Last-Minute: 13 Gift Ideas That Don’t Take Up Space

How’s a girl to choose a gift when her best friend lives and sleeps in a 300-square-foot area and can’t fit anything else into her shoebox home? Or when her coworker just announced she’s embraced a minimalist lifestyle?

If there’s some present-buying looming in your future, put away the wrapping paper and ribbon: Gifting experiences and subscriptions instead will take up zero space, and the memory will make your gift unforgettable.

Check out our 13 gifts that take up zero space, and get ready to do some shopping! (note: this post contains affiliate links)


Airbnb Gift Card

If your pal is a travel-aholic, an Airbnb gift card is the perfect gift; they can use it on an Airbnb experience, a place to spend the night, or as motivation to finally plan that trip they’ve always wanted to go on!


A Massage

Buy a gift card from your friend’s favorite spa, or check Groupon for great deals on a spa day! If you think she’d love a full day of relaxation, gather a few of your closest friends and have each person pay for a different part of the day (manicure, massage, etc.), or plan a time for all of you to have a day of relaxation together!


Gym membership

Going to the gym becomes way more exciting if you have someone to go with! If you’ve already got a membership and know your buddy would love the group yoga classes or new weight room they put in, offer to pay for their start up fee and first couple of months! The best part of membership gifts is that you can opt-in for only one month, or use it as a year-round gift that covers every holiday and celebration.


Get Cooking

If money is a little tight, give your friend a night in! Cook dinner, watch a movie, and spend some quality time together. Try picking a theme to make the night feel a little more special; try making macarons and watch Amelie, or have a chocolate-themed dessert night and put on Chocolat!


Some Down Time

Hulu (use our referral link for 2 free weeks!) or Netflix Subscription is great for any price point — offer to pay for one month, the whole year, or go in on the gift with a group of mutual friends! Offer to bring the wine and snacks if they’ll host movie night at their house, or start a weekly tradition of catching up on your favorite shows together.


The Gift That Gives Back

If your buddy truly doesn’t want a gift, you can always give a charitable donation in their name – a gift that gives back is always a good idea! Not sure what charity to give to? The Ijen Assistance program is changing the lives of Sulpher Porters in Indonesia, and 100% of profits go towards them and their families.


Cooking Classes 

Who doesn’t want to know how to make homemade pasta primavera? With online cooking classes, you and your bestie can learn together whenever it’s convenient for the two of you. Check out Rouxbe for information on online classes; they even offer cooking certifications and special courses!


The Gift of Help

If your girlfriend is a mom (to humans or animals), offering a night or two of free baby/dog sitting can be a huge help! Use a site like Canva to create a cute gift certificate that can be redeemed at any time, and wrap it in some cute twine or place in an envelope.


Amazon Prime

Giving the gift of Amazon Prime is a major life saver: Free shipping, access to Prime Original shows, free books, and streaming movies are all wrapped up in one nice little gift. The best part is that you can renew the membership every year, and make it an ongoing gift – no more trying to remember what you bought your pal last year! Find out more here.


Learning a Language

Learning a new language is something a lot of people have on their bucket list, and with so many apps and programs available, there are options for whatever your price point may be. Offer to pay for their first month, or use it as an ongoing gift for every holiday until they’ve mastered their new language! Try sites like Babbel or Fluenz.


Seasonal Tickets 

Giving seasonal tickets to the local theater or sporting team not only means several nights of memories and fun, but it’s something you and your friend can go do together if you feel like pitching in for your own set as well! Include that season’s calendar of events and dates so they know what events they can look forward to, and plan a few hang out nights together.


Something Practical 

Offer to buy something they really need but haven’t gotten for themselves. A new favorite pair of boots, replacing that sweater they’ve had for years that’s a little too loved, or buying a few of their favorite candles so they always have a replacement. This is a great way to make sure they’re receiving something they already know they’ll love and use!



While some people feel that giving money is impersonal, there’s always the option for good, old-fashioned moolah. Make it a little more special by including a hand-written letter, suggesting a fun day together with the money, or by giving it in person.

Do you have other gift ideas that don’t take up space or make for great experiences and memories? Share them in the comments below!