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The dust has settled. The wrapping paper is recycled. The pine needles are slowly starting to dissipate and you’ve considered taking down your decorations, but it seems like a lot of work. Now, you’ve got a pile of gifts in the corner of the living room, and, there is at least one in that pile that falls short of making your heart sing. Our lives have limited space for stuff, so, you need to know how to get rid of unwanted Christmas gifts.
Getting rid of them is exactly what I would encourage you to do, too. Call your aunt, or your mom or your father, or go visit them. Spend some quality time with them, instead of letting that sweater or extra pot or huge amount of chocolate take up space and haunt you.
Oh yes. Never forget to send a thank you card. If you are at a loss for words when it comes to the quilted vest that your great grandmother made you, like the one this imgur user received. Need some cards? Find some cute and affordable ones on Amazon.
Return Unwanted Gifts to the Store
This is the easiest, cleanest, most time and cost effective thing to do. Plus, if you are someone who might find them self struggling with January credit card depression, this is a great solution that puts cash back in your pocket (or in the pocket of the entity to whom you owe it). Yes, sometimes you will need a receipt, but if you can find a retailer who sells the same item, the nice ones will give you store credit, or if you are really lucky, cash.
Once you’ve returned them, you have two choices. You can use that money to purchase something that you would prefer, more, or you can put it in the bank for safe keeping. Depending on your financial situation and needs, do that one that makes the most sense for you. Just because someone gave you “stuff” doesn’t mean that you need to replace it with “stuff.” Concert tickets make for pretty nice stuff, if that’s more your style.
Sell on Craigslist
This is the cousin of returning the gifts, the slightly needier cousin. Pop onto Craiglist, or your local online equivalent, put up a reasonable picture, a price (and make sure it’s obo – “or best offer”), and a description of the item. If you have assorted smaller items that could be grouped, it is easier and more efficient to sell them in a group. A great example would be books in similar genres, or a boatload of candy. You may or may not want to sell the candy, though it is the perfect time for couples planning a candy bar to stock up.
Regift Unwanted Gifts
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That box of pot of gold chocolates that you can’t eat? It makes for a lovely host gift. A cutesy home decor item that’s not quite your taste? Use it for the next gift exchange or housewarming you go to. Handbag that your bff would love for her birthday? Keep a gift stash, and add anything you would feel comfortable giving to someone else, to the shelf.
This can save you money, as a bonus.
Give to a Shelter or Home
There are all sorts of shelters, from homeless shelters to group homes to battered women’s shelters, who are very happy to receive your donations. Sweater that doesn’t fit with no gift receipt? Excessive amount of body wash? Duplicate housewares that you just don’t need? Doubles of toys your kids already have?
Find somewhere serving your community that can take your donation. As a bonus, there’s a small chance you will be able to get a tax receipt for your donation.
Donate to the Food Bank
Similar to a shelter or a home, many food banks accept donations of hard goods, too. Are you a mild-paletted person? They will gladly take the hot sauce you “gratefully” discovered in your stocking off of your hands. If your food bank cannot accept non-food items, they will be in the know about other places you can take your things.
Related: Tips for Donating to Food Banks
Give Unwanted Gifts to Friends
Friends are great, aren’t they? They can also help you out a lot, like taking things off your hands that you may not want to own. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and all that jazz.
Hook your friends up with things you know they would appreciate, that you just don’t want.
Regift to Seniors
Raise your hand if you’ll be a lonely senior in the future.
I think we’ll all get there, at times, at least. There are seniors in your community who would love to have some nice, new things, especially those who do not have a lot of dollars in the bank.
Sell on eBay
Slightly more involved again than Craigslist, you can sell your things on eBay, too. Bundles work well, take great pictures and do not forget to figure out shipping! You can do well with electronics, bundled clothes, and items worth more than say, $20.
Donate to a Thrift Store
An old standby, thrift stores sell darn near everything, and as a result, accept donations of darn near anything. As a bonus, if you got new things to replace your well-loved versions, take the old, used ones in as part of your donation. Your university pot set will still be useful to someone, while you revel in the glory of your new All-Clad Copper Core pots. Hey, while we’re thinking of delicious grub, why not have a party?
Have a Party
If you adhere to a minimalist perspective and received things that can be used up, throw a party and use them up.
For example, if you received napkins or food that you don’t care to eat, have a party, use everything up and move on. If you’re not partial to wine, I will come and lend my services to help you with your problem of unwanted Christmas gifts. As a bonus, you could combine this with a clothing swap, or a table of things that your friends are welcome to take home with them.