Father’s Day is coming up, and as a (slowly converting) minimalist it’s always a challenge to avoid adding to the pile on holidays. Well meaning family and friends love to give something that seemed like, well, an impulse buy for them – even if there was thought to put in it. Yes, my husband likes to drink coke, but he doesn’t need a 2 foot inflatable bottle of it…

So, if you want to keep the junk at bay in your house,

here are 5 clutter-free gifts you can get for dad.

  1. Food. This is my favourite gift because dad always appreciates something to eat. When buying a food gift, though, consider who you’re shopping for. If dad has a sweet tooth, treats are great, but someone who likes to cook might prefer spices, sauces, or fancy pasta. Don’t be tempted to throw in cooking utensils or tea towels into the gift basket! Stick to consumables only.
  2. Tickets to do things alone. Dads need time apart from the family too, but too often they feel guilty for spending time or money on themselves instead of the kids. Grab dad a movie ticket to take himself out, or a gift card to go out for a couple of drinks.
  3. Consumable hobby supplies. Most dads have hobbies, but a lot of time they’re expensive to continue, so dad has to suffer with old golf balls and a leaky water bottle. Even if the hobby doesn’t appear to have traditional supplies like painting or crafts, get creative! Gamers always appreciate new charging cables (or longer ones) and controllers, golfers need new balls and tees, sports addicts need new gear, and so on.
  4. Passes to do stuff with the kids. Dads also love spending time with their families, so picking up a family membership to a local activity (that dad loves) is a great gift idea. That way he can take the kids to the zoo or museum anytime he wants without any of the stress or pressure of buying tickets or “getting his money’s worth”. It makes the trips a lot more relaxing and enjoyable.
  5. Digital content. With so much technology nowadays, it’s much easier to keep the clutter down and still enjoy the same types of entertainment. Subscriptions to on-demand services, gift cards to media download sites like itunes, digital video games, or memberships to favourite sites are great ways to give dad a little something for him without having it take up physical space in the home.
  6. Time with his partner. Offer to babysit. Buy a gift card for a date. Make it possible for dad to spend time with the co-parent of his children. Trust me, he really misses this stuff, and wishes they could do it more.
  7. Summer fun. Since it’s the start of summer, it’s a great time to give dad some things to make this season a little bit easier. Charcoal for the barbecue if he’s into that. Baby powder to get the sand off if he frequents the beach. Gift cards to the local ice cream shop. Anything to make dad’s summer special – you know him best!

If you are a family embracing minimalism and have a hard time converting gift-giving family members, share this post with them to offer ideas.

What are you getting dad for father’s day?