Why Thanking Your Items Like Marie Kondo Changes Everything

Thanking Your Items Like Marie Kondo


I never truly realized how valuable simple gratitude could be until I read Marie Kondo’s work. Thanking our belongings is not something most of us do often, but I’ve seen it help a great many people in their minimalist journeys.

All in all, being grateful for what we own can help us feel more joy and contentment. You should be thankful for the items that served a purpose in your life, and for the ones that still do.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

Over the past decade living as a minimalist, I’ve learned that expressing gratitude daily can completely change your outlook on life. Being grateful for both the material and immaterial things in life has made me find more joy and contentment than ever before.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Why You Should Start Thanking Items Like Marie Kondo

Why You Should Start Thanking Items

Being grateful for what you have and who you are is one of the best ways to start living in the moment and being truly present. Marie preaches that it all starts with the items that you own.

practicing gratitudeA big part of her famous KonMari method involves thanking items for serving their purpose in your life. Practicing gratitude is a part of my life, and not only when I’m going through a decluttering project. There’s no specific place or time for it. You can be thankful for your day, your meals, or even your socks.

Learning how to incorporate thankfulness in your daily life can produce feelings of fulfillment and joy on a daily basis. Gratitude can make decluttering (and life) easier. In fact, I consider it to be an important variable in my simple formula for living your best life. It’s scientifically known to yield a host of mental and physical benefits, from improved sleep and mood to decreased risk of disease.

An important part of her tidying method is to thank the items in your home for serving their purpose before you let them go. As you express gratitude for them, you’ll also learn to do the same with the items you decide to keep. By following her advice, you can ease into the practice of being thankful in life overall.

How To Thank Your Items

How To Thank Your Items

In my experience with minimalism, I never thought to thank my belongings until I started digging into Marie Kondo’s tidying methods. Although it may not speak to you right now, I find that this style of practicing gratitude fits quite easily into almost anyone’s daily life.

KonMari is centered around ancient Shinto beliefsMuch of the KonMari method is centered around ancient Shinto beliefs. Animism plays a big role here, recognizing that all matter has a soul. This is why Marie incorporates gratitude and respect in her tidying process.

Overall, when handling your items during a big decluttering project, there are two cases in which to express gratitude for your belongings. The first one involves the items you are discarding, letting them go with gratitude. The second involves recognizing gratitude around the things you are keeping.

“Journaling about three things you are grateful for every day can help you feel more content and joyful.”

Let Go Of Your Things With Gratitude

Over the years, I’ve learned that thanking items can be really beneficial for anyone who’s knee-deep in a decluttering project. Thankfulness can be particularly valuable when you can’t let go of certain items, especially sentimental ones.

expressing gratitude for the little thingsWhen identifying which items to keep, there will inevitably come a time when you must discard the rest — that’s where the expression of gratitude comes in.

Expressing gratitude might be a novel idea to you, but it’s very easy to practice. All you have to do is hold each item close, (Marie recommends holding your items as close to the heart as possible), then simply thank your belongings for serving you.

Actually verbalizing your gratitude can make the feeling all the more real. But if you prefer to say it silently to yourself, that works, too. Think about the times when it was of use to you and how it added value to your life. Then, say goodbye and set it aside with the other items you are discarding.

“Before falling asleep, go through the things you are thankful for in your head. Even if you had a rough day, look at things through a positive lens. Perhaps you are thankful for your warm bed and soft sheets or a happy interaction you had with someone.”

Giving thanks is a proper way to say goodbye to your belongings. It can mark the end of your relationship together and help you release it without guilt, especially when there are strong feelings of attachment. It’s also a way for you to recognize your relationship to your possessions. When you discard with gratitude, you get to learn from your past experiences and reflect about how you plan to live and acquire new things moving forward.

If reflecting on how grateful you feel for your belongings is still not helping you let go of them, you might need to try another approach. Whenever I have a hard time deciding what stays and what goes, I’ll ask myself a few decluttering questions.

unwanted gifts

Cherish What You Keep

To me, gratitude is one of the best ways to help you live in the moment. What this means to Marie’s method is that you should feel gratitude for the items you decide to keep, too. There’s more than one way to be grateful for your items. The best way to do this is by finding a home for all of them.

marie kondo

“Everything in your house needs a home.”

– Marie Kondo, KonMari

When you are intentional about where you place your things, you can find them when you need to. It also guarantees that they are taken care of, treated with respect, and preventing a cluttered home. Marie says that clutter is a failure to return items to their homes and is seen as a lack of respect or gratitude for them.

When you carve out a home for all your belongings, you’ll eventually make a habit out of returning them to their rightful homes every time. This will keep your space organized and clutter-free.

Another way to be grateful for your items is to clean and care for them, keeping them in good condition. It’s a lot easier to notice when an item needs special attention like dusting or cleaning when it’s placed neatly on a shelf than when it’s shoved away in some drawer.

how to want less
Frequently using or proudly displaying items are some other ways to show them gratitude. Your favorite memorabilia isn’t doing you any good if it’s shoved away in a box.

Marie’s Ritual To Showing Gratitude Toward Her Home

Marie Kondos Ritual To Showing Gratitude Toward Her Home

Showing gratitude isn’t just for items, it’s for your home overall. Because your home welcomes and protects you, you should return that same graciousness. Marie suggests including different home caring rituals in your routine, like regularly opening all windows, laying crystals out to create a positive energy, or organizing your home on Sundays.

There are many ways in which you can show gratitude toward your home for providing a peaceful place for you to live. These are a few of Marie’s rituals and recommendations that I think make practicing gratitude toward your home simple and enjoyable.

minimalist cleaning

Welcome Indoor Plants

One way to invest in gratitude for your home is to create an indoor garden of easy-to-care for house plants.

houseplants improve air qualityThe refreshing energy from the natural world can revitalize your home’s interior. Several varieties of indoor plants even help cleanse the air and produce fresh oxygen in your home.

Being in tune with plant life is a source of wisdom and pleasure in the world, and I personally love the spark of joy I get when one of my house plants grows a new shoot!

Learning about and caring for them is a great way to bring peacefulness into your home.

marie kondo

“Plants welcome serenity into homes and show that you care for its well-being.”

– Marie Kondo, KonMari

Introduce Scents

According to Marie, scents can shape how we feel in our homes. No one likes foul-smelling odors in their homes, but a positive scent can create strong feelings of positivity inside your home.

Introducing pleasant scents can be a part of your rituals that show an appreciation for your home. Lots of people like to burn incense or candles, but you can also use essential oil diffusers or bring in fragrant flowers, like Marie does.

scents can shape how we feel in our homes

Let Fresh Air In

One of Marie’s morning rituals is to open all windows early in the morning. This brings in fresh air, revitalizing her home and allowing her space to breathe.

I make it a point each morning to start my day with a walk outside for the very same reason — fresh air and natural light is very important to our well-being! It’s no wonder, then, that a simple act such as opening your windows is a great way to show gratitude and respect toward your home.

open all windows early in the morning

Greet Your Home

Finally, Marie treats her home like a “living being” with one simple act. She greets it whenever she walks in, a ritual based on the Japanese etiquette of entering Shinto homes. She says that “Hello, home!” is all the greeting you need.

greet your homeCommunicating with your home is one of Marie’s favorite ways to show gratitude to your space for protecting you. It can do so much for you and your space. Starting a dialog with it, no matter how small, can create a more positive atmosphere and strengthen your connection with your home.

This connection makes the difference between living and thriving in your space, turning your house into a comfortable and nurturing home where you feel safe and peaceful.

Saying Thank You Can Help You Live Better

Saying Thank You Can Help You Live Better

Gratitude may well be the key to being happy. Studies show that gratitude is linked to happiness and being thankful for even the smallest, simplest things in your life will help you find more contentment. Keep in mind that gratitude takes practice. Finding valuable moments even when life doesn’t go as planned and being grateful for them is an art.

gratitude is linked to happinessSometimes, that art is as simple as jotting down a quick list of things you’re thankful for. Do this first thing in the morning, to start the day on a gracious note, or just before bed at night, to end the day in gratitude.

Just remember that gratitude begets gratitude. Being grateful — even for things like clean towels, your toothbrush, or the keys that unlock your front door — can help you spark more joy in your life.

Your Turn!

  • What are three things you are thankful for today?
  • How do you show gratitude toward your items?

Leave a Reply