As Christmas approaches and you check out the Christmas countdown clock wondering how much time you have left, you probably are like me thinking:
WHAT DO I GET FOR PEOPLE WHEN I’M TRYING TO CUT DOWN ON CLUTTER?!
If you, like me, have rid yourself of clutter, it feels strange trying to give a gift. You don’t really want to add to someone else’s clutter problem, ya know? So what do you get people for Christmas that won’t become part of their future clutter?
I spent some time researching and chatting it up with a couple people and we came up with this list of 100 clutter-free gifts – so now you can give freely, knowing you can bless someone AND not give them something that requires dusting.
When I say clutter-free, let me tell you what that means. To be “clutter-free,” a gift must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- A gift that isn’t physical
- A consumable gift – it goes away eventually
- A gift that fills a need
- A gift that will be loved (if you love it, it’s not clutter to you)
Without further ado, here is your list of 100 clutter-free gifts. Links are included where applicable, and some will have explanations while others will not. Enjoy!
NOTE: this list isn’t just for Christmas, but can be used for any gift giving time.
100 Clutter-Free Gifts For Everyone
- Date Night: movie gift card, restaurant gift card, free babysitting services.
Give a gift card to the local movies and even a restaurant gift card with it – make sure you don’t forget the kiddos! Supply babysitting to go with this gift for the win!
This is perfect for the person in your life who wouldn’t normally spend this type of cash on themselves.
- Gas gift card: This is perfect for teenagers! It’s actually perfect for anyone who has a vehicle.
- At-Home Date Night: Redbox gift card, bag of popcorn, chocolate bars. For the introvert couple – or the couple with a newborn who doesn’t really want to leave the house much. For longevity, you probably want to make it microwave popcorn, or a bag of already popped stuff – like Skinny Pop.
- Museum/Zoo Passes: A whole family gift! Do you have a local museum or zoo? A pass would allow a family to go any time they liked – which is nice when you never know when/if a child is going to be sick – so you can go on a whim! Experience gifts require NO clean-up.
- Pool Passes: Sure, it might seem strange to get this in December, but come May and June, the person will LOVE you for this one. Go to the local pool any time you want?! Score!
- Satellite Radio subscription: Perfect for the person in your life who has a work commute or does a lot of driving. There are a couple options out there, so look around and make sure the vehicle has the capability for this gift. You may also need to purchase the display kit.
- Ipsy Subscription: I’ve been doing Ipsy for two years and I LOVE IT! It would be a great gift for the woman/girl/teen in your life who enjoys makeup. It’s $10/month and you’ll always get more products than that each month. While some might consider this clutter, I don’t – because makeup is consumable.
- Coupon Book: This would be so much fun and could vary based on who you are giving it to. You’ll give coupons for free items like, but not limited to: baked goods, babysitting, back rubs, date night, massage, etc. Pinterest is full of free printables for these, like Love Coupons or this one that’s blank.
- Coffee: Coffee is never clutter, my friend. Never. Anytime someone gives me coffee, I squeal with joy. Make it a nice gourmet one or something fancy for extra bonus points. But really – coffee is the gift that gives all day. If your person doesn’t like coffee (first, get them some counseling) then consider tea instead.
- Coffee gift cards: These are fun too! This is a fantastic gift for a mama who is on the go. I rarely buy fancy coffees for myself, but if someone gives me a gift card, I can’t wait to go! And for a bonus, most of these places have a drive-thru so you don’t even have to get the kids out! Amazon has Starbucks gift cards, do you don’t even have to leave home!
- Homemade Spice Mixes: This is a favorite of mine. I also use this for hostess gifts when we are going to someone’s home. The book Easy Homemade is what I use for giving homemade mixes and spices.
- Audible Subscription: Does the person on your list enjoy audio books? Give a subscription to Audible, which is run through Amazon. Then they can choose their own audio books.
- Tickets to a Local Attraction: This will be totally based on where you live. For example, you might get tickets to a circus that will be coming through your town. Or in our local area, we have a place called Rocky Mount, which is an old-timey homestead you can visit for a tour.
