If you celebrate Thanksgiving, you know this is traditionally a holiday intended to give thanks. Seemingly, it presents an amazing opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude amongst our closest family and friends. Sounds great, right? 

Unfortunately, the holidays tend to spark up all kinds of emotional and physical clutter for many. We are programmed to believe that in order to show our appreciation for one another, we must have something to show for it. However, this cultural conditioning and commercialism can lead to unnecessary stress, pressure and debt.

Giving a gift out of obligation will never carry the same heartfelt sentiment as a gift given freely. With that in mind, try to focus on expressing your love in more meaningful ways that don’t compromise your mental wellbeing or bank account. The most precious gift you could ever give someone is your undivided attention and time.

The things that bring us true joy simply aren’t for sale. It is the value of our experiences, not our possessions, that increase over time. Even a holiday story gone wrong can stir up laughter for years to come. I guarantee you won’t remember all of the gifts, but you will remember the time ‘Uncle John’ dropped the entire turkey right before dinner! These are the moments that stay with us and enrich our lives. Innately, we know these statements to be true, but it’s easy to lose sight of. 

I realize challenging the gifting tradition may not receive a warm welcome by most. So, it’s important to note that you can accept the love and effort that went into a gift and still release it from your life if it does not serve you. Every item you allow into your life carries an energy with it. If the gift feels like a burden, it will carry that same negative energy. The intent of a gift is not to weigh you down. As the recipient, you have the power to say if it stays in your life or if it goes.

My core mission is to help you open up space for the things that truly feed your soul. The things that money can’t buy — a hug from a loved one, laughing so hard you cry or receiving a handwritten note from a distant friend. When our material possessions carry guilt, fear or obligations they drain us of our time and energy to experience all the beauty and joy that life has to offer. Make the choice to live with less and I promise that you’ll have so much more in the long run. 

Quick Tips

  1. Remember that our most precious gift will always be our time.
  2. Our experiences hold more value than any material possession.
  3. Give thanks, but don’t be afraid to let go of a gift if it does not serve you.

Sarah Parisi — The Clutter Curator

Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer