2018 Holiday Gift Guide: For People Who Live in Small Spaces

Gift ideas for people who live in small spaces

Happy Monday, friends! We had a wonderful weekend in Charlottesville with our neighbors turned friends (and the dogs!)–we went on a hike, hit up Duck Donuts (my first time and it lived up to expectations), went to L.L. Bean, visited two wineries (King Family and Veritas), and got dinner at Red Pump Kitchen and ice cream at Kilwin’s (one of my all-time favs), got Bodo’s to go (obviously), and stopped  at Barrel Oak on our way back to DC yesterday. It was cold but the perfect couple of days–I’d never visited UVA’s campus before and while Millie is still very much an eight month old puppy and loves to act like one a lot of the time, it ended up being the ideal fall weekend.

Now that we’re just over a week away from Thanksgiving, it’s officially gift guide season in the lifestyle content world! I know many of these can get redundant and annoying after awhile, so I’m going to mostly stick with that I did last year: only post the guides on “off” days and keep my MWF posts non-gift guide related. Today is obviously an exception but you can expect guides to fall on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays for the next few weeks. I’m also trying to be a little more “out of the box” with my topic ideas–you’ll see the typical “for the hostess,” “for her,” “under $xx,” etc., but also a couple new ones like this one. As someone who has lived in small spaces for the past few years and now shares a sub-600 square foot place with a boy and a dog, I wanted to share items that I think would be good for other’s who may be in a similar position because when space is so precious, it’s tough to give it up for more “stuff” if you hate clutter like I do. All of these items are on the smaller side, overly practical, or would get “used up” – all good boxes to check if people on your list fit this mold!

P.S. You can click on the “Holiday” tab in the nav bar for holiday content in one place–I’ll be fleshing it out! Don’t forget to utilize the “Shop” tab, too–I’m either going to put in a widget of gift guide products there or it’ll be in the holiday section. TBD, I’ll keep you posted!


ONE: J.Crew earrings ($65; currently 30% off) // TWO: Set of Voluspa candles ($48) // THREE: Mark & Graham cord holder ($49) // FOUR: Grove Street Press stationery ($24-$40)// FIVE: Fujifilm Instax Mini Film Camera ($75) // SIX: Magazine subscription (price varies) // SEVEN: Fresh Sugar lip balm set ($53) // EIGHT: High Street Market horn trays ($28-$32) // NINE: L’Occitane hand lotion ($24) // TEN: TRUFFLE card case ($36) // ELEVEN: L.L. Bean lightweight duffle ($40; currently 25% off too) // TWELVE: GIR Mini Spatula ($8 and up)


+ J.CREW EARRINGS: Jewelry can be touch and go but if you know the recipient’s personal style well, they can be a really sweet gift! J.Crew makes so many great statement pieces and someone may not justify buying them for themselves since they’re such a statement and depending on who you are, would mostly get worn for special occasions. I’d venture a guess that the Crew will be 40% off for Black Friday + Cyber Monday so these will be a great deal by then!

+ CANDLES: This Voluspa set is a great buy since you can easily split it up into three smaller gifts (great solo with a nice note, or with a bottle of wine)–candles are great for small spaces since they’re a use and toss kind of thing, but still an ultimate treat when you have a good one to burn.

+ MARK & GRAHAM CORD HOLDER: This takes up virtually no space and is functional both for storage at home and when you’re on the road–it’s the perfect way to store headphones and chargers to avoid the tangles. It also comes in some gorgeous holiday prints!

+ STATIONERY: One of my favorite gifts to give and receive and ideal for anyone who loves handwritten correspondence! Grove Street Press makes some of my favorite paper goods, and gifting paper is a good move in the practical department. More GSP picks in the widget below!

+ FUJIFILM MINI FILM CAMERA: This is personally on my own wishlist because I miss the Poloroid era! It’s small, it’s fun, and it’s a conversation start (plus, it’ll get some good use over the holidays!).

+ MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION: Fun fact–you can get great deals on magazine subscriptions on Black Friday! We’re talking $5/year in many cases. Be sure to check Amazon next week–many deals are already out! This would make a great gift for someone who’s far away and if you don’t want to break the bank on a gift plus shipping.

+ FRESH SUGAR LIP BALM: Lip balm is definitely a personal thing but if you feel comfortable buying it for someone, I think the best is Fresh’s Sugar variety. Nordstrom has this huge set that you can divvy up for several gifts, but you can also buy them individually.

+ HIGH STREET MARKET HORN TRAYS: High Street Market curates an amazing product selection, especially when it comes to gifts. I love these simple trays–they’d work just as well in a drawer as they would on a console table, nightstand, dresser. etc.

+ NICE HAND LOTION OR CREAM: Another kind of personal buy depending on the person, but lotion in a pretty bottle goes a long way when you live in a small space since chances are there’s often no good way to practically store a large bottle of lotion that you probably use once or twice a day this time of year. It’s also nice having something pretty out for when guests visit, and having that come in the form of a gift is always appreciated since the prettier bottles can be pricier! This L’Occitane one is nice (and $24) but if you want to splurge, heart eyes for this Le Labo!

TRUFFLE CARD CASE: I was gifted one of these a couple years ago and use it several times a week–it’s the most practical thing when I want to stick my a couple cards into my smaller purse (both on the weekends and when using smaller clutches) and is easy to store for use even if you aren’t reaching for it regularly. TRUFFLE products are incredibly well-made, too!

+ L.L. BEAN LIGHTWEIGHT DUFFLE: I saw this bag in person this weekend and was tempted to pick it up for myself–it’s basically the ideal thing to leave folded up in your bag to have at the ready when you end up needing another receptacle…if you’re on a road trip, don’t want to put your nice bag directly on the belt at airport security (literally the only downside of having Pre Check), end up making a stop at the store on your way home, etc. It would be an easy gift to take if you’re short on space, too!

+ GIR MINI SPATULA: A writer for Bon Appétit sung this spatula’s praises last year and it’s weirdly become one of my favorite items in our kitchen. It may feel weird to just gift someone a singular spatula without context, so be sure to include a thoughtful note or give it in addition to something else (it would be so cute with some kind of bread mix!) to round things out. This would be a great one for the office secret santa, too!

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  1. Sarah Lyon wrote:

    We stumbled upon a Polaroid camera like that one while packing up the office for our move, and everyone is obsessed. It would make a great gift idea!


    Posted 11.12.18 Reply
  2. Erica wrote:

    This is such a cute idea for a gift guide. Love it!

    Posted 11.12.18 Reply
    • Monica wrote:

      Thank you so much, Erica!! Trying to find some gaps in the gift guide market :)

      Posted 11.14.18 Reply