Gift Guilt

Unwanted gifts can clutter our homes. How can we deal with the guilt of passing on things we don't want or can't use?

Unwanted gifts can clutter our homes. How can we deal with the guilt of passing on things we don’t want or can’t use?

The hand knit sweater from Aunt Martha that you’d never be caught dead in…the set of candles from a co-worker that you know you’ll never use…the dishtowels from your sister that she’ll probably notice if you don’t put out…

Now that the holidays are over, take preventative measures right away – don’t let unwanted gifts clutter up your closets and drawers!

It’s The Thought That Counts

  • A gift is a show of kindness or love to you, not a contract you must honor
  • You can receive and keep the good intention of a gift independent of the item given

The Closer The Giver, The Stronger The Stick

Post-Its® Gifts: from acquaintances or people you know you won’t see or will never be in your house.

  • Sending an unwanted item back out into the world allows it to be used and appreciated by someone who chooses it purposefully

Scotch Tape® Gifts: the gifts from friends we like a lot. They may never know you got rid of the item but you will and that alone makes you feel bad.

  • If someone really cares about you they would want you to surround yourself with things you love
  • When possible, be honest with friends and family about what you don’t like; it helps them know you better

 Duct Tape® Gifts: the stickiest. Usually from vey close relatives and friends, AND there’s a good chance they will notice if a particular gift isn’t in use.

  • Remember, your feeling about the gift is not a reflection of how you feel about them or how much you appreciate that they gifted you
  • If they bring up the gift in question, reinforce your appreciation of their generosity or sentiment while remembering that it is truly is up to you what fills your home

Look through your unwanted gifts and think about how sticky the attachments are. Lighten your gift guilt by focusing on the least sticky items. Picture them being happily used…by someone else!



Filed under General Organizing, Holidays, Perspective, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse

7 responses to “Gift Guilt

  1. G

    Great way to head into this season of giving and sharing with a creative mind set!

  2. Some tools to make giving things away easier, because you’ll know that the person really wants your item: Freecycle (,,
    And of course, there are the usual Salvation Army and other charities in your area that can benefit from your largesse.

  3. I love your suggestion to deal with the least sticky items first. That can help us be more comfortable dealing with the others later on!

  4. Yes unwanted gifts are the worst. I love the way you names them from least sticky to most sticky, very smart.

  5. Great analogy to relate “sticky-ness” to how close you are with the giver. Definitely makes it easier to purge the less sticky items! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I love your “stickiness scale.” What a great metaphor and way to get us thinking about gift guilt and how it may be impacting our lives and spaces. Thanks! 🙂 Robin

  7. Pingback: Fear Factor: Ghosts from the Past | Notes from the Junk Drawer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.