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Thoughtful Clutter-Free Gift Ideas That Won’t Add Clutter

Thoughtful Clutter-Free Gift Ideas That Won’t Add Clutter


Show your love but without adding more stuff to our homes and cupboards! If you’re looking for meaningful gifts for your loved ones but don’t want to contribute to their clutter, here are some thoughtful clutter-free gift ideas that you might find helpful.


Lists of clutter-free gifts are always really popular in the run up to Christmas. I think many of us are looking for ways to show our love for others without wanting to add to the stock of stuff sitting in our homes. As I was gathering together my own ideas for clutter-free gifts, I thought back to perhaps one of my most favourite gifts of all time – from my kids and husband.

They know I strive for a simple, intentional life and that I like a clutter-free home and as much peace and calm as a busy, rowdy, bustling working family life will allow! So they put their thinking hats on and came up with, for me, the perfect gift.

A couple of Christmases ago, they gave me a hamper, filled with a candle, a book, a notebook and pen, some hand cream, my favourite chocolates and a bottle of mulled wine. There were also some little pieces of paper stuffed into an envelope. Each piece of paper featured a handwritten note from my daughters, illustrated with cute drawings. The slips of paper were written like a voucher to say things like “this voucher gifts you one cup of tea”, or “one dinner made for you”, or “movie night with a movie of your choice”.

They’d chosen these items with thought and care, gone to the trouble and effort to find my favourite brand of hand cream, a book that was on my wish list and penning these beautiful and fun little vouchers for fun activities or that would relieve me of some of the daily tasks. To this day, I remember this gift and treasure the thought behind it, way more than most of the others I’ve been lucky enough to receive over the years.

It wasn’t about the cost, or the size. It was about the intention and sentiment behind it.


Christmas, the holidays, birthdays and other special occasions can be wonderful times but they can be challenging for us too. They can remind us of loved ones who are no longer with us. They can be busy with plenty for us to do and to think about.

They can also bring clutter, not just in the form of extra food and decorations but also in gifts. Kind and thoughtful gifts from people who care about us and want to show their love through gift-giving – but which also contributes to stuff in our homes and the homes of others. This extra stuff takes up space, requires storage and looking after, and often needs a ‘home’ for itself amidst all the other stuff we already have.

This isn’t to say we don’t appreciate, love, value and feel grateful for this kind and well-meaning generosity, especially when there are so many in the world who don’t have even the basics.

I always like to think of Christmas, birthdays and other special occasions as a time of gratitude, not just for the giving of gifts but also how we acknowledge their receipt. In fact, writing thank you letters has always been an important part of celebrations in our family. Not just a text, but a proper, handwritten thank you note that we give in person or pop through the post!


But have you thought about intentionally choosing clutter-free gifts this year? Gifts that won’t take up space, over the long-term. That won’t run the risk of being stuffed in a cupboard somewhere and forgotten about? That are truly meaningful for the recipient and show that you’ve thought about their likes, dislikes and tastes without contributing yet more stuff for them to look after?

Clutter, whether it’s in the form of gifts, or any other types of clutter for that matter, isn’t good for our mental or physical health. It takes up space in our homes and in our minds, requires looking after and managing, and makes our home feel complicated and time-consuming to run. In contrast, a clutter-free home is often more peaceful, easier to manage and more of an environment that supports us to enjoy life – without being tied to our stuff.

In fact, I think there are so many benefits to a decluttered home, that a clutter-free gift is probably one of the most meaningful, kind and thoughtful gifts that we can give. Far beyond its monetary value and purpose, being able to stay clutter-free gives us even more powerful benefits – more time, space, energy and freedom.

“Clutter steals energy and joy.”

Monika Kristofferson

If this sounds like something you’d like to consider for your own gift-giving this year, here are some ideas for thoughtful clutter-free gifts that won’t add clutter.

