So, you’ve got a lucky person in your life who’s graduating from college? So exciting! As they embark on their future, send them off with your love, support, and gifts that don’t weigh them down and clutter their new apartments! Keep scrolling for 12 clutter-free gift ideas for grads!
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You Mean Well, But They Don’t Need STUFF
I know the paragraph above might ruffle some feathers. After all, gifts come from the heart and should be appreciated — which of course they WOULD be — but do you want to burden a loved one with an item they don’t need, don’t love, but feel like they must keep because their favorite aunt gave it to them?
Of course you don’t.
Here’s the thing: young people these days are smartening up. They’re more environmentally conscience than any generation that came before them. They care about the bees and the rain forest. Purchasing them items that they may not want and haven’t asked for is risky, plus it’s bad for the environment.
Not to mention, way too many people have way too many things. Up to 50% of Americans think they have too much stuff. Too much cutter leads to are overwhelm and anxiety. Not to mention how many hours are wasted by Americans looking for items they lost.
The last thing people just starting out in life need is stuff they don’t need! Keep reading for 12 great clutter-free gift ideas for grads.
Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for Grads
Have I convinced you to rethink that picture frame, basket of candles, or towels for your favorite recent grad? Good. Here are some clutter-free gift ideas I think would be more appreciated (if less flashy on the gift table at the graduation party).
Audible is an amazon company that sells and produces audio content. An audible subscription is perfect for that recent grad who finally has some free time to read for enjoyment instead of reading to pass a test. Audible is a magnificent gift if they’ll be commuting to a new job every morning, too!
For a more personal touch, compile a list of your favorite books or books recommended for grads.
Meal Kit Delivery
For someone now navigating the world of grocery shopping and cooking, a meal kit delivery service such as Blue Apron is a great way to help them learn to navigate the kitchen and cook like a grownup.
These meal kits come with everything you need to make the meal, including all the ingredients, even spices. Each recipe includes in-depth directions and users can even fill out a survey sharing their likes and dislikes before they send food out.
Along the same lines as the meal kit delivery, cooking classes are a graduation gift that will keep giving for the life of the grad.
Not only will the recipient of the classes gain confidence in the kitchen, they’ll be exposed to new foods and potentially make new friends.
Google “Cooking Classes Near” and then add your grad’s city for classes offered in their area.
Monthly Cleaning Service
Starting out in your first job in your first apartment is a lot. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when some of the normal cleaning tasks get skipped. Clean homes inspire confidence and encourage people to take better care of their spaces.
Give your grad a hand and a boost by hiring a cleaner for them for a month or two. Not only will this help them feel better about their home (and life) it may teach them to take better care of their space, too.
Be sure to let them know this is a one (or two) time gift, not a lifelong license to be lazy.
You Need a Budget
What better (clutter-free) gift could there be than financial organization and, eventually, freedom?
You Need a Budget is a money management tool that will help new grads (and everyone, really) track their spending and grow their savings. New grads can track their incomes, spending, and savings goals, so they end up making smarter choices for how they spend their cash.
Personal Stylist Consultation
Changing your style from college casual to young professional isn’t easy. Get your new grad a consultation with a personal stylist. Stylists can help new adults look through their existing clothing to see how it will work in their new lives, as well as make recommendations for how they can dress like the professional they are now expected to be.
Find a stylist online or use a local service like those offered by Nordstrom. This will be another gift that keeps on giving as your new grad takes information about how to dress their body on throughout their life.
A Gym Membership
As long as your favorite grad is interested in fitness and doesn’t take this gift the wrong way, a gym membership is a splendid gift! With workout classes, the recipient can make friends and stay healthy. It will also help them confidently take control of their new life.
Google for local gyms near where your recipient now lives or works. If you know little about their workout style, aim for a gym with weights, cardio machines, and classes so they can take their pick. Orange Theory is also a popular gym with many locations.
A Clutter-Free Weekend Away for Grads
Who doesn’t love getting away?
Give your grad one last hurrah before it’s time to enter the real world. Let them explore a new town on their own or coordinate with parents of their friends and plan a weekend away for all of them. Provide them with lodging and treat them to dinner.
You’ll be gifting them with memories that will last a lifetime.
Don’t have a property to share? Get lost on the airbnb website for a while. There are accommodations for all sizes and budgets.
Salon/Barber Shop Gift Certificate
As with some of the other ideas on this list, a gift certificate to a salon or barbershop might be wonderful for a certain college grad who needs a grown-up hairstyle. This isn’t just for ladies! Upscale barber shops offer great haircuts and shaving services. Everyone needs some pampering!
Plus, it’s hard to afford a quality haircut on a starting salary. Find out where your new grad likes to go or find a new place for them to try (depending on their personality and preferences).
Digital Coud Storage
Okay, so I know this one isn’t nearly as exciting as a weekend away, but it IS one of those annoying grown-up things we have to deal with. Gifting your grad some digital storage will help them learn to be responsible about backing up their files. Maybe they’ll even keep them organized (something I wish I had known to do when I was a young adult).
Cold, Hard Cash
Never underestimate the popularity of giving someone cash. While the other ideas on this list may be more personal and meaningful, cash is king and it can buy any of them. If your new grad needs stuff for their apartment, needs a reliable vehicle, or is trying to scrape together a down payment for an apartment, cash can be REALLY helpful.
One last option for a clutter-free gift ideas for grads is a gift card. Here are some great places to purchase:
- Apple Store
- The Container Store
- (Grown up) clothing stores
- Teaching supply store (if they’re going into education)
But What if I Want to Buy *STUFF*?
I know, I know. It’s hard not buying STUFF for people. I get it. But here’s the thing… the last thing most people need is STUFF. There’s just simply too much of it. You know what there’s not enough of? Love. Acceptance. Connection. Memory-making.
If you feel the need to buy an actual thing, I’d suggest purchasing a book on minimalism along with a heartfelt note about how you don’t want your new grad to start off their adult lives making the same mistakes that so many others do. Be sure to slip some cash in there, too, so they can make their own choices.
The need for STUFF is killing our planet, our homes, and our credit scores. Hopefully these clutter free gift ideas for grads gave you some inspiration so you can think outside the stuff!