For years, I have been saying that the best gifts are experiences, not things (see Better Ways to Spend and Putting the Holidays in Perspective). Now it seems that the rest of the country has caught up to me.
The storage company SpareFoot has just released the results of a survey: “79 percent of the U.S. population, and 89 percent of millennials, say they never use some of the gifts they receive each year.” As a result, “a whopping 81 percent of Americans would rather receive experience-based gifts — like concert tickets, yoga classes, a restaurant gift certificate, or a museum membership.” You can see more about the survey on the SpareFoot blog.
Rather than creating more clutter for your friends and family, give them something that won’t take up any space. As the survey states, “People with a cluttered home experience increased exhaustion as a result of expending more mental energy on stress.”
If you are the recipient of an experience-based gift, don’t just stick it in a drawer and forget about it. My clients frequently have gift certificates that expired years ago. If the experience is one that you think you would enjoy, then schedule it shortly after receiving it. If not, then regift it or throw it away. Or call the company and find out if you can exchange it for another service.
Does someone on your recipient list have a clutter problem? If so, keep in mind that Organizing Goddess, Inc. offers gift certificates! (Do check with the recipient first to make sure that this would be a welcome gift.)