- Homemade Baked Goods: A favorite of mine! Every year for Christmas I give baked goods. If your gift recipient has a special diet, take that into consideration. I love to give the gift of homemade bread. Pair it with some jam or homemade butter for the win!
- Homemade Canned Goods: Consumable gifts are the best! Because they only take up space until you eat them. Then, they’re yummy in your tummy and go away – no storage required – except your stomach. Did you can something this season? Give that! I LOVE receiving this.
- Grocery Store Gift Card: Everyone eats food! It’s hard to not find someone who would use this. Even on a specialty diet, people need food. Amazon even sells gift cards to Safeway and Whole Foods.
- Amazon Gift Card: We all love Amazon! Okay, so maybe not everyone. But, most people do. I’m always giddy with excitement if someone gives me this – because it usually lets me purchase something I need but didn’t want to spend the money on.
- FREE Babysitting: This is a public service announcement. All parents want this gift. We love our kids, but sometimes it’s nice to shop without them. Or even just go somewhere and sit quietly. Print up some cute little babysitting tickets to give our for whenever said person would like to use them.
- Subway/Transportation Passes: If you know someone who lives in the city and uses public transportation, how about gifting them a pass? Or maybe even paying for a pass if they have to pay a daily toll to go to work?
- Massage: Give the gift of massage. This is fun to give to a spouse. My husband LOVES when I schedule a massage for him as a gift.
- Hair Cut Gift Card: My sister once gave this gift to me and I LOVED IT! It’s so nice to go get something done for yourself and know it’s already paid for. It just makes that shampoo feel even better. Getting a hair cut is like therapy for women.
- Manicure/Pedicure: I think this one is kinda specific. So, make sure you’re giving this to someone who would actually use it. Myself, I hate this type of thing. Ha ha! If the person on your list enjoys this type of thing, it would be a total win.
- Donation to the Charity of Their Choice: A couple years ago, Barry’s aunt gave a donation to a charity in the name of his dad instead of giving us a gift. I still think about that. What a great way to honor someone! You could print up something cute and stick it in a little gift bag to give.
- Buy a Goat: Yeah, you heard me. Last year we gave the gift of chickens to an overseas family, using World Vision. You can choose a goat. Or chickens. Or I think you can even gift a cow! My kids still talk about it. If the person on your list needs nothing, there are plenty of people who need a goat.
- Digital Books: This one takes up no space, except on your digital device! Amazon lets you buy Kindle gift cards to give. If you want to buy an eBook that’s not available on Amazon, go ahead and purchase the book and email it to that person when the time comes. If it’s too large, burn it to a CD and give that.
- eCloth – Give the gift of eCloth. Everyone has to clean their home (lame), so why not give them something that only requires they use water to do it?! One year I gave just about everyone on my list a General Purpose Cloth and a Window Cloth from eCloth and they loved it! If you gotta clean, you might as well have a good time doing it!
- Sunscreen and a Hat: This one is pretty clever. Sunscreen is consumable and a hat also keeps you safe from sunburn on the head. No one likes the gift of sunburn. I use Vitacost to purchase sunscreen – then find a cute little hat or visor at Walmart or Target. Boom.
- Watch: You might be running into clutter for this one if the person doesn’t need a watch. So, keep in mind for this one it would need to fill a need. My husband LOVES watches, so it’s not clutter for him. Also, it’s a very useful gift. My dad is always breaking his watches on the farm, so he’s always in need of a new, good (but not too expensive) watch.
- Family Board Game: Some would consider this clutter – I don’t. It’s something that gets your whole family involved and it’s ONE gift for everyone instead of a small cluttery gift for each person. A couple of our favorites are Sequence and Clue. Plus, for homeschoolers these are also educational items.
- Bible Journaling Supplies: Does the person on your list enjoy journaling? This is one of my favorite hobbies, so having some of these supplies keeps me from having to buy them and they are also consumable since they go into your Bible. I use the ESV Journaling Bible. Also check out the Illustrated Faith line.
