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The Wedding Gift Clutter Monster

How many of us still have unused wedding gifts taking up valuable storage space in our homes?

You’d be amazed to see how many of my organizing clients find old gifts in their basements when downsizing. Perfectly good, brand new items that no one wanted or needed, that sat unloved and collecting dust for years and have now turned into unwanted clutter. Why not tame this Clutter Monster before it even starts!

As more and more couples live together before marrying and marry later in life, the less they need of those traditional wedding gifts – toasters, silverware, blenders, etc. – because they already have them.

But guests still want to celebrate the new couple with a gift, so help them choose with a wedding registry that doesn’t have to be traditional!

Ask for fewer gifts at higher price points. You may want a high end espresso machine, flat screen TV, or special honeymoon experience instead of fine china service for 12, so find a registry that can group gifts together. Like Zola, eGifter or Blueprint Registry .

Think hard about what you really want or need. Just because you’re “supposed” to want crystal glasses or silver tea sets doesn’t mean you really want them. Only register for things you really can use or are dying to have.

Register for a down payment on your first home. The average wedding generates over $10,000 in gifts, which would be a nice base for a down payment. FeathertheNest or DownpaymentDreams can coordinate this for you– but beware, some older wedding guests may balk at cash gifts as “tacky.”

Share the joy with a charity gift. If you really have all you need and want to celebrate your new marriage by helping others, consider requesting donations to your favorite charity in lieu of gifts. The Good Beginning, Arbor Day Foundation and Charity: Water can help your guests join with you in making the world a better place.

Make sure that you list the particulars on your invitations and website/Facebook page to avoid the “crystal bowl overload.”

When my husband and I got engaged, his parents immediately planned a lovely engagement party. We were slow in doing our wedding registry, so guests were on their own as far as gifts were concerned. So consequently we received about 10 crystal bowls of varying sizes and styles (only one of which we even liked) and it became a family joke. When in doubt, give a crystal bowl!

Planning ahead for those inevitable gifts can in the long-term keep you out of the clutches of the Wedding Gift Clutter Monster!

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