Clutter-free Gift Guide

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.

Consumables make great gifts - especially when they include chocolate.


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

Gift Cards-

Restaurants or cafes

Coffee beans/pods





Grocery store

Specialised delicatessen

Day spa

Garden centre

Hardware shop

Pet supplies


Body products


Specialty coffee or exotic tea


Cupcakes or brownies

Craft beer

Sauces, infused oils, vinegars or salad dressings

Fruit and veg boxes

Chocolates or fudge

Vegetable or herb plants and seeds

Fresh flowers

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

Camping trip

A day at the beach

Watching a sunset together

A movie marathon

Charitable donations-

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:



Dance costumes

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:

Farm visit

Fruit picking

Movie and popcorn/ ice cream

Indoor play centres

Trampolining centres

Indoor rock climbing

Water park

Theme park

This list is not exhaustive, merely a jumping off point... happy gifting.

TT. xx

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