I’m enjoying organizer Marie Kondo’s moment by proxy. Her bestselling book has hooked millions of people on organizing and I’m hearing things at dinner parties like, “I thanked my socks for their service today.” A huge part of the Kondo method is gratitude and it is strangely comforting and attractive.

Abundance-minded philosophy tells us, “What you appreciate appreciates.” When I appreciate something, I am more mindful of it, I am kinder to it, take better care of it. The rewards are a car that runs efficiently because it’s been kept in tune; a body that moves well because it’s been well fed and well moved; a partner that takes out the trash without being asked and makes the coffee in the morning.

It’s not all one-to-one reciprocity, and I’m not talking about transactional relationships. In fact, watch out for it becoming transactional. When you’re in the appreciation zone, you honestly, in the deepest part of yourself, are not looking for the return. That said, it can’t not come. Returns are not always direct; sometimes you’ll give in one direction and receive from a different, unexpected source.

Appreciation feeds organization. Appreciated people are more likely to want to support you. Appreciated items last longer and function better. An appreciated body doesn’t break down as easily and keeps you out of time and money-consuming doctor’s appointments. Appreciated tools are put back where they belong and in good working condition.

Nothing breaks my heart like a pair of pruning shears forgotten in the garden, rusting in the rain.

When you are feeling down, chaotic, broke or broken—this is the most important time to get into appreciation. Start with one small thing that you can honestly appreciate. Rescue it from a pile of junk.

Let’s say it’s a slightly dented silver pitcher, maybe it was your grandmother’s. You polish it, thinking of her. You put some flowers in it, or some fragrant sage, and set it on a table. It is so beautiful that you are inspired to clear the table, and then maybe rub some oil into it. Suddenly there is something rich and nourishing in the middle of your chaos or depression.

You will notice when you are mindful of your things/time/relationships that it is easier not to hold on to something that doesn’t serve you. Thank it for any past usefulness and send it on its way. Appreciate the empty space you have just created, don’t rush to fill it.

Keep going! I support you. I appreciate you.