The Energy of Giving and Receiving

Lili arranging flowers

Everything that you give and receive is energy

Let’s talk giving and receiving. Its February, and chances are that you still have holiday gifts that haven’t found the right place in your home yet. Am I right? Sometimes we receive gifts that simply don’t align where we are in life and that’s OK. This post is about being open to the energy of giving and receiving as well as what you can do with gifts that don’t resonate with you right now. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m sure you are also looking for a few clutter-free gift ideas. We’ve got that covered right here.

Be ‘present for the present’ and expressing gratitude

Locate a recent gift in your home that you have received but that does not yet have a place in your home. Hold the item in your hand and breathe in the warmth and connection you felt when you received the gift. Breathe out gratitude and joy while picturing your heart expanding. Visualize the person who gave you the gift standing in front of you. As you breathe, imagine a circle of white light encapsulating you, the person who gave you the gift and the gift. Now that you are connected with this gift, say thank you to the gift-giver(s) out loud: “Thank You [name(s)]”.

Now that you have expressed gratitude and connected with the gift, find the proper home for it or decide if it’s not right for you. 

Find a home for the gift: 

Do you want to keep this gift? If yes, ask yourself:

    • Is this gift something I want to use or wear now? 
    • Does it reflect my style/needs right now? 
    • Does it support activities that I want to engage in right now? 
    • Does it help me daily, weekly, or monthly?
If you are keeping the item, ask yourself ‘how often will I use it?’ then find the best placement

Daily: Ideally, find a home that is at arm’s-length or eye-level in a room where you will see it often. Consider if it needs to live on a countertop or in a cabinet. You may need to eliminate a few lesser used or no longer needed items to make a space for the new thing you have received.

If it is a daily item that you are not yet using, consider what the block might be and ask yourself:

Does it require set up time that I haven’t had a chance to do (like an electronic item or appliance)? Block out a half-hour to look at the instructions and complete the set-up this week. The more mental energy you waste thinking about it the less energy you have available.

Am I waiting to finish using up another similar item/product before I begin using this new one? Put the gift where you keep your back-stock items. If you do not have a backstock area, try putting it in an area close at hand but somewhat out of the way (like an under-sink cabinet or pantry) so that you can remember that you have it when it’s time to use it. Keep it with like-items.

Does it require more space than I have? Consider where it will be used most and what you can either purge or move from that area to make room for it.

Weekly: If you will be using the item weekly, still keep it in the room where you use the item the most, but you may store it higher up. Items that are only used once a week should not be on a countertop or furniture surface. Using an item weekly means that you have time to put it away. Consider the blocks listed in the ‘daily’ section above…chances are you just need to clear a physical space for it to live.

Monthly: Ideally, monthly items would be kept in the room where you would use the item most, stored on a shelf much higher or an area much lower than counter-level. If the item is not something you use in one particular room, monthly items can live in a transitional space, like a utility closet or maybe even in a garage.

If you are not keeping the item, ask yourself ‘who could I give this to that will receive the most benefit?’

If you don’t have time to return the item to the store or you don’t resonate with donating to a local Goodwill, consider connecting with a non-profit that speaks to your soul.

New Items:

Clothing, cosmetic and bath items are generally always accepted in centers that support the transient and recently homeless. Cozy decor items and unopened unexpired food items may be useful at your local senior center. A little thought can keep the spirit of giving going and support those in need. 

Family heirlooms and hand-me-downs:

If you know the item is not right for your home and your life but still feel obligated to keep an object, regard that feeling with curiosity. Are you strongly associating the item with one particular person? Gently remind yourself that the item is an object, not a person. Removing an object from your life is not the same as forgetting a loved one.

Take a picture of it. If it holds a particular memory, give yourself permission to let go of the item if it doesn’t fit your life. Donating the item to an institution that you (or your loved one) cares about can help you turn the memory into a renewed gift.

Practice the exercise on ‘being present for the present’ (described above) to connect with your gratitude before letting the item go. Connect with the giving cycle and the opportunity for the item to be used, rather than sitting in a garage or storage facility.

Items that you feel you may not be able to afford in the future
  • You may be keeping an item because you worry you won’t be able to afford it again. Ask yourself, ‘is this something I can borrow from someone else?’
  • Maybe you have a friend that camps more often than you and you can borrow a pricey tent or specialty outdoor item from them.
  • Maybe you could rent or borrow a set of dishes or serving dishes from a friend on the occasion of a big dinner party.

When you are thinking about a future ‘cost,’ consider the cost of having to store it (either in your home or off-site)—both the monetary cost and the fact that it takes precious real estate you may need for what you need in your life right now. Trust in your resourcefulness. There are very few things that can’t be rented or borrowed, so make the space for who you are right now.

Final thoughts on giving and receiving gifts

There are a multitude of places and people to donate items to, but do your best to not get too attached to finding the ‘perfect’ place for every item…do what makes the most sense for you. Simply connect to the cycle of giving by remembering that an attitude of gratitude is everything.

When we give with mindfulness, we intend to support.

When we receive with presence, we allow the energy of love to exchange.

It’s never really about the actual gift. It’s about the human to human connection exchanged. Someone thought of you or you thought of someone else and that’s a beautiful thing.


P.S. — Check out my favorite clutter-free gifts for Valentine’s Day or any time of year. It is giving and receiving the Clutter Healing way!

Not on the newsletter mailing list yet? Join here. You will receive two regular newsletters each month – because digital clutter isn’t my style! For weekly inspiration and content, join me on Instagram @clutterhealing.