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What Can You Do With Unwanted Gifts?

It’s inevitable that there will be times in your life when you are given a gift you just don’t want. Of course, it’s unlikely you’ll tell the gift-giver that; you wouldn’t want to be impolite or hurt their feelings. Yet still, you’re left with something you don’t like or don’t want, or just won’t ever use for all kinds of reasons, including the fact that you want to simplify your life. What can you do? Read on for some ideas. 


When giving away unwanted gifts, there are some things to keep in mind. First, check to see if the gift is in good shape. No one wants to get a used or broken gift, so it’s important only to donate things that are in good condition.

Second, decide who would like the gift the most. There are many different groups that accept charitable donations, so it’s important to choose one that fits with your beliefs. For example, if you want to donate clothes, you might think about a local homeless shelter. If you want to give away toys, you might think about a children’s hospital. And if you want to give food away, think about a food bank. In this way, you know whoever received the gift will appreciate it, and it will do some good. 


It used to be rude to give someone a gift you didn’t want, but these days it’s not so bad as long as you’re careful about who you give it to. “Regifting,” as it’s called, shouldn’t be a way to dump unwanted stuff on other people. Instead, you should give an item you already have, or that doesn’t fit you to someone who will really appreciate it. You don’t have to do this right away. If you keep a box of extra gifts, you’ll always have something to give when you need it. And of course, never regift to the person who gifted it to you in the first place! 

Return It To The Store 

A thoughtful person who gives a gift will sometimes include a gift receipt with the gift. This is like a free pass to send the gift back if you don’t like it. The key is to get around to returning the gift as soon as possible since some things may have a time limit for returns. 

Even if you don’t have the receipt, some big stores will let you exchange an item you don’t want. Since it’s up to the store, you can’t force an exchange. But you should look into it if you know there’s something else you would rather have.


Re-purposing things is a great way to get creative with gifts you don’t want. For example, if you get an ornament you don’t like, you can put it on your desk and use it as a pencil holder. Or, you can make a pillowcase out of a shirt that is too big for you. There are a lot of different ways to use unwanted gifts. So think of something and see where it takes you; it might be that what you thought was an unwanted gift is actually very useful indeed in a different guise.