Dr. Gary Chapman is a New York Times best-selling author who is well known for his book, “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.” He explains that the best way to support those we love is by understanding the ways they are there for us.
Dr. Chapman believes that every person has a “love language” they use to express and experience love in their relationships. Knowing your partner’s love language is key to deepening your relationship. He defines the languages using the following five categories:
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
To find your primary love language, use the Five Love Languages online quiz. If you’re not sure what your partner’s love language is, think about the things they do regularly for you. We treat others the way we wish to be treated. Are they always leaving you little love notes or sending you sweet random texts? They might be Words of Affirmation. Do they often stop by the store on their way home to pick something up for you? That sounds like Acts of Service.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we wanted to share with you some clutter-free gift options that will harmonize with the love language of your partner – even if your partner is yourself!
The Five Love Languages and their Corresponding Clutter-Free Gift Ideas
1. Quality Time
Those with the Quality Time love language want the time you are spending together to be intentional. They feel the most loved when you set aside time to experience something as a shared memory. One on one time and deep conversations are a big deal to them.
Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for Quality Time
- Plan a game night and order their favorite take-out.
- Create a stay at home movie theater night with all their favorite snacks. You can even dim the lights and watch some old trailers from your favorite films for previews before the show begins.
- Book a workshop or class to take together. Anything from cooking or crafts to a guided photography tour of your city.
- Go big and book a weekend getaway somewhere for just the two of you.
2. Words of Affirmation
Those with the Words of Affirmation love language want you to articulate your love verbally. Whether you write these thoughts down or find a way to vocalize them in another way, the effort that you put into expressing how you feel is what counts. Those with this love language want to feel encouraged, empathized with and appreciated.
The littlest thing like a small post-it note next to the coffee maker that says “I love you and think you are amazing” means the world to them. Let them know how you feel, what they mean to you, and how they positively impact your life.
Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for Words of Affirmation
- Make a list of “10 things I love about you”.
- Write a letter of gratitude. For bonus points, write it on nice paper with attention to detail.
- Have something engraved with your thoughtful words, like a journal, a piece of jewelry or a picture frame.
- If writing is not your strong suit, there are lots of great books out there that will prompt you through putting your feelings into words. Books like “Why I Love You: A Journal of Us” or “I Wrote a Book About You” are fun, thoughtful and take up little space.
This may seem like the easiest love language to work with on Valentine’s Day, but the truth is that those with this love language think a lot about gift-giving and want the sentiment behind the gift more than anything. It’s the thought that counts. Without significance, a gift can quickly get lost in the mix and cause clutter, not charm.
Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for Gift Lovers
So how do you come up with ideas for great gifts that won’t sit in the corner and collect dust? Think about their day to day life. Really listen to your partner and ask yourself:
- How do they spend their time?
- What do they like to do?
- Is there anything that will add value to their routine?
- Have they mentioned the desire to learn or try something new lately?
If you get stuck, know that it’s okay to ask for help. For someone who values gifts, they will most likely be flattered that you thought to ask them so that you can be sure to please them.
4. Acts of Service
The words “I’ll help you” mean the world to Acts of Service folks. Has your partner recently mentioned a task that they keep wanting to accomplish but haven’t found the time? There’s your gift idea. Help them accomplish it, or take it on yourself.
Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for Acts of Service
Any of these Acts of Service can easily be made into a DIY “voucher” or “gift certificate” so your partner has something tangible to open on the holiday and can “redeem” it at a later time.
- Offer to help them with a house chore that has been put off, like painting that one room or reorganizing the office. (Bonus points – paint a cute message on the wall for them to find before you paint over it together.)
- The gift of organization! Organizers Northwest will provide a printable gift certificate which can be redeemed for one of our expert professional organizers to come and give them the pantry/closet/garage/fill-in-the-blank of their dreams.
- Take their car to get the oil changed and run it through the car wash or have it detailed.
- Have dinner delivered for a night or two.
- If you don’t have the time to do the action yourself, consider hiring someone to help. This might include a handyperson, cleaner, tech person or other service professional.
5. Physical Touch
As humans, we are hardwired to require touch to sustain our health and happiness. However, some people like and appreciate it more than others! Those with this love language rely on body language and the sensory experience of touch to feel loved. Holding hands, random hugs and back rubs are a way of conveying your love for them without words.
Clutter-Free Gift Ideas for Physical Touch
- Gift them a massage, fulfilled by you! If you’re not confident in your massage giving skills, pay for a couples massage and make it a date that you can experience together (post-COVID, of course).
- Create a coupon book full of physical favors like a foot rub, a scalp massage, or a long hug (or perhaps something more romantic) for the recipient to cash in.
- Gift them a nice, new throw blanket that comes with the promise of cuddles.
Communication is key in a happy relationship, and understanding how to communicate only deepens that connection. When you speak the native language of your partner’s heart, you both will reap the benefits.
Happy Valentines Day!