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How to make regifting work for you

2022-12-15 8:31 AM | Reuse Minnesota (Administrator)

Today is National Regifting Day! While it’s beneficial to have a specific day for this concept, we believe it is a mindset to celebrate all year long.

Regifting is the act of taking a gift you’ve received and giving it to someone else. Doesn’t seem too difficult, does it? After all, sometimes we don’t have a need or want for an item. Maybe you have a fragrance sensitivity to lotions or candles, but you know someone else that loves to have a variety of body products or scents in their home. Or perhaps you have plenty of sweaters and don’t need to drive demand for the production of more clothing in the fashion industry. What are the best options when someone gives you an unwanted gift?

Don’t clutter your home, store an unused item, and contribute to society’s over consumption of products. Instead, consider passing it along to someone else, or resetting expectations that gifts aren’t needed for the occasion. Gifts don’t always have to be shiny and new to be appreciated! One that is chosen with intention and thoughtfulness will have more meaning to its recipient.

Reuse Minnesota has come up with some regifting strategies to help get you through any gift giving or gift receiving scenarios.

Tips for regifting

  • If you are hosting an event, make it clear that you do not expect guests to bring gifts and that their presence is a gift itself. This is especially helpful if you are hosting a birthday party or wedding, and are trying to avoid extra stuff you don’t need.
    • “Camryn is not asking for birthday gifts this year. She is excited to spend time with her friends! If your child really wants to pick out a present, we will donate it to another child at our local family resource center.”
    • “No gifts please.” - If you see this on an invitation, honor it!
  • If you have certain gift-givers that often purchase items you do not want or need, politely tell the gift giver a month+ in advance that while you appreciate the gesture, you are trying to focus more on the spirit of the holiday, or event, and don’t expect a gift.
    • “Mom, this year I’m going to save you the stress of having to get me a gift. I have everything I need and cannot wait to celebrate with you!”
    • “In place of a gift this year, we’d appreciate a donation to our favorite non-profit.”
    • “Instead of swapping gifts this year, let’s try out that new <insert activity or experience> !”
  • Have an occasion that involves gifts? Suggest a regifted swap! Set the expectation that everyone brings a recycled or regifted item. See how creative you can be!
  • Share why you think the item is perfect for your recipient. A meaningful note communicates that you put a lot of thought into the gift.
  • If you have an item that might seem odd to give on its own, add complementary items or include a gift certificate for an experience.
    • Gently used art supplies can be bundled with art classes
    • Cookware can be packaged with ingredients to make a favorite recipe
    • Soaps, lotions, or candles can be regifted with a free night of babysitting

Examples of items to regift

  • Books or cookbooks you’ve already read
  • Hostess gifts: kitchen towels, trinkets, bottles of wine, candles, etc.
  • Puzzles, games, toys
  • Family heirlooms
  • Stationary sets
  • Art supplies
  • Gift cards
  • Novelties and gag gifts; the whole point is that these are fun and can make a running joke!
  • Get creative with your regifted item. Pair the item with other items to make a personalized gift basket.
  • Any item you don’t want that is desired by someone else! Don’t overthink it - if you don’t want it, but know someone in your circle that would, regift it without hesitation.

There are many reasons to consider regifting. Besides being an acceptable and normal thing to do, it’s also economical and environmentally friendly. Whether you are regifting secondhand or new items, or having that discussion that gifts don’t need to be the focus, you are showing your appreciation for the other person’s friendship, support, and love!


Reuse Minnesota was founded in 2012 and is a member-based nonprofit that supports repair, resale, and rental businesses, bringing visibility to the reuse sector as a means to lower our state's impact on the environment.

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