10 Simple and Thoughtful Holiday Gift Ideas

decluttering living systems psychology of furniture Nov 30, 2021

The holidays can be extra tricky because we want to get the best gifts for mom, for dad, for our kids, our co-workers, and our friends.

Shopping for people who you know and love can be difficult, and when you add in shopping for those who you don’t know on a deep level and the current economic state, the stress of the season is exponentially amplified. That’s why I created this 10 Simple & Thoughtful Holiday Gift Ideas guide. It’s designed to get you through the holidays without stressing about what to get for the special people in your life. 

Below, you’ll find several ideas for unique, useful, and thoughtful gifts. But remember, even if you know the person you’re gifting deeply, you may want to keep the receipt. Let the person you're gifting know that you’re totally okay with them returning or exchanging gifts they get from you without any hurt feelings. When people say, “It’s the thought that counts”, they’re expressing gratitude for the time and effort you put into finding them something you think they would like. And unless you get them specifically what they’ve asked for, you won’t know they love it. And that’s okay! 


Without further ado, let’s dive in!


Give the Gift of an Experience

We all know the person who has everything they need and zero space (or desire) for a knick-knack or trinket. And let’s be real—those things are just add-ons to the dusting chore list, and your recipient may end up feeling like they have to keep that item just because you gave it to them. 

Schedule a spa day. I don’t want to say that everyone loves a spa day, but I have yet to personally meet anyone who dislikes being pampered. It’s likely that this will be even more beneficial after the holiday season is over, because your recipient will need some rest & relaxation after the go-go-go is over.

Make a reservation at a nice restaurant. This is a special treat that most will love. Everyone needs to eat, and what better way to have a meal than in a beautiful environment with delicious food that you don’t have to cook! Plus, no clean-up. Win-win!

Book an escape room. I realize this isn’t usually on the list of to-do’s when it comes to holiday festivities, but if your recipient loves puzzles, adventure, and a safe place to get some adrenaline, this is a wonderful idea! If you’re not familiar with an escape room, here’s the gist: You’re ‘locked’ in a room that requires you to figure out clues to open a combination, a door, or even decode a letter. Please note that you’re not actually locked in—there are immediate release options, the room is constantly monitored, and the staff will keep an eye on everyone in the area.

Gift a park pass. This could be to an amusement park, or to a national or state park. There are some great options at USGS.gov for national parks to see things like the Joshua Tree, the Grand Canyon, and lots more. 

Subscription gifting! We all know about Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Paramount Plus, etc. You could definitely gift someone one of these, or go with a number of other things. But in keeping with the Experience Gift Idea, consider something like an OnStar subscription for when they’re traveling. Or, maybe you’ve heard your recipient say they’re interested in art. If so, there are a ton of crafting boxes available! 


Living System Gift Ideas

Personally, I’ve never had anyone ask me for a drawer organizer or a sock basket. But when I give these items as gifts, the response is always positive! My recipients find that they use these items on a daily basis, and it makes their lives just a little bit easier.

Wall-mounted Toothbrush Holder 

Products like this wall-mounted toothbrush holder are a great example of implementing a living system that not only clears up your counter space, but inspires a more careful self-care routine. 

Plus, it literally squeezes the toothpaste for you, has space for four toothbrushes, a rinse cup, a storage drawer, and space on the top for small items. And it utilizes the vertical space that most overlook as effective living system implementation areas. Get yours here.


Lost Sock Basket

Part of having a home that represents who you authentically are is being organized. But it’s not just about getting organized—it’s about STAYING organized. 

That’s where Living Systems really have an impact. Using tools like this lost sock basket will help you to streamline your home, thereby reducing stress, decreasing clutter, and even aesthetically improving your spaces.

One of the great things about this particular tool is that it doesn’t take up any counter space; instead, it makes use of the vertical space that usually gets reserved for items that don’t necessarily serve any practical purpose. 

You can get your lost sock basket here.



Sliding Drawer Cabinet Organizer

This is the perfect gift for someone who struggles with keeping their cabinets organized. 

One great way to use this tool is under the kitchen sink, to organize cleaning supplies. You can also use it for linens in a bathroom with limited cabinet space, on your desk for better organization, and pretty much anywhere you need to take advantage of vertical space.

There’s also a great potential for a positive impact on living systems with this piece. If you, or someone you know, struggles with keeping cabinets organized and struggles with clutter, this is perfect for them!

Get it here. 


Behind-the-door Storage

One of the best living system hacks is the ability to have a place for everything, and everything in its place. After all, it’s impossible to be effective in your systems if there are things that don’t have a specific purpose! 

However, storage is an issue for so many of us. That’s why a rack like this, that attaches to a door (or a wall!) provides a solution for those unused areas in our homes.

This is an amazing product for anyone who lives in a space with little to no storage in the kitchen, pantry, or bathroom.

One client uses hers to store hair care products, while another one installed it in her kitchen to store her cooking supplies so that they’re within easier reach, which has rekindled her love for creating beautiful meals! Get yours here.


Give a Gift Card: It’s not impersonal!

I hear so many people say that giving a gift card is lazy, impersonal, and a cop-out when it comes to gift giving. 

I’m here to disagree with that! There are so many different types of gift cards—prepaid credit cards that can be used anywhere, restaurant cards, coffee shop cards, digital store cards, etc., that if you’ve ever had a conversation with your recipient, you’re bound to know at least one thing they’d enjoy getting.

You may not know what a person needs. We’ve all been reminded to be kind, as we don’t always know what someone is going through. When it comes to gift cards, it may be that your recipient is ashamed to ask for what they actually need, or want. In this instance, a gift card allows the person to purchase a much-needed item without having to sacrifice any dignity.

Most people like to pick out things for themselves, especially when they’re not spending their money! Personally, I know what I like. That’s not to say that people who know me can’t pick out things that I like that I’m very grateful for—I’ve received some beautiful gifts!—but I know it creates stress on both sides if there’s any doubt. 

They can spend it when they need it. I recently used a gift card I got as a gift earlier this year for something I needed now. When I received the gift card, I had no need of it but I just knew it would come in handy later—and it did! 

There’s more joy when they do use the gift card. One year, a client of mine gave her mother and stepfather a prepaid Visa card. She told them that she hoped they spent it in a way that made their lives better, easier, or just a little more fun. And what did they buy? Bath sheets! That was a splurge that her parents wouldn’t have normally indulged in, but thanks to that gift card, they were able to feel just a little more luxurious after getting out of the shower and bath. 


I hope this gift guide has helped! Remember that even though there are societal pressures to give someone a gift, the most important thing you can give someone is your time, attention, and love. And maybe a nice mug of hot cocoa on a cold winter’s day.

Want to discover your Space Personality and create a home environment that is more YOU?

When you know who you are, you can create a space that reflects your unique style, values, interests and your life goals. Your space is your mirror and it tells a story about you. Take this free quiz to learn your Space Personality Style and turn your home into a living vision board for your dreams.