When my son moved into his first apartment, my gift to him was a box full of things he would need, but not necessarily think of getting. Simple things like napkins, paper towels, dish and laundry detergent, scouring pads, pot holders - all the little things you need - is a great help. Not only does it save the person a little money, but helps them get their new life off to a good start.
One of my wedding presents way back in the dark ages was similar and it all came in a kitchen garbage can. That was the body. A mop stood up in it and the head was draped in a dish towel like a babushka. To hold the mop in place my friend stuffed the pail with dusting cloths, dish detergent etc. It sure was handy and I have used the idea many times for many different occasions.
I have done a similar thing for newlywed/bride and groom showers. I select a container such as cake pan with lid (which doubles as a cookie sheet!) and fill it with those little things you don't think about getting until you need them. Suggestions:
assortment of picture hangers, screws and anchors, nails
small tack hanger (esp the little one that has screwdrivers in the handle)
tacky stuff for candles
candle lighter and emergency candles
manual can opener
asst safety pins, black and white thread and needles
clear nail polish
duct tape/freezer tape/clear tape
For ideas, just look in your own kitchen "junk drawer"....what do you look for in there? This may not be as fancy as embroidered towels but if you have a practical bride, she will appreciate it!!!
We've done this at Christmas time, I buy Plastic Totes, eneryone can use them to store things in at some point. Then when I'm shopping through out the year, I get one of everyting. Between us we have 5 children - grown a with their own families. Then everything is wraped so that they have to take their time to see what they're getting. The grandkids,even get into it and they know that that's Mom's and Dad's present from Granny and always have fun seeing what I've pick out for their Mom's and Dad's. Really anything works, bath soaps, toilet paper, note paper, pens. It's worked well for us and no one feels that we've got a favorite. The Grandkids are getting to the age that I may start doing it for them to. But I don't know where I could keep 15 extra totes!
I did this for my brother and cousin when they got out of college and were going to share an apt. I added a roll of quarters for laundry and some snack things I knew they liked. They said it was their favorite gift and what a life saver it was for them on a tight budget.
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