Last-Minute Clutter-Free Gift Ideas

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Emily at So Damn Domestic.

Last Minute Clutter Free Gift Ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

The holiday season is upon us, and we’ve made our list a long time ago.

Now we’re in the “checking it twice” stage. Making sure we have gifts for those key gift exchanges, and getting things ready to ship to far-away friends and relatives.

If your gift recipients have wish lists to buy from, it’s easy to be sure your gift will be enjoyed, used, and appreciated. If not, it’s easy to accidentally give something (with the purest intentions) that becomes clutter in your loved ones’ homes.

So if I’m not totally positive about what sort of gift to give, I lean toward clutter-free options whenever possible. I even wrote The Ultimate List of Clutter-Free Gifts to serve as a reference for future gift-giving occasions.

But Christmas is just around the corner, and some of those things take a bit of time to put together or arrange. So here’s a short list of clutter-free gift ideas that work perfectly well even at the eleventh hour!

Last-Minute Clutter-Free Gift Ideas:

Give a charitable gift in someone’s name.

If there’s a cause or specific charity you know they support. Most non-profits can accept donations online, and many have cards you can print out to let the gift recipient know.

Give an invitation.

Invite a friend to a post-holiday brunch at your house, or lunch date “out.” Set a date that works for both of you, and look forward to it through the holiday hubbub.

For kids, invite them to a special outing to the zoo, a museum, or ice skating. It doesn’t have to be an annual membership – a one-time outing is still an awesome gift.

Give a magazine subscription.

There are tons of great magazines out there for kids, like National Geographic Kids or Little Kids, Highlights, Muse (a science magazine for big kids), Zoobooks, Ranger Rick, Dig into History, or Sports Illustrated for Kids. You can subscribe online, which makes it great for last-minute shopping.

To make it more fun to open on Christmas Day, buy the latest issues from a newsstand (check your local book store) and wrap it up, along with a note that says they’ll get issues all year.

Give audio books to a family who spends a lot of time in the car.

SparkleStories is an audio-story subscription for kids up to age 10 (with different options for different ages and interests).

Audible book credits will let your favorite tween, teen, or adult bibliophile choose their own books to listen to.

Gift Certificates are quick to pick up, and everyone loves them.

Give certificates to your kids for an ice cream date, or to your best friend for a dinner at her favorite restaurant (offer to babysit her kids if you want to gift a date night).

Teens will love gift certificates or cards for their favorite clothing stores or to iTunes or the Google Play store.

Your kids’ teachers will probably cry with gratitude if you give them a card to your local office supply store, craft store, or teacher supply store – they put a LOT of their own money into your child’s classroom each year.

Give snacks and edible treats to anyone who has a mouth.

These are easy to throw in your grocery cart the next time you’re at the store, and as long as you keep the recipients’ preferences and dietary needs in mind, they’ll definitely be enjoyed! No clutter here!

My kids LOVE to receive Larabars in their stockings (the ones with chocolate chips in them are reserved for special occasions like this), and my husband is a huge fan of crunchy peanut butter. I’d like salted dark chocolate truffles, please!

Now, go have a happy holiday!

Knowing I’m not adding to others’ home struggles, while giving them gifts they’ll enjoy and love, is the best part of clutter-free gift-giving for me. (Be sure to pin this page and the Ultimate List of Clutter-Free Gifts for birthdays and the next holiday season!)

What last minute clutter-free gifts did I miss? What will you be giving your loved ones this year? Comment to share your ideas!

Emily Chapelle headshot

Emily Chapelle is an expert homemaker, about to set up her 8th home in just as many years. She offers motivating guidance to busy women who are ready to make the kinds of changes that last. Why? So they can spend more time on the things and people that really matter. She shares home organizing tips, decluttering your life, time-management for homemakers, and other homemaking topics at So Damn Domestic. Her ebook, Finding the Awesome – 3 Steps to Doing More & Stressing Less, has been downloaded over 2,484 times, and you can get it for free.

Filed under: Emily, Guest Bloggers, Holidays

Choosing Joy {and free printable}

I was just going through some old blog posts and found this one below that I wrote last year at this time.  The words are especially comforting to me this year as the last couple of months have been a rough road for me.  I’m dealing with sickness and pain in the way of an autoimmune disorder that continually threatens to steal my joy.  I so needed to read this today and maybe you do too.

It's Going to be Okay....for Christmas comes and a baby is born in a manger.  Choosing joy in all circumstances.

On the days I get overwhelmed and stressed, my husband looks over at me and says “it’s all going to be okay”. It immediately stops me in me tracks and calms me down for some reason. It really is amazing how effective it is with me. Too bad he only learned this about me in the last couple of years out of the 25 we’ve been together though, but hey better late than never right? :)

As I been checking blogs and Facebook in the last couple of days, I can see that many are stressed and overwhelmed with all there is to do at this time of the year. Maybe you’ve taken on too much and it’s starting to catch up with you and you are exhausted. Perhaps your financial situation is weighing you down or you are having to deal with demanding families.  Maybe health issues are causing fatigue and discouragement and keeping you from choosing joy.

Deep breath.

It’s going to be okay.

Christmas comes and a little tiny baby is born in a manger.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

~ Isaiah 9:6~

In fact, the Lord wants to give you His peace! Despite all circumstances, emotions, and even storms of life you may be facing, there is a peace that can carry you through. A peace so deep that it puts a song in your heart. So, how do you get this peace you may ask? It’s simple! This deep sense of peace and joy comes as you draw near to the Prince of Peace Himself, Jesus. Continue reading here.

And with it comes the knowledge that God knows exactly where I am and what I need. His story is so much bigger than how many presents are under the tree or if my hair looks good for the Christmas parties. He wants us to see Him, in all His glory and radiance, in the midst of the activity, the baking and the recitals. In the midst of a drained bank account. He is here. He is EmmanuelGod with us. Continue reading here.

And she’ll remind me to simply rest, and sit at His feet. To choose JOY in all things. Not because circumstances are always easy. But because we have a rescuer in Christ. A babe in a manger who came for the very purpose of taking on the weight of the world so we wouldn’t have to. Continue reading here.

Deep breath.


Download this free printable HERE.

Praying you find hope, love, joy and peace this Christmas season. This song below is one of my absolute favorites and it never fails to relax me when I get anxious and need to center myself on the One who leads my path.

Much love.

Filed under: Holidays, Motivation-Encouragement

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