As I work with clients who have limited space (and prepare to talk to a group of them on Friday), I think that gifts are one thing that could make a great difference in our clutter accumulation. I think gift exchanges are wonderful. Limit the number of gifts you give and receive and make those more special or useful. Now I have you thinking. Useful? Well, I know that I do not want a toaster from my husband for a holiday (and so does he!) But what about consumables? Maybe fine chocolates, wine, movie tickets, or gift certificates for restaurants or the theater?
Also, if you are downsizing and have special pieces that you want people to have, consider giving those items as gifts while you are able to see them enjoy them. Call me crazy but I think we may be on to something ;-)