In my house I have a Secret Closet.
It's not as fun as it sounds. It is where I keep presents before they get put out. I also keep all my wrapping supplies, suitcases, boxes, off-season clothes, and various other things in there.
See? Except for the present thing, it's totally not as fun as it sounds. (Although my kids think it's exciting. I'm going to have to put a combination lock on the door before too long.)
I decluttered this closet a while ago and got rid of A LOT of stuff. But since then, it's gotten pretty messy again.
Because December is the busy time of year for my Secret Closet, I decided to go in there and clear it out to prepare for Christmas presents and wrapping that would be using the closet before too long.
I got rid of a big ol' bag of trash—snippets of wrapping paper, tags from gifts, old receipts, empty spools of ribbon and paper, and so much more.
I got rid of a good number of things that I am giving away.
All of the things in the next photo are going to my friend Heather, although she doesn't know it yet. Her daughter loves little notebooks, so she's getting 36 of them. I also had a few leftover stocking stuffers that Santa can't give to my kids two years in a row, so she's getting those too. She can keep them or throw them away.
Next up are nine peg board games. I bought a dozen from Oriental Trading one year and Santa gave one each to my kids. And they didn't play with them and I still had nine left. So I'm donating them.
Oh lord, the bunny straws. Quinn had a bunny-themed birthday party last year. I don't know how I still have 48 of these straws that I put in the guests' goody bags, but I'm donating them now. Good riddance.
I forgot to take a photo of the next batch, but it included several small toys and party favor leftovers, much like the batch in the next photo.
I think everything in this post may have come from Oriental Trading, now that I think about it. These Santa cups came from there. We have five of these, but I hate holiday-specific dishes because they somehow get left behind in the dishwasher every time we put away our decorations and then I have to go pull the boxes back out to put them away.
So Heather gets these too.
Now for the fun part: the organized closet!! I've put numbers on the photos in order to point out the important parts.
(1) I put all my receipts in that Cheerios box when I take the gift out of the bag to wrap it. I throw the receipts away about once a year. That way, I know that if I need a receipt to return something, I'll be able to find it.
(2) Somehow I've waaaaay overpurchased party favors. The stuff in this box will probably get me through both Jack and Quinn's birthday parties.
(3) This is where I keep my tape, pens, scissors, and gift tags. The things on that shelf and the one below are either gifts that haven't been wrapped yet, things I bought because they were cheap and I plan to use them as gifts in the future, or puzzles I've done that I'll be passing on to my sister or anyone else who likes puzzles.
(4) This is another shelf of not-yet-assigned gifts.
(5) This is where I keep small boxes and little bags for wrapping.
(6) Those are my off-season clothes.
(7) More party favors and some piñata candy. I hope that if your kids attend my kids' parties that your kids don't mind stale candy.
(8) Boxes to mail Christmas gifts. I keep "good" boxes when I get them. Then starting in November, I start stockpiling other boxes that look like they will be good sizes to mail gifts.
(9) Stuff my kids are going to get in their stockings. All of this came either from the piles in the Secret Closet or the dollar section at Target.
(10) My ribbon stash.
(11) Assorted plastic containers that I'm absolutely certain will come in handy at some point.
(12) My wrapping paper selection. I'm full up right now.
(13) I keep my gift bags and tissue paper in here.
(14) The less said about THAT part of the closet, the better.
My Secret Closet and I are ready now. Bring on Christmas shopping!
Total items: 145