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1. Return or exchange what you will rarely or never use.

There's no use in a present staying permanently in its box and collecting dust. If you received a luxury espresso maker, but neither of you drink coffee, then you really should return the gift for something you will actually enjoy. By whittling your gifts into a collection of things you will use, you reduce the amount of storage space you need.

2. Take photos or keep a list.

Preparing to stuff all of those boxes into a closet or rented storage space?  Make sure to take photos or keep a ledger of what is where.  You will want to remember that you don't need to purchase extra dishes for a large dinner party, or where you stored the candlesticks from your grandmother.  If you have season-specific gifts that you want to bring out at certain times, set a reminder on the calendar app on your phone. For example, for Cinco de Mayo don't go out for cocktails when you can use your awesome margarita maker!

3. If you can, mark the gift giver on each gift being stored.

Hopefully, you have already written your thank you notes before you store your presents. However, if you quickly put them away before the wedding, you may not have. Remember to either tape the card or write the name in Sharpie on the box. After the wedding, you can go back through the presents and write any outstanding thank you cards.  Attaching names to the present also helps prevent any awkward re-gifting (everyone does it) mistakes.

4. Make sure you protect the items you store.

Rooms like basements can sometimes flood. Store your gifts on a shelf several feet off the ground.  For gifts that might end up getting damaged from damp air or moths, place them in airtight containers before you tuck them away.  Fragile items should be wrapped well (as if you were going to move them) to prevent breakage in case they fall from a shelf.

Having such generous friends give you so many things is such an amazing present in and of itself. By storing your things properly, you will get to enjoy their thoughtfulness for years to come!

Photography   |   Casey Hendrickson