10 Clutter Free Gift Ideas


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We all have them people on our list that either HATE clutter or they have so much stuff already you can’t think of a single thing they need or would want.

10 Clutter free gift ideas for Christmas or Birthdays

Or perhaps you are like me, you are so tired of dealing with your own clutter that you don’t want to give something to people that might make them just as tired as you are with dealing with clutter.

So a few years ago I made a pact with myself unless some one has specifically said I would really love “………….” their gift from me is a clutter free one.

10 Clutter Free Gift Ideas

When giving clutter free gifts  make sure to observe the persons likes and dislikes first, because what is consumable to one person might not be to someone else.

To explain let me make a confession, I am a plain Jane black, white and brown sock only type person and yet every year a friend gives me a pair of Christmas socks.  Another friend will give me a scented candle every year,  and I don’t have the heart to tell them scented candles give me a wicked headache.  I also receive at least one gift each year of hot cocoa, and my family tells me it tastes amazing, but I am one of the very few people on the planet who doesn’t like hot cocoa.

These gifts although all consumable are not clutter free to me. I accept them gracefully  but I have to find others to consume them for me. The real key to giving a clutter free gift is to pay close attention to your friends likes and dislikes.  What do they love so much that you see them using it whenever you are with them. What your friend will love every minute of using it up is a true clutter free gift. What brands do they mention in their social media feeds. What items show up in their Instagram feeds over and over.

1.  Gift cards to large department stores

If the person you are buying for isn’t a friend it is going to be hard to do a lot of things on this list since you won’t know their personal tastes yet, in that case I would get them a gift card to a large department store full of so many items that surely your new friend, co-worker or family member will be able to find something they like.

Thrifty tip: To save your recently new found friend gas money make sure the department store is actually near them. This also increases the chances of the gift card getting used.

2. Candles

I know I just told you I don’t like Candles and yet they are number 2 on my list. Truth is I did at one time like scented candles  but in recent years they started giving me wicked headaches . However  many women and men love having a scented candle going at all times. Look around your friends home next time you are over, are there half burnt candles sitting here and there, and are they dust free? If so then chances are she burns them regularly.

Thrifty tip:  If you have several scented candle loving friends, make sure to sign up for emails from the Yankee Candle website so that you will be able to find out about sales.

3. Gift Card to their favorite restaurant

One of my favorite gifts  to receive at Christmas time is a simple $5 gift card to Starbucks so I can enjoy a specialty coffee, or a $5 Chick-fil-la  gift card so I can grab a few sweet teas on my friend.  Look through you friends Instagram feed, or Facebook wall and see what restaurants show up in their feed over and over again and grab a gift card to it and give it to her as a gift. You can make it a meal size card or just enough for her favorite drink, depending on your giving budget.

Thrifty tip: Check out Cardpool for discounted gift cards and get your friend a larger gift card balance for less money.

4. Favorite food items

I am a foodie, I receiving things like great organic chocolate and amazing coffee as gifts. Chances are your friend might be too.  As I said in point 2 stalk your friends social media feeds  and see what foods appear over and over. Or if they are not the social media type, when at their house raid their kitchen  cupboards while they are in the bathroom, what food is hidden in the back of the cupboards, where the kids won’t find it but your friend can! (admit it we moms all do it).

Thrifty tip: Look out for printable coupons or rebates in coupon apps like ibbota, Checkout 51 and Snap to help reduce costs.

5. Craft & hobby supplies

Crafters love brand new supplies. To a painter a good quality new paint brush is like candy. To knitter, new yarn  or more of their favorite brand in a new color is a sweet treat. Again do a bit of digging, when your knitting friend leaves the room dig down to the bottom of her yarn bag and shoot a picture of the yarn wrapper you will most likely find there. Brands tend to matter to crafters so if you are really at a loss and don’t want to dig, simply ask about their craft and what they use to do it and make a mental note of brands they mentioned.

Thrifty tip: In the front of most of the major craft stores you will find current flyers, these tend to have coupons you might be able to use on your purchase.

6.  Gift cards to stores that sell their favorite brands

Does your running friend always seem to show up in a certain brand of running attire? Find out where it is sold and get a gift card to that store so they can pick out exactly what they want. Don’t feel like you have to get a certificate large enough for one item if your friend is a designer lover and you have a thrift store budget, even getting $5 to $10 off an item with a gift card is a gift that a true friend will appreciate.

Thrifty tip: Prices for certain brands can vary from store to store, do a bit of looking online before getting a gift certificate and figure out what store might give your friend more bang for their gift card bucks.

7. Kindle gift cards

If you have a book worm friend a Kindle gift card  you will probably get  a big hug. Even if they don’t have a kindle device, with the free kindle app your friend can read books on their tablet, smart phone, or even their laptop.

Thrifty tip: Help your friend make their gift cards go further by sharing some thrifty e-book sites with them. My current favorite is Spirit Filled Kindle.

8. I owe you gift certificates

If you are great at baking bread and you know your friend loves it because you watch her devour piece after piece when you invite her to dinner, then make up a gift certificate for a fresh loaf each month for a year. Does your friend have little kids and no family in town to watch them nor the budget to higher a sitter for date night, make her a few gift certificates up that are good for a night of babysitting.

Thrifty tip: Think through how you can save on the product part of your service. For instance if you are bringing them their favorite peanut butter cookies make sure to know the best price for peanut butter by keep track of it in your price book along with other ingredients in the cookies.

9. Movie night in a box

Did you know you can buy Redbox movie gift certificates. Buy one large enough for your friend to grab a few movies, then grab a few of her favorite treats, and a bottle of her favorite beverage, and wrap it up in a box. If you don’t know what she likes then how about a small gift certificate to the convenience store nearest her and the Redbox gift card placed in a card with a few kind words from you.

Thrifty tip: You can earn Redbox movie gift certificates from Swagbucks and write them in the card, or make your friend a homemade laminated gift card with the code you earned on it that will fit in her wallet for easy viewing when she needs to enter it into Redbox. Here are several more  ways to earn Christmas presents with Swagbucks.

10. Baking Mixes

Does your friend love freshly baked cookies but you know she doesn’t have a lot of time to bake? How about making her up a cookie mix in a jar. I found this tutorial on making 5 different types of bake goods in a jar complete with printable labels while searching pinterest one night.

Thrifty tip: If your family consumes a product that is sold in a glass jar roughly the same size as a canning jar , you could save money on the gift by reusing those glass jars instead of buying others. The dishwasher does an amazing job of making glass jars sparkle and here is a tutorial on how to get the last of the labels off.

What clutter free gift would you add to my list?

Become a thrifty ninja Christmas shopper with this free resource




  1. Very good list. I especially like the ‘I owe you certificates’. Will use that for sure!

  2. Better yet, gift card or gift certificate to local places. They can shop small, help their community, and discover great locally made art, artisan products, or new things to do in their own backyard!

  3. A gift certificate for a professional massage! Today I used the one my husband bought me months ago on my birthday and it was so nice.

    Really, any kind of service would be good: mani/pedi, maid service, VA, babysitting. . .

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