People give things to friends and family members for all sorts of reasons and three of those reasons are 1. Gifts 2. Trying to be helpful and 3. Offloading things they no longer have a love of or need for. And each of these reason have their own sub-categories some of which crossover through all three titles. I will set out some examples below.
- They have one themselves and love it and wanted to share the joy. The intention is good but it may not contain the same joy for you.
- They know you have a collection of something and think you would be happy to receive another example. Also good intentioned, but sometimes personal collections revolve around personal taste and although the gift is along the same lines it may not be to your taste. And perhaps your collection only keeps growing because well intentioned people keep adding to it.
- They have an idea on what would look good on you fashion wise and buy you an outfit to suit. You on the other hand would hate yourself in it.
- What do you buy for someone who has everything? Anything so long as you have a gift to give, right? Wrong. Take them out, give them a treat and don’t bother with material gifts that they just don’t need.
Trying to be helpful
- 1 & 3 from the list above.
- They notice you don’t have something and think you would benefit from owning one.
Offloading things they now longer have a love of or need for
- What do people do with family heirlooms that they no longer want cluttering up their homes. That’s right they “generously” hand it on to the next in line
suckerbeneficiary. Now that person is stuck with the obligation of preserving family history. It really is OK to turn down this sort of duty ~ for want of a better word ~ there is usually someone in the family who would really appreciate what is on offer.
- People often have useful things they no longer have a need for and hate to see these items go to waste. Often however it feels more acceptable to them if they generously hand it on to a friend of family member rather than just donate it to a charity. This way they can witness it being put to good use. Once again it is Ok to turn down these offers. You don’t have to put yourself out in order to appease their guilt for not getting full use out of something.
- You once said you thought something they had was handy, pretty or interesting and now they no longer want this item. They remember you had admired it and think you would be grateful if they gave it to you.
I have two pieces of advice when it comes to accepting and offering “clutter”.
- You don’t have to accept or keep items that will clutter up your house just to make someone else feel good. That is just handing the clutter baton on to the next person. Here is a polite refusal for when people offer you their things… Thank you for your kind offer but I really don’t have a use for this. I appreciate you thinking of me though. When it comes to gifts it is difficult to refuse but in future make it clear that no gifts are necessary. Accept the gift by all means but don’t feel obliged to keep it. Return it exchange it or give it away.
- When offering your clutter to someone else always offer the person an out. That is offer it in such a way that they won’t feel they are offending you by saying no thank you. Here is an example … I am getting rid of this item and I wanted to give you first option to take it. If it is not something you would find useful that is OK, I will just drop it off at the thrift store.
Have you ever felt awkward about passing on or accepting things? Have you taken items just because you don’t want to offend the giver? Have you wondered whether someone has done this with you?
Today’s Declutter Item
This was an unwanted gift that I found I had no need for even though I did give it a try. It was eventually donated to the thrift store. It is a manicure gadget in case you are trying to figure it out.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
My skills at packaging up ebay sale items. I have quite a knack for it, even if I say so myself.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast