Back away from the couch. You need a hard, flat surface to effectively get your fold on. Roll out your paper and set your box on top, face down.
Measure out your paper and cut. Wrap it around the box, so that you have about an inch overlap lengthwise. For the ends, the paper should extend only halfway from the top and bottom.
Center the box and secure on side with tape. Fold the other edge just a 1/2" for a smooth, clean line and give it a tug to ensure it's taught before taping it down. (Extra aesthetic points for double-sided tape.)
Take one end and fold the top flap down and make a crease at the edge and on the sides. Take each side flap and fold it tightly into the center. Finish by folding up the bottom flap and securing it with tape.
Your final step (and this is what makes it), is to go over the box's edges, creasing them and making a crisp fold.
Neatly wrapping presents may not be a skill you need to learn (you can always pay for it at the store), but it's not as hard as it looks either. You just need a little patience. After all, you put thought into the gift, don't simply hand them a rumpled mess. But don't sweat it either—if all goes right, they should be tearing into it.
The amount of waste (in tons) that resulted from wrapping paper and packaging during the holidays in the United States last year.