Day 26 - Duplicate or Unwanted Gifts {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Day 26 - Duplicate or Unwanted Gifts {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge}

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Day 26 - Duplicate or Unwanted Gifts {Net Zero Decluttering Challenge}

Have you ever felt overwhelmed during the month of December with all the stuff that enters your home? The trick I've found helps me is to declutter throughout the month. Will you join me in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge?

Each day this month I'll share some decluttering tips and ideas so you can end the month with the same number of items in your home (or maybe even less!) than what you started the month with.

Today I'm sharing tips on decluttering any duplicate or unwanted gifts your or your family members received.

Today's Suggested Decluttering Task

It happens... more than one person buys the same gift for someone in your family.  If it's something consumable and you'll use it reasonably soon, then by all means hang onto both items.

But if you can only use one copy of the gift, declutter the duplicate right away.  Here are a few options:

  • Regift it (just make sure it's not to someone connected to the person who gave it to you)
  • Donate it
  • Return / exchange it (many stores are fairly lenient on their return / exchange policies immediately after the holidays and at the very least you should be able to get a gift card for that store)
In addition to duplicate gifts, I'd also encourage you to declutter gifts that you know are really clutter (remember the definition of clutter... anything you don't need, use, love, or have the space to store?!).  Why hang onto something for months or years, deal with it all the time (dust it, clean around it, store it, etc.) only to declutter it at some point in the future?  Let it go right away and safe yourself that grief!

Here are some examples of gifts that could be clutter:
  • Clothing that doesn't fit, isn't your style, or that you know your kids won't wear
  • Decor you don't really like or that doesn't fit the colours or design of your home
  • Items you already have a lot of 
  • Books you know you'll never read
  • Music or movies you don't really care for
  • Collectibles that you don't love as much as others in your collection 
If you've been decluttering all month, hopefully you weren't too overwhelmed with all the incoming gifts yesterday.  

But if you haven't decluttered... think about the one-in-one-out rule and declutter existing items to make room for the new!  

Notes About Decluttering Gifts

Often times people have difficulty decluttering gifts because they are gifts.  But think about gifts that you give to others... do you want to burden the recipient if they are trying to declutter and take back their home?

Others worry that the giver will be offended if you don't have their gift out on display or in use.  But chances are most people won't even notice or will assume you have it somewhere else.  Many givers will even forget what they gave you.

I know there are some givers who don't fit into these categories... that will remember everything they gave you and will look for it in your home and will be offended if you gave it away.  That's definitely more challenging.  In those cases, I'd recommend having conversations (yes plural!) about how you're working hard to declutter your home.  Explain your reasons why and some of the struggles you're having with all the clutter and what you're hoping to gain in a clutter-free home.  You can recommend clutter-free gift ideas for future celebrations and hope they get the message.  They may not fully understand... or it may take a long time.  But it's worth the effort.

Ultimately, a gift is a gift. And the giver should have no say over what the recipient does with that gift once it's been given.

And ultimately it's your home.  And your decision what stays and what goes.

It's challenging sometimes... but worth it to stick to your goals and not let gifts (or givers) get in your way.

Decluttering My Duplicate Gifts

We haven't received any duplicate gifts so far... but we still have one family celebration today.  As of now, all of our gifts are things we need (our families know we like practical gifts!), will use (lots of consumable items!), love (especially the kids... they got quite a few things that were on their wishlists), and have the space to store (thanks to all the decluttering I've done this month and all year!).

My Progress in the #NetZeroClutter challenge

I'll update my in and out numbers in tomorrow's post.  Everything's a bit of a mess and Christmas was filled with family celebrations.  We definitely added a lot to our home in one day, but I'm not feeling nearly as overwhelmed as I've been in previous years.  I'm really glad I decluttered so much this month!
So that leaves me at 0 items today in the #NetZeroClutter challenge and -384 overall.  Like I said though... lots of items in today so that number will change drastically once I count.

What's Next For You?

Take some time today to declutter any duplicate gifts .  Or anything you'd like to declutter!  Take some pictures and share your progress on social media using the hashtag #NetZeroClutter.  Let me know how you're doing in the challenge so I can cheer you on!

Sign up to receive my blog posts by email so you get each day's post in your email inbox every morning.  You can unsubscribe after the challenge is over if you don't want to continue receiving my blog posts by email.

I'd also love for you to join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group as you do this challenge!  You'll be able to share with others what you're decluttering and feel encouraged and inspired by everyone else who is also decluttering!

If you'd like more decluttering ideas, you can check out my Decluttering/Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

So that's today's post in the Net Zero Decluttering Challenge!  I'm enjoying doing this challenge and I'm excited to have you join me.  I love hearing all the stories of how much more you're enjoying your holidays because you're not overwhelmed by all the stuff in your home!

How many duplicate gifts did you let go of today?  Are you replacing them with a single larger gift?

Happy organizing decluttering!

I link up at these great parties - Check them out!

Here are all the posts in this challenge in case you missed any or want to share some with your friends or family!