A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Blessed by Clutter

I’m reposting this in honor of Thanksgiving Day today. Whether you’re celebrating this holiday today or not, take a moment to look around you and count your blessings. Have an awesome day!

Today I’m thankful for my mess. I’m thankful for my distractions and I’m grateful for my crowded house. I’m thankful because I’ve been blessed.

  • I am blessed to live in a crowded house. Combining households with my parents did increase the clutter under one roof, but it has also given my children a relationship with their grandparents, aunt, and uncle that few children get to experience. We have never had to wonder if we’ll have a safe place to live and that is something to never take for granted.
  • I am blessed by the distraction of noisy children. Choosing to homeschool our kids is often challenging, but I’m thankful to have them close by and I’m thankful that our finances allow me to stay home with them. I remember the joy of giving birth to my boys and how hard we fought to adopt our baby girl. When I just want to run for quiet, I realize that not everyone is blessed with tiny hugs and children’s laughter.
  • I have been blessed by abundance. I have become acutely aware that we have much more than we need. While I have become focused on getting rid of what we no longer want, I need to remember how to use my excess to bless people who have far less than abundance.

Focus on the Positive

Sometimes we just need a moment to refocus. Lately I’ve been struggling with how to make more progress in my effort to declutter. Every time I think I’m making strides in the right direction, I look around and see so much that’s left to do. Instead of enjoying the freedom that minimalism is bringing me, I think to myself that no one would ever look at us and think we’re a minimalist family.  That’s no longer how I want to continue on my journey.

Today I will choose to renew my quest for less, but I will do it with a proper focus. I will focus on the positive. I will remember the memories that my belongings once gave me and then I’ll move on. Instead of dwelling on the negative feeling I get by looking at the piles of clutter, I’ll consider how I can bless others in need and celebrate every box that we remove. I will continue to remind myself that things didn’t get this way overnight so it’s not reasonable to expect them to change overnight.

This time of year is a great time to focus on the positive and how we’ve been blessed. How have you been blessed?


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Photo by Snickup

Article originally published on 11/25/2010

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  1. I have been blessed this year to have a loving husband to care for me during a difficult mental and emotional struggle. I am blessed that he is able to financially provide for us during the time I am away from work. I am blessed to add grandbaby number 7 into our family! I am blessed that I watched my youngest graduate from high school!
    I am also going to be blessed with the health and strength to continue to go thru and weed out my extra STUFF!

  2. I like your attitude. It’s good to stop, every once and awhile, and realize that the chaos of kids learning and growing is a good thing.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I can so relate! I am a minimalist more in my head than in my home at the moment…but I am working on it!! 🙂 I’ve got 4 boxes emptied from the garage!! 🙂

    Your list of blessings went right to my heart! I don’t think I could have expanded on them as eloquently as you! 🙂

    I am blessed by our health, humor, wonderful family and friends and a loving God! 🙂 I am excited to be starting my minimalism journey and am blessed to have blogs like yours to encourage me!! 🙂 Thank you!!!!

    • Faith Janes says

      Thanks for your nice comment, Laura. I’ll have to remember to come back here and read my own post on days when I need some encouragement. 🙂

      Great job on your progress. We’ve got another weekend planned of cleaning out and I’m excited to make some more progress before the holidays hit.

  4. This is a freeing and well-focused post….I totally agree that minimalist living should not be about guilt, confusion, and overlooking blessings!

  5. I think I commented on this post first time around, but here at Thanksgiving I want to say I am most thankful for a healthy family! We suffered a near tragedy on Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago and it just makes this time even more precious!

  6. I love it Faith! What a beautiful post. This Thanksgiving I’m blessed to be living closer to my extended family so I can share it with them. I was also blessed on Thanksgiving day by getting rid of a bunch of clutter! My mom-in-law is having a yard sale so after cooking at our house we brought the food and a bunch of junk over to her house! The food for Thanksgiving dinner of course, and the junk to add to her yard sale pile.



  1. […] granted and just focus on the not so good things that pop up. Making a list helps us recognize our blessings and all we have to be thankful […]

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