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A Professional Organizers Guide to Gift Shopping This Year: Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for 2022

By Mira Lammers | Sustainable Organizers

The holidays are coming up and you know what that means…GIFTS!

Gift-giving season is so fun but also causes stress for a lot of people due to the increased volume of new items (clutter) entering the home. Receiving gifts requires you to find a home for all the new items, but unfortunately, not everyone has the space, causing a pile-up of clutter. A method to avoid the clutter piling up is to declutter before the holiday to make room for the new gifts. Not everyone has the time for that either.

So, how about considering a clutter-free gift this year? You may find that a clutter-free gift is the best kind of gift! They are enjoyable and do not leave you stressed after the holidays due to all the new items in your house.

Whether you are looking for present ideas to give or looking for ideas to ask for, we have you covered with these clutter-free gift ideas.

Annual Passes & Memberships

Annual passes or memberships are great presents that can be enjoyed for the whole year!

My personal favorite is a National Parks Pass. This is a great gift for people who love exploring the outdoors and the beauty of nature. One added perk of the Parks Pass is that it can be enjoyed by not only the person receiving the gift but also by friends and family entering the park in the same car. A gift of a National Parks Pass is a gift that keeps on giving for the whole year!

Another good option is an annual pass to your local zoo or art museum. This one is great for kids and maybe you are already planning to purchase one anyways. If you wanted to give a small physical gift with the pass, a small stuffed animal or refillable zoo animal cup to accompany the pass might be just the right thing.

If an annual pass is not in your budget, then try a punch card or a one-month pass. Some other ideas are passes to your local state park, water park, amusement park, gym, fitness facility, movie theatre, movie streaming service, food prep service, or ski resort.

Experiences & Learning

Giving the gift of learning or an experience is another clutter-free gift idea. There are several online learning sites where you can learn languages, cooking, business development, singing, photography, gardening, and more! Typically, these are yearlong subscriptions where you can take short classes to advance your skills in whatever interests you. MasterClass is a popular site for this type of gift, but there are many other platforms to choose from.

Other experience ideas include a spa trip, massage, family vacation, or an outing to try something new with the whole family!


Consumables are great gifts because they are fun to receive and fun to use/eat up!

Although consumables are something that enters your house initially, they should quickly be used up, so we consider them clutter-free gifts.

Some consumable gift ideas include lotion, lip balm, coffee, olive oil, chocolate, or a fruit basket. Consumables not only make great presents but also make great stocking stuffers if that is a tradition your family has!

Family Gift Exchange

While a family gift exchange isn’t necessarily clutter-free, it does eliminate the number of gifts entering your home. This method of giving typically allows for a larger gift budget and ensures that the gifts are items that are truly desired or needed.

  1. The first step is to set a budget for how much each person is willing to spend on a gift. This should be agreed upon by everyone in the exchange.

  2. Everyone puts their name in a hat along with 3 gift ideas within the agreed budget range.

  3. Go around the room and have each person pull a name out of the hat. If you get your name, then put it back and pick again.

  4. The person whose name you draw is the person that you will purchase the gift for. When selecting a gift, select from the list that was provided.

  5. Wrap the gift and exchange the gift at the designated gift opening time.

  6. For an extra challenge, each person can try and figure out who gave them the gift prior to the exchange.

With this method, instead of receiving a gift from each member of the family, each person gets one gift that is hopefully something that they really wanted and should enjoy for years to come. As professional organizers, we like this option because each member of the family feels like they received a quality gift, but the holiday season did not drown your family in clutter and new toys.

If you typically exchange gifts with your extended family, you can reach out to them and see if they would like to participate!

Professional Organizing

Yes, we had to mention it! An organizing package is a great clutter-free gift option and can even help reduce clutter. If you or your loved ones have ever talked about being stressed or overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home, then this might be the perfect gift! If you are giving the gift of organizing, make sure that you ask first to make sure that it will be well received. We have gift certificates available for the holidays, so let us know if you’re interested!

Sustainable Gift Wrapping

If you do decide to give a physical gift this year, or if your clutter-free gift comes with a card or certificate, don’t forget to wrap your gift sustainably.

Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable and is lined with plastic. Earth911 estimates that approximately 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper is produced in the U.S. each year, and that about 2.3 million pounds ends its life in landfills.

A reusable fabric bag wrapped with twine or ribbon is a great sustainable gift-wrapping option that can be used year after year.

Another option is to make your own gift bag out of recycled newspaper! There are several tutorials on YouTube that walk you through how to make gift bags. They are surprisingly sturdy and unique!

To Wrap It Up!

Yes, the pun was intended! Annual passes, annual memberships, learning, experiences, consumables, a family gift exchange, and professional organizing are all great clutter-free gift ideas that you can give or ask for this year. Clutter-free gifts reduce the physical clutter entering your home during the holiday season and can be wonderful presents!

Try giving a clutter-free gift this year and don’t forget to try out a sustainable gift-wrapping option also!

If you're interested in some help organizing and decluttering then schedule your free discovery call to chat with us and learn more!


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