Choosing the Perfect Gift for a Minimalist: Top 60 Recommendations

The Perfect Gift for a Minimalist


Navigating gift-giving around birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays is often tricky for those with minimalists on their list. After all, how do you find amazing gifts for minimalists when they need less, not more?

gift giving for minimalistsI’ve been a minimalist for years now, living in a 150-square-foot tiny house. I get asked this question all the time. My friends and family often say they have no idea what to give me and seem so worried about it! The truth is they don’t need to give me gifts at all, but I appreciate the thoughtfulness and don’t want to make this hard on them.

With that in mind, I compiled a list of easy-to-find, top gifts for a minimalist. These ideas are adaptable for anyone living a minimalist life, and hopefully, you’ll discover the perfect something for the minimalists on your list.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

I’m often asked for advice on what makes the perfect minimalist gift. I also like sharing the joy of minimalism through gift-giving with my loved ones, and I’ve learned that the perfect gift for a minimalist is one that shows thoughtfulness while also modeling the values I live by.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Self-Improvement Gifts for Minimalists

Self Improvement Gifts for Minimalists

I find that I thrive most while achieving the goals I set for myself. Minimalists like me are all about self-improvement, and if you love and care about us, you want to see us succeed. The best gifts for minimalists allow you to be a part of our success story.

write down your intentionsI recommend that you do some homework and find out what your favorite minimalist is working to achieve. Do they have any goals you’d like to support? What’s on their bucket list? Learning about their important to-do items for the upcoming year is a great way to get some memorable minimalist gift ideas.

Reading and learning materials are always excellent gifts for the minimalist in your life who’s on the road to better themselves. Don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper and look beyond the typical tutorials and self-improvement books. After all, what’s a better mental health break than reading or listening to inspiring adventure stories, science fiction, and memoirs?

Gift ideas for minimalists don’t have to be complicated. If people ask you what you want, suggest these unique gifts to help you achieve your own goals.

  1. Kindle Paperwhite

Thin, lightweight, and waterproof, a Kindle is an excellent gift for minimalists who want to cut back on clutter. Kindle books give avid readers a way to expand their knowledge and love of books without taking up more space on their bookshelves. Electronic devices like Kindle also provide easy-to-read options with personalized lighting and font selections, instant definitions for difficult words, and hundreds of free or inexpensive books and magazine choices.

  1. Audible subscription

Throughout the year, an Audible subscription comes with amazing perks and pricing specials. This is especially true around the holidays. I love Audible because it gives me more “reading time” when I’m commuting for business, running errands, or taking a trip. Traffic jams don’t bother me nearly as much these days! Making the most of my travel time allows me to work on my goals with a business book, get lost in the fun of a novel, or educate myself on a variety of topics.

ryans best gifts for minimalists picks

Tiny Houses

tiny house living book

Tiny House Living

by Ryan Mitchell (I might be biased)

a pattern language

A Pattern Language

by Chris Alexander

the minimalist mindset

The Minimalist Mindset

by Danny Dover


children of time

Children of Time

by Adrian Tchaikovsky



by Jeremey Robinson

the passage

The Passage

by Justin Cronin

Business Books

the coaching habit

The Coaching Habit

by Michael Stanier

strengths finder

Strengths Finder 2.0

from Gallup

the 100 dollar startup

The $100 Startup

by Chris Guillebeau

Young Adult

the maze runner

The Maze Runner

by James Dashner

city of ember

City of Ember

by Jeanne DuPrau



by Ally Condie




by Larry Niven

hell divers

Hell Divers

by Nicholas Smith

the martian

The Martian

Andy Weir




by Blake Crouch

orphan x

Orphan X

by Greg Hurwitz

bird box

Bird Box

Josh Malerman


If you know your gift recipient is interested in learning something new or wants to dive deeper into something they love, lessons make the best minimalist gifts. Investigate different options available through your local community organizations and businesses. A few ideas to explore:

  1. Dance lessons
  2. Music lessons
  3. Art classes
  4. Cooking classes

Fitness Classes And Memberships

Does the minimalist in your life want to get in better shape? Or are they already enjoying a fit lifestyle and you want to support their passion? These are some great minimalist gift ideas for beginner or experienced athletes.

