21 Of My Favorite Gifts for Minimalists

minimalism Oct 15, 2023
21 Of My Favorite Gifts for Minimalists

What do you buy for a minimalist?

If you’re at a loss because it seems like nothing would really work for them, then this is for you.

There are some affiliate links provided for those interested in grabbing the minimalist gifts I’m using (no sponsorships).

Most of the things I’m sharing here are gifts that I’ve personally received over the years and thought were great! Some of these are material items and I’ll share why I still feel that these are valid minimalist gifts, even for a space-conscious person. 😊

#1. Water Bottle (Yes, Seriously)

So, the first great minimalist gift idea is a high quality water bottle.

This is one of my very rare belongings that I have by my side within arms reach for every moment of every day. Bath. Work. Bed. Driving. Literally, everywhere I go. 

Here's the one I use the most.

I know. You're probably thinking this is a ridiculous expense for a water bottle. But this water bottle has already lasted me years and has many years left. And, like I said, it's one of the few possessions that I use constantly- probably #2 to my phone.

The idea is that you’re not having to constantly replace it.

Not only are they hydrating, fashionable accessories, but they help to keep the dishes down. In fact, I have insisted that everybody in my home have one because it keeps people from grabbing a new glass every time they want to get a drink.

It’s useful and reusable – you’re also not creating waste and wasting money by buying plastic bottled water. Win-win!

#2. Candles

Candles can be great for decor– if you get the right kind, they make your place smell amazing!

Plus, they’re consumable. I loved the Voluspa candles I received as a gift years ago. They smelled incredible but are too expensive for me to buy regularly, making them a great special gift idea.

A really good candle that will last a long time and add a great fragrance to the home is totally worth it.

#3. Essential Oils

I definitely drank the KoolAid and use essential oils for everything. Yes, I have become one of those people who makes their own face wash, masks, diffuser blends, cleaning products, and the occasional candle with essential oils. 

Not 100% of the time, but a lot. 

Up until a couple of years ago I didn't have a clue how to do any of that stuff and it seemed like a total waste of time when I could just buy it pre-done at the store. But I've learned a thing or two. Like, that homemade products smell more incredible and feel healthier than anything you could ever buy at the store. 

It's a really good feeling seeing exactly what's going into your products and then finding out that the stuff actually works. I know! I was surprised too lol. 

The shift for me was using Simply Earth because they send you the stuff in a fully-supplied kit with recipes. I've learned enough that I could probably wing it on a lot of homemade items and I never would have had the confidence to do so without the Simply Earth boxes.

Plus, they very cool-ly give 13% of all proceeds to stop human trafficking. I truly love everything from them.

#4. Rosehip Seed Oil

While we’re on the versatile oil train, I have to talk about rosehip seed oil. I’ve tried different kinds of rosehip oils and loved them all! Rosehip seed oil is great for so many different things. You can use it on your hair, nails, and skin.

I get a giant bottle for a reasonable price and it lasts a long time.

The versatility is amazing! I use it in place of moisturizer and lather it up on my face probably three times a day.

I definitely recommend looking up the benefits, from lipidic properties that make it highly moisturizing without being oily, to its rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C that help with pigmentation and wrinkles.

Basically, it’s a miracle oil that can be used for all kinds of things. 

#5. Aura Frame

I'm not big on picture frames in general- I don't like spreading photos across the wall or having them take up space on my flat surfaces, and I don't like having to choose between hundreds of equally amazing photos. But I obviously LOVE the memories. 

For our wedding, our close friend gave us an Aura frame and we absolutely fell in love. Since then, we've picked up one more for our home and gifted one to Matt's parents (they are equally obsessed, especially with the new baby pictures of our 10 month old surprising them on their frame 🤩). 

What's so cool about these is that they have unlimited storage for your photos and videos uploaded (they're stored on the Aura server, not your device), they play videos with sound 🤯 (I was totally surprised by this), and they look like high-def prints rather than backlit highly contrasted digitals. 

#6. Books

Another idea that’s always trending is books.

Not necessarily books about minimalism – I don’t personally read many books about minimalism, but I do like to read.

Books are things that you don’t necessarily have to keep forever. You can read and then exchange or donate or even consider a Kindle version. If I’ve read something I really loved, it gives me a lot of joy to pass it on to a friend after I’ve finished it.

