Home » Blog » July Mixed Bag: Clutter-Free Gifts

July Mixed Bag: Clutter-Free Gifts

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

the art of clutter-free gifting

I had my birthday recently and it got me thinking about gifts. I find that the older I get, the more attuned I am to both the giving and receiving of clutter. I’m also more aware of the little gifts I experience on a daily basis: the beauty of a rose from my garden, a catch-up phone call with a friend, the pleasure of planning a trip. I find that experiences carry more weight with me than they used to. I have enough stuff now that I’ve entered midlife – anything I bring in is something I’m pretty intentional about. Which brings me back to clutter-free gifts.

There are three ways to think about clutter-free gifts. There are the gifts you receive, the gifts you give others and the gifts you give yourself. Here’s how I think about each of them now that I’m trying to live a clutter-free life.

Birthday Gifts

Hydroflask tumbler

My husband and I have been married for almost 28 years. Over that span of time I learned to advocate for what I want on gifting occasions vs. expecting him to read my mind. In the early years I ended up with a lot of stuff I didn’t use or like that I kept out of guilt. He tried, but with the exception of a few brilliant ideas he mostly found the process of trying to figure out what I wanted stressful. And as much as I enjoy being surprised I would rather value and use the gifts I receive.

It took us years to figure out that the best way for everyone to be happy was to keep a list of things you want or need for your birthday (or Christmas, Mother’s Day, Anniversary, etc.) so when it comes around what you receive isn’t a bunch of clutter. Here are 3 clutter-free gifts I asked for and received on my birthday…

Hydro Flask Tumbler (pictured)

 Why I love it: It’s not quite as humongous (I got the 32oz size) as the Stanley but still sits nicely in a cup holder. Plus I like their tonal colors (I got Cactus.) And it’s insulated so my water stays nice and cold the way I like it. I decluttered one of my older (and inferior) Starbucks tumblers to make room.

 Birkenstock Arizona Big Buckle in New Beige

I wanted a dressier pair of Birks and this new neutral is perfect! It goes with everything and the larger gold buckles really dress it up. Now that I’ve hit my mid 50’s I’m less and less inclined to sacrifice comfort for fashion. These babies have both – all hail Birkenstock! 

 Thera Body TheraGun Mini 

I have needed one of these for a LONG time but the price tag and size of the Theragun turned me off.  The mini is ergonomically so much easier for a woman’s hand to handle. I have so many old (and some new) injuries that flare up here and there – this gun saves me a trip to see my medical masseuse!

Experiential Gifts

Experiences like concerts are great clutter-free gifts

In addition to my husband I have a best friend of 42 years; we met in  middle school. That’s 42 years of exchanging birthday gifts and a few years ago we both acknowledged that it was getting harder to think of original ideas. So starting this year, instead of giving something the other person may-or-may-not need/want we are pivoting.

When it comes to clutter-free gifts, experiences are always a win. Allison andI went to countless concerts together in our teens and twenties. I’ve probably been to more concerts with her than I have with my husband! So last year we decided that instead of giving each other physical gifts we would commit instead to a mini-trip to a live concert.This would have been harder to execute when our kids were young but now that all have reached their teenage years it’s doable.

So there is the fun of the trip itself but there is also the gift of choosing the artist and destination and planning the details. Oh, and the gift of quality time together. Our inaugural trip was to see U2 at the Sphere in Vegas and it was amazing!

The Gift of a Reset

the gift of a clutter-free reset

Gifts you give yourself should always be clutter-free. In fact, you should think about your decluttering efforts as gifts to yourself, because they are. Something I’ve been talking about with clients lately is the gift of a reset. When you have been working hard to declutter your home it can be frustrating to see and feel clutter start to pile back up. It can be stressful and make you feel like you’ve failed in some way. 

But life happens. Kids are messy. You get busy. The magic of a decluttered home is that it’s easy to reset back to its relaxing, welcoming, peaceful state. Instead of panicking when things start to pile up, give yourself the gift of a reset. It doesn’t actually take that long (because you’ve already done the heavy lifting of decluttering) to execute. Take a few deep breaths, put on some music and set a timer for 15 minutes. By the time it goes off you will have everything back in its proper place, the trash trashed and a few things added to the donation box. And now the clutter-free gifts just keep on giving, because you have the additional gift of relaxation in your home.

The things you do for yourself to protect your peace and mental health are all clutter-free gifts. And they are the best kind in my opinion!

Similar Posts

Method Seattle Comment Policy

We welcome relevant and respectful comments. Off-topic comments may be removed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *