Anti-clutter gift list

Gift buying and giving is a stressful task that most of us wish we could pass on to someone else. That is why everyone puts together their gift suggestion lists and even Amazon lists: to make the selection process easier and more efficient.

But what if I told you there were great gift options that would be loved and needed by everyone on your list? These options work for just about anyone on your list and are guaranteed to fit! No regifting closet necessary.

  • Gift of experience. This is even better if it is something that you can do together. It could be going to a museum, concert, sporting event or play. Or something adrenaline fueled like driving a race car or skydiving or driving golf balls. The experience and time together is the true gift which creates long-lasting memories.
  • Service gift. This could be a gift certificate for a treat like a manicure or massage or even car wash. These gifts are thoughtful because they may be a luxury that the recipient wouldn’t normally indulge in.
  • Framed photos. This is one of my favorite gifts because it creates a piece of art from a shared experience or memory. Last year I gave my husband a framed picture from a concert we attended together and it always brings up fun memories when either of us looks at it. Go through your photo archives to dig up a treasured time together and frame the image.
  • Photo books. Similar to the framed photos, these books are a way of preserving the memories in a visual format. These are great especially  if you’ve taken a trip or together or went to an event where lots of pictures were taken. You can add annotations to personalize them further or just let the pictures speak for themselves.
  • Gift of learning. Whether you’re giving a gift of a series of lessons or showing someone how to listen to podcasts, the gift of learning is never returned and always appreciated. Also the gift of audio books is a perfect option for someone who enjoys reading but doesn’t have time or can’t see as well. You may open someone’s eyes to whole new levels of experience just with showing them a new skill or hobby they never thought about.

I love all of these suggestions because they require you to think about the person you are gifting and consider their needs and wishes with a little more attention. 

These are all a variation on the gift of time which is the only non renewable resource we all share. 

Happy gifting!

Best Gifts that Don’t Create Clutter

I love selecting, wrapping, and giving gifts. I start my Christmas list in January so I can write gift ideas down throughout the year. I buy ribbon in bulk so that wrapping a gift or even dressing up bottle of wine is easy. Everyone needs a place to store gift wrap, ribbon, tape, and any other supplies that you need for gift giving occasions.

However, frequently when I work with clients, we come across clutter that started as a gift. It could be a hostess or thank you or even a birthday gift that didn’t fit or suit them for whatever reason.

It truly is the thought that counts; they thought well enough of you to gift you with something. I am not an etiquette expert but I do believe that once the gift is yours you may choose to do with it what you will, even if that means passing it on to someone else.

I wanted to give some thoughtful suggestions for gifts that don’t cause clutter. We tend to think of giving something extravagant as a means of expressing our affection. But there are gifts that don’t require much expense that can be quite moving and equally communicative. And they don’t cause clutter.

Here is my list of Best Gifts that Don’t Create Clutter:

  1. Flowers–yes they wilt but certainly brighten up anyone’s home while they are alive and can make it smell wonderful.
  2. Candles–tried and true but always used.
  3. Wine–sharing bottles of wine you’ve loved makes is more special
  4. Coffee/ Tea–this is my personal favorite because I drink so much of it
  5. Food–this could be anything from a new honey or cheese crackers to a meal service. We all have to eat so it’s fun to share new foods as gifts.
  6. Framed photos–bonus if there is a story that goes with the photograph that becomes part of the gift.
  7. Photobooks–taking the time to put this together is always appreciated. Everyone loves a good story!
  8. Letters–taking the time to write a letter to a loved one expressing how you feel or reminding them of a significant story is irreplaceable and thus priceless. Bonus points for neat handwriting on pretty stationery.
  9. Self care services–massage, manicure & pedicure, haircut, car wash, or even having a house cleaner come for a few hours is a very luxurious gift.
  10. Experiences–Never underestimate the power of spending time doing something fun with someone to create more lasting memories. It could be taking a class, going to tea, or skydiving together or giving them a gift certificate to do something they’ve always wanted do that is highly appreciated.
  11. Make a donation to their favorite charity. For the person who has everything, giving a donation in their name to their favorite charity is an easy way to show you know what is important to them.
  12. Subscription to audio books or classes. I love listening to books while I exercise or walk the dog and learning something at the same time. Subscriptions Audible.com or ITunesU are 2 options for books or classes that can be gifted. Include a list of suggested books or classes to personalize it further.

And I’ve saved the best for last: give the gift of your time.

Whether you’re treating someone to a meal, a walk, or a concert know that time is the one non renewable resource that we’d all like to have more of. Spend time with your loved ones and focus your attention on them. Time together creates wonderful memories that will last forever, don’t have to be wrapped, or decluttered in the future.

Happy organizing!