Right now, I’m reading Dune. It’s my personal time to just get outside of my head and relax.

We all know the benefits of reading. It can be a very personal experience, so before gifting a book, you might want to check and see what a person is interested in reading.

#7. Nice Socks Or Undergarments

Who doesn’t love good socks? My family members all ask for things like this.

Let’s face it, these are things that get worn through quickly and require replacement. Most people don’t splurge on really nice, super-soft, high-quality socks, and undergarments for themselves; they wait for the holidays.

#8. Coffee And Tea

Another minimalist gift that I would be remiss to not bring up is coffee and tea.

I’m a huge coffee connoisseur and like to have a hot drink with me all day long, no matter the temperature outside (love me some caramel-flavored coffee!). This could be an opportunity to get somebody a fancy brand of coffee beans. Coffee drinkers are always going to love coffee and tea drinkers are always going to love tea.

A couple of years back, I decided I would try out the tea side of things, so Matt got me this cool little Teavana set. You can get so many different flavors of tea. Depending on what you get there can also be health benefits.

#9. Plants

The last physical item on this list is plants.

Now, I don’t have a green thumb in any sense of the word so, I really like desert and drought tolerant plants– for the most part, these are pretty easy to maintain.

You can also find plants that have air-purifying qualities or medicinal qualities. I absolutely love my aloe plant and there have been periods of time where it was the only surviving plant in my house. 

Plants are great at warming up a minimalist space and adding a bit of life to the ambiance.

#10. Spa Treatments

Don’t think that you have to buy anything physical either. There are other things that you can buy and even package up so that there’s still something to open.

One thing that I personally loved is a massage or a spa treatment. I’ve gifted it to others and have been gifted it myself and always appreciate it.

I had a great experience when my mom bought me a higher-end Dragontree Spa treatment. She gave me a gift certificate so I could choose my treatments and it was a really cool experience.

Last year for Matt’s birthday, I got him a massage treatment at a local spot as well. Most people are really excited to get these!

If they’re not into massages, there are many other different kinds of treatments – saunas, aromatherapy, facial scrubs, and rejuvenation.

#11. Subscriptions

There are subscriptions available for most things nowadays- both physical and digital. And you, of course, have to be careful when choosing physical product subscription gifts for people because they can accumulate a ton of stuff (the antithesis of minimal).

However, there are some subscription services that I use on a regular basis (daily even) that greatly enhance my life as a minimalist. One of these is my TruEarth subscription (that link will give you 10% off). I swear, I'm never going back to giant jugs of laundry detergent. 

So, if you haven't heard, TruEarth offers eco-friendly cleaning options in the form of mess-free, plastic-free, space-hogging free (made that one up) but you get the idea. They're efficient. 

They're most known for laundry but I also use their toilet bowl cleaning strips, dishwasher tablets, and all-purpose cleaner strips. They are ah-mazing. 

Of course, you can go the non-physical route and look at subscriptions or memberships to things like gyms, climbing gyms, digital software, entertainment, Netflix, etc. Just be creative!

#12. Classes 

An under-the-radar type of gift that is totally minimalist is a class. For our first Valentine’s Day together, Matt got us a class to a couples Thai massage.

They showed us interesting things like how to massage using your feet and bearing your entire weight. It was such a cool experience.

It’s something that we’re always going to remember as being our first Valentine’s Day. In fact, every time we go to the mall where we did that, we both bring up that time that we went to the couples’ Thai massage class.

Personally, I would love to take a pottery or ceramics class. I’ve always been interested. This is one of those things that I’ve not sought out for myself but if it was gifted to me I would definitely use it.

#13. Courses – The Ever-Growing Market

Similarly, there is a growing market for courses. Courses are really popular right now.

I myself have spent tens of thousands of dollars on courses just in the past five years. People who are looking to grow, learn, and better themselves will appreciate this kind of minimalist gift.

I have a course of my own, Clutter Cure, for folks wanting to create holistic clutter-free spaces!

There is a slew of courses out there for whatever a person is interested in, whatever they want to learn, and whatever skill they want to establish.

(If you’d like to know more about my course, then you should check out this master class where I share My Holistic Clutter-Free Formula).

#14. Concerts And Performances

A really memorable minimalist gift is a live performance: concerts, orchestras, theatrical performances, Cirque du Soleil, ballet, bands, stand-up comedy, etc.

