Posts Tagged Gifts

Great Gifts for Minimalists: Meaningful Ideas They’ll Appreciate

Great Gifts for Minimalists: Meaningful Ideas They’ll Appreciate

Great Gifts for MinimalistsNavigating gift-giving around the holidays is often tricky for those with minimalists on their list. After all, how do you find gifts for minimalists when they don’t buy, need, or even want much?

After years of being a minimalist living in a 150 square foot tiny house living, I get asked this question every year. People often tell me they have no idea what to give me (the truth is they don’t need to give gifts at all, but I definitely appreciate the thoughtfulness).

So, I decided to compile a list of the top gifts for minimalists. Hopefully, you’ll find something for every minimalist on your list. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. No matter what you give, chances are they’ll appreciate the sentiment.

And if YOU are the minimalist and don’t know how to help confused family and friends figure out gift-giving this season, send them this post to give them a few great ideas!

Self-Improvement Gifts for Minimalists

Self-Improvement Gifts for Minimalists

Minimalists are often goal-getters. They’re all about self-improvement, and if you love and care about a minimalist, you want to see them succeed. You may need to do a little homework—find out goals the person is working towards. Learning about what is on a person’s bucket list is a great way to get ideas to help them achieve.

Reading and learning materials are always an excellent gift on the path to self-improvement—and it doesn’t need to be limited to ONLY tutorials and self-improvement books, either. After all, what’s a better mental health break than reading or listening to a great book?

If people ask you what you want, you can think of gifts to help achieve your own goals. Here are a few ideas for great self-improvement gifts.

Kindle Paperwhite

kindle as a gift for a minimalistThin, lightweight, and now waterproof, a Kindle is an excellent gift for someone who’s cutting back on clutter. Books on a Kindle are a great way to give someone a great read without taking up more space on the bookshelf. Yes, an electronic reader is often a divisive topic for bibliophiles, so feel out their preference first. If they already own an e-reader, then a book recommendation is a terrific gift.


Audible Subscription

audbile as a giftRight now, an Audible subscription comes with 30 days free, then $14.95/month. I love Audible because it lets me get more “reading” in when I’m driving, commuting, or on a road trip. Making the most of my travel time allows me to work on my goals with a business or self-improvement book, get in fun reading with a fiction book, or learn all about something new.

ryans picks for audible and kindle ebooks

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

Sci-Fi

children of time

Children of Time

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

infinite

Infinite

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

matched

Matched

by Ally Condie

Adventure

ringworld

Ringworld

by Larry Niven

hell divers

Hell Divers

by Nicholas Smith

the martian

The Martian

Andy Weir

Thriller

pines

Pine

by Blake Crouch

orphan x

Orphan X

by Greg Hurwitz

bird box

Bird Box

Josh Malerman

lessons as gifts
Lessons
If you know your gift recipient is interested in taking lessons, they are a terrific gift. There are many options available through local community organizations and businesses. A few ideas to explore:

  • Dance
  • Musical Instrument
  • Art Classes
  • Cooking
membership gifts
Fitness Classes and Memberships
Fitness classes and memberships are also excellent gifts for minimalists (assuming the person on your list is interested in the fitness area). It always helps to ask or offer up a few ideas they may enjoy and allow them to choose the class or plan that fits their preferences and lifestyle. Fitness ideas include:

  • Finding a unique fitness experience local to their town—yoga, hiking, kayaking, etc.
  • Membership to a local gym
  • Yoga classes
  • Sessions with a personal trainer
  • Standup paddle board
  • Register for a marathon (if they’re into it)

Entertainment Gifts for Minimalists

Entertainment Gifts for Minimalists

With so many subscription services available these days, there are tons of ideas for entertaining gifts for minimalists that are inexpensive and enjoyable. There’s also the option to give the gift of an experience. Tickets or another event experience is my absolute favorite gift to give and receive because it means I get to do something fun with the person I care about. The gift of entertainment could mean dinner out, tickets to an event, or another adventure. I think of what the person likes and often get two tickets. Not only is it an excellent experience, but we experience it together.

subscription gifts for minimalists
Movie, Music & TV Subscription Services

  • Hulu: The first 30 days are free then plans start at $5.99/month
  • Spotify Premium: First three months are free, and then plans start at $9.99/month
  • Disney+: Launching December 2019, plans start at $7/month or $70/year
magazine subscriptions for minimalists
Magazine Subscriptions

Check out digital subscriptions, which are an excellent option for most magazines. Look for a publication fitting their area of interest.

