How To Deal With Unwanted Gifts

December 23, 2016

The three Rs of dealing with unwanted Christmas gifts to avoid them cluttering up your homeWhether it’s an ugly Christmas jumper or bath products in a scent you hate, we all receive unwanted gifts at some point. With Christmas round the corner, a few of you may find yourself with gifts you really don’t want and will never use. I don’t like stuff cluttering up my home and unwanted gifts just add to the clutter. I want everything I own to add value to my life (read my thoughts on minimalism). There I’m not the kind of person who can put an unwanted gift in the cupboard and forget about it.

I don’t want to sound like a grinch here as I really do appreciate it whenever someone gives me a gift. I appreciate it the time and effort which goes into choosing a gift for someone. However, sometimes it’s the gift itself which doesn’t add value to my life. Not liking a gift isn’t a reflection of your feelings about the person giving it to you.

Tips for dealing with unwanted Christmas giftsSo what do you do when you’ve received a gift, you’ll never use. Remember the three Rs of dealing with unwanted gifts: Return, Re-Gift and Re-Cycle.


If you have a good relationship with the giver and you don’t think they’ll be offended ask for the receipt so you can return the gift. Explain to them that this means you can get something you really want. Lots of stores offer gift receipts which means you don’t have to ask. You can return the gift and replace it with something you will use. Even if you don’t have a receipt (or can’t ask for it) lots of stores accept returns without one in January. I know this can feel a bit rude but it’s better that you exchange for something you will use. I wouldn’t want something I’ve gifted to end up in a cupboard and would rather they returned for something we want.


If you can’t return the gift what about re-gifting it. You can then give the gift to someone you know will love it. You could do this straight away after Christmas (have a re-gifting party with friends) or wait until birthdays etc. If you have the space set up a re-gifting box to keep everything in. It’s also a good idea to have a list of who gave you each of the gifts so you don’t accidentally gift it back to them. You can then pull something out of the box whenever you need to give a gift. Another way to re-gift an item is to donate it to charity. Food gifts and toiletries can be donated to your local food bank and will be appreciated.


This should really be up-cycle but that didn’t fit with the 3 Rs so we’re going with re-cycle. Through up-cycling, you can turn something you don’t want into something useful. How about turning a Christmas jumper into a dog bed, Christmas stocking or stuffed toy? There are loads of tutorials and ideas online. Have a look through Pinterest for ideas and inspiration. It can also be a fun project to take on whilst your still off work over New Years.

Have you received a gift you'll never use for Christmas? Learn about the three Rs of dealing with unwanted gifts to stop them cluttering up your home


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