A Professional Organizer's Guide to Meaningful and Sustainable Gift Giving
We give gifts year-round to show gratitude and love to those in our lives. And we do so with the best of intentions! The reality is, as a professional organizer, I’ve seen countless unused gifts that become a source of guilt and stress for recipients. In a society where many of us are already overwhelmed with possessions and responsibilities - how can we give gifts that are meaningful, useful and positive? I have some ideas!
NORMALIZE GIFT REQUESTS
Let’s stop trying to be mind readers. While getting a surprise gift can be a lot of fun, it can also be a shot in the dark - especially for people you don’t know very well. Cue the candle, wine or generic kitchen gadget gift. It’s bound to become clutter, and I know we can do better than that!
Instead, simply ask folks what they want. Not only is this your chance to make their wish come true, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about someone and deepen your connection. Ask directly, or send out an email request for “Santa’s List”. You could even start a digital list where you and your loved ones can add items year round. If someone says, “I don’t know,” try prompting them with the categories outlined below.
CLUTTER-FREE GIFT IDEAS
1. Create Memories
In a world inundated with material possessions, experiences stand out as cherished memories. Skating in the park, baking cookies or having a holiday movie night are all great options. Or go big with concert tickets, a weekly class, or a weekend getaway!
Experiences can be for the whole family, or just for the recipient. I recommend discussing and booking the experience with the recipient right away, so it doesn’t get forgotten.
One of my favorite experiences right now? Activate, an interactive, cooperative challenge!
2. Gifts of Service
Many of us lead busy, hectic lives and simply cannot do it all. Gifting a service is a wonderful way to give someone back their personal time. From hiring a house cleaner, to a massage or hair appointment, you can give a memorable gift without creating clutter. Services can also be a great budget-friendly option if you can do it yourself!
3. Embrace Sustainable Alternatives
As a professional organizer who values sustainability, I love choosing gifts that are better for the environment. Look for eco-friendly products, ethically sourced goods, or items made from sustainable materials. Gifting a high-quality, reusable product is a simple swap that decreases waste and saves money in the long run!
These reusable makeup pads from local maker Earth Warrior are a great alternative to single use products.
4. Gift Useful Essentials One Easter, just after moving out, the Easter Bunny brought me toilet paper and toothpaste. It was awesome! While essentials may seem mundane, receiving everyday items can be a tremendous relief for folks - and it will get used! Things like laundry detergent, bus tickets or grocery gift cards are often more appreciated than trinkets. Of course, ask someone what they need!
PUT IT INTO ACTION
Now you're ready to give gifts that will be truly cherished, valued and appreciated this holiday season. Remember, ask those you love what would be meaningful for them to ensure your gift is impactful - and doesn’t end up forgotten at the bottom of a closet. Prioritize presents that serve to create memories or provide peace of mind, like activities and essential items. Take it the extra step and choose gifts that decrease negative environmental impacts too!
Let's embrace the art of meaningful gift-giving and choose to give presents that bring joy - without adding to the clutter!
Sort & Simple has gift vouchers!
Message us to give an impactful gift that reduces stress and clutter! We offer gift packages for all budgets, and for local or virtual services.
About the Author
Kaytlyn Beakhouse is the Lead Organizer at Sort & Simple Professional Organizing. With a passion for simplicity, efficiency and sustainability, her team brings flow and function to any space. Ready to get organized?