JERI DANSKY professionalorganizer

12 Gifts That Won't Become Clutter

Many of us - and the people we get gifts for - already have many material things. Now, it may be that you know the person very well, and you know of something that would be perfect for that person. That's great! But sometimes we're buying for someone who is dear to us but whose taste we're less sure of - or someone who really doesn't seem to need any more stuff.


So here's a list of things to consider giving:


  1. Membership at a museum or zoo
  2. A gift certificate for a massage or a facial
  3. A gift certificate for a feng shui consultation or house blessing
  4. A gift certificate for a night at a B&B
  5. A “gift certificate” for baby-sitting, car washing, etc.—any service you can provide that would be appreciated by the receiver
  6. A book of pre-paid car wash coupons (my local car wash sells these)
  7. A CD of favorite music (made legally)
  8. Consumables such as food or wine (but consider dietary restrictions)
  9. Interesting toothpaste: fennel or a choice of 30+ flavors (green tea, Japanese plum, etc.)
  10. An emergency kit (if they don't have one)
  11. A professional photograph of you (for your parents), of the person's pet, etc.
  12. A donation to a cause the person cares about (not for everybody; some love it, some think it’s not a real gift)



And here are some items that often become clutter - so give them with caution:


  1. Something cute—because cute wears off
  2. Knick knacks
  3. Specialty gadgets for the kitchen
  4. Another item for the collection (if the collection is getting out of hand)
  5. Toys—the average child gets about 70 toys per year
  6. Clothes that might not fit, especially if returns are difficult; clothes in general if you’re not an expert in the colors, fabrics, and styles that work for the individual in question
  7. Anything where you think "this will do" (rather than "this is perfect")