Clutter-free gifts might just save your sanity this season!
Just when you think you have a handle on the clutter at home another birthday or holiday session comes around and we end back at square one!
I know a lot of moms are already dreading the onslaught of new gifts – new things that need a home, as the chaos starts to take over. What you need to add to the mix are clutter-free gifts.
Of course, having a good clear-out before the holidays and birthdays really helps but also reducing what actually comes into the home, really helps!
I’m not saying traditional gifts are bad. Just that some of these ideas make that giving experience last a bit longer and are less of an eye-sore in your home! And don’t get me started on the over-consumerism and environmental factor!
Plus it’s nice to have something to look forward to, don’t you think?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a commission, at no cost to you, if you choose to buy something.
Experiences make great clutter-free gifts
These are brilliant gifts, not just for kids but adults too (read that as for the impossible-to-buy-for man in your life!). Anything goes, it could be:
- A zoo pass
- A gig
- A trip to the theatre
- Movie night
- Gibbon adventures
- Going to a spa (OK that’s maybe more for mom)
- Theme park
- Hot air balloon ride
- Special weekend trip
- Visiting a special attraction
- Season tickets to a sports team
- National Trust pass…
You could make these family trips so you get some good old family quality time together or just an individual one. The great thing about this is that you can tailor it to the person, even pick something they can strike off their bucket list!
Plus you can schedule it for later in the year so everyone has something to look forward to.
Almost clutter-free gifts with subscriptions
There are so many great subscriptions out there these days. And yes, whilst a lot of them are physical, you can also get digital ones too.
For years my mom got Ebi-kun a subscription to the National Geographic Kids magazine and later Anorak, each month he would sit on the sofa with a big grin on his face when the new magazine arrived. But subscriptions don’t have to be just for magazines.
- I get my mom a mystery books subscription through CrateJoy but they also have a lot of other excellent subscriptions from kits for kids to the tinned fish club! (NO, I do not want one for my birthday thankyouverymuch) to novelty socks and a backyard chicken keepers box! Really, something for everyone.
- Yumbles is based in the UK. What I love about them is that you can find letterbox gifts which make for easy delivery and again there is an excellent mix of delights available. If you have Vegan friends, this is a great spot to shop!
- Masterclass. We’ve done this for a couple of years and since they have recently added some new classes. These are top-of-the-game classes from some fantastic people in all kinds of industries. We watched a lot of the cooking classes, Gordon Ramsey was a firm favourite! We also enjoyed classes from Chris Voss, Sarah Blakely and Dr Jane Goodall.
If you decide to get a Masterclass subscription, get the all-access pass, it is well worth it, but these classes are better for older kids/adults.
- The Wonder Mom Success Club would make an excellent gift for a mom friend (or yourself!)
- Another class-based subscription is Skillshare. There are many classes on here for all types of subjects, it’s great to pull out when you fancy learning something new! There are classes that school-aged kids can join in with too and at just a few dollars a month, it’s totally affordable!
- Our family has also been enjoying the Conqueror Club, where you log your exercise as you follow a route and get a physical medal at the end. It’s a fun way to make dull exercise routines more interesting, they also have a huge community and you can join virtual teams if you want extra moral support.
- Do you have a little feminist in the house and want to encourage diversity in learning? Then Little Feminist is a great option, let them do the curating and your kids do the learning!
- And a great investment for all the family, especially your little explorers… the 193 Little Adventures Club. Take your kids on an adventure every month and learn all about a new country. The activities included are designed to work with a family, so if your kids are 3-9 years old this is the gift that keeps on giving! And for what is included it’s an absolute steal! Check out 193 Little Adventures Club Here
Music, Apps and Downloads
All make for great clutter-free gifts. It’s not quite the same when you come to wrap a digital gift. We like to wrap a gift box anyway with a card explaining what the gift is or instructions tucked inside.
A family subscription to Spotify, Netflix or any other streaming provider is another great idea.
These days you can get gift cards from loads of stores so if you are stuck on what to buy, it’s a great option. It can also cut down on costs if you plan to mail gifts.
All the teens I know love a gift card because they get to choose what they want, and we all know how fickle a teen can be! Just be sure to buy a gift card for the right store! If you are really stuck an Amazon Gift Card covers pretty much every possible hobby or interest.
Monthly Date Night
A friend told me about a great idea where each month she organized a date night, where they go out, tickets, book the meal, the babysitter etc. I love this idea because it’s building a great habit for couples to do together and it’s a gift that keeps giving throughout the year.
This idea could be tweaked for kids too – a date night with the kids or cinema night for example.
Cash – the ultimate clutter-free gift
Cash is a tricky one.
Some people are not comfortable with giving or receiving it. As a teen, I loved getting cash so I could buy my own clothes, (and that did not include reversible padded pants – what were you thinking mother?)
In Japanese culture the kids get gifted cash at the New Year rather than Christmas presents and giving cash is quite a big thing here, they even have special envelopes for it. If cash is the way you want to go, there are loads of creative ways to present it rather than just tucking it inside a card.
Of course, cash does mean physical items could get bought and so the clutter issue comes into play again.
Food and Drinks
Edible gifts always go down well, in more ways than one. They don’t hang around long enough to become clutter. Except for that bizarre chutney, your great-aunt buys that no one actually likes! That said, you might not want to be handing more sugar-laced goodies to your kids but things like cocoa and marshmallows in a jar make a fun stocking stuffer.
Handmade gifts are not always appreciated by some people, so choose your recipients wisely. But if you know it will be appreciated and cooking is something you love, then handmade edibles are a great personal touch.
Hampers are another great idea. You can get creative and make one totally personalized to the recipient or there are some lovely fancy pre-made hampers available. Or you can zone in on a favourite food, as you know I am a big cheese lover, so when I’m in the UK, I often get gifted a cheese selection from Pong Cheese. If you want to buy a cheesy gift for someone in Japan, I can recommend The Cheese Guy In Okinawa.
An alternative to actual food and drinks would be a gift certificate, coupon or invite to a fancy/favourite restaurant.
Or going back to the classes, cooking lessons or some type of food appreciation class. AirBnB has some fun food-related experiences.
Donations for a totally clutter-free gift
As this season shouldn’t really be just about the gifts, how about working donations into your clutter-free Christmas?
Each year I have friends who donate to charity rather than sending out Christmas cards.
There are places where you can sponsor a family or child for Christmas or for a special wish.
KIVA is one of my favourites for giving, I donate to KIVA each time I get a new Wonder Mom joining my membership. It’s to help micro-businesses get set up, so they can help themselves. The businesses take out a microloan and then when it gets paid back to me, I put the money back in the pot so someone else can take a loan.
And I have also adopted various animals in the past as gifts to different people.
If space is tight or if you are just sick of the clutter at home then clutter-free gifts (or at least minimal clutter) are a great way forward.
And if you are really fed up with the clutter, then I have a great little program that isn’t a “quick fix”, instead we work on the mindset as well as the physical clutter, you can check out the Clear The Clutter Program HERE. Work your way through and you will get off that yo-yo decluttering nonsense and instead stay decluttered for good!
And a few other posts that might help: