Gift Wrapping Station

I must have really been bitten hard by the organizing bug, because things are really getting whipped into shape around here. I was getting really tired of my box of gift bags and tissue paper falling on top of my head every time I needed to pull it out of the guest bedroom closet. Then, I had to dump all of the contents on the bed to dig through my stash. Then I had to go check every drawer and pencil cup for tape and a pen. I was also supposed to leave 5 minutes ago, so the guest room remains looking like birthday party after math until I decide I should probably shove it all back in the box.

Such.a.pain. I had a few problems to solve here : I needed this box to not fall on my head and explode everywhere, the supplies needed to be moved into the office/craft/art closet, and the way I have that closet organized didn’t really leave a great space for gift wrapping.

{via Amazon}

Enter the over the door pantry organizing unit. I bought this organizer from Amazon for $19.99 (and free shipping through Amazon Prime. I love it!). This particular unit has 5 adjustable shelves, and only covers a little over half of the door. If you are wanting to store standard size rolls of wrapping paper, you will want to purchase a larger unit. I only have a few rolls of paper, so it wasn’t a big deal to me to tuck them in the corner of the closet. I love the short rolls that you can often find in the Dollar Spot at good ol’ Tarjay. They’re cute, cheap, and actually have a good amount of paper on the rolls. (They’re just not great for larger gifts). These fit just fine. It’s important that your organizer has adjustable shelves so that you can make a more customized station that works for you.

I found a leftover piece of elastic in my sewing tub and hot glued it around each bracket to hold in my abundance of gift bags (I’m all about recycling bags! One of my  best friends and I have a really goofy bag that has been passed back and forth every Christmas for maybe 10 years. We’re crazy.). I cut it short enough so the bags won’t fall, but since it’s stretchy there is always room for more. You could also do this for the tubes of gift wrap, if you choose to keep them on the door.

I put a container to keep scissors, tape and a couple of pens on the top shelf, so I can always find what I need quickly. This is going to be so great when Christmas rolls around.

The tissue paper is the tricky thing to store. I tried a couple of ideas, but found that the best way was the simplest (hallelujah). I hung a felted hanger off the bottom shelf and folder the tissue paper over. Easy peasy.

Organization and sanity for $20. I am now in LOVE with over the door organizers. Closet and cabinet doors are an under utilized space in the home. I’m already thinking of the next place I can implement the back of a door for storage. I’m thinking a clear shoe organizer would be great for playing cards and small handheld games in our front closet. I’ve learned that there aren’t as many messes the less you have to dig through a box.

ribbon scraps kept in mason jars

small gift boxes and wrapping paper tubes

What places in your home could you use some over the door or vertical storage?

Enjoy your weekend! :)

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Thrifty Finds Extravaganza

How was everybody’s weekend? I hope it was amazing, and that the start to the week was kind to you as well. Ours was crazy, busy, full, and wonderful! It was the kind of weekend where your days are so jam-packed full of people you love, great food, projects, and fun events that you just barely make it into your bed at night because you’re so exhausted from all of the goodness. It was the perfect mix of fun and feeling like I had accomplished enough on my to-do list. On the same note, I can’t wait to share with you some of the projects I’ve been working on!

I got a little thrift shopping in this last week. I found a few gems in the midst of all of the junk and dust. I’ve had a lot of luck finding some great vintage pieces for a fraction of what they are worth at thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets. You just have to set aside your fear of germs and dig.

I think my greatest find was my set of vintage, cornflower blue Pyrex mixing bowls. I laid my eyes on these babies from a couple of aisles over and practically pushed every other shopper out of my way Jingle All the Way/Tickle Me Elmo/Furby style (not really….there was like one other lady in the whole store, but it sounds so much cooler). The price tag read $8.99 for the whole set. That’s $2.25 a pop. I did a little happy dance right there in the middle of Goodwill. I have no shame.

Once I got my preciouses home, I did a Google search to find out the name of the pattern, and to get an idea of how much this particular set usually sells for. People! This set was running anywhere from 80-100 smackeroos! I could not believe myself. When my husband got home I did the whole “Guess how much money I saved today!” and then he says, “First of all , how much money did you spend?”…you know, the usual….but I think he was genuinely impressed with my amazing shopping skillz. (Yeah, with a Z).

Milkglass Compote Dish

 

I would encourage you to always do a Google search after you get home to see how awesome you really are. Occasionally, you’ll be able to find an inscription on your find that will give you a little more information, like the milk glass compote dish I found this last week. I flipped her over and found the name of the company, an item number, and location of where it was made. I then found that my beautiful hunk of milk glass that I paid $1.99 for usually runs around $15-20.

Holy clues, Batman!

 

Most times you won’t have that much info to run with, so a good description of what you bought should at least pull up a similar item in Google images. That’s how I found out that this cutie vintage, hobnail, milk glass lamp that I only paid $2 for also runs in the $15-20 range.

small milkglass hobnail lamp

So, what are my tips for find these great steals?

1) If the dirt, dust, germs, or overall clutter freak you out, just throw up a little prayer.

2) Know what you like and what fits your style. Keep your eyes open for the kinds of items that strike your fancy. Don’t buy something just because it looks vintage and you want to become famous via the Antiques Roadshow. It will only end up weighing you down by taking up precious space in your home.

3) Look for patterns. I noticed that in one particular Goodwill store, I was finding more Pyrex and other vintage kitchen items than I normally would. Odds are, someone in the area is decluttering their home bit by bit (and clearly have no idea what they’re giving away). Same goes for clothing — like my friend who always finds nice Banana Republic clothing in the same size at one particular store.

3) Do your research! Life and shopping are so much more exciting when you know you got an amazing deal! You may even learn a bit of interesting history on your way.

If you’re still not convinced, I suggest you check out this article. Amazing.

What fun finds have you come across while thrifting? Do you get as excited as I do from the “thrill of the hunt”?

Happy thrifting, everyone!