How (and Why) to Start A Gift Closet

Gift Closet

Great additions to our gift closet courtesy of the Target Clearance sale!

A few years ago, we were having a lot of difficulty with our finances. It was mainly because we didn’t know how to handle our money or stretch our dollar. One of the hardest things to deal with during that time was the inability to give gifts.

When you are scraping for pennies to buy a week of food, buying birthday presents for a friend’s child just can’t be high on your priority list. No matter how much you wish it could be. Luckily, things are better now and a lot of that is a result of better financial decisions and being more proactive and planned about our spending.

I have strategically shopped for over a year now, and I have to say having a gift closet is probably one of the biggest perks of this new and improved lifestyle.

What’s a gift closet?

A gift closet is basically a place where you stash all those great bargains throughout the year to be handed out at birthday parties, holidays and to give to charity. A gift closet can contain clothing, cards, wrapping paper and of course toys.

Throughout the year, whenever you see a great deal, snag it and throw it into the gift closet! Budget a bit of money each month to keep your gift closet well stocked. In some ways, it’s the most fun stockpile you’ll ever have!

The best times to find items for your gift closet are right after a major holiday when toys and seasonal items go on clearance. However, you can find great deals all year round. From here on out, I’ll mark items that might be a good addition to your gift closet with a link back to this post.

When times are tough, don’t avoid birthday parties because you can’t afford a gift. Just reach into your gift closet and pull something out!

Some argue that this makes gifts less personable. I have to say I disagree. Be sure not to pick up every deal you see, most of the time I have someone in mind when I pick up gifts for the gift closet.

Start your gift closet today! You won’t be sorry 😉

Do you have a gift closet?

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Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

18 thoughts on “How (and Why) to Start A Gift Closet”

  1. I absolutely love my ‘gift closet’. We have a lot of Summer and Fall birthdays every year. Those are the toughest time for us financially, because we try to go on vacation and do little fun things throughout the Summer with the kids, so I started out by buying things for the Summer birthdays during the after Christmas sales, and liked having them already bought and not having to worry about them. Now I do ‘shop’ year round for gifts. I also keep a running list of what I have and who I plan to give it to, and also a list of the birthdays that we are always invited to every year, so that I don’t forget someone and end up having to run out at the last minute and pay full price for something :-0

  2. I also have a gift closet! It is great. I mainly shop thinking about my kids and my nieces and nephews. It is so nice to just go into the closet when holidays come around and not having to go shopping and paying full price!

  3. In our new house I have an entire closet too! In the past I’ve just had 2 large boxes. I still keep the gifts in large boxes divided for different age groups so that our son won’t spoil any surprises. The closet also houses my gift wrapping supplies all sorted by gender/age and clothes for my kids to grow into. What a wonderful thing it has been over the years to have gifts on hand. It’s saved me countless times when I didn’t think ahead before a party or baby shower. I’ve almost always been able to find something appropriate for each recipient. When I couldn’t I just stopped for a GC on the way. When I shop the big clearance sales I’m able to shop with nieces and nephews in mind and sometimes go ahead and wrap/label Christmas presents in July!

    P.S. Looks like someone enjoyed the 75% off sale at Target last summer as much as I did. LOL!

  4. Thanks for stumbling the post to me Heather! I need to sign up for your email again, for some reason I don’t get them & don’t get your feed on FB either, have to do something with my settings, because I used to get it all & now I don’t.

    Anyway, I have been doing this gift closet idea for quite sometime, I start shopping the sale racks right after Christmas and have a 32 gallon tote in my closet where all the bargains go.
    When my kids were younger & wanted something new while we shopping or needed a gift for a friend, I always told them they could go shopping in my closet and save their money.. I even charged them for the things they bought…(small amounts) but that also taught them to “budget” their money and spend wisely..

    Gonna share this on my blog!

  5. I have been doing a gift closet for many years. I especially love going to the first garage sales of the year. I grab brand new items for both adults and kids that were never worn or never opened for under a dollar or 2. That comes in handy when both your spouse and yourself each have 7 siblings and each sibling has kids and even some have grandkids plus each of our parents and relatives. We are constantly getting invites to birthday parties, graduation parties, baby showers, and christmas time. I put aside so much each month and add to my stash. You would be surprised what you can find at a garage sale and add to your stash. Women always love bath sets and i get even the ones from bath and body works gift bath sets that if you bought it in rhe store will cost you 50.00 i get it for under 5.00. So check out your garage sales for stuff people got for last christmas that they dont need and you can just add it to your stash. Everyone wonders how i can afford to get nice things for everyone in times like today when the economy is bad. Hope this helps everyone.

  6. While I don’t have a closet, per se, I do the same thing. Any time I find a great sale or great clearance item and have the money I pick it up (usually with a particular person in mind) and put it in my…well…. what would you call it….. stash. As of right now all the kids on my Christmas shopping list are taken care of, with a few exceptions for my own kids. And most of the adults are taken care of as well, with a few exceptions. ALL of my holiday shopping should be complete by black friday. And then I’ll start all over 🙂 but saving at a TON!

  7. I love the idea of a gift closet. I’ve done it for years, however at one point the gifts weren’t in a closet but more like spread across several “hiding” places in our home. This proved difficult because when I needed a gift at times I couldn’t remember where I put it. So, now everything is in one place and it is so convenient. I buy things on sale for specific people and then hold them until the holiday arrives, and I also buy general gifts in case I need a gift for an unexpected event.

  8. I don’t have a gift closet, but I do have a few gift drawers =). I tend to keep them stocked with fun little gifts I find year round as well as various birthday and holiday cards.

  9. What a great idea! I’ve never thought about doing this, but it is such a great idea. I saw a few things on sale just after Christmas and thought I should pick them up, but knew I didn’t have a place to put them. Now I’m going to start clearing out the guest bedroom closet so we can take advantage of sales in the future and have a place to store all of the goods! Great post! Thank you!

  10. I have had a gift closet for the last 30 years now. It not only contains bargains I manage to lay my hands on during the year but also those handicrafts I crochet or sew. When I first started off with my gift closet, I would aim to buy one gift every month. The gift closet idea works wonders, you never need to worry about gifts at the last minute plus it helps save pennies and pounds.My not so frugal spender husband has now, after 30 years of marriage, also started his own gift ‘suitcase”. Amazing!!

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