You never know what to get Grandma or Great Aunt Sally for Christmas, I get it. But please, for the love of all things good and right in this world, do not get them another coffee mug.
In my work helping seniors downsize, my clients and I ALWAYS have the Coffee Mug Discussion. It goes something like this:
Me: "We've pulled 47 coffee mugs out of your kitchen cupboards. Which one is your favorite?"
Client: "This one. It fits nicely in my hand. I use it everyday."
Me: "What about the 46 other mugs? Do you use them?"
Client: "Well, this one I use when my daughter visits. And this one my neighbor gave me, so when she stops in, I use it."
Me: "What do you think of keeping & moving to your new home only the three mugs you use? The rest we can donate."
Client: "Oh boy. I don't know."
Me: "If you don't use them now, you probably won't use them in the future. How did you come to own them all?"
Client: "My grandchild/child/friend/neighbor/insurance agent gave them to me over the years. I don't use the mugs or love the mugs. I just have them."
What a missed opportunity! "Just given to me" is typically why my lovely clients have cupboards FULL of unused coffee mugs. Here's some alternative gift ideas that communicate love, friendship and a clutter-free mindset:
For the Coffee Lover: A pound of special ground or whole bean coffee is a lovely, consumable gift. In my area, Noble Coffee on the square in Noblesville is a great place for tasty options and helpful advice. Look for coffee roasters in your area! Put the pound of coffee in a pretty gift bag and let the scent waft out. You can be confident your gift will be enjoyed and will not add to kitchen clutter. Looking for a gift bigger than just one pound of coffee? Consider a monthly coffee subscription. A quick Google search will show you a plethora of options.
For the Pet Owner: Check out Three Dog Bakery or Hollywood Feeds for special dog or kitty treats. Chewy.com can even make monthly treat deliveries to your loved one. Again, no clutter but lots of love!
For those longing for connection: Tech devices can easily connect loved one with family or friends but can seem daunting. Cricket phones are easy to use mobile phones that you can gift (and set up) for your senior loved ones. Want to go a bit bigger? A GrandPad tablet is a cellular data (no wi-fi needed!) tablet with a private network that you control. Seniors can take, share and receive photos, listen to music, play games and more. Best of all, it is very easy to use for tech-shy seniors.
If you are on a tight budget: For the low, low cost of a postage stamp, you can write your loved one a letter, telling them what they've meant to you or your favorite memory of them. Priceless!
Hope these simple ideas help you show love and stop the Coffee Mug madness this Christmas! Drop a comment and let me know your own no-clutter gift ideas!