Tips to help you declutter gifts
My friend was inspired to declutter her home when she read my article, ‘Tidy Up Your Home With Joy!’. It sparked an interest in wanting help with decluttering her gifts. A few days later she asked, “what about gifts? I’m having difficulty letting go of the gifts that don’t spark joy or make me happy.” Letting go of gifts can be very challenging.
Many years ago I did a massive decluttering in preparation for moving back across the country.
I decluttered again four months later when I moved to a much smaller house. Moving many times helped me see my true feelings for my belongings and was serious motivation to let things go. This eventually led me to coaching clients how to declutter.
I noticed that many of the things I let go had been given to me.
The joy I had felt when I received those gifts had already worn off. I felt an unspoken obligation to keep these things and this holding on was a burden. This realization was liberating and it felt wonderful to let go of the weight!
It’s common to feel that letting go of a gift is disrespectful to the person who gave it to you. But keeping gifts we no longer feel excited about disrespects ourself and the giver. Letting go of gifts after their emotional expiration date honors the special moment of when it was given.
3 Tips for Decluttering Gifts
- Go through things that were given to you, along with other sentimental items, after you’ve decluttered everything else. It will be easier to make decisions about these more difficult items after you’ve had more experience deciding what you want to keep based on what makes you happy.
- Hold the gift in your hand and ask, “does this make me happy?”. If the answer is no and it’s still hard to part with, ask,”Do I feel obligated to keep this?”
- Call up the memory of when you received the gift and the person who gave it to you. Think of that moment and the joy it gave you. Silently thank the person and the object for what it has meant to you. This gift has already served its role in your life and simply honoring it with gratitude will help you let go.
We honor our relationships and our belongings by letting go the gifts that no longer spark joy.
The person who gave you the gift would not likely want you to keep something that truly doesn’t make you happy. We are connected energetically to all of our belongings and when we hold onto clutter (un-loved or un-useful things), it creates stagnant energy in our lives.
I suspect that honoring those gifts, and letting them go, will free up energy between you and the person who gave it to you. It will feel good to both of you to be free of the sticky energy of an unloved, no longer needed gift. Let it go with gratitude and you will both be free.