It can be really hard to get a gift for a minimalist, or even for someone trying to declutter (apparently declutter isn’t a word – I don’t care, I’m going to use it!), because you know that they might have to give it away sometime soon, or could feel disheartened by accepting more stuff. My mum has been trying to declutter her house for about three years now (she has lots of treasured family heirlooms so its really hard) and she gets frustrated when people get her ornaments, or house things, even though she has asked everyone not to get her presents. It may seem backwards but it makes sense to me!
So, for the minimalist in your life, or perhaps to give your friends and family some helpful hints when it’s your birthday, here are some great gifts you can get that don’t add to the clutter:
1. A Special Event is there a band or musician you both really like? Tickets to a music event are right up minimalism street – its all about the experience and not about the stuff. If you’re not sure about their music taste, perhaps choose a low key event at a local pub/bar. Of course, if they love the theatre then you could treat them to a show, or if they’re a movie buff, cinema tickets would be good too.
2. A Birthday Cake again, this is a great present that’s there for the celebration, and gone the next day (depending on how much you love cake) but for it to be thoughtful, make it from scratch and make it at home – write their name on the top and make it their favourite flavour. This is a good gift if you are trying to save money too!
3. Wine / Champagne a bottle of prosecco or champagne is a great present because it’s something that can add to their celebration, and it’s gone in the recycling the next day. It can be a little impersonal, so I wouldn’t get this gift for a best friend (or a pregnant friend!) but it helps to find out from the person what their preference is; do they prefer prosecco, or a specific type of champagne? Do they like French wine, or Australian? Red or White?
4. An Experience by which I mean something like go-karting, paint balling, sky diving, an art class, a cooking class, a day at the race track – they will remember the experience for a long time, and it’s something you could do together.
5. Something useful this gift is probably for the more hardcore minimalist; but after my mum started decluttering, if I ask her what present she would like, she will say “Oh maybe tealights? Or insoles, or I’m running out of washing tablets” this may sound extreme, but buying a really, really practical gift will make sense to a minimalist – and it can always be something pretty like a nice hand soap (my friend recently got me bubblegum handwash and I love it), or something they need around the house like a lampshade or a rug.
6. A Charity Donation if you are buying for someone who has everything (well, everything they want) and wants nothing, the most difficult gift to get, the one you dread all year… then a charity donation is great because it will mean you both get to feel good about the gift, and those more needy will benefit from it. This gift is all about the thought, which is ultimately what is important to a minimalist.
Can you think of any other good gifts? Let me know in the comments below, and please don’t judge me for putting wine at the top of the list!