As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent a good chunk of my time on vacation cleaning out someone’s house. While I did my best to be patient and supportive, there was one thing that absolutely blew me away – the amount of wrapping paper I found in the attic, the basement, and the closets. It was as if Santa and his elves had moved in 20 years ago, bringing and storing all the paper ever made in the world, inside this house. Oprah doesn’t give away this many presents over the course of 10 years of her TV show – yet here it all was, in all it’s colorful glory. Wrapping paper, as far as the eye could see!
Now, I do understand that clutter of this magnitude can be a disease of sorts – it’s not so much that people want this much wrapping paper, but rather that it’s a hoarding impulse. But imagine all the space that could be saved in your house if you only had 2 or 3 (I have 1, for example) rolls of generic, general-use paper for all occasions! One good roll of colorful, nice paper can be used for almost any event you would ever need it for, and it would eliminate the need for boxes or plastic containers holding rolls from 1982. One roll fits in the corner of a closet taking up barely any space, and it is always at the ready. When it’s almost gone, I buy another. At Christmas, I might have to buy 2 – but I use it all that Christmas and don’t buy any more until next year. I know, I know, I could save money by “stocking up”…but my mental sanity and being clutter-free is worth more than the $1.00 I might save on wrapping paper.
photo credit: jared
What is your system for wrapping paper? Do you buy as you go, or buy when you need? I prefer the buy as you need method…but even better than that, you can try to get the family in the habit of using gift bags – they require no paper and can be reused year after year, leaving you with less clutter AND less waste to get rid of!