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 IS 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
Like most feelings, you can feel degrees of guilt. How bad you feel about giving away a gift can be thought of as stickiness of tape types. The stronger the stick, the greater the guilt! Here are some ways to reframe those sticky guilty feelings around letting things go:
Removable Tape: 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.
Painter’s Tape: the gifts from friends we like a lot. They may never know you got rid of the item, but you will; 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: the stickiest of gifts. Usually, these come from very 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!