Putting Unwanted Christmas Gifts To Good Use

British Heart Foundation | 11.01.19

As 2019 gets underway, Christmas is already a distant memory with all the focus on the year ahead. Perhaps you’ve just had a declutter and realised there are several unwanted Christmas gifts lying around. While some presents may seem useful, let’s face it, you’re not likely to really use any of them. Instead of stuffing them into drawers and cupboards you have just cleared out, why not put them to good use?

For starters, you could donate your unwanted Christmas gifts to a good charity that will find a use for them. Homeless shelters are always looking for hats, gloves and toiletries while food banks eagerly await food items and also toiletries. There are also many other charitable organisations that provide things for people who are struggling.

Did you know that three out of five people receive unwanted Christmas gifts? With that in mind, please consider less fortunate people before you simply throw anything away.

What To Do With Unwanted Christmas Gifts?

Every year, thousands of people across the country receive gifts that they will probably never use. Clothes, ornaments and toiletries are among the most common items. For the most part, perfumes or ‘smellies’ are common gifts for women as people are often unsure what to buy them. Thing is, it’s not about being ungrateful as gifts are always appreciated but some are just not as useful. In some cases, we simply receive multiple, similar gifts that only end up as paperweights or create unnecessary clutter.

Many of us have baskets and bottles of unopened toiletries that take up valuable space on the bathroom shelf. Whether we don’t want to or can’t use them, there are many alternatives to throwing away last year’s unwanted Christmas presents.

Selling Unwanted Christmas Gifts

Selling unwanted presents is always an option as they always say, “One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure”. You could make some extra money using Gumtree, OLX, Facebook, Preloved, Amazon and eBay but remember that thousands of people have the same idea. You must also be prepared to take the time to properly advertise your gifts and some online platforms may charge you. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that your unwanted Christmas gifts stand out.  

If you’re going the online route, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Take many good quality photos to attract potential bidders and generate sales
  • Use an eye-catching title that includes specific keywords for your item, such as ‘Beautifully Handcrafted Vanilla Scented Candles’
  • Add a compelling description for each item and remember to add that it is an unwanted Christmas gift. Always include technical information when selling any type of electronic equipment.
  • Using eBay for example, choosing the right selling format is essential. There are either auction-style or fixed-price listing which works best for unwanted Christmas gifts. You could also use both options for selling multiple items.
  • Communicate well with the potential buyer and take the time to answer any questions they may have. Once the sale is complete, contact the buyer to let them know you’ve shipped the items.

Another option is to attend a car boot sale or host a garage sale. If you advertise it right, you’ll be surprised how effective it can be. Take a look at this article revealing ‘How to Make Money from Your Car Boot Sale’.

Donations and Charities

‘Re-gifting’ unwanted Christmas presents have become a very popular choice. Whether it goes to someone you know who will benefit or to a charitable organisation, you can’t go wrong. If you don’t have the knowledge or time to sell everything yourself, simply donate your unwanted presents to a local charity shop.

  • Take toys to a children’s ward in a hospital but remember to check what they can accept
  • Donate books to a library, school or any other literacy-focused charity
  • Gift sports equipment to a local sports club
  • Homeless shelters are always looking for clothes, food and toiletries
  • While some organisations will accept furniture, bikes and computers as gifts, check that they actually have a need for the item first

Most people think food banks only provide food but they actually help families with toiletries like shower gel and soap. Charities helping the homeless are incredibly grateful for any items of clothing and toiletries.

Women’s refuges and shelter organisations often have women and children on their doorstep with nothing but the clothes on their backs. When this happens they have to quickly put together all these essential items that they may need.

Charities play a vital role in every community and rely heavily on donations to operate. Whether it’s a financial contribution or goods that can be sold in their shops, they can’t help others without your support. Besides registered charities, you can also donate to the local community and playgroups. If you’d like to get involved or donate your unwanted Christmas gifts, take a look at this list of charities.


You may not make any money from recycling but who doesn’t want to help the environment? Instead of throwing items away, recycling makes a positive impact on the environment by helping reduce waste, using raw materials and energy usage.

There is also a network called, UK freecycle.org, that matches people in need with something specific. All the listed items must be free as it is not an e-commerce site but a fantastic way to help someone less fortunate.

Space Centre Self Storage has helped several charities over the years and you can too. Most people know about the larger organisations but there are numerous smaller charities you could contact.

If you find yourself moving house or renovating and have extra stuff lying around that could be used for something good, consider putting it into self storage. You can keep everything clean, dry and safe until you find the right charity or organisation to donate it to.

For quality, flexible and affordable storage options, contact us today. We can help find the right storage unit for your needs and provide you with expert storage advice. You can also visit any of our branches or take the virtual tour of Gloucester and Stroud.

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