Give a thoughtful gift without the clutter. Check out these 85 clutter-free gifts for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and any occasion + free printable for family, friends, teachers, neighbors, and more.
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Looking for clutter-free gift ideas for birthdays and holidays? I’ve got you covered. I’ll share easy thoughtful gifts that won’t break the bank or create excess clutter!
How to Make Gifts Clutter Free
Stick with gifts that the recipient will consume, such as edible or homemade gifts, in containers that can be easily reused or upcycled, like glass containers, or gifts that provide an experience, such as movie tickets.
It’s one thing to decide to live a minimalist life and it’s another to get those around you to understand. This is especially true when it comes to birthdays and holidays. It’s only natural for people to want to give you and your family gifts during the special times in your life. However, many of these gifts end up being clutter for your home. There are a number of ways around that. Let’s look at how to deal with gifts for birthdays and holidays.
85 Clutter-Free Gift Ideas
One of the simplest clutter free gifts you can give are food gifts. The recipient will be able to eat the items and then reuse or upcycle the containers (which is why I often opt for Mason jars as food gift containers). Make homemade cookies or a hot cocoa mix to gift to teachers, neighbors, and friends. It’s a thoughtful gift that you can tailor to each recipient.
If you’re not the homemade type, you can gift a coffee and tea set or even a variety of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Chocolate and wine are great options too.
Here’s a full list of food gifts:
- Hot cocoa mix
- Homemade cookies
- Homemade candy
- Homemade bread
- Flavored sea salt
- Olive oil
- Flavored balsamic vinegar
- Coffee and/or tea
- Fruit basket
- Meat and cheese basket
Similar to food gifts, you can make homemade gifts that others will use without the clutter. My favorite are DIY skincare and beauty gifts, such as body scrub, bath salts, bath bombs, and lip balm. They’re easy to make, low cost and with the right containers and ribbon they look high end and adorable.
Here’s a full list of homemade gifts:
- DIY sugar scrub
- DIY bath soak
- DIY lotion bars
- DIY body butter
- DIY face mask
- DIY foot scrub
- DIY lip balm
- DIY perfume
- DIY beard balm
These are great for people on your list who love technology. You can gift electronic gift cards, online subscriptions to video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, online storage like Dropbox, Instacart grocery delivery, and so much more.
Here’s a full list of digital gifts:
- Instacart grocery delivery
- Amazon Prime
- Amazon gift card
- Amazon Fire Stick
- Audible subscription (audio books)
- Spotify subscription
- Apple gift card
- Online magazine (I love Simplify Magazine)
This can be a great option especially for people who don’t live locally to you, and you can customize based on their needs. For instance, give a gift card to an Etsy store artist who makes earrings for your sister who loves jewelry. Consider supporting local shops and mom-and-pop businesses. Amazon is another option and easy when you’re crunched for time.
Gifts for Group Activities
Gift group experiences such as indoor skydiving and bowling can be a really fun option for families with kids. It’s a great way to gift a family or group of people to do a shared experience together. This is one of my favorite gifts to give to others.
Here’s a full list of gifts for group activities:
- Indoor skydiving
- Indoor rock climbing
- Trampoline park
- Escape room
- Hot air ballooning
This is a great option for gifting to a family. Get a family membership for the zoo, local museum, state park, etc. Find options that are local to the recipients, and look for options to mail membership cards (or email option).
Here’s a full list of gift memberships:
- Zoo membership
- Museum pass
- Aquarium pass
- Theme park pass
- State park pass
- Water park pass
Give the gift of lessons – such as ukulele lessons, surfing lessons, or cooking lessons – to family and friends. Search online for businesses that offer lessons locally to the recipient. Look at reviews on Yelp or Google to make sure the company is reputable and ask for deals.
Here’s a full list of gift lessons:
- Music lesson
- Cake decorating class
- Pastry class
- Sports lesson
- Swimming lesson
- Golf lesson
- Dance lesson
- Couples dance lesson
- Horseback riding lesson
- Painting class
- Pottery class
- Art class
Give the gift of an event, such as concert tickets, baseball game tickets, art show, etc. Be sure the recipient is free for the date of the event or look for options where the recipient can choose their own dates to attend. This is a great option if you want to tag along too.