  1. A unique, local fitness experience: water-skiing, hiking, kayaking, etc.
  2. Membership to a local gym
  3. Yoga classes
  4. Sessions with a personal trainer
  5. Standup paddle board session
  6. Register for a 5K, half-marathon, or marathon

Entertainment Gifts For Minimalists

Entertainment Gifts For Minimalists

With so many subscription services available these days, you can choose from a variety of thoughtful and entertaining gifts that minimalists will enjoy without adding clutter to their space. Many entertainment-centered gifts for minimalists are not only inexpensive, but they continue bringing their recipients joy for months (or even years) to come.

unsubscribe from tv subscriptionsWhy not give the gift of an experience? Entertainment and experiences are my absolute favorite minimalist gifts to give and receive because it always means creating new memories with loved ones. Entertainment gifts for minimalists could mean gift cards to a favorite restaurant, tickets to an event, or other adventures.

When I’m considering a minimalist entertainment or experience gift, I consider activities the person enjoys, then I purchase two tickets. Not only do they get an excellent experience, but we enjoy it together.

Movie, Music And TV Subscription Services

  1. Hulu
  2. Spotify Premium
  3. Disney+

Magazine Subscriptions

Digital subscriptions to in-print magazines often come with extra options and fantastic prices. They also reduce waste at the same time. Look for a publication that matches your loved one’s area of interest.

  1. For the coffee lover: Drift Magazine
  2. For the avid reader: The New Yorker
  3. For homebodies with a minimalist mindset: Real Simple Magazine

Tickets To Events

People easily forget material possessions but always remember seeing their favorite concert or sports team. This is especially true if they attend with someone they care about and can have lots of fun with. Give the gift of an unforgettable and meaningful memory!

  1. Local sports events
  2. Live theater
  3. Concerts
  4. Brewery tours or vineyard tours/wine tastings

Gifts of Time Ideas

Gifts of Time Ideas

My preferred minimalist gift ideas show I value my loved one’s time by giving them more of it. Gifting someone a maid service allows me to help them clean around the house or make life easier for them, even if I don’t live nearby.

Sometimes a loved one is going out of town and needs a nearby kennel for their dog. Call the kennel to see if they have gift certificates. A few of my friends became new parents and needed a night out. I sent them a “coupon” good for one night of free babysitting. The possibilities are endless!

Thanks to you, your loved one will appreciate the freedom to spend more time doing what they love.

the gift of time

Gifts Of Time

  1. Babysitting or pet sitting
  2. Local maid or professional organizing service
  3. Dinner and a movie
  4. Dinner and game night
  5. Lend a helping hand to weed flower beds, plant vegetables, reupholster chairs, paint a room, etc.

Consumable Gifts For Minimalists

Consumable Gifts For Minimalists

Some fun gifts for a minimalist include items people eat or use up. For example, I appreciate a delicious meal when my schedule is hectic. I also love specialty-blend coffee beans to get me out of bed, and eager to start a new day.

gift box subscription for minimalistIf you have a busy friend who enjoys good food, one of your famous homemade meals or a dish from a favorite restaurant might hit the spot. I consider a special treat or a challenging recipe my friends may enjoy. Maybe something relaxing so they can pamper themselves. Everyone benefits from some quality self-care now and then.

We generate feel-good chemicals for ourselves while finding a way to remind someone else how special they are. Here are some exceptional items I’ve discovered.

Health And Beauty Products

If you know someone developing a regular skincare or shaving routine or in need of a spa day at home, health and beauty products are affordable gifts for minimalists that they’ll put to good use.

  1. Dollar Shave Club
  2. Billie Razors
  3. Lavender Calming balms
  4. Candles
  5. Bath bombs or bubbles

Food Products

Food and drink nourish the body and soul. Sending these popular and thoughtful minimalist gifts will delight those you love.

  1. Wine, beer, or spirits
  2. Baked goods — cakes, cookies, quick breads, candy
  3. Jellies, jams, and pickles
  4. Homemade jerky
  5. Care package of their favorite treats
  6. SnackNation Box
  7. Candy Club Subscription
  8. Gift cards to local retailers, restaurants, and food trucks
  9. Coffee and tea gift cards
  10. Membership to a local co-op
  11. CSA subscription (community-supported agriculture/farm share box with fresh produce each week)

Pet Products

Show the pet owners in your life that you recognize their affection and responsibility for their pets. These minimalist gift ideas also show your willingness to join them in loving the furry members of the family.

