As a professional organiser, I work with many families to declutter their homes.  A common issue is too many toys! Birthdays and Christmas are two key times where homes can become inundated with new ‘things’.  

This Christmas, I’m on a mission to help women and families collect moments not things so I’m encouraging you to consider giving experience gifts this year. 


Transition to ‘experience’ gifts

If your family is used to receiving a lot of physical gifts on Christmas morning, you may want to start with adding a few experience gifts and over time transition to the majority of your gifts being experience gifts.


All families are different 

My husband and my family have different Christmas gift giving traditions. On my side, we do experience or consumable gifts for adults and kids and on my husband’s side of the family we only buy gifts for the kids.

No way is right or wrong. On both sides we have open communication and we have worked out a solution to suit our situations at this moment in time.

If you would like to move towards experience gifts in the future maybe have a discussion this Christmas to put plans in place for next year. 


Give the gift of choice

Last year my children’s grandparents gave them a card with a note that said they could have $100 to spend on experiences. They didn’t give my kids money – which would have probably been used on something else!

Each time we came to Adelaide (we live on a farm two and a half hours away) the kids chose something to do and their grandparents paid for it and recorded how much money they had left.

So far in 2020 my kids (aged 8yo and 7yo) have been to:

By giving a dollar value it allows the kids to choose what they do rather than being limited to specific gift vouchers.

Some experience gifts just cost your time

One of my favourite experience gift is a box of homemade experience gift cards.

We live in country South Australia and visit Adelaide often to visit my parents. The activities in my daughter’s gift box were a mix of things to do in Adelaide and on the Yorke Peninsula of SA.

Many of the activities listed are things we would normally do but by giving the gift cards it gave my daughter some ownership of what she wants to do next time we visit. 

My mother went through all of her photos and found pictures of my daughter doing some of the experiences. She then found others which illustrated some of the places they could go together. 

Give the gift of Experience Cards

How to make your own

You don’t have to find 20 things for your list. Maybe you choose one, maybe you pick out 5. You choose, it’s your personalised gift.

If you would like to get a bit fancy I recommend using the free version of Canva  to design your vouchers.

I encourage you to stop, focus and notice what your child likes to do.

  • Where is their favourite playground?
  • Where do they like to ride their bike, scooter or skateboard?
  • What do they like to eat?
  • Where do they like to eat?
  • What activities do they like to do?

Other paid experience ideas

Google is your best friend for finding experience near where you live. Here are some other examples that adults and kids might enjoy. 

Experience Gifts from the SA Woman Community 

I asked our wonderful SA Woman community and here are a few gift options that won’t add clutter into your home:


It’s the simple things that matter the most

Before you go looking for presents costing hundreds of dollars I want to share my daughter’s favourite experiences. She loves riding the tram and having lunch at a shopping centre food court. It really is the simplest things that bring the most joy!

Your most precious gift is your time. Why don’t you consider giving your child an experience gift voucher where you can experience the activity together and collect moments not things.




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Meet Bridget Johns from Be Simply Free



Bridget is the founder of Be Simply Free, a declutter coaching and life organisation business that empowers women to go from being time poor to time rich by decluttering their homes, phones, calendars and minds.

Bridget is the declutter coach for you if you want to move stress to less and live a life of more!