As I talked about in this week’s mantra, I’ve been reflecting on the 15+ garbage bags of clothes, shoes, and household items I donated this fall. It felt so good to simplify but also blew my mind that I accumulated that much stuff to begin with. I’ve made it my (early) new year’s resolution to be conscious of how I spend my money, not only for the good of my own home, but also so that I am aware of what garbage and excess clutter I am adding to the world.
As we round out the shopping season, I thought I’d share a few of the techniques I’ve adopted for gift giving this year. My goal is to gift in a way that is thoughtful but doesn’t add too much clutter to the homes of my friends and family.
Don’t Wrap | This is something I’ve been doing for years. Instead of buying wrapping paper or gift bags for presents I try to make the “wrapping” part of the present. Sometimes I will put small items together in a nice basket for an “at home spa package” or “favorite snack box”. Almost everyone can use a basket in their home for towels or extra storage, just make sure to choose something neutral and versatile. If a basket won’t work for your gift my other favorite trick is to buy reusable shopping bags. This way there is still a present to open but the bag is useful too!
Give Cards | Although cards can sometimes be added to the garbage pile I think most people will save a card that has a nice sentiment inside. The thing about a card is that it is usually just an addition to the main event, the present. This year I’ve decided to make the card the showstopper by signing more than just a greeting and my name. Adding my words of love to a smaller present gives meaning to the gift without having to spend hours in the craft room.
Make it Edible | With my cards this year I decided to send along something edible that I know is a favorite of the person I’m gifting. This way I know the gift will be “used” and enjoyed without taking up too much space. When I first thought about a card and snack for a present it felt like a copout to a “real” gift, but then I realized I was putting far too much pressure on myself. The truth is, all we really want from our family and friends is to know that they thought of us.
Give Experiences | This is a great way to give a larger gift to someone without adding a lot of packaging. Whether its a surprise weekend getaway, tickets to a show, or dinner at their favorite restaurant, you can’t go wrong with an experience.
Happy conscious gifting!