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With birthdays, Christmases, baby showers and weddings, it seems like present season never really ends. Many of us are happier to give than we are to receive—especially when the items we unwrap are of no interest to us!


While we are certainly grateful that loved ones take the time and effort to bestow us with treasures and trinkets, sometimes there is simply no place for gifts we open but never use.

Here are a few cardinal rules to re-gifting items to remove unwanted junk:

• Remember who it came from

…And don’t send it back their way!

Any time you open a present it is wise to record the item and who it came from. That way you are able to send the appropriate thank you while being alert of whom not to re-gift it to if and when the time comes.

Make sure the items doesn’t get given to anyone within the immediate family or close friends of the gifter as well, as to avoid embarrassing moments if the item is seen on display at the new recipient’s home.

• Take off all tags and remove cards

A dead give-away that a gift is in round two (or more) of its giving cycle is the old gift tags addressed to anyone but the recipient.

Make sure to thoroughly inspect wrapping and tags before sending it out the door.

• Check expiration dates

Thinking of re-gifting food or beverage items? Make sure the expiration date has not been exceeded to keep your recipient healthy.

• This goes for gift cards too
If you are recycling gift certificates, pre-paid cards, or something along those lines, please check that dates, times, and locations are still valid for use.

• Check packaging details

Another mistake is handing over a gift date or time stamped with something like “Christmas 2008” or “All the best in 2010” when we are well past the date. Recipients will be wise to your schemes when the writing is literally on the gift, so double check those holiday commemorative mugs and ornaments.

• Evaluate the gift

Before you pass the gift along, think about why it wasn’t right for you to begin with. Is it tacky? Crude? Useless? Or just of no interest to you? Make sure you think the new recipient may actually like the item before sending it their way or the regifting cycle will just continue, until may you even get it a second time.

Think before you regift: Is it worthy of a pass or better suited for the trash?! Happy regifting!

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