Here’s a full list of gift events:
- Sports event (baseball, football, basketball, hockey)
- Movie tickets
- Concert tickets
- Art show
This is an easy gift for anyone on your gift list. You can gift a manicure, car wash, housecleaning, babysitting, flower delivery, etc. It’s easy to customize gifts for services by the recipient. For example, your neighbor who’s a young mom probably needs a massage, while your brother would likely love to get his car washed and detailed. Get creative and look for options based on the need of the recipient.
Here’s a list of gift services:
- Home organization
- Flower delivery
Give the gift of a getaway or vacation. This is great for parents and siblings. You can give a gift of a weekend to local hotel and offer to watch the kids for your sister. Or gift a hotel stay at Legoland for your brother who’s got two kids. There are a lot of different options here. Consider the recipient and what they’d enjoy. You can also look for travel deals on SkyScanner or Travel Zoo.
Here’s a full list of getaway gifts:
- Weekend getaway
- Hotel stay
- Winery tour
Gift of Your Time
If you’re trying to keep your gift budget at a minimum, consider giving the gift of time. You could offer to babysit, mow the lawn, walk dogs, meal prep, shop for groceries, pick up the recipient’s kids everyday for a week, etc. There are so many options. Just get creative and think about what the recipient needs. Create a coupon book and tuck into a card.
If you have a special skill, like you can tune up a car or have specialty cooking skills, don’t discount how much others would want those things from you. Offer a car tune up or cook a special meal of their choice.
Here’s a full list of gifts of your time:
- Car detailing
- Home painting
- Meal prepping
- Grocery shopping
- Mowing lawn
- Yard service
- Running errands
Gift Family Keepsakes
Look for photographers in the recipient’s area and book a session as a gift. This can be great for families to get an annual portrait session, or even for teenagers who need senior photos. Look for photographers on Instagram and ask for special deals for photo sessions.
If you have photography skills, you could even offer a photo session where you’ll take photos for another family.
Another option is to create a family cookbook and gift it to everyone in your extended family.
Here’s a full list of family keepsakes:
- Family photo session
- Family cookbook
- Family scrapbook
- Family photo montage on video with music
Donation to a Favorite Charity
An easy gift for a friend or family member is a donation to their favorite charity. Look for charities that the recipient supports, such as wildlife sanctuaries, animal welfare, international aid, organizations that support children and families, etc. Make a donation in the recipient’s name and make a card to let them know about the donation.
Making Your Own Wrapping Paper
Homemade wrapping paper can be a lovely touch for your clutter free gift. Here Are some ideas:
- Choose a medium-weight paper, then tape it to a flat surface.
- Use Q-tips to make a polka dot pattern.
- Wrap some bubble wrap around a rolling pin as an alternative.
- Cut a lemon in half, then use it as a stamp for a bright design.
- Create a potato stamp for a more hands-on activity.
Consider a No-Gift Exchange
Talk to friends and family about a no-gift exchange. Instead of accepting gifts, suggest doing something with or for each other. It might be going out to a new restaurant or going to the spa. It might even be something completely free, such as babysitting. This is a great way to give something to each other without adding more clutter to your home.
Personally, my husband and I have a n0-gift exchange for birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. We prefer time together over a meal, at the movies, or even an overnight trip without the kids.
Top Tips For Clutter Free Gifts
- For food gifts, put the food in containers that the recipient can upcycle – two gifts in one!
- Instead of accepting gifts, suggest doing something with or for each other.
- If you have a special skill, like you can tune up a car or have specialty cooking skills, don’t discount how much others would want those things from you.
- If gifting a lesson, make sure to look at reviews on Yelp or Google to make sure the company is reputable and ask for deals!
More Clutter-Free Tips
- How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe: Guide for Beginners
- 5 Ways to Declutter Your Bathroom
- 60 Things to Declutter Right Now
7-Day Decluttering Challenge
Looking for more ways to declutter your home? Join my FREE 7-Day Decluttering Challenge! I’ll go more in-depth on how to declutter your bathrooms and every room in your home. I’ll also show you how to deal with the emotions that often come up when you’re decluttering and simple strategies you can use to overcome them.
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto.com / Iryna Imago