As you pick a gift, think fun but practical. Useful but meaningful. Look for something that can be used or enjoyed soon, if not right away.
- Hanging basket. Hanging baskets dress up the kitchen and save space at the same time, so it's a win-win situation. As you present the gift, point out that hanging baskets don't have to be used to hold fruit--these cute space savers hold a variety of household items, and don't even need to be placed in the kitchen. Small bathrooms with limited storage space can also benefit from hanging baskets.
- House plants. A classic gift for a good reason: house plants liven spaces and can make a barren corner feel homey and cozy. Take care not to give a house plant to someone who won't want to care for it long-term; house plants make bad gifts for people who travel frequently.
- Wine basket. You've heard that blessing, " Bread, that this house may never know hunger; salt, that life may always have flavor; and wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever"? Wine is festive and celebratory, and makes a lovely gift for just about anyone moving into a new apartment. Present it in a nice basket (and maybe throw in some salt and bread). If you're looking to throw in a little something extra, a set of wine glasses makes the perfect accompaniment for this timeless gift.
- Unique clock. Anyone moving into a new place is going to need a bunch of new things for the walls. A clock has the added benefit of being useful, so this is a two-for-one in terms of gifts: it looks good while telling time. Look for a clock that has something interesting about, something it that makes it different from other clocks. Maybe it's made from a decommissioned taxi medallion, or recycled Starbucks cups. Maybe it's vintage a 1950's library wall clock. Be picky and find something personally relevant to the recipient, so it can be enjoyed for years to come.
- Real art. Not movie posters or a velvet Elvis. Real art. You know, somebody painted it on a canvas or formed it from clay. That kind of art.
- Spice rack. This is a good gift for someone straight out of college who might just be learning to cook. Pick one that includes spices, or give the spices separately and pick the ones you think are most useful.
- Something hand-made. Maybe a blanket or a kitchen platter. Make it yourself, or purchase something from one of the many websites where artisans sell hand-made products at reasonable prices. Items made by hand are often better quality than factory produced products, and have the potential to become keepsakes and heirlooms.
What was the best gift you've given or received when moving into a new apartment? Share in the comments below!