One thing I have observed during the process of writing my posts, answering comments and emails, and reading other decluttering blogs is that lack of communication is a real problem when it comes to clutter. It causes clutter in the first place by people giving well meaning gifts that are not wanted by the receiver. Also because we try to protect others feelings people keep items they no longer want.
Although it is commendable to try to be thoughtful about others feelings, sometimes your own personal needs should take precedence when the result effects your new sustainable way of living. Sometimes we assume we know what the reception will be and give up on communicating before even trying. We fear what the reaction might be if we tried to assert our needs but often we underestimate how understanding others might be.
Taking into consideration what your motivation is behind decluttering and the passionate need you have to clear your space it would be very unreasonable for another person to reject your feelings. Even if the giver is a little disappointed I am sure they will forgive you this little indiscretion. If, however they are just totally unreasonable then I have to wonder if their selfish feelings are worth protecting.
Here are some examples of how you might go about refusing a gift or explaining the absence of one in your home on inspection by a giver etc.
- Refusing a gift: “Thank you so much, this is a really lovely gift but I really can not accept it. Please don’t be upset it is nothing personal. I have recently embarked on a more minimalist lifestyle and I am no longer bringing anything into my home that is not a necessity or consumable…”
- Inform friends and family you no longer wish to receive gifts: I just want to let you know that in future I would prefer that you no longer send/give me gifts for birthdays, Christmas etc as I have recently embarked on a more minimalist lifestyle and I am no longer bringing anything into my home that is not a necessity. If you would like to give consumable gifts or donate to a charity on my behalf I will be happy to accept.”
- When someone asks about a previous gift that no long resides in your home. “I am sorry please don’t be offended but I have recently embarked on a more minimalist lifestyle and I am greatly reducing the number of non-functional items in my home. It was a lovely item that needed a new owner that would appreciate it so I have… 1) donated it to charity 2) given it to a friend who has admired it for some time 3) sold it and used funds to…”
- When returning something to the giver that you no longer wish to keep. “I am sorry please don’t be offended but I have recently embarked on a more minimalist lifestyle and I am greatly reducing the number of non-functional items in my home. This was a such a lovely/expensive/thoughtful gift and I wanted to give you the option a taking it back rather than me giving it away. I have enjoyed it up to now but it no longer fits into my new way of living.
ITEM 189 OF 365 LESS THINGS
It has been a while but at last we have another ebay sale these Rugby League Football magazines sold for $20.00