Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why clutter-free gifts?

About a month ago I wrote about how to go about getting gifts you really want or can use from your friends and family this holiday season. You may already be thinking about gifts to get for them this season, and I implore you to consider giving clutter-free gifts.

Clutter-free gifts are defined by these simple criteria:

  • The recipient will really like, need and use the gift
  • It won’t put undue burden on the recipient to store or maintain the gift

You might recognize these guidelines from examining your stuff for clutter; they are the same questions you should ask yourself. Do you love and/or use the item? Do you have a place to put it? If the answers are yes, then it doesn’t qualify as clutter. So a clutter-free gift doesn’t have to be something that literally does not create stuff for the person (ie: cookies that get eaten within a couple of days), but I posit that gifts like that are what you should be striving for. As you’ll see, clutter-free gifts may require an extra ounce of thinking on the part of the gift giver. Therefore, a well chosen clutter-free gift shows that the giver knows the person who’s getting the gift well, and cares about them enough to want to get them something desired, useful or at least not cluttery junk. We all have too much stuff, so going an extra step with your gift brainstorming to give a gift like that might be appreciated. Or not. Some people just like getting plain old stuff as gifts. But you don’t have to indulge them. Okay, end of rant.

I’ll be posting some concrete, take-them-and-use-them-as-your-own ideas for clutter-free gifts over the next few days. I’m breaking them down into categories. Please respond in the comments if you have more ideas or if you use one of these ideas and it turns out well!

Creative Commons photo posted to Flickr by Samdogs

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email

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