Saturday, April 26, 2008
to keep or to give away?
it happens to most of us. a friend or family member will give us a gift and...it is just not to our taste...sometimes it can be pretty awful. but we know the person picked it out because they thought we would love it..or because it was something they really liked. what to do? keep it and put it out for display or wear it if it is clothing? keep, but store in a closet or attic? give away?
i have such a hard time with this topic. my personal style is pretty clutter free...and i just am not comfortable with a lot of "stuff" around. yet i have major guilt issues with giving away items given as gifts..it just feels wrong... i believe you can be really grateful for the thought and effort that went into buying or making the gift..even if you do not care for the actual piece. even worse are those items that have been in the family for a long time..not valuable heirlooms...but handmade items...made with love. a perfect example is a doll collection my mom saved for me. these were dolls that i played with as a child. a few were handmade by my grandmothers..some were hand-me-downs from relatives..the rest were purchased by my parents or other family members. my mother lovingly kept all of them for me.. in case i ever had a daughter to pass them to. well, i never had children of my own..and i only have nephews...so what to do? putting them on display is so not my style..and i can not fathom giving them away..especially the handmade ones. so there they sit..packed away in the attic. seems wrong. i am starting a company where all the items are made from repurposed, reimagined, recycled and/or reused materials and this process has really inspired me to lose the clutter..and donate or reuse to avoid adding to the landfill. i am getting better with giving away the non-sentimental items..i keep telling myself that donating will do some good, and other people will enjoy...but am struggling with the rest of the "stuff". my sister, kathi, has a good solution for her home. when her house was being built, she designed a special cupboard..she calls it the "memory closet"...where she stores items with meaning for her...family items..the crafts her boys made when they were small...anything that she wants to keep..but does not want on display in her home. when she is feeling sentimental she opens the closet and enjoys the contents. when she is through she shuts the door..it all goes away!! unfortunately, the closet is completely full so any other "memories" will be a problem :).
while i feel that giving away/donating to charity the non-sentimental items is good for the planet..i cannot bring myself to tell the gift giver what i am doing. how do you tell someone you just do not like their gift? and i still do not have a good solution for the family "memories". but just writing about the topic is helping.
so today's questions..what do you do when given a gift that you just do not like? what do you do with family hand-me-downs or other sentimental items that do not fit your style? please add your tips, suggestions and/or comments to this post. (oh..by the way..the photo in this post was a free download from the net..could not use an actual photo of something someone actually gave me..that would just be mean...)
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style™"