FlyLady column by Marla Cilley
Are you like the old woman who lived in a shoe, except you have so much wrapping paper that you don’t know what to do! Wrapping paper is expensive, and it takes over our craft room, extra bedroom or the dining room table when that time of year rolls around. It’s here!
Many years ago, my mother bought a huge roll of red Christmas paper. I can still see this hideous print in my head. I think she wrapped presents with it for 10 years. After she died, there was still some of it left! I was never so happy as to discard that paper.
I will never forget my stepfather opening a gift with his pock et knife so we could save the paper. It would take him what seemed like hours to open a present. Then he would gently fold it up. We all hated it. That is what happens when you are raised by someone who went through the Great Depression. They save everything: Ribbons, rubber bands, aluminum foil and plastic grocery bags. Have you ever seen a rubber band ball larger than a softball? Some things are not worth saving.
Having huge stashes of holiday paper and ribbons makes it hard on us to make a decision. We also put off messing with wrapping because there is so much mess! Then we make a bigger mess for ourselves because we put ourselves into the time crunch!
We have to get a handle on our holiday wrapping! It starts with decluttering what we have. You know those little pieces you have saved for those small presents that you never buy and those tiny strips of ribbon that are never long enough to go around anything. Let’s get out our wrapping paper stash and pare it down.
About 10 years ago, I came up with a theme for my Christmas wrapping. After being so tired of looking a busy gift wrapping for so many years, I decided to keep it simple! At first I used brown paper sacks and took them apart to wrap our presents. That got old when you would have to piece the paper sacks together to fix a large box. That is when I found a roll of craft paper in the shipping section of Monstor-Mart. With craft paper, all I needed was ribbon and gift tags.
I love wired ribbon! You can make a bow easily; it’s just like tying your shoes. I do one bow on top of another. It takes about 10 feet of ribbon to obtain a gorgeous fluffy bow. Now, don’t get all bent out of shape over how much wired ribbon I use. It can be reused because it is so long! For the gift tags you can use last year’s Christmas cards. Just cut the cover off and write the name on the back. I bought a stamp to put “To: and From:” on the card.
I color code my presents by whose home they are going to. My daughter-in-law loves silver ribbon. Their presents get wrapped with silver and our grandchildren’s gifts get wrapped in Santa Ribbon or Red. Kelly likes gold! The gifts I take to the office get purple ribbons. See how simple this can be, f you just think about it now and keep it simple.
Set up a place for you to wrap presents. Put a marker, scissors or cutter, your paper, tape, gift tags and ribbons in this area. My area is right beside our extra bedroom closet. I keep the rolls of paper in an old suit bag along with an old tote bag that holds the ribbon and tools. They just hang in the closet, out of the way ’til I need them!
Stay on top of your wrapping. As a gift comes into your home wrap it, tag it and put it away until time to put the tree up. If you need a place to hide presents from inquiring minds; that is what your stored luggage is for! They even give us a lock. Just be sure and write down where you hide things in your Holiday Control Journal. It won’t be very funny when you find those lost presents as you are packing for your summer vacation.
Copyright 2009 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.