At first you think “I will never declutter that” but then…

When I first took on the challenge to declutter an item a day for an entire year I had my doubts whether we would even have enough items to last a year of decluttering. Two years later I am still at it.

Now don’t think for one minute that I am frustated with the idea that I am still decluttering after such a long time, far from it. Back at the start of 2010 there were many items I would not have even considered decluttering that are now long gone form my home. Items that someone in the home was not ready to part with for one reason or another whether that be sentimental or otherwise. The longer we keep at this the more ruthless we become, the more we are willing to part with and the less we own. The desire to own less has far overtaken the desire to acquire stuff.

Some items that seemed so useful at one point have proved to be more space wasters than anything else. Things that we thought were time savers by design turned out not to save enough time to warrant the space they take up. Other items worth selling were sitting idle so they were sold on ebay. Some items especially furniture items were no longer necessary once all the clutter that they contained was gone. Many items, once believed to be personal treasures, never saw the light of day. We soon realised the items weren’t necessary in order for the memories to stay in tact so out they went.

And here we are two years down the track and approximately 630 items less and I still keep finding things to declutter. So if you look at something today and think “I’ll never declutter that” don’t forget to take another look at it in a couple of months because your attitude may have changed towards it as you hone your minimalist tendencies. Pay close attention to everything in your home so you can make informed choices as to whether the things you think you use and can’t live without really are as essential as you first thought. Chances are the less you have the less you find you “need” or want.

Today’s Declutter Item

This coffee table was one of those items that wasn’t even in within the scope of our declutter radar when we first started decluttering. But it became redundant as the number of items requiring storage in our living room diminished. I wasn’t going to list it here because we had actually replaced it with a storage ottoman more in keeping with our needs and the size of the room. Unfortunately the ottoman arrived damaged and or not well made so it was returned for a refund. It really annoys me when I have taken the time to make a well considered purchase and I end up with a product that has added to the supply chain but turns out not being of the same quality as the display item in the store. For now I have no plans to replace the faulty piece of furniture we will just use the small ottoman we already own.

Coffee Table

Something I Am Grateful For Today

I have been slacking over the holiday season and although my home has been tidy its cleanliness has left a lot to be desired. Today I gave a good once over and it feels good to know it is spick-n-span again. 

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Use it or lose it! Every home has items that are never considered for decluttering. Mostly useful items that are in service continually but also beautiful items that are admired or sentimental items that you […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Things you may still have more of than you need Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
  • Keepsake Clutter With all the talk last week of leaving endless clutter behind for a loved one to deal with when you die, I was inspired to finally make a start on my keepsake clutter. I have been ignoring […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. Hi Colleen! Not only have you decluttered over 600 items from your home, you have inspired countless others to the do the same! While I have not necessarily done 1 item each day, I have decluttered every week for the last 4-6 weeks. I’m thinking of starting to estimate how many items I send out to the thrift store each week and see at the end of the year how many items I have decluttered. I love the idea of having a concrete number! I hope by the end of the year it adds up to 365!! Thank you for your postings–they keep me thinking and keep me motivated!

    • Hi Deb,
      first off, do you think we could change your username to Deb@CQ because I have a lot of Debs here and it is hard to keep a track of who is who unless I identify each in such a way that you all stand out individually to me at first glance. If that doesn’t suit you that is fine I just thought I would suggest it.

      Now I must say thank you for those kind words. It bobbles the mind to think how many items I am partially responsible for decluttering throughout the world. The thrift stores most love me and not even know it. I think it is a great idea to keep track of the number of items you send back out into the world. Doing that often helps to inspire you to keep at it. I have just put together a collage of the photos of my last year’s decluttering efforts and WOW what a lot of space it must all have taken up in my home. You can give us a tally here once a month and we will give you encouragement in return.

  2. Colleen, You are so right. If you had told me a year ago that my Mom would be ready to declutter some of the things we have given away lately I would have laughed in your face. But it has happened. We aren’t deluttering as fast as I would like, but we are decluttering. That’s what matters. I have been working on this since my father died in 1993!!!! I just haven’t given up.

    • Patience really is a virtue Deb J and you have shown you have plenty of that. It may not seem that way at times but to have stuck with it for 8 years and made steady progress is testament to how strong your will to succeed is. It is no doubt hard for your mother to change the habits of a lifetime but she is obviously realising that letting go of things has not harmed her so far and is slowly letting down her guard. Good for you and good for her too!!

