why clutter-free gifts & salted caramel white russians

Why Clutter-Free Gifts & Salted Caramel White Russians

Looking for gift-giving ideas that won’t set back a year’s worth of decluttering efforts? Meet clutter-free gifts!

Whether it’s my clients or my friends, I see this scenario every year. A year is spent decluttering toys or clearing closet clutter only to set all the efforts back by overbuying during the holidays. This is what inspired me to write my book “101 Clutter-Free Gifts: And Why You Want Them”.


Along with the gift list in the book, I talk about WHAT constitutes a clutter-free gift, why you would choose clutter-free gifts, and some phrases to use to talk to friends and family about your journey to have less stuff in your home. For this episode, we are focusing on the “why”.

The number one reason to choose clutter-free gifts is that they will not contribute to the clutter in your home. This is especially important if you are looking to pare down and declutter your surroundings. Or if you find clutter causes stress and anxiety in your home. The less stuff you have, they less you have to pick up and care for. That’s just simple math.

Rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.

Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D. , Psychology Today

If you are looking to reduce the clutter in your home, you need to evaluate both what goes out and what comes in. That’s where clutter-free gifts can help. And the benefits go beyond less stress and anxiety. They can also help you build better relationships.

When it comes to gifts of experience, studies have shown that a greater connection is established between giver and receiver. This is because there is a social connection and the gifts are more emotionally evocative. You “experience” a day at the amusement park, a day at a spa, or a special dinner. And all the emotions that go along with it.

101 Clutter-Free Gifts: And Why You Want Them


In the book, I lay out 3 different categories for clutter-free gift options: experiential, consumable and practical. Here are some of my favorite options to give (and receive).


  • Travel – Doesn’t have to be big and fancy (but it can be). A night in a nearby town or day trip hike works too.
  • Amusement Park Tickets – Inspired by my mom’s gift to our family last year. It was so nice to spend the day with my family and not worry about the admission cost.
  • Babysitting Services – How often do you avoid date night because you don’t have a sitter? Or can’t afford one? Volunteer or hire someone to watch a friend’s kids so they can get some adult time.
  • Movie Tickets – My kids’ birthday gift go to. Yeah, my kids would rather get a “real” present, but the parents love me. ?


  • Meal Basket – Gather the components of a meal or put it together. Especially great for new moms and people who are caring for loved ones.
  • Meal Delivery Service – Send a friend a pizza…who wouldn’t want to get a text saying “your dinner is on its way!”
  • Skin Care – I am terrible about taking care of myself and spending money on myself. So I asked for a skincare routine from my husband a few years back.
  • Lottery Tickets – Who doesn’t love a scratchy lottery ticket? These are perfect because they come in all kinds of denominations, you could win something, AND they leave no trace behind.


  • Instant Pot – This appliance single-handedly changed my mom cooking life. It makes getting dinner on the table so much easier. Which is super important since my kids gotta eat.
  • Amazon Prime Subscription – Wanna watch tv and movies? Check. Get stuff fast? Check. Listen to music? Check. Read the classics on a tablet for free? Check. You see where I’m going with this.
  • Car Wash Gift Cards – I gifted this to my husband for his birthday one year. It was so great that he could duck in and wash his car whenever he wanted.
  • Fireproof & Waterproof File Box – My favorite “organizing” suggestion. Keeps all those important documents organized and safe from fire and flood. The best $60 you can spend to protect your stuff.

Salted Caramel White Russians

Rich and creamy with a bit of salt and a bit of sweet.

  • 2 oz Salted Caramel Kahlua
  • 1 oz Salted Caram Vodka
  • 1 oz Half & Half
  • Ice
  • Caramel Sauce (Optional to drizzle in glass)
  1. In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the Kahlua, vodka, and half & half. Stir with a spoon or shake gently to combine.

  2. Drip caramel sauce down the side of a drinking glass. Add ice until the glass is about three-quarters full; then pour in your cocktail. Garnish with a straw and serve.

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