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


2 Responses to Last-Minute Clutter-Free Gift Ideas

  1. 1
    Havok says

    I like the idea of gifting invitations! I will have to do that for my mom, and have it be for dinner at our house. Thanks!

    • 1.1
      Jessica says

      I had never taken time to reflect on an actual list. Thank you for providing the idea.


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