Help Eliminate Clutter – Stop Buying Useless Gifts

This blog post may not help the economy but it will help reduce clutter!

We buy and receive gifts for many occasions – birthdays, Christmas, weddings, baby showers, and even sometimes “just because”.  The gifts may be given with love, be very thoughtful or just the perfect item.  Don’t get me wrong; I love to give and receive gifts… certain gifts.  Think about the last gift you gave.

  • What was it?
  •  Did the person need it?
  • Was it something that could be used up?
  •  Or was it something you thought they collected?
  • Something that sits on a shelf or was the gift a bunch of little “cutesy” things?

There are lots of useless gifts given.  For example, my friend Sandi used to collect pigs.  She stopped collecting about 15 years ago and began to give away her pigs; slowing letting go of her collection.  Yet, certain people in her family still give her pigs as gifts.  Sandi has told me that she has announced to her family, on more than one occasion, that she was over the pig collecting.  But they still give them to her.

[enter soapbox]

Stop buying useless gifts!  You and I don’t want them and neither do our friends and family members.  Buy a gift that “goes away”.  A gift that goes away is an item(s) you give that the person uses up.  Here is a list of “goes away” gifts to give you a few ideas.

Gift cards to bookstore, restaurants, clothing stores, salons, massage

Date coupons that take them somewhere (with you)

Food items (chocolate is always appreciated)

Coupons to provide a service – babysitting, bush trimming, lawn mowing, window cleaning

Tickets to a upcoming local event

Other gift ideas are to buy something that a person really needs.  Last Christmas I  gave our 3 college children each a gift box filled with needed items.  These items included aspirin, contact cleaner, cold medicine, qtips, bandaids, and other things that are kept on hand but I knew they would not go out and purchase. Listen when someone says “I really need a new…”. It may be months from their birthday but write it down and get that needed item instead of a trinket.

As the receiver of gifts, what do you do when you get a gift that you don’t need, want, or like?  I found a great blog post about that one.

Leave me a comment on your idea of a great gift to give or receive.

What’s the worst gift you’ve received?

(mine was a soup tureen in the shape of a turkey – it was a wedding present)

All the best,

Natalie Conrad

Speaker and Organizing Coach