- Calendar or Planner: This is kind of a specific one, so you would have to know the person pretty well. If you KNOW they love a certain calendar or planner, you could help buy supplies for that. Example, I’m not really into the planner phase, but I use my Brownline Calendar daily.
- Ear Piercing/New Earrings: This would be a great one for a young girl in your immediate family. Since you’re the parent, you give the permission. Don’t go around piercing random people. Okay?
- Water Park/Amusement Park Season Passes: What a great gift! This gift says, “Don’t worry about rain or freak monsoons – visit the park any time you like!” It takes the stress out of going on any specific day. And you can return as often as you like!
- Sporting Event Tickets: I have a few family members who are WAY into sports. They would love this type of gift. I wasn’t in the Sporting Knowledge line when God was handing out qualities. You’ll know who you can give this type of gift to, because they’ll be pretty vocal about their sports love.
- iTunes or Other Musical Gift Cards: I know nothing about technology. But I’ve heard you can give this type of thing. Then said person can download their own music and whatnot. Because music is a very personal thing. Amazon has iTunes covered for ya.
- NEEDED Clothing: You gotta ask about this one. “Is there anything you need as far as clothing?” For your own children, you’ll know this type of thing. For a cousin or friend, you would have to ask or know them pretty well. If it’s not needed or won’t be loved, it’s clutter. So, tread lightly. Consider trying out Swap.com. They have a Gift Order feature where you can order gifts and have them sent to someone.
- Apps: Did you know you could gift apps?! Me either! Until my friend Nikki gifted me with an essential oil app – which was pretty awesome because I’m too cheap to buy an app otherwise. Apps take up NO space…except phone space.
- Netflix Subscription: Give the gift of binge watching! Check out the Gift Card option at Netflix.
- Learning Game Subscription: A great one for any kids on your list! My kids really enjoy playing Reading Eggs, but that’s just one option. There are tons out there, so ask around or search to find one that fits your specific needs and age range.
- Gym Membership: Give the gift of exercise! Or swimming! Or…whatever else it is that people do at gyms. I have no idea, but I hear people like this type of thing. Consider a local gym or the YMCA.
- Educational Class: One year I gave my mom a quilting class from Craftsy. I know a lot of local places also have classes. Our local Higher Education Center does different classes every year. Gift the gift of learning – it doesn’t take up space…except in your brain. Brain food!
- Freezer Meals: I love this idea for a new mom or a very pregnant mom! Actually, for ANY mom! Make a weeks worth of freezer meals – have them completely freezer ready and make sure to include instructions. Beware – this will probably make the recipient weep with joy. Money Saving Mom has a ton of freezer cooking tutorials and printables.
- Pass for a local park: Ask at your local state park if they offer passes for free parking or anything else you normally have to pay for when you visit. We love going to our local state park, but you have to pay a parking fee each time. If you give a pass for this, it gives a family the gumption to go more often! Get outdoors, y’all!
- Summer Camp: The cost of summer camp can sometimes keep a parent from choosing to send their child. I remember Girl Scout Camp very fondly. If you’re a grandparent, this is an EXCELLENT gift idea. Offer to pay for the summer camp of their choosing. Another warning – might result in parental weeping.
- Automotive Emergency Kit: Another great idea for a new teen driver. We have one of these kits in our van, and it gives me peace of mind knowing it’s there. I hope we/you never need to us it, but it’s nice to have on hand. Amazon has a good selection and likely Walmart does too.
- AAA Membership: For a new driver, or an experienced driver, give the gift of, “hey, my car broke down and I know who to call and it ain’t my second uncle twice removed.”
- Chocolate Gift Basket/Favorite Candy: I honestly don’t know who wouldn’t love this gift. A basket of candy that’s all my favorite? That I don’t have to share? That I didn’t have to buy? That doesn’t sit around for me to dust?! YES, PLEASE!
- Digital Subscription to Online Magazine or Newspaper: This can be digital…or it can be a local paper. You read the news, you dispose of the news. Because it’s NEW tomorrow. Ha! Give the gift of information. Whether it’s on the information super highway or if it shows up at your front door.
