You know how it feels to get a gift you really don’t want or need. And I’m guessing you don’t want to give gifts that clutter up someone else’s home. That’s why I put together this clutter-free holiday gift guide with some of my favorite ideas, including gifts that don’t cost a dime!
Kids love getting mail. Consider a subscription to one of the magazines on this list of Parents’ Choice Award Winning Magazines. Teach kids to recycle the old issue when the new issue arrives – or order digital versions that can be read on a Kindle, another clutter-free gift idea.
Or how about a subscription to Little Passports? Two years ago, I gave this gift of adventure to our youngest granddaughter and she loved it. She received The Discovery Kit right away – complete with a wall-sized map, disposable camera, scavenger hunt, and other projects. Each month, new adventure packages arrive with learning activities galore. Choose from the USA edition or world version. Watch the Little Passports TV Commercial for adorable and honest testimonials from parents and kids!
Food & Beverage
You generally can’t go wrong giving edible gifts whether it’s something special from your kitchen or something you buy like gourmet coffee or tea, hot chocolate mix, craft beer, wine or champagne. Present one item as a small gift or create a gift basket by incorporating other items that pair well such as wine and cheese or tea and cookies. (If you’re concerned that the basket might become clutter, cover a box with holiday wrapping paper and fill it, tucking tissue paper in-between items.)
I often give gifts of dried cherry almond biscotti or cranberry orange bread. I make the bread in mini loaf pans and include a recipe card wrapped up with the bread. Cookie mix in a jar is another popular and appreciated homemade gift. And here’s something I plan to give selected friends this year – a blend of spices that I mix up to make Crockpot Jambalaya – my absolute favorite crockpot recipe which I’ll include with my gift.
Restaurant gift cards are always appreciated. If you have gift cards you aren’t using, re-gift them to someone who will! And did you know? You can sell gift cards (even partially used ones) and purchase new ones at a discount at PlasticJungle.com (one of hundreds of tips for turning clutter into cash in my book How to Declutter and Make Money Now).
For Home Organizing Help
Give the gift of organization with a gift certificate to OrganizedAtoZ.com. (Just click to add to your cart, select email or printed certificate, and then choose the denomination you want – starting at $15.) Or choose a gift to give directly.
One item that I think would make a great gift for any gal is this Lay-n-Go Cosmetic Bag. What I love about OrganizedAtoZ.com is that all of the products are sourced by professional organizers who know what works and what doesn’t. The Lay-n-Go bag is a winner in my book!
If you know someone who talks about getting photos organized, but never gets around to it, a Fotobridge gift card would make a great gift. Or if you have access to a scanner, you can gift your personal scanner, you can gift your services. (Get this: I recently discovered that the general public is welcome to use the photo scanners available at the Mormon’s church’s family history centers – for free.)
For the women on your list, how about a purse organizer that lets you change purses in an instant? Just lift the Purse Perfector out of one purse and put it in another – no need to remove individual items and re-organize your purse. The flexible design lets you configure it how it works best for you. Genius!
For Fitness Enthusiasts
Road ID enables you to put emergency contact and medical information on a variety of products including wrist bands, ankle bands, FitBit bracelets, and more. With Road ID, your loved one is never really alone on the road.
FlipBelt is a lightweight, stretchy belt with openings to stash your phone, ID, money, keys and more. Wear it running, hiking, dog walking, dancing, to the gym, traveling, wherever. You can choose to keep your valuables tucked inside for security or flip it to the other side for easy access. (I keep seeing ads on Facebook offering a 10% discount code when you use the coupon code FB10 – give it a try!)
Here’s an idea for people who are always participating in races – and have the T-shirts to prove it. If they never wear them, have a T-shirt quilt made! I’ve had two T-shirt quilts made and they came out beautifully. Check out TShirtQuilts.com or CampusQuilt.com. Or make your own (you can find free patterns online).
Other ideas include gift certificates for a round of golf, skiing/snowboarding lift tickets, or fitness classes for those you know are inclined toward those activities. Or a gift certificate for a massage! Ahhh, yes.
Experience gifts are my favorite gifts to give. Check out Groupon or Living Social for great deals on white water rafting, scuba diving lessons, dance classes, hot air balloon rides, a romantic weekend getaway at a local hotel, tickets to a concert or sporting event, and more.
Movie tickets are always a hit. Search Fandango for theaters available at your recipient’s location and then purchase a gift card.
Gifts That Keep Giving
A really special gift is one that repeats! Through 1800Flowers.com, you can send three months of flowers, chocolate-covered strawberries, cookies – you name it. Harry & David offers fruit-of-the-month gifts plus a slew of other edible gifts.
Just recently, I learned about a new subscription wine club called Wine Awesomeness. You can gift a prepaid membership of 3, 6 or 9 months (or a box of wine). Each selection of wines comes with tasting notes, background information, and recipes to pair with each bottle making it an adventure for the wine connoisseur on your list.
Another subscription club – NatureBox – regularly delivers wholesome savory and sweet snacks like nut mixes, dried fruits, gourmet popcorn, crackers, and more – all with no artificial ingredients. Each serving is 200 calories or less with no high fructose corn syrup and no hydrogenated oils. And they’re super delicious! (I’m nibbling on cinnamon yogurt mini grahams as I write!) I think this would be a great gift for a busy family.
And then there’s Hello Fresh, one of several meal subscriptions for people who want to enjoy home-cooked meals, but are short on time to plan meals or shop for groceries – think parents with newborns, young adults working overtime at new careers. Each week, recipients receive all the ingredients needed to make three meals for two to four people plus easy-to-follow recipes and “how to” tips for cooking. Hello Fresh makes it easy to give a full week of food by ordering a gift card – or you can purchase an ongoing weekly subscription and cancel at any time. Save $35 off your first order. Valid for new customers only. Ends 12/31/15.
A different kind of gift that keeps giving is a membership to a favorite local attraction like a museum, zoo, or amusement park – or a National Parks Pass that allows free admission to your favorite parks for an entire year.
Who do you know who needs a little pampering? At SpaFinder, you can purchase a gift certificate for a spa service such as a massage, manicure/pedicure, or facial that is accepted at salons and spas all across the country.
Or for someone who spends a lot of time on their feet, make this peppermint foot scrub as a gift.
Even if your holiday gift budget is zero, you can can give a really valuable gift – the gift of your service! For someone who loves your cooking, consider giving a gift certificate for a home-cooked dinner at his/her home, complete with clean-up service. Or offer your services as a babysitter, pet sitter, editor, or car washer. Create a gift certificate and present it in a gift-wrapped box or reusable tin.
Another gift idea that costs nothing except your time is to write a letter of appreciation for someone you love. Roll it like a scroll and tie a ribbon around it.
And for the person who has everything? Name a star for him or her – for free – at Staracle. Then print your star name certificate with coordinates for your star.
New drivers and young adults might appreciate a gift card for a gas station that can be tucked away in glove box. Maybe gift the card along with an emergency road kit.
And for anyone like me who prefers online shopping over in-store shopping, give the gift of an Amazon gift card. These cards have no added fees and no expiration dates.
Last but not least, if you really have no idea what to give someone, consider giving a SuperCertificate Gift. These certificates can be redeemed for one or more gift cards, making it the perfect gift every time.
Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments below – and please share this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels to generate more clutter-free gift ideas for the holidays or any day.
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