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Start Your Closet
You see, I know that I am forgetful (at best) and space case (at worst). And because I know this, I prepare ahead of time. I have ….. a gift closet.
What is a gift closet? A gift closet is a forgetful person’s lifesaver. It’s a collection of items that can be given as gifts at a moment’s notice. There are toys and nontoys for all ages, genders, and possible situations.
I keep our gift closet in an actual closet (the master bedroom closet, to be precise), but you don’t have to store the items there. You can keep them on a top shelf in the pantry, or maybe in a cupboard in your laundry room.
Wherever you choose, the important thing is that they’re out of reach for curious little eyes and wandering little hands (aka, your children and spouse!)
How Fill Your Closet
How, you may ask, can you make a gift closet without it costing a fortune? Or waste a lot of money?
And that is the key questions. We’re all about saving money in our family, so how can I tell you to spend money on things that you don’t really need?
I’ll answer your question with this scenario: you’re browsing through the clearance section and you find a fun toddler for 80% off. It’s a great deal, and you start to add it to your cart…..only to remember that you don’t actually have a toddler anymore.
Instead of regretfully putting the toy back, get it anyway! Take it home, and put it in a closet. You’ve officially begun your gift closet!
The beautiful thing about the gift closet is that it doesn’t require any extra work to create, but it will definitely save you a lot of stress! The next time you are invited to your spouse’s co-worker’s wife’s baby shower at the last minute, you’ll have a closet that has some bottles, baby clothes, and infant toys you can wrap and take!
(Or in our case today, the next time someone shows up for a Christmas gift exchange at your house with an extra child, you’ll be able to quickly grab a DIY model of the solar system from the closet so they won’t feel left out.)
One of the best ways that I fill up our gift closet is when I find awesome deals in this Facebook group. That’s probably where 90% of our gift closet items come from.
What to Fill Your Closet With
Now, the items in your gift closet do not need to be just for other people! Our Christmases and birthdays are much more affordable because about two months in advance (or starting in August, for Christmas), I keep an eye out for things that my husband or kids would want.
Retailers love to raise prices around holidays (like Easter and Christmas) because most people aren’t planning in advance. I can purchase a favorite toy (like a Fingerling or Hatchimal) months in advance for half the cost and none of the stress!
I also love to re-fill the closet with clearanced items the day after a holiday. Especially items that are in the holiday section but can be passed off as a general item (like a candle).
The Perks of a Closet
It really helps our budget to spread out our gift-buying. It also helps to not pay full-price when my darling children tell me last-minute about a gift that’s needed in a few hours!
Or, if I’m being really honest, they probably told me about it and I’m the one who forgot! Either way, though, having a full gift closet relieves a lot of stress and pressure.
If you’re looking for other ways to contribute to your gift closet and lower holiday spending, don’t miss this post on how to have a No-Cost Christmas!
An earlier version of this post was originally written by Tiffany on The Crazy Shopping Cart