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How to Liberate Yourself From Unwanted Gifts

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by Marian Tisi (subscribe)
Sydney Writer
Published January 29th 2013
Get rid of hideous and horrible gifts
Image by Tim Malone from Wikipedia

It's something most of us have in our homes but not something we like to look at too often. I'm not talking about our significant others or, worse; our children! I'm talking about all those unwanted gifts we seem to accumulate and hoard more and more of over the years. The ones we hide away at the back of the cupboard or in the guest bedroom or garage. We spare them a thought now and then but then sigh with defeat, at a loss as to how to get rid of them all.

So how can you de-clutter and gain back that valuable storage space you once had? How can you get rid of those not so lovely presents you graciously accepted but secretly grimaced over? After all how can anyone think we wanted yet another ugly vase, hideous handbag, or tacky t-shirt? Well I've come up with a few ideas to give you some inspiration to liberate yourself and your home from the unwanted gifts you've accumulated over time.

Try to return or exchange them
Now this solution you can only try soon after you receive the gift so you have to act fast. If you happen to be one of those people who don't mind asking the gift giver if you can return the unwanted present (something I could never bring myself to do) then this option is perfect for you. The gift giver will kindly take it back and return with something you actually want. However, if, like I do, you smile and accept every weird and wonderful gift without complaint then perhaps you can try your luck at the place of purchase if you know where the gift came from. A lot of stores will actually give you an exchange without proof of purchase if you mention that the hideous offensive object was an unsuitable gift. Please don't call it hideous or offensive to the sales' assistant's face though…'unsuitable' should suffice.

This option is self-explanatory as the name implies. You simply accept the gift but put it away for future use as a re-gift to someone who will perhaps appreciate it more than you do. Think of the money you can save by re-gifting unwanted presents instead of buying new ones. Being a parent I have often been on the receiving end of many a re-gifted gift. Well-meaning but thrifty parents trying to get rid of their own unwanted presents have handed over their unwanted toys or clothes. Admittedly I haven't utilised this option much but only because I have the misfortune of being one of those people who gets terribly embarrassed to re-gift. I always have this horribly inconvenient fear that the receiver will somehow work out that the present I'm giving them is a re-gift. Word of warning though to avoid a major faux pas…keep a tab of who gave what to you so you don't re-gift to the person who gave you the gift in the first place!

Sell on eBay
Get organised, get that camera out and start taking photos, writing item descriptions and listing all the unwanted gifts on eBay or other online auctions. This is a brilliant and easy way to make some extra cash and de-clutter your home. It's amazing how much money you might have tied up in all those things so get listing!

Have a garage sale or sell at local markets or car boot sales
If eBay is not your cup of tea then why not look into having a garage sale, market stall or joining your local car boot sale. It requires more preparation and is more physically taxing but think of all the money you could make from just one day at the markets. You also get to clear out so much stuff instantly instead of wasting time listing individual items online.

Donate to charity
When all else fails or when the gift is just too awful to shift using any of the above methods then perhaps donating to charity may be the simplest and most effective way of disposing of it. After all, they say one man's trash is another man's treasure. You may not like that hot pink racer back monstrosity your grandmother bought you for your birthday but perhaps some Salvos shopper will think it's the best $2 they've ever spent.

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Why? To get rid of unwanted junk!
Your Comment
I'm never at a loss to know where to take unwanted gifts, but I always just feel to guilty to get rid of them.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11687) 1870 days ago
Like your article. I am also too polite to say anything and end up with cupboards hoarding unwanted things which makes me feel bad and cluttered! Think you have to shift it eventually to preserve your sanity, by whatever means works.
by Susan Jackson (score: 2|750) 1875 days ago
Easy Peasy. Keep your 'unwanted gifts' until next Christmas then donate them to the Charity Christmas Trees as gifts for others less fortunate.
by fluffynut (score: 2|783) 1868 days ago
It never ceases to stagger me that so many people are TOO LAZY to take their goods to the Charity Shop, instead of dumping it on the ground outside an overloaded bin - to be stolen by greedy thieves or ruined in the rain. Try washing the clothes, dust & clean items, box them properly then RING the charities to pick up. Prahran Mission picks up all over Melbourne including bicycles and furniture! Don't Dump - give someone else a chance. Make a phone call - it's easy!
by fluffynut (score: 2|783) 1872 days ago
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