As we are heading into Thanksgiving, I ask that you take a step back and look at your surroundings. You have the basics you need in life; a place to live, food and clothing. Now take another look at your surroundings. How much excess do you have? Are there duplicates, unwanted or unnecessary items that are giving your home a cluttered appearance? Could you bless others with your overflow of items that you truly don’t need or want anymore? There are so many non-profits that are working in partnership with communities to provide for those that are in need. I often share my local Raleigh non-profits (Note in the Pocket, The Green Chair Project and The Giving Tree Foundation) but, if you live elsewhere, I encourage you to seek out those foundations that will help those in need in your area. Get to know them by touring their facilities and possibly even volunteering with them.
I recently read a Huffington Post article that talked about Marie Kondo and her approach of thanking our belongings and if it helped or not. The way I look at it is that some items have their purpose in our lives but there are times when they are no longer needed and, in that case, I can understand the mindset of thanking it and letting it go. In the article, Dr. Chloe Carmichael, a clinical psychologist in New York City, explained that saying “thank you” can help people get rid of their belongings “because it sidesteps the idea that you have to disavow something.” She also shares this point about clutter, “If you’re to the point with your clutter where you’re having these issues of attachment to an item that you’re trying to overcome, then saying thank you to it is almost like you’re giving a sense of positive recognition to the part of yourself that this item once helped” she added. Please check out my recent blog for more tips from Marie Kondo and insight from Space to Embrace.
In summary, I encourage you to survey your home and be a blessing to others with the items that no longer serve you. Thank them and let others enjoy them. In the same vain, as you are shopping for friends and family this holiday season, give thoughtfully, not just to present a gift that will add to someone else’s clutter. When you are shopping for the person who has everything, consider gifting them with an experience. For example, tickets to a local show, gift certificates to their favorite restaurant or even a new one in town. Better yet, instead of a physical gift, spend the day with them by exploring the area and treat them to lunch. Time well spent with those that we love is the best gift of all. My last suggestion is that if you are giving someone an actual gift, consider purchasing it from a local vendor, possibly even a friend that makes and sells items or has a mid-level marketing business. Not only will you be giving an item of quality that most likely comes with awesome customer service and attention to detail, but you are also helping to support small businesses.