Are you planning for the big day? You’ve got your color-coordinated linens and the perfect dress. You’ve carefully researched caterers and tried every flavor of cake. However, you’ve probably forgotten about wedding presents.
That’s right — the presents. The average wedding has 126 guests in attendance — though some have tons more. Even counting guests who arrive as couples and families, that’s still around 60 potential gifts. What are you going to do with them all?
Now is the time to plan, not when you lug everything home. Follow the five tips below to clear your home for wedding gifts.
1. Visualize Your New Space
The best way to plan how you want your space to look is to envision it. Consider which gifts you’ll likely receive, like items added to the registry. For an influx of appliances, you might need to clear counter space in the kitchen. Go through your linens to decide what you can swap out for new.
If you’re the creative type, sketch out each room and how you want it to look. Do you like the cozy feel, filled with grandma’s quilt and twinkling lights? Perhaps you’re looking for the minimalist approach, with material possessions hidden away. Determine what aesthetic you want to achieve.
photo by Lindley Battle Photography
2. Clear One Area at a Time
It’s easy to get overwhelmed if your house is cluttered. According to one report, the average American home contains 300,000 items, stuff like furniture, appliances, knickknacks and more. The best way to survive the cleaning process — and your stress — is to break it up. Stick with one room or section a day, whatever is manageable.
If you tend to leave piles on your desk, you might spend an evening tidying the space. Other common clutter zones include coffee tables, nightstands, kitchen countertops and shelves. If your organization system is already cluttered, you likely need to purge or expand.
3. Take Advantage of the Garage
Most people think of the garage as a place to park the car. If you need space for wedding gifts, consider how to transform the room into a storage area. Can you add shelves to the walls? Is there space to stack storage bins?
You don’t have to keep all your gifts in the garage, especially if you plan to put them to use. Instead, store currently displayed items in the garage. With this method, you can hang on to things that are near and dear to your heart without sacrificing space. If your garage is not temperature-controlled, be sure to avoid storing items that can crack or warp.
photo by Lindley Battle Photography
4. Ruthlessly Purge Your Collection
If you don’t mind a little purging — getting rid of all the things you don’t want, don’t use, didn’t remember you had, etc. — you can clear up plenty of space for your wedding gifts. Go from room to room and decide what to keep, donate and get rid of.
If you want to be a clutter warrior, try the Trash Bag Tango, which takes 10 minutes to complete. Start with two empty trash bags. Once per week, set a timer for 10 minutes. When you hit go, fill up one bag with items to throw away and the other with items to donate. The 10-minute limit will prevent you from overthinking the mess.
5. Designate Specific Spots for Gifts
Once you know where you want to put things — and have the space to do so — you should keep the spot clear. If you have an idea of what gifts you’ll receive, plan where they will go. If you’re getting a new dish set from the in-laws, get out the oldest and donate it to a thrift store.
You can store some small gifts together in a shadow box. Get the box ahead of time and choose where you want to display it. Perhaps in the front hall for all the guests to see? Maybe in the bedroom as a reminder of your commitment? The choice is up to you.
A wedding is an exciting time — not just the big day itself, but all the planning leading up to it. When you’re fixating on bridesmaid’s dresses and fresh bouquets, it can be easy to forget about after the wedding. You’ll be swimming in gifts. If you plan now, you can clear the clutter and focus on happily ever after.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more!