Clutter Clearing Myth-Buster – Gifts
I CAN’T LET GO OF SOMETHING THAT WAS A GIFT
Many people mistakenly think that if something in their clutter was a gift, then somehow the usual rules of making realistic decisions don’t apply.
For some reason, when it comes to gifts, we stop thinking about whether we NEED it and will USE it in the near future and start thinking about what the gift giver spent on that gift, and how they might feel if they knew we were letting it go without using it.
All because (we assume) someone took the time to think about what we’d like and use, went looking for something they thought we’d like and use, paid money for something they thought we’d like and use, and possibly spent money wrapping and sending us that thing they thought we’d like and use.
We naturally assume that they’ve taken as much time and trouble over gift selection and giving as we might, although let’s be honest, we’ve all had a time when we haven’t got a clue what to buy someone, so we’ve had to do an impulse purchase or given money instead.
It’s a myth that you can’t let go of something that was a gift. Here are 7 reasons why you CAN let go of something that was a gift.
1. It’s Clutter
Forget where it came from, if you don’t need it and don’t use it in the near future, then it’s clutter, plain and simple.
2. That person gave you that gift to be used
…not years after they gave it to you, not on the 5th of Never. If you can’t or don’t use it within a month of receiving it, let it go so that someone else can use it as it was intended to be used.
3. Your home is not a storage unit
If you’re not using something in your home, then your home is simply a storage unit. Let someone else store that thing while it’s not being used, either by regifting it or giving it to a charity who can at least sell it (as a gift?!) and thereby turn it into money for a good cause.
4. It’s a wasted gift until it’s used
Doesn’t matter whether it’s your money or someone else’s money that paid for the gift, it’s wasted if you’re not using it. You can stop that money being wasted by regifting it or by giving it to charity so it can be turned back into money for a good cause of your choosing.
5. They had good intentions
It was a gift because they thought you’d like it and use it. You don’t like it or you’re not using it. Let it go and gift it to someone who you know WILL like it and use it. When you let go, you’re simply paying it forward.
6. Did they, or didn’t they?
You’re assuming the person who gave it to you paid money for the gift. How do you know it wasn’t a gift that they didn’t want or need and they’re passing forward to you?! When you let go of it, you might simply be doing what they did and moving it on until it reaches someone who does need it and will use it.
6. Your logic may not be based on reality
You’ve given gifts in the past. How many of them do you check-up on to see if the person still has them or uses them? There might be a few, but I suspect the majority of gifts that you’ve given over the years have never been seen again. Even when it’s a book we never read, we can always google the synopsis so we can at least pretend we’ve read it (!).
Great Aunt Maud
Now let’s deal with the issue of: ‘But what if they come round to visit me and I’ve let go of their gift?’, although reality check – when was the last time they visited you?
Time for me to introduce you to Great Aunt Maud. Imagine Great Aunt Maud bought you a hideous vase for your birthday ten years ago and you kept it in a cupboard, out of sight but sadly not out of mind. Then imagine Great Aunt Maud came to visit. There are 5 possible scenarios of what might happen.
First – Great Aunt Maud never comes to visit – or if she does it’s once a decade. Are you really going to keep that hideous vase ‘just in case’ Great Aunt Maud comes round?
Second – The vase stays hidden in a cupboard. Great Aunt Maud decides to come and visit. The vase stays in the cupboard. Great Aunt Maud never mentions the vase. Chances are she’s forgotten what she bought you. Are you really going to keep that hideous vase taking up storage space in YOUR home, ‘just in case’ Great Aunt Maud mentions the vase and wants to see it?
Third – The vase stays hidden in a cupboard. You get the vase out and put it on display before Great Aunt Maud arrives. Great Aunt Maud notices the vase, comments how lovely it is, you politely agree, and it gets returned to the cupboard within 10 minutes of Great Aunt Maud’s departure, to be stored again indefinitely until Great Aunt Maud’s next visit. Congratulations – you’ve become a storage unit for Great Aunt Mauds unwanted gifts.
Fourth – The vase stays hidden in a cupboard. You get the vase out and put it on display before Great Aunt Maud arrives. Great Aunt Maud doesn’t mention the vase, and it gets returned to the cupboard within 10 minutes of Great Aunt Maud’s departure, to be stored again indefinitely until Great Aunt Maud’s next visit. Congratulations – you’ve become a storage unit for Great Aunt Mauds unwanted gifts.
Fifth – and this is always the best scenario – you let go of the hideous vase to charity to turn that hiddeous vase into money by giving it to charity. Great Aunt Maud comes to visit and asks where the vase is. You tell her that sadly, due to an accident, the vase got broken. The conversation moves on to the next topic.
If you’ve got a birthday, anniversary or any other celebration coming up that usually involves receiving gifts, then get ahead of the game. Let people know what you’d LIKE and what you NEED – ideally experiences with them that make wonderful memories. Post on your social media about what you’d LOVE to do for your birthday / Christmas. People worry how they’ll look if they ask for specific things as gifts, but don’t YOU prefer to know that you’re giving a gift that the person actually WANTS or NEEDS?
If you’re ready to accept help and start to clear your clutter, find out how Clare can help you get started here now: https://www.clutterclearing.net/clares-help-centre/