90 Clutter Free Gift Ideas

2014CFgifts

Another post from the archives with some last minute ideas for those of us that procrastinate on shopping or making this holiday season. Have a wonderful holiday season!

90 Clutter Free Gift Ideas

Are you getting complaints that you’re impossible to buy for since you de-clutterred your life and home?

Or do you have a simple living enthusiast in your life that you’re struggling to find a gift for?

Here is a list of 90 clutter free gifts to give and receive this holiday season.

Things to nibble, sip, read, watch, learn, laugh, smell, relax, pamper, sweat and love. Nothing to dust.

Consumables

Gifting something to eat or drink is a great way to introduce a friend to a treasured delicacy. The recipe links in here are from some of my favorite food writers. The peppermint bark is divine and I made many, many batches of the biscotti as favors for my wedding.

  • Wine
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate, Cheese, Fruit, Wine of the Month Club membership
  • Flowers or Plants
  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share or membership
  • Homemade Baking: peppermint bark, biscotti (keeps well), peanut brittle,
  • Homemade Food Gifts: soup ingredients in a jar, dessert ingredients in a jar, make your own Smores, hot chocolate mix, trail mix, peanut butter granola, a frozen meal that you have prepared with them in mind and that they can thaw out for an easy and delicious dinner amid the holiday busyness.

Experience Gifts

Tip: if you receive an experience gift make sure to send a review and some more gratitude to the person post-use. It will make the gift feel tangible and encourage more experience gift giving.

  • Tickets to a play, movie, event, concert.
  • Season pass or annual membership to a museum, art gallery, aquarium, science centre, amusement park or zoo.
  • Tickets or passes for ice skating, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, indoor rock climbing.
  • Own a holiday property? Gift a few nights to a friend or relative.
  • Own a boat? Give an afternoon out on the lake in the summer.
  • Massage
  • Spa Treatment

Gift Cards

Look into local stores that the recipient enjoys. Things like small cafes, specialty stores, hobby stores or perhaps a prepaid punch card for a drop-in yoga class.

The other way to put more meaning behind a gift card is to attach a note suggesting what the card could be used for. Ex. iTunes Gift Card: I know you’ve wanted album ______ – here it is! or electronics store gift card: A little something to help with the iPod you’ve been saving up for.

  • iTunes Gift Card
  • ZipCar Membership *gift your friend the opportunity to try out car-sharing
  • Fuel Gift Card (for their winter road trip!)
  • Bookstore Gift Card
  • Kindle Gift Card
  • Amazon Gift Card. This is pretty much the gift card for everything and anything. Include a note with a suggested purchase.
  • Starbucks Gift Card. For your friend that refuses to get their morning java anywhere else.

For Your Partner/Spouse

You probably know them best so what’s the one thing your partner always asks you for more of?

  • Massage (by the giver) Gift Certificate
  • Sleep-In Tickets. Great if you have children or a dog that needs walking in the early morning.
  • Foot Rub Tickets
  • Romantic Letter. Tell the person you love why you love them. Thank them for all that they do for you. I have a small box of letters my husband sent me when we were dating and all the ones since. I love to read them again once or twice a year.
  • Chore Tickets. Take over some household duties for your significant other. These don’t have to be big jobs like painting a bathroom. It could be as simple as doing their laundry or packing a lunch. Half the fun of the gift will be your spouse thinking up elaborate and hilarious chores before they simply ask you if you could unload the dishwasher.

Share Your Expertise

Everyone has some sort of expertise and chances are they also have a friend that wants to learn whatever the skill is. From baking bread to making homemade yogurt to decoupage to using PhotoShop, many of us have talents and knowledge that would make excellent clutter-free and useful gifts to our friends.

This is a gift that you should feel quite confident in giving. Perhaps the recipient has mentioned a few times that they would like you to show them how to start a blog or knit socks. Make a nice card up detailing the gift and even suggest some dates that you’re available.

  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Baking
  • Cooking
  • Blogging
  • Music Lessons
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Personal Taxes If you’re one of those enjoys filing taxes people, like me, offer to help a friend that loathes the paperwork.

Helping Out

Who couldn’t use an extra set of hands for a project? Offering your help for a big task is a wonderful gift for friends and family.

Be sure to offer an amount of time that you can reasonably fit in your schedule.

  • Babysitting
  • Pet Sitting
  • Painting
  • Renovation Help
  • House Sitting

Digital Gifts

It’s true, these gifts could clutter up a hard drive or someone’s spare time. But they won’t clutter up the home so I’m including them here.

  • Digital Subscription to the New York Times or another newspaper/magazine
  • Netflix Subscription
  • Flickr Pro Account For the photographer in your life.
  • Kindle Book. If you have a Kindle owner to give to you can give them a book for their Kindle by selecting “Give as Gift” on Amazon Kindle book descriptions. Personally, I’d love to receive 168 Hour: You Have More Time Thank You Think by Laura Vanderkam.

Education

Listen carefully to your friends and loved ones. They’ll often mention things that are on their life list or bucket list. Usually it’s prefaced with “someday I’d like to learn to _____” and the person will get all wistful.

Here is your chance to help them learn something new and strike something off their bucket list.

If you decide to give the gift of learning think about how and when the recipient will use the gift. Look for courses that run in sessions year round and that will hold tuition for at least a year.

  • Dance
  • Language
  • Voice
  • Music
  • Horseback Riding
  • Cooking
  • Pottery
  • Painting
  • Writing

Charitable Gifts

When you keep hearing the phrase “I have everything I need” consider the gift of a charitable contribution.

  • Donation to their favorite charity in their name.
  • Goat, ducks, clean water, honeybees, send a girl to school, small business start-up cash and so much more to people in a developing nation through Heifer International.
  • The Salvation Army
  • Red Cross

An End to Traditional Gift Giving

What a relief when you finally agree to not exchange gifts with a friend after years of passing the same wine, chocolates, bath soaps and candles back and forth. Here are some more suggestions to end or replace traditional gift giving

  • One Less Gift gift certificate from Miss Minimalist.
  • Potluck Dinner Replace a gift exchange or expensive restaurant celebration with a potluck dinner.
  • Just say it. Tell someone that they’re important to you but you’d like to stop exchanging gifts and find another way to mark the importance of your friendship. They’ll be as relieved as you are to not have another name on the ‘to buy for’ list.
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  • My favorite present every year is the gift certificate to my favorite spa. I wouldn’t buy it for myself but I LOVE the pampering!!!!

  • Great list. I have been trying to be more purposeful with my gift giving ever since we had kids. I don’t want the clutter and frustration that comes with purchasing gifts just to have “things for them to open!” I love your blog. I’ve been following you for a while, although I rarely comment. :)

  • Great list! We asked our families to gift art, science and sports lessons for our kids this year. Great activities that we just cannot afford to purchase ourselves right now. Helpful and practical!

  • I love that your ‘consumable’ list included so many things that aren’t candy! I love chocolate treats of course…but I don’t need a bag full! Between my husband and I, we have a grocery bag full of candies just from Christmas this year. Its crazy! We have no idea what to do with it all; its a good thing chocolates keep a while. We’ll have treats for the whole year.

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