• Organised Living


Christmas should be a time of celebration and togetherness but for many it can also be a source of stress, anxiety and debt. There is a constant pressure to spend more than you can afford and we often gift things for the sake of gifting, creating more and more clutter in our homes.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could be certain the gift you are giving will be enjoyed, loved and within budget without causing additional clutter?

Here are 6 tips for a clutter- and stress-free, budget-friendly Christmas.


It is sometimes hard to break with tradition and the gift giving aspect of Christmas, but a gift does not need to be expensive or store bought. If you are on a budget and want to keep Christmas simple and clutter-free, why not make a rule to only gift home-made goodies?

For Christmas this year, our family has agreed to give store-bought gifts to the kids only; gifts for adults must be home-made or gifts of time. Home-made gifts are often so much more personal and really show the effort you put in for your loved one.


My kids love to see presents under the Christmas tree with their name on it and have endless fun guessing what each package may contain. Practical gifts of everyday necessities like socks, underwear, toiletries or school supplies are the perfect gifts to pad out the area under the tree. You can even wrap them in small cardboard boxes or cut out shapes of cardboard to put around the present to keep them guessing for days😉. Practical gifts are often easier on the budget and don’t add any unnecessary clutter.


As a parent I would like my kids to understand that Christmas is about spending time with family and friends. It is about giving to others without expecting gratitude or anything in return. It is not about the size or dollar figure of presents under the tree. Set a budget for gifts per child and stick to it. Tell your kids about “Santa’s spending expectation” and let them create their personal Christmas wish list within that budget. They will have endless fun deciding what gift they prefer and what they can afford. It will help them practice their maths and make them understand the value of things so much more. If your kids have pocket money encourage them to buy something for their siblings or a friend so they get into the Christmas spirit of giving to others, or suggest they bake or create something for a loved one.


Organising a Secret Santa among family and friends is another great way to stay within budget as you only have to buy a gift for 1 person. Agree a maximum dollar figure or agree to gift only home-made items. In my home country of the Netherlands, Secret Santa is immensely popular among families with older kids. We create personal and crazy poems about the recipient of the gift making the gifting even more fun and personal. Consider getting everyone to create a wish list of 3 to 5 things within budget so nobody ends up with clutter they don’t need.


Think outside the box this Christmas and consider the clutter-free gifts below for your loved ones.

Experience and activity gifts

- Music/sport/craft/cooking lesson

- Concert tickets

- Movie passes

- Dinner voucher

- Beer/wine/food tasting

- Adventure experience (e.g. rafting, canyoning, trampoline park, escape room etc.)

- Family weekend away

- Holiday

Subscription gifts

- Magazine

- Netflix

- Music (e.g. iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, etc.)

- e-Books

- Beer/wine/cheese box

- Meal box (e.g. My Food Bag, HelloFresh, Woop, etc.)

Pampering gifts

- Massage

- Hair appointment

- Manicure/ pedicure

- Make-up voucher

Consumable gifts

- Chocolate/candy

- Baked goods

- Cheese

- Wine/beer/spirits/liqueurs

- Coffee/tea

- Spices/rubs

- Olive oil/vinegar/dressing

- Sauces/relishes/pickles

- Candles

- Flowers


Christmas is about spending time with your family and friends and about giving to others. This does not have to cost money. One of the most valuable things you can give other people is your time. Some ideas are listed below or consider a service from your own skill set.

- Babysitting

- Gardening

- Painting

- Car-washing

- Cleaning

- Tutoring

I hope these tips will help you create a joyful, clutter-free Christmas without the added stress and budget blow-outs.

Merry Christmas!

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