  • For the coffee lover: Drift magazine $52/year – published 2x/year
  • For the avid reader: Ruminate magazine $50/year (subscription directly supports literary writers and visual artists)
  • For women with a minimalist mindset: Real Simple magazine $10/year
tickets to events as gifts
Tickets to Events

  • Local sports events
  • Theater
  • Concert
  • Brewery tours or vineyard tours/wine tastings

hobbies for small spaces

Gifts of Time Ideas

Gifts of Time Ideas

Giving and receiving the gift of someone’s time is so meaningful. What could you do to help someone around the house or do something for them they would appreciate? The bonus of giving the gift of time is you often get to spend more time with your friend or loved one.

babysitting as a gift
Gifts of Time

  • Babysitting
  • Pet sitting
  • Dinner & a movie
  • Game night: bring over a meal and games
  • Helping hands: use your special skill or talent to help weed flower beds, plant vegetables, reupholster chairs, or paint a living room.

Consumables

consumables as gifts

Next up are items people eat or use up. A perfect example of this is food items. We are all busy, and most of us like food, so making a treat or buying a favorite food is a great gift. Think of difficult-to-make items or gifts that are an indulgence. Here are a few exceptional items I’ve found.

candles as gifts
Health & Beauty Products

foods as gifts
Food Products

  • Wine/beer
  • Baked goods: cakes, cookies, quick breads, candy
  • Jellies, jams, and pickles
  • Homemade Jerky
  • A care package of favorite treats
  • SnackNation Box: $24 for the first box, then $40 month
  • Candy Club Subscription: $30/month (first box is 50% off)
  • Gift cards to local retailers, restaurants, and food trucks
  • Coffee and tea gift cards
  • Membership to the local co-op
  • CSA subscription (community supported agriculture/farm share box with fresh produce each week)
pet products as gifts
Pet Products

  • Rescue Box: $23/month (think Bark Box, but proceeds go to supply food and vaccines to shelter animals)

Practical, Buy Once-in-a-Lifetime Gift Items

Buy Once-in-a-Lifetime Gift Items

I do this a lot, since I don’t need much and I don’t buy much either. So, when there’s something I need to replace or buy new, I hold off and suggest it as a gift when others ask. For example, I’ve needed new shoes for a month or so, but I’m holding off. This way, those who want to give me a gift can do so, and it’s something that I really need to replace a worn-out item.

buy once in a lifetime products

When I do need to purchase something, I get the highest-quality, longest-lasting product possible. For more ideas, check out my post on how to find items you only need to buy once in a lifetime.

rugged mountains bullet journal printables
pendleton blankets

Charity Gifts for Minimalists

Charity Gifts for Minimalists

If you absolutely can’t think of anything to give (or anything you want to receive), consider a charitable donation. Asking friends or family to donate to a cause you’re passionate about is a meaningful option, especially around the holidays. Giving back is something everyone (minimalists and non-minimalists alike) can appreciate!

charitable giving ideas
Charitable Giving Ideas

  • Donation to a favorite charity
  • Sponsor their team for a charity walk
  • Volunteer time with them at a local non-profit (walk dogs, serve meals, sort food at a pantry, etc.)
  • Museum memberships (Check out the North American Reciprocal Museum Association for a membership that allows privileges at a favorite vacation spot, too.)
  • Botanical garden memberships
  • Ecology center memberships (They often offer tours, birdwatching, even canoe rentals.)

As you see, gift-giving doesn’t have to mean giving someone more “stuff” to clutter up their homes and lives. There are plenty of gifts for minimalists that are useful, meaningful, and even give to the greater good.

Your Turn!

  • What’s your favorite gift to give to others?
  • What’s the most practical gift you’ve ever received?

Happy Holidays From The Tiny Life

This week I’ve been winding down for the holidays.  I have been doing some last minute shopping before I head to my folks house.  With tiny houses you don’t always have room for a big Christmas tree, but I actually ended up getting two trees!  The first was at my coworking space that I own, each year we have a holiday party and a real tree.  Here it is:

I also got a really small rosemary shrub that has been grown in a Christmas tree shape.  This is great because it’s small, but still has a great smell.  Plus I love rosemary, the last one I had, I planted it outside and it took off like gangbusters.

