It was about a year ago when I realized how evident it was each time I was invited into someone’s home. We would walk into one room, I’d ask a question and I would receive the same response. We would walk into another room and I would get the same response, no change. At the end of the consultation I would leave with confusion because I knew my services were needed but at the same time they weren’t.
I’ve noticed that a lot items in our homes were gifted to us and out of those, many of them were given without knowing or even wanting. What do I mean by that? There are items in our homes right now that aren’t being used because we never wanted them but we feel guilty letting them go because they were given to us. It’s like this weird product cycle. We have an item we don’t need or use, we want to get rid of it but because it was given to us we feel guilty so the item stay in our home therefore remains clutter.
To all you lovely individuals who blindly give your loved one things you personally like without asking them what they want before you give it, this is for YOU.
Today marks the last day you will give a gift, whether for a birthday, an anniversary, a baby shower or just because, without asking the recipient what they want. No more surprises. Trust me, I understand your intentions are good and because you love the recipient so much, you want to give them a gift to show your love. I GET IT! The thing is 8 out of 10 people you’re giving said gift to doesn’t want it, use it or life changed after receiving it.
Lets be totally honest. The reason we give gifts, for the most part, is for our own selfishness. We feel great when we give a gift to someone even if they don’t ever use it. We don’t care because the gift came from the heart and that’s what matters right?!? WRONG! Sometimes we give gifts for the sake of giving a gift. We forgot about the event so we rush to the nearest store just to bring something to the party. Our loved one is grieving so we believe giving them a gift will cheer them up….it doesn’t. Even if it does, it’s only temporary. We saw a cute dress at the store and feel it will look great on our niece so we buy it for them and I’m sure that dress has never been worn. And my personal favorite, an inheritance.
I think its important that we understand that the unwanted, surprise gifts we are giving are unnecessary because those gifts usually become clutter. Unless the gifts are loved or being used, they usually take the back seat and are forgotten but because they were given to the individual, the guilt to get rid of it prevents them from letting it go. According to Professional Organizer Regina Lark, the average U.S. household has 300,000 things, from paper clips to ironing boards. Of course they’re are some who fall under that statistics but nevertheless, that’s a lot of stuff! The reason why I felt to add this is because the more unnecessary gifts you give, the more things we continue to possess, thus more clutter. Because my goal is to help people combat the clutter to create an organized life, rather than going at the clutter head on, I want to address the givers first.
So next time, if you’re thinking of giving a gift to someone, before you run out to the store ask them, “What do you want”? It may seem taboo because we love giving surprise gifts but trust me giving a gift someone actually wants is much better than giving a gift they will never use. If you just can’t see yourself asking this question, then try giving them a gift of experience.
Oh, and don’t take “I don’t care what you give me” as an answer because that’s a clear indication that the gift you want to give them will never be used.
If you’re interested in hearing the audio for this blog article, check it out below.