Gifts for Minimalists_cover

Gifts for People Who Say, 'Don't Get Me Anything'

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Gifts for Minimalists_cover

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There's been a cultural shift to declutter our homes, people are spending their hard-earned dollars on experiences instead of stuff — and some people just don't need a physical gift. 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.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: Unusual Gifts They'll Never See Coming

Book an Adventure
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Book an Adventure

Experiential gifts including skydiving or skiing passes, horseback riding, helicopter rides, or guided tours such as 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.

Here's an idea: Find something suitable near your loved ones through Airbnb Experiences. 
Price: Something for every budget
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Related: Experiences Worth Giving as Gifts

Supply the Tickets
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Supply the Tickets

The pandemic can't last forever, and though most events may seem to be distant memories, they will return eventually. Tickets to a socially-distanced concert, movie, or performance make great gifts for minimalists. Browse websites such as Viator or Groupon for ideas. Then, if appropriate, buy a ticket for yourself so you can make it a shared experience.

Here's an idea: Almost everyone likes to take in the occasional movie in a theater — and while many theaters remain closed, drive-in movie theaters are having a renaissance as they offer a way to catch a film while social distancing. Fandango offers gift cards, and they can even be emailed right to the recipient. The site also lets you know the safety precautions taken at any theater you're considering.
Price: Available in several denominations, but $35 will cover two tickets with maybe enough left over for Milk Duds.
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Related: Cool and Creative Gifts for Music Lovers

Two girls with masks in the park during pandemic
lechatnoir / E+ / Getty Images CC

Give Your Time

With so many people feeling time-crunched (and, during the pandemic, lonely), 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. Check their comfort level with an in-person meet up, then pick a time for a coffee or movie date, socially-distanced afternoon stroll in the park, or just to chat over the phone.

Here's an idea: Groupon has a "Things To Do" category that provides great inspiration for spending time with your loved one, and at a discounted price.
Price: Something for every budget
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Related: What to Do If You're Feeling Alone This Holiday

Give Them a Peek Into Their Ancestry
AncestryDNA

Give Them a Peek Into Their Ancestry

Services offering ancestral DNA testing help find where in the world you came from. Gifting a test through a service such as AncestryDNA can reveal generations of history and a loved one's ancestral past and ethnic makeup — and offers a subscription to Ancestry.com, where family trees can be identified from possible genetic matches.

Here's an idea: AncestryDNA is Amazon's "best overall" editorial recommendation. Plus, the kits are often on sale (as they are right now).
Price: $99 from Amazon
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Related: Thoughtful Gifts for Sisters

Bring Their Garden to Life
Amazon

Bring Their Garden to Life

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.

Here's an idea: An Heirloom Futures pack of 42 culinary herb varieties is a great gift for a gardening or cooking enthusiast. 

Price: $39
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Related: Gardening Gifts for Anyone With a Green Thumb

Give a Subscription to Pop Culture
praetorianphoto/istockphoto

Give a Subscription to Pop Culture

Like gift cards, the options for gifting clutter-free monthly or yearly subscriptions to a minimalist are limitless. Streaming music from Spotify or Apple Music; video services such as Netflix or HBO offerings; and things such as Audible and Amazon Prime memberships are all worthy choices. Don't rule out annual memberships to local museums, zoos, botanical gardens, or other cultural institutions.

Here's an idea: Fill your minimalist's life with a year of Spotify music and podcasts.  
Price: $99
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Related: Cool and Creative Gifts for Music Lovers

Send Flowers
Amazon

Send Flowers

Go to your local florist for a simple floral arrangement, or send buds via an eco-friendly flower delivery website such as The Bouqs Co. or Farmgirl Flowers. These sites also offer subscriptions so fresh flowers can be flown in straight from the farm regularly.

Here's an idea: Those who appreciate a clutter-free life won't want an extra vase. This Benchmark Bouquet of fresh-cut flowers comes without one, and will look gorgeous placed anywhere in the house.  Price: $32
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Related: The Best Gifts for Plant Lovers and Green Thumbs

Gift Meal Kit Delivery
Blue Apron

Gift Meal Kit Delivery

Meal kit delivery services such as Home Chef, HelloFresh, and Blue Apron make meal prep simple and can be a fun way to get budding chefs started or kick a newly health-conscious friend into gear by helping them plan healthier meals.

Here's an idea: Treat friends and family to HelloFresh's one-time meal-kit delivery. The service offers options for vegetarians, meat-eaters, and families.
Price: $61
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pottery
Christina Vartanova/istockphoto

Sign Up for a Class

Many people want to learn a 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 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.

Here's an idea: Udemy offers online courses in tons of categories and, once paid for, you can gift it to someone.
Price: Something for every budget
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Related: Gifts for Couples That'll Make Them Both Happy

Barnetts Chocolate
Amazon

Give Something to Eat or Drink

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 premade cookie mix in a jar or make your own homemade treats such as cookies, jams, or dehydrated fruits and veggies. Looking for some inspiration? Try The 20 Best Classic Cookie Recipes.

