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7 Minimalist Gift Ideas to Simplify Gift-Giving

7 Minimalist Gift Ideas to Simplify Gift-Giving

Gifts are a big part of the holiday season for many of us. Giving gifts is a way many people express their love for others. But gifts don’t need to mean adding more “stuff” or clutter. In today’s post, you’ll find 7 minimalist gift ideas to help you simplify gift giving. So you can focus on showing your love for the people you care about, without adding clutter to anyone’s home!

Minimalist gift ideas – not your typical gift guide!

Buying gifts isn’t always easy. It can be hard to think of gift ideas people will appreciate, and not just end up as unwanted clutter filling their homes in a few months.

That’s what I want to help you with today. Instead of sharing a typical “gift guide”, these minimalist gift ideas will help come up with gift ideas that aren’t centered around “stuff”.

Instead, they’ll help you come up with thoughtful and intentional gift ideas to simplify gift-giving. Making it less stressful, less about “stuff” and more heart-centered instead.

Use these minimalist gift ideas to give gifts that will be used, loved and appreciated, without adding clutter or more “stuff” to anyone’s home.

You can also use these gift ideas to give yourself ideas of gifts to ask for during the holidays if anyone is asking what you’d like, to help keep clutter from coming into your house as well!

7 minimalist gift ideas to simplify gift-giving
Photo by Caley Dimmock on Unsplash

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Gift-giving isn’t about the “stuff”

It’s important to remember that gift-giving isn’t about the “things” you give. Ultimately, gifts are about showing your love for the people you care about.

There are plenty of ways to give intentional and thoughtful “non-stuff” gifts to the people you love to demonstrate your love for them.

The minimalist gift ideas in this post will help you find ways to still give gifts that will be used and appreciated by those who receive them and show your love. All without adding clutter to anyone’s home or buying “stuff” just for the sake of having a gift to give!

Set a budget and start thinking of gift ideas early

When you’re trying to simplify gift giving, start by setting a budget for each person you’re buying for. Then try to start thinking of and buying gifts early.

When you don’t leave gift buying until the last minute, you are more likely to think of more intentional gifts they will use and appreciate. Instead of rushing out and buying anything you see simply because you’re in a hurry and need to find something!

Decide on your budget and start thinking outside the box for gift ideas. This list of minimalist gift ideas will give you a great place to start to find gifts that will be used and appreciated, not just end up as clutter!

7 minimalist gift ideas – simplify gift giving with less stuff

1. Buy gifts for fewer people

The easiest way to simplify gift-giving is to give fewer gifts altogether!

Now before you think I’m the biggest Grinch trying to ruin Christmas for everyone, hear me out!

Start by making a list of the people you normally buy gifts for. Then, look at the list and see if there is anyone you don’t really need to buy a gift for.

If you feel like you’re buying a gift for someone just because you feel like you should, that might be a good place to start simplifying who you buy for.

You should buy gifts for people because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed by the number of gifts you’re buying during the holidays, start by looking for ways to buy fewer gifts overall.

Instead of a gift, a holiday card with a heartfelt message inside it might be enough to demonstrate your love, without needing to buy a gift at all for some people.

Remember, gifts are not about the “stuff” you give. It’s about showing your love for the people you care about. Giving a physical gift isn’t always needed to do that.

2. Spend time with the people you love instead of giving gifts

Next, look for the people on your list that you struggle the most trying to think of gift ideas for. Or the people you buy gifts for, but end up feeling like you’re buying something just for the sake of having a gift to give them.

If you feel they would be open to it, try talking to them and suggest forgoing buying gifts for each other and plan to get together and spend time together instead. Maybe plan to go out to dinner or for coffee instead.

Chances are, if you’re struggling to think of gift ideas for some people, they might be too! They might be just as relieved as you to have one less gift to buy and prefer simply spending some quality time with you instead. You might both enjoy the time spent together more than a physical gift anyways!

You can also try skipping giving each other gifts and plan regular times to get together throughout the year instead. Maybe you’ll plan monthly coffee dates to make sure you prioritize spending time together, instead of giving gifts.

3. Ask people what they would like

The next way to simplify gift giving for the people you would still like to buy gifts for is by asking them what they would like!

There is no easier way to make sure the gifts you give will be something the receivers use, love and appreciate than by asking them exactly what they’d like.

Contributing money towards a bigger item or a trip the person is saving for is another way to give a gift that will be appreciated rather than adding more “stuff” to their house.

Gift cards are another great way to give people something they will use and like. For example, if they tell you they need new clothes, giving a gift card to their favourite store is a great way to let them pick out what they’d like!

Gift cards sometimes get a bad reputation as a “cop-out” gift. But when the gift card is thoughtful and will be used and appreciated, I don’t see anything wrong with it!

4. Give experience gifts

For those people you’d still like to give a gift to, experience gifts can be a wonderful minimalist gift idea.

Think about what the person you’re buying for enjoys and find an experience that ties into it.

For example, give a movie lover a gift certificate for the movies and snacks. You can give tickets to concerts or events, museum or art gallery tickets, gift certificates to get their hair done, nails done or have a massage. A gift certificate for a coffee shop or a restaurant they love is another great idea.

The options are really endless. The key is thinking about what the person enjoys and giving them an experience to go along with it.

5. Give consumable gifts

Consumable gifts are another great option for minimalist gifts. By giving something that will be consumed or used up as a gift, you don’t have to worry about adding permanent clutter to anyone’s home. But can still give them something they will use, enjoy and appreciate.

The options for consumable gifts are also endless. It can be some kind of food or drink the person enjoys. For example, their favourite kind of coffee or wine, homemade treats or a meal they can enjoy at home, or even a box of their favourite chocolates.

A bouquet of fresh flowers is another example of a wonderful consumable gift to give. The person can appreciate and enjoy the flowers but aren’t left with any more “stuff” in their home.

The more personalized the better

The great thing about experience and consumable gifts is the better you know the person and pay attention to what they use and enjoy, the more personalized the gift will be.

There’s no better way to demonstrate your love for someone than showing you paid attention to what they love!

6. Give something usable

Another great minimalist gift idea is giving something usable, particularly services, that can be used and appreciated without adding any clutter or stuff to anyone’s home.

For example, a subscription to Audible, Kindle Unlimited, a music streaming service, Netflix, etc. are all gifts a person can use and appreciate, without adding any clutter.

Another great usable gift idea that I personally love, is the Authenticity Calendar from Erica Layne of The Life on Purpose Movement.

The Authenticity Calendar is a beautiful, re-usable desk calendar made up of 365 encouraging, inspiring and thoughtful quotes.

If you follow Erica’s blog, podcast or social media, you know she is the queen of thoughtful, intentional living. Which is beautifully reflected in her calendar.

The Authenticity Calendar is a beautiful gift to give your loved ones and give them the gift of year-round encouragement and inspiration.

Other useful gifts you can give are things like offering babysitting services, giving gift certificates towards housekeeping services, meal services or even auto detailing.

Think about what the person would appreciate and use, and see if there is a way to come up with a usable gift idea related to it.

7. Make a charitable contribution in their name

And finally, a wonderful minimalist gift idea that doesn’t involve any “stuff” and can make both you as the giver and the receiver of the gift feel good is giving a charitable contribution as a gift.

If there is a cause near and dear to the person you’re buying for, make a contribution to the cause in their name and send a card to let them know you did.

Another great option is a service I was introduced to this year called Tis Best. Tis Best is a non-profit organization where you can buy charitable (physical or electronic) gift cards to give as gifts. Then the receiver can “spend” the gift card by choosing a charity to support with the money.

It’s such a great way to give a gift that makes a meaningful and positive impact on the world, without adding more “stuff” or clutter to anyone’s home. You can spend your Tis Best gift card with over 1.3 million charities.

Tis Best reached out to me this fall to spread the word about their organization and I love the work they are doing.

They sent me a beautiful personalized gift card. It came in lovely packaging with a personal note and picture on the gift card. Then I was able to visit their website and easily use the gift card to donate to a charity I support.

Tis Best charitable gift card

Minimalist gift ideas to simplify gift-giving

I hope these minimalist gift ideas will help you simplify your gift-giving this holiday season.

Remember, gift-giving doesn’t have to mean giving “stuff” to the people you love. You can give meaningful and thoughtful gifts to show your love for the people you care about without adding clutter or more “stuff” to their homes.

What’s your favourite minimalist or “non-stuff” gift idea? Leave a comment below so we can share even more minimalist gift inspiration and ideas to help simplify gift giving!

7 minimalist gift ideas to simplify gift-giving
Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

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Monday 22nd of August 2022

I love to buy gifts for my best friend of over 60 years and what I have comes up with is greatly appreciated by her. In fact, she has started doing the same thing for me.

Throughout the year I buy her the things I have bought for myself and fell in love with.I keep the price reasonable as I put together a gift bag of my favorite things.

I've bought her spices I have used and loved, silicone Kitchen spatulas, bath soaps I love....the list is endless and she really loves getting practical things rather than another dust catcher. It's a lot of fun for me too! This year I plan on making her pretty personalized gift tags for the baked goods that she gifts to friends and family along with my usual fav things!

It's a gift from the heart and not a lot of money which is how it should be.

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

What thoughtful and lovely gifts you give your friend. I think this is exactly what gift giving should be about - really thinking of what another person could use and enjoy! Well done! Thanks for reading and sharing this :)

Gift Dino

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

Sharing one's time is really one of the best gifts you can receive- Minimalist or not. When looking for gift ideas it's important to consider the recipient's interests and lifestyle in order to find a gift they'll actually like. Minimalists don't want things that will only clutter their life, making finding gifts for them especially difficult. Thanks for sharing tons of great ideas on your post! On our gift guide for minimalists, we tried to find items that had multiple purposes to cut down on clutter. For example, we found a 5-year planner and even an exercise bike/desk combo.

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

I absolutely agree, giving the gift of your time is such a wonderful gift to give the people you love! I love your suggestion for finding multi-use items for minimalists, great idea! Thanks for reading :)


Wednesday 20th of November 2019

Great tips! I think it's also important to remember that everyone doesn't really enjoy getting your typical, physical gifts. I know that sounds Grinch-y too, but it really is true! lol It's not everyone's "love language", so to speak. As you mentioned, there are many people who would much rather prefer you to do something for them or to spend time with them. Especially if it's a lonely person, particularly an elderly person. You can send your grandmother a gift or you can go spend time with her..most would appreciate the latter more! One year I gave my mom "tickets" she could redeem where I would help her with specific chores...she loved it! That's her love language ;)

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 20th of November 2019

Yes!! That's exactly right and such a good point! Thanks for reading and sharing this, I couldn't agree more!


Sunday 10th of November 2019

I swear your posts always speak directly to me! My BFF and I used to shower each other with gifts (many handmade, as we met in art school). Over the years, we’ve pared down as she lives across country and can only carry so much back and lives in a 500 sq ft apartment.

When I started attending my husband’s family holiday events, it was a gift giving extravaganza and I felt bad for not having something for everyone. It was a lot of pressure! About 7 years ago I decided to give “consumable” gifts so people weren’t burdened with stuff. I often have a pile of Christmas gifts given to me, sitting on my dining room table for several months after Xmas as I figure out where to put them, and I didn’t want to do that to others.

I put together gift bags w/homemade treats, a bottle of wine or package of favorite tea/coffee, a bar of hand crafted soap or candle in a scent I know they like. I’m a knitter, so for close friends I’ll knit a hat or crochet a shawl in favorite colors. I want my gifts to be usable and “used up”.

My cross country BFF? We’ll have a special day together when she’s in town: coffee, pedicures, museum, high tea or dinner, and exchange a small gift or gift cards. Last year I gave my husband a gift certificate for screen printing classes, something he’s always wanted to try, and he gave me a retrospective book of the works of my favorite living artist. Much better than random stuff bought at the last minute to fill a “need” to give something.

Simple Lionheart Life

Monday 11th of November 2019

I love that you're enjoying my posts! And I love all the ways you give such thoughtful & intentional gifts. Your gift ideas are great! And I completely agree - gifts that can be "used up" are so great. The receiver still gets to enjoy the gift, but they don't have more "stuff" in their home once it's gone. And the experience gifts you shared are awesome too! Thank you for reading and sharing all of your great gift ideas!


Sunday 10th of November 2019

Great post! If you want to like minimalist gift giving with eco friendly, don't buy a plastic gift card. Instead write a cheque or give cash with a little note.. Thought you'd enjoy splurging on something at (Your favorite store).

Simple Lionheart Life

Monday 11th of November 2019

That's a great tip to add! Thanks for reading and for sharing :)

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