When I started on my journey to declutter my home and my life, I didn’t yet know how the experience would change me. In the process of learning to let it go, I gained much more than I got rid of. One thing I discovered was how decluttering makes you more grateful.
It’s easy to think that decluttering is about deprivation as you get rid of stuff, but it really isn’t. Yes, things do leave your home, but that process changes your thoughts and feelings in unexpected ways.
How decluttering makes you more grateful
After working through the clutter, I found myself more grateful for what remained. I noticed the same was true for my kids. They were happier and more grateful when they had fewer things. Here are the reasons why decluttering makes you more grateful.
It’s hard to be grateful for what you own when you’re overwhelmed by what you own. When you own too much stuff, you feel stressed and burdened. Those feelings aren’t conducive to gratitude.
You can’t focus on that one awesome thing you have buried underneath all the other things. In many instances, you forget that you even had that thing you love. Most of us don’t even know what we own.
The amount of stuff chokes out your favorites. Your treasured items aren’t getting to shine. Instead, you feel paralyzed to deal with the ever-growing piles of things.
However, when you decide to make a change and declutter, you get to rediscover what you love. When you break down the decluttering process step by step, you no longer feel so overwhelmed.
You may even find items you’d long forgotten about get to be reappreciated.
When I took the time to declutter my closet, I saved only the clothes that I felt the most comfortable and confident in. I was able to see how decluttering makes you more grateful. Having fewer clothes, but only the best ones made me happier and more appreciative.
Decluttering is a clarifying process. Once you’re able to look at why you have things and let go of what is no longer serving you, you’re able to see what you value most.
There are many reasons people hang onto clutter. It can take some emotional decluttering to process through it and allow yourself to let go. After working through it, you’ll see more clearly what is important to you in your current season of life.
Having the clothes that no longer fit and the hobbies that you no longer care to do stored in your home doesn’t make you feel better. Keeping items you spent a lot of money on but don’t like or use also won’t add to your happiness.
When you find freedom in the letting go, your values are clarified and you’ll feel more thankful. It’s often the simplest things that bring joy.
What’s important to us can get lost in the distractions. Clutter is a distraction. It keeps us from living a more simple and intentional life.
Sometimes who we are and what goals we are working towards can get lost in the clutter in our lives. When you declutter not only your home but also your schedule, you get to decide what you are making space for.
Decluttering not only helps you clarify what you value but also to consider who you are and who you want to be.
If you want to create a life you love, declutter it. Get rid of the items that no longer serve you and your purposes. Let go of your past and embrace the present.
Your identity isn’t found in what you own. However, what you choose to own speaks to who you think you are. Does what you currently have reflect who you want to be?
As you realize what’s important to you (and what isn’t), it’s ok to mourn the loss of what was. Just don’t stay stuck there. It’s also incredibly helpful to know what matters and it’s easier to then be grateful.
You won’t find happiness in acquiring more stuff. You will find it when you choose to be grateful for what you already have and you get rid of the excess that distracts and overwhelms.
As you live your mission be selective in what you allow into your home and your calendar. Make sure it supports who you want to be and how you want to spend your time.
Know who you are and what’s important to you and let go of the rest.
Gratitude isn’t something we just want for ourselves. Most parents also want to instill in their kids. Somehow we seem to think that by giving them more, they’ll feel more grateful. But I’ve noticed the opposite happens.
When my kids received too many birthday or Christmas gifts, their reaction was not one of gratitude. They’d stop paying attention to what they’d even opened and then want more. There wasn’t much if any gratitude in those moments.
I don’t blame them. They were overwhelmed. We’ve already established that it’s very difficult to feel grateful when you’re overwhelmed.
I helped my kids declutter their space. We worked together to get rid of the excess. In the process, they became more appreciative even though they owned less.
Parents, this is why we need to simplify. Decluttering makes you more grateful and it makes our kids more grateful.
Of course, this shouldn’t be the only way we teach them to be grateful, we can incorporate simple gratitude activities and daily gratitude practices as well.
Gratitude & happiness
In our culture, we’re used to instant gratification. If we want it, we can click order and have free 2-day shipping on a plethora of items. It takes more work to be thoughtful and intentional with purchases when it’s so easy.
While we have more stuff than ever before, statistics are finding we are also less happy. Could it be the excess of items, information and distractions are keeping us from feeling as happy?
There are also studies showing the many benefits of gratitude including that it makes people happier. We think stuff will make us more grateful, but it turns out it doesn’t. Instead, decluttering makes you more grateful if you’re willing to put in the work.
If you find yourself in a season of making wish lists and focusing on what you lack, consider instead decluttering what you already own. Remember what you already have to be grateful for.
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