- Blue Apron subscription: Okay, I’ll admit that I wouldn’t pay for this. BUT, I know a lot of friends use and love this service. It’s convenient. So, it would make a good gift for someone. Again, consumables are so nice. This gift shows up and you eat it. It’s like someone doing all your meal planning and shopping.
- Diapers and Wipes: FABULOUS gift for any child still in diapers. For real. You cannot go wrong here. Bonus points if you give the favorite brand. Sam’s Club is a great way to pick these up for a good price. Or you can shop the sales at drug stores. Southern Savers is a great place to keep up with those sales.
- Music Lessons: Of course, you wouldn’t want to just give this gift willy-nilly. You would need to ask the receiver if it was of interest to them – because a gift of ukulele lessons wouldn’t be much fun to someone who would rather be underwater basket weaving. However, it’s a really great option because it is a gift that lasts someone’s entire life.
- Family Photo Session: We have done this gift a couple time for grandparents. It’s always a huge hit. You can pay for the sitting fee and then pay for some of the pictures when they arrive. It might also be good to include a framed photo of the best pose – meaning, the one where someone isn’t crying.
- Seeds or Plants for the Gardener: I have the Black Thumb of Death, so this isn’t a good gift for me. BUT, there are a couple people on my list who would just love this gift. Bonus points if it’s a rare seed.
- Wine/Beer/Soda: If you have a connoisseur on your list, this is a good option. Try to go with something local to your area because that’s a nice treat. Cheerwine anyone?
- Fishing or Hunting License: Give the gift that lasts all year! The gift of game in their freezer. Actually, this is just the potential for that – they have to do the leg work.
- Jiffy Lube Gift Certificate: Or similar. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that your next oil change is covered? This is another good one for a newer teen driver. Actually, if someone is driving at all, this is a nice gift. You can purchase these on Amazon for the win!
- College Fund Money: This might seem boring or impersonal to some, but it’s really not. The money you give now will grow interest over the years and turn into a sizable donation. Yay for interest! Make sure you distinguish what the money is for – college, not a stash of Twizzlers.
- Bike: To some, this might be clutter. To others, it’s exercise. Or fun. But, it usually stays outside. And if it’s something you use often, it’s not clutter. My kids all LOVE their bikes.
- Financial Peace University or Financial Peace Jr.: Honestly, the gift of knowledge is one of the best ones you can give. Teach someone how to be responsible with their money. We’ve given this gift a few times – but it has to be given to someone who wants help. It’s a good gift for graduates, newly married couples…it’s good for anyone who needs help! And there is a Financial Peace Jr kit for younger kids.
- Sponsor a Child: Use Compassion International or another choice. But choose to sponsor a child for the year instead of giving gifts. This one just gives me goosebumps. Blessing someone else is what giving is all about.
- Etsy Gift Card: This gift allows the recipient to choose something that is special or needed – all the while, it’s supporting a crafter, trying to make a living. I. Love. Etsy. My husband has his own Etsy store where he sells his woodworking items – Living 138.
- Cross Item off Bucket List: A lot of people have a bucket list – a list of things they would like to accomplish in their life. Things like skydiving, train trip, tattoos, or for me…a nap. See if you can help fulfill one of those.
- Car Detailing: My brother-in-law occasionally gives us this gift, because he rocks at this skill. I rock at making little crumb piles all over our van and my kids rock at leaving old hamburgers in the cup holder. He’ll make a little certificate and give it to us. Excellent choice!
- Online Class: eCourses are all the rage right now. I’ve taken several myself and loved them. If you know of one that someone might enjoy, try purchasing the class and then gifting it over. Some that you might consider are Makeover Your Mornings or Makeover Your Evenings by Crystal Paine.
- Plan to Eat Subscription: This is the gift of planning. Every year around Thanksgiving/Black Friday, Plan to Eat runs sales on their gift subscriptions. I try to put that out via social media. It makes a GREAT gift to the person in your life who needs to plan meals and loves technology. Even if you don’t wait for the sale, it’s a fantastic gift!
