Saturday, April 19, 2014 · 8:52 p.m.
A local company has launched a new site that helps connect consumers with "unstuff." (Screenshot: Staff)

A lot of people have a lot of stuff, and many give and receive even more stuff during the holidays. 

And sometimes that leaves people feeling stuck in a place of giving or getting something they don't really need or want. 

So leaders of local company Humanaut have created a website that connects consumers with gift ideas that don't involve "stuff."

"I think everybody has a lot of apprehension about both giving and receiving gifts," David Littlejohn, Humanaut founder and chief creative director, said. "And you can't really tell somebody not to give you something."

And as nice as it would be for everyone to give to charity in place of holiday gifts, that solution sometimes leaves people not feeling like they really gave you something, he said. 

Because—for many people—part of the fun of the holidays is giving a person they love something they will really enjoy and use. 

So is the solution to that problem. 

From a tour of a distillery or a subscription to Spotify to online guitar lessons or cooking classes, has an array of gift ideas that are experiences or don't come in packages.

Humanaut is a creative development and branding company with a mission to help clients create and "innovate" products, then continue on through the process of marketing and brand identity. 

"This is for fun, but also because we believe in the idea of reducing the amount of stuff that ends up in landfills," Humanaut associate producer Joda Thongnopnua said. 

Littlejohn added to that idea and said that—in addition to the "stuff" that's potentially a waste—shipping uses energy, gas and time, all for something that may end up in the back of a closet or bottom of a drawer. 

The new site uses Facebook to suggest what friends might like, and it's divided into categories, such as athletes, critics, snobs, foodies, geeks, students and rock stars. 

The site also lists 10 reasons why unstuff is better than stuff. 

The Humanaut team has coined the phrase "unstuff" to describe what the site offers, and they created language for the site that is unconventional.

"There's this sort of witty and sarcastic tone to the website," he said. "It's like your snarky best friend—that's the tone the site has. We're not really following the rules of corporate [copywriting]." 

The team launched the site for the holidays but is planning on keeping it up throughout the year.

And they are open to suggestions to add to the "unstuff" list.

"We hope, if people really love the idea, next year's it's going to be even better," Littlejohn said. 

People can also send unstuff suggestions to the Humanaut team via Twitter by tweeting @unstuffgifts, Littlejohn said. 

And some companies or organizations who have "unstuff" that could be given as gifts struggle with how to package and market those things. So Littlejohn said Unstuff Gifts also helps solve that problem. 

"It's a fun experience from a local creative agency, and we could really use Chattanooga's support to help make this idea even better," he said. "[We hope they] tweet it or post it on Facebook. It's interesting to think that with one tweet, you could help eliminate boxes ... and energy waste and also give people better experiences."

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