A few years back, Matt got me birthday tickets for 21 Pilots.

It’s the only concert that we’ve been to, and it definitely stood out!

Concerts and performances can be a pretty awesome experience. This could be something that you share together or that you just gift for them to use by themselves or with someone else.

#15. Activities

Let’s talk about activities as minimalist gift ideas.

You’ve got movie theaters, mini-golf, rock climbing, horseback riding, jet ski rentals … there are so many different activities for any type of connoisseur.

Or you can get super creative – and again, the activity can be with or without you.

It reminds me of the episode of Parks and Rec where Ben is trying to plan a really special anniversary surprise for Leslie and he has a whole day set up of activities from dance lessons, to a massage, to a horse and carriage.

You can be that person who schedules the random horse and carriage trip for somebody! (Or something similar that’s less rough on the animals).

Something like that would definitely stand out.

#16. Staycation Or Vacation

Something that’s great for romantic relationships or close family relationships could be a vacation or a staycation.

It can be really exciting just to stay at a hotel in the downtown area from where you live. Just to get away and experience your town from a different point of view.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. I mean, you can get a hotel for $50-$100, depending on where you stay.

Escape to your local coast with an Airbnb or to the middle of the woods for a glamping trip. You can really go wild with ideas here and make it as expensive and elaborate or as simple and inexpensive as you want.

#17. Sporting Events

We can’t forget sporting events.

Some people are really into sports, so they’d love tickets to a ballgame.

Or if they’re into the more gamer / nerdy stuff then maybe something like a live Twitch performance (if that’s a thing). Either way, a ticket is certainly a minimalist gift.

#18. Downloadable Gifts (There’s A Whole Universe Of Them)

Let’s not forget downloadable gifts, which are totally clutter-free and very prevalent in today’s landscape. We’re talking games, mods, music, audiobooks, digital storage, software, etc.

Software is incredibly expensive and I’ve had to use it on numerous different occasions for things that I create here for business. It can definitely be a valuable minimalist gift for somebody who’s into something like graphic design, writing, or editing. You could purchase the aspiring author a year of Office Suite.

There are tons of different types of downloadable gifts. There’s truly an entire universe of them that would take an eternity to cover.

#19. Service-Based (I.E., “Make Me Food” Gifts)

Let’s not forget the good old-fashioned, getting your hands-dirty, service-based types of gifts.

Things like cooking somebody a meal or multiple meals that can be frozen and used as needed. I still remember when I delivered my girls that people brought all of these different dishes! You know, right after you have a baby you don’t feel like getting up and cooking. It was SUCH a lifesaver.

I got some great recipes out of it, too. People brought things like enchilada casserole and spinach salad, and I remember being so grateful.

I honestly wish there were more occasions for this. I wish that people would just bring me dishes of food more frequently! 🤔

#20. Snack Boxes Or Baskets

While we are talking about foods, there are also snack boxes galore. One year I bought my kids a giant snack box from Amazon. Kids go crazy over snack foods!

They loved opening it up and digging in to decide which ones they wanted. It was a big box to wrap, which was kinda cool.

The past two Christmases with Matt’s family, we’ve done White Elephant exchanges. Some of the most popular gifts are the baskets with various foods: nuts, popcorn, chocolates, and Hickory Farms. Who doesn’t love Hickory Farms with the little mustards, cheeses, and crackers?

Perishables are always a great minimalist gift and a lot of people prefer them, even those who don’t consider themselves minimalist.

#21. Vouchers

Something I ask my kids for on every occasion – Mothers Day, my birthday, or Christmas- is vouchers.

They’ve gotten creative with some of them – my daughter actually sewed one together with yarn. “Make me some coffee” is a big one because they both know how to use the Keurig.

It’s not just for kids, either.

For Matt’s birthday, the only thing I could get out of him was that he would love to have a 45-minute massage … from me. Just shows that vouchers and personalized services can go a long way!


Hopefully, you enjoyed some of these ideas!

Let me know in the comments if you have any minimalist gift ideas that weren’t mentioned. I would love to broaden my ideas and maybe even mention them the next time I do one of these! Next week, I’ll be diving into minimalist gifts for kids

I know that Christmas and birthdays can become a chaotic disaster of piles and piles of stuff. I’ll share some of my “worth it” ideas to help keep down the clutter and still have a blast!


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