About six years ago I did a savvy gift-giving guide – presents your loved ones will enjoy and not add to their clutter. Six years is a long time – time for a fresh list.
As a professional organizer, presents sometimes feel like a conflict of interest. My mandate with clients and myself is “less is more”. I try to gift with intent, purpose and thought. I want my gifts to be clutter free and enjoyed. I have also tried to move a lot of my gift giving to digital, experience or in kind, meaning, my time.
So with out further a do, here is my top 10 list of clutter free gifts of 2018, savvy gift giving:
How does every magazine at your fingertips sound?. You pay a monthly subscription to receive basically every magazine right to your iPad/kindle fire/Samsung tablet etc. This includes weekly and monthly publications. If you know a magazine lover, someone traveling a lot for business or has a long subway commute, this is THE gift for them. Cost: $9.99/month
Open the world of audiobooks to your loved ones. If you know someone that needs to declutter their bookshelves or doesn’t seem to have the time to do as much reading as they would like, this is the gift for them. I found a love of audiobooks this year. As a professional organizer visiting clients I tend to spend a fair bit of time in my car during the day. The drive flies by and my road rage is kept in check when I have an audiobook on. Personally, it feels like such a wonderful way to fill otherwise wasted time. Cost: $14.95/month
3. Soda Stream
This is on the list because it also happens to be one of my favorite gifts I’m giving this year. Cut down on plastic bottles, but still feed your need for sparkling water. The recipient on my list drinks a lot of sparkling drinks and this will be the perfect addition to clear the clutter from their fridge and the landfill. Cost: $120.00
Any gift that keeps giving all year is a savvy gift! What is better than a membership? A membership to the Museum, ROM, AGO, Gardiner, the Science Center, the Zoo, Hot Docs or Tiff, the possibilities go on and on. We are members of the ROM because my mom bought it for us last year during the holidays. It has been the most used gift. WE go with the kids to look at dinosaurs, we go to every special exhibit, I recently went on a ghost tour. Seriously, memberships are the way to go. For a relativity small amount of money you can provide joy, entertainment, education and fun all year long. Cost: Approx $150 depending on the organization and membership level
Do you have a sports lover, ballet fan or music aficionado on your list? Go for an experience and purchase tickets for them to see their favorite band, team or show live! This is a wonderful way to cut out the clutter and give them something to look forward to. Buy yourself a ticket to join them and it’s a gift of time together as well – memories, priceless! Cost: Varies depending on the event
6. Gift cards, for every day items
Ok, this might look really boring and you’re thinking to yourself, who wants their gas paid for? Um, me! But, also consider your niece in University or even your father, I know mine would enjoy a sensible gift that won’t collect dust. For that person who is impossible to buy for, this is a great gift. Something they will use no matter what! Cost: It’s a gift card, you choose!
Any parent of young children ALWAYS needs babysitting. Talk about a gift that never goes unused. Free babysitting so I can spend quality time with my husband, sounds like the most perfect gift I could receive. Cost: Not a single dime, just your time.
8.Share a skill
The best gifts involve being with other people and enjoying that time together. If you have a skills someone on your list might like to learn consider gifting your time to help them learn. An aspiring guitar player, chef or photographer will relish the time together and the new skills they are learning. Cost: FREE – and you’ll make memories together, priceless
Do you live thousands of miles from your family? What about buying mom a plane ticket to come visit during the year or planning to visit friends as part of their gift? Your presence is always a present. Time together is always special. Buy a ticket for a visit around a loved ones birthday, then you can hit two gifts with one stone and you will be apart of the celebration later in the year!
10. Give a Goat
Not literally under the tree, or at least not your tree. For the person who has everything or the family that has requested no gifts, this is the perfect gift. Charities make it easy to gift desperately needed resources during the holidays: clean water, goats, chickens, cows and so much more. For more ideas you can check out these sites.