Gift Bag Organizing Frenzy

I love to give gifts, and I want every gift I give to look pretty, nice, or intriguing. I also tend to find myself scrambling at the last minute to pull together the wrapping or gift bag for said gifts and leaving a mess in my wake as I make it work somehow.

Gift bags are a great solution for that scramble…if you have bags and tissue paper on hand. In the last few weeks I have come across a bunch of great gift bags at TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning. At first I just picked up a few and brought them home for my stash. As I was putting them away I started to look at the tissue papers that were already in my stash and realized I didn’t have matching sets.

Since I have a little time on my hands right now, my organizing fetish kicked into high gear. I went through all the bags I’d brought home and cut off the hang tags, then paired them with tissue papers that were already in my stash. There were gaps. I had some great tissue papers I’d picked up along the way that matched nothing. I had bags that did not go with any of the tissue paper in my stash.

The horror. 

So this week I filled in the gaps and updated my gift wrap system.

  1. Take all the hang tags and price tags off new bags. If you’re re-using bags you’ve received gifts in (score!) take off any tags with names on them so you don’t have an “oops” later. 
  2. Find the matching or complementary tissue paper and tuck the folded sheets inside. 2 pieces for small/medium bags, 3 for larger bags, 4 or more for jumbo bags. 
  3. File your bags away in a handy container and store in your wrapping center (or in a handy closet if you aren’t quite that nutty about gift wrapping). I used a Sterilite Show-offs file box– I didn’t waste the lid, I bought 3 file boxes at one time and only managed to bring 2 lids home with me.  How fortuitous.
  4. Sigh in relief, knowing the next last minute gift is covered.
The selection of bags I had to match up with tissue papers.
New tissue papers to go with the bags already in my stash
All paired up.  Feeling better already.
My storage system, they all fit in a container meant for files, ditch the lid.

Is this totally anal?  Yes. But it makes me happy to know I can just grab that box and pull out any of the bags inside that will fit my gift and the personality of the recipient and I’m good to go.
Isn’t that a lot of gift bags?  Yes.   It’s more than I’m likely to use in a year, but it means that I have options.  I also do still wrap gifts or create funky re-usable packaging whenever possible.  
Isn’t that a waste of resources?  I don’t think so.  In my family, in particular, a gift bag gets passed around several times to different people, but they’ll crinkle up wrapping paper and throw it away in a heartbeat.  I’m the only one who carefully flattens and folds it.  (Anal.)
What are your gift wrapping tricks or anti-tricks?  Do you just give electronic gift cards and skip all this?
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