Getting Rid of Unwanted Gifts (from

When a beloved family member or close friend gives you a gift, especially a handmade gift, it’s hard to depart with it even when you don’t like it. Just the thought of someone taking their time and/or spending their money on you pulls at your heart strings. “What a wonderful gesture”, you think, and that gift becomes a treasure of the heart. Your bond with that person grows stronger and so the true purpose of that gift has been fulfilled.

However, there comes a time when all gifts, even the ones you give to other people, need to be given or thrown away. An unwanted gift should have a shorter duration in your home than a valued gift. This is hard for some people because they feel that if they throw the unwanted gift away, they’ll be throwing away their relationship with the person who gave it to them. Relationships mean so much more than a physical gift. “It’s the thought that counts.” Between the person giving and the person receiving, there should be a mutual understanding that the gift is merely a symbol. Once given, the receiver should have the right to do with it as they please. If that’s not understood, then there are deeper issues than what this tip can address.

All unwanted gifts that you keep out of respect should be re-evaluated within 3 months to a year. A gift transforms into a possession and too many possessions can easily clutter your home if you let them. Some valid reasons for getting rid of a gift are if:

  • it’s broken.
  • it’s put away and collecting dust.
  • you don’t have space for it.
  • you’ll never use it.

If you’re really concerned about the giver’s feelings, be upfront and honest with them. Tell them that you really appreciated the gift and the gesture meant a lot to you, but that you no longer have need or room for it. Your relationship with that person will and should thrive. If the gift is still in good condition, give it to charity or to someone who will really enjoy it. Matching the gift to the appropriate charity is especially good (i.e. giving handmade blankets to women in crisis). The person who gave you the gift will most times never be offended by that. The thought of someone using the item, even someone they didn’t originally give the gift to, gives some validation of the time and/or money they spent on it.

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