Gift guide for Minimalists in your life. They say they don’t want a gift, but these gifts are appreciated by Minimalists!
There’s one part of my life that you guys know nothing about…it’s the contents of my house.
My husband and I are Minimalists.
This means we own very few items of clothing (I’m at ~25 pieces, he’s at 9 pieces), and we think very hard before we purchase something. (We typically use Consumer Reports to make purchasing decisions to ensure we’re buying something of quality that will last a long time). Clutter and disorganization is not tolerated well in our house. Yes, we bring our own bags to the grocery store, and we try to minimize the amount of trash our household makes each week.
We drastically changed our lifestyle to own fewer things a year ago, and we find endless joy in it. I can’t imagine living any other way now. My mornings are so easy since I own so few clothes; I am up and dressed in 30 seconds flat! I don’t waste my precious brain space on ‘outfits’ anymore.
I’m not exactly sure how we stumbled into this lifestyle, other than the fact that I was an Environmental Studies double major in college. Or, if it was because we’ve moved 3 times in 5 years, and packing up STUFF makes you realize how stupid STUFF really is.
The bottom line is, Minimalists don’t really like gifts, but you love them and want to buy them for them anyway. So, buy them something useful that simplifies their life or replaces something that isn’t serving them.
These gifts below are all things I use and love as a Minimalist.
1. BEST REUSABLE GROCERY BAGS. There are a lot of crappy reusable bags out there, but these are the best. They mimic the shape and feel of plastic bags, and that’s key for me! The other cloth bags (the ones that are boxy) lend themselves to being over-filled by grocery store clerks. No one wants to carry a 15-pound bag of produce into the house. These bags are soft, flexible and completely machine-washable.
3. GLASS STORAGE CONTAINERS. Go on, throw away that plastic junk in your house and start fresh with glass. I’ve been doing it for years and I have never broken one. These glass containers are thick and sturdy; I love anything made by the brand OXO in my house and kitchen.
4. COMPOST BIN. Yep, we’re one of those families that collects egg shells, tea leaves, and vegetable scraps to make compost to use in the garden. BUT, you would never know because this compost bins keeps everything out-of-sight and odorless. I swear!
5. ESSENTIAL OIL STARTER KIT. In our house, we make our own cleaning products. I love knowing exactly what I’m spraying in my house, but even more–I love how it smells. Essential oils are naturally fragrant, but also many of them have antibacterial properties (making disposable bleach wipes a thing of the past). This kit contains the essential oils I use the most: eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and lavender.
6. CLOTH PRODUCE BAGS. When I started using cloth produce bags, I felt like I leveled up in my life. These cloth bags are for buying produce at the store, instead of using the plastic bags on the roll in the produce department. You’ll feel like such a do-gooder when you use them!
7. FANCY CHOCOLATE AND OTHER FOODS. Food is the best gift of all. Make me something yummy, and I’ll love you forever…especially because I didn’t have to clean up the dishes. I would love some fancy chocolate. Or a bag of your favorite coffee or tea. Did someone say wine? I want that, too.
8. FILE FOLDER SYSTEM. One of the nicest gifts I’ve ever received was from my friend Heather. After I had a baby, she made me a file folder with organized tabs! She had a section for hospital records, baby check-up sheets, and instruction manuals for toys and baby gadgets. I hardly go a week without using it in some way, and I always think of Heather! Help the Minimalist in your life get organized, and they’ll thank you forever.
9. REUSABLE CLEANING CLOTHS. I started out using old towels and shirts as cleaning cloths, but honestly, this kit with specific towels for glass stainless steel, and wood is much better.
10. AMAZON GIFT CARD. This sounds slightly impersonal, but an Amazon gift card is a great gift for a Minimalist. It’s highly likely that we’ll use it to buy necessities, like toilet paper, but trust me when I say that we appreciate it.
11. REUSABLE STRAWS. I never had a use for these until I had a kid. Why is everything so much more fun if a straw is involved? These stainless steel straws are on heavy rotation in our house.
12. SILICONE BAGS & BEESWAX WRAPS. In an effort to eliminate plastic from my house (and the need to continually purchase plastic wrap and foil), I stumbled upon beeswax wraps. They’re soft & pliable wax sheets that you use to wrap up food. They gradually wear away over time (and must be hand washed in cool water), so they don’t work for everything. So, I use Stasher bags for everything else. These silicone bags are great for room temperature, refrigerated items, and even the freezer. They’re so pretty, and they last forever, literally!
12. WOOL DRYER BALLS. These have changed our laundry forever. We no longer buy dryer sheets, which not only saves us money, but it also saves the packaging that comes into our house every month. Wool dryer balls are the gift that keeps on giving: they help your clothes dry faster (which saves energy), and as long as the dryer isn’t too full, the balls bounce around and reduce wrinkles. If you miss the scent of dryer sheets, add a few drops of essential oils to the balls before tossing them into the dryer.
13. REUSABLE SNACK BAGS. There are quite a few reusable snack bags on the market, but these are the best dishwasher-safe ones I’ve found. I’ve been using these for 5 years in my diaper bag, in the kids lunches, or for holding anything in my purse. I simply place them upside down in the top rack of the dishwasher, and they come out clean. Reusable things should be easy to clean and well-made, and these are!
14. COPPER CORE FACE MASK. Please, let me count the ways I love this copper-core mask. It’s soft, totally breathable, washable and comes in actual sizes so that it fits any face. I work in a bakery one day a week, and I don’t even feel like I’m wearing this mask at the end of my shift.
15. ZERO-WASTE MOP. I bought this mop for a few reasons: one, I trust anything OXO brand makes to be durable and smartly designed. Two, I love that the cleaning head is 100% machine-washable. This mop truly allows me to never buy pads, plus you can fill the container with homemade cleaning products. Nothing makes a Minimalist happier than zero-waste and homemade cleaning products, trust me.
16. SWEDISH DISH CLOTHS. To use a Swedish dish cloth is to believe in a Swedish dish cloth. I haven’t bought paper towels in years, and every person I gift these too always sends me a follow-up text saying they can’t believe how much they love them. Many Minimalists in my life love and recommend these. I also recommend SPAGHETTI SPONGES for those who love to cook, and these BAMBOO SCRUBBER SET for those who love to clean.
17. FOOD HUGGERS. Minimalists do not like to waste food. They’ve always got half an avocado laying around from avocado toast, and half a lemon laying around from an artisan cocktail. Wait, sometimes I confuse Minimalist with Millennials, but since I am both a Minimalist and a Millenial, we’re just going to roll with it. I love these in my kitchen.
18. EMPTY GLASS SPRAYERS. There’s a 100% chance your Minimalist is having trouble finding a high-quality glass spray bottle that won’t break. I’ve been through several myself in my quest to make my own cleaning products, mist my house plants, and spritz the dogs to stop them from barking when the doorbell rings. These amber bottles have lasted for years in our house, and they still look and feel great.
19. PRETTY WATER BOTTLE. There are a few brands of glass water bottles on the market, but Contigo is a brand we’ve used for years. They’re extremely durable and contain zero plastic pieces. They’re also top-rack dishwasher safe, because there’s no way I have time to hand-wash anything these days.
20. NICE LUNCH TOTE. Having an easy way to bring your lunch to work or school reduces waste and helps a Minimalist save money by eating out less. The health-conscious Minimalist will love the front pocket for afternoon snacks, too!
I hope this gift guide for Minimalists helps you shop for that person who says they don’t want gifts this year! Or, maybe I’ve inspired you to be a Minimalist? Let’s chat more about it! :)