gift closet

How to Build a Gift Closet

Do you have a gift closet? I started one not too long ago as a way to have gifts on hand for birthday parties that I would forget about.

Since COVID has given us a way out of kids’ birthday parties for a little over a year, I love that I don’t have to frantically look and buy a gift at the last minute. This is why I like the gift closet idea so much. While it’s mostly for kids, there are some adult-friendly items in there as well that serve as a last-minute hostess, acquaintance, or birthday gift.

We are now starting to slowly ease up on get-togethers and small birthday parties due to vaccine distribution and quarantine fatigue, making now the best time to start building that closet. Want some tips? Read on to find out how easy it is to build one that’ll save you that late-night Target run.

For Kids

I love gifting items that don’t have a lot of bells and whistles and promote creativity. For babies and younger toddlers, I look for soft, gender-neutral items. These are by far my favorite muslin blankets and they are always having a sale. I also like items that I have personally loved and found useful when my kids were babies, like this magnetic onesie or nightlight.

For toddlers and up, puzzles are fantastic and my usual go-to. There are a ton of different kinds and vary depending on age and ability. Check out my post on the Zulily blog here on the different types of puzzles for kids and stock up on a variety. A current favorite in our house is the giraffe block puzzle that has numbers on one side and letters on the other. My kids work on it together and it keeps my youngest busy.

Other items that are always a hit with both kids and parents are legos, playdoh sets, board games and arts and crafts. While I haven gotten one too many bead necklace making set, I can pull it out on days that we have nothing to do and my daughter and I can work on it together.

One thing to note on these gifts is to never buy them at full price. Seriously. Go to TJ Maxx, Homegoods, Target, etc. and buy them if they are on sale. These aren’t the gifts for the kids that are part of your extended family, but rather the class birthday party where everyone is invited.

For Adults

I don’t like to give decor pieces that may or may not match the recipient style, so I stay away from those gifts. I do love gifts that are useful, have a humorous side and are beautiful.

Candles are always a good choice. It might sound cliche, but I’m telling you it’s not. A luxury candle that smells amazing is a great gift. Diffusers and essential oil blends are also in this category.

My favorite gift to have stashed away are funny kitchen towels. I LOVE them. They are color neutral, are a useful kitchen item, and are guaranteed to make the recipient laugh. I love these and these.

Other favorites include books, stationery, and fun water bottles. Grab them when you see them on crazy sale and stash them in the closet for the right occasion.

Final Note

Remember that when building a gift closet, it’s not about just picking random things that may make great gifts. The key to making a gift closet meaningful is to find items that you love yourself, would buy for yourself, or already have and love. That makes giving the gift more than just a random thought, but something that took time to think and plan for, even if it was months in advance.