Joyful Giving – what to give a friend who is moving?


It’s close to the end of the year, and at the moment a lot of people are moving. And that includes one of my friends.

The mother of one of my son’s close friends is also a former colleague. I feel so blessed that over the last two years we have developed a wonderful friendship. She shares similar values. She’s not necessarily a frugalista per se, but she has embraced minimalism and also has many sustainability-friendly habits.

Sadly for us, she is moving to Sydney in a few weeks’ time. Already she has boxed many of their belongings up in readiness for the move.

The question then is: what (if anything) can I gift to her?

If you’ve moved houses at least once (and many of us have moved more than once) you know that even if you’re a minimalist, you invariably discover a lot more stuff than you thought you had. The last thing you need is more stuff. I remember moving three and a half years ago and needing two trucks to move into my new apartment. I’d gotten rid of so much stuff before that point and it was hard to believe I still had a lot. Stuff hides.

She and her son came over to dinner last night – it was kind of a last-minute, loaves and fishes dinner. I haven’t actually had a good shop for a few weeks so it was a bit of a stretch to rustle things up. Thankfully I had some homegrown kale from someone in my Buy Nothing group, and a few other bits and pieces in the fridge and freezer. It was a fun night.


As I’ve noted many times, one of the odd things about this challenge is that the more I give, the more I receive. I think that when you signal that you want to be part of the sharing economy and that you value community, people tend to give to you in return. They know that not only are you okay with receiving second hand, but that you welcome it.

My friend turned up with a huge bag of school uniforms and clothing – especially welcome as I’ve struggled to find more black pants and shorts (part of their school uniform) this year. I wonder if it’s a result of supply chains being disrupted during COVID or not. Whatever the cause, my kids have spent most of winter going to school with trousers that have holes in the knees.

They also rocked up with some plants and a planter box for my balcony. Her son is a keen gardener, and he’s kindly offered to help me set up some more planting for my balcony. I’m so excited to get a bit of expert help to grow some things!

Joyful Giving

As mentioned, I still managed to gift a few things to her – even despite being a minimalist who is moving. And as her moving date approaches, of course I will be there to help her with packing and cleaning. That’s what friends are for.

  1. A jar of homemade yellow plum jam, made with plums from the Buy Nothing project.
  2. Some fresh plums. These plums were foraged from a tree found along a country road and are perhaps the nicest fresh blood plums I’ve ever tasted.
  3. A bottle of essential oil blend. I’d stocked up on double of one type (by accident) from Australian Essences. They have the most lovely blends – I never knew Australian oils were so versatile.
  4. Impromptu dinner.


  1. I think that when you are a person kind and gentle, everything you do is well accepted…in this case, your friendship is the best gifts, but also the little items you gifted are welcomed!!

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