Day 124 Revisit the gift wrap stash

Remember my blog way back on Day 86 when I decided to find a way to use up all my gift wrap items that seemed to be multiplying rather than diminishing in the linen closet.

Well this weekend I attended a lovely get-together in the wine region of the Hunter Valley to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday. The weekend which included wine and cheese tastings, a lovely lunch, a bus to take us to all our destinations  and overnight accommodation, cost us all $270 each.

I felt inclined to provide a gift even though I was sure one wasn’t expected due to the financial outlay for the event. So I decided to find something within my home rather than resort to outlaying more funds. I had a few bottles of red wine that we had been cellaring for a couple of years and a lovely decorated  cylinder for the purpose of giving wine as a gift. I have had the cylinder for about five years, it was one of those items I bought but found were too nice to give away (How silly, I know). I also had an extra pashmina my husband had picked up when buying gifts for my work friends while on a recent trip to the Middle East.

I put the wine in the lovely cylinder and the pashmina in a small gift bag from my collection of recyclable gift wrap items and felt quite satisfied with the present I had to offer and at the same time had removed 4 items from my home that had just been lying around waiting for someone to appreciate. To top it off I printed a copy of a secret family recipe she had been wanting for years ( I may be in trouble with my Mum for that) and put it in with the handmade birthday card my mother had made for her.

Needless to say it was a wonderful weekend. She was happy just to have all her friends around her and as I thought she wasn’t expecting any gifts and she enjoyed a little too much making a phone call to my mother dobbing me in for giving her the secret family recipe which she was more impressed with receiving than any other part of the gift. I am happy to have had the wonderful experience and to be four items lighter in the quest to clear my house.


It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I check the bathroom cupboards I always come up with one more thing that (or in this case three more things) that are for some reason of no use to us or past their used by date.


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. awesome gifting skillz!
    sounds like a delightful gift to me too….recipes, pashminas and wine….what more could one want?

    • Hi Patti,
      Thanks for that. I think I would be pretty happy with that gift myself although I like consumable gifts now, massages, chocolates, dinner, someone doing the ironing for me… things that leave no trace once enjoyed except for the good feelings.

  2. Dear Colleen, had to pipe in here again to say I loved this post, the gifts, but most of all your reply to Patti. Consumable gifts…what a great idea…I now realise what a long way off I am on this whole thought process and yet I am so happy to have begun this fascinating journey! Enjoying it very much too! Thanks so much!

    • Hi Sue I remember those days when I was learning so much too. My attempt to declutter simply became a change of lifestyle very quickly. The idea of buying less new products for the sake of the environment was quite an early lesson. Realising how free it felt when I had no desire to go recreational shopping was something I still appreciate. How easy my housekeeping chores became with less things to dust was another bonus I hadn’t considered. I hope all these wonderful things are enjoyed by you also in the near future. And you are so right there will be a complete change to your thought process when it comes to stuff, or at lease I hope there will be. Happy decluttering and learning.