Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries – there are endless opportunities for loved ones to give gifts each and every year…
No matter who you are, at some point in your life you will probably receive a gift that you don’t want. It might be something that’s not your style, or it might be something that just doesn’t fit within your home.
Whether it’s from a well-meaning relative or a friend who just didn’t know what to get you, it can be tough to find a place for these gifts in your home. If you’re not careful, they can quickly add to clutter and take up valuable space.
So what do you do with it? Do you keep it and put it away somewhere, do you take it out every time that person is coming to visit to display it, or do you try to find a way to get rid of it?
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Table of Contents
- Unwanted gifts
- 7 ways to keep unwanted gifts from cluttering up your home
- How to avoid unwanted gifts in the future
- Final thoughts
Unwanted gifts can add up quickly. Before you know it, you have a collection of things that don’t fit within your home or just aren’t your style.
Everyone has received an unwanted gift in the past. Whether it’s a Christmas gift that you got from a stranger as part of a Secret Santa exchange or a birthday gift from some who felt obliged to get you something.
In the best case scenario, these gifts are from someone who genuinely thought you would like it. In reality, they tend to be from people whose taste you don’t really share and that you feel a little embarrassed for not knowing what to get you.
No matter how well-meaning or kind that family member or friend might be, it can be tough to always know what to say when you don’t enjoy or want a gift.
Some people may think that they’re not being fair if they try to get rid of gifts. However, there are other ways to deal with unwanted gifts without hurting the feelings of the person who gave them to you
So what can you do?
7 ways to keep unwanted gifts from cluttering up your home
#1 Decline the gift politely
You might feel awkward declining a gift, especially if it was kindly meant. However, there are many tactful ways to do it without causing offence.
Some people might like to return the gift and let the other person spend their money on something else. It can be hard for someone else to take back an unwanted gift because they might worry about their feelings being hurt, so this can be a great way to go.
You could say that you already have something similar and suggest that someone else might like it instead. As long as it’s not done maliciously, declining the gift could be a good result for everyone involved.
Read also: A Minimalist List Of Things To Get Rid Of
#2 Donate it to charity
If you feel like you can’t give it back or give it to someone else, then why not donate the gift to a good cause?
Donating is always a great choice as it could help other people who are less fortunate and also reduces your clutter at the same time. It’ll mean that the gift won’t just be hanging around for you to look at on a daily basis.
#3 Return the gift to the store
If you’ve got a gift receipt, why not bring the item back to the store and either exchange it for something that you really like or get cash back instead.
Some people might be against returning unwanted gifts because they think that you’re taking advantage of the situation, but ultimately it’s your choice what you do with a gift.
A lot of people are beginning to sell or give away their unwanted gifts in exchange for cash. It might feel a little exploitative but it doesn’t take advantage of anyone and means that you can get rid of the item and use the cash for something else you might need. This makes it a great way of getting rid of unwanted gifts and reducing your clutter.
#4 Sell it
Many people opt to sell unwanted gifts online in the hopes of making some money as well as decluttering. Whether it’s eBay or Facebook, there’s always someone looking for a good deal and the prospect of having to do nothing more than post a photo and make money can be very appealing.
Selling can be a good option as it means you don’t have to store the gift and you could make some money from it. Just be sure the buyer doesn’t know the person who gave you the gift!
I’ll admit, selling things online is not my favourite way of decluttering as I feel like it takes a lot of my spare time and can be stressful. But many people love doing this and it’s a viable option if you have something that you can sell online.
#5 Re-gift it
While the gift may not be right for you, it could be perfect for someone else you know! Re-gifting is a great way to to get rid of an unwanted gift and it also means that you’re recycling things, which is always good.
You could hand down an unwanted gift that someone else in your family might like or give something to a good friend who has similar tastes. It’s always nice to see people enjoying these items – things are meant to be loved!
Read also: 9 Simple Rules For Regifting Christmas Gifts
#6 Keep for a while
If you truly feel awkward about getting rid of a gift, then you might decide to keep it for a while until it feels like the right time. This is the ideal way if you struggle with the guilt of letting go of sentimental items.
You could keep it stored away and take it out when the gift giver comes to visit. At some point, stop taking it out when the gift giver comes to visit. I guarantee you that they won’t even notice it’s not there. I know I don’t remember every gift I’ve ever given someone!
After a while, when you feel comfortable, you can give the gift away in the knowledge that it won’t be missed by the gift giver.
#7 Give it back
If you’ve received a gift which you liked for a while but now are ready to get rid of and declutter, offer it back to the gift giver.
A lot of people might be against giving it back because they think that the gift giver would find it rude. But there are ways to give someone a gift back without upsetting them.
Let them know that you really enjoyed the item but that you’re downsizing and decluttering and you wanted to know if they’d like it back before you donate or regift to someone else. They will likely appreciate this.
How to avoid unwanted gifts in the future
Now that we know what to do with unwanted gifts, is there anything we can do to prevent them from landing in our homes in the future?
Have conversations around holidays
When holidays are coming up, have discussions with your loved ones about gift expectations. Let them know that you don’t really need anything and you wouldn’t mind not receiving anything.
If someone prefers to give surprise gifts (without being told exactly what to buy), ask that it be a consumable item – special coffee, food hamper, etc. That way there’ll be no waste from the item.
When people hear what you like and your preferences, they’re likely to take that into consideration. It’s OK to be honest – it will make everyone’s lives easier!
Ask for something specific
If there’s something specific you want or need coming up to a holiday, tell people exactly what you want. The more specific the better!
By giving gift ideas, the gift giver knows that they’ve gotten you something you love and you get what you want without adding to a cluttered home.
Some people may think that this is a bit rude, but I think it’s important you don’t feel bad for asking for what you want and need.
Discuss experience gifts instead
If you prefer experience gifts to physical items, such as concert tickets instead of a brand new dress, let people know. They’ll appreciate knowing what makes you happy and they’ll be able to get you an experience that will bring happiness.
The best thing about experience gifts is that the gift giver can get to experience the gift with you! Whether it’s a trip or a concert or a night of bowling, experiences are things we remember for a lot longer than physical items.
Ask for donations
If there’s really nothing you want as a gift, ask your loved ones to donate to a cause that’s close to your heart, or even close to their heart.
This way they’ll be donating to something that will bring happiness to others in need and it’s a meaningful gift.
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If you dread upcoming holidays because you know that it means more stuff to deal with, take heart. There are ways to get through the season without ending up with a cluttered house.
At the end of the day, what you choose to do with a gift is up to you. Once a gift has been given to you, it’s yours, not the gift giver’s. The act of gift giving doesn’t come with the condition that you display it loud and proud for all to see.
So when you receive a present that isn’t quite right, consider the above options and decide what best suits your needs. Then you can be clutter-free and happy!