Monday, October 28, 2013

Gifting a Minimalist

While I have a long ways to go to where I could be considered a Minimalist, I am working towards it as one of my goals. A life of Simplicity is attractive to me for a variety of reasons and I have been working slowly on decluttering and deowning. Our home is small, and due to people constantly giving us stuff, we have way too much. Stuff we do not need and just taking up very valuable space and with this in mind we have been putting our foot down telling everyone that unless we specifically ASK for something, not to bring it, we don't want it. I have no good way for getting rid of it so it just continues to add to the stuff we already do not have room for.

I want to be a Minimalist and lead a life of Simplicity.

So with that in mind, yet people generally wanting to be helpful or giving, what do you gift the minimalist family? If STUFF is not wanted, then what does make appropriate gifts?
While I may not be able to speak for all, I can say what my family would enjoy which would be....

  • Food Products- organic produce, nuts, olive oils, spices, sunflower seeds, old fashioned rolled oats, baking cocoa, fresh pineapples, fresh coconuts, coconut milk, coconut oil, ,  any flour other than white flour, raw honey, maple syrups, molasses............ you get the gist, any real consumable food that is not processed or enriched....well unless it is a banana split gift basket with ice cream, bananas, whipped topping and of course all the toppings included! :)

  • Gift Cards- Gift cards are always a great gift for the minimalist as they can be used up and used at places the frugal minimalist may not usually indulge in. This could be Walmart or Meijer gift cards, GameStop, gas cards, restaurant gift cards, coffee shops, or others,  just make sure the gift cards you get are places that exist locally for the person you are wanting to gift. It would be kind of pointless to gift a gas card if the nearest gas station for that card is 50 miles or more away. Make sure it is local.

  • Toiletries and Paper Products - Toilet Paper, Paper Plates,Paper Towels, Kleenex,  Bath Salts, Lotions, Shampoos, Soaps, after shave, fabric dryer sheets, Pretty Journaling Paper or Stationary,these are all consumable and will be used even if they are not normal purchases for themselves.

Basically you are looking for things that can be consumed and used up or that will allow for pleasant experiences. Since we value family connections and want to put the focus on building memories other things that a minimalist may enjoy would be:

Day or Year Passes to  Amusement Parks
Museum Tickets
Zoo Tickets/ Passes
Concert Tickets
Ultimate Fighting Tickets
YMCA memberships
Movie Tickets
Your TIME ( the best thing evah is just making the effort to come hang with us!)
Living History tickets

Bus Pass ( if they live in an area of public bus transportation this may make a lovely gift item!)

Classes ( sometimes they may want to take some kind of class like a cooking class, art class, pottery or some other type.)

Now from time to time there may actually be a material item that the minimalist is wanting so be sure to ask from time to time.

Scented Candles also can make a nice gift, at least for woman minimalists because they wonderfully scent the air, lift spirits and again are consumed and used up.

Someone with a fire place or wood burner in their home would appreciate pinecone fire starters, they are easy to make and are a nice gift.

If you simply take a moment to be a little creative, it really is not that difficult to gift the minimalist on your list. Just ask yourself 2 simple questions....

Is it Consumable?  or  Does it provide a pleasant experience?

If the answer is no, then that is a sign you need to keep thinking and looking until you can answer a yes!

In the meantime, do not take it personal when the minimalist request everyone to not bring "STUFF" when they come to visit, it really is about them wanting a beautiful, organized home and living a life of simplicity. Stuff builds up and accumulates making it more work and less enjoyable. Less sometimes indeed is more and we would like more time, relationships, connections and a life of value than burdened down in objects. Gifting a family who is wanting a less cluttered lifestyle, just takes a little thought and consideration for suitable gifting.

Minimalism is growing at a very rapid rate as people are embracing the principles behind it, so many of you may find your gifting through out a year will find at some point at least one minimalist on your list!

Happy Gifting!