Here's an idea: Barnett's chocolate-covered sandwich cookie gift basket will be hard for even the most eschewing of gift recipients to turn down.
Price: $34
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Related: 20 Affordable Wine Clubs That Will Satisfy Even the Snobs

Gift Cards
Amazon

Give Gift Cards

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.

Here's an idea: Amazon's selection of third-party gift cards is huge — and even includes service cards like Uber that mean your minimalist won't have to buy any stuff.
Price: Varies
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Related: Perk 'Em Up with These Great Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Unicef Gift
UNICEF

Donate to Their Favorite Charity

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 such as GiveWell and Charity Navigator for ideas and to determine which charities trustworthy.

Here's an idea: UNICEF offers a marketplace of charitable gifts. After purchase, you can create a custom e-greeting or printed card to let your loved one know the humanitarian gift was inspired by him or her.
Price: Varies
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Related: Meaningful and Unique Gifts That Give Back

Treat a Friend to a Delicious Meal
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Treat a Friend to a Delicious Meal

Host a dinner date with friends in your quarantine bubble 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.

Here's an idea: Cuiline offers cooking classes with accomplished chefs specializing in the cuisine of almost any region you can imagine via Zoom.
Price: Starts at $185 per lesson (and ingredients are sent to you in advance)
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Related: The Bucket List Restaurant in Your State

Send Them on a Food or Drink Tour
Hershey's Chocolate World

Send Them on a Food or Drink Tour

Need a gift for a foodie but don't want to buy food? Send them on a food or drink adventure. Though large groups are largely prohibited, small ones often make the cut (and can be a better experience). Whether it's a brewery, distillery, or chocolate factory tour, a cheese and wine tasting, or a city-specific tasting such as deep dish pizzas in Chicago, you're bound to find something delicious and even educational for your minimalist friend.

Here's an idea: Cloud 9 Living offers experiential gifts in several locations around the U.S. in a number of categories, including food and drink.  
Price: Varies
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Related: 25 Gifts Under $25 for Food Lovers

Give the Gift of Snack Delivery
NatureBox/facebook

Give the Gift of Snack Delivery

Have a friend who likes to nibble? Try gifting snack box delivery subscriptions such as Nature Box, Urthbox, and Snakku. A regular snack delivery ensures that special someone thinks of you whenever they grab a bag.

Here's an idea: Love With Food not only offers subscriptions with different price points, but it donates meals to families in need with every purchase.  
Price: $8-$25
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Related: 25 Snack Box Subscriptions for Every Type of Eater

Let Your Friends Drink at Home
brightcellars/facebook

Let Your Friends Drink at Home

For those who love happy hour, there are the boozy subscriptions and gift boxes from Beer of the Month Club, Wine Insiders, and Saloon Box for beer, wine, and cocktails. It just might be the motivation for a great party (and you'll be at the top of the invitation list).

Flaviar offers both budding and seasoned spirits enthusiasts a unique sampling experience, with tasting vials of rare and exclusive finds in addition to premium bottles. You can send a 6-month or year-long subscription, giving giftees a solid introduction to a variety of new flavors.
Price: $190-$300
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Related: Raise a Glass to These Gifts for Beer Lovers

Skylight Digital Picture Frame
Amazon

Create a Video or Digital Photo Book

Sentimental gifts such as 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 such as Shutterfly to pull everything together.

Here's an idea: It's not purely digital, but this Skylight Frame is a truly meaningful gift for family or close friends that live far away.  
Price: $159
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Related: The Best Gifts for Photographers from Newbies to Pros

Purchase a Website Domain
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Buy a Website Domain

Do you have a minimalist friend who is trying to start a side business? Buy a website domain name for them. You can easily buy a domain name on sites such as Google Domains and transfer ownership to their email account as a gift.

Here's an idea: If a domain is already taken care of, check out LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda), which offers a ton of website design and development courses that you can gift a loved one who's just getting started.
Price: Varies
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Related: Creative Gifts for Artists That Are Sure to Inspire

Let Them Read
Amazon

Let Them Read

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 buy ebooks 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.

Here's an idea: Digital books mean nothing if your recipient doesn't have a great device to read it on. Slimmer, slighter, and waterproof, the new Kindle Paperwhite takes up little space and is purposeful enough that even a minimalist will appreciate it.  
Price: $130
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Related: Clever and Creative Gifts for Book Lovers

Take a Dog for a Walk
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Give a Service

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.

Here's an idea: TaskRabbit giftcards can be used for everything from furniture assembly and home repairs to help with cleaning and moving. 
Price: Customizeable
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Related: 75 Gifts That Are Made in America