If there’s one thing that prepared moms always have in their house, it’s a gift closet. If you’ve never heard of the term “gift closet,” it’s a stash of items you collect throughout the year and store until needed. You don’t have to have an actual closet though! You can use a tote, shelf or even a suitcase to keep your gifts hidden. It’s a great way to save money, be prepared for any occasion and not dip into your family’s regular budget when the need for a gift pops up unexpectedly.
These ultra prepared moms aren’t just saving for the holiday season. Fun items you stash in your gift closet can be used all year long for any occasion. You’ll always have something on hand to bring as a hostess gift or to a housewarming party. It’s also handy if you need a last-minute gift for someone’s birthday!
I aspired to be like these moms and now I’ve got my own gift closet too. It’s really easy to put one together and I’m sharing 8 tips on how to create a gift closet without overspending.
Set a goal to stock your closet with a variety of items for all ages. Having a gift closet will allow you to cheer-up a friend, thank a neighbor, show the teacher some appreciation and so much more. I’ve even used it as a way to treat myself and stay motivated towards personal goals.
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8 Frugal Tips To Create A Gift Closet In Your Home
Keep in mind that you don’t need to make your closet overnight. It can be a slow process. You don’t want to dip into your family’s monthly budget and cause any heartache over the spending. I have two hard set rules in place for my own closet: I never buy food items or toiletries that can expire. Rancid perfumes and body washes are a terrible gift – so I avoid that.
Set A Monthly Gift Closet Budget
Before you begin stocking your gift closet, set aside a small monthly budget to put toward your stockpile. Even just spending $10-$15 a month will add up quickly. You’ll end up buying some pricier items and some items that are cheaper. If you don’t find anything great that month, roll the money over to the following month and buy nicer gifts.
Be diligent in finding unique small business shops in your area. I love supporting small community businesses. Every area has some kind of store that sells items perfect for gifting. One-of-a-kind items always make the receiver feel special! I love looking for items unique to our home state that I might give a guest who is visiting us.
Even though you may typically buy gifts in your local stores, don’t neglect the clearance and sale section of your favorite retail websites. I even look at Amazon’s daily lightening deals!
There are often the same items online as in-store and the online discounts and coupon codes can help you get the best deal for your money. Also, many times the selection of goods that you can find online are different from the physical store products. If you are a smart shopper you can find excellent deals on tableware, flatware, toys and kids clothing from online retailers.
There are Facebook groups dedicated to just online deal finding. You can join one, to keep an eye out on deals, if you don’t have time to hunt them down yourself.
Use Holiday Clearance Sales For Your Gift Closet
The best deals for your gift closet are found in after holiday clearance. Not just after the Christmas season, but every holiday. Shop after Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Back To School, Halloween and even Thanksgiving.
From home decor items to t-shirts, tablecloths and even candles, holiday sales give you the opportunity to stock up on gifts for the following year. Or, keep an eye out for holiday clearance items that make a good gift any time of year–like solid colored candles, kitchen utensils, t-shirts, sweaters, and pencils. Don’t forget that post-Halloween costume sales make great additions to dress-up trunks for kids.
There’s nothing better than finding great deals after the holidays have passed. I’m always waking up to be first at the stores, the day after the holiday, to scout out great finds. BONUS TIP: Bring your receipts from the past few weeks and see if you qualify for any price adjustments.
Buy Last Year’s Model
When you are shopping for electronics, you can easily grab great deals when a new model is released. Not only will older models be discontinued, but you can likely find deals for up to 75% off on those as they clear stock from the shelves. These older electronics make great gifts for tweens and elementary age children. This age group doesn’t want or need top-of-the-line items, so previous years’ models and discontinued pieces will do just fine.
Stock Gender-Neutral Gifts
When you find something that could work for any gender, stock up. This could be a great deal on terry cloth robes, board games, travel mugs, grilling accessories, play dough and building sets, or video games. When you spot great gifts that you could give to any gender make sure you add as many as possible to your inventory.
This is especially important for baby gifts. I love to be prepared for unexpected baby showers that I’m invited to throughout the year. Those invitations always come!
Dollar Store Finds
Yes, even the cheap items can go in a gift closet. Think stocking stuffers, rewards and small items you could send in a card. Having a selection of small items on hand helps you be ready to make someone’s day with a gift.
I’ve used Dollar Store gifts for small rewards for great report cards and potty training. My kids all have birthdays near the holiday season, so I have to find a way to spoil them throughout the year with little things.
Don’t Skip the Pharmacy
The pharmacy chain stores can be a treasure trove of gifts and run sales frequently. Blankets, toys, plants, mugs, gift baskets and clothing are just a few of the gift-worthy items you can find in the chain stores. Most of the pharmacies have customer loyalty programs too, where you can earn more money off. This is also a great way to pick up personal care items for gifting and donating.
Now you’ve got all of the super mom tips to make your own gift closet! Having one should alleviate stress and save money. It’s all about being on the lookout for the next big sale price. Some months you may spend more than others, but over the course of the year, you’ll find you have built up a great selection to give everyone just what they want or need for any occasion.