There's been a cultural shift to declutter our homes, and people are spending their hard-earned dollars on experiences instead of stuff. So, what do you buy for someone who says they don't want anything -- and means it? Don't waste money on a gift that will create unwanted clutter and be received with a groan. If you're searching for the perfect gift for the minimalist in your life, we've curated a variety of ideas from practical services to experiential gifts.
22 Ways to Give a Gift to the Minimalist in Your Life
With so many people feeling time-crunched, remember that time is a gift you can give to someone else. Schedule a "date" with a friend or relative who'd appreciate it more than a physical gift. Pick a time for a coffee or movie date, afternoon stroll in the park, or just to chat over the phone.
A bottle of fine wine or liquor, a box of nice chocolates, or a selection of fine cheeses will be appreciated and enjoyed -- without taking up space in the recipient's home. You could get creative and gift pre-made cookie mix in a jar or make your own homemade treats like cookies, jams, or dehydrated fruits and veggies.
Tickets to a concert, movie, or performance make great gifts for minimalists . Browse websites like Viator.com or Groupon.com for ideas and discounts on cultural events, comedy shows, foodie walks, sports games, and outdoor activities. Then, buy a ticket for yourself so you can make it a shared experience, too.
Experiential gifts like skydiving or skiing passes, horseback riding, helicopter rides, or guided tours like food or drink walks, neighborhood bike rides, or architecture boat tours can be excellent gifts. They can even help a friend or family member uncover something new about their own city.
Many people want to learn a new musical instrument or take a dance, photography, creative writing, woodworking, cooking, or professional class, but don't really want to splurge on themselves. If you know someone is interested in picking up a new skill, consider investing in their creative or professional future by paying for a class or lessons. Even if they've already taken up a hobby, you can still help them progress with a gift certificate.
For some, gift cards might feel too impersonal, but you can't underestimate their appeal for people keeping clutter at bay. Gift cards for music and games, local food co-ops or coffee roasters, fine dining at favorite restaurants, educational workshops, Airbnb getaways, and Amazon gift cards can be thoughtfully tailored for the recipient.
Like gift cards, the options for gifting clutter-free monthly or yearly subscriptions to a minimalist are limitless. Streaming music like Spotify or Apple Music and video services like Netflix, Audible, MoviePass, and Amazon Prime memberships are all worthy choices. Also, don't rule out annual memberships to local museums, zoos, botanical gardens, or other cultural institutions.
Host a dinner date with friends at your place, treat a friend to a meal out, or even whip up something new in the kitchen with a willing partner. Bonding over a shared activity and good food will help you connect with those you love, and make a thoughtful gift for the person who already has everything.
If your minimalist is philanthropic or passionate about a certain cause, make a donation to a favorite charity in their name. Go a step further and volunteer for a project that means something to them -- even better if you volunteer together. Use sites like GiveWell and Charity Navigator for ideas. and to determine which charities trustworthy.
Need a gift for a foodie but don't want to buy food? Send them on a food or drink adventure. Whether it's a brewery, distillery, or chocolate factory tour, a cheese and wine tasting, or a city-specific tasting like deep dish pizzas in Chicago, you're bound to find something delicious and even educational for your minimalist friend.
Sentimental gifts like a video or digital photo book make memorable gifts. Digital photo books tend to take up less space than traditional albums, and a personalized video stored in the Cloud or on DVD can be meaningful. Scan photos and pull old footage (or shoot something new on your phone) to make a video or photo collage using a service like Shutterfly to pull everything together.
When in doubt, cash is always a practical and much-appreciated choice. Dress your monetary gift up with a fun card or check out some YouTube videos to turn dollar bills into butterflies, goldfish or a shirt and tie using origami techniques.
Avid gardeners will appreciate heirloom seeds that barely take up any space in the off-season and come to life once planted. You'll find seed packs for just about any type of garden size online or at gardening centers, and you can even create a gift basket filled with assorted packs of vegetables, flowers, and herb seeds to suit your gift recipient's needs.
With a range of topics at your fingertips, ebooks and audiobooks make great gifts for minimalists, who can enjoy the convenience of an expansive library on one device. You can select a digital book for them or let them decide what to add to their own collection. Amazon makes it easy to purchase e-books as gifts, and if you're looking to splurge the Amazon Kindle can replace entire shelves of books. Audiobooks with an Audible gift membership can also be a great gift for commuters.
Services offering ancestral DNA testing comb through your DNA to help find where in the world you came from. Gifting an ancestry test through a service like AncestryDNA can reveal generations of history and a loved one's ancestral past and ethnic makeup. AncestryDNA also offers a subscription to Ancestry.com, where family trees can be easily identified from possible genetic matches through DNA testing.
Treat a friend to some well-deserved pampering with a mani/pedi or a massage. Alternatively, offer to run someone's errands for them, fix their toilet, walk their dog during the day, or babysit their kids for an evening or even a whole weekend, New parents will consider even a few hours to catch up on sleep a tremendous gift.
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