Marie Kondo on What To Do With Gifts You Don't Like

Marie Kondo has opinions about gifts - guess what she wants you to do with the ones you don't like?
Marie Kondo on What To Do With Gifts You Don't Like

Last update: 18 February, 2021

Christmas is approaching and with it the gift-giving season. For most of us, thinking about receiving a gift from someone special makes us happy. It gets complicated when that someone doesn’t have the same taste as you and the gift ends up at the back of the closet. Marie Kondo has a lot to say about what you should do with gifts you don’t like.

Don’t make assumptions; the guru of order, the woman who wants you to get rid of even your precious books, doesn’t want you to throw these gifts away. They say everything deserves a second chance and this is true of gifts as well. If you want to know why keep reading.

Marie Kondo and her organizational revolution

How to wrap Christmas gifts.


When “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” came out, everything changed. Millions of people have tried to tidy up their houses, or at least their closets. Some have abandoned the system after donating half of their clothes to their best friend, but those who resisted and followed Marie’s method now enjoy spotless homes and a full life… or do they?

In any case, the Japanese guru has as many fans as not. Some accuse her of being too strict and methodic. Also, some people don’t get how someone who encourages having minimal possessions has launched a store. If you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo, take a look at KonMarie.

Marie Kondo and her gifts theory

Gift wrapping tags in their box.

Are you familiar with any of these situations? A pair of slippers you’ve never worn, a vase you got as a gift that doesn’t go with the rest of your home decor, or an awful mug your co-worker brought back from their last trip. If the answer is yes, you need to hear Marie Kondo’s three rules for gifts.

You mightn’t believe it, but Marie wants you to give these gifts a second chance. Surprised? Her explanation clears things up, “That person took the time to choose your gift, which means it’s a token of love.”

The three rules

She advises against donating unwanted gifts, or at least not at first. Rather you should at least try to use them. This way, you won’t feel guilty every time you see them in their box. How can you do this? In three simple steps:

  • Open gifts the moment you receive them. The longer you keep them in the original box or packaging, the harder it will be to open them, and they take up space just the same.
  • Throw out the packaging. By doing this, you avoid the temptation to put them back in their box and into the closet.
  • Use gifts as soon as possible, even if you don’t like them. Kondo puts special emphasis on using gifts from the moment you receive them. It doesn’t matter if they don’t make you happy, “The ability to know what really moves you only comes through experience.”

This may seem a bit contradictory to Marie’s overall theory about happiness. According to her, any possessions you have should make your life happy. The guru states that you have to be adventurous and welcome different things.

The most interesting thing Marie Kondo says about this topic is that “the true purpose of a gift is to be received”, therefore, only after using it can you decide that it doesn’t suit you. Then it’s time to say goodbye to it.

But don’t forget, “first you have to be thankful for the joy it brought you when you received it, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for parting with a gift that doesn’t make you happy.”

Now that you know what Marie Kondo has to say about gifts, what are you going to do with yours?