Friday, October 8, 2010

Stockpiling Gifts (Just In Case)

Me: So what is this?

"It's a gift."

Me: "For whom?"

"I don't know. BUT...:"

Me: ( in my head) Oh, no, here it comes...

"...just in case I need a gift, I can come to this closet and  get something quick.  I found it on sale."

If you have a gift closet (or shelves, cupboards or boxes) where you store unintended future gifts, let's talk.  It's time. The gift giving season will soon be upon us, so let's review that closet.  Pull everything out and really take a look.  If you have tons of storage space in your home, you may go back to whatever you were doing (or skip down to the next blog entry). The rest of you -grab your post-its, your gift list, a pen and come with me.


  • If it has been in this closet for more than one year -Donate it. A whole year of gift giving opportunities has come and gone, and it was passed over or forgotten.
  • If it is a food item and it is more than one year old -Toss It. If it is for someone specific, label and give it soon. Wine is an exception, but keep it in a cool place.
  • If it is a bath, toiletry item, or a candle, decide now who loves this fragrance and designate it now with your post-it.  If you got it as a gift and really thought it was stinky -Toss it.  If you think it stinks why would you give it to someone else.
  • If the time has come and gone for giving a gift (age appropriateness), for example, small toys when the kids on your list are now in their teens- Donate it.
  • If it is for a teacher, let's give this some thought.  My teacher clients have advised me that they much prefer gift cards or consumables for the classroom than candles, coffee mugs and apple shaped things.
  • Repeat with other items deciding who would actually be a candidate for such a gift.  If you are giving gifts that are re-gifts, that is fine, BUT only if you know for sure who gave it to you in the first place.  You know why.


When you are done you should have post-its on most everything that you sincerely intend to give to someone.  Try to give generously until this closet, shelf, or box is empty. If you really must buy ahead, have someone specific in mind before you head to the checkout counter.  You really need the space for other things. Random gifts are not especially thoughtful, so try to avoid buying things that you do not need on sale under the guise that it is a gift.