Since I deal with clutter in my clients’ homes all year long, this time of year I’m always thinking (and writing) about the benefits of giving intangible gifts. A year ago I created a post about clutter-free gifts for genealogists. It still holds true, so I’ve decided to run it again today (with a few updates).
As a professional organizer, I frequently help clients declutter their physical possessions. Over and over again I’ve seen how difficult it is for most folks to let go of an item they’d received as a gift, even if they don’t use or love it.
This realization has changed the way I give gifts. As I’ve written repeatedly on my organizing blog, I think it’s much kinder to give a gift that doesn’t have a chance to turn into clutter. So I find myself giving these types of gifts:
- digital gifts (iTunes gift certificate, or a subscription to Amazon Prime, for example)
- services (gift certificate for a massage or a float)
- ephemeral goods (like edibles and cut flowers) and
- experiences (an outing or meal together)
If you have any genealogy enthusiasts on your list, you’re in luck. There are all sorts of opportunities to give clutter-free gifts to those folks. Here are some ideas.
- A subscription to an online service, like Ancestry, Fold3 or MyHeritage
- A membership in a local society or other association, like the NGS or the Southern California Genealogy Society (so they can have access to the webinar archives, my pick for deal of the century)
- A gift certificate to work with a professional genealogist
- The story behind a mystery photo, revealed by Maureen Taylor, photo detective.
- One or more of my Orderly Roots guides (you could download it for them and email it, or contact me for a special code they can use to download a guide you pay for)
- Your help with their genealogy (maybe offer to spend a couple of hours on one of their brick walls)
- Your help decluttering or organizing their research space
- A trip together to a cemetery or research library
- Registration for a genealogy conference (they could hear me speak at RootsTech 2017!)
- A donation in their name to a worthy genealogy cause (like Preserve the Pensions or their favorite genealogy society)
If you do want to give a physical item, be sure it’s useful. You could consider a Flip-Pal mobile scanner or a ShotBox portable photo light box. Perhaps less utilitarian, but a lovely, meaningful gift is the family tree necklace. I adore the one I gave myself.
Before you buy anything, check out the Genealogy Bargains area of the Geneabloggers website to see if there are any special deals to be found!