What About Gifts That Are Hard To Declutter? April 05, 2016



My friend was inspired to declutter her home when she read my article, ‘Tidy Up Your Home With Joy!’.  A few days later she asked, “what about gifts? I'm having difficulty letting go of the gifts that no longer make me happy”.  Letting go of gifts is challenging.


Ten 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.


I noticed that many of the things I let go of had been given to me. The joy I had felt when I received those gifts had already worn off. I had 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!


You may feel that letting go of a gift is disrespectful to the person who gave it to you but keeping gifts you no longer feel excited about disrespects yourself and the giver. Letting go of gifts after their emotional expiration date honors the special moment of when it was given.


3 Tips to Help You Declutter Gifts 


  1. 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.

  2. 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?”

  3. 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 gift 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.

    You honor your relationships and your belongings by letting go of the gifts that no longer bring you joy. The person who gave you the gift would not likely want you to keep something that doesn’t truly make you happy.


    You are connected energetically to all your belongings and when you hold on to clutter (things you don't love or find useful) it creates stagnant energy in your life. 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.


    Megan Montero is a feng shui consultant who loves to teach and coach her clients to clear their clutter. She's available for in person and remote Clutter Clearing & Home Organizing Consultations . Contact Megan for a free 20-minute call to explore the changes you'd like to make in your life and home (831) 588-5424.