Tips for Decluttering Wedding Gifts {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 18} | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Tips for Decluttering Wedding Gifts {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 18}

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tips for Decluttering Wedding Gifts {Decluttering Sentimental Items - Day 18}

Today in the decluttering sentimental items series we're decluttering wedding gifts we don't use. I'm thinking especially of practical household items like small appliances, dishes or serving items you use for entertaining, wine glasses, candlesticks, vases, etc. Things you put on your register because you thought you needed them or they were too expensive for you to buy for yourselves, but you never use them.

{I'll cover hand-made items and inherited items later in the series so even if you got those items as wedding gifts, don't worry about them today.}

Why wedding gifts are hard to let go of 

Wedding gifts can be hard to let go of because we're worried we'll offend the giver if we give their gift away or sell it.  They are also often quite expensive items so we feel guilty that we haven't used them more.  And sometimes we think we will use them or wish we'd live the kind of life or be the kind of person who uses a certain type of item.

Tips for letting go of wedding gifts 

Here are a few things to consider that may help you declutter your unused wedding gifts:

  • When was the last time you saw the person who gave you the gift?  Often we don't even have contact a few years later with some of the people who gave us these gifts. If you don't need the item, remembering this may make it easier to let it go.
  • With these kinds of practical items, your friends or family are probably not even aware of whether you have them or not now. Are they going through you kitchen cabinets to see if you kept the bread maker they gave you?
  • Practical items by their very nature tend to break down or wear out over time, so if it's been awhile since your wedding, the person who gave you the item may expect or assume you've already replaced it with a new one (if they are one of those people who is aware of what's in your kitchen).
  • Many people who give practical gifts at weddings are married themselves and have probably encountered this same issue themselves.  They might even be inspired if they found out you donated or sold some unused wedding gifts that were cluttering up your home!
  • If you are having a hard time letting go of something because you think you'll use it (even though you haven't used it in a long time), you can set a date for yourself to use it by (1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or whatever timeframe you set for yourself). If you haven't used it by that date then give yourself permission to let it go.  You can put a piece of tape on the item with the date written on it so you don't forget.  Or write it on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone so you don't forget.  
  • If you never use an item (or only used it when you first got married and now it's collecting dust and taking up space in your kitchen), I'm sure the giver wouldn't want you to feel overwhelmed because of clutter in your home.  Gifts are usually given with the intent to make your life easier, not more difficult.
  • Think about how much easier preparing meals will be if your kitchen isn't cluttered with things you don't even use!  That's usually enough motivation for my clients to let these kinds of things go :)  

So go through your kitchen, buffet, hutch, china cabinet, or any other places these kinds of practical wedding gifts are stored, and let go of any that you haven't used in at least a year.

Ways you can reuse/repurpose/display wedding gifts

Since the items we're discussing today are practical items, I can't really think of ways to display them.  For the most part, if they are clutter because you don't need, use, love or have a place to store them, then it's best to get them right out of your home.

However, here are a few ways you can reuse / repurpose wedding gifts:

  • If they're brand new still, you can re-gift them (just give the box a good dusting first and make sure you're not giving them to the person who gave them to you!). 
  • You can try to sell them if they're worth a lot.
  • You can give them to a family member who's just starting out in their own home.
  • Or, as always, you can donate them to your favourite charity.

Ideas for clutter-free wedding gifts

When we discussed decluttering wedding gifts in the 365 Items in 365 Days FB group, several group members shared ways they give wedding gifts that don't end up becoming clutter for the couple.
Several commented that they give gift cards or money so the couple can buy what they need and like. This used to be considered kind of tacky or thoughtless, but it is becoming more and more common as the average age of brides and grooms rises, and people live on their own or together before they get married.  They just don't need as many things, or they know themselves well enough to know what they need and don't need.

As you declutter your home, you're probably more conscious of what might become clutter in someone else's home and the burden clutter can be.  I think it's actually a more thoughtful gift to give gift cards or money instead of contributing to their future clutter :)

If you're engaged or soon-to-be engaged, consider asking for money or gift cards instead of registering for gifts.  Then you can see what you really need and buy things you know you will use.  And start your married life off clutter-free :)

Don't Start Your Decluttering Journey With Sentimental Items

Just a quick reminder that if you have "regular" (non-sentimental) clutter in your home, it's better to deal with that first and set aside your sentimental clutter until your home is less cluttered. Decluttering your everyday items will likely make more of an impact on your daily life than sentimental decluttering will.  And sentimental items are generally more difficult to tackle so it's better to build up to them.

Whether you're decluttering sentimental items or general clutter, join our 365 Items in 365 Days Facebook group!  You'll find lots of encouragement, motivation, and tips as we all declutter our homes and lives together.  You can find more details about the 365 Items in 365 Days challenge here too.

For More Decluttering Sentimental Items Tips

Want more tips?  Check these the 31 Days of Easy Decluttering series!

Or the Decluttering From A to Z series from last October!

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

Your turn! 

What unused or rarely used wedding gifts can you declutter? What makes it hard for you to declutter wedding gifts? If you've already let go of some of your rarely used wedding gifts, what made it easier for you?  Where did you donate them or who did you give them to?  What tips can you share to help those who are decluttering them now?

And just for fun, what's the most unique wedding gift you've decluttered or are thinking about decluttering?

As you declutter your unused wedding gifts, take pictures and share them on social media using the hashtag #declutteringsentimentalitems so you can inspire all of us to declutter our sentimental items!

Happy organizing decluttering!

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

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