Minimalist Gifts – Thoughtful and Meaningful Ideas

Minimalist gifts are defined by their practicality, not their price.  Sometimes the best gifts are allowing someone else to choose, or even the gift of experiences.  We’re going to look at minimalist gifts for every occasion and every special person in your life.

Minimalist gifts are simple and useful, and don’t have to be defined by the occasion.  There are perfect minimalist gifts for every occasion and every relationship from the everyday to weddings.  Gifts for the people in your life can be special as well as practical.

Are you looking for the perfect gift for the minimalist in your life?  Where do you start to find minimalist gifts?

What Are Minimalist Gifts?

Minimalism has been coined with the phrase “less is more”, and is associated with simple living and few possessions.  When we speak about minimalist gifts, we’re still referring to the minimalist-style life but with gifting.  Minimalist gifts are a very broad category that look minimalist, have multiple uses, or are experiences rather than “stuff”.  They’re not flashy or complex, but simple and useful.  We’re going to look at some minimalist gifts by occasion, relationship, and style.

Minimal gift packages - Minimalist Gifts - Gone Minimal
Minimal gift packages

Minimalist Gifts Based on Occasion

One way to narrow down minimalist gifts is by the occasion.  From weddings to the everyday, there are practical and simple gifts for every event.


Minimalist wedding gifts are usually pretty easy to find because every newly married couple registers and basically needs everything!  These types of gifts are practical, useful, and don’t add to the clutter.  Consider gift cards to their favorite restaurant or groceries, cash for saving or spending, or even a subscription meal service.  If you’d rather give them a wrapped gift, consider a set of tools, a kitchen knife set, or even a bottle of wine.  All of these gifts would be highly useful and appreciated by any newlyweds!


One thing many minimalists enjoy is the gift of travel.  Through travel one can see the world, experience new things, and have the time of their lives without collecting stuff.  Of course not everyone can afford to gift 2 tickets to a 7 day Caribbean cruise, but consider a cruise line gift card that can be used onboard.  You may prefer to buy someone round-trip tickets to a tropical destination when they’re on sale.  It’s up to you how much you’re willing to spend-and trust me when I say minimalists would prefer travel to trinkets!

Cruise ship - Minimalist Gifts - Gone Minimal
Cruise ship


There are almost limitless options to minimalist birthday gifts-just consider the time of year and the age of the one celebrating their birthday.  For adults, consider a bottle of wine or their favorite whiskey.  For parents, consider gift cards for restaurants, meal subscription services, or even yard service. 

Teenagers always love cash and gift cards because then they can buy exactly what they want.  Young kids always want loads of toys and sweets, so give them a gift card to a toy store or the local ice cream shop.  For new parents-diapers, onesies, burp cloths, bathing supplies, or babysitting services.  The possibilities are endless!


An anniversary is a specific date that marks a significant event or milestone. They’re usually celebrated on an annual basis and are a great time to commemorate and reflect upon a past event. A great minimalist gift idea for an anniversary is time spent together. Plan a special date night, a picnic in the park, or a romantic dinner at home. Focus on creating moments and memories through handmade gifts like scrapbooks or art.


Christmas is no exception for minimalist gifts, and these options can be similar to birthday gifts above.  Consider gifting cold weather supplies for cold climates like gloves, scarves, or sweaters.  If you’re in a warm climate, get them outdoorsy items like barbecue tools, all-weather pillows and porch chairs, or a gift card to their favorite store.  There’s always the option for wine or champagne, cheese and sausage trays, or even fresh fruit. 


There are TONS of minimalist gift options for the everyday and practical uses!  From tool sets to silverware, plates and bowls to kitchen towels, even ground coffee and mugs.  These are the types of gifts the person will use every day, and even reuse for even more practicality.  Not sure what they need or want?  Gift them with a made-from-scratch dinner or loaf of bread-or consider a gift card to the supermarket or gas station.

Give the gift of coffee - Minimalist Gifts - Gone Minimal
Give the gift of coffee

Minimalist Gifts Based on Relationship

When we shop for people close to us, we want it to be special but also something they want or need.  Let’s look at some minimalist gifts based on relationship.


Your husband/boyfriend/partner is often the easiest to shop for, minimalist or not.  But in the minimalist’s case, you’ll want to purchase them a minimalist gift that they can use.  A jacket for cold weather, a bottle of their favorite whiskey, a professional groomer kit, or that power tool they need to fix things around the house.  Keep it simple and useful yet meaningful, because it’s from you!


The wife/girlfriend/partner can be a little trickier to shop for, although minimalists do keep it pretty simple.  You’ll want to focus on things that they need or use daily.  A pedicure set, a pair of nice shoes, a pretty scarf, or their favorite wine.  If she has a hobby, does she need anything to go along with that?  Gardening tools for the gardener, paintbrushes for the painter, or new workout clothes for the fitness enthusiast are good options.

A favorite bottle of liquor - Minimalist Gifts - Gone Minimal
A favorite bottle of liquor


It can be hard to find the right gifts for your mother or father, and their needs change as they age.  For the minimalist parents, it’s always a good idea to consider a fruit basket, a meal subscription kit, landscaping services, or even round trip tickets to visit you (if you’re far).  If you’re geographically close to your parents, consider cleaning their home for them or walking their dogs.  Something to help them out and help them stay independent as they age and you can never go wrong.


Children are usually not difficult to shop for because they have certain tastes and things they like, and they’re only minimalist if their parents are!  However there are many minimalist gifts that are great for children.  This includes cash, gift cards to clothing or toy stores, candy or chocolate, and even clothing.  Another really thoughtful minimalist gift for a child would be a college savings account.  What better gift than knowledge?


Babies and toddlers are simple to shop for because let’s face it-you’re really shopping for their parents.  There are endless needed supplies, constant attention, and sleep deprivation.  Minimalist gifts for this category include baby supply store gift cards, diapers (cloth or disposable) and diapering supplies, weather-appropriate clothing (because they grow so fast!) and shoes, or even a small stuffed toy.  Or offer up babysitting services!

The video below will help give you some of the best minimalist gift ideas.

Related Insights:

What Should I Buy for My Minimalist Boyfriend/Girlfriend?

When your boyfriend or girlfriend is a minimalist, you know that less is more!  They don’t want stuff-they want practical gifts.  Something that not only they can use, but perhaps something you can use together.  Consider a romantic trip to a bed and breakfast.  Maybe a gift card to their favorite grocer or farmer’s market.  Or better yet-take them to get a massage or their hair done.  Make them feel beautiful/attractive or relaxed and they’ll love it. 

What to Give Someone Who Is Minimalist?

If you don’t know what to give someone who is minimalist, consider the “less is more” mantra.  They usually prefer practical gifts, things they can use and have multiple uses, or experiences.  Ask them where they shop for supplies, what are their hobbies, and what do they need?  They’re probably not going to ask for decorations, paintings, or things you just look at. 

Consider a scented candle in a nice jar, which smells nice and provides soft light and provides storage once it’s done.  Or maybe an herb growing in a pot for someone who likes to cook.  Just keep in mind-practical, simple, reusable!

Simple birthday cupcake with candle - Minimalist Gifts - Gone Minimal
Simple birthday cupcake with candle

What Do I Want for Christmas Minimalist?

Being somewhat of a minimalist myself, I can tell you it’s things that I need and can use.  Cash for savings, gift cards for the grocery store or supercenter, supplies for my hobbies, and anything chocolate are always appreciated.  If I can’t use it, I probably don’t want it!

Favorite Non-traditional Gift Ideas Real People Enjoy

I asked several friends and family to list 3 of their favorite non-traditional gifts. For example: Maybe the gift was an experience, a new hobby kit, something practice/reusable, gift basket/subscription, etc. Here is what they shared and what I learned from the poll:

Non-traditional GiftTally of Family/Friends
Chocolate gift tower2
Wine/liquor of the month3
Superstore gift card5
Bike tools and accessories3
Clothing store gift card3
Restaurant gift card4
Amazon gift card4
Skincare basket3
Donation to a non-profit2
Gardening supplies2
Farm experience1

Other Resources:

Minimalist gifts may not seem like much to the conventionalist, but they are greatly appreciated by the minimalist.  Practical, useful, and reusable items that don’t take up a great deal of space or clutter are the best gifts for the minimalist regardless of the occasion.  Let’s face it-the best last-minute gift for some (like gift cards and cash) can make a minimalist’s day!  Who is the special minimalist you’re shopping for?

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