a gift stash is my fave

April 16, 2013

I don’t have the best memory of my childhood but I do remember the monumental day when I was introduced to the concept of a gift closet. I was over at my friend’s house preparing to go to a birthday party and her (cool) mom told her to hurry and pick something from the closet as a gift. She then went to the magical closet where there was a stack of toys still fresh in their packaging and I thought, “When I’m an adult, I will have one of those.” Most kids dream of fame and fortune, I dreamt of having a new Barbie to give at a moment’s notice.

Well, now I’m an adult and I was reminded of this closet when my family’s birthday season hit and I found myself being habitually late sending gifts. So I decided it was time to make my dream a reality. Here’s the foundation of my stash and tips on how to create your own.

you are my fave: what to stash in your gift closet

Layer 1: Games and Movies (for the whole fam)
If you see a gem in the $5 movie section, buy it. If you notice your favorite TV series goes on super sale, buy it. If you discover a new game you adore, add it to the closet.

you are my fave: what to stash in your gift closet

Layer 2: Items for those people you gift to the most (I’ve got 6 sisters and they all have a birthday each year)
A friend told me about this candle that when lit, makes you think you’ve entered an Anthropologie. Going in the closet. Original artwork is one of the most thoughtful gifts and accessible now with online shops. I love Courtney Khail’s watercolors (like this lime one) so one is wrapped ready for the perfect recipient. And I really can’t think of a person who wouldn’t like the One Line a Day journal.

you are my fave: what to stash in your gift closet

Layer 3: Every Weekend a Baby Shower
Since I shop for Beck regularly, I make it a habit to scan the clearance rack and buy items that are too cute to pass up. I also like to have some favorite items to share like this wooden camera from Twig.

you are my fave: what to stash in your gift closet

Layer 4: Receptacles + Amazon
It’s nice to have cute trays (IKEA!) and plates on hand for cookie deliveries and vases for grocery store bouquets. Also keep in mind some favorite reads that can be added to your Amazon order when you’re shy of hitting the free shipping mark.

you are my fave: what to stash in your gift closet

Layer 5: The Final Touches
Sometimes a gift just needs a little something extra like a set of happy cards or a chocolate bar (the almonds & sea salt in dark chocolate will change your life). This might be my favorite layer, I love having an excuse to collect happy bits.

Completely doable, right? I bet Martha has multiple gift closets probably filled with truffle butter and diamond cuff links.


  • On April 16, 2013 , emily said:

    great idea! it would be so fun to have my kids pick out a ton of items to go in the closet, instead of traipsing to the store every time we needed a gift. fun!

  • On April 16, 2013 , Kelly said:

    You are the best gift giver. Thank you for reminding me of the Stukey’s closet. Good times!

  • On April 16, 2013 , Sara said:

    i have a gift drawer myself :)

    has saved me in several occasions!

  • On April 16, 2013 , Shelby said:

    You’re so sassy, I love it! I’ve always wanted one of these closets!

  • On April 16, 2013 , Jana @ The Summer House said:

    Love your choices especially Spoon-such a cute book!

  • On April 16, 2013 , aimee @ smiling mama said:

    I have vivid memories of a similar moment — the time I saw my friend’s mom’s gift wardrobe. It was indeed like the heaven’s parted! Now I have a small stash myself!

  • On April 16, 2013 , Melissa said:

    Melanie, you and I are on the same brainwave today! I just did the lazy, order-a-baby-shower-present-on-Amazon thing 5 minutes ago, and I stocked up on Chocolove bars at the fancy grocery store yesterday. By the way, I offered to send you a chocolate bar last year after your In My Kitchen post, and you graciously declined. If you’ve now thought better of that, I have an Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate bar sitting on my counter with your name on it. 😉

  • On April 16, 2013 , Lisette said:

    I love this and try to do the same thing, but I find if I really like an item I might steal it out of the “gift” closet.

  • On April 16, 2013 , emily said:

    this has long been my dream, too. maybe it’s time to go make it happen… i did just buy an extra wooden tape dispenser from target because it was too cute to pass up. it will be the inaugural gift of my gift closet. thanks for the inspiration!

  • On April 16, 2013 , Lena said:

    This is so genius!

  • On April 16, 2013 , Kate said:

    This is absolutely brilliant! I would say throw a plain scalloped Target mug in the mix and you’re golden

  • On April 16, 2013 , domestikate said:

    I love this idea! I have a gift basket (same idea on a smaller scale) but have never thought about it in layers before!

  • On April 16, 2013 , Kate said:

    I totally have a gift stash, but now I want to go and add everything pictured to my stash!! You’ve got the perfect prettiness going on here.

  • On April 16, 2013 , Katie said:

    so funny – we just moved this past weekend & my mom decided to turn our hall closet into the “martha” closet for all my go-to-gifts & entertaining stuff. the problem is I never want to give any of it away :)

  • On April 16, 2013 , Margaret said:

    I don’t have a gift closet, though I do have a bookmark folder full of ideas. However, I do have a card closet. Every year, my husband and I go buy cards for all of our family members birthdays. We sign them and address them so they’re ready to go!

  • On April 17, 2013 , Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said:

    Brilliant idea!

  • On April 17, 2013 , Gina said:

    I have a little stash of random kid prizes/toys but nothing, no nothing so great as the Chocolove Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt. So the day after Christmas Walmart had a huge pile of toys that were 50% off. I bought a few Barbies then.

  • On April 17, 2013 , Mrs. Kinne said:

    I love this! My mom had a gift closet, and I remember thinking what a grown-up thing that was to have. My version is a large gift basket, and my favorite things to keep in that basket are malt balls from Harry & David and picture books by Mo Willems.

  • On April 18, 2013 , Nora said:

    I love all the great gift ideas you shared.

  • On April 19, 2013 , Friday Link Love - The Sweetest Occasion | The Sweetest Occasion said:

    […] We all need an awesome gift stash […]

  • On April 19, 2013 , Diana said:

    I love this idea! But I’m pretty sure I’d mostly use it for giving gifts to myself. Having a bad day? Gift yo’self! Feeling blue? Gift yo’self! Ran out of peanut butter? Gift yo’self!

  • On April 19, 2013 , Kelly @ IdealistMom.com said:

    I just love this idea, I’ve never heard of it before!

    Except now instead of making a gift stash what I really want to do is go buy everything for myself that you show here. Especially that candle. WANT.

  • On April 19, 2013 , rachel said:

    GREAT IDEA! Particularly with having lots of kids with lots of friend with lots of kids, having some easy kid gifts around waiting to be given is a fabulous idea! Thanks!

  • On April 19, 2013 , Grace said:

    I love having a gift wardrobe! Bonus – having enough room to store the wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue, boxes, etc in the same location makes life so much easier.

    One other thing that makes life way easier – writing down what I give to people! It’s saved me several times from nearly giving the same gift to the same person. No matter how great the gift, that’s a faux pas of epic proportions. :)

  • On April 20, 2013 , Lucy Mitchell said:

    This is ALL lovely. Thanks!

  • On April 20, 2013 , susan said:

    So love this idea and will start it today!

  • On April 20, 2013 , Jillian in Italy said:

    I have always had a gift closet. I pick things up during the year and am always ready for last-minute hostess gifts and b-day gifts. And I’ll admit…a few of the gifts in my closet are things I’ve been given and wasn’t too keen on. I’m the queen of re-gifting.

    And also for me Chinese Checkers and scented candles are my fave.

  • On April 20, 2013 , Nancy said:

    Love this!! Makes life so much easier! I’m all about candles as gifts….little knee, huge ones…just love how transporting and relaxing they are. Thanks for giving me license to restock :))

  • On April 20, 2013 , Nancy said:

    Love this!! Makes life so much easier! I’m all about candles as gifts….little ones, huge ones…just love how transporting and relaxing they are. Thanks for giving me license to restock :))

  • On April 20, 2013 , Fleur said:

    Wonderful post!
    Found you via Design Mom, and Ive shared this post over on my Facebook page today x

  • On April 21, 2013 , Eve Maria said:

    My mum always had a gift closet- we called it the ‘magic cupboard’!

  • On April 21, 2013 , Anndee said:

    I love the idea of a gift closet. Can you give some more information on the candle? Where can I get one and what is the scent? Thanks so much!

  • On April 21, 2013 , The Wonderful Web | Lovely in the Everyday said:

    […] never thought of having a gift stash, but this is […]

  • On April 22, 2013 , Aileen Bohn said:

    I Would love to know where you got that chinese checkers game? it is so beautiful thanks

  • On April 25, 2013 , christine said:

    now I want a gift closet too

  • On May 2, 2013 , Sheila@Chinaberry said:

    I love the idea of a gift stash. I keep one for adults, but love the idea of one for kids.

  • On April 9, 2014 , Web Coolness: Mother's Day gifts, guerrilla gardening, and the coolest Star Wars walker | Cool Mom Picks said:

    […] Be ready for any gift-giving occasion with a well-stocked gift closet. […]

  • On February 18, 2015 , an updated gift closet is my fave | You Are My Fave said:

    […] thought it was time for a gift closet update – ideas for items to have on hand in case of gifting […]

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