- It’s in expensive – all you need is brown paper and a Sharpie or felt tip marker
- It’s a great way to personalise a gift – you’re only limited by your imagination and don’t have to be good at drawing.
- It’s quick – keep a stash of brown paper in the cupboard and you’re ready to get drawing.
You’re rushing to get to the birthday party on time and you’ve got five minutes to wrap your gift and write in the card.
Sound familiar? We often spend so much time focusing on what gift to buy that when we eventually find the right present we breathe a sigh of relief as we deposit the gift and card in the cupboard to be wrapped and written in another day. But we all know the joy of opening a beautifully wrapped gift.
Here are a few reasons why gorgeous gift wrapping rocks:
1. First impressions are everything
2. It shows you care enough to spend more time and attention on the little details (this means extra Brownie Points for you!)
3. You can really personalise a generic gift
4. You can get creative and use a form of wrapping that the recipient can reuse (such as a tea towel) which is also better for the environment
5. It can take the recipient on a ‘journey’, creating suspense, or offering a clue about what the gift is and just make them feel special.
In this post, Julie Starr Hook, owner of Five Starr Organizing shares some great gift wrapping advice…
1. What are the best types of wrapping paper?
Julie: The qualities I look for in wrapping paper start with thickness. If the wrapping paper is to thin, it will split apart on the ends.
If the paper is too heavy, it is difficult to get the paper flat against the item you are wrapping. I don’t like paper with glitter. It looks pretty, but is very messy to work with. The glitter can also attach to the bows and other embellishments.
I like wrapping paper that you can coordinate with other paper and that matches your holiday décor.
The top places I have found to buy this kind of paper are at Cost plus World Market, Costco and The Container Store.
2. What is your wrapping technique? Why is your method the best?
1. Measure and cut the wrap to the item’s size.
2. The first wrap I put on a piece of tape. This way the wrap is secure and the wrap won’t “get away” from me. The second step that I do is to fold the piece of wrap on the end and secure it to the first piece. This way you don’t see an unfinished seam.
3. I do the ends in two different ways. The first method is folding the top piece of paper down and creasing the ends and folding them to the middle and then you have one piece of paper. Fold down the raw edge and secure with tape. The second method is to take both sides of one end and fold them then fold them to make a nice edge. The size of the present dictates which method I use.
These methods are best because the gifts look beautiful and the wrap stays secure.
3. Ribbon or no ribbon?
Julie: It’s nice to have a combination of ribbon and bows. I prefer wire edged ribbon. You can make the ribbon look different each time you use it. My least favourite ribbon is the curling ribbon. It’s time consuming and doesn’t look as nice as the fabric ribbon. I tend to use that ribbon for kids gifts.
4. How does your style of wrapping vary for gifts for men, women and kids?
Julie: My wrapping technique stays the same for men, women and kids. However, the wrapping and embellishments I use vary. I choose my wrap and embellishments on the style of the person versus gender. However, for kids, I like to use bright, fun wrapping and keep my wrap choice more gender specific.
5. What are some cost effective/eco-friendly alternatives for presenting a gift beautifully?
Julie: You can reuse paper and embellishments year after year if it is in good condition.
Buy paper that can be recycled. Avoid foil and wrap with glitter. Some people purchase Christmas boxes that can be reused year after year that don’t even need to be wrapped. Others make fabric sacks with beautiful ribbon that can be used year after year.
These tips were kindly shared with us by Julie Starr Hook. Julie is the owner of Five Starr Organizing and Design and author of a book called, “From Frazzled to Freedom”. As a Professional Organizer, I am hired by my clients to wrap gifts during the holidays. I have wrapped hundreds if not thousands of gifts in the past several years. Learn more about what Julie does here: www.fivestarrorganizing.com and www.fromfrazzledtofreedom.com
So you’ve finished spring cleaning your garden and now it’s time to focus on your garden. The recent wet weather in Australia’s eastern states has resulted in a surge of growth in many gardens, so where to start?! This week Paul’s Landscaping Sydney have shared some of their top tips on how to spruce up your garden…
What gardening jobs do you enjoying doing?
