Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for all that we have. This includes family and community, health and well-being, and often abstract things like freedom and peace. It also includes our possessions. I’m thankful for a home that is properly heated and cooled, my favorite coffee mug, my iPhone (just being honest; I love my 6Plus), and my gorgeous white kitchen.  Although I have a lot of possessions, this year I have fewer. I’m giving thanks for less.

In early 2016, I stumbled across a blog, Becoming Minimalist.   What I read resonated with me on so many levels.   My husband and I tend to have minimalist style but this is very different from embracing a minimalist lifestyle. Even though our home was clutter-free and without knick-knacks, it was filled with excess. Closets were filled with clothes that we didn’t even wear. Our attic was overflowing with boxes and stashed items that were difficult to part with. We owned more dinnerware, towels, and linens that we would ever use.   Friends who entered our home would assume that we were minimalists and lived simply. Like most Americans, we didn’t embrace minimalism. We embraced our stuff.

Inspired by The Magical Art of Tidying Up, I started with my purge with clothing. I looked at every item I owned and asked, “Do I need this? Do I love it? Does it bring me joy?” I also asked, “Does it fit?” Because, c’mon ladies, we all have that-pair-of-jeans, right?   I purged like crazy and donated over 50% of my clothing to a local thrift store that provides funds for a domestic violence shelter.   I only kept 14 pair of shoes.   ONLY 14 pair of shoes. It was a start.

This Thanksgiving, I have significantly fewer possessions but so much more to be thankful for. Purging and decluttering feels so good.   You can feel the release emotionally and mentally.  If you’re like me, physical clutter equals mental clutter.   Our stuff can hold us back.  Do those jeans that fit you 5 years ago serve a purpose? Are they really a motivation or an inspiration? Or are they a constant reminder of failure and something you “should” be?  Is there someone else who may need them?

Maybe next year, I’ll have 7 pair of shoes. But maybe I’ll have 15. Either way, I’ll love them, need them, or both. And I’ll be grateful for all of them.