  3. So right Colleen–the more I give away, the freer it feels!

  4. I absolutely agree. I started your challenge a few months ago and it’s been hard work getting rid of things. That’s really impacted my behavior when I find myself in a store or when someone asks me what I want for a gift. I want to avoid having more items to declutter so badly that I’m not buying nearly as much stuff as I used to!

    • Hi Joanna, that is the beauty of being focused in your clutter long term. Decluttering a thing a day makes you really think about the stuff you are getting rid of and that in turn makes you keen not to reclutter. The end result is good for your space, your bank balance and the environment. Win Win Win!!!

  5. Hi Colleen, I haven’t dropped by in a while but I am so glad to see that you are still at it! You are indeed an inspiration to many! Keep up the good work and Happy New Year. Xx

  6. Very true. That’s exactly why I say people shouldn’t beat themselves up over not being ready to give up certain items. Eventually, if the item isn’t serving your life, you will be.

    • Hi Candi,
      for some reason I have never felt inclined to do that. I seem to have been aware from the start that it was counterproductive. I suppose that is the whole reason why I chose to declutter the way I have in the first place. I also find that this slow steady decluttering is more productive overall than the slap dash method, because with the quick method you don’t really learn not to reclutter.

  7. “at first you think i will never declutter that ,but then…” is the truest of true things Colleen. I certainly have gradually got more ruthless as time has gone on, which is why the advise is always, start with the easy stuff isn’t it,lol. Because that gives you the taste for sucess and the lightening of the physical and psychological load.

    That nice huge pile of stuff waiting in the dinig room to be collected by our local hospice charity shop on Thursday contain some items that I never even saw any more, so used to them was I that they didn’t come up on my radar til now: a couple of pictures that I no longer find inspirng and a storage unit that is awkward to use so things that went in there stayed there and never got used.

    You asked me last week how my DH was coping with my latest round of decluttering: well it is all my stuff, so he is ok with it 😀
    After this latest purge I shall have a little break before I build up to the next one. I need to get the house straight again after my stuff is out the house and as you know, I am redecorating my bathroom and know we need a period of calm in the house before I do anything else.

    Last night we were watching something on TV and I found myself eyeing my bookslef and counting howmany of the books up there (of mine) that I couldn’t easily let go of now: 20 now in pile to go 😀

    • Hi Katharine,
      and here I was thinking that you would have had nothing left of your own to declutter by now. Well done though!! And then just when you thought you were done for a while you find 20 books to add to the declutter pile. You are on fire!!! It really does feel good though doesn’t it.

      • Oh it does Colleen, it does! As for my own stuff – my mum can’t image what I have left either as every phone call I have had with her tthis last year seems to have involved telling her about another trolley run to the charity shop: it makes her laugh. I love hearing her laugh.
        Certainly, I at last feel an end is in sight. I can nowsay, my 4 remaining areas are
        1) too much craft stuff!
        2) Files of paper work from past courses
        3) a box of childhood stuff
        4) the wood ‘that will come in usefull one day’ pile
        5) more books can go

        I’m going to need to be in the right mood to tackle them.
        If I hadn’t just got married I could happily fit in a bedsit now,lol husband’s here to stay though…:O)

        • Hey Katharine, your talk of craft has reminded me, didn’t you take up a new craft to do with mechanical gadgetry? Or have I got you confused with someone else. If it is you how is it going. I would love to see the resulting items.

          • Morning Colleen, just about to go to bed:O) yes, it was me…I was then hit by the 3 week cold from hell and then my mum had a 2nd stroke and I upped the time I spent with my parents (she’s doing much better now, thankfully) and then it was Christmas and then I got hit by a massive declutter drive and then a decorate the bathroom drive and and and … have done no more about it. It’s all sitting there on my creative desk in the corner of the sitting room waiting for me though.

            • Well Katharine I sure hope things settle down for you for a while so you can have some fun. I have been trying to assemble this years homemade birthday cards. Like your craft they are half finished on my creative desk. I have done a little jewellery repairs and made a couple of things for the thrift store from odds and end.

  8. Colleen, you’re absolutely right. I’ve been decluttering for about a year now and find it easier and easier to let go of things. We would like to move one day once we’re retired, and the thought of boxing up all of our possessions really helps keep me motivated.

