Christine Koh


I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

12 Awesome Clutter-Free Gifts

Though I certainly like my share of stuff (hello, shiny objects) I believe in acquisition as a mindful curator rather than simply a consumer. I also loathe holiday related excess and clutter. Subsequently, I routinely do two things this time of year: 1) collect and donate clothing and other goods to people in need (big load done last week and I want to do another round this weekend) and 2) keep my eye focused on clutter-free gifts. I wanted to share my 12 favorite clutter-free gift ideas with you today:

1. I gift pretty soaps every. single. year. Not kidding. I love the products at Abe’s Market and Soaptopia, and I recently bought these tea tree shampoo/body bars for Jon (shhhh!). Because of the natural and local angle. Also, totally because they have hearts on them.

2. My awesome brother-in-law introduced me to Frog Hollow Farm a few years ago. Their jam gift sets make a great gift that I've both received and sent. I also recommend the granola!


3. No brainer awesome gift = chocolate. Taza’s Oaxacan Sampler is a good pick; not expensive and samplers are fun. Also local and awesome. (Also, if you dig gifting food gifts, be sure to check out these 10 easy DIY food gifts.)

4. A simple bottle or two of a favorite wine makes a delightful gift, but I won’t lie, if someone gifted me the 90+ Cellars mixed wine club, I’d love ‘em forever.

5. Ever since posting about Fitbit this fall I continue to hear raves from others. Gifting the wrist model will offer a clutter-free gift that also encourages physical activity and sweet, delicious sleep.

6. I love museum-type memberships for gifts. This actually reminds me that we’ve been wanting to make a donation to Mass Audubon, which jointly provides a family membership while protecting natural spaces in Massachusetts.

7. Related to #6 I am a huge fan of experiential gifts. Zero clutter and immensely memorable. Some of Laurel’s top memories include shows such as The Nutcracker, Disney on Ice, Cirque du Soleil, and Wicked.

8. You can get a lot of tech awesome for free, but paid premium memberships (e.g., Flickr, Dropbox, Evernote) can give your tech enthusiast even more fodder to amp up their productivity and creativity.

9. Never underestimate the gift of time. Babysitting IOU's always accepted and appreciated.

10. Every year I gift bags of favorite coffee and or tea samplers. Hit up your favorite cafe for a special blend or you'll have plenty to choose from at Whole Foods.

11. Jon and I periodically gift each other massage gift certificates and it is the best. thing. ever. Two local practitioners who are awesome? Heather Becton Hunt in Arlington and Jennifer Koh (yes, related!) in Brookline.

12. Just this morning Laurel pulled one of our donation activities from our togetherness/giving advent calendar. One wonderful option for a family gift? Give a goat to a family in extreme poverty.

Do you have other favorite clutter-free gift ideas? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

Image credits: 1-5 via company websites; 6 & 7 via Christine Koh; 10-11 via company websites; 12 via

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