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  • Michelle Jensen

Gifting That’s Easy on the Environment


I have learned a lot from my clients over the past couple years working with them to sort, organize, and declutter their home. Specifically, I have learned how to repurpose or gift things I no longer need or want and know will give joy to others. Pre-COVID, one of my clients walked around her home looking for one or more items to gift to a friend before leaving to meet her for a birthday lunch. She grabbed an attractive gift bag from her stash of gift wrappings, walked to her jewelry cabinet and pulled a pair of earrings that, although no longer brought her joy, would look great on her friend. Then, she added a like-new scarf she no longer desired to the birthday gift bag. Before placing the earrings and scarf into the bag, she wrapped each in tissue paper. Within minutes she put together a thoughtful birthday gift without spending money or a lot of time. Further, she did it without negatively impacting the environment through the carbon emissions required to produce and deliver new items.

Whenever I work with a client to declutter their home, I remind them of the “purge” options that can avoid impacting the environment: gifting to friends and family, repurposing, selling, and donating.


Here are more tips on gift giving to minimize buying behavior that negatively impacts the environment:

  1. Collection box for gifts. Have a good-sized box at home labeled, “Gifts” to which you place items throughout the year you no longer want or need that will serve as gifts to friends and family. Things like hardly-worn, high-end clothing (dry clean or launder/press before giving), jewelry, hardly used handbags, leather goods, vases, books.

  2. Multitask. While you’re on vacation and out and about shopping, shop gifts for others that will go into the Collection box for gifts at home. This is a way to take advantage of vacation time to tackle gift buying.

  3. Repurpose attractive boxes and packaging material. Have you noticed the really cool shoe boxes out there that are perfect as gift boxes? I regularly repurpose shoe boxes and sleek looking, electronic product boxes for gifting. I also save ribbon and gift bags I receive for re-use when wrapping gifts for others. As mentioned, reuse and repurposing saves time, money, and minimizes environmental impact.

  4. Re-gift! That’s right, there is nothing wrong with re-gifting! Especially if the gift you receive is going to clutter your home and cause stress. If someone you know needs or would appreciate the gift, then go for it. Else, donate it to prevent clutter after acknowledging the thoughtfulness of the gift giver.

What are your thoughts on re-gifting? For more ideas about organizing your home, contact me at 626-826-3235. Thank you and take care!



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