In 2014, the average U.S. wedding had 136 guests, according to wedding website The Knot. In some states, the guest list was longer. For instance, Nebraska newlyweds had an average of 208 guests in attendance.
Regardless of the exact number of guests who share your special day with you, when the wedding ends, gift opening begins.
If you receive doubles—or even triples or more—of certain items, it can be tough to figure out what to do with them. Is it worth keeping three toasters, two blenders or five sets of silverware?
Here, experts share six strategies to help you decide when to keep extra gifts and when to find a new place for them.
1. Keep What You Can.
“If it is a decorative item or an item that is known to have a short life, you may choose to hold on to more than one,” said Seana Turner, founder and president of The Seana Method, a professional organizing company.
This might include anything consumable, such as candles or bottles of wine. You’ll also want to hang onto items that wear out quickly, such as kitchen towels. Fragile pieces, like crystal vases, should be kept as well.
Duplicate items in a set, such as a set of china place settings, are worth keeping, Turner said.
2. Consider Trading Up.
If the gifts come with receipts and you decide not to keep them, take the extras back to the store, said recent bride Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert. Take the opportunity to get something you might have had on your wedding registry but didn’t receive. Or trade in a number of small appliances and put the credit toward a bigger piece, like a couch or dishwasher.
“Look for coupons from sites like CouponSherpa.com to then reduce the cost so you can get more bang from trading in those extra gifts, like 20 percent off at Macy’s,” Woroch said.
3. Add a Price Tag.
Small kitchen appliances can be sold online at sites like Amazon Marketplace, according to Woroch. For bigger-ticket items, try Craigslist.
To set the right price, look online or at a local store to get an idea of what the item is selling for. Also check eBay for similar items. Find out what the initial price was, as well as how much shoppers ultimately paid for the item.
4. Think of Others.
“Donate your extra wedding gifts to charities like Habitat for Humanity, which provides housing for those in need,” said relationship expert April Masini, founder of AskApril.com.
If you know a couple of families who are struggling financially, consider donating your duplicate items to them.
5. Regift With Care.
“Regifting is fine, as long as the extra blender is a standard stainless or black and isn’t going to be recognized because it’s a custom color like teal or orange that someone specifically got you,” Masini said.
If possible, regift outside your social circle. Also, be sure to remove any cards or notes that were on the gift when you received it.
Even if you don’t have an immediate way to use the gift, it might to worth storing. It could come in handy for an upcoming birthday or holiday.
6. Organize the Extras.
The key with duplicates is to protect them while you await a need for them, Turner said. Don’t pack extra candles in an uninsulated attic or other spot where the temperature is too high. Instead, store them in sealed containers in places with a moderate temperature.
Extras that belong in a set can be stored with the others in the collection. For duplicates that are not part of a set, put the pieces you’re using in an easy-to-reach place and store the rest.
For instance, if you receive three sets of bed sheets, place one set on the bed and the second set in the linen closet. The third set could go in a bin under the bed, in a closet in the guest room or in another storage area.
Top photo courtesy of Flickr/Matthew Nenninger and Tracie Andrews