A Gift Guide for Minimalists & Hoarders Alike

In this world, there exist two types of friends. Some friends live in tiny studio apartments and constantly complain about having too much stuff, scoffing at the idea of having to come up with something they’d like for Christmas. Other friends have 5 bedroom houses in the suburbs and are still drowning in baby toys and IKEA furniture from their bachelor days despite their kids and marriages being like 19 years old.

Neither of these friends really needs anything. If they’re like me, they kind of dread having to place whatever under $15 gift they get from the office Secret Santa on a shelf for a few years before disposing of it the next time they move. So, here’s a list of things I would not be mad about getting, and neither will your hoarder/anti-hoarder friends.

Experiences – this is an obvious one. We’re talking a gift card to a trampoline park, a cooking class, or, ya know, indoor skydiving.

Restaurant gift cards – Another obvious yet highly uncreative boring one. I am a helpful lady! But, I’m also a broke lady who doesn’t splurge on a nice meal very often. Plus, no useless future-trash for the shelf!

Sustainable clothing – Clothes have an expiration date, at least if your thighs touch as much as mine do. So, no one is going to complain about some well made, ethical and sustainable clothes that will last a long time and fight fast fashion. My suggestion is to stick to neutrals and basics to maximize versatility in a minimalist wardrobe. Two of my favorites are Pact Apparel and sweet home Chicago made Dearborn Denim.
Tools to help them upcycle – A pillar of minimalism (at least for those interested more in the environmental benefits than the zen) is making good use of everything you already own in order to waste resources by tossing old stuff and replacing it. Hoarders hoard because they think all of their old crap will come in handy one day. A great gift for both groups will be something that helps them upcycle old stuff into the modern era. If they’re ambitious, a sewing machine will be a game changer, but if your pal is just dabbling in crafts, I suggest starting off with a hot glue gun or some furniture paint in a sleek color.

Vegan nail polish – Nail polish is one of those things that is absolutely unnecessary yet feels so essential when you’re going for *glam.* So, a high-quality, eco & safe polish like LVX will make every broke minimalist feel like a manicure is something they can indulge in again.
Plants – You can never have too many plants. They’re versatile decor that also happen to tame your maternal instincts and prevent you from cutting holes in condoms or impulse buying a cat you’re allergic to. Choose from orchids to succulents based on the recipient’s commitment level to watering. (Disclaimer: cutting holes in condoms is a terrible idea, please don’t do it – get an herb garden, trust me.)

Natural *or homemade* cosmetics – Something that, if loved properly, is constantly running low. Opt for some bio-degradable brands like Lush or *edible* cosmetics like Mojo Spa and if the products end up not getting used, at least they won’t be sitting in a landfill forever.

Online subscriptions to journalism (or porn?) – Look, both industries are dying, ok? The availability of free content on the internet means no one is paying for the New York Times or whatever fetish site they’d really enjoy. So, why not gift a world of content to someone to enrich their lives in a way they can’t get for free.

Streaming services – Remember Seeso? I don’t blame you if you don’t, but I can’t even speak to its merits because I was too cheap to sign up for it, even though I definitely wanted to watch its shows. Then it died. YouTube Red (not to be confused with redtube…) Hulu Plus, Vivo and paid podcast content are all expenses most people these days wouldn’t opt-in to, but gifts are all about treating someone to something they wouldn’t have gotten for themselves, right?

A season pass to Six Flags – who doesn’t love Six Flags? If you don’t, please @ me