Day 199 Alternatives to clutter gifts

Below I have listed some alternatives to clutter gifts. By clutter gifts I mean anything that is not consumable or an act of service that will remain in your home after it is has been used.

Edible Treats

  • Chocolate/Candy
  • Cake (provide a cake for someones happy occasion)
  • Fruit basket (what could be more colorful or healthy than that)
  • Bottle of wine / 6 pack of Boutique Beer…
  • A home cooked meal is always a treat for a special occasion
  • A cookie basket
  • Take them out to dinner/lunch/ breakfast etc

Gift Certificate

  • Dining Out
  • Hardware
  • Groceries
  • Spa Treatments
  • Travel Vouchers
  • Personal promise to do some household chores


  • Give a donation to your favourite charity in the name of the gift recipient
  • Donate your time to help out a charity on their behalf


  • Spend quality time together
  • Do a favour that will save someone precious time
  • Take care to someones children so they can have quality time with their significant other
  • Recharge a prepaid cell phone for more communication time


  • Plants/cuttings/seedlings/flowers
  • Doing some gardening for them
  • Mowing their lawn
  • Prune bushes


  • Arrange a get together with a group of friends
  • Bring two old friend together


  • Buy tickets to a show/event
  • Take them out to a show/event
  • Ipod downloads

If you have some ideas, and I am sure there are many I haved listed here, please leave a comment and I will add your suggestions to the Uncluttered Gifts Page I have created so that we can all refer back to easily in the future.


If you do take someone to an event as a gift please discourage this souvenir clutter

Event Programs

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. We gave maple candy couples as our wedding favor so people could eat them and then throw the package away. And we put them out in a basket, so no one felt like they had to take them or if they were a favorite you could take a few boxes. We still ended up with several, but that was okay…I love maple candy! All the other weddings I went to gave out favors that collected dust until I finally threw them out.

    • Hi Lady in a Smalltown,
      Wedding favor clutter is another unnecessary nuisance. I still have a bit of that floating around my house. It may disappear by 31/12/2010. I am glad you made the good choice and offered consumable favors. I often wonder why these traditions start in the first place. Too often weddings and other celebrations just become an exercise in one-upmanship with each subsequent host trying to upstage the last. I am all for simple and affordable. Actually I think this subject would make a great post. Thanks for that.

  2. great post Colleen. most of the junk in my home are these clutter gifts. i am still trying to figure out a way to get rid of all of them without hurting anyone’s sentiments

    • Hi Gogol,
      just click on Unwanted Gifts in the Tag Cloud section of my blog and you will get a few ideas. If all else fails just slowly remove them and hopefully no one will notice and if they do they won’t ask awkward questions. If they do ask the question you can either answer truthfully or invent a little white lie if you feel it is necessary.

  3. Hey Colleen,
    I read the articles related to unwanted gifts. The post “communicating feelings” was really good. Its a great idea to let people know beforehand that I don’t really care much for gifts.
    I have a feeling that those who give clutter gifts do so coz they r not sure what to gift but r under the (mis)conception that they r SUPPOSED to give SOMETHING.
    It would b a win-win situation to let them off the hook.

    • Hi Gogol
      I am glad my post have been helpful to you. Make sure you read the comments as well because my readers also have some valuable insights and opinions as you know. Let us know how you go with this we would love to know what reaction you receive.