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minimalist gift ideas

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“I don’t want anything.”

“I don’t have room for one more thing in my home.”

“Please do not give me something that I have to find storage space for.”

These are the words every generous gift giver hates to hear. Gift-giving is supposed to be about putting thought into the present. It doesn’t feel very thoughtful to just give someone a wire transfer of money for the holidays. There are other gifts you can give that are technically money, but they at least show that you put some thought into the present. Think of how good it feels when somebody gives you a present that shows they took the time to think about you – your life, your hobbies, your goals, and even your struggles. They thought about your personality, likes, and dislikes. And when you unwrap it, it’s so clear, that this gift was bought just for you – to make your unique life brighter.

That’s the feeling you want to give as a gift-giver, but it gets tricky when everyone on your list insists they don’t have room for any more things. You should be grateful for the note because if they hadn’t given it, you might have given them something that went straight into storage (or the donation box). But now you’re stuck with what seems like a riddle: what gift is very meaningful, but takes up zero (or very little) space? We have some ideas.


A home organizer

If your loved one’s biggest concern is having less clutter, then what she really needs is to get organized. But, like many, the task of cleaning out the garage and finding a rightful place for everything keeps getting pushed to the wayside. Purchase her a visit from a home organizing company. Let someone else take on the task of organizing your friend’s home. Neat Method has providers across the US, and they offer virtual tutorials for those who don’t live near a Neat Method provider.

A museum membership

Chances to visit these in person may be limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for now, museum members can take virtual tours, mapping out their visit for when the time comes. East Coasters who are planning a trip to the Big Apple might want the New York CityPASS, which grants access to the Metropolitan Museum Of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, along with three versatile tickets that can be used on several options, including the Guggenheim Museum.

A housekeeping service

You can’t put a price on a spotless home. Well, you can, if you purchase your loved one a housekeeping service. When you give someone this gift, you’re really giving them two things: 1) Their time back, as they can relax, rather than sweep, and 2) the sense of calm that comes from knowing your home is (mostly) germ-free. There are several black-owned housecleaning companies to consider, depending on where you live. Sole Organizer (Washington, District of Columbia), Prestigious Cleaning (Gardena, California), and Taylor’d Maids Janitorial Services (Peachtree City Georgia) are worth looking into.

An at-home massage

Not everyone is comfortable visiting a spa during the coronavirus pandemic. But even under normal conditions, not everyone has the time to drive to a spa. The real treat is having the masseuse come to you. So buy your loved one an at-home massage. Zeel offers services nationwide, as does Body Well Therapy Mobile Massage. Or you can use the Soothe app, which lets you customize your massage order in the app, and has a monthly membership option (which could also make a nice gift).

minimalist gift ideas

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A trust

While at first glance this gift may seem impersonal, it’s actually deeply personal. If you open a beneficiary trust in the name of an adolescent loved one, you’re setting them up for financial success. And when loved ones are financially stable, they have some breathing room to work on their passions, rather than just stress about working a job they don’t like to pay the bills.

nestcam outdoor camera

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A security camera

This takes up some space, but very little, and it certainly won’t take up floor space, since you’ll mount it. Giving someone a security camera like the Sharper Image Discreet Day/Night Vision Camera or the Nest outdoor camera is giving someone peace of mind. The footage from both can be accessed through your smartphone, so you can check on your home, wherever you are.

minimalist gift ideas

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A Zoom membership

Let’s embrace the new reality: everything is moving onto Zoom. Even once the country re-opens and a vaccine is in place, many people and services may continue to conduct business over Zoom because it’s just so convenient. Of course, if you want to have a session that lasts more than 45 minutes, you have to pay for it. So buy your loved one Zoom Pro for the year.

minimalist gift ideas

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A donation

If your loved one is a philanthropist at heart (and perhaps in practice), then she’ll appreciate you taking your dollars somewhere they can really be of use, rather than spending them on jewelry or clothes for someone who has all she needs. Think of what issues and causes matter to your friend, and make a donation in her name.

A Masterclass

There are Masterclasses for just about every skill now, from martial arts to cooking to acting to singing. And they’re taught by some of the most renowned professionals in the world. Buy your loved one a Masterclass for the holidays and give them the gift of skillset building.

A car detailing

Many wait until the last minute to wash their car – like when strangers have begun writing “Wash me” in the dust buildup on the windows. A car detailing is an expense nobody likes to pay for. You already pay so much between gas and insurance and the car payments themselves. Treat your friend to a car detailing. The Mobile Wash App delivers a car detailing service to your home and has professionals in California, Texas, Florida, and Nevada.

A produce delivery service

While it does take up room, it’s nothing your loved one wouldn’t have bought for herself, anyway – she needs to eat, after all. And after she eats it, it’ll be gone, so technically, it barely takes up space. Buy your friend a subscription to a produce delivery service like Imperfect Foods, Hungry Harvest, or Misfit Market and she’ll receive perfectly tasty produce that was rejected from the stores for looking “imperfect.”

A streaming service

There isn’t much else to do with free time besides stream movies and shows right now. If your friend is missing one of the biggies like Netflix or Amazon Prime, buy her a membership. If she has kids, a membership to Disney Plus could be a big hit, and if she’s into more independently-produced flicks, Apple TV can be a good one.

Magnetic spice jars

While this is a physical object that takes up space, it works with one of your friend’s preexisting items (the refrigerator) and holds something she already has (spices). Magnetic spice jars let you keep all of your spices where you can easily see them – on your refrigerator door – and frees up space in your drawers and cabinets. Gneiss has magnetic spice jars of different sizes, and available individually or in packs, along with the spices to fill them with.

hammacher schlemmer tray table

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A folding tray/table

Anyone who is worried about not having enough space will likely appreciate a folding tray or table, either for their couch or bed. This can eliminate the need for a bulky end table or nightstand, and lets them keep things like remote controls and books nearby. This one from Hammacher Schlemmer has wheels and tucks away when not in use.


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