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Wanted: Good Home For Unwanted Gifts

Date: 19-Jan-12

Gifts and goodies © Jess McCallum

Finding a new home for your unwanted gifts means that the natural resources and labour that went into making the item won't be wasted - and neither will your cupboard space! Here are some handy tips for swapping, selling or giving away your gifts. 

Give It To Charity

Donating your unwanted gifts to charity helps re-use valuable resources and supports their great work. It's important, however, to check that the charity accepts your items. Some charities only accept clothes, while others may also accept books, bric-a-brac, other household items, electrical items or even furniture. Find your local charity stores here.

As well as your local charity store there are a range of other options for clothes. Dress For Success and Fitted For Work are both Australian-based programs that help disadvantaged women find and keep work. Along with mentoring and transition to work programs they provide free professional clothing. Uplift Bras collects new and second hand bras and sends them wherever needed, especially developing countries.

Give It Away or Sell It

Re-gifting is a concept as old as the hills, but if you can't think of a suitable candidate you personally know, there are many ways to give stuff away to the larger community. The not-for-profit Freecycle network connects people who want to freely give away items with people who want those items. It's free to become a member of your local group. Similar online forums include:

If you're giving items away you can get free listings on Gumtree or the Trading Post or you could sell them on these sites as well as

Swap It!

Swapping is a great way to get rid of stuff you don't want and get stuff you do want at the same time!

Host Your Own Swap Party

At a swap party participants bring good quality items they no longer want and exchange them for items that other people have brought. Swap parties may be open to many categories of items or limited to just one (e.g. books, clothes or toys). See Planet Ark's Swap Party resource pages for more information, including all you need to know to host your own swap party.

Join a Party

There are community groups, councils and businesses that run swap parties that you can join - in real life or on-line. They include:

  • Book Mooch websites allow you to swap books online (and send books by post).

More Information

The information in this article has been taken from our Reuse Information Pages on RecyclingNearYou. You'll also find lots of other information there, including on Reuse Centres like ‘Reverse Garbage' as well as - ‘tip shops' and Community Reuse/Recycling initiatives, such as bicycle reuse/repair groups and not-for-profit computer refurbishing groups.

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