The gift drawer: what to do with the presents you didn’t ask for

by Justin Weinger on April 22, 2013

Being showered with gifts that you didn’t ask for and don’t need can be an incredibly frustrating thing. Space is a commodity for many of us, and finding room for all of these unwanted items can be remarkably irritating.

You should always remember that it’s not the giving of gifts that is the problem – your loved ones or friends would be offended if you asked them not to give you or your children presents. It’s important that you say that it’s the volume of gifts that you have a problem with.

Regardless, you’re going to have to find ways of handling your gift surplus. This article features some ideas on what to do with them.

Get rid of gifts you really have no use for

Not everyone can select gifts very well. The best gifts are the practical ones. Even a coconut-zipper is useful, but what do you do with a fake USB-powered fish tank? We’ve all received useless presents like these before and we’ve all felt bad about getting rid of them.

But a gift you cannot refuse is not a gift, after all. If a present you’ve received is truly unusable, you shouldn’t feel bad about selling it or giving it away to someone. If someone’s gotten you the entire discography of a singer you truly loathe, there’s no harm in pawning it off at a site like

Swap your gifts

This is great for after holiday seasons like Christmas, and as usual, everyone you know has received at least two or three pointless gifts. What you should do is organise a gift-swap at someone’s house.

It’ll be a night of hilarity as all of your friends show off their unwanted presents. Who knows, you might find something you actually like!

Re-gift your gift

If you don’t have time to sell your unwanted present, you can still re-gift it to someone else. Obviously, you should take care not to commit a massive social faux pas by giving it to someone who is in the original giver’s social circle. So, don’t give that horrible panda-bear jumper that your parents gave you to someone else in the family.

Pick someone who’s guaranteed never to bump into the original giver, like someone from work who you don’t socialise with much.


You can also always do the green thing and recycle the gift, if possible. If you’ve received a low-end MP3 Player that is truly appallingly manufactured, try and recycle it as opposed to letting it gather dust on your shelf.

The same applies to pretty much any useless bit of tech you receive.


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