Compacting really gets you thinking in new and exciting ways. It is that outside-of-the-box kind of thinking that taps into your creativity.
Recently, as I've been decluttering, I started to see some of that I no longer want/need as items waiting to be gifted to someone else. Many of you may recognize this as the "mathom" concept from The Hobbit, or else you may have encountered the idea in Elaine St. James' book Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter.
Suddenly, I have a box full of treasures just waiting to be gifted to someone else. Some of these things are brand new; I bought more than I needed or the wrong thing and never took them back. Some are books I read once and enjoyed. I've placed various jewelry items in there that I won't wear again, but that are really cool, like a necklace of semi-precious stone I bought in Mexico, or a little opal ring I bought more than a decade ago (just waiting for a tween/teen girl). I could gift a little girl (or scrapbooker!) with a great selection of stickers (I don't have as many extra boy-themed stickers).
Sometimes the item maybe a gift that was given to me that wasn't quite right. I used to feel really bad about the idea of re-gifting these items, but finally I realized it was no different than donating the items to a thrift shop and then buying a thrift shop gift for someone else.
My whole thinking on gifts has changed over the years. I am thrilled to get a book or CD (not illegally burned) that someone I know enjoyed and wanted to share with me. I love receiving a skein of vintage yarn, or a piece of pressed glass, or an old apron. Flowers from your yard or vegetables from your garden make a great gift in my mind. If someone showed up on my birthday with a basket of fresh greens or a vase of sweet peas I would consider myself blessed beyond belief. Not only because I had been thought of, and because the gift would be perfect, but because I would know that the person giving the gift really understands me.
I also think of giving in a totally different way. I don't need an occasion to send an herbal salve to friend. I accept of bundle of herbs from the garden and recognize it as a precious gift even though it isn't my birthday. Giving and sharing open us up to the generosity that we need as human beings. I love to share.