripe $10
5. Copper Velvet Ribbon $3+
6. Gold Acrylic Scissors $18
7. Acrylic Tape Dispenser $14
8. Striped Tissue Paper $9
9. Brown Paper Gift Bags $16
10. Birch Tree Kraft Wrapping Paper $20
11. Champagne Glitter $10
12. Ditsy Floral $7
13. Taupe Double Stripe Ribbon $3+
14. Cream & Black Pindot Gift Wrap $6
15. Chambray Ticking Stripe Gift Wrap $6
16. Metallic Braided Ribbon $12

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What do you think?

  1. MC says:

    I do this too! I have a large box for wrapping stuff (bags, tissue paper–both I often reuse) and a container for wrapping paper (I stick with brown kraft paper–did you know MOST wrapping paper isn’t recycable? It’s crazy). I stamp the kraft paper, have my kids draw on it, or tie a branch of rosemary/an herb on it with twine. It’s nice and simple. I have a box for kid gifs too but this reminds me I need to update it. :)

  2. I love this article! I keep my wrapping items and the gifts in separate spots because I want my teenagers to have easy access to all the wrapping supplies & not-so-easy access to the gifts! Haha! For the gifts I keep a stash of my favorite things on a shelf in my office. It comes in so handy!

  3. Linda says:

    What a great idea! I don have the space to do it but I love the idea! How does one get on your friend gift list? 😂🎁

  4. Lori Cartwright says:

    I love a designated gift area! A good way to store all of the trimmings is a clear over-the-door shoe holder. Easy to see what you have and quickly find what you need – scissors, tape, ribbon, tags, cards, small gift bags and boxes.

  5. April says:

    I love gifting closets! Thanks for sharing yours.

  6. Dianne says:

    I don’t have a gift closet but for many years when I had grandchildren of all ages I had ‘Grandmas’s Drawer’ in my entry hall. My Grandkids got to pick any one item out of it anytime they came to visit. I never bought anything to stock it with. I just kept an eye out through cleaning out my closets, happy meal toys, office supply surplus, old eyeshadow, stuffed animals, many things I might have purged but threw in the drawer instead. It surprisingly was always a big hit. Most are in they’re teens now but remember it.

  7. Rosemary says:

    I had a gift closet for years. We downsized and moved to FL, no one entertains here, we go out to restaurants so no need for gift closet anymore. I do miss it. In February when winter coats were reduced and reduced, I’d buy as many kids one as I could. Come next fall/winter when there were giving trees, I grabbed all the ones for kids coats! I was able to but 2 to 3x more gifts that ways for those in need. I also went to big outlet sales and stocked up on things I loved and I was ready. I also ordered a HUGE roll of glossy white wrapping paper and then had a bunch of ribbons from Hobby Lobby or Costco that worked for every occasion. Plus I’d always stock up at the dollar store with bags and reuse them often. When we moved, I gave my sister so many gift bags and she reminds me when she uses them all the time.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I keep a writing desk stocked with thank you cards and birthday cards and a closet stocked with kids gifts that I find on sale throughout the year. It’s been a great resource for classmate / neighbor birthday parties, and enables me to give good gifts affordably. I tend to stock up on good books in my daughters age range, Melissa and Doug craft kits, puzzles, and fun art supplies like water color markers and drawing pads. Trader Joe’s for cards and TJ Maxx / Homegoods keep me on budget for kids craft kits and puzzles.

  9. Krysten says:

    I love having a gift closet. Over the years it’s helped to hone it down to specific types of gifts I know will get used regularly. For adults: candles, linens, serving pieces, notepads, spice blends, jars of local honey. For kids: art supplies, classic children’s books, funny socks.

  10. Rebecca says:

    Love this idea! I have a basket on top of my closet and a shelf with ready to go gifts. I recently looked through the basket and found a jcrew glitter iPhone case that I hadn’t gifted yet 😂. Having the gifts visible is key! Haha! I’ve been doing this for years. So helpful! Whenever I find a good sale at Anthropologie or jcrew, I load up so I don’t have to run to Walmart and give some lame-o gift.