    • You and I are on the same path it seems Anita. We will have to move when my husband retired because we live in housing supplied through his job and like you the less we have by then the easier it will be to move it and the small the place we will be able to move into. A smaller carbon footprint and less houseword is always inspiration to own less stuff for me.

      • Anita -although we have no plans to move, that is very much in my mind now – if we have to move unexpectedly, or one of us becomes ill, having got rid of much stuff, we are in a much better position to deal with it I think. I like that thought.

        • Katharine you are so wise to declutter NOW. God forbid you or your spouse becomes ill, or you have to move unexpectedly, but it does happen and you will be prepared in any event. My husband of forty years suddenly and unexpectedly passed away three years ago. I’ve had 5 unexpected moves since that time. It has taken me the entire three years, plus the 5 moves, to whittle down the stuff we had collected. I’m still decluttering from our forty years together!

          • Betty Jo, thank you for your kind words. I am sorry for your loss and how tough have to deal with all this afterwards.
            My husband and I have married relatively late in life, but at least right from the start of our marriage (last September) I can hope to get a good handle on joint stuff and my own, if not his (…yet) and make sure we store memories in our heads not on our shelves. 4 yrs ago I experienced being crippled overnight by arthritis, now thankfully under control, but in that time, I certain learnt how limited one can become and I know these things can happen with no warning. And even with my husbands hoards of stuff, I have being able to create order out of chaos which still helps.

  9. Everytime I try to comment, my son runs up and needs me, so let’s see if I finish this comment today!

    This post is soo true for me though. I can’t think of what it was recently but deciding to declutter something I would “always keep” is starting to be less and less unusual. I may have to tackle a display shelf here in the living room today to see if some of it can go…

    • Hi Lynn,
      I have been so caught up in my own business lately that I must have missed the new when your baby was born. Was baby a girl or a boy and what name did you give? Sorry I haven’t asked sooner.

      I know what you are saying here Lynn like you I am continually finding more and more stuff and I no longer find it unusual either. I think I will find it odd when I actually do run out of things to declutter. My husband informed me yesterday that due to something he read at another blog (I’m only a little insulted) he is going to purge more of his stuff. Stuff he wasn’t intending to get rid of before. Alleluia!!!

      • Did he tell what the blog was???? Maybe you can share it on Friday. Anything that motivates a husband would go well here!

        • Already taken care of Wendy.

        • Amen!

          • Now this is what I need my husband to ‘accidently come across’!

            • Hi Katharine, I though you had already converted your hubby. Or is he just bending to your will rather than changing his own thinking?

              • No, sadly not Collen – not sure how I gave that impression. I have enabled him to clear perhaps a 1/4 of what he owned when it all landed here a year ago but that was for example say 20 bin bags of clothes he had had 30 years and 25+ years of bank cash point receipts and that sort of thing. But he still has much horded stuff from his past and hates dealing with it and hundreds and hundreds of (reference)books. It is my stuff that is going. But slowly he is letting go of a bit more but it it will be a long slow journey. And I don’t need him to get to my level of declutering and the books are good but a little weeding wouldn’t go amiss.
                What I have achieved is getting all his stuff under one roof (ours) rather than spread over various storage places, which he never revisited and just rebought and rebought (hence he has 25+ artists pads, although he never paints and draws but ‘might do one day’.) But at least they are now all here, so he won’t buy any more because we both know they are here and where they are (in a labelled box in the attic).
                As for bending to my will vs changing his own thinking I think it is 80/20, but my ‘will’ is gentle with him and respectful…but perhaps a little more confident since we got married (cue wicked gleam in eye).

                • You did get rid of the stalagmites though didn’t you and that was the worst thing that was driving you crazy right?

                  • Do you know Colleen – I had practically forgotten about the stalagmites!! Yes I did and they have not returned! So I am definitely making progress. And that is the thing – each ‘change’ he does accept and we move forward, even if it feel a bit of a shuffle rather than a leap at the time:O)

                    • Well Katharine, I think you and hubby have made great progress so give yourselves a pat on the back.

                    • I second the congratulations, being in the same position! Rather than pushing, I’ve just kept whittling away at my own stuff. I now get positive responses when I ask, “Do you have anything to add to the thrift shop bag?” and he has started suggesting things he could part with. Having successfully sold my car, he is now ready to tackle selling some of his stuff as well. Progress is slow — but it IS progress.

