Create a “Gift Closet” and NEVER Pay Full-Price for Gifts Again!

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Keep reading to find out how much you can save with a gift closet!

woman with her gift closet

What is a gift closet?

A gift closet is a designated area (not always necessarily a closet!) where you store gifts throughout the year as you find the best deals on giftable items. Gift closets can be essential when it comes to saving the maximum amount of money on gifts! Having an area set aside to store these items means never having to pass up a deal because you’re short on space.

“But I don’t have an extra closet in my home.”

gift closet

That’s okay – most people don’t! Think of somewhere you could make a little extra space. It could be in a guest room, under your bed, in your garage, the attic, or your basement. Even an empty drawer or a storage bin would do the trick! I made one in my home by reorganizing a couple of closets and donating some stuff that was just taking up space.

Keep it organized…

Hip2save christmas gift list printable

I like to start off by making a list of everyone I buy gifts for throughout the year. When I sit down and write it all out, it tends to be way more people than I thought it was going to be. Having the visual list makes it super easy to stay organized and thorough.

We’ve created a FREE printable Christmas Gift List for ya! Just click here to print.

Need an extra page? Click HERE for more space!

Another great tip for staying organized is to keep a box with all your gift wrapping supplies – scissors, tape, wrapping paper, ribbon, tags/cards, etc., inside your gift closet or near your designated “gift closet” area. Try to stock up on these items after each holiday when they’re deeply discounted!

Be prepared!

Hot Wheels and other toys

Don’t stress when those last-minute occasions pop up! In addition to the list of friends and family to buy for, I like to keep a list of “miscellaneous” items that I’ve purchased so I know what I have on hand at all times.

girl balancing box on head

Have you ever had a kid come home with a birthday invitation for the next day? How about a last-minute baby shower, bridal shower, or graduation? It’s so nice to have the option to “shop” from your stash of on-hand items rather than making a special trip to the store and making a full-price “panic purchase”.

Your gift closet can also be an excellent resource when making toy donations during the holidays or throughout the year.

greeting cards

Don’t forget the greeting cards needed for these occasions as well. I keep a small shoebox of miscellaneous cards in my closet, including blank cards, so I’m ready for any occasion at a moment’s notice!

Here are a few quick tips regarding gift buying:

1. Clearance, Clearance, Clearance!

walmart clearance

Shopping clearance sales are one of the best ways to stock your gift closet on the cheap. There’s a predictable pattern of sale cycles every year, and knowing when to shop a certain category can help you to find the lowest prices of the year.

Download our free month by month guide and shop smart all year long

2. Keep your eyes peeled for stocking stuffers all year. 

lol surprise stocking stuffers

You can pick up some great deals on small items after holidays like Easter, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween, as well as items like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and jump ropes at the end of summer. The BEST way to save on these items is by shopping really far in advance and then holding on to them for your next gifting occasion.

3. Buy in Bulk!

candle sets on store shelf

I’ve purchased multi-packs of items before, like candle tins, and separated the set to use as multiple gifts for people throughout the year. And if you find an incredible deal on something, buy more than one! You can ALWAYS find someone to give it to, or keep it in your gift closet for any last-minute gifting occasions that pop up.

If nothing else, you can always sell or donate items that you just can’t find a use for, and you can feel good about not having spent too much money on them.

This concept stand the test of time! Check out this video on gift “closets” Collin made way back in 2013!

Check out these clever and frugal tips for gift-wrapping!

About the writer:

Jenna has a Bachelor's Degree from Lycoming College and her Master's from Penn State, holding 4 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.

Join The Discussion

Comments 15

  1. Erin mi

    I do this and it saves sooo much money. It is nice when a birthday comes up and you have something on hand. It is getting harder to do this for my kids as they get older (tweens and teens) and ask for specific things but it is nice to have things to donate/give when holidays come around.

    • Katie

      Yes! I have a gift closet as well, and completely agree, with my kids, neice, and nephews all teens/pre teens it’s a lot harder. However, thus past summer it was really nice with lots of graduation parties my son had to attend and was able to gift a lot of the girls gear were going off to college nice dorm giftsl.

  2. Hipgrandma

    I’ve been doing this for years now and it has saved me so many times. Always have something on hand for hostess gifts, Easter baskets, etc. Very little last minute scrambling.

  3. Sushi

    Every year we shop after Christmas sales to collect & save toys for donations in November. We used to do this for senior citizens too but the program stopped. I’ve heard nursing homes would love slippers, books , combs, and so on.

  4. 5pink1blue

    I find this is especially handy to have when your kids are young for birthday party invitations. I keep a Rubbermaid tub of “finds” and can easily pull together presents when needed.

  5. J. Sweet.

    Two Rubbermaids in the garage are my gift closet. The whole family knows to not peek!!! 😂

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      LOL! This sounds like my house, however it is a few stacked large brown boxes! Thanks for sharing!

  6. atank

    A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

    I do the same thing with rubber maids and in our coat closet (no one ever looks for their coat in there)
    But as Erin Mi says its harder as they get older

    • marina berllin

      My kids are adults (36/240 but they never refused : socks, underwear and … a caugh drops!

  7. Suzmorea

    THIS has saved me many many times. And it’s saving us BIG during a Christmas for the 1st time. Shopping way ahead and randomly getting deals off HIP2SAVE throughout the year is our thread holding it together and holding the gifts to be thankful for under the tree.

  8. Susan

    I’ve done this for years, it does help. I use an underbed storage bin. No one in my family knows about it. I also stock up on wrapping paper and gift tags after Christmas for next year. It drives my husband crazy though seeing how I stock up for next year 😊

    • MommySpendsLess

      I love finding high quality, solid colored or basic patterned (stripes, polka dots, etc.) wrapping paper and gift bags on clearance! I dress it up with clearance curly ribbon and bows and use it throughout the year.

  9. Judy Trac

    Doesn’t the gift expired or become outdated? I gifted toys before & the battery either doesn’t work or leaked. It was embarrassing getting some comments back from the recipients

    • MommySpendsLess

      Judy – I think the key is to buy classic, non-battery toys. It’s tough because it’s usually the trendy character toys that go on clearance and not classics but if you stick with games, puzzles, dolls (baby, Barbie or 18”), trucks, blocks, balls, animal figures, etc. you should be okay.

    • 5pink1blue

      I’ve found that I need to weed out older items sometimes but no very often. I try to think of 1-2 people I might gift to before buying so I don’t have a bunch of random stuff.

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