Clutter-free gift ideas


If you’re looking for clutter-free gifts for your family and friends, it’s sometimes difficult to come up with ideas. It’s even more difficult coming up with ideas if the person you’re buying the gift for doesn’t want to add more clutter to their home either!

Here are some suggestions for perfect clutter-free gift ideas. Simple ways to show your love without adding clutter and stuff to our homes and life.

1. A subscription or membership gift

This could be a subscription to a magazine or to Amazon Prime for example. It could be membership to a wine club, gym, florist, or an annual membership to a local attraction. It’s something that’s just a little bit different and not something we would normally include in our monthly household budget. Better still, it’s a little treat that we can look forward to or take advantage of over a number of weeks or months, rather than just a one-off present at Christmas or our birthday.

2. A consumable gift

Consumable gifts could be things like bath or beauty products, art and craft supplies, bottles of wine or unusual tea or coffee. These are gifts that we enjoy but use up. They don’t lie around collecting dust or taking up our space. We can really appreciate them whilst we’re using them but when they’re gone, they’re gone!

3. An experience gift

There are lots of experience gifts to choose from including restaurant experiences, concerts or performances, spa days and treatments to learning to fly or jumping out of a plane. There’s something for everyone, you can remember the experience for ages to come and probably take lots of photos along the way to capture the memory.

4. A food gift

Anything from a box of biscuits to a luxury hamper makes a great food gift. Everyone has to eat and it’s lovely to receive something yummy that we wouldn’t normally treat ourselves too. Better still, once eaten, there’s not a lot of waste or clutter apart from the packaging!

5. A charity donation in their name

This is a thoughtful gift for somebody who has a worthy cause that they’d like to contribute to, rather than have something for themselves.

6. A useful gift

The definition of useful is different for everyone so you might need to check first with whoever you’re giving the gift to, that it IS going to be useful to them. Choose something genuinely useful and it won’t just add to the clutter and will come in handy time and time again. Some examples could be arts and craft supplies (which again are also consumable!), or tools.

7. A wearable gift

We all wear clothes and even good quality clothes won’t last forever, so giving someone something that will add to or replace their existing wardrobe is a great gift. Make sure it’s in a similar style to the clothes they normally wear otherwise it’ll just add to the clutter in their wardrobe or be donated to the charity shop. Keep the receipt just in case it needs to be swapped.

8. A self-development gift

Self-development and investing in yourself is rarely clutter so a self-development gift is a good choice. It could be anything from a book to online study or evening classes.

9. A gift of your time/skill/experience

This type of gift is a bit of a catch-all and one that’s good if your budget is a little limited. Perhaps you could give your time and offer to babysit, clean the house, redecorate, tidy up the garden, take the dog for walks, give a haircut or cook meals. There are lots of different things you could offer. Choose whatever fits your expertise and is something that the person you’re offering the gift to really needs!

Clutter-free gift ideas


Here are some other articles and resources which you might find helpful if you’re searching for clutter-free gift ideas:


I’m Antonia and on this blog I share practical inspiration to simplify your home, time and life. Follow me on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest! You can also subscribe to Balance Through Simplicity and receive regular simplicity tips straight to your inbox for free. Make sure you never miss an article plus you’ll get a copy of my free Declutter Starter Kit as a welcome gift!


Sunday 26th of November 2023

One more subscription idea to go with your tip "1. A subscription or membership gift" - I recently discovered a company here in Canada that does "adventure by mail", one letter every two weeks for six months. Each letter contains artwork, a letter, and a puzzle to solve, related to the adventure you've purchased. There are lots of letter writing companies out there where the letters are intended for children, usually based on historical themes (also not a bad gift idea if the parents approve), but the company I'm speaking of designed their letters for adults.

Anyhow, nerd that I am, I thought this sounded brilliant! So I'm passing it along. Thanks for the terrific suggestions.

Balance Through Simplicity

Sunday 26th of November 2023

Hi Laura, Nerdy or not, I love this idea! Thank you for sharing it.