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If you’re getting read for a birthday, the holiday season or just general gift shopping, you might want to have on hand this list of 32 clutter-free gift ideas for everyone in your life.
You don’t have to be a minimalist to use this gift guide, but this list was created with simple living in mind.
We are drowning in clutter more than ever before.
In the UK, there are almost 1.5 million rooms that are filled to the brim with clutter. A poll on 2,000 homeowners showed that 10% had a room they don’t use because it’s too full of stuff. (source)
According to a US survey, 91% say they are overwhelmed at least some of the time by the clutter in their homes. 88% want less clutter and nearly 50% don’t invite their friends over to their home. (source)
They also mention in this study that mums with small children have a particularly hard time.
As a mum of 2 little ones myself, I feel that.
It can feel overwhelming the amount of stuff that comes into our households when we have little ones. But it doesn’t mean we need to let clutter consume our lives just because we’re parents.
The average American home now contains more than 300,000 things and 80% of those items are never or rarely used.
So when it comes to gift giving, how can we make sure we give thoughtful gifts that don’t end up being clutter in someone’s home?
32 Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for Everyone
There are certain things we can spend money on that increase happiness.
Prosocial spending (aka using money to benefit others, such as gift giving) is one way to increase happiness, researchers at Harvard found.
They also found that some of the best things to spend money on are experiences and things that will give you your time back.
Let’s apply these findings to gift giving as well in this list of clutter-free gift ideas.
Something they need
1. Ask them genuinely what they need
Depending on the kind of relationship you have with the person you’re giving this gift to, you may be able to straight away ask them if there’s anything in particular that they need or want.
If you’re doing gift giving in the family, perhaps you could set up a wish list where people can add things that they desire.
This way, throughout the year or when the holidays come, you can choose something from the list and gift them something they genuinely need.
2. Voucher or gift card to a shop they like
Is there a shop that they like?
Check to see if the shop offers vouchers or gift cards.
Most shops nowadays do.
This is a really lovely way to give them the opportunity to buy something that they actually need instead of them gathering up clutter in their homes.
For example, in my son’s school we do this every year for teachers’ gifts. Parents in the class contribute some money each and then collectively buy a bigger voucher for a shop like John Lewis. The voucher will then be gifted along with something like nice chocolates.
This way, the teacher can buy something that they actually want, instead of them getting 20 different Best Teacher mugs to clutter up their homes.
3. Nail manicures
Are you gifting to somebody who likes getting their nails done?
Then perhaps you could gift them a nail manicure experience.
4. Eyelash extension session
Similarly, if there’s somebody who likes getting their eyelashes done you could give them a session to get eyelash extensions.
5. Beauty treatments
If you’re gifting to somebody who has regular beauty treatments, perhaps you could purchase a voucher for one of the treatments they like to get, such as massage, spa day, facial treatment etc.
Gift of time
The gift of time means giving somebody a service that they need but maybe don’t usually justify paying for themselves.
There are lots of different things you could gift them here depending on their lifestyle, but here are a couple of examples.
6. A professional cleaner for a month
A lot of people would benefit from getting some help with keeping their house clean, as it’s one of those tasks that need to be done in every single household.
This is also one of those services that a lot of people would not really justify paying for themselves.
By gifting them this service, you are helping them free up time so that they can use it for other things that matter in their lives.
7. A professional organiser to help them clear out their house
Similarly a professional organiser can make a huge impact on not only their house but their life as well.
It has been proven time and time again that living among clutter will massively impact your mental health.
It can make us feel more stressed, develop bad eating and sleeping habits, and generally feel more anxious about our surroundings.
Gifting people the help of a professional organiser to help clear that clutter might just be one of the best gifts that they’ve ever received.
Another great type of gift is consumables because it does not create clutter. Here are some ideas of consumables that would be great either for a birthday or for the holidays.
8. Chocolate boxes
A nice chocolate box is a very simple but effective way of showing somebody that you are thinking of them without creating extra clutter in their home.
And who doesn’t love chocolate?
9. Hot chocolate
Another great gift if it’s the cold season would be hot chocolate. You could create nice hot chocolate kits yourself or you can buy some pre-made ones.
You could go a very budget friendly way or you could go with something more luxurious feeling such as Hotel Chocolat.
10. Wine or mulled wine kit
If you’re giving this gift in winter, then wine or a mulled wine kit would be a lovely idea.
You could create a simple mulled wine kit yourself, by picking a lovely wine and then adding things like cinnamon sticks, oranges or different spices to create the kit.
11. Special coffee or tea
Are you gifting to somebody who loves coffee or tea?
Then a special coffee or tea would make a lovely gift for them.
It’s something they would have probably purchased themselves anyway, so this will make them feel special because they will know you paid attention to their likes.
12. Weekly meal subscription
This could also be counted as a good gift of time, but a weekly meal subscription would make a lovely gift for somebody who’s got a busy lifestyle or somebody who likes to experiment with their food.
You can gift them a weekly meal box, such as Hello Fresh or Gousto, and they can pick the recipes they want to try for that week themselves.
13. Something homemade (jam, biscuits etc)
Something homemade is always a thoughtful gift idea.
Are you good at making jams?
Or maybe homemade biscuits?
Then this would be a really lovely idea that you can package up nicely and give to somebody you love.
14. Nice bath products
Another idea of consumable gifts are both products.
These can be especially nice for having that spa-like treatment at home.
The budget for bath products can also vary greatly, so there’s something for everyone out there.
15. Nice cookies
A nice pack of cookies and maybe a nice tin can make a really lovely gift idea as well.
For example, if you’re in the UK like me, during the holiday season M&S have these lovely festive tins of shortbread cookies.
Some are in the shape of little Christmas houses, some are in the shape of a Christmas tree and they can make really lovely gifts. They also have these at Halloween.
I love gifting this, because it’s a consumable and for the tin that the cookies come in, they can either recycle it or keep it as decor if they love it.
16. Gingerbread house kit
If you’re buying a Christmas gift a gingerbread house kit can be a really lovely idea for kids or for the whole family to enjoy together.
It can be a really nice activity to spend quality time together and it’s also a consumable clutter-free gift idea.
17. Refillable non-toxic candles
Another consumable gift idea is candles but I do like to go for refillable non-toxic candles.
My favourite ones and the only ones I currently have in the house are Pott candles.
You can reuse the pots over and over again, so they don’t create waste, and you can simply purchase the refill that goes in it.
Such a brilliant non-toxic gift to enjoy.
Experiences are a great type of gift that can be enjoyed for a longer time through the memories created.
Here are some ideas:
18. Day out (London day out)
Could you plan a day out and have it all paid with activities to do?
This would be a great gift to enjoy together or to simply gift to somebody.
For example, since we live close to London, we make days out in London a thing and it’s always a fun experience to have together.
Or it could be a ticket to a local fun park, farm etc.
19. Tickets to an event
You could purchase a ticket to an event that you know they would love to go to. For example: a concert, a sports game, a theatre play etc.
20. Membership to gym
Are you buying for somebody who’s been saying they’d love to start working out more soon? Perhaps a membership to a close-by gym would be a nice gift for them.
You could ask them some subtle questions about it first to see what their feelings are toward going to the gym, so you can get a feel for how a gym would work for them.
21. Membership to a club
It is also worth looking in your area for different hobby clubs that you could buy a membership to. This way, they will have a fun experience to look forward to.
22. Membership to an activity they enjoy
Or perhaps you know a specific activity they would enjoy doing.
What if you signed them up for a membership to give them the chance to try it out?
This would also make a perfect clutter-free gift idea.
23. Membership to maternity club, pregnancy club, baby classes
This past year I had a baby and one of the things I decided to sign up for was a maternity and baby-class club.
Having a place to go to every week to both entertain your baby and to give you a chance to chat to other mums and make you feel less lonely in motherhood – that’s been absolutely priceless.
A membership to a club like this would make a great gift for a mum or future-to-be mum you know.
24. Online membership to learning classes
Online classes are big these days, and for good reason. It’s a fantastic way to learn about a topic you’re interested in without even having to leave your home.
25. Annual membership to National Trust or National parks
In the UK, there is National Trust which is a network of national parks and beautiful places you can visit. They offer an annual membership which allows you to visit any of the parks all year round.
If you’re in a different country, it might be worth checking if there’s a similar trust in your area.
This is a lovely gift that people can benefit from all year/month long.
26. Gift cards to their favourite restaurant
Restaurants or takeaway places nowadays offer gift cards or vouchers you can purchase for other people. This is a lovely way to let them know you’ve thought of them, without cluttering up their homes.
27. Subscription to streaming service (Netflix, Disney+, Hulu etc.)
Most people now use streaming services to watch anything and everything, from Netflix to Disney+ to Hulu.
Maybe you could purchase a subscription for them to one of these services, so they can enjoy that for the next few months.
28. Subscription to Amazon prime
Similarly, a subscription to Amazon prime would be a good gift as well, as it gives them benefits such as free one-day delivery, but also includes the Prime streaming service.
When it comes to children, I believe toys that they can play with over and over again and open-ended toys that pique their imagination are the most loved.
Here are a few examples that my children have been playing with for years and not lost interest yet:
Magnet-tiles are a brilliant toy to get them creative. You can build lots of different things each time: castles, tunnels, roads, houses, towers, farms etc.
This is one toy they will play with for a long time to come.
30. Wooden blocks
Another great toy is wooden blocks. These come in many different shapes and sizes and encourage creativity and independent play.
We’ve got these simple jumbo wooden blocks that are easier for little hands to grasp and build things with.
Puzzles are a lovely gift that the whole family can enjoy and can help build up that quality time together. They come in many different shapes and sized, so will fit any age.
32. Board games
Similarly, board games can help create more quality time together in a family, so they will make a great gift.
Gifting in our family of 4
I wanted to give a quick disclaimer here and share with you what we do in our family.
I still give my kids toys.
They are still very little, 6 years old and 10 months old – so they obviously enjoy toys. However, we don’t do piles of presents just for the sake of it.
My eldest likes to make a wishlist for both birthdays and for Christmas and he keeps it quite simple. This year, on his birthday list he only wanted one thing: a monster truck. On his Christmas list, he has 5 things he would like.
We’ve also been decluttering together and he understands how beneficial it is to get rid of older toys he no longer plays with, to make room for the new ones he’s about to receive.
I believe us modelling this by decluttering our own things have helped him get to this point where it’s easy to let go of things we don’t need anymore.
One trick he loves is to take pictures on my phone of things he’s getting rid of, so that he can still see them if he wants to later on – such as old drawings, crafts, toys etc.
My husband and I don’t really do any big gifts for each other, unless we know specifically something they need or want.
Last year, we each picked a book we wanted for Christmas.
To be honest, as adults we generally buy whatever we need or want throughout the year, so we never feel like we’re “missing out”.
I hope these clutter-free gift ideas were helpful.
What are some of the best gifts you’ve received? Let’s add to the list in the comments below!
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