The Gift of Regifting

gerund or present participle: regifting

  1. give (an unwanted gift that one has received) to someone else as a gift.

    “do you think she’ll regift that horrendous vase?”


I think regifting is a great idea!  And I think it’s resourceful rather than cheap.

Is it rude?
Not if you are genuine about graciously accepting a gift you are going to regift. And by saying thank you (and meaning it) you’re not being dishonest – it’s simply honouring the intention behind the gift.

Is it tacky?
Not if whoever you regift to has been selected because you think they will genuinely like the gift.  If you can’t think of anyone who fits the bill, then that’s your cue to donate to charity.

Is it deceptive?
Well yes a little – but the good kind.  Ensure there are a few degrees of separation i.e. regift out of the immediate family or social circle in which it was given.  Yes, you want to minimise the chances of the original giver being aware of the situation, not because you’re doing anything wrong but because we all have different perspectives.  To avoid confusion, place a post-it on the gift with the original giver’s name and to whom you intend to re-gift.

Are there exceptions?
Yes.  If you are gifted an experience which you will no doubt be asked about by the giver. Or an item which is designed for regular use and which the giver would expect to see you use.  Here covert regifting would mean lying – which I do not advocate! In these cases, there are three options:

  • Use the gift yourself anyway and try to gain value from it (fine if it’s a one off experience but more difficult if it’s something designed for daily use)
  • Tell the giver that the gift just isn’t a good fit for you and return it to them – they can then either use it themselves or regift!
  • Regift but tell the giver that’s what you’re going to do.

Personally, I keep a box within my wrapping drawer designated for re-gifts.  It’s not limited to previous gifts – prizes I have won in the past have gone into this drawer.  I simply have two rules:  I don’t re-gift low value, impersonal gifts (cheap chocolates or toiletry sets would be donated) and I have to know someone who I hand on heart think will like or use the regift.

I regularly come across clients who gasp in horror at the regifting concept but I genuinely can’t see a problem with it.  I tell them to let the gift – and the guilt – go.  If you keep an unwanted gift, the odds are you won’t use it and it becomes clutter within your home.  To me, this is far more disrespectful to the giver than regifting the gift.

Finally, what to do if the giver finds out about the regift?  Simply own up, be honest and say you thought someone else would get more value out of it. The truth is, that’s entirely justifiable.

Thank you for reading!

A Tidy Mind

Join Us!

Sign up today to receive a FREE printable guide to decluttering ANY space and monthly emails packed with inspiration to help you on your tidying journey

Have a Question?

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us using the button below.

Contact Us