Apartment Therapy’s Guide to Regifting

Pin it button big

I’m guilty of it, and you probably are too: regifting. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either tacky and thoughtless, or just plain common sense. I fall in the latter camp, and happily pass on things that were given to me, which I have no use or desire for. To not regift is wasteful, for one. Why let unnecessary stuff pile up? Better that the gift should fulfill its holiday destiny than become consumer roadkill in your already cluttered house.

  • Gifts are just like human relationships, in that it’s all about fit. And if that gift doesn't fit, then it’s time to move on. Moving on in this case means finding the right person to appreciate said item.
  • If you have the space, dedicate a drawer or other area to gifts you plan to pay forward. When the situation arises, you’ll have a good mental inventory of what you have, and/or can easily check your stash.
  • That said, don’t pass on something you know the new owner won’t appreciate, just because it’s on hand. Only regift if it makes sense to do so. Then, and only then, is it a win win for both parties.
  • Remember, the receiver has no idea that this is a gift that you got from someone else. Explain why you thought they’d like it, just as you would any other gift. If you chose your regift properly, it will seem perfect in their eyes. It’s all about perceived value.
  • What is tacky, in my eyes, is to use the gift before you give it away. There’s a difference between regifting something, and just handing off something that you decided you no longer like. That’s not a present; it's just a hand-me-down or donation. (There’s nothing wrong with hand-me-downs— just don’t call them gifts).
  • Don’t get offended if you yourself are the recipient of a regift. Chances are good you’ll never know in the first place, but if you find out, it’s not the end of the world. Put yourself in their shoes and ask if you’d do the same. And hey, you can always regift it again.

Did you receive anything this holiday that you plan on passing on?

(Image credits: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)