The Ultimate Gift Guide: Non Clutter Gifts

Gift giving can be stressful for both the gift giver and the recipient. As a gift giver, you want to find just the right, perfect thing. As a recipient, you may feel stressed out by the thought of finding places for these new things. If your favorite person happens to like non clutter gifts or if you are looking to simplify your family gift giving, then welcome! This is the guide for you. :)

Stuff and gifts are tricky because what one person calls clutter, another person may not.

To me, the definition of a non-clutter gift would be experiences or things that are: fun, useful, can make you smile,  make you happy, or are meaningful. Here is a list of ideas that I think almost everyone will enjoy.

the ultimate list of non clutter gift ideas! perfect for simplifying your family gifts.


Experience Gifts: These are fun, local, and can often be purchased at a discounted rate. Ask for their multi-visit rate or check Groupon (or any other deal site) for special offers. This list could be a post in itself, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Bowling
  • Mini Golf
  • Trampoline Park
  • Water Park Passes
  • Theme Park Passes
  • Indoor Water Park Pass
  • Inflatable Jump Park
  • Movie Passes
  • Tickets to a Sporting Event
  • Concert Tickets
  • Trip to Chuck E. Cheese + Tokens.
  • Trip to Arcade + Quarters/Tokens.
  • Indoor Rock Climbing Passes.
  • Indoor Play Zone Passes.
  • Gymnastics Lessons
  • Swimming Lessons
  • Cooking Class or Lessons
  • Museum Passes.

Museum or Zoo Memberships: These usually will last about a year and are great if you’re buying for a family or several kids. If you don’t think a membership card is exciting enough, try pairing it with a small toy they can open. Ideas include:

  • Science Museum Membership + Science Experiment Kit. We like Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.
  • Zoo Membership + Jumbo Plastic Jungle Animals. We love these sets, high pitched voices while playing included.
  • Aquarium Membership + Bath Toys or Jumbo Ocean Animals.
  • Planetarium Membership or Passes + Telescope. We like the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, but you might find a local community college or university with one too.
  • Children’s Museum Membership + Art Supplies. Children’s museums are so fun, the promise of going often might just be enough. :) We like the Dupage Children’s Museum in Naperville.
  • Amusement Park Membership. No other gift needed, you’re clearly going to score some cool points here.
  • Water Park Membership + Water Toys, Squirt Gun, or Bathing Suit.


  • DVDs. We don’t have as many now that we have Netflix, but I will buy movies that we enjoyed when renting from the library. These include Disney movies and anything from Leapfrog.
  • Books. Always. :)
  • iTunes gift cards. These are great for apps, extra packs in educational games, or their favorite songs on repeat.
  • Movie or TV show Soundtracks. Find these on iTunes and search by character/show/movie. We have Frozen, Cars, Thomas and Friends, Dinosaur Train and it’s a great alternative to watching a movie or show. Pair them with some guys and  your kids will have a blast acting songs out!

the ULTIMATE LIST of non clutter gifts for kids and families! Some great ideas here.

Art Supplies: These are great because they actually get used. To save money and reduce clutter, look more to actual supplies rather than kits. This way you can replace the supplies as they are used. Here are some favorites we have/are getting:

  • Anything from the IKEA MALA line. I love IKEA’s simple toys and their art supplies are no exception. Here you’ll find big rolls of paper, paintbrushes, an easel, perler beads, paint, construction paper, and plenty more.
  • Target’s Kid Made Modern LineSimple design, fun kits, and no extra trip required.
  • Dollar Store. Some of our favorites are pom-poms, popsicle sticks, glue sticks, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, paper, markers, coloring books. Just be sure to organize them into zip bags or containers and give the kids a spot to store them.
  • Blank Books. I found these at Michaels recently! My kids love to make their own books out of stapled paper and I’m excited to try these out.
  • Other resources: Constructive Playthings, Michaels, or Dick Blick.

Non Clutter Toys: When you’re trying to simplify, toys aren’t bad! I define non-clutter toys as those that last, are a set that can be built on, promote free play, or are played with a ton.  These also can be bought second-hand as they can be expensive and/or built to last. My kids are all under 6, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Legos. We have a few sets with favorite characters, but I like adding onto them with big buckets of Lego pieces. Here is a big bucket of Duplo (watch for Black Friday deals!) and a big bucket of the tiny Legos that hurt your feet.
  • Train Sets. These are a favorite in this house. I have bought the tracks cheap at Aldi, IKEA, second-hand, or a big set like this on Amazon and then add in their favorite Thomas characters or other wooden trains. Also check Craigslist for complete sets, or the little 25 cent bins at garage sales for the Thomas cars.
  • Magna-tiles. Santa might be bringing these or Playmags for Christmas. You can go with big sets or add on small sets.
  • Dress-up or Costumes. 
  • Blocks. As old school as these may seem, my kids still play with them and I still add to them. I’ve heard these wooden stick blocks are a big hit with older kids.
  • Guys and Animals. My kids love playing with “guys” and animals that they use as guys. I’ve bought the characters from Daniel Tiger, this 6 person set of people from Frozen, Spiderman or other Dollar Store people, doll house people, Lego guys, and together they all live in one bin.

