How to let go of gifts

how to let go of gifts

When I visit clients to help them sort, declutter and get organised, there are often a few common themes to the items they find difficult to let go of.  1. Kid’s artwork and keepsakes, 2. Items they have had for a long time, 3. Items they have inherited and 4. Gifts.

In this blog I’m going to look at strategies to help you let go of gifts. defines a gift as “something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present”.

So what happens when the gift becomes a burden?

Firstly, perhaps asking yourself a few questions may help you change your perspective on the burden of hanging on to gifts you no longer need.

Ask yourself

If you gave someone a gift:

– and they no longer wanted it would you expect them to hang onto it?

– they didn’t like (perhaps it’s not their style, not the right colour, they already have one) would you expect them to hang onto it?

– would you expect them to keep your gift forever?

–  and they do not have room for it, have not used it for years and it is a burden to them each time they look at it, would you expect the person to keep the gift?

I think you’ll agree when we give a gift to someone we would not expect them to keep it if it is a burden to them. Vice-versa, if someone gives a gift to us, they would not be expecting us to keep it until the end of time.

With this in mind  let’s look at some other solutions for letting go of gifts

Solutions to help you let go of gifts

1. Thank the gift for its service – Japanese Organising Consultant, Marie Kondo (you would know her from her books “Spark Joy” and “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying“) says “the purpose of gifts is to be received. Thank the gift for its service ..” and pass it on.

2. Take a photo of it or make a video – One Space and Time workshop participant said her brother gave her a collection of teapots. They sat idol and collecting dust. She thought she would take a photo of the teapots and mount on canvas.

3. Offer the gift back to the person – have a conversation with the person that gave you the gift and explain that you no longer have a need for the item and ask them if they would like to have it back.

donate today

4. Donate to someone in need – There are many amazing charities in Australia doing fabulous things for those in need. Consider the following when letting go of gifts:

St.Kilda Mum’s – an amazing army of volunteers accepting goods to pass on to families in need. Follow the link for the long list of things they can and can’t accept including baby clothes, blankets.

Backpacks 4 Vic Kids – Their website says “Often children are placed quickly into foster care or emergency accommodation without much more than what they are wearing at the time. We strive to provide them with a few essential items to help with the transition”.

5. Shift your perspective –  “there is far more joy in giving things away than can ever be found in owning more” –

6. Sentimental vs Useful – as with the donations suggestions above, an item that is sentimental to you, and sits in a cupboard or garage unused, may be useful to someone else.

I hope you can see that you should not feel obligated to hang onto gifts that you do not like, that are no longer useful or have served their purpose. Consider the options above for donation and pass the item on for it to have another lease on life.

Do you have a technique for letting go of gifs? I’d love to hear from you

Are you still struggling to let go of gifts and would like some hands on help, and encouragement? Give me a call 0413 447 562 or book a time with me here.