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How to Start a Gift Closet

RegiftClosetHave you ever heard of the term gift closet?

Until recently, I hadn’t, but it’s both a smart and frugal option that will pay off in the long run. See, a gift closet is an area in your home (not necessarily a closet) where you keep pre-bought gifts for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers and any other occasion you can think of. Your goal is to have everything you need already stocked and bought at a lower price, so that you don’t have to go back to the store each time and buy items at full price.

The idea came to me when I was buying two more birthday gifts for my boyfriend’s nephews and nieces. There are 7 of them, with more on the way, as well as 8 siblings between the both of us, cousins, weddings, baby showers and more pocket emptying events. So many gifts, so little time and money! A gift closet was the perfect solution.

So how do you organize a gift closet? It’s actually very easy!

1) List all your gifting events

You know your relative’s and friend’s birthdays, any anniversaries, holidays, etc. So you can easily figure out how many gifts you need, for what occasions, and for which ages and sex. You may also want to consider buying a few extra gifts, in case there are surprise birthdays, weddings or events.

2) Budget, budget, budget!

How much money can you place into this pre-gift venture? It’s time to calculate just how much you will invest in each gift or the whole lot altogether. Don’t fret, the whole idea of the gift closet is that you can take your time to purchase the gifts when they are on sale or there’s a great deal handy.

3) Plan out your purchases

Where will you buy the items? Keep an eye out for discounts, sales, and coupons so you can pick up the item when it’s at its best price. Check out online deals and use comparison shoppers. When you’re not in a rush to buy a gift, you can take your time to be a smart shopper!

4) Pick up gift items throughout the year

See an amazing post-Christmas deal on unsold stock? Don’t be afraid to pick out what you need for your gift closet. They are heavily discounted items that can come in handy as gifts in the future. You can also rummage through yard sales, clearance tables at retail stores and thrift shops. Something may pique your interest as a potential gift.

5) Stay organized

You may end up having a lot of gifts in the closet and little idea of what’s in there. Keep a spreadsheet that you can update each time you remove or add a gift item. That way, you won’t overstock on gifts.  Ideally, you will also mark what occasion they are good and if it’s meant for someone specific.

Gift Closet InventoryDownload here

Find the strategy that works best for you and go for it. It’s a great way to be smart about gift purchases!

If you need some inspiration, check out these amazing gift closets and their savings:

Gift Closet - Melanie
Melanie in the Middle
Growing Up Gardner Gift Closet
Growing Up Gardner
Southern Living Gift Closet
Southern Living
It's a Fabulous Life - Gift Closet
It’s a Fabulous Life

About Ronnie E.

Ronnie is the frugal Latina of the group. Hailing from the beautiful Andes Mountains in Bolivia, she lives and breathes frugality. She loves to figure out how to spend less money and takes on the challenge of finding great deals and cheaper options every day.

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  • Liisi Carr

    This is a really cool idea! When we finally move into our house I’ll have room to do that! Thanks so much!

    • Me too! I’m very excited about doing this as part of moving in together. 🙂

  • sandy

    I have had a gift closet for years! It is fantastic. My sister in law decorates for each holiday so after the holiday is over I stock up on items between 75 and 90% off for her birthday and Christmas. I am able to spend $10 to $20 on her but give her gifts worth $100 or more!

  • Corinne Schmitt

    I have a gift closet! I love picking up things on sale and then not having to rush around at the last minute if we’re invited to a party. It’s also fun to brighten someone’s day with an unexpected surprise.

  • Melinda Kuffler Dunne

    I do try to have gifts on hand. I don’t have a gift closet but I love that idea! I do purchase items throughout the year to give away but I don’t do it very often.

  • Jenny S.S.

    That is a fabulous idea! I have been using a small box for the same purpose but I love the idea of organizing and expanding things for every special occasion and saving a little money too!

  • I have done this on and off through the years and I clear it all out during Christmas mostly. It saves a TON of money!

  • Sheila

    Never heard of gift closet until now. Sounds like a great ideas though. very organized, convenient and accessible.

  • Maria

    I’m starting right now for Christmas!! Great tips!

  • Natalie Elisabeth

    Sounds like a good idea if you have the money and not a lot of kids… Something always comes up when we want to save money/buy early for Christmas..

  • malia p

    I like picking up gifts throughout the year if it’s a really good deal!

  • Cristina

    I love that gift closet inventory. Super clever, huh.

  • Erika Messer

    I love this idea! I am going to start doing this 🙂

  • hangontite2000

    this is the best idea i’ve seen in a long time. now to empty a closet to get started

  • karen cochrane

    this is an amazing idea that you have come up with i think i will try it

  • Joana Bento

    This is an awesome idea!!!! I’m thinking about doing it!

  • Lynn Buttedal

    I love the writing down all bdays to dtay organized and know whose bday or event is coming up!

  • Stephanie Daniel Ferrell

    I usually have some gifts on hand but this takes it to a whole new level!

  • Marcia Lee

    I have had a gift “closet” for years and I shop throughout the year for gifts I think my friends and family will like. I have never had a gift inventory, but I want to start one. Thank you for the link to the free download.