  11. Jenny says:

    I love this! I keep a lot of reusable ribbons, boxes and bags. And I love the look of butcher paper for any holiday. I used to keep a lot of gifts I picked up over time, but I found it didn’t always work out and it felt wasteful/frustrating to have items that didn’t have a recipient for several years. All this to say, I’m a bit choosy on what gets a spot in the closet these days!

  12. Sunny Jane says:

    I don’t have a gift closet (small house!), but I do buy gifts for Christmas and bdays WAY in advance because it keeps me from being stressed out. My Christmas shopping was nearly done in Sept. I do keep a drawer full of cards, post cards, notebooks, washi tape, and stickers. And a container in my garage with gift wrap/flower bouquet wrap. I love using velvet and chiffon ribbons to make them more special!

  13. Sarah W Wells says:

    I love this idea – I’m going to do it!

    Also – instagram has been down all day and I’m missing my CLJ content :(

    • janice kirwan says:

      Love this idea. To have to shop last minute is time consuming. I believe this way gifts and thoughts are shared more easily..

      I use to hide gifts and then forget where they were stashed.. why didn’t I think of this. I got plenty of enough closets thst are empty.

  14. Regina says:

    This is a charming and rather intentional idea. I like to curate our home thoughtfully, not last minute, so I think of this as aspect of curated gift collection something timeless rather than random. Love that it gives space to think and ponder rather than rush to buy even a minimalist could appreciate this.

  15. Julie S says:

    My parents had a gift closet with a moderate number of things picked up on great deals for an unknown future recipient… I am way too minimalist for this to appeal to me. I feel aversion really. Just don’t want that in my home and wouldn’t even if my home were bigger/had the storage to spare. Also I think we are simply not big on gifts in general (and don’t have a social circle that expects them much).

    • Emily says:

      Agreed, plus, I probably don’t want the random gift item in my home. I know they mean well, but I don’t need anymore candles or hand towels or whatever else might be in this closet.

  16. Kathleen Ottley says:

    In the south they call these gifts “A little happy!”

  17. Chelsey says:

    This is a great idea! I have a beat-up cardboard box in our basement with assorted gift wrap and recycled gift bags, and I do keep as stash of all purpose blank notecards, but my stash pales in comparison to this one. Side note, where is that little gold letter sorter thing from? It’s super cute, but I don’t see it linked anywhere.

  18. Molly says:

    I love this idea. My mom kept a bag in the bottom of her closet for just such a purpose.

  19. Lauren says:

    My “gift closet” is my actual clothing closet and I just hid the gifts I buy behind my clothes. Even if it’s months out from a holiday or birthday, if I see something while I’m shopping that I know a family member or friend would love I buy it and stash it in my closet. My grandma, on the other hand, hides gifts all over her house and multiple times we’ll find gifts years later 😂

  20. Lori says:

    I have a section of my basement dedicated to gifts I buy on sale (make sure you keep an Excel list or use an app like Santa’s Bag to keep track!) and the BEST part is I acquired a secondhand plan set filing cabinet (shallow, wide drawers) that perfectly fit gift bags, wrapping paper and tissue paper. I popped a secondhand magnetic board with a grid on top, and now I have a flat area to wrap gifts (and can use magnets to hold rolls open)!

  21. Betsy says:

    I always have a few of my favorite candles on hand for gift giving. I do have a stash of cards as well. I don’t have the space for a dedicated gift giving stash. I do however, have the Elfa gift wrap door station from The Container Store. It was a little pricey. So I really had to ponder for about a month, before I installed it on the door. But I LOVE it. With limited space, utilizing the back of my hall closet door was a no brainer. I love gift giving. Collecting wrapping supplies is so much fun to me, so I have quite the stash going.

  22. Tina says:

    I have a small cupboard in my hallway full of soaps, candles, cute notepads, a sweet serving board, etc. I can throw together a hostess gift and love that it’s not another thing I need to run around town for. I just check my basket. I also love that, heading into the holidays, I already have some stock pile for white elephant exchanges and the like. I don’t have to spend all that money in December.

  23. Mary Dryden says:

    My love language is gift giving and I’ve had some kind of an emergency gift stash sense college. One night in my 20s my friends were all over and discovered my gift drawer. I had been a little self conscious of it because gifts are often bought with types of people in mind instead of individuals, but my friends got SO excited at my hoard and all called dibs on what they wanted for birthdays and Christmas that year!

