Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I Like This

I think I made mention of this last year in a blog post about wrapping gifts. In the early 1990's, some organizational guru printed a list of tips for making the holidays less stressful. One of the tips he had, which I have adopted, is using one roll of wrapping paper to wrap all your gifts. Since adopting this, I can't imagine having a box of different wrappings spread out all over the livingroom with me in the middle trying to decide if my sister would like reindeer or snowflakes. Of course, that means the wrapping paper industry, if such exists, is not making any money off me.

This idea works on a number of different levels.
  • #1 - Declutter. I don't have 6 or more rolls taking up space. If flat wrap was as economical as tube wrap, I'd only buy flat wrap because I have the perfect size box to store it and the perfect size space to store the box. 
  • #2 - Recycling has come a long way from the days of stuffing paper in garbage bags and hauling it out to the curb the next collection day after Christmas. We used to save our paper anyway, particularly off the larger gifts. You just cut off the tape residue and reused the piece. When I was growing up, we burned all the wrapping paper in the burn barrel. That's not an option for someone in a condo, so it's very good that it can all be recycled. The only stuff I don't recycle is the stuff that gets food or beverages on it. In the crush of unwrapping, that's more common than you might expect. 
  • #3 - In the stack of packages under the tree, everyone knows the packages with the ornament wrapping paper are from me.
I buy paper about once every 3-4 years, yes, years. When I buy it, I look for designs I won't be against using for years, yes, years, to wrap gifts. If you get something from me this year, unless I'm at the end of a roll, you'll get the same paper next year.

I used to buy paper from the grade school kids who would sell it door-to-door in the middle of October. They don't seem to do that anymore, which is sad, because that was good, sturdy paper. In its stead, I have found Current, Inc. has the best value in wrapping paper. The rolls are large and the paper is sturdy. That comes in handy when you unroll a hunk and a cat wants to "help", plopping themselves down in the middle of your large swath. Some of the cheap papers are cheap and claws easily poke holes in cheap paper. It also tears around the edges of books or boxes of Munchkin card games or packages of chocolate covered cherries. Plus, I like bright and interesting and colorful paper. Cheap paper just looks cheap and there's less of it on a roll so you need more rolls. That's not cost effective.

I could tell, as I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped these scarves I made, that I would need more paper. There was no time to order a couple of rolls so I dashed over to my close Hallmark store. I needed cards for the office anyway so it wasn't a trip solely for wrapping paper. The selection wasn't as exciting as I remember in years past but I found a roll and discovered if I bought one roll, I got the second for a dollar. That is cost effective. I do like Hallmark rolled wrapping paper. On the back is printed a 1 inch by 1 inch grid which makes cutting the paper for wrapping so easy. You don't find yourself with a diagonal line because the help decided to lie down in the line of the scissors.

My selection made, I deposited my purchases on the counter. One gal rang them up while the other created this nifty wrapping paper holder.

It's a bit mangled because I pulled it open and then thought, "Oooh! Blog post!" It's a strip of heavy paper with a band of adhesive on the end. It wraps around the paper and the adhesive is affixed to the backside at just the right spot to hold the tubes steady. The handle is then popped up for easy carrying. No more juggling long paper tubes in a bag and, inevitably ripping the bag. It was easy to bring the tubes into the house, too. Since it's made of heavy paper, into the recycling bin it went.

Now that the shiny ornament paper is used up, I have gone to the plaid. Most people got ornaments this year. It's the tail end of the gifts who are getting plaid. I'm thinking I may order a couple more tubes from Current after Christmas. While I have enough for 2014, I rather like the idea of not needing wrapping paper for a couple or 3 years unless I need to wrap that car I buy for my daughter when I win the lottery.

Like that's going to happen. Hand me the scissors please, and do we have enough tape?

Beverage:  Irish Breakfast tea


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