The Denver Minimalist Gift Guide

I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the gift guides coming out lately.  “Ten Must-Have Gifts For Him”. “Top 50 Stocking Stuffers!”  “10 Kitchen Gadgets You Won’t Be Able to Live Without!”  Wait, I NEED this stuff?! I literally won’t be able to live a happy and fulfilled life without it?!

Oprah’s the best, but even her list of favorite things is getting old… Where do you keep all that stuff each year, Oprah?! Do you really use and appreciate every single thing on that list each and every year?! Also, while we’re chatting, why are you selling microwavable mashed potatoes now? I love you, but I feel like you can do better and maybe reevaluate your brand.

Anyways. All these gift guides got me thinking: What do you get for the person that has everything? What stuff would I buy for my clients as holiday gifts? The answer: Nothing!

The vast majority of us don’t want more crap! But we DO value and appreciate experiences and a clutter-free home! Here is my crap-free gift guide for the person that’s already drowning in magazine subscriptions, random kitchen gadgets,  unopened mail, homework assignments, books they should read, mountains of laundry, and unopened candles and slippers from last year’s holiday work party.

Gifts for A Clutter-Free Home

ArtKive Box. No more piles of your kiddo’s artwork! Send it all to Art Kive, they’ll take the photos for you and compile it into a portfolio artbook for you. They even send you the pre-labeled box. I’ve worked with SO many moms who have been meaning to do this each year, but they (understandably) never have the time. If you know a busy mom out there - get her this gift!!! It’s checking one more thing off her to do list, and giving her the resulting gift of getting to spend more time with her family (or by herself… taking a goddamn long shower for the first time this week).  

Legacy Box. Known as “the best way to preserve your past”, Legacy box digitizes all your memories and mementos for you (tapes, photos, reels, audio, etc.). You can get a thumbdrive, dvd set, or direct digital download of everything you’ve sent them. If you know someone who is downsizing or moving, and doesn’t want to lug the boxes of old VHS home videos with them, this would be a great gift.

T-Shirt Quilt from Project Repat. A great gift for the recent grad, or any T-shirt collector. You send them your T-shirts, and they send back the quilt! They are based in the US and give their designers, cutters, and sewers earn a fair and living wage. Plus, the quilt is backed with fleece made out of recycled plastic bottles that would otherwise be in landfills.

Denver-Based Experiences & Services

For the Movie Buff - The Sie Film Center offers a range of memberships, giving film lovers access to private screenings, early seating at the Denver Film Festival, discounts on concessions, invites to special events, and more.  

For the Coffee Lover - Native Coffee Club is Colorado's monthly coffee subscription. Each month, you get a different 12oz bag of coffee from different roasters in our state. Each shipment also comes with a coupon for a drink in-store. What a great, practical gift - that also supports local businesses!

For the Cocktail Fanatic - The Denver Passport, of The Passport Program, offers 2-for-1 drinks at 64 Denver drinking spots, including not just bars, but also restaurants and coffee shops!

For Someone Who Needs To Relax & Take Care of Themselves - treat them to a massage, spa day, or facial.

  • Kris Drickey, my go-to message therapist, is a 1000-hour certified massage therapist and yoga teacher who offers therapeutic bodywork that combines structural integration, myofascial release, and deep tissue massage therapy with Zen Shiatsu, energy work, and deep listening.  She works out of her cozy and beautiful home office in southwest Denver.  Reach out to her via phone (303.564.4606) or email (kris@honeycombhealing.org) to schedule an appointment.

  • I’ve also heard great things about the five wellbeing studio and spa in Littleton, Mountain Soul Healing in the Glendale area, Savannah Skin in Englewood, and Limn Skincare in Wash Park.

For the Capsule Wardrobe Dreamer - Sandi Mele of The Style Shop, not only offers personalized shopping and styling sessions, giving you a personalized wardrobe, but she ALSO offers sessions where you shop your OWN closet! She’ll create more outfit ideas with pieces you ALREADY HAVE! For the woman who already has a full closet, but still feels like she has nothing to wear - this is GENIUS.

For the Busy-Body Who Can’t Do It All - Cleaning Service Gift Cards are available with Maid Clan. Maid Clan is a full cleaning service that offers easy online booking.

For New Parents - Rocky Mountain Birth offers weekly meals prepared and delivered to your home through The Postpartum Kitchen. Gift certificates are available! They have specialized menus for each client, quality ingredients, and zero waste packaging.

For Growing Families - Amber Sullivan Photography offers photography sessions for newborns and children. And Modera Imagery specializes in authentic family portraits , creating beautiful heirloom artwork that is custom designed for your space.

For Your Significant Other or Newlyweds - Denver Date Nite provides a customized date curated to your tastes. You can book a one time date, have a monthly subscription, plan an overnight trip, or even a group outing.

For the Aspiring Chef - Katrina Brink of The Empowered Kitchen offers meal prep and cooking classes for individuals, families, groups of friends, teams, and couples. Her classes empower students to save time, eat great, and reduce stress.

For the Hobbyist - Dabble offers a huge array of classes and tours, from Country Western Dancing for Beginners, to Brush Calligraphy, to Community Meditation.

For the Craft Lover - Fancy Tiger Crafts offers lots of different crafting classes, from Knitting 101, to sewing PJ pants, to creating your own Pendleton Clutch.

For the Artful Hostess - Bella Calla offers floral design, wreath making classes, and terrarium classes, all with wine and cheese!

For the Foodie -  The EatDenver Deck gives $10 off discounts to 52 of Denver’s top eateries, plus three wildcard offers.

Don’t forget that Museum & Cultural Center Memberships are always a great gift too: The Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature & Science,  Denver Art Museum, and the Denver Botanic Gardens all offer annual memberships for individuals and families.

Support Local Artists & Makers

I’m not here to say that ALL stuff is bad! Especially if it is ethically made and supports a local artist and maker! These craft fairs are around the corner. It’s a great opportunity to shop local, and get someone a meaningful gift.

If you miss these holiday markets, remember that you can shop for local handmade goods on Etsy, by simply using their advanced search option and searching by region.

Donate in Someone’s Name

Lastly, you can always make a meaningful donation in someone’s name on Colorado Gives Day. Use their website to find a local nonprofit you would like to support. My favorite nonprofits, (where I bring lots of donations after decluttering sessions)  are:

  • PC’s for People, Which recycles and re-purposes donated laptops and computers, providing the opportunity for all low-income individuals and nonprofits to benefit from the life changing impact of computers and mobile internet.

  • Peak Thrift, which supports Urban Peak, serving youth experiencing homelessness in Denver.

  • And of course any and all schools and teachers, because they are the superheroes of the world. ;)

What other minimalist gift ideas do you have? Comment below!