  24. Corrie Coran says:

    Love this. I’ve had a smallish dresser that holds the gift necessities. The top drawer has held small gifts that align with my children’s age bracket interests. This has saved our family money and stress for all their friends birthday gatherings. My girls enjoy creating cards so the on hand gifts has given more space & time for their hand made creations.

  25. TIFFANY says:

    Mine is called the Ginny closet, named for my co-worker who started it years ago :)

  26. CPetry says:

    Forgot to also say that I think this approach helps keep gifting on budget and on brand! I always shop sales and clearance to stock up from places that are more true to my aesthetic rather than rushing around to buy something last minute that is convenient but not really true to my style or values when it comes to sustainability, durability, etc. Shopping in advance helps me be intentional and get better deals! Win, win!

  27. CPetry says:

    This is so funny! I’ve done this for YEARS and just this past year met another person who did it as well and didn’t think I was nuts! My husband thought I was just a hoarder early in our marriage when I started doing this, but he’s come around to my way of thinking as a result of the many, many times our gift closet has saved the day over the past decade! I always have something on hand for when one of our children earns a reward for work well done or a hostess gift when we have impromptu drinks at a friend’s house or a dozen other scenarios that always arise—both planned and unplanned! Gift giving is a love language for me and I hate being unprepared with a thoughtful little something. 😏 Makes me happy others do this as well!

  28. Katie Y says:

    The farthest I ever will go in this direction is buying half a dozen bottles of wine around the start of the holidays as host gifts. (Odd experiences with grandmas who kept gift closets-potential danger is accumulating gifts without intentional recipients, people get things they are more likely to donate.)

    • Amanda Hettinger says:

      Agreed. My grandma had two ROOMS of gifts she’d collected to give, and then never did. I ended up with a brand new 20 year old stick blender at some point when we started cleaning it out! I do purchase gifts for specific people for specific holidays/ birthdays throughout the year, but these are things I know for sure will be gifted. For example, my Mom’s stocking is done because I’ve been picking up little things for it all year. I

  29. Caitlin Rose Low says:

    As a minimalist, the idea of a gift closet is so incredibly stressful to me. I’m a busy mom, wife, and full time RN, but would so much rather shop for individual gifts when needed.

    • Susan says:

      Agreed. Hyper consumerism. Other than small children, most people have or can afford to buy what they need. What you can’t buy is a heartfelt note that expresses how much that person means to you, so I do have a small stack of lovely blank cards. You can be an incredibly thoughtful person without adding to the waste pile in the world. The other gift I give is consumables. A new neighbor moved in and we drew her a neighborhood map with the first names of the people, kids and pets of everyone in each house along with a loaf of still -warm baked bread. I also frequently gift floral arrangements picked from my yard in a jar tied with raffia, which can be returned. Or I gift my time. A new member joined our church and revealed a new cancer diagnosis with most of her family in England. I sat with her at the cancer center during her chemo infusions so she wouldn’t have to do it alone. None of these required closet and shopping. I do understand that this blog needs to make money by selling things, but there is a real cost to our culture of hyper consumerism. Some of these gifts seem to be more about showing the status of the gifter than true thoughtfulness.

      • I can totally see what you’re saying, but for me, I have found that sometimes I spend MORE money waiting until the last moment to buy a gift and it stresses me out. It’s only been a couple months, but I have really enjoyed gathering things that I love at a good price ready to gift when needed. It’s also made me a more generous person because I have things on hand to gift. I do agree nothing beats a heartfelt note or the sentiment behind home grown flowers or produce. And I’ll definitely add that to my virtual idea closet too. :)

      • Alana says:

        Agree! I will snap something up that is vintage or one of a kind for someone and save it for an occasion, but a general “ready to go” stash is a no for me. My kids are older and don’t take toys to birthday parties anymore, which really helps.

      • Gigi says:

        Brava, Susan. You are a good friend; I wish you were MY neighbor. Best wishes.

  30. Amanda says:

    I’m short on closet storage but I have all my go-to gifts and wrapping supplies. Now I need to immediately find a cute and tidy area that I can keep them together because I love this. Also a box full of (mostly Emily McDowell) greeting cards.

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