It can be more difficult to get rid of something you don’t want that another person gave to you than something you bought yourself. We get caught up in imagining what the other person would feel while totally ignoring our own feelings about the item.
Consider that donating gifts that you don’t want means that someone who would be thrilled to own that item can do so.
You don’t have to go through your house looking for every gift you’ve ever received. Look for one or two things (while reading this, chances are that you’ve already thought of the gifts you don’t want). Put the item in a box that you are filling for donations.
If you’ve had the item hidden away in a closet or down in the basement, chances are you won’t even miss it.
What if the person asks about the item they gave you? You can say that you gave it away to someone who was looking for the item and as you never used it or displayed it, you were thrilled to help the other person.
If the item was truly a gift, it became yours the moment you received it. It no longer belongs to the gift giver. If they want to be upset, that is their decision, you aren’t making them upset or trying to hurt their feelings.
As you continue your decluttering efforts, you can continue removing items that you don’t want, regardless of whether you purchased the item or if it was a gift.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.