Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year's Purge Part III: Gift Wrap/Arts & Crafts

As the last installment in my New Year's purge series, I attacked our gift wrap supplies and the kid's arts & crafts supplies.
If you're anything like me and like to reuse things as much as possible, you probably save every gift bag you ever receive a gift in because you never know when you'll be able to use it again. After every birthday party, baby shower, Christmas, etc I would gather up all the gift bags and stuff them into a container in my attic. Of course when I had an event to go to and I wanted to use a gift bag, I never went up in the attic to find a bag because I didn't have time to search through and find the right one.
Similar to my other purges, the first step was to get everything I had in one place so I could assess what I had. Then I looked at every bag and decided if it was worthy of being used again (ie was it wrinkled too much, did it have stickers on it, etc) and immediately got rid of about 30 bags. Then I sorted them by occasion - birthday, Christmas, baby shower, wedding. Next, I took each pile and sorted it by size. In addition to the bags, I also gathered up all the bows, ribbon, gift boxes, tissue paper, wrapping paper, and name tags that I had and sorted through those as well. Once I was done sorting, I had to brainstorm on how I was going to store this stuff using the containers I already had since I didn't want to spend any money on this project. This is what I came up with:

The container at the top houses all the non-Christmas supplies. The other container has the Christmas stuff.

I used some pieces of cardboard to separate the different occasion bags.

My last purge project was the kid's arts & crafts supplies. I had 3 or 4 boxes with all different art stuff in it like paints, crayons, markers, colored pencils, coloring books... and the list goes on. Whenever the princess wanted to do something, it was a project in itself just getting the supplies out for her and when it came time to clean up it was even worse. As you can probably guess - the first step was gathering together everything we had, it looked a little something like this:

Turns out we had a TON of crayons (many of them broken), a lot of markers (a lot of which didn't work anymore), heaps of construction paper, and well you get the idea. My first step was to weed out all the stuff that was past it's prime (ie the broken crayons, the dried out markers, broken pencils, etc). Then I designated a container for each kind of item. Taking a hint from my friend Francesca Verri, I made kid friendly labels for each container - meaning I put the word on the label as well as a picture of what was inside. This will not only help us find stuff but also help in the clean up process because the kids will better understand where everything is supposed to go. At the end of the sorting, the container looked like this:

SO much better! Just so you know, it's already been kid tested and it works!

Question: I have to know - did I inspire anyone to purge??

Last words: I will probably do some more purging when the springtime rolls around, but for now I will enjoy my freshly organized spaces!


  1. Amy! Great post and great job with your purging and organizing -- boy, I feel lighter for you! Your system for the gift wrap and the kids crafts look fantastic! So glad to hear it is working for the kids. After all, if it works for them, they will use it! Have a great weekend.

  2. Thanks Francesca! I'm still using inspiration and advice you gave me when we met to do all this organizing! :) Hope you have a great weekend too!