      • Oh, no, no new baby yet! She’s due on the 20th, so I suppose she’ll show up any time this month!

        My son will be 4 next week. 🙂 He’s been in a very “MOMMY I NEED YOU” stage for the past few weeks…probably related to little sister being on her way. 😉

        • Well that explains why I didn’t know. Silly me! You probably referred to the new bub and new bub somewhere and I thought I missed the big event but you meant the new bub that coming.

  10. I agree. I never tought I would declutter books. Never I have imagined that I would cull books. If you have told this to a younger me, I would think you would be mad.

    But I started to realise that there are more important things than books. I try to work through my e-reader (loads of free books that I downloaded a while ago) and delete books. That I can aquire books, doesn’t mean that I have to. And I try to use the “one in, one out” tactic. I still am having trouble with it, but I’m getting better.

    • Hi Nurchamiel,
      like I just said to Karen ~ “Owning things is highly overrated. And when you can apply that idea to books then you know you have made it.” Well done!

    • nurchamiel, you are not the only one. after years of considering books as sacred items that humankind brought me, I suddenly find myself staring at the bookshelf, contemplating about the next round of decluttering. and to be honest, languages are a hobby, but 3 spanish dictionaries are ridiculous…

  11. True, true, and double true! I have been decluttering since June 2008 and it gets easier with every go ’round! At the moment I am doing Project 333 and planning a minimalist wardrobe for when I reach my goal weight. I am ready to declutter my most sacred area….my books! I just have to read a few of them. LOL! I will save a treasured few and only buy books for my Android tablet from now on! I love minimalism. It has changed my brain, I tell ya! Thanks for keeping me motivated!

    • Hi Karen and may I extend to you a very warm welcome to 365 Less Things. I loved this comment especially where you said “It has changed my brain..” That is really what has to happen in order to remove all the clutter in our lives. Dematerialise is my word for it. How good does it feel not forever wanting stuff!? Owning things is highly overrated. And when you can apply that idea to books then you know you have made it. 😉

      • You are so right. Getting rid of books tells me that I have arrived! Haha! I wish I could explain to everyone how simply getting rid of your stuff changes you (for the better.) I never expected it. I just wanted to stop organizing my junk! I am to the point that I can go into a store and just enjoy looking at stuff without the desire to take it home! Awesome! I was just sending you a question. Here it is:
        I am thinking that it was you who once posted about useful things that you don’t want to get rid of just for the sake of getting rid of them. Instead you just let them/it wear out or you use it up and then you don’t replace them/it. There was a term you used for this. I have been trying to remember what you called this but can’t. Can you help me? It just keeps popping up in my mind so I have to know!:0 Thanks so much. Once again, thank you for keeping me motivated.

      • I agree we have to change our minds. I should do this. This is the year and I mean it. I started a bit last year and was going really well when my aunt had a fall and broke 3 ribs( she is 89) and it all went down hill from there.
        But I have already realined my life(cut card class down) and things like that so I can still do all I need to and make time for my aunt who desparately needs my help.

        • Hi Denise, it is hard to fit everything one needs to do in a day sometimes especially when you are caring for someone else. I feel overwhelmed some days and my life is usually pretty easy. I have always said I don’t know how people find time to go to work and I stick by that. I feel busier now that I am at home all the time and my children are grown. I have a darling friend who is 60+ and her life is a whirlwind of doing stuff for others. She takes on far too much responsibility and it is wearing her out. Make sure you find time for yourself.

  12. After I decluttered 25 items a day in August, I thought there wouldn’t be anything left. I still find things here and there, but it is very easy to notice and to keep up now.

    I see decluttering like editing a paper. Little by little you edit drafts until it is just right!

    • Spendwisemom, I only wish my post editing skills were as good as my stuff editing skills. I think my post editing skills are more like how I got cluttered in the first place, adding things in here and there where I shouldn’t have and not noticing they are there when I skim over it all before believing I am done.

  13. OMGosh there were so many things I never dreamed I’d part with and they are now gone, and have never been missed. I have several boxes of things stored at a friends that I will be selling this year on eBay or donating, just needed to get settled here first. Some of those things I started housekeeping with over forty years ago, many were used when I bought them, so are antiques now. Never thought I would be getting rid of them, but I definitely am. If they could sit in a box for the past six months, and I haven’t even given them a thought until your post jogged my memory, that proves I no longer have any attachment to them. So out they are going!

