Gifts can be a very challenging type of clutter - especially if they were given by a cherished loved one.
My clients often encounter unwanted gifts as they declutter. A homemade scarf they never wear. A purse they don’t use. A piece of jewelry that’s not their taste.
When face to face with an un-used, unwanted item that was given as a gift, people try to justify keeping it by dreaming up uses for it. It’s really hard to admit that these items are in the way.
These items aren’t necessarily in our way because of space limitations, though that might also be the case. The real reason why these items need to be decluttered is because they trigger guilt.
If an item makes you feel guilty, it's probably clutter.
Here are some ways to reframe this type of clutter so that it’s easier to let go.
Someone else could use it.
People feel guilty about gifts when they go unused. You may not be able to use the gift, but someone else will! Try donating the item, or selling it in a yard sale, so it can end up in the hands of someone who will use it and fully appreciate it.
Remember it’s the thought that counts.
When people give gifts, it is hopefully with the intention of showing their affection. Showing that they thought of you, that they care about you. You don’t need to hold onto the physical token of that affection to receive this energetic intention. When you tune into this and remember that it’s the thought that counts, it’s easier to physically let go without feeling like you are rejecting the giver.
Let go of your own expectations.
Would you judge a loved one for decluttering a gift you’ve gave them? By letting go of the expectation that a loved one should keep gifts you’ve given them, you let go of the need to hold yourself up to that standard.
Your space is YOUR space. You deserve to nourish yourself in an environment that is free from negativity, including guilt. Please remember that, when you declutter a gift, you are not decluttering the person, as long as you receive their loving intentions.
With Love & Gratitude,