I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I take gifting very seriously. I pride myself on coming up with thoughtful, useful gifts, so today I’m sharing some of my best gift-buying tips with you! There is something really satisfying about finding the perfect gift for someone (and seeing their face when they open it)! Here are my 5 big tips for buying the best gifts ever!

Tips for Buying the Best Gifts, Buy the Perfect Gift for Everyone!

Listen Carefully.

I think that some of the best gifts are ones that a person doesn’t explicitly ask for. If you listen carefully, people will often say something like, “I wish I had …” or “You know what would be nice to have? …” Write these down! Last year, Scott bought me a lightweight parka (seen here) – it wasn’t on my list, but I had mentioned to him how much I wanted one, so it was one of my favorite gifts! If you hear a friend or family member offhandedly mention how much they’d like a particular homeware item, piece of clothing, or experience, consider getting that for them as a gift!

Don’t Add Clutter.

This is a really important thing to consider when buying gifts. Don’t add clutter to their lives! A good gift will either be used up or used frequently. (An exception would be if you’re buying something from a list.) For example, buy some gourmet coffee or tea for a caffeine-lover; don’t get them another mug if they already have too many! An “experience” gift is also an exceptional way to get a meaningful gift that doesn’t add clutter.

Consider Hobbies & Interests.

Try purchasing something for your loved one that fits well into their hobbies and interests. For example, buy a really nice hand warmer for someone that loves to ski or a nice new pair of gloves for someone who loves to garden. Get a rocking pizza cutter for your pizza-loving friend or a Hulu/Netflix/HBOGo membership for someone who loves to watch tv! This may also mean buying experiences rather than material gifts. A set of lift tickets for someone who loves to ski would make a great gift. For someone who loves gardening, you could visit a garden center (and buy them some new plants or supplies). You could also go to a nearby botanical garden (if you’re in the Pittsburgh area, Phipps Conservatory and the Pittsburgh Botanical Gardens are both nice options).

Splurge for Them.

When I say splurge here, I don’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money; rather, I mean spend money where your family member or friend normally wouldn’t. This may mean buying a really nice new pair of wool socks for a friend who already has several pairs, getting a family member who wouldn’t normally spend money on it a Spotify Premium membership, or buying your favorite beauty-lover an expensive (but beautiful) lipstick that she loves but just can’t justify spending money on. Spending money in these areas is nice because it means your loved one gets something that they would really enjoy and use well, but that they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves.

Stick with the List.

If your loved one has provided you with a list, don’t be afraid to stick to it! Chances are, they’ve put some thought into what they put on their list and would really like to receive any of the items. If you want to feel like a little more of an accomplished gifter, then try pairing an item from the list with a thoughtful companion gift. For example, if you sister asks for a specific kitchen utensil, pair it with a nice apron. When you do this, your gift feels a little more thoughtful, and you’re getting your loved one something they want/need!

I hope these tips were helpful for you! What is your favorite gift that you’ve ever received, and what’s your favorite gift that you’ve ever given?

Still stuck? Get some ideas for everyone on your list with my gift guides!