5 Easy Rules for Regifting

Contrary to popular belief, recycling unwanted gifts is not as rude as it sounds and can be done as long as you follow a few easy rules for regifting. In many circles, the act of regifting is deemed a holiday faux pas and will be considered a slap in the face to your gift recipient if they find out. If you are working around a strict budget or have a few unwanted, unused items that you want to get rid of, however, recycling gifts can be a means of finding a gift for everyone on your list without breaking the bank

If you find yourself in a situation where you need a gift and you are on a budget or a time pinch, regifting can be helpful. It goes without saying that there are times when we get gifts from friends and loved ones that we do not want and obviously can’t return. If you, like many people save these items because you feel bad about throwing them away, recycling these gifts can not only get them out of your hair but can also make a nice gift for someone else.

Rule #1 – If You Decide to Regift Remember to Rewrap

Although it may seem simple just to keep the item in the gift bag or festive wrapping that you received it in, this is typically the easiest way for your gift recipient to figure out your dirty little secret. Chances are, if you have had the gift for even a few months the box, bag or wrapping paper has probably gotten wrinkled and collected dust which will undoubtedly make it hard for you to pass off the item as a new gift and may leave you searching for excuses if some one notices, especially if you forget to remove the dangling tag with your name on it. Save yourself some embarrassment and always take the item out of the original wrapping paper or gift bag and repackage it yourself. Some fresh wrapping paper and a new bow will definitely make all the difference.

Rule #2 – Keep Records

One of the best rules of regifting you can follow is to keep a record of what unwanted gifts you have and who actually gave them to you. This will help prevent you from accidentally regifting the gift to the person who originally gave it to you. The easiest way to stay organized is to put all of your unwanted and potentially regiftable items in one place, along with a list of who you got them from. When it’s time to regift, check the list to make sure you are not giving the item back to the originator or to anyone who may be close to them so that someone else doesn’t let the gift recipient know that you are recycling your unwanted gifts.

Rule #3 – Remember that Certain Items Should Never Be Regifted

Considered one of the imperative rules for regifting, it is important to remember that certain items should not be considered for possible regifting. As a rule of thumb, if you cringed when you opened the gift, don’t pass that experience on to another victim. Some items to avoid regifting include:

Cheap Candles — These typically do not smell great anyway and they often look cheap. Save yourself some trouble and select another item. Cheap Jewelery Gift Sets – While certain pieces of jewelery can be recycled as gifts if they just weren’t your taste, not all of them should be. If you received a jewelery set that you don’t think any one could love, don’t regift it. Dust Gatherers – Unless your great aunt Suzanne really loves dog figurines, don’t regift this type of item. Gift Sets – If you received a cheap gift set that looks like it was pulled out of a bargain bin somewhere – throw it away. Gift sets, especially ones that contain perfumes or bath products will often give your secret away as the items contained within have probably aged and become discolored.

Rule #4 – Don’t Regift Used Items

A primary rule of regifting, avoid gifting items that you have used, even once. It’s basically like going to your closet and giving someone an old t-shirt for Christmas. Any time you use an item, it will likely have signs of wear which will easily let your holiday gift giving secret out to the world. Also, do not regift items you have had on display in your home as someone will be bound to notice. As a rule of thumb, if the box or packaging looks like it’s been opened, you should not try to disguise it as a new gift.

Rule #5 – Donate and Sell What You Can’t Regift

There will be times when you receive unwanted items that you know you can’t recycle. If this is the case, avoid taking up space in your home by donating it to a group or organization that will appreciate it. Unwanted clothes and housewares can easily be given to groups such as the Good Will or Salvation army and will probably end up making a difference in someone’s life.

On the other hand, if you are looking to make some extra cash from your unwanted gifts, you can try your hand at selling them. Avoid doing this at a garage sale – as your gifter may attend. Instead, try selling it online or in a consignment shop to avoid angry regifting backlash.

Regifting can be an excellent opportunity to help you save money and reduce clutter around the holidays and it certainly does not have to be a punishable Christmas Crime — as long as no one finds out. Remember to follow these 5 easy rules for regifting and you’ll soon be able to tackle this challenge with ease and finesse.

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