For gifts this year I held back on some purchases I had wanted to make, so I could share them with my family if they needed ideas.  I have been wanting a headlamp for around the house.  I live deep in the woods and it’s always really dark outside the house.  For those nights I need to turn on the generator, grab something out of the trailer or car a headlamp is great to have.

I also asked for dish towels, as my old ones were ready to retire.  Finally I asked for credits to Audible, the website that I get my audio books from, which download to a phone app; I love audible and read 34 books this year (down from last year’s 41).

That’s all I have to report this year, I hope to see you all in the new year!

5 Gifts For Tiny Housers

Out of all the things that come up with tiny houses, the holidays might be the trickiest for tiny house folks. Even after years of living tiny, people around me still feel the need to give gifts. While it isn’t necessary, I appreciate gifts much more because people really have to think of creative ideas for gifts that won’t take up space in my tiny house.

Today I wanted to share my top 5 gift ideas for tiny house folks.

If you are having trouble telling people what you want for the holidays, try sending them this post so they can get some ideas!

1. Experiences:

This is my absolute favorite gift to give and receive because it means that I can do something fun with that person that I care about. It could be a dinner out, tickets to an event or some other adventure. I try to think of things that the person likes and often get two so that not only is it an awesome experience, but we can experience it together.

Gift idea: Buy a ticket to the Tiny House Conference

Conference--xmas

2. Consumables

Next up is things that people can eat or use up; they’re things that after a certain amount of use are gone. A perfect example of this is food items. We are all busy and most of us like food, so making something or buying something that person likes is a great gift. Think of things that are difficult to make or are a nice indulgence. Other things besides food could be candles, eco-friendly bath products, or firewood.

Gift Idea: a subscription to a CSA (community supported agriculture).

consumeables

3. Help them pursue a dream

For those we care about, we want to see them succeed. Find out some goals the person is working towards. Learning about what is on a person’s bucket list is a great way to get ideas for what you can help them achieve. If people ask you for what you want, you can think of things that will help you achieve your own goals. If someone’s goal is to build a tiny house, get a copy of their plans made up, get that resource they’ve been eyeing or pick up a good book on the topic.

Gift idea:  Tiny House Living By: Ryan Mitchell – #1 selling tiny house book

building---coaching

4. Something you’re already going to buy anyway.

I do this a lot, since I don’t really need much, and I don’t buy much either. So when something comes up that I need to replace it or buy something new, I hold off and suggest it as a gift when others ask. For example, I am in need of new shoes, have been for a month or so, but I’ve been holding off. This way those who must have to give me a gift can and its something that I really need in order to replace a worn-out item.

Gift Idea: Shoes, socks, tires, etc.

buy-anyway

5. Digital or non-tangible items.

Sometimes there are gifts that take up no space at all and can be used later on. I’m thinking of gift cards, vouchers and digital downloads. A gift card to your favorite restaurant takes up next to no space, but is a great way for you to still give or receive things when you are living tiny. Other things could be iTunes music, Netflix, Amazon Prime, movies, or Kindle books.

Gift Idea: Cracking The Code – Guide to building codes and zoning for tiny houses!

cracking-the-code

Your Turn!

  • What are some of your favorite small-space gift ideas?

Gifts And Living The Tiny Life

With the holiday season upon us, people get very wrapped up in the need to buy presents. Even though I don’t need things and for the most part I don’t want for much, it’s hardwired into people’s brains that they have to give me something. So today I wanted to share some of the things you can do when it comes to the gift giving season.

I think the first thing to do is long before the holiday season, share with those who might give you gifts that your lifestyle and priorities have shifted to have fewer items. You can frame this in the context of environmentalism, reduced-consumerism, simple living, minimalism; however you do this, people are going to be curious why, so be prepared to have a conversation. It’s important for them to understand that there is a greater purpose and/or goal behind your request. Now we tiny house folks often can’t shut up about our dream tiny house, so this isn’t usually an issue.

Next thing to do is consider the things that you really do need throughout the year, then consider if you could hold off getting it now and instead suggest it as a gift for the holidays. A great example in my own life is work shirts. I wear polos to work, but I only have 4 (I only go into an office 3 days a week), so they wear out with more frequent washings. I was about to retire my polos when I realized it was getting close to the holidays and I decided to wait and ask for new shirts.

