What’s the one thing most of us buy too much of at Christmas? (2 minute read)

Glittery, matt or gloss. Colourful or muted.  It’s all so tempting. Whatever sh*t is underneath it offers the hope of something sparkling and new which will change your life. And who doesn’t like looking at their own pile of satisfyingly wrapped present when the task is finally complete?

Well, let me remind you – something that appears so helpful will frankly be a pain for the rest of the year. It’s awkward shape means it’s often a nuisance to store and it sits around being useless for the next eleven and and a half months.

Most of my decluttering clients have a glut of wrapping paper which lives at the bottom of wardrobes or is dumped in lofts, garages and spare rooms.


Actually, I’m just as guilty so this year I decided to take stock. There was a lot. I mean a lot.


So I vowed not to buy any more until I’ve used up what I’ve got.

Christmas wrap is one of those panic purchase items – you buy some gifts then worry about what you’re going to wrap them in as you stand in line to pay – never confident in the amount you think you have and then those pesky shop keepers stick loads of it by the tills. Supermarkets offer the most temptation as you’re already pushing a trolley so it doesn’t seem as much of an effort to carry huge rolls if you can wheel them around.

So try not to buy before you’ve taken stock. Since going through my stash I’ve found a family of jiffy bags have been mating in the drawer. I’ve trawled the internet for ideas to sex them up for Christmas but to no avail. Any ideas welcome…


Whatever your thoughts on Amazon they can send stuff out in reusable cloth gift bags which have been useful.

Or buy similar from Etsy.

I’m getting a sad amount of pleasure re-using gift bags and paper which I managed to salvage last Christmas.

I intend to do the same this year but need to work on leaving a more acceptable amount of time between the present being removed from the bag and me grabbing it. I plan to keep my eye on where it gets put to reclaim later. Or I’ll volunteer to ‘tidy up’ the post-present debris so I can rescue any reusable pieces of wrapping paper too.

Here’s some I rescued last year which helpful as it already had the relevant details for this year written on it – win, win..


In an ideal world I’ll also collect random bits of tissue paper, ribbon and string to pimp up said reused bags and paper.

And when you’ve smuggly used up all your stash you can get really resourceful. Firstly, never underestimate the power of brown paper. Think Julie Andrews and her favourite things. These days you can get lovely silver and gold or striped string etc. And string is cheaper than ribbon.

paperandcardBrown paper can easily be brought up a notch with a few flourishes such as some stamps or hand-drawn stars. Some clever people on Pinterest dress their’s with buttons or sprigs of something from outside attached with said string. I’ve seen someone else tuck in some handmade paper snowflakes – the ones we all learnt to make at primary school. I tried an old cut up Christmas card and was quite pleased with the result.




Last year my odd (but clean) fluffy socks, again tied with a bit of ribbon, went down well. They’re coming out again.




Children’s pictures also make great gift wrap.

When I was feeling a little smug at using up my wrapping backlog it was then, of course,  that I found a whole load more  …. hidden in a ‘the special place’ which I forgot existed.


Luckily I remembered it before Christmas… but I might need to buy some more presents just to use the damn stuff up.


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