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Thoughtful gift givingI am an advocate for giving gifts that won’t clutter up your friend’s and family’s homes Sometimes we put in a lot of thought into gift giving; other times we fall victim to the pressure of giving ‘something’ for the sake of it. This of course, can lead to clutter!

So, before buying gifts this Christmas, do some planning. Grab a cuppa, a notebook and pen and brainstorm. Write a list of the people you will give gifts to.  Consider if they’ve mentioned something they’d love to do or have. Brainstorm things you think they may like. Consider the practicality of it and if they are likely to use it or enjoy it.

I’ve found that my favourite presents have been experiences. My favourites were:

  1. A ‘choose your own holiday’ letter.  It had check boxes to tick off options for location, activities and dates
  2. A consultation with a Feng Shui Practitioner
  3. A voucher for French cooking lessons

I remember these gifts more than items I’ve been given because I have memories, feelings and associations linked to them.  It doesn’t mean I value the other gifts less, but I’m hard pressed to remember all of the gifts I’ve been given over the years.

As I’ve found these sorts of gifts pleasurable, here are a few clutter-free options for you. Gifting Experiences:

  • Movie Tickets (standard or Gold Class)
  • Tickets to the zoo
  • Voucher to a restaurant or high tea venue
  • Theatre tickets
  • Go-Karting, Bowling or Paint-balling Voucher
  • Red Balloon Voucher (this site is well known for experience based gifts, lots of great ideas here)
  • Overnight stay at a fancy hotel
  • Massage, pampering or healing sessions
  • Voucher to a psychic
  • A day out to an art exhibition
  • Music lessons, singing lessons or art class… check out the classes at your local TAFE or Community College to see if there’s something that suits your loved one.
  • Last but not least, you could make up an itinerary for a day filled with their favourite things (eg: breakfast in bed and a walk around the lake, followed by a lunch at their favourite restaurant and a game of putt-putt golf.  The evening will end with a personal massage and take-away of their choice for dinner.  This idea will take some careful planning, but if you know the person you’ll easily come up with some great ideas.  It may only be one thing (eg: lunch at their favourite cafe) or it may be a full day experience.  It’s really up to you.

The list here is endless, with so many options of stuff to do! If a voucher doesn’t exist, make one.

What’s best about these sorts of gifts is often you’ll go along with them and enjoy the gift too.  Can’t complain about that!

Reprinted from Virginia Wells | WellSorted Professional Organiser, AAPO member

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