So where possible, try to time things so people can give you things that you truly do need, but what about beyond that? Being that I don’t need a whole lot, I find that there are more people to exchange gifts with than I have needs. This is where I ask for experiences or consumables.

The great thing about these two things is that they don’t take up space (or not for long). Experiences can be having them take you out to dinner, going to see a movie, taking a weekend vacation, going on some adventure with them, having them cook you a meal and enjoying it together. The experience will be something that you both will value so much more than anything you can buy at the store.

The second thing is consumables. There are items like foods, drinks, candy, etc. that you can use, but they aren’t going to have to be stored forever. If you want to take it a step further, ask them to take into consideration the packaging of the item.

Great examples of consumables are baked goods. If they are a wine or beer drinker, consider wine/beer of the month clubs. If they are meat eaters, try some mail order steaks; for the vegetarians/vegans/raw folks consider local vendors that prepare meals to go that align with their food preferences. Buying someone a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture) is a fantastic option. A great place to start is with your local farmers market.

So those are just a few tips on how you might bring in the New Year and handle the gift giving season while still balancing it with living The Tiny Life.

Your Turn!

How to do you talk with other about reducing your possessions during the holiday season?

Green Gifts

Don’t stress out if you missed the opportunity to have one of the fabulous gifts from our green guides shipped in time for the holidays. There are plenty of thoughtful last-minute green gifts for everyone on your list! So whether you haven’t been able find that special something for your sister, in-laws, co-worker, or even your best friends, we have the prefect ideas that are earth friendly and easy to put together. herb planters, seeds kit, recycled cans, edible, baking, cooking ingredients gifts eco green holiday “last minute” guide 2009 diy handmade

seedsplant

1. HANDMADE SEED STARTER KIT A great gift for almost anyone on your list is handmade seed starter kit. You can customize a planter by covering or painting an aluminum can, a yogurt cup, or any other container with a bottom that can be punctured for drainage. Avocado8 has some great tips for the type of soil and seeds to use for a starter kit. To make it even more special, you may want to add a few plant markers to the kit. You can design your own, or use a template, like this one from Goldtop design. sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts, edible gifts

food

2. EDIBLE GREEN GIFT Edible gifts are a standby last-minute treat. Holiday cookies made from organic ingredients will be enjoyed by all, but if you aren’t very savvy with baking you could try something easier like spiced nuts, chocolate-covered gummy bears, or even your own fudge sauce. Green cooking tip: reusable silicon mats are great for eco-friendly baking. Another nice alternative is to create a cute package with all the ingredients and instructions needed to make a special recipe – try a chocolate cranberry cookie mix, or hot cocoa mix. sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts, vase

flower

3. RECYCLED CUSTOMIZED FLOWER VASE Giving someone flowers can be a nice last-minute gesture for the holidays, but it will be even better when you give them a bouquet in a handmade vase. You can follow these easy instructions to make one from a recycled glass bottle using glue and yarn for a simple and classy look, or for a ceramic-inspired creation try this technique using puffy paints. sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts, DIY sketchbook

book

4. A PERSONALIZED SKETCHBOOK OR NOTEPAD Another easy gift is to make vintage-inspired notepads or sketchbooks with 100% recycled paper. You can use a thrift store book cover, or make your own cover by wrapping a sheet of cardboard with a newspaper, fabric or even paint chip samples. Don’t worry; there are online tutorials that will help you with the binding techniques. digital gifts, online gifts, sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts,

digital

5. DIGITAL GIFTS Go digital with your last-minute gifts this year. For musical friends, gift them a custom playlist you made with iTunes, or send them a gift card for Amazon’s mp3s. For literary types, buy them a digital book for their kindle, or a subscription to a digital magazine or newspaper from Zinio. Photo junkies will love it when you buy them a pro account on Flickr, so they can organize and share all their photos online. sustainable design, green design, last minute gifts, green christmas presents, eco holiday gifts, gifts of time

time

6. GIFTS OF TIME A last-minute holiday present that is net-zero and consumerism-free is to give the gift of your time. You can make coupons using holiday letterpress cards, like these eco-friendly sustainably harvested yellow birch cards from Night Owl Paper Goods. Some ideas for coupon themes: offer to do an eco-friendly house cleaning, laundry duties for a month with natural detergents, prepare an organic meal, or offer to paint a room with low-VOC paints. For more great gifts ideas, be sure to check out our Gifts of Time Guide.