Housewarming gifts, long-distance edition
September 1, 2013 9:49 PM   Subscribe

I want to send some thoughtful gifts long distance to a sweetheart who has just moved into a tiny new apartment.

Since the new place is so very small, "stuff" is not ideal if it will take up space. That said, cozy things that will make the place more welcoming would be great. I also want to avoid anything too feminine, and the recipient is not into cooking, so most kitchen stuff is out. What have you wanted when you've moved to a new place?
posted by Edna Million to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
Original art. You can hang it on the wall, it won't take up space.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:52 PM on September 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

A really nice throw or blanket for the couch/floor/bed/desk chair. It can be used in any room, will make the person think of you when they cuddle into it and can double as a tablecloth on any flat surface!
posted by Merinda at 9:57 PM on September 1, 2013 [6 favorites]

Storage stuff is good for small apartments. My boyfriend gave me one of those etageres that have shelves and fit over the toilet.
posted by gt2 at 11:48 PM on September 1, 2013

I ordered antique French linen sheets from sellers on Etsy [e.g.] - they are cheaper than most manchester for sale in department stores, and once you've had linen sheets you realise, holy crap, they are the best thing in the world for sleeping under/on. They were beautifully wrapped by the seller with a little token of appreciation, a little French antique table runner.
posted by honey-barbara at 11:53 PM on September 1, 2013

Plants always make the place feel more homely to me - if you want a manly plant then places like this (UK-based) will do you a coffee or chilli plant delivered!
posted by greenish at 12:30 AM on September 2, 2013

Really cool fridge magnets!
posted by Salamander at 1:05 AM on September 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Vouchers for a furnishings/diy place so the person can pick what they want/need. Unless you have actually been to the place, with their stuff in it, there is no way you can actually pick anything suitable for another person. I have had people give me all the above mentioned stuff and with exception of the fridge magnets nothing gets used and the plants are dead, there being a reason why I don't buy any plants.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:06 AM on September 2, 2013

If this person is moving to a city that is new to them, perhaps getting a gift that relates to the new neighborhood. Could you get your friend a gift certificate to a local good restaurant or a public transit pass if that is relevant. A book of hikes or bike rides in the area. etc.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:07 AM on September 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Something consumable like a really nice candle or some soap.
posted by dawkins_7 at 5:59 AM on September 2, 2013

Get a gift card to grubhub or seamlessweb or whatever delivery website is popular in her area. It's not stuff and it will give her a chance to try out a new restaurant while taking a break from unpacking and moving. If you really want to send something physical, include a pair of reusable chopsticks.
Another possibility is a dvd, book or other media that doesn't require internet. Waiting a week for internet is a sucky but inevitable part of moving.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 6:45 AM on September 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Is there a nearby IKEA? If you go the way of a gift certificate, they really are the kings of affordable and clever small-space storage options.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 8:56 AM on September 2, 2013

When I got my first (tiny) apartment, a good friend gave me a Swiss Army knife. It has a corkscrew, screwdriver, nail file, tweezers, and a bunch of blades you can use for cutting bread or salami or whatever you might need -- and it's small!
posted by vickyverky at 10:05 AM on September 2, 2013

I just moved to a new city, and into a tiny apartment after living in 3 HUGE apartments. I got rid of 80% of the stuff that I own.

Things that I appreciated:
- definitely a gift card to a nearby restaurant or food delivery service. It was hard trying to find good things to eat in a new environment, especially when starting a new job
- on the same note, my mom sent me a box of homecooked stuff that I could just reheat. LOVE.
- my swiss army knife got used a lot, so if I didn't have one, vickyverky's idea would have been great
- someone sent me a printout on all the rules in my new city (like how to separate garbage, which is different by city in Japan) and all the local phone numbers I needed to know. Yes, I could easily look it up online, but it took me a while to get internet in my apartment
posted by xmts at 5:40 PM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tsk tsk, not a Swiss Army Knife, a Leatherman!

I think a blanket or throw would be a great gift as well.
posted by radioamy at 9:50 PM on September 2, 2013

« Older Plant Identification Help   |   Help me find a replacement pair of vintage... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.