Many people mean well when they offer us gifts on Christmas, birthdays, and other special occasions. They spend money they could have spent on themselves to get an item they think we’ll really like.
Receiving gifts as a minimalist can be tricky since we strive to avoid clutter in our lives. No one wants to come off rude for refusing to accept a present from a family member or friend.
Fortunately, there are ways you can still let people give you something that’ll fit with your lifestyle. Here are a few tips to help you manage during gift-giving occasions.
1. Let people know you’re practicing minimalism
In fairness to our loved ones, despite the increasing popularity, there are still many people who’ve never heard of minimalism.
The people close to you in life may have no idea you’re practicing simple living now. It’s important to tell them about your current lifestyle.
Explain how it involves decluttering items that aren’t meaningful to you, and only choosing to have items that add value to your life.
Those that truly care for you will understand and not send you anything if that’s what you prefer.
2. Give them a list
If you know your family or friends will really want to get you something, making a list for them can be a good middle ground.
Take a piece of paper and write down all the items you would be happy to accept from someone. In a way, this method is easier if you’re not interested in explaining your new way of living.
It’s a win-win for everybody. You win by getting something that’s meaningful to you, and they win by seeing you happy with what they got.
Just be sure to be specific so they don’t misunderstand and end up getting you something you don’t want.
3. Ask for a gift card
If you’d rather not risk your loved ones not getting exactly what was on your list, you can ask for a gift card instead.
Make a list of some of your favorite stores to shop at, and then you can hand it out to them. You’ll be able to ensure that you only get something that makes you happy whenever you use the card.
4. Request an item you’ll use up
Perhaps you’re just happy with everything you have now. If there’s nothing you really want, you can just ask for something you’ll use up.
You could request a food item that you could cook if you like to cook. If you like coloring, you could ask for some new crayons.
Any items that relates to what you enjoy and that you can use up, ask for that to avoid your space getting cluttered.
5. Ask for an experience
If you feel strongly about not getting any items for any occasion, you can ask for an experience instead.
Examples could be a class you’ve wanted to take, a discount on some kind of service or activity, or even tickets for a local event.
6. Express gratitude
Sometimes despite all the planning and preparation, you may just end up getting something you wouldn’t have wanted in the end.
If that happens, be graceful in accepting the item by thanking the person for giving it to you.
Remember that they didn’t have to get you anything. They chose to be selfless in that way because they care about you.
When you keep that in mind, it’ll potentially help you not respond with any frustration or lack of appreciation.
7. Get creative
Just because you’ve gotten something you don’t like doesn’t mean you can’t find a valuable use for it.
Let’s say you were given some kind of clothing you don’t like. Maybe you can figure out a way to tailor in it way that you would like it more.
If not, you could just choose to wear it at home or when you’re working outside. It can be your clothing that you don’t mind getting messy.
Getting creative may help you find more value and joy from an unwanted item then you originally thought.
8. Give it to another person
You may not be interested in getting creative with the t-shirt you’ve accepted and just want to get rid of it.
Brainstorm all the people you know in your life. Think about if there’s one person you know who would enjoy the item way more than you would.
If someone comes to mind, the next time you talk or meet up with them, ask them if they’d like the t-shirt you got.
If they do, then not only have you gotten rid of the item, you’ve made someone else happy in the process.
9. Sell it
There are many options for selling unwanted things we receive. There’s Amazon, E-Bay, Craigslist, and other platforms to display the item.
You could also look for local stores that might be interested in it, or you could just sell it to one of your friends or family.
The benefit in using this method is you’ll receive money you can either save or go out and get something you actually wanted.
10. Donate the item
If all else fails, you can look for a local charity to donate your unwanted item. Every year there are always families in need.
There would be someone out there that would be more than happy to receive an item that they couldn’t afford themselves.
11. Most importantly, don’t complain
I know it might be frustrating figuring out how to get people not to give you items or dealing with getting an unwanted one. Still, it’s not the end of the world.
There’s no need to get overly stressed. As you’ve read, there are many ways you can manage with loved ones who want to send you something.
Whether it’s requesting a specific item or experience, or just giving away something unwanted, there’s no shortage of options.
Keep these ideas in mind, and you’ll find a way to make something meaningful happen no matter what you get.