Educational Toys: 

Active Play Toys: It’s always good to be active. These can be used indoors during the winter or outside.


Big Kids: 

Like I said above, non-clutter gifts are tricky because clutter is defined differently for every person! Here are a few things that might appeal to almost anyone.

the ULTIMATE LIST of non clutter gifts for adults, friends, parents, or grandparents! Some great ideas here.

Night Out Package: Every year my sister gives me the gift of babysitting and every year I look forward to it. Offer to take your recipient’s kids for a night, come to help during the day, or even Saturday afternoon for project completion. Couple it with a gift card to a restaurant or cuisine you know they enjoy.

Streaming Subscription: These days streaming movies or shows online is the way to go. Pay for a yearly subscription or a few months worth of Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Prime. Bonus! Some of these can be shared across family members.

Black Garbage Bags: Totally joking! If the person on your list (or you) likes to declutter, you might go through a lot of these. I know I do, especially with the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge. But don’t give these as a gift. :)

Bluetooth speakerWe have had this Bluetooth speaker for over a year and have given a few out as gifts. The sound quality is awesome, it has been reliable (unlike other ones we’ve gone through), and you can’t beat the price.

Minimalist Keychain: I saw this and thought it was cool! My keychain is a big honking mess, why not streamline it? Would make a nice stocking stuffer.

Adobe Lightroom: This is one of the best gifts I have ever received and it’s something I wish I had bought many years ago. This program is VERY user friendly, WAY easier to use than Photoshop, and will transform your photos instantly. I can’t recommend it enough. The link is to purchase a monthly subscription, but paying full price for the software is worth it.

Heart Shaped Photo Art: I love this piece from Minted, available in a print or framed. Perfect for candid Instagram photos and the style would appeal to anyone on your list!

Photo Calendar: These would be great as a treat for yourself or for grandparents!

Organizing Supplies or Gift Card: One year I got labels in my stocking and it was awesome. If someone on your list likes to organize, give a gift card to IKEA, The Container Store, World Market, Staples, or even Target packaged with a pretty container, basket, or tiny mint garbage can (why not?).



  1. says

    We’re doing the art supplies for all the nieces and nephews this year! I’m an artist, so this is something super fun for me to do for and with them :-)

  2. Lillian says

    Last Christmas we gave the kids a bunch of high-quality totes to organize the playroom. They didn’t need more toys, just to be able to better enjoy the ones they already had!

  3. Laura O says

    Thanks for all the great ideas! Movie passes plus a card for treats (cupcakes, pies, ice cream) are good for most of the teens in my life.

  4. Megan Thompson says

    Such great ideas! I’ve been spending the last few months organizing the house and am really inspired by Non-Clutter Gifts!!

  5. Alina says

    A few that we’re actually giving away are toy boxes to our nieces to pick up clutter in their home and some jewelry trees for the ladies to collect and have their articles in one place.

  6. Andria Broom says

    I love your experience gift ideas! I do a nice dinner out for at least one person every year for Christmas/birthdays.

  7. says

    Ugh, I hate clutter – I never used to mind it, but my husband makes us clean all the time and now I can’t stand it! I was thinking it would be hard to find non-clutter gifts, but I am glad that you already came up with a bunch!!

  8. Nina M says

    Every year my sisters and I end up giving each other dish towels… I love it, it gives me a lovely reason to get all of the icky, stained towels out into the rag bag and replaced with pretty, new clean ones.

  9. Anna C says

    I like zoo or museum memberships and food gift cards. We have 3 kids and a limited budget, so gifts like memberships help us have fun experiences all year long!

  10. Linda Meyers-Gabbard says

    The best non clutter gift I can think of it cash or gift cards without a envelope. Or the gift if time.

  11. Michele P says

    I really like canvas prints of all shapes and sizes, they look great on the walls and are a nice way to display important milestones/occasions.

  12. Laura Cole says

    For my Grandma we always give her scratch off lottery tickets and usually some candy for her to put in her candy dish in her room at the nursing home. She loves to share her candies with other residents and employees.

  13. says

    Gift cards are the perfect non cluttering gift. I never know what to get my young nieces but they love GCs so they can get what they want. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  14. Gail says

    Love experience gifts! Books are alway a huge hit and if your giftee has a kindle give them GC to Amazon and tell them to go wild on new books. I do enjoy baking and giving food gifts but those can take a while so those tend to be limited.

  15. says

    I’ve always thought that the best gifts are those which invest on MOMENTS instead of objects.. :) Because that is what you are going to be left with at the end of the day! Plus, you can get as creative as you can, and it will be a very special gift! We at Funifi are always concerned with how gifts can turn into a unique DIY experience, and we got a lot of DIY guides for gifts and decor. Check them out :)

  16. Mar says

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am definitely looking for more non clutter gifts. I love food gifts, like oranges or grapefruit shipped from FL or TX. Or amaryllis bulbs. Or birdseed.

  17. Christen says

    I love all of these ideas and wish I had found this post sooner! I’ve finished my shopping already, but will definitely be coming back here when birthdays come around. Thanks for posting this!

  18. Bettypark says

    The fantastic list is covering almost every kind of gift apt for a non-clutter.Seriously,It gives me a clear idea. Thanks for you great post.keep sharing :) Love this blog,simply awesome..

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