How to Deal with Unwanted Christmas Gifts

How to Deal with Unwanted Christmas Gifts

Did you or your children receive unwanted gifts this Christmas? Are you not sure how to go about getting rid of them without feeling like a heartless and unappreciative person? I hope this post helps.

First of, let’s make something clear. When I say “unwanted gift” I mean that before we received that gift we didn’t have any desire or need to own it. I am not saying that receiving that gift was an unwanted experience. For most of us, whether we need something or not, it is a great joy to receive a gift from someone.

I have received unwanted gifts for myself and my daughter on several occasions: a stuffed animal, an electronic toy, a blouse, or a decorative item. The issue was that for someone who lives in a small space and who has put a lot of effort to pair stuff down, having unnecessary things just doesn’t work.

My space is designed to serve me and my family everyday. Many of the things we own have a specific purpose in our daily routines and activities. I don’t have much space (physically and mentally) for things that I don’t use. I have to be very intentional about what I keep and what I discard. If I kept everything that I ever received, my apartment would turn into a storage unit and that’s no fun to live in.

If we received an unwanted gift and wonder whether we should keep it or not we must face a difficult question: do I want to have this item around all the time just in case someone who gave it to me comes over?

Most of the time my personal answer is that I don’t. I need to be willing to take the risk of having a difficult or awkward conversation with a friend as the cost of living in a space that makes me happy, in a space where I feel like I can exercise some sort of control and in a space that’s not filled with stuff I’m not using. As much as I hate to think that I could offend or hurt someone’s feelings, I get rid of stuff for practical reasons not personal.

My advice for dealing with unwanted gifts without ruining your friendship is this:

  1. Keep in mind what a gift symbolizes. People want to show their care and love through gift-giving.
  2. Consider the monetary value. Don’t treat a stuffed animal or a set of shampoos like an iPad or Tiffany’s ring.
  3. Remember the value of your friend’s gesture. Focus on showing your appreciation for the thought and effort to give you a gift.
  4. Look at the gift objectively. If you can use it, have space for it, like it, by all means, keep it. But if you don’t, find a new place for it. You can donate it, think of someone who really needs it, or maybe even sell it (I know that one sounds pretty heartless).

As you deal with unwanted gifts, continue investing in your relationships and deepen them. Devote time to your friends and find ways to show them your care in ways that you find appropriate. Relationships are more than stuff so focus more on how you treat your friendship, not the stuff.

How I price used items for sale online

I’ve listed a lot of things on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace over the years. The other day, I listed an old film camera that I hadn’t picked up for a couple of years. I put it up for $75 and got a very fast response from a guy over in Fremont. He sent me photos of all his film cameras and gear asking if I’d be willing to trade because he didn’t have the budget to buy the camera outright. While I certainly wasn’t into the idea of a trade, I decided to give him a third option. I’ll get back to how this worked out a little later.

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How to get motivated to declutter when “just do it” doesn’t work

You’ve been thinking about decluttering your space but when the weekend comes, there are fifty other things screaming for your attention. And, frankly speaking, not sorting through that pile of stuff in your bedroom won’t ruin your day. You keep telling yourself “just do it” but it doesn’t work for you.

How do I motivate myself to do things?

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Nature is telling you to get rid of things

One of the most popular questions people have when getting into minimalism is how to know when something should be gotten rid of. You might ask yourself questions like:

Is it okay to get rid of this thing my family member bought me?
I haven’t really used this for a while but will I need it in the future?
I love the way this outfit looks but I’ve only worn it once… Is it time to get rid of it?

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