Personally speaking, I'm not much of a shopper, I don't like crowds, I don't like standing in line and I don't enjoy the smell of 400 different nauseating perfumes wafting through the air inflicting misery on my olfactory nerves; Which essentially means that rather than wait until last minute to shop for gifts with hoards of people rushing around, I prefer to keep a gift closet.
In addition to saving my sanity, it saves me a great deal of money as well.
A gift closet is a space that is set aside to accumulate gifts for various occasions. It doesn't have to be a large space, for example, my own gift closet is just 3 clear storage totes disguised as a plant stand in the living room. I've used it for years, I change the cloth seasonally to match the decor and no one is the wiser.
I prefer the clear totes because it's easier to take a quick peek to see what's available. You could use rolling under the bed totes, a small area of a closet, or even a laundry basket depending on the limits of space in your own home.
Another benefit is the enclosed totes prevent the items from getting dusty.
Let the Gift Gathering Begin!
Shop End of Season Sales- This is a great time to gain items such as linens, home decor, kitchen gadgets as well as toy sales at deep discounts. Perhaps your children are young and tend to get invited to birthday parties frequently throughout the year, the end of season sales are a wonderful time to stock up on boxes of crayons, coloring books, toy cars, fun outdoor toys such as sidewalk chalk and more.
Shop Holiday Clearance Sales- Naturally the prices on holiday items such as decorations, perfume sets, food gift sets, candles and baking items will plummet immediately following a holiday such as Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, Memorial Day, and the 4th of July. It's a wonderful time to stock up on gender-neutral gifts to have on hand in the event that an occasion should pop up and you'll need a gift!
Crafters' Delight- The gift closet isn't limited to store bought gifts either! If you happen to be a crafter and tend to go through spurts of creating handmade gifts, the gift closet comes in very handy for storing these items away safely.
Points to Ponder
At first you might be tempted to give the recipient a little bit more than normal, for example, if you have a gift basket that you only paid $5, even though it's normally $25. This is not only unnecessary, it defeats the purpose of having the gift closet to begin with. Think quality, not quantity!
Keep a list of items that you've purchased and added to the gift closet. It makes it easier to take a quick peek when an event pops up and you're trying to decide what to give that particular person.
Some items are timeless, such as legos, crayola crayons, or Playmobil. Try to aim for 75% off when you purchase items for your gift closet.
Keep in mind that stocking up on wrapping supplies when they're marked down is a great idea as well! Homemade mixes make fabulous, well received gifts, but they become breathtaking showstoppers when they're presented in pretty bags, embellished with colorful bows and offer a bit of rustic charm when added to a wicker basket with a handmade tag!