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Start Stocking your Gift Closet

The holidays are over and it’s time to get back to your usual day-to-day existence. If you have a gift closet, it has probably been depleted by now. If you don’t have one, why not?

Basically, a gift closet is a stockpile of gifts. It guarantees that when life throws you a gifting opportunity, you’re not left with nothing or having to shop in a last-minute frenzy.

A gift closet can be an actual closet or a cabinet — wherever you have room. It’s what’s inside that counts.

First, start with a list of birthdays, anniversaries and milestones coming up. This lets you keep an eye out for specific gifts throughout the year.

And although you may be shopping for specific gifts, the gift closet is all about the generic. Gifts like wine, candles, pretty napkins, tea towels, etc. make the perfect gift when you are in a pinch.

Make sure you have gifts for adults, kids and even pets to cover all bases. New baby gifts, books for young children and pet treats all come in handy. Try to make gifts useful and something you may have already liked and tried.

Although you want something that can be used for a few people, don’t go overboard in buying the same gift.

The gifts should be nonperishable or with a long shelf life, and find gifts that are not size specific, like scarves, shawls, earrings and hair accessories. If you happen to be out and see something unique, grab it and store it in the gift closet. Odds are it will be needed in the future.

Shop local art festivals and sales to find different and useful items that look as if you picked them out specifically. Try to choose items that you find beautiful and interesting.

While you’re shopping, make use of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to stock your gift closet. Take advantage of sales as much as you can to be efficient and creative.

Don’t forget the wrapping essentials. You’ll need tissue paper, wrapping paper, scissors, tape, gift tags, ribbon (a few kinds), gift bags, pens and markers, postage stamps, tins, baskets and other interesting vessels to hold gifts.

Once you stock your gift closet, it will come in handy much more than you realize. Last-minute hostess gifts are a cinch when you already have a fun kitchen accessory to grab.

Additional gift occasions include housewarmings, birthdays (adult and child), co-worker promotions, new babies, new pets, unexpected holiday guests or an unplanned hospital visit. You’ll be surprised how handy your gift closet becomes.

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