How To Learn About Someone From Their Home and Possessions

Once again, it is time to be getting our loved ones gifts. But sometimes it can be hard to know what to buy, especially if you have to buy things for someone you don’t know very well? Getting to know someone new is an exhilarating process, but it can also be quite tricky. When you have gone through all the standard ‘getting to know you’ questions like ‘tell me about your family?’, or ‘where did you go to school?’, or ‘do you have any pets?’, sometimes it can be hard to know what to ask without sounding like you are interrogating them. While some people are easy to get to know even if you do run out of questions – with some people, the conversation just flows! – other people are more guarded, and you may have to wait until you meet their friends or see their home to really feel like you can start to understand them. Honestly – even if you already know someone very well, there is always something more you can learn about them from their environment and lifestyle which can help you to decide what the perfect Christmas gift might be.

A person’s home can tell you a lot about them. From the general decoration to specific possessions, a person’s home is a reflection of who they are and visiting can be a great way to figure out whether you are on their wavelength or not. Obviously, we are not suggesting looking around their house uninvited, or snooping! But the next time you are at their place, you should pay closer attention to the surroundings than you usually do. To pick an obvious example, if you notice they’ve got a lot of bookcases then they could be a book lover – so why not try getting them a nice edition of a classic book, or choosing a new release you think they might enjoy? To pick another example, say you notice their shoe rack is full of trainers and other sporty looking footwear. In that case, why not decide to indulge their interest in sports and fitness, and get them something they can really enjoy like a badminton racket? It is a great way to work out what their hobbies are – a beautifully kept kitchen with high end equipment suggests a love of cooking which means you couldn’t go wrong getting unusual ingredients or a nice history book. Similarly, it could also help you to decide what not to get them – for example, if their home is very co-ordinated and stylised then you should not get them an ornament, as they won’t have anywhere appropriate to put it and will not enjoy it. 

Similarly, you can learn a lot from what you know about a person’s lifestyle; do you happen to know they are an early riser who has a very busy, organised lifestyle? Well, then they seem like the kind of person that might enjoy a really nice diary to plan their days in, a desk planner, some nice stationery (for example with colour coded post it notes) or even a nice watch to help them keep time. On the other hand if you know your friend spends a lot of time shopping, they might appreciate a gift card. For some people, it might even be a good idea to buy an experience rather than a physical gift – if you have a friend who loves travel or adventure sports, why not buy them a day trip to a local beauty spot or activity centre?

Knowing what to buy people for Christmas is a challenge, even if they’re good friends of yours – but paying a little more attention to their homes and lives is one great way to help you get them thoughtful gifts!