Gifts for People With Stuff

My mother and my grandfather suffered from the problem of having too much stuff, and being financially stable enough to buy anything they need/want. Thus, holiday gifts are challenging. So whenever anybody asks questions about what kind of gifts to get people that have too much stuff, especially when you are broke yourself, I suggest experience gifts – a trip to a local museum (even a free one), a boat ride on a local body of water, tickets to a play or a soccer game, etc. We also gift physical labor – our partners help replace lightbulbs, assemble furniture, or do yardwork as their gift, which helps alleviate the awkwardness my parents feel at receiving gifts from our significant others.

If your parents have more severe problems with stuff and verge on hoarding, I thought I would go ahead and share this list of ideas from the Children of Hoarders website. I absolutely love some of the ideas, and I also love the tone of the list – because just because your parent is a hoarder does not mean that they do not deserve love and kindness this holiday season. Some of the ideas, such as professional knife sharpening, scanning family photos, registration for a class or workshop (my mom is getting this one), are good for everyone. I think my favorite gift idea is a bouquet of flowers delivered each month by a grandchild, and it kills me that we never thought of this for my Grandma.

I would urge anyone who has a parent who is a hoarder to stay away from gifts such as professional organizing services, unless they are explicitly requested. Pretty organizational bins, a paper shredder, or a fancy labelmaker are what I would consider the limit of "nagging" gifts, much like how you might get an overweight person a yoga DVD but not a fitbit or bathroom scale (unless requested.) Also, do not get the hoarder a new version of a broken item and expect them to get rid of the broken item. Do not gift the hoarder time with you cleaning out their stuff. You can gift them labor of hanging up new shelves or assembling furniture, if you would like to give them a time/labor gift that you hope will help them clear their living space up.

Anyone have any other advice for gifts for people with too much stuff/junk? What about people who have too much money and just buy any old thing they could want/need for themselves?


1 Comment

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One response to “Gifts for People With Stuff

  1. Jo

    I totally agree w/ experience gifts! They’re my favorite kind.

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