Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Give Gifts to a Minimalist

appreciate many of the things I see and read over at Joshua's blog. This article ( has some nicely worded explanations if someone close to you is having a hard time understanding that you don't want more "stuff." Thankfully, I don't have this problem with too many of my friends.

I didn't start out with any plan to become a minimalist, I just never (or at least not since I was very young) liked clutter. This didn't start with my tiny house. Clutter stresses me out. Makes me feel like all of those items need cared for. Fills my space, time, life, and mind with junk. For years now I've gone through my belongings and if it wasn't something I used in the last three months, and wasn't a clearly seasonal item that I'd used in it's last season, like skis or a bike, it was out. Sold, given to someone who wanted it, or dropped off at our local equivalent of Goodwill.

Now I'm still not sure I'm a true minimalist. I have more than one outfit, lots of stuff in my kitchen, and in general, everything I want to be comfortable. I do find myself wanting far less stuff though than it seems much of this country does though. 

My exceptions to the rule that things had to be actively used were books, if they were very good or very old, houseplants, and photos. Those things are relatively useless, but are things I enjoy, so I kept them. And still do in my tiny house. Though some of the large plants had to go. I did have a beautiful fern that I'd raised from a tiny start to a 5 foot in diameter plant. That now resides in a friend's house since it would have filled nearly a quarter of my tiny house all by it's self.

But in general, I don't like having things that I don't use. And if you have a friend who feels this way, even if you don't understand the lack of things in their life and feel like they are missing out, please try to respect their lifestyle and "no thank you" when they say it.

Some of my favorite gifts I've been given that may give you ideas if you still want to gift something to someone you care about who doesn't want "stuff" are these. Even before living in a tiny space, these are the things that really meant a lot to me. Some I have received from close friends. Some from total strangers, thanks to having been a very active CouchSurfing host. There are a lot of very thoughtful people in the world! These kinds of things enrich my life, but do not add more clutter, or are consumed quickly.

Time with a close friend talking, eating, hiking, being, etc.
Someone willing to listen to me when I'm struggling.
Someone willing to leave me alone when I can't deal with anyone else.
Someone to hold me while I cry.
Letters, cards, or phone calls.
Fresh wild game meat, fish, veggies, or any food that is not processed junk. 
Toilet paper.
Gift cards to my local grocery store.
 A dinner out.
Flowers or plants (at least if they are not the monster size of that fern I used to have).
Old books, the ones with brittle paper and that wonderful smell of old binding glue.
Bottles of wine.
Solar batteries.
Pampered Chef spatulas.
A Cutco chef's knife.
Rada pairing knives.
A beautiful handmaid wooden rolling pin.
A ticket - for a movie, show, flight, etc.
Crossfit membership.
Professional massage session.
Camera gear.

This list won't apply to everyone you know, but may give you some ideas. These are all things I have actually received from people and been deeply grateful for. Thanks to all the wonderful people in my life who have given me the above!


  1. Yes and yes! For sometime now my life and my home have been filled with adult children and grandson needing home and support. As their lives come together and their light at the end of the tunnel shines bigger, I too feel that light at the end of the tunnel. I have my bedroom where there is no clutter, many books, iPod for music, and a comfortable well lit corner to prop my feet up and read. I wouldn't change any of what I have learned about myself, them, home, surrender, and life. And boy am I looking forward to a minimum of stuff!

    1. That's encouraging! I hope you are able to pursue more of what you want soon.

  2. Ariel, do you have a PO Box or any mailing address where you can receive gifts from your Fy Nyth fans?

    1. Hmmm.... Never thought about it and I guess only gifts that were very small or something that could be used up would fit now, but yes, I do have a P.O. box. Box 11625, Jackson, WY 83002

  3. Would LOVE to see a picture of your fern! Also, love all the plants you have inside your home, they can make such a difference to a space.

    1. I don't know that I have a good picture of that fern. But I do miss it some times. Ferns are such lovely plants!