    • Betty jo,
      I love it when my post suddenly makes people think of things they haven’t used in a long time and realise that they no longer need to keep them. That is why I keep doing this everyday. I hope you make good money on ebay selling those things.

      • Actually you inspired me to think of eBay too. I boxed that stuff up just before moving here with my son and family and was going to donate it, but then remembered that you had sold a lot of your “extra” stuff on eBay. You’re very inspiring you know!! 🙂

        • Thanks again Betty Jo. It is nice to give to charity but sometimes it is nice to give a little back to yourself too. I actually bring stuff home from the thrift shop I work at, sell it for them on ebay, because we will make more money that way, and then put the cash in the till as a donation after it has sold.

  14. You know you have got the bug when you get more of a thrill from getting rid of something than you do from acquiring something!

  15. so true.
    It happened to me so often, that while thinking about decluttering, suddenly an item appears in my mind. Immediate reaction: No way. Then: every time I declutter, sort out and trash something else, this items sneaks back into my head. until I am so sick of arguing for and against it, I just get it over with. decision made – out it goes.

    another thing that is changing is my ruthlessness with trashing broken objects. just today I trashed my black earrings, because one got always stuck in my scarf. I took it out and saw that it was broken. the colour was coming off both of them, they were loved and worn intensly for more than 2 years and I trashed them right there at the trainstation. 2 years ago, I would have carried them home, put them in the bathroom and then felt sad every time I saw them. Ruthlessness is freedom.

    • My ruthlessness goes in waves. Somedays I hold on because I want to find a decent replacement first, other times I have faith that my life won’t be worse without this thing and I toss (very liberating when it happens!).

      • I tend to toss/donate and learn to live without the item. It is amazing how little we need most of the stuff we thought we did. Sometimes, as with kitchen gadgets, I will put them out in the staging area in the garage and leave them there until I have attempted to perform the task the item is used for with another item, usually a goog old knife. I have never once retrieved the item.

  16. Colleen,
    So very true, so much of what I’m parting with these days is stuff I’d never have faced, or never have thought of decluttering, at the start of this whole cycle. Things I had thought “might be useful some day”, I now look at and think “really, Ann!” and off they go …..
    One reason I’ve never photographed the “departures” is because I know myself so well …..especially at the start, by the time I had spread things out to take the photo, I’d be having second thoughts, and they’d find their way back into my drawers and cupboards! I wasn’t risking that!!! Better just let them go, unlamented. One or two items now, though, that once would never have gone, I am taking photos of, so I can keep the “memory” without the item. Wow, progress…..

    • That really is great progress Ann, well done you! Who’d have thought all those months ago that you would have changed your mindset so much. And that is what it takes to set yourself on a new path ~ a change of mindset. I find if I feel like I am slipping out of my comfort zone with anything these days I stop and analyse my mindset and it helps me to change old habit reactions and replace them with a more rational train of thought.

      I think it was a smart move not photographing your declutter items if it was likely to have you changing your mind. Best to stick with the “rip of the bandaid” approach to begin with, especially if you have that “I might need it someday” mindset too entrenched. Dwelling of objects would not be smart in such circumstances.

  17. Some people refer to that process as ‘peeling an onion’ – once started a lot of layers appear.
    I started decluttering a couple of years ago and kept a diary since. It has been an awesome journey and reveals a lot about my personal growth.
    I’m not new to this blog but have been lurking for several months. Congrats to you, Colleen

    • Hi Sabine, peeling an onion is a very good analogy to describe the process of decluttering. Thank you for that input. Although you have been lurking here for a while let me extend to you a warm welcome anyway. I was a little confused to begin with because you are now our third Sabine. Would you be kind enough to add an initial after your name so I can easily distinguish you from my other Sabines. It seems you are no stranger to decluttering and it is a different journey for everyone who embarks upon it. I hope you have had great success with your efforts to declutter and will join us here on a regular basis to share your declutter story.

