Many times a purging of unused items goes well until it hits the familiar roadblock: you come across something you don’t like… have no room for… doesn’t match your décor… have never used… and never will use.
So what’s the problem, just get rid of it! But it’s not that easy, because it was a gift from someone special to you.
- You’re afraid of offending the giver
- You attach your feelings toward the giver to the gift; therefore, you feel you are discarding the person
- The gift has a sentimental meaning
- The gift has a monetary value
Not wanting the gift is not an indication that you do not appreciate the intention behind it. We feel guilty, knowing that the giver took time and money to choose it for us. If the giver is the kind of person who will ask about the gift if it isn’t kept on display, hide it and bring it out when they visit. That doesn’t help you control your clutter, however.
When some people give you a gift, it seems to be more about them than you. Remember that no one has a right to dictate what you keep in your home, or how you decorate it. And if there are strings attached it’s not a gift! It was given to you freely, and not to keep it is not a reflection on your feelings for them.
The best way to go forward clutter free is to let people know in casual conversation throughout the year that you’ve adopted a policy of using gift cards for special occasions. Hopefully they’ll get the hint!
Be sure to practice what you preach, by not gifting someone with clutter!
Besides cash gifts or cards from their favourite store, there are other ideas:
Bottle of wine
Dinner voucher for favourite restaurant
Tickets to a sporting event or theatre
Chocolate or other edible goodies
Swimming lessons for the kids
A selection of specialty teas. Polaris has more big news to follow!!!
A selection of your own baked goods
Before a child’s birthday, subtly mention that you had to donate a ton of stuffed animals. Or that you had just been shopping for new clothes.