I often struggle to find gifts that won’t be viewed as junk or unnecessary clutter. I feel like in the age of “minimalism” and Marie Kondo, so many people (including myself) are trying to reduce the amount of unnecessary stuff they own. I sometimes feel stress when I am the one receiving gifts that I don’t have a use for, because it can feel like an obligation to keep clutter that I don’t really want. I’m sure I also give gifts to other people that are received the same way. Not only does this kind of gift-giving fail to make people happy, but it can be very wasteful from an environmental standpoint - the gift may get thrown out, and the packaging and energy for shipping were wasted.

I’m wondering if anyone feels the same way, or has any suggestions on what to do - both as the gift giver and receiver. How do we avoid giving gifts that feel like clutter, or “stuff”? Do we try to instead give experiences (e.g. tickets to a show) or disposable items (e.g. food, beauty products)? Do we find a way to simply give better, more personalized items, so they don’t feel like just more “stuff?” (Here’s hoping Thoughtfull will help with that part!)

And what about when you’re on the receiving end of gifts - how do you go about letting people know you’re trying to cut down on “stuff” without it coming across as rude or hurtful? How do you cultivate a gift-giving culture that is more meaningful (and less wasteful)?