6 Simple Rules For Unloading Clutter Onto Friends & Family

Have stuff you want to get rid of? Here's how to do it the right way!

6 Simple Rules For Unloading Clutter Onto Friends & Family getty

We’ve all been there — your mom, grandma, or some other "near and dear" has something they just know you’ll want. The only thing is, you totally don't want it or you're sure it will become clutter.

You tell them over and over that you either don’t have room, it doesn’t go with anything else you own, or it just doesn’t have the same meaning to you. Yet, here you are, staring at it in your own house.


How did that happen, and how can you get rid of that clutter?

RELATED: What Should You Do With Unwanted Gifts? A Guide To Decluttering Your Space

Let’s look at the other side: You have something that can definitely be put to good use and you just know that your BFF, child, or some other extra-special person in your life will want it.

They tell you over and over that they really don’t want it, and you’re absolutely crushed, hurt, and offended that they would refuse it.

So who’s right? In this case, the receiver — every time.

If you're overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to get rid of clutter and want to give it away to loved ones, or even just want to know how to deal with the clutter loved ones gave you, you'll need to come up with a plan.


Take a few deep breaths. Then, start tackling it line by line.

Here are 6 simple rules for unloading clutter on your friends and family.

1. Communicate with your intended gift receiver.

When possible, text the person you want to gift a pic of the item so you can get an answer quickly. If you don’t hear back within a day or two, you get to decide where it goes.

2. Create a bin for people you see frequently.

You can also label it with their name if you end up gifting them things often.

The next time they’re at your house, have them go through the box. If they don’t, or if they decide they don't want anything from it, you get to decide what to do with it all.


If you’re going to see them, bring the bin and leave it at their house. Problem solved. This way, they can decide what they want to keep or get rid of.

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3. Put your intended gifts in a place you'll see.

If you frequently forget to actually bring the items you want to give to others, put them where you can’t miss them: Front seat of the car, where you keep your keys, etc.

Make it so you’ll practically trip over it. This will help guarantee that you'll actually get it done.

4. Organize digital files for easy sharing.

Create a file on Google Drive or Dropbox where you save pictures of family treasures.


Share the file with anyone you think might be interested, and then you decide what to do with the hard copies and actual items.

5. Come up with a plan for distant loved ones.

If your intended gift receiver lives far away and you’re likely to find a lot for that one particular person, start a box and address it before you even put the first item in.

Any time you encounter something for them, put it in the box.

Mail it when it’s full and start another right away if you expect to find more for that same person.


6. Don't make people accept what they don't want.

If you’re trying to give someone a very special treasure and they don’t want it, don't force it on them! If they don’t want it, leave it be.

If it hurts this much, then clearly, you need to keep it for yourself. If you don’t want it, then donate it and let it be someone else’s treasure.

Following these simple steps will help eliminate a lot of irritation and might even save a relationship when it comes to gifting items.

RELATED: What Your 'Clutter Personality Type' Is (And How To Finally Tidy Up Your Home)

Aubrei Krummert is a certified professional organizer and the owner of Real World Organizing. Aubrei loves working with her clients both on-site and virtually to reduce overwhelm and help them live more peacefully and efficiently. For more information on how she can help you, visit her website.