  18. True words, Colleen …
    I think I now have more things to get rid of than when I started decluttering (I think I can’t put a date on it, it was years ago, but never as productive as during the last year with the assistance of your blog and your community here, so yes, please, proud yourself!). Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the realization that this is an ongoing journey and that I, that is my mind, has changed so much when it comes to stuff (and that it will change more in the future though maybe not at the same speed anymore). Sometimes I am frustrated that decluttering is something that is on my mind every day. Most of the time however I am proud and happy and positive and think of it as the best thing that ever happened to me.
    I just had a revelation (after reading “Lessons of letting go” so THANK YOU again for pointing this book out to your readers) that I am not a collector but was simply hoarding certain types of things and called it a collection. I was storing them instead of displaying them and noticed that my wish to display them all “one day” had totally vanished. Collecting also leads you to buy things without considering whether you really like them on their own because it is about the collection, not the individual object. When I flipped through two medium sized collections I had going on for the past years (wooden bowls and matryoshkas) I found it all of a sudden easy to decide letting go of big parts of it and only keeping a few of each that I liked the most.
    The trouble with collections is that the articles actually are nice and cared for and that I want some of the money back and therefore will try to sell them. So for now they are boxed up. Actually: boxed up again. So what is the difference? The change of mindset. It’s a huge difference. And one day that will be visible, too.

    • It really is interesting how our mind changes about things that we thought were so interesting or important at one point. I used to collect elephant and I would go out of my way and spend endless time and money in the pursuit of them. Eventually you find yourself buying any and every one you see just because it is different to the other in your collection. Ridiculous really. When I married my husband and knew we would be moving around for years to come the novelty soon wore off. I didn’t wish to count them, pack them and unpack them every time we moved. How fickle I turned out to be. Another problem with collections is that as soon as anyone get wind of the fact that you are collecting an object they begin gifting them to you also which increases the rate at which the collection grows and the likelihood that there will be ones you don’t like but now feel obligated to because someone gave them to you. Oh what a hassel. I will just stay away from them in the future.

  19. Hi Colleen, Happy New Year!!

    I, too am amzed that i am still decluttering. Things became stagnet over the festive period and the kids are back to school today so i’m doing a fling boogie today!!

    Looking forward to 2012, tidy organised and less ‘stuff’

    Sharron x

  20. Just had to come on here and share with people who will understand my happiness 🙂 We have finally started culling my husband’s books (mine fit on just slightly more than one shelf, she says smugly!), and so far we have taken out 25 from one shelf, can you believe it, 25 from just ONE shelf (two more to go!). They are bagged up and ready to go to the op shop tomorrow, along with a bag that should have gone today but got left behind 🙂 The books that are left on the shelf now actually fit the shelf instead of being shoved in any old way!
    I am doing the happy dance, yay!
    Cheers Judy

    • This is fantastic Judy. I would do a happy dance too.

    • Judy, I am so sorry, I missed this comment yesterday. I am so pleased for you. My husband is on a declutter bender at the moment too so I know how you feel. He has packed up 3 aeroplane models that I hate to dust and like your hubby chosen about 25 books to either donate, sell at his work or store at work with his professional collection. Woo Hoo for me and for you!

  21. I’m not a Sabine, but a German, and can say that the name used to be very popular here. Nowadays not so much anymore, so most Sabines are grown ups. Initially it is Latin meaning “from the tribe of the Sabines”.
    Here you can listen to how a German Sabine sounds like and other pronunciations of the same name: http://de.forvo.com/word/sabine/

    • Thank you that Ideealistin, I am getting smarter by the minute. My name is Irish of course and means Girl, like Sabine it isn’t very popular anymore at least here in Australia, I imagine it is still popular in Ireland.

  22. I have removed lots of things that I loved because they no longer served me emotionally as they once did! The experience of owning it was no longer as valuable as the space it occupied. I get it now.

    About your decluttered item: I sympathize with the “well considered purchase” disapointment. I had lived in my place 10 years looking for the “right” coffee table for my living space and lifestyle. I thought I found one finally, ordered it, picked it up, drove it home assembled it and found that it was very cheaply made. Sure it looked okay, and it fit the space nicely, but the thing bows ominously when feet are put on it and the bottom of the drawers keep falling out (making the drawers essentially decorative only). I called the company I bought it from, and they sent out a furniture repair person who tightened everything. That lasted a few weeks. Now the 30 day return policy is done so I am stuck with this until I feel enough courage to try again. I am tempted to put it on freecycle, but in truth I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.

    • How annoying Creative Me, I would call the company again because the first complain was initiated during the warranty period they should continue to honour it once that period has expired. It is America after all. I would definitely call them and plead your case. 30 days is a very short warranty period.