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Here’s what you can do with all of those unwanted gifts

Here’s what you can do with all of those unwanted gifts
Image source: Getty Images


The holidays are over and now it’s time to deal with the aftermath. You need to deal with the cleaning, the taking down of the tree – and the unwanted gifts.

Let’s face it: there’s always at least one present you receive that isn’t exactly ‘you’. Maybe the size is wrong, you already have something similar or you simply don’t need a smoothie maker or another pair of gloves.

If you have the receipt for the item, you might be able to return it and buy something else. If not, there are always other options. After all, it’s better to find a new home for a gift where it will be truly appreciated rather than hide it at the back of a cupboard.

While deciding which gifts to rehome, remember to dispose of wrapping paper properly, as not all of it can be recycled.

Sell them

Selling your unwanted gifts will allow you to use the money for something else. You can consider that your ‘new gift’.

Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are the easiest options. You can use them to sell locally so you don’t have to worry about postage costs.

Check also for Facebook Buy and Sell groups in your area. For collectables and small items, eBay might be a good option as well. 

Regift them

If selling doesn’t feel right or if you don’t think you can get a fair amount for your unwanted gifts, they can be passed on to somebody else.

Just make sure you keep track of who gave you the gift so you don’t pass it on to them or somebody in their close circle.

Regifting works best for presents that are still in pristine condition, including having their original box.

Donate them

If selling or regifting aren’t options, there are plenty of organisations that will welcome your unwanted gifts. Some might pass them on directly to people who can use them. Others might sell them and use the money to help their cause.

Your local charity shop is a good place to start. They will likely take almost anything as long as it’s in good condition.

For more specific gifts, such as clothing and accessories, you can try the Women’s Aid charity (which helps women and children who are victims of violence) or contact your local children’s hospital ward if you have toys or books to donate.

For books, you can also try Books 2 Africa, which helps communities and schools start their own mini-libraries and training programmes through book donations.

Organise a swapping party 

Chances are you’re not the only one with unwanted gifts after the holiday season.

If you have a large network of friends, you can organise a virtual exchange of gifts. While community clothes and book swaps can be a fun way to meet others, current social distancing requires an online version.

Just pick a day and time to meet your friends online and show the gifts on camera so you can all choose what to exchange. You can then arrange postage or socially distanced collection.

Make sure you keep track of who’s invited to the virtual party. You don’t want to bring something that was gifted to you by one of the attendees. 

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