Clutter-Free Gifts That Are Sure To Shine This Holiday Season

Clutter-Free Gifts That Are Sure To Shine This Holiday Season

People Express Their Love Through Gift Giving

How is it, that even though we’re all about the ways to declutter, organize and design the life you want to be living, when packages start showing up on our doorstep or we discover a ton of presents under the tree — we stay calm?

Easy peasy! Because when John + I look back at all of our beautiful memories,  we realize that it’s not all about us. 

One of the most common ways people express love is through giving gifts. 

It allows them to share the warm fuzzy feelings they have for others. In fact, if you’ve read the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman you know exactly what I’m talking about.

So… who are we to deny others their right to experience joy + to love on us?! 

Especially when there’s a deeply rooted psychology behind the joy of giving gifts.  According to Dr. Langer, “Giving to others reinforces our feelings for them and makes us feel effective and caring.”

And there lies the predicament, science says giving reinforces our feelings of how well we care for others but the facts state that $9.5 billion is wasted each year on Christmas gifts…

So, there’s got to be a way to deal with gift giving + receiving — even when it’s not a clutter-free gift.

How To Deal With Gift Giving And Gift Receiving

Here’s a few strategies to help you feel less overwhelmed with gift exchanges this holiday season.


Decluttering before the holidays makes a ton of sense for a variety of reasons. 

First, by decluttering items we no longer use, we’re able to pay it forward by making more stuff available for those who have less. Ah, there’s that caring for others 🙂

At the core, putting others first is what Elegant Simplicity is all about and it’s an important step in our decluttering process (especially in dealing with sentimental clutter). 

Not to mention what better time of year to put this giving philosophy into action than right now?!?! 

Deciding where to donate the lightly used items that no longer serve us is undoubtedly one of my favorite steps in becoming clutter-free + if you’re anything like me, it’s a task you’ll find meaningful year-round. 

Remember that as you’re decluttering, you’re making room for new things.

Since John + I started Elegant Simplicity in 2009, we’ve celebrated a ton of gift-giving holidays + special occasions. One reality that always rears its beautiful head, is the incredible benefit of decluttering. Decluttering is simply making room for all the meaningful things in our lives.

It’s a whole lot easier to embrace new gifts when you’re not focused on where all the new stuff will go!



Like clockwork, when it comes to gift giving there’s always that one person who goes rogue + does their own thing (lookin at you mom) but having a list of gift ideas on hand to share with others is still paramount for accumulating the things you h-o-p-e to fill your home with.

For most, they’ll use this list as a signifier for what is important to you so be certain to provide it well in advance of holidays or celebrations + think diligently about what you put on your list. 

A couple of simple suggestions for making this list: 

  • think about the quality of what you’re asking for over the quantity 

  • think about things you need for your home/life vs what you may desire right now 

  • and last but not least, think about gifts that you can experience (or consumable gifts) before you think about physical items that will take up permanent space 

P.S. don’t forget to keep reading…at the bottom of this article we created an awesome roundup of clutter free gift ideas! 



Like I always say, you teach others how to treat you. 

So, why would it be any different when it comes to clutter-free gifts? Generally speaking, most of us can buy the material possessions we desire 365 days a year + therefore, we typically don’t wait until ol’ St. Nick is coming to town to do so. 

Whether you’re struggling to come up with an idea for someone (because you’re late to the party + everything on their list is already purchased) or they didn’t give you a list to begin with, then use this list to get you headed in the right direction. 

  • think about what makes them smile. 

  • what do they like to do? 

  • what are they passionate about? 

  • how do they spend their free time? 

  • what activities do they enjoy or do often? 

This is especially important when trying to find clutter-free gifts for kids. And, consider whether or not they’d like to do all those things — more. 



The secret to clutter-free gift giving all boils down to having open communication. The holiday gift exchange frenzy can work in your favor but you’ll need to do a couple of things. 

First, realize that not everyone is going to have the same desires that you have for your home or your life so discussing clutter as it relates specifically to you is key. 

  • Talk about why you’re attempting to live a more clutter-free life

  • Talk about what is driving you to declutter your home

  • Talk about what you hope to gain from having less stuff 

Then, be patient because not everyone is going to care about or understand your desires. So, they’ll buy you something that’s going to take up space in your home *wink* remember to find that gratitude… but eventually, in a few seasons, they’ll realize it wasn’t a fad for you, it was a lifestyle choice.



Gratitude is the easiest but one of the most impactful gifts you can give someone this year. 

Acknowledging with praise that their gift or action is appreciated by you is such a simple way to bring a positive + loving vibe into your family fold. 

It allows whoever’s giving the gift to feel like an absolute rockstar.

I promise with a little bit of gratitude, you’ll feel an unparalleled level of contentment while also bringing joy to others when you focus on being thankful for the many blessings you have.

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