What do you do with gifts you receive that just aren't your style? From ugly jumpers to boring DVDs, if you're anything like me you leave them gathering dust in the back corner of a drawer.
I have been trying to cut down the amount of stuff I own. I will be moving out semi-permanently in the autumn (I'll probably impose myself at home for Christmas dinner and birthdays every now and again!). I will probably be moving into some tiny student pad somewhere, possibly a room in a shared house, possibly a small flat. Either way, space will be an issue!
I want the next phase of my life to be clutter-free, so for the past few months I have been systematically donating a lot of stuff I never wear/use. If I bought it myself, I am ruthless! Haven't worn it in a year? GONE! Never going to read it again? BYE! Why did I EVER buy that?! DONATED!
When it comes to something I have been given, it's a whole new story. I am overly sentimental because so-and-so got me it, or I wore it when I did that, or it was such a thoughtful gift even if I've never used it! This is something I picked up from my Mother (sorry Mum, but you know it's true!). I/we worry that when we get rid of it, we will be hurting someone's feelings, or getting rid of the memory of someone or something that happened.
How can things have so much emotional hold over me? I know a lot of people have this issue. To combat it, I have been trying to use my normal approach of assessing the object's worth to be, rather than the worth of the person who gave it to me!
I like to follow William Morris' famous advice:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”
I am sure that the person who gave it to me doesn't want me to feel burdened by guilt! If you flip it on it's head, you probably wouldn't mind someone getting rid of something you gave them that they didn't actually want.
I dunno. What do you guys think? Do you feel like a horrible person for even contemplating donating a gift, or are you a dedicated declutterer?