Halloween is over, and now I am focusing on all the upcoming family birthdays and trying to come up with clutter-free gift ideas. My daughter and husband both have birthdays this month and they are only two days apart! My birthday (although I don’t really care for them anymore lol) is right dab in the middle of my daughter’s and my husband’s birthday. Next month we will be celebrating Christmas. Every year at this time, I start to think about what presents I need to buy. When my children were smaller I loved buying lots of gifts and watching their excitement while opening them. Our tradition is to open one present at a time so it would take a long time to go through them all but I loved every minute of it.
Today, I am looking at gift buying in a different way.
I am not judging anyone who enjoys buying lots of gifts for family and friends, as I mentioned, I did this too. But I am wondering if we really need that many gifts? As a professional organizer, I have come across homes that are stuffed with a ton of items. Not all my clients have too much stuff, but the ones that do, call me asking for help because they are overwhelmed by all their stuff. I am honoured to help them because I truly want to help them clear the clutter and get organized. I want them to feel joy when they walk into their home, not overwhelmed by all the stuff.
It wasn’t always like this.
Many years ago we didn’t have credit cards, and I don’t believe there were as many items out there to buy. We lived in smaller homes and had many children. I could be wrong but I don’t think many people invited 10 or more children to their children’s birthday parties, but instead, they invited a few of their closest friends. I realize that having lots of people at a child’s party is a lot of fun, but with the fun comes lots of presents. When you are buying gifts for your children, ask yourself, do my children have a ton of toys, games, craft supplies and if so, do they really need more? Looking back over the years of gift giving with my children, I wish I could have given them more of my time, rather than focusing on the gifts. When my kids were small, I ran a home daycare so I could be home with them. But I was also going to University and spending a lot of my time studying. I would have loved to spend more quality time with them.
It is not just children that have a lot of stuff, it is adults too. As adults, we sometimes keep all the gifts we have accumulated over the years. Not wanting to let the gifts go for fear of hurting the feelings of the gift giver, and sometimes we buy ourselves too much stuff too. The next time you are buying a gift for a friend or family member that has everything, consider giving a clutter-free gift.
Here is a list of clutter-free gift ideas:
Restaurant gift certificates
Gas gift certificates
Spa gift certificates
Hair Salon gift certificates
Tickets to a game/sporting event
Consumables – Wine or other alcohol drinks and food
Classes – cooking, painting, dance, yoga, college/university, music classes etc.
Swimming or skating passes
Cleaning company gift certificate
Horseback riding lessons
Coffee shop gift card
Kindle or iTunes gift cards
Professional Organizer gift certificate
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to never give material gifts. There is something special about giving a gift that our loved ones can keep for years to come, or one they could really use. I am just suggesting that there are clutter-free gifts that can be special too, especially for those who already have a lot of stuff.
Do you have a favorite gift that you received that did not take up a lot of space? If so, I would love to hear what it was.
Until next time,