If there was ever a year to give experiences for Christmas rather than physical possessions, this is the year.”

I agree 100 percent but can’t claim the advice as my own, and, no, it didn’t come from Marie Kondo, though it surely aligns with the spirit and goals of KonMari tidying and decluttering.

It’s the title of a recent blog post by Joshua Becker, the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of “The More of Less” and “The Minimalist Home.”

Noting how much stuff people bought during the pandemic, Becker says:

As a percentage of personal spending, nonconsumable goods increased 6% in 2020 while services fell by 7% with some sectors falling 20-30% (recreation, travel, food).  

All that to say, in 2020, most Americans spent the year purchasing more and more physical possessions and fewer and fewer services.

If our homes weren’t full enough in 2019, they are even fuller in 2021.”

Couldn’t agree more—though I’d argue that our houses were too full in 2020, too full in 2019, 2018, 2017 … you get the idea.

Becker’s approach is inspiring because he goes beyond simply describing a phenomenon that has American homes “packing on the pounds” (of stuff and clutter) in the way most of us risk setting aside healthy habits during the winter in favor of the more immediate comforts of hibernating and snacking.

His blog post links to a prescription for taking the crush of new clutter out of the holidays by suggesting 52 clutter-free gifts like tickets to concerts, sporting events, movies and the theater.

It’s not a new concept and other examples abound online, but it’s a great reminder that the best gifts are ones that don’t spark joy upon being received only to create the opposite of joy later.

In the interest of a clutter-free blog post, here’s a link to Becker’s Facebook post where you can read his great gift ideas, including consumables like wine and chocolate, memberships (museums, gyms … ), classes (cooking, dance), and services like a massage.

All of the things on the list sound great to me, and someone who wants to get more elaborate for bigger gifts might even create an entire day-out experience bundling a few of them, and perhaps complete with transportation.

clutter-free holiday gifts 2021

One more thing: Let’s make that professional organizer on Becker’s list a Certified KonMari Consultant so your home will be transformed for good, along with your  lifestyle and your life.


Those seeking professional help with a decluttering can visit my Packages & Rates page for details about working together, and feel free to email me at  [email protected], or call (203) 772-8883.

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