- Housekeeping Paid for 1 Month: In my opinion, this is the best gift ever for a mom. Best. Gift. Ever. Maybe even pay for two months. Or if you’re feeling super generous, a whole year. I think I’m jealous already of the person you’re gifting this to.
- Swimming Lessons: This is another one that might have to be paid for in December and not redeemed until the summer months. It’s a gift that gives a needed skills – and needed skills don’t need dusting or organizing. Check with your local wellness center to see what they offer.
- Snack Basket: Food goes away. It’s enjoyed, but then it no longer takes up space. Pack a little basket full of someone’s favorite snacks and treats. Maybe forgo the basket and just use a bag…because a basket could indeed be clutter. Vitacost is a fun option for finding cute little snacks.
- Camera: A few things on this list would be clutter for one person but not clutter for another. This is one of those. My kids LOVE their camera. I love my camera. My mom? She couldn’t care less. So, use discernment on this one…but someone could potentially love this gift. One of the best gifts we ever got the kids was a VTech Kids Camera.
- Stamps: Yeah, I know. Some of you snored even while you read that. But really, my mom has always given stamps for gifts. And we love it! It’s something we need occasionally and it’s nice when it’s provided for you. Bonus points if you gift cute stamps.
- Homemade Soap: Another gift that goes away! Plus, when it goes away, you smell all pretty. You can either make the soap yourself, or purchase from a crafter. Several times I’ve used Lexie Naturals for buying items for gifts.
- Family Vacation: I’ve seen a lot of people decide to take a family vacation (experiences are the best gifts!) instead of giving gifts. This idea is epic. Memories last forever. Choose a destination that everyone will get excited about!
- Meal Planning Service: Sometimes, people don’t like meal planning. I don’t really understand that myself, but I hear it happens. If you know of someone on your list who doesn’t like it, maybe providing it for them would be a good option. Grocery Shrink Plus is a good one to try out.
- Fill a Need: Think if there is a need you can fulfill. This gift option will vary family to family. But fulfilling a need for someone not only brings relief to them, but satisfaction to you that you’ve given a worthwhile gift. You will need to ASK. “What can I do to help you?”
- NO GIFTS: I know this one is taking a giant leap – but it’s been a GAME CHANGER for our family. We’ve sat down with certain people and said, “Hey, can we just forgo gifts and instead just eat and play games?” So far, everyone has said YES! Because really, most people are looking to cut down on clutter. And being together during the holidays is what makes them so special.
Specific Items for Children
For children, we consider open ended toys the best ones to purchase. These are toys that do more than one thing and require imagination. When you have these types of toys, you need less – because one toy does many different things.
- Books : Books are so beautiful and we don’t consider them clutter at all (as long as they have a place and stay there, instead of being spread out everywhere). Last year I posted a Christmas list of 100 different books for all ages.
- Blocks : For me, blocks are almost a MUST HAVE for children. Whether it’s regular alphabet blocks or blocks of different shapes, they are one of the best toys ever. Even my 7 year old spends a lot of time playing with them.
- Dress Up Clothing : Hello imagination possibilities! We have a large chest full of all types of dress up clothes. When we have visitors, that’s almost always where the children flock to first. It can keep them happy for hours and each day holds the possibility for new ideas! Ours were purchased from a consignment sale, but check your local thrift stores for all different types of clothing.
- Legos: My kids aren’t much into Legos, but that’s because I haven’t introduced them. Ha ha! However, a lot of my friends LOVE Legos for their kids – and you can buy new sets to add to old sets. Even minimalists talk about the power of Legos because they require so much imagination.
- Duplo Blocks: We are more of a Duplo family – because they’re easy to see and you’re less likely to step on them and lose your religion. Bonus points for a storage box when you gift these. My kids LOVE them.
- Chalkboard to Hang on Wall: We have the easel from Ikea, but one that hangs on the wall would save more space. You can go with traditional chalk or go with a white board for dry erase markers.