  1. Rescue Box for charity

Practical, Buy Once-In-A-Lifetime Gifts

Practical Gifts For Minimalists

I love this idea since, like most minimalists, I give a lot of thought and consideration to new purchases. When my birthday is coming up and I need to replace something or buy a new item, I often suggest it as a gift when others ask for ideas.

For example, I’ve needed new shoes for a month or so, but I’m holding off. This allows the gift-givers in my life to get something I need that also replaces a worn-out item.

When I do purchase something for myself, I get the highest-quality, longest-lasting product possible. For more ideas, check out my post on once-in-a-lifetime purchases.

The best minimalist gifts are the kind that support a person’s lifestyle and values and make life easier. Here are some great ideas inspired by some of my favorite gifts I’ve received as a minimalist.

High-Quality Notebooks And Journaling Supplies

  1. Rocketbook Wave Smart Notebook (reusable eco-friendly notebook)
  2. Refillable Personalized Leather Journal/Sketchbook (could be used for bullet journaling)
  3. Rugged Mountains Printable Bullet Journal Pages from The Tiny Life
  4. Waterproof Portfolio And Organizer
  5. Freedom Journal

Practical Personal Gifts

  1. Duluth Pack Scout Pack
  2. Minnetonka Moccasins men’s Classic Moc or women’s Pile-Lined Hardsole
  3. Hydro Flask and reusable straws
  4. Allbirds shoes
  5. Pendleton wool blanket

Charity Gifts For Minimalists

Charity Gifts For Minimalists

I think some of the best gift ideas for minimalists come to us when we absolutely can’t think of anything to give (or anything we want to receive). In these instances, a charitable donation may be just the ticket to making your favorite minimalist feel warm and fuzzy inside.

best places to donate booksIf your friends or family want to give you a meaningful gift, suggest that they donate to a cause you’re passionate about. Doing the same for them shows you share similar values. This is especially poignant around the holidays.

Many charitable and nonprofit organizations need donations in the form of goods, services, and money. How would you like to honor the philanthropist in your life? If you’re part of a group that exchanges gifts for the holidays, consider this idea to let everyone get in on the action!

Charitable Giving Ideas

  1. Donation to a favorite charity
  2. Sponsorship for a charity walk
  3. Volunteer time together at a local non-profit or shelter
  4. Museum memberships (check out the North American Reciprocal Museum Association for a membership that allows privileges at a favorite vacation spot)
  5. Botanical garden memberships
  6. Ecology center memberships
As you see, buying presents doesn’t mean giving someone more “stuff” to clutter up their homes and lives. This list contains plenty of useful and meaningful gifts for minimalists they’ll use for weeks, months, or years to come.

Consider birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays as golden opportunities to show the minimalist in your life that you care enough to support their values and what matters most to them.

Whether you decide to shower them with memories, practical and useful items, or a contribution to the greater good, to a minimalist, it’s truly the thought that counts. Happy gift-giving!

minimalist five gift rule

Your Turn!

  • What’s the most practical gift you’ve ever received?
  • How might you approach your wish list differently in the future to align more with minimalist values?
  1. Love the article Ryan. I am a small space living person – 240 square feet plus a garden. As Dana says – we really don’t need much more than friends and family. As I was decluttering and downsizing, I reaised how little I do need and how freeing this way of life it. Continued good luck with the blogs.

  2. Great article! I was just feeling bad about all the stuff I received during the holidays (most of them I don’t really need), and then reading this post. Thank you for all the suggestions.

  3. Love this, thank you for writing it! I learned of organizations, and better replacements for some of the things I do still buy.

  4. Such a great article, thank you for this. I came to know the value of space and solution after reading this blog thank you once again.

  5. I finally have great gift ideas to give to my minimalist son, thank you!

  6. I am 80 years old. The best gift ever was a couple of years ago my son gave me a cleaning service every other week forever. It has been a gift that keeps on giving and has been so wonderful not having to “clean” after all those years being a single mom bringing up 5 children and cooking and cleaning for us all.

Leave a Reply