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Gifts for Hoarders: the One Who Keeps Everything


Looking for gifts for hoarders? Here are a few ideas I hope you’ll find useful.

It’s the time for giving, and many of us with people in our lives who love “collecting” have experienced the tough choice of what to give those loved ones. I have this in my family myself, and as someone who is trying to declutter, I’ve made promises to give only  gifts to these people that make zero to a low impact on the amount of clutter in their home.

Here are some tried and true gifts I have given to those in my family who just love their clutter.

All-occasion greeting cards


Great for parents, grandparents and anyone else who LOVES sending and receiving mail. This is for your clutterbug relative who always sends you the right card at the right time. As they get older, it gets more difficult to get out and pick the perfect card. Many places sell boxes of multiple greeting cards for various occasions: Birthdays, Anniversaries, Sympathy, Get Well Soon and blank notes. I cannot tell you HOW much of a hit this is.

The one issue you may encounter is that you just might get the same birthday card a few years in a row, but you’ll know it’s in your hands and not cluttering your loved one’s home.

Crossword puzzles


Books are great, but will they be read? If your loved one is into the daily crossword, a book of New York Times crossword puzzles, combined with a crossword dictionary, can be a great, regularly-used gift. Crosswords are great exercises for the brain, are fun, and you may get a call from your loved one asking you to think of a word for them. There’s no guarantee that these will be thrown away once they’re filled, but at least they will be put to use, and that’s what matters here!

Restaurant gift cards


Forget about gift cards to retail or grocery stores; your loved one may be a food hoarder and just end up with cans that will be in the home in another 20 years. But a restaurant gift card or even a special dinner? That is something your loved one will remember. In order to use it, they must get out of the house and have a great meal. There’s a risk of leftovers, but hopefully they won’t stay in the fridge too long. The main goal here is making sure the gift is used, so make sure the restaurant is a favorite of the gift recipient and that it’s in close proximity.

I’m not a psychologist (and by no means an organization expert), so I can’t give you suggestions on how to deal with your hoarding relatives. When it comes down to it, you must decide if your loved one’s health, safety and well-being takes priority. Just let them know they are loved above all.

Do you have any suggestions for gift-giving to the collectors in your life? Leave them in the comments!

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