Friday, 11 January 2013

"Pick the best, Purge the rest!"

One of my favorite blogs is posing the challenge of ridding yourself of 50 items. It doesn't matter if you choose a junk drawer, linen closet or garage, just 50 items. I started wandering through my house chanting, "fifty, fifty, fifty," looking for the perfect purge project to start off my new year. Well, let's be honest, I found many, many purge projects that could have blasted 50 out of the water! But I did stumble upon this one that I decided would perfectly fit the bill.

My ever-growing gift wrap collection.

After studying merchandising and working many of my days in a retail environment, I have accumulated a tonne of "merchandise".  I once managed a shop in downtown Halifax called The Paper Garden (Vancouver and Calgary shops called Watermark) which sold beautiful stationary, journals, notes, high-end pens and a variety of gift items. One of my favourite areas of the store was the gift wrap section where exquisite papers, ribbons and bags billowed from every corner. Needless to say, I acquired quite a collection and over the years it has continued to grow.

I love receiving giving gifts tied with pretty bows, but with 5 children, the number of gifts coming into my house has multiplied. My children go to at least half a dozen birthday parties a month and I still cannot make a dent in my stash. So now I must do the dirty deed of purging some of the less loved items. My Nana would be so upset with me right now!  She was one of those folks who would take FOREVER to unwrap her gifts so that she could save the paper and bows. She was an amazing lady, but her frugal ways existed long before the dollar store entered Canada and gift wrap became widely available, cheap and totally disposable.

So how does one tackle such a job?

Divide and conquer.

First, I emptied the boxes, divided the contents into piles of Tissue, Paper, Bags and Boxes. Then sub-divided those into occasions, such as birthday-kids, birthday-adult, baby, wedding, Christmas, and general. I then got rid of what wasn't in great condition or ugly no longer my style. Picked my favs from each pile and then did a second round. At this point I became very serious about how many items I actually needed. Being of a certain age, many of my friends are not having babies or getting married as often as in the past. So do I really need 20 baby-themed giftbags? No. So I picked a couple of the best and purged the rest...hey, that could another chant, 'pick the best and purge the rest!'


This was a very hard process for me as I have always been attached to "things", useful things.  I am becoming to realized as I force myself to do more of these clean-out projects, that most of these feelings come from guilt. That I have to finally admit that I made a mistake in purchasing too much stuff to begin with and in turn, have wasted money by now throwing it away. But I have also learned (being the salesperson that I am) that someone's junk is someone else's treasure. I have recovered money and pride from alot of my "mistakes" by reselling or donating through yardsales or Kijiji. Sometimes, just knowing that someone else can use it makes the process a lot easier.

So now, this is what I got rid of...

For the purpose of the fore-mentioned purge challenge, count 'em.
small bags-11
large bags-32
giant bag-1

Total - 61 items!!!

I also had 100+ pieces of flat wrap/ends of rolls in that pile off to the side...SCORE!

And this is what I am left with....

So much more manageable and therefore more useful!

I also relocated the tissue and boxes into their own containers for ease of use. 

Gift Boxes

Wrapping Tissue


I am now working on a wrapping center to keep things more organized. Having a home for everything will help keep the contents under I just need to address my slight addiction to ribbon! 

What about you? Does anyone out there have a wrapping center, an under-bed storage container, or a box/bag thrown in the closet? Do you have a problem purging items that are still considered "useful"? Or maybe you are like me, and just have an entire room shoved full of stuff...I call it my craft room, my husband calls it something totally different.


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