How To Hoard Less


This week: Unwanted presents

1 Flog them:Many people, even some of the most tech-savvy of us, only ever use e-Bay for buying stuff, but setting yourself up as a seller is remarkably easy and it can be a fantastic way to shift unwanted presents after Christmas and make yourself a few bob into the bargain.

2 Give them away:If you can’t sell it and don’t want it, give it away through one of the growing number of online communities dedicated to passing on unwanted stuff. Dubliners should visit Free Trade (, the local authorities’ initiative that helps people pass on unwanted household items, and if you’re not in the Dublin area, try or for similar services.

3 Save them:If selling them or giving them away sounds like too much hassle, don’t put them into landfill, store them somewhere out of the way and then pass them on to others this time next year. Just make sure that you don’t do a Pricewatch on it and inadvertently give the present back to the person who gave it to you in the first place.

4 Return them:Include gift receipts with all presents to allow the recipients to return them without having to endure the embarrassment of asking you for the receipt. And if you don’t have a receipt but you know the item came from a particular store, it is worth bringing it back anyway to see if they will exchange it. They are under no legal obligation to do it, but sometimes retailers can show unexpected kindness.

5 Donate them:Every year, the Pro-Cathedral, on Dublin’s Marlborough Street, opens its doors to unwanted presents, which it then uses to raise funds for homeless charities across the city. From December 27th the parish office will accept toys and other Christmas gifts between 9.30am and 1pm and 2.30pm and 5pm.