- Art Supplies: While some might consider this clutter, I see it as consumable. They use the art items, art items get empty, packaging goes away. If you have problems with what to do AFTER art items are complete, take photos and store them on your phone or computer and then happily dispose of said art items – after kids are asleep, of course.
- Water Wow: I was introduced to this product several months ago from a reader and WE LOVE THEM. It’s water color that only needs water. One book – it dries and you can paint it again later. Amazing! Also a bonus gift because it works well for traveling. I love giving these for gifts.
- Audio Books: Kids like audio books too! Mine listen to them every day during quiet time. All sorts of them are available online or you might consider a subscription to something like Adventures in Odyssey.
- Baby Doll Clothing: This is like dress up clothing for baby dolls. Endless hours of play potential here. If you know someone has an American Girl doll, hit up Target for knock off clothing that’s MUCH cheaper.
- Bubbles and Bubble Accessories: We. Love. Bubbles. A great gift for kids under the age of 10. Consumable and so much fun for outdoors.
- Play Doh and Accessories: I love the imagination I see my kids have when they’re playing with Play Doh. Everything I try to make looks like a pile of…well, anyway. Kids love it and it’s a GREAT open-ended toy option. Plus, it seems to need to be replaced often, so it’s nice to get a new stash each year.
- GOOD Puzzles: In our stash we have a few high quality wooden puzzles. We love them – the kids play with them often. A couple others in our stash are floor puzzles, so they take a lot of effort and concentration. One of our favorites is this barn puzzle from Melissa and Doug.
- Train Set: A good train set is a fabulous toy idea. It’s good for boys or girls. If you buy the pieces, make sure to include a container for said item. Mamas everywhere thank you.
- Balls of all shapes and sizes: I don’t even think this one needs an explanation. Kids of all ages love them – they are a must have classic toy.
- Gardening Set: Consider a gardening apron with some tools small enough for children. Include some seeds and maybe some planting pots. Educational AND fun.
- Kite: I remember spending hours playing with kites when I was little. It’s a fond memory I have of childhood. My kids love to play with a kite in the back yard on a beautiful day. This also doubles as a nice family gift. Splurge on a good kite.
- Talking Alarm Clock: This is one of the BEST purchases we ever made as parents. I tell everyone about it. This clock turns green when it’s okay for your children to get out of bed. This means, you teach them to stay in bed until it’s time…and no more early 5am Paw Patrol wake ups! WOOOO!!!!
- Recordable Books: These are a great option for grandparents to give to children. Buy the book and record the story. Then your grandchildren can hear you read the story any time they like. I love hearing my kids listen to my dad reading to them, even when he’s not there. Available at Hallmark.
- Osmo: Give the gift of education! We were given an Osmo as a gift and it’s brought hours of entertainment. Even Barry and I enjoy playing it. It connects to the iPad and offers several games. So fun – and it requires a lot of thinking.
- Tangram Blocks: These double as something to play with and something you can use for school. We have two different sets and they’re both well loved.
- Science Kit: A couple years ago Annie received THIS science kit and it has been a huge hit. We use it for school – and the kids beg to use it for outdoor play. They do so many experiments on their own. Win!!!!
- Kiwi Crate: Parents rave about Kiwi Crate! It’s a gift subscription for crates that come with creative and educational projects. We loved the subscription we ordered for Annie. Another GREAT idea for grandparents to gift to grandchildren. And they have different kits for different ages. (You get $10 off with our affiliate link above.)
- Sidewalk Chalk: Again, another consumable – it almost always needs to be replaced yearly. And who doesn’t love a new, fresh tub of sidewalk chalk? It makes me get all starry eyed.
- Water play toys: So many options for this. But kids LOVE water. Consider a small pool – a water table – or even a sprinkler. My kids ask almost daily to play in the sprinkler – no matter what time of year it is.
There you have it! 100 clutter-free gift ideas. I hope you find them helpful – but always remember…it’s not the gift that matters. It’s the time spent with those that matter to us. Gifts don’t last – love does.