Got gifts you’ll never use?
Feel bad throwing out gifts to hurt the giver’s feelings?
Is “gift clutter” overwhelming you?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, we need to talk.
The rule of thumb is keep only items that you love, use, or serve a purpose.
If you’re not, you’re holding onto clutter.
Often, people mistakenly associate clutter to mean cheap, inexpensive items. However, clutter can be a collection of expensive things, heirlooms, or items of personal sentimental value. The difference with the latter “clutter” is it has an emotional attachment and thus seems more difficult to part with.
In spite of the high emotional energy involved, use my acronym, G.I.F.T. to empower you to easily decide whether to keep or part with your “gift clutter.”
G.I.F.T. stands for:
Guilt: “Am I keeping this because I feel guilty throwing it out?”
Was it given to you by your parents or in-laws and you feel guilty or ungrateful if you don’t keep it? For instance, the extra set of dishes that you never use or plan on using. The tenth outfit for your kids you have no room for. Are you too nervous to get rid of something in case the giver asks about the gift or expects the gift to be used or displayed?
Impose: “Does this gift “impose” on your lifestyle by weighing you down?
If you’re keeping a gift because a loved one gave it to you, but it’s causing you to feel burdened, then reassess if it is worth keeping.
Function: “Does this gift serve a function, value, or purpose in your life now?”
Yes, your kids might have received the latest set of kitchen toys, but if they’ve completely outgrew them or not interested anymore, the gift is not serving a function in your life now. Be grateful for the time it was used and pass it on to someone who can benefit from it. Perhaps you received another set of mugs that you do not need. Either repurpose them to store your desk supplies, or if you can’t use the item and it’s just sitting there adding to the clutter, take that as your cue, time to let go.
Treasure: “Do I have room to “treasure” this gift?”
You may wish to store your sentimental gifts in a “keepsake” box or bin. However, keep it contained to that box or your clutter will overtake you. By constantly assessing what goes in your “treasure keepsake box” you are in essence evaluating what is most dear to you. Furthermore, is this gift worth the valuable “real estate” it will take to store? Do you have room or a designated space for that bulky teddy bear gift, duplicate electronics, or even small trinkets? If space is of the essence, then storing that item is identified as clutter.
If you answered yes to any one or more of the above then the gift is better off donated to someone who will have better use of it, passed on or re-gifted to someone else, saved for memory in a digital way (i.e. picture, scan) or even discarded.
So if you find yourself with “gift clutter” after the holidays, be grateful for your abundance and use G.I.F.T to decide whether to trash it or stash it.
Until next time,
Adina here, and organizing is one of my deep rooted passions. As a wife and mother I know how difficult it can be to stay on top of your organizing game.