The Art of Re-Gifting

Every successful minimalist knows that it’s not just one big declutter and then you are done. Keeping stuff out of your dwelling space requires vigilance and multiple strategies. Donating to charities, garage sales and asking loved ones not to buy you stuff are all excellent strategies. As is re-gifting. There is to be no shame in it, if done right.

Here's some stuff I have been collecting for the past year to re-gift at Christmas.

Here’s some stuff I have been collecting for the past year to re-gift at Christmas.

Here are the rules of re-gifting:

1) Never, ever, ever give the gift back to the person who gave it to you. Ever. If you don’t trust your memory, put a note with the item reminding you who gave it to you.

2) If at all possible, leave the original packaging and tags on it.

3) The gift needs to match the person. Don’t give a Christian music CD to an atheist or a leather belt to a vegan. The goal is not to just get rid of stuff (if that is the goal, just donate the item to charity) but to find a home for the item where it will be loved and used.

4) Don’t re-gift to someone who is offended by the concept.

Now go out there and have some simple, frugal, minimalist fun.


9 responses to “The Art of Re-Gifting

  1. I totally believe in re-gifting. After all, you’d rather the gift end up with someone who will enjoy it.

  2. Very thoughtful commentary on re-gifting. I loved your examples of how NOT to do it! Thanks for the giggle.

  3. I enjoyed your thoughts and plans on re-gifting. I do this occasionally and I also have a small stash of items waiting to be given to another person to enjoy. When others ask you what you would enjoy for a gift what are some of your replies and or ideas. I would enjoy a post on this in the future as I have trouble with this. I don’t want to be rude and giving brings pleasure to others as well as to me, and I hate to give things to others that become a burden.

    • When other people ask what I want for my birthday, I often ask for (special) food like tea, nuts, chocolate, honey, etc. Things I use! I also enjoy giving people food (something special they wouldn’t buy themselves very quickly) and I enjoy receiving it as well.
      Other things I ask for are stamps (I send a lot of packages), sewing supplies (thread for the sewing machine, ribbons to sew onto clothing etc), and other things I use up.

      • I ask for gift cards to my favourite stores. I had so many at one point that I didn’t have to spend a dime on clothes for 3 years!

      • Thank you for these ideas! I like that the person can use the item up, if it something they want. Fawn, the gift card idea is one I use and my husband loves them..

  4. I can’t tell you how many gifts I have received over the years that are just not “me”. I never ever wear perfume nor have any scented soap or candles in my home yet year after year I’m given some very beautiful baskets filled with scented soaps, perfumes, colognes, candles. Chocolate as well. I was allergic when I was young and to date can’t stand the smell yet at Easter and Christmas I receive numerous boxes. I’ve been regifting for years now and always felt guilty for doing so. Thank you for the write-up — I no longer feel the guilt 🙂

  5. LOL! My brother actually asked for a regift this year for Christmas! I have no issues with it seeing as its sitting around doing nothing!

  6. Ha ha ha. Glad to see I’m not the only one who does this. I’m not crazy after all.

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