Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Housewarming and Hostess Gift Ideas for Minimalists

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At this very time one year ago, we were finishing up moving all of our stuff into our new house.  Time has flown indeed.  So I don't know if it's actually house buying season and house warming party season, but it feels that way to me since that's when we bought.  We didn't end up having a house warming party.  We just had so many different things come up that there was never a time to, so we just invited people over individually as they had time, and our first party was for Halloween.  Plus, since I'd been living in apartments since I went away to college in 2003, I'd amassed all of the things you actually need to live in your own space and I didn't want people to feel like they had to gift me something.  You know, being a minimalist and all.

They did anyway, party or not - but not 'stuff.'  Every one of my friends (and all of John's cousins!) brought wine or beer the first time they came to our new house, god bless 'em.  They know me so well.  And let me be clear - for most people, alcohol is a welcome addition!  It can be opened and shared immediately but it also lasts awhile to be put to use later.  I'm a big fan of consumable goods as gifts, obviously, because they don't cause clutter build up.  All around a win, and an easy one.  But I do have a couple of more gift ideas for you for any housewarming parties you might be attending soon, if you're looking to think outside the box.

These also work as hostess gifts, in case you're stopping by any barbecues or graduation parties soon!

Dressed Up Wine (or Champagne) Bottle.  Wrap the bottle in a kitchen towel in a neutral color and pattern - these will always get used and appreciated.  Add a corkscrew bottle opener, which is an inexpensive little addition to your gift, and tie it on with a ribbon.  All the fun and usefulness of the standard bottle of wine gift, but when a little extra flair that shows the recipient how much you care.

Candles with Matches.  I love candles, as we all know, and they make a great gift for a minimalist because they don't leave clutter behind once they're used up.  I'm partial to the Bath and Body Works ones, but for a gifting event the Illume ones are extra special.  To add a little extra touch to your gift, add in a set of fancy matches.  They have really cute options at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.

Consumables, in Sweet Packaging.  Consumables obviously work for minimalists in the same way that candles do - once it's eaten, there's no clutter left.  The best way to gift these items is to dress them up as a whole package.  One option would be an Italian basket - get a colander and fill it with a box of pasta, a super fancy olive oil, some spices or a jar of sauce, and dinner is served.  Add a loaf of fresh bread from a bakery for an added bonus.

Gifts for the Pets.  Moves are stressful on animals, too.  If your host has pets, gifts geared towards them will always be appreciated.  For a dog, a new toy, a travel bowl, and treats would make a very nice present and for a cat, try catnip, a mouse toy, and a scratching post.  If you have time, order a new ID tag on Etsy with the new address.  To be honest, I still haven't gotten a new one for Hawkeye.

First Home Ornament.  John's mom gifted this to us and we love it.  It's 'stuff,' yes, but it's a sweet and small item that will be cherished over the years.  Personalize it on Etsy with the address and year.

Fire Extinguisher.  Generally provided in apartments, but not in homes, so it's something that needs to be purchased but isn't high on the priority list.  John stays employed whether you set your house on fire or not, so let's opt for not, agreed?  It's something no one thinks about until they need one, so it'll be a very thoughtful gift that will hopefully never be used.

Gift Cards.  A classic for a reason.  We put some Home Depot gift cards to very good use.  We had a lot of things already, like tools, so someone trying to figure out what we already owned would have been a waste.  However, we needed all sorts of yard things, like a hose, so when we got a Home Depot gift card from our friends Kevin and Heidi, we were thrilled.  I think of them every time we use that hose to water our flowers!  Other great gift cards would be food related - the 'making a home' process is tiring, as is hosting a housewarming.  The chance to order in one night instead of cooking would be so appreciated, so get a GrubHub gift card.  Another crowd pleaser?  Netflix.  Always.

Your Help.  You know what's appreciated before and after a party, more than gifts?  Help.  Offer to set up or help cook, or stay late to help clean everything up.  I would take that any day over any sort of gift, let me tell you.  It costs you nothing but means everything to your host.

Do you struggle with gifting as a minimalist?  Or as someone trying to buy a gift for a minimalist?  If you have any other ideas to add to the list, let me know in the comments.

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