How to Declutter and Put Unwanted Christmas Gifts to Good Use

Richmond, London


Contact Gumtree


Contact Gumtree

28 days ago


After all the fun and festivities of the Christmas season, you might find yourself looking at your accounts and realising you overshopped and overspent. The good news is, it's the New Year and we get a fresh start. We've taken a look at a few ways you can repurpose your Christmas leftover gifts and items, cut down on spending in 2022 and even help our environment in the process.

Decluttering for a fresh start

It's January and time to streamline old habits, along with your decorations. Over Christmas, you've probably been treated to plenty of presents that haven't quite found a place to live alongside all the things you already owned. A nifty way to keep from overfilling your home is to look at each present you receive as an opportunity to regift an older item. At Gumtree, our data shows that the start of the New Year is a popular time to list. Some of the best items to sell in January are household goods and leisure items that might have been upgraded over the holiday, like bikes, games consoles or even sofas. Listing your pre-loved pieces not only helps clear space in your home but could help someone who is financially stretched after Christmas. You can sell them on Gumtree or add them to our freebies section if you're just happy to see them go to a new home.

Repurpose or upcycle

If you're wondering what to do with unwanted gifts that you don't think you can sell, recycling may be the answer – one man's trash is another man's treasure, as they say! List them on Gumtree's Swap Shop to exchange for something you'd prefer. When it comes to additional furniture (like chairs or coffee tables) you picked up for entertaining over Christmas, instead of getting rid of them, why not give pieces a makeover to take them from seasonal to permanent pieces for your home? It's amazing what a little paint can do. For inspiration, take a look at our guides on upcycling ideas you can try at home or how to get started with upcycling if this is your first go at it. If you're not feeling creative, you can always list your furniture among our other Good Finds to save it from ending up in landfill.

Avoid overshopping for Christmas 2022

Now you've picked up some good habits, how can you avoid repeating the spending cycle when it comes to Christmas 2022? Before you get to the festive season you could take a look at your home and have a little declutter pre-December. Having a bit of a clear-out is not only a great way to make space – you might also make a little extra Christmas shopping money by listing the things you no longer want or need on Gumtree. Another way to tackle overcrowding in your cupboards is to pass on an item for each one you buy – whether that's donating to charity, selling it or listing it as a freebie. Data from Gumtree shows an increase in people buying second-hand gifts, particularly when it's getting closer to the 25th, so there are plenty of potential buyers out there!

Resist the big sales

Everyone loves to bag a bargain, particularly at this costly time of year, but it might not always be as good a deal as you initially think. Our research has found that 61% of 2,000 UK adults agreed that consumerism around big shopping events has gotten out of hand – we're looking at you, Black Friday. What we don't want to do is end up replacing appliances or items that have life left in them and sending our old things off to contribute to the country's waste problem. Data in our guide to a waste-less winter shows that 100,000 tonnes of appliances are sent to waste facilities and landfills over the winter period. Alongside this, over a third (37%) of people admit to simply throwing away the old item once it has been replaced. It might feel like you can't make much of a difference, but when thousands of us make a small change it can have a huge impact. Also, it's much easier and cheaper for you to list your old washing machine or dishwasher on our freebies page than organise (and get charged £34.35 on average) for pick-up by your local council. To help tackle consumer waste now, sign the petition to UK Governments and Parliament asking to have recycling and reuse requirements for local authorities.

Buying pre-loved gifts

Instead of being wowed by cut prices from big manufacturers, why not complete the circle by buying second-hand presents yourself? Take a look at the assortment of Good Finds we've got that would make fantastic gifts, from DSLR cameras and telescopes to musical instruments and wooden toys. Not only is buying second-hand kinder to the environment – think less manufacturing, shipping and carbon emissions – but it is still a great way to bag a bargain. When it comes to ticking off the little one's list to Santa, people save an average of £39 per toy when buying pre-loved pieces – that quickly adds up to quite a saving when you're buying for more than one child. Pick out games consoles like a Nintendo Switch or go retro with a Gameboy.

Whether you're selling to make space or buying second-hand to help reduce waste, Gumtree is just the place for all sorts of Good Finds.

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