Last Updated on September 10, 2020 by Corinne Schmitt
One of my favorite mom hacks is keeping a well-stocked gift closet. By keeping gifts for every occasion on hand, I save money and avoid last-minute running around.
Why I Started My Gift Closet
Back in the days before I had children, I LOVED to spend a full day shopping for the perfect gift. I’d wander from store to store to check out my options, then circle back to the store with my favorite choice.
Then I had kids.
At first, I barely had enough time between feedings and naps to squeeze in grocery shopping, let alone gift shopping. As the kids got older, we had sports, school events, homework, a house that always needed to be cleaned, and plenty of other things that were a higher priority than a day at the mall.
The sad thing was, the good news of someone’s birthday, wedding, or the newest addition to a family became another item on the to-do list instead of a joyous celebration. I was obviously happy for our friends and family, but also slightly worried about when I would find the time or energy to choose and buy a thoughtful gift.
Benefits of a Gift Closet
Now that I have a gift closet, I can’t imagine how I managed before! Here are the main benefits (and why I’ll never free up my gift closet space for more towels):
No more dashing around the day before (or of) a party to buy a gift you’ll have to hastily wrap.
Since you’re not shopping on a tight timeline, you can buy gift items when you get the best prices on them!
When you have a closet full of gifts, you might find that you are spontaneously more generous. It’s easy to pull a small gift out of the closet to brighten someone’s day!
What to Stock in Your Gift Closet
Excited to reap the benefits of a well-stocked gift closet? Here are some ideas about what you’ll want to look for:
Gifts for a Variety of Occasions
The whole point of stocking a gift closet is to have gifts on hand for any occasion for which you might need one. Here are the most common:
- Birthday parties: for children the same age as your own: Buy age-appropriate toys, games, kits, and books
- New baby: Buy diapers and wet wipes (these are items you KNOW all babies need!) and layette items in neutral colors
- Hospital stay or illness
- Dinner party: Hostess items (wine charms, decorative dish towels, fancy guest soaps, candles, coasters)
- Teacher appreciation and other special observance days/weeks: Office or school supplies, emergency lunch or snack kits
- End of school year/sports season/activity season (for teachers, volunteers or coaches): Items you would buy for yourself (scented hand soap, beach towel and a good book, a pretty serving dish)
Gift Wrap Supplies
The gift closet is the perfect place to store your wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons, bows, and tape
Cards for a Variety of Occasions
You can either buy an assortment of special occasion cards or keep a set of blank cards so that you can write a nice sentiment for any occasion inside
How to Stock Your Gift Closet
Now that you know WHAT to stock your gift closet with, the big question is “HOW are you going to stock it?”. If one of the reasons you’re setting up a gift closet is to save money, you won’t want to go on a shopping spree to fill it on day one.
Instead, use the strategies below to slowly fill, then restock, your gift closet.
Buy When You Do Your Regular Shopping
One of the easiest ways to start stocking your gift closet is to pick up items when you’re already at the store. Check the end caps and clearance aisles to snag special deals at your favorite stores.
Buy in Bulk
Many things are less expensive when you buy them in larger quantities so buying in bulk is a great way to stock up your gift closet and save money at the same time!
Stock up During Sales
Buying gifts on sale is one of my favorite reasons for having a gift closet. Instead of paying full retail the week of a special occasion, I pay a fraction of the price by waiting for sales.
Side note: When you stumble upon great deals on everyday essentials, it’s a great time to buy items to donate to local shelters. Our local domestic abuse shelter is always in need of diapers.
I know I keep referring to it as a gift closet but that’s because I have a whole crop of kids and lots of “mandatory fun” events to attend on behalf of my husband’s job. If you don’t need to keep as many gifts on hand, or just don’t want to give up the closet space, you can downsize your gift storage.
This concept works just as well for a gift cabinet, a gift box, or a gift drawer! As long as you have space to store the gifts you’ll likely be giving in the next few months, whatever you use will work just fine!