Updated: Nov 9, 2019
Joy to the world, my house is full...of junk! In a world of plenty, it is easy to get lost in the messes we create. Duplicate, unwanted, and unusable gifts and gifts that we never got around to giving away pile up in closets, and guilt of clearing out keeps us holding onto them for way to long. I have long believed that keeping clutter minimal and homes simplistic brings the most inner peace.
So every January, I spend a day decluttering, making several trips to local charities with items that will mean more to someone else. But for those gifts you cannot immediately part, try out the art of repurposing. You might just find the experience a little serendipitous! And yes...I have done all of these, so sorry to anyone reading who gave me these gifts!
Ugly Knitted Sweater
Growing up, I was not poor...but I never had any money either. I babysat earning $20 here and there, but because I had to buy my own clothes, car, makeup, etc., that left me with very little for anything extra. So I got creative. If I needed a bookshelf, I used leftover boxes, Elmer's glue, and popsicle sticks to make my own. If I came across an inexpensive thrift shop sweater that had materials I liked, I unraveled it, crocheting it into a scarf. It's amazing how a will leads to a way.
Unused Magazine Subscription
It seems that no matter my age, someone always wants to buy me a magazine subscription. Growing up, it was American Girl. Then Seventeen. And as an adult, Good Housekeeping. And I'm not a reader...surprising since I obviously like to write, right? So I started to cut pictures that I liked and glue them into collages, making the artwork that I could not afford to buy myself.
Because I am not a reader, I am not one to get excited when I see a new book. If it has pictures, it gets bonus points. Otherwise, I will likely never open it. But...books with nice covers make AMAZING coffee table books. Stack 2-3 small books, setting a plant on top, for a great centerpiece. Or place on bookshelf, interspersing books with large marble initials, vases, and pictures. If it's a pretty book, it can do wonders for spicing up your home decor!
Set of Coffee Mugs
So coffee is always a great idea, I think. But who wants to drink it out of a boring cup? Change it up a bit by painting the cup with inspirational messages, simple pictures, and designs. My favorite coffee cup was one I made in a pottery class; I just painted it with polka dots and a little cat at the bottom. Truly my favorite cup to use for years!
One Christmas, I received a purse that I could not stand. I won't go too much into my dislike of this purse, but I will share my solution. I know this sounds terrible...don't judge!
So the purse still had the tags on it. I was able to return it for store credit and purchase a decorative mirror for my entryway instead. Clutter literally turned into beautiful home decor. Two birds killed with one stone!
Unless you are my dad, you probably hate getting socks for Christmas. It's hard to get excited about something so mundane. But what if you changed it into something new? With the abundance of sock monkeys lying on my kids' bedroom floors, it's clear that my mother-in-law has been receiving too many unwanted socks!
There is almost always a new and exciting way to repurpose an undesired gift. If nothing else, just think of it as free crafting material. Check out other ways to turn junk into treasure, and don't forget to share the happy endings to your Christmas gift horrors in the comments below!