I’m snuggled up inside on a cool, wet and windy (spring?) day here at Mr Gift HQ in Canberra. After I’ve finished this blog post I’m off to tackle some of my “indoor” spring cleaning tasks. These tips from Kennards Hire inspired me to break my spring cleaning To Do list down into indoor and outdoor jobs, as well as different areas around the home. This way you can make the most of sunny spring days with outdoor jobs, but still tick tasks off your list on days when spring showers are about…
1. Plan ahead
A checklist divided into indoor and outdoor areas will be beneficial to anyone spring cleaning around the house.
Consider segregating your chores based on different areas around the home and divide your time over a few weekends if necessary. This allows you to methodically tick off tasks as you complete them and breaks down the cleaning process into small tasks to make a big job easy. Sanity restored.
Mr Gift Tip: Set a fun deadline, such as hosting a spring BBQ or dinner party with friends and family. This will help keep you focused so you have something fun to look forward to as a reward for all of your hard work.
2. Top jobs
If you don’t know where to start, here are some key tasks to focus on:
• Use a pressure washer to clean your driveway of grime and mould.
• Remove dead leaves and debris from gutters and the roof.
• Apply a fresh coat of varnish and add new life to your veranda.
• Inspect your home and outdoor entertaining areas for mould – use a pressure washer on any that you come across.
• De-clutter the garage or shed.
• In the garden, remove dead branches from trees and shrubs and any other build-up of debris to encourage new growth. This is also important in the lead up to bushfire season.
3. Essential equipment
The right tools can make spring cleaning a breeze, so invest in quality gear to save yourself time and effort. If you don’t have all the necessary tools, your local Kennards Hire branch has a huge range of equipment for DIYers to make your job easy. This is also a great way to save money on gear you may only need once a year.
Mr Gift Tip: If you don’t know how to do a particular job, seek advice. There are so many How-To videos available on the internet these days, or ask around friends and family. Chances are someone has experience in doing the job you want to get done and can offer advice.
These tips were kindly shared with us by Kennards Hire, a family hire and leasing company with locations around the country. Throughout September and October, your spring cleaning work can help Australian kids who need it most thanks to the Kennards for Kids Initiative. Throughout this time, Kennards Hire is donating $2 from every hire to children’s charities across the country. All the more reason to get busy tackling all your spring cleaning jobs. For more information visit www.kennards.com.au
It’s not just your home that will benefit from a spring clean this month. Spring is a great time to bring your body out of hibernation and get it ready for that summer clothing. Beyond Fitness have kindly shared some of their top fitness tips to get you off the couch this spring…
1. Spring clean your fitness wardrobe
Spring is the start of new life and a new you. What better way to get motivated than with a new workout wardrobe. Check out the latest trends and colours in sports stores or major department stores. You can often pick up a bargain too! With the right gear, you will feel ready to take on anything.
2. Get your mindset right – slow and steady wins the race!
With three months before summer really kicks in, why not take your time and work towards it? Set up SMART goals and work towards them. This will help to prevent injuries and gives you reason to stay motivated from spring to summer.
Mr Gift Tip: Write down a ‘Wish List’ of things you’d like to achieve, then break each wish down into a few steps. Prioritise your wishes, then work to tick them off, one by one so you don’t become overwhelmed.
3. Try something new
Give yourself a new challenge and have a crack at something new to maintain motivation. How about circus training? Dancing? Pilates? It’s time to spring in to action and give it a try! You never know, you might even enjoy it!
Mr Gift Tip: Get a friend involved. Having a bit of support will make it less scary, and it’s a good way to catch up with a friend you might not see as often as you’d like.
4. Get new music on your iPod
Nothing makes you want to pound the pavements more than a new music playlist with some pumping tunes. It will make the kilometres come and go so quickly, you’ll have run or walked 10kms before your playlist is over. Just watch that weight disappear and your motivation increase.
Mr Gift Tip: Make a ‘wish list’ of new songs you’d like to purchase when you hear them on the radio, etc. When you get a chance to update your playlist this means you know what songs you really want and can update your list quickly.
5. Give your body a spring clean
Avoid the aches and pains that might join you on your new increased training regime. Get a treatment such as massage or osteopathy to sort out any imbalances which could affect your posture, energy, and form when working out. Make sure your body can keep up with your burst of springtime motivation.
Mr Gift Tip: Source new recipes to add to your repertoire that make the most of the new season produce.
These tips were kindly shared with us by Beyond Fitness. Beyond Fitness is a personal training studio in Moonee Ponds that is dedicated to helping clients achieve their goals in a safe and achievable manner that is both fun and motivational. With the huge knowledge and experience base of manual therapy and fitness training, they can help any individual achieve their health and fitness desires. For further information, please visit www.beyondfitnesshealth.com.au
How do you reinvigorate your health and fitness routine for summer?
When we were seeking experts to interview for our Spring Cleaning blog series, we thought a cleaning company would have some good advice to share. We certainly weren’t disappointed! Today’s tips are from Paul’s Carpet Cleaning Sydney…
1. De-clutter first – There is no point cleaning a cluttered home. Getting rid of items you no longer use will help you ‘wipe the slate clean’ and chase those winter blues away. Start cleaning once you have created space for everything that summer has in store for you (some new summer clothes perhaps??)
Mr Gift Tip: Tackle one area at a time so you feel like you’re making progress. Treat yourself afterwards with something new, like a piece of summer clothing or jewellery (preferably jewellery as it takes up less space!)
2. Get stuck in – Spring cleaning is all about tackling the chores you usually don’t have time to do. That means cleaning behind furniture, underneath carpets (or better yet, washing them entirely and scrubbing bathroom corners). Don’t forget upholstery too! In spring and summer when the sunshine enters our homes it reveals dust, stains, and signs of wear and tear.
Mr Gift Tip: Make a note of when you do these big jobs in your calendar or on your phone so you can set a reminder to do them again in 6-12 months’ time.
3. Don’t forget the BBQ – When you spring clean never miss the BBQ. Sunny spring days will mean you’ll probably want to enjoy yourself outdoors, and you don’t want to be held back by the state of your greasy grill. Have it cleaned and ready for spontaneous garden parties.
Mr Gift Tip: Buy some nice meat and make a tasty salad so you can treat yourself to a delicious meal after all the hard work is done.
4. Get the most out of your clean – During a spring cleaning session put some weights around your arms and ankles to burn more calories. This will help get the home clean and will make you feel better when you try your swimsuit from last year.
Mr Gift Tip: They are lots of other ways you can add some exercise into your cleaning routine – try adding 10 x squats, star jumps or if you’re really keen, burpes in between jobs, or do walking lunges to get around the house.
5. Get help – delegate your chores, involve the children in the process, or get professional help. There’s no shame in it.
Mr Gift Tip: A job incentive chart for children can be helpful to give them something to work towards when they do their chores. A chart also gives them responsibility and ownership of specific jobs in the home. Professional cleaners can help get your home back to a manageable state, even if you only use them once or twice a year, especially to clean carpets and upholstery.
These tips were kindly shared with us by Paul’s Carpet Cleaning Sydney. These guys are your one-stop solution to clean carpets and upholstery. Whilst Paul’s specializes in carpet and rug cleaning, they also offer a variety of other affordable services such as on-site curtain cleaning, mattress cleaning and end of lease cleaning. Check out their website: www.paulscarpetcleaningsydney.com.au
Here’s a fun video with some more tips on how to clean your space…