Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

6 Gift Ideas for a Stuff-Free Mom’s Day

As you may know–or should know–this Sunday is Mother’s Day. Like most holidays, Mother’s Day can present a challenge to the full-fledged or aspiring life editor/minimalist. You want to acknowledge and show appreciation for the mother in your life, but you don’t want give a perfunctory gift that’ll end up clogging her closets with useless or ephemeral stuff. This holds true whether she’s a minimalist herself or not…actually, it’s true especially if she’s not.

We’ve said it before, but giving experiences–not stuff–is the best bet for a memorable gift. Beside the benefit of having no physical volume, giving experiences won’t seem like a political statement when given to the more maximalmist mom.

Here are a few experience-based gift ideas to create memorable, clutter-free Mother’s Day (Note: Wherever possible/logical, share the experience with mom by doing it with her. It’s about honoring her, not getting rid of her):

  1. Give a class. Cooking, yoga, sewing, woodwork…heck, Photoshop or HTML. Nothing is as durable or lasts as long as knowledge. It’s fireproof, waterproof and takes up very little space…as we saw the other day, learning something new might even extend her life.
  2. Give a walking tour. Almost every city has them on a variety of subjects; many non-urban areas have through places like gardens, parks, historical sites, etc. It’s a great way to get to know where you live while getting some exercise. Bring some food and make it a picnic.
  3. Pamper her. Send her to a day spa, purchase a professional massage, set up a fancy haircut, give Reiki sessions or a mani/pedi, depending on mom’s idea of pampering.
  4. Go on date. This works best with a mom you’re romantically involved with–especially if you are both still in the trenches of child-rearing. Get a babysitter and take her out to someplace you think she’d want to go–dinner, movie, play, park, etc. Don’t ask her where to go if you don’t have to. Mothering is rewarding, but it’s also hard work filled with many decisions. Give her a break.
  5. Write her a letter/poem. I know it sounds kinda meager, but how often do you receive a thoughtful letter or poem (not just a card) that conveys how much someone loves and cares about you? Almost never, right? Trust us, this one is a winner.
  6. Ask her what she wants. This one is for a specific type of mom: One who will actually tell you what she wants. This may or may not entail getting stuff. However it is possible to get stuff that isn’t junk. If you think there’s something she’d like but might not be forthcoming in saying what it is, be persistent or ask around. And keep a receipt.

Do you have other Mother’s Day gift ideas that don’t leave a wake of clutter? Let us know in our comments section. Thanks!

Image: “Mom Tattoo” via Shutterstock

  • Katie Ostrich

    Your home page doesn’t work – it goes to zippy kids, whatever that is

  • Margaret M.

    I plan to give my mother a day of my help in her garden. At age 81, her garden can
    be an overwhelming task. It also gives us an opportunity to share time together.

  • Manya

    Make a donation to her favorite charity in her name–both she and the recipient will appreciate it, and there will be no extra clutter!

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  • An activity coupon between the kids and mom(s) that can be cashed in for one-on-one time to do something they enjoy together.

  • Emily

    The gift of rest… especially for new moms. Let her sleep in or have a few hours to herself by babysitting or taking the kids out of the house. When you return she will be a very sweet and happy mom.

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