Diamonds Are Forever, Monogrammed Gifts Are Not

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When my twins were born 17 years ago, we received not one, but two decorative, monogrammed seesaws…from one store. It’s difficult to imagine that the store wouldn’t have told the second person ordering this “gift” with the same names and delivery address to select something else, but that’s another story. Suffice it to say that I was stuck with two seesaws that were, in my practical mind, a waste of space and a silly gift. So, I did what any self-respecting professional organizer would do and put them both out on the curb the next morning.

Although this can be difficult for some people, never feel compelled to keep a gift you don’t like. It will end up taking up space in your home and your psyche for what is often literally years. To avoid this, consider these tips

  1. Don’t be lazy about returns; try to exchange the gift. Many stores will give store credit even without a receipt.
  2. Don’t feel compelled to keep homemade gifts from your children. While some people may genuinely like the sculpture their child makes out of noodles, for example, objectively, it’s just food glued together. You don’t need to feel guilty about keeping it any longer than a few days.
  3. If you receive clothing that doesn’t fit or isn’t your style, there’s no reason for it to go into long-term storage in your closet. Not only is it taking space away from clothing you actually like, but you’re sending the gift giver the message that you like what s/he selected for you when the opposite is true. And then you run the risk of receiving a similar item every year.
  4. Have an area where you store the duplicate toys your child receives and the candles, soap, and other hostess gifts that you can re-gift. These items come in handy when you’re invited somewhere at the last minute.
  5. And finally, monogrammed gifts aren’t more valuable because they have someone’s name on it. Remember my seesaws, and get these out of your life ASAP. A diamond is forever; a monogrammed blanket, stool, diaper cover, or box is not.
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