Become a More Giving Person With An At-Home Giftery

As we slide headlong and uncontrollably into the holiday season, I wanted to share with the Houston Moms sisterhood something that has revolutionized the way I approach giving gifts. Like so many, about 2 years ago, I started working from home and suddenly my guest room became my office. With this new space came a small walk-in closet that was just begging to be used. But how? My job didn’t require much storage space and I didn’t want it to become a catch-all for the stuff overflowing from other parts of my house.

It was my husband who first floated the idea of creating a gift closet. He’s always been a natural giver; one of those people who never needs to ask what you want because he knows better than you do. So yeah, gift giving is easy for him and a bit of a struggle for me. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who has the perfect gift on hand but it wasn’t ingrained in my personality. His pitch was that this could be the way that my admittedly {sometimes} cheap self could become more of a natural giver. Because I truly do want to be a warmer and more giving person, I was game to try it. And so, the ‘giftery’ was born.

Right away, I want to banish any notion that you must have a huge closet completely dedicated to gifts and gift-adjacent items to make this happen. You could just as easily organize small items and a stash of wrapping paper in a drawer or cabinet. You could also allot a small portion of a closet to your present horde. The point is, you can skip over the part I was hung up on for years, which was that you had be a certain type of woman who lives in a certain type of home to be a person who is ready to wrap a small token of appreciation, friendship or love at a moment’s notice. Anyone can do this and I’ll give you some easy tips to get started!

Gift Drawers, Cabinets and Closets

gift shelvingYou’ll first want to determine what space you’ll use. This will directly affect the number of items you can keep at on hand, as well as their size. If you’re working with a drawer, you might consider small votives, marker/pen sets, beautiful stationery and stickers, photo frames and sheets masks or other small self-care items, such as nail polish, hair accessories or purse-sized lotion. You can also stash gift cards for local businesses in the drawer. They come in handy in a pinch during the holiday season, when people might surprise you with a gift and you want to quickly reciprocate.

If you have a small cabinet at your disposal, you can keep the same items as above and add a favorite book or a cozy blanket. And if you have a larger space, you can simply hold more of these items. I have a small collection of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin {$15} on hand to gift because I received a copy from a friend 10 years ago and it turned me on to Rubin’s work, which I really enjoy.

I also keep a copy of a beautiful sticker book featuring over 500 pieces curated by designer John Derian on hand {a steal at $25}. I gave it to a friend as a moving gift this summer. She texted within the hour to ask where I’d found something so ‘spectacular’. It’s a lot of bang for the buck and requires minimal storage space in your giftery.

If you’re looking for a blanket recommendation, the UnHide Lil’ Marsh is the perfect size and packs maximum coziness. I’ve given one to my boss for her birthday, brought one to the office gift exchange {where it was highly coveted!}, sent one after the birth of a baby and another when a friend started chemo. I truly do feel like I’ve found the perfect gift for any occasion! They usually run about $45 but I’ve also found them for as low as $29 during sales through my FabFitFun membership.

Ways To Build Your Giftery Stash

gifts from at home gifterySpeaking of memberships, here’s another way that you can load up your giftery without additional spending. If you’ve ever received a subscription box, you know that it will sometimes include one or two things that aren’t quite your style. These are perfect for your gift stash because they’re still quality items that others will enjoy.

Here’s a small sampling of the fun things I’ve received in a sub box that eventually made it into the hands of friends: a yoga scarf, wine tumbler with a snarky saying, a jade roller, candles that weren’t ‘my scent’, sheet masks, an eye mask, slippers, a manicure set, an eyeshadow palette, a cutting board shaped like a pig {ha!} and a leopard print collapsible backpack, among more that I can’t even remember. I never see these items as ‘misses’ because I always trust that I’ll find the right person to gift them to. Win-win!

All the Small Things

gift bags on top of shelvingAnother area you’ll need to consider is gift wrap, tissue paper, bags, bows- however you choose to package your gifts. I’ve recently shifted towards using reusable shopping bags for gifts. Not only are they usually cheaper than paper gift bags; they’re also stronger, come in many different themes and of course, they’re reusable. For tissue paper, I just bought a pack of assorted colors for around $9. I also repurpose gift bags my family receives and always keep the cloth gift bags Amazon uses when someone sends a gift. They’re great for oddly shaped items… just chuck ‘em in and pull the drawstring!

You’ll also want to have a small collection of notecards on hand in your giftery. I have a beautiful set of assorted occasion cards by Erin Condren {another FabFitFun winner!} and they have served me well in most situations. Blank cards can also work perfectly in a pinch. I usually put a fun sticker on the envelope but that’s just me trying to ‘spend out’, rather than succumbing to my natural tendency to hold onto them, unseen, unused, until they lose all stickiness {true story}.

I hope you’re feeling inspired to create your own version of a completely do-able giftery in your own space. If you’d like inspiration for holiday gifts for the special people in your life, be sure to check out our Houston Moms gift guide!

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Bambi N.
Bambi is a Kingwood transplant by way of Fairbanks, Alaska. Her Houstonian status was fast-tracked by her family’s disastrous Hurricane Harvey experience just 2 months after arriving… but she’s never looked back! She spent 14 years doing meaningful work for the University of Alaska Fairbanks before landing her dream job as a children's library worker for the Harris County Public Library. She has been happily married to Richard since 2004 and is an extremely proud mom to Miles {April 2012}. When she’s not scouring Pinterest for story time craft ideas, she enjoys reading, blogging and vegging out to British TV while eating pasta. Her family loves Disney cruises and will sail any chance they get! Bambi's goals are to create a Little Free Library in her front yard and to volunteer with local child-centric services. She a bit obsessed with personal development and would be happy to suggest several books and podcasts if you dare mention a similar interest! She can't wait to connect with Houston families through her writing and Houston Moms events.


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