No matter how messy a home is, here are 8 ways clutter can remind us to stop and be grateful.

1. Money – At each point in time, for every item you purchased (which might now be clutter), you decided you could financially afford. Even if you racked up debt buying stuff on a credit card, some part of you believed you could afford it, either now or eventually in the future. Just having the opportunity to afford to buy things is something to be grateful for in itself.

2. Comfort – It’s easy to comfort yourself with another trip to the shopping mall after an argument with your spouse, a bad day at work, feelings of being alone, or for temporary peace of mind from whatever problem life is throwing at you. Although buying stuff out of comfort is an unhealthy habit, we must be grateful for the items that temporarily consoled us in the past. If the item has turned to clutter, give thanks, and let go. Going forward, a healthier way to comfort ourselves can be found in the people in our lives. No matter how small your family is or how lonely you may feel, each and every one of us has access to a support system.

3. Kids – If you’re a parent trying to keep up with the kid clutter, just having children at home to make a mess is something to be grateful for in itself. Having children of your own is a privilege that many people are denied. Cherish the messy moments and the miracle of your child’s love. Because one day when the nest is empty you’ll probably wish you still had the piles of toys reminding you that your little ones are nearby.

4. Free Content – If you Googled “How to Organize Your Home” you’d come across 11,500,000 search results (I just googled it!). It’s overwhelming to say the least. And if you’re not careful you’ll end up trapped in a rabbit hole of indecision that can halt your organizing progress. But hey, it’s free organizing content as long as you have access to the internet. 100 years ago, this information was not readily available like it is today. Instead, the information was passed down through the generations. Organizing was also very basic back then before consumerism became so widespread. But if you’re struggling to get organized, just being grateful for having access to endless amounts of free solutions is a wonderful place to start.

5. Home/Car – If you have a roof over your stuff, protecting your prized possessions from fading in the sun, cracking in the cold, getting wet in rain, or getting buried in the snow, be grateful for your home, car, or both. Not everyone has shelter protecting their belongings, or more importantly, shelter protecting themselves and their family.

6. An Opportunity to Serve – It’s easy to focus on ourselves and get caught up in our emotions when it comes to decluttering. After all, it’s our stuff and our home. But decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of stuff for our own sake and well-being. It’s also about seeing the opportunity to pass things on to those who need them more. After all, one of the secrets that leads to a fulfilling life is contribution to others. If you have excess clutter, be grateful you have the opportunity to serve. Your unused items could be what someone else desperately needs and could use every day.

7. You – No matter how messy your home is, most of us probably have clean clothes hanging in the back of the closet, clean dishes stacked somewhere in the cupboard, and at least one space that is decently organized. It could be the smallest space like the utensil drawer in the kitchen. But SOMEONE had to clean and hang up those clothes. SOMEONE had to clean and put those dishes away. And SOMEONE had to organize the decently organized space like the utensil drawer. And if that someone is YOU, well, you’re doing a GREAT job! The fact that you’re here reading this email tells me that at one point or another, you decided it was time to take action. Even if you aren’t where you want to be, give yourself more credit and be grateful for how far you’ve come. Many people haven’t even reached the point of deciding to change their messy ways.

8. The Signs – I believe life gives us what we need to grow and learn. Sometimes it comes in the form of signs that aren’t always obvious. For example, maybe the toilet that leaked was a sign for you to call the plumber, which led you to clearing a path for him to easily get to the bathroom, which then led to further decluttering and improved quality of life. Or maybe the unexpected visitor that showed up was just the amount of shame you needed to drive you to tidy-up the dining room table. Or maybe the pain in your foot is a sign for you to confidently step forward in life and finally declutter your home so you don’t pass the burden on to someone else like your children. Find gratitude in the signs that life gives you. Sometimes they’re disguised as problems. But they’re always speaking with the best intentions.

No matter how disorganized your home is, there is always something to be grateful for. And when you’re in a state of gratitude, your mood changes. And your mood affects the decisions you make. And organizing is all about making decisions.

Your power lays in finding the gratitude in what isn’t always obvious.

Sending much love on this Thanksgiving Day,

If you know anyone that could benefit from looking at their clutter from a different perspective, consider sharing this article using the buttons at the top.

About Alejandra

About Alejandra

Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and “The Decluttering Queen” by Good Morning America, Alejandra’s expertise has been featured in The New York Times,, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. 


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