Change

Decluttering is all about change.

  • Changing the way you think about stuff: It isn’t important. It can trigger memories but doesn’t contain them. It usually becomes clutter eventually no matter how excited you were at acquiring it in the first place. It doesn’t raise peoples’ opinions of you. It doesn’t make you happy in the long term. You have to work to acquire it, which may rob you of precious time spent taking care of those and that which are actually important to you. 
  • Changing long formed ideas and habits: You are not obliged to keep stuff no matter how it was acquired ~ gifts, heirlooms, rewards, awards, prises, souvenirs… . You are also not obliged to accept stuff ~ gifts, freebies, special offers… . You can express your wishes, ahead of time, to those close to you that you would rather not receive gifts and learn to say no when people offer you other things that you don’t need. It is OK to say no politely.
  • Changing your shopping habits: Replacing what you are decluttering will put you back to square one in no time. I have found that resisting the temptation to purchase things that aren’t necessary can soon become a habit that requires no effort or cause any disappointment.
  • Changing your mind about what need is: Chances are most of that stuff you are afraid to get rid of, in case you need it one day, was never really needed in the first place and probably never will. Don’t be confused between need and want.

If you aren’t prepared to change, then the chances are, your attempt to declutter will fail or your decluttering will be a never ending process. All these changes can be made gradually, you don’t have to go cold turkey or become a new person overnight. The changes in me during my decluttering process have been gradual and painless. Remembering all the while that these are all changes for the better makes it easier.

Are you ready to change? Have you noticed the changes in yourself already? Tell us about it.

Oh I forgot to mention. The result of all these changes can be a beautiful, wonderful, simplifying, economical, time saving and liberating thing.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter some garden related items. Tools you don’t use, empty plant pots, bits of wood or wire that are rotting or rusted, seeds you are never going to plant… .

Eco Tip for the Day

Try changing your usual wash cycles to ones a little shorter and more economical. You might be surprised that your clothes come out just as clean.

 

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

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


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Quick purge or lifestyle change More than one person commented last week that they can't believe they are still finding things to declutter after years at the task. And what I say to that is ~ rejoice and be glad. […]
  • Crash diet or lifestyle change. Have you ever got to a point where you think I really must go on a diet, my weight is getting out of control. So you follow the latest trendy crash diet for a month and the pounds are […]
  • Know yourself, know your clutter. Way back at the start of my declutter journey it was obvious that my craft collection of tools and materials was way out of hand. Especially since I hardly bothered to find the time to use […]
About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. Excellent post!

  2. Well at least it is from the shed! The padlock that used to close the old shed door before we replaced the door this past Fall.

  3. Being ready for change is a great idea since it will happen whether you are ready or not. And I am with you all the way. Why put it off? The payoff is incredible especially with a little planning and direction, perhaps a bit of thought.

  4. Change is good. I don’t think any of us would want to be the same as we were 10 or 20 years ago. While some change is not fun at the time we are usually able to look back as see that good came from it, especially if we look for positives in change.

  5. I can look around my house and definitely see the changes that have been introduced in the last year. We have a whole shelf in our garage that is empty, the bathroom cupboard in our extra bathroom has lots of free space, my spices are no longer stacked on top of one another. I’m very happy that we fit much more comfortably in