Updated: May 21, 2019
June is birthday season in my world- my daughter’s, my Dad’s, my brother’s, mine and more. So that’s got me thinking “gifts’.
I use to love gift-shopping. I used to have everyone Christmas gifts purchased by October. But with time, my mindset has shifted against clutter, and thus my love of gift-shopping has abandoned me. Now I find it almost impossible to give gifts that may not be useful or practical to people. I find myself precariously poised in the perfume section thinking, “Will she find value in this?” Or scrutinising the scarves speculating, “Is this something they need?” Ugh, it’s tedious to hold myself to this standard... it’s like having an anti-superpower. The stress it creates for me is real!
I can put my hand up here... that serving platter that moved around the world with me for 10 years, which I never used but couldn’t part with because it was a wedding gift. C’mon people. What is wrong with us? We need to just let it go (yes- I had the Disney tune playing in my head as I wrote that... #mumlife) Finally dropping that platter to a charity store (still in the original box- in perfect condition) was so cathartic. It actually felt good to hand it over. That platter can now be owned by someone who will love it and use it. It took a moment but the guilt I dreaded feeling for 10 years passed and I had the best feeling of lightness!
So can you imagine giving that sensation of ‘no guilt’ to someone you love? That would be great, but how do you gift wrap it? If you think of giving a gift that isn’t clutter, you simultaneously give the gift of no-guilt. Your gift will be appreciated and used rather than being shoved to the back of the cupboard and forgotten about. So how do you know what exactly is a clutter-free gift?
You can always ask someone what they need (HINT: use the word need- not want- when you ask them). If the recipient needs something then you can assume it won’t be clutter. If you’d rather surprise them, or they tell you they don’t need anything then check out this list of clutter-free gift ideas. The ‘no guilt’ is an added bonus with these ones.
Pampering- Massage, manicure, pedicure, facial, spa day
Event Tickets- Gallery opening, sporting, cinema, theatre, river/ ocean cruise, ghost tour
Annual passes- Zoo, museum, aquatic centres, national parks
Subscriptions or Memberships- TV services (Netflix/ Foxtel), audio books, online magazines or papers, wine clubs, food boxes, golf, gym
Classes or Lessons- Cooking, art, craft, dancing, surfing, horse riding, spirit making
Vouchers- High tea, ten-pin bowling, mini golf, car detailing, house cleaning, gardening service, babysitting, photography, stylist
Restaurants or cafes
Specialty coffee or exotic tea
Cupcakes or brownies
Sauces, infused oils, vinegars or salad dressings
Fruit and veg boxes
Chocolates or fudge
Vegetable or herb plants and seeds
Spice blends or curry pastes
Cake or biscuit mixes
Nut and snack mixes
Your loved ones would probably treasure a chance to spend some quality time with you! How about:
A home cooked meal with you
Playing a board game together
A day at the beach
Watching a sunset together
A movie marathon
Choose a charity close to the persons heart and experiences or offer to donate to a charity of their choosing. I like to gift KIVA cards, where they can go online and choose via gender, industry or location who to loan the money to. When the money is repaid to their KIVA account they can choose to withdraw it or make another loan to someone else in need.
On a budget?
Consider making your own coupon book. Include vouchers to
Wash their car
Walk their dog
Babysit their kids
Make them a meal
Mow their lawn
Prune their roses
Wash their windows
Be their taxi service for their next night out
We all know that kids are expensive. While no child wants to unwrap a new school uniform on their birthday, maybe you could consider giving them some clothes in the next size up (check what they need) like:
Sports wear/ uniform
Or pay for their sporting/ dance fees or swimming lessons for a term.
You could give them a gift of an experience as mentioned above or one of the following:
Movie and popcorn/ ice cream
Indoor play centres
Indoor rock climbing
This list is not exhaustive, merely a jumping off point... happy gifting.
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