Gift wrap organization is tricky. I think it’s because there are so many parts – paper, scissors, tags, bags, tissue – it’s a long list. Add to that the differing sizes of all the parts, and you have organizing challenge on your hands.
Not surprisingly, The Container Store nailed it with their Elfa Giftwrap Cart, but at $200 bucks, that wasn’t a reasonable solution for us.
I am not a DIY-er. But when I saw the Algot drawer cart at Ikea, I decided that with a little bit of (my husband’s) handiwork, we could make the the Ikea cart work like the Elfa station – for less than 1/4 of the price.
The Ikea cart already had drawers (only 4, compared to the Elfa’s 5), a tabletop and could be put on wheels. Attachments for gift wrap storage and ribbons were all that were needed.
My husband created a small wood base to hold the gift wrap. He framed the base with wood trim that sits 1/2″ higher than the base and attached it to the cart frame with industrial ties. To hold the gift wrap at the top of the cart, he folded a thin, pliable metal dowel to the same size as the base and drilled two holes in the frame. Each end goes through a hole and is held in place with a washer.
For the ribbon rod on the other side, he did the same thing, but put the washer onto front end so that old rolls could be taken off and new rolls put on easily.
And voila. Our first (and only) DIY project.
*It’s not an accurate depiction to say that this was our project, because he did 100% of the work. But I gave the instructions, so I think that means something.
This gift wrap cart houses our:
- Wrapping Paper
- Tissue Paper
- Small boxes
A bin containing larger gift boxes and bags that don’t fit in the drawers are housed on the top of the cart.
Why this gift wrap organization works:
- Everything that is needed to wrap any gift at any time is in one location. EVERYTHING (except the gift)
- The cart is on wheels. Which means that it can be stored out of the way (it’s currently in our basement storage closet), but can be pulled out and is usable within seconds
- Drawer inserts contain the smaller pieces, which makes finding exactly what I need quick & easy
- The cart & bin give finite boundaries to how much gift wrap supplies you can have. Only keep as many rolls of wrapping paper as will fit. As you can see, I keep less because I get overwhelmed by too many paper choices. I do, however, enjoy a multitude of choices for ribbons, so I have much more of that. But, even that is constrained to what can be held on the ribbon dispenser and in the drawers.
The drawer inserts slide along the top of the drawer and are removable, so larger items that don’t fit in the compartments, like tissue paper and sticker gift tags are neatly stored in the drawer underneath the dividers.
One benefit to the Elfa Cart is that there are three shallow drawers at the top, which would be really nice for organizing gift bags. These drawers are much deeper than I need, but if I pile bags as high as the drawers, I will have more than I need and won’t be able to find what I need when I need it.
The top drawer is baby gift bags or gender specific gift bags (pink and blue). The lower drawer is Christmas gift bags and neutral bags.
Want one thing you can do in less than 5 minutes that will make a HUGE difference in decluttering your gift wrap supplies? PURGE GIFT BAGS.
I haven’t bought a gift bag in over a decade and there hasn’t been a time since then that I haven’t had one when I needed it. I dare you to tell me that you need every.single. gift bag you currently possess.
In addition to allowing you to enjoy wrapping gifts (if that’s something that you enjoy), organizing your gift wrap saves you money.
As you can see, I keep and reuse a lot of my ribbon and gift tags. I buy a few rolls of wrapping paper at Christmas each year and replace a neutral roll of paper when the one I have runs out. Other than that, I spend, maybe, $10 a year on gift wrap. Because when it’s all in one place AND you can find it, you know that you have more than what you need and don’t feel compelled to buy more.
p.s. My absolute favorite gift wrap line is Sugar Paper at Target (it’s all I’ve used for Christmas for the last 3 years). Don’t like wrapping presents? Read about why we’ve decided not to give our kids presents for their birthdays here.