Make your holiday prep a breeze with this easy-to-follow tip.

By Alicia Brunker
Updated December 15, 2017

The holiday season invites a host of prep work that can feel overwhelming to fit into an already busy schedule. From baking cookies to decorating the tree, there’s barely a moment to spare leading up to the annual festivities. And perhaps the gift-wrapping process is one of the most daunting tasks on your to-do list. It’s easy to wrap and rewrap a pile present several times, aiming for perfect symmetry through an eyeball approach. That’s why we tapped Jacqueline Kotts, owner and creator director of paper purveyor Mrs. John L. Strong, for an easy-to-follow guide to ensure you’re precious wrapping materials don’t go to waste.

“A simple way to avoid under or over-cutting your paper is to wrap around the entire box before going in with the scissors, checking to see if you have enough length on the side to cover the box completely, plus a little extra,” Kotts explains. “From there, I center the gift on the paper I’ve cut and begin my wrapping.”

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As you start to fold down the side pieces, you should have enough to cover the entire present without the bulk of extra paper. But, if you want to be mathematically precise, Kotts has a formula for those looking to wrap presents worthy of display underneath the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. “The height of your paper should be enough to wrap around your box, plus one to three inches to allow for overlap, while the width of your paper needs be equal to the width of your box plus twice the height,” she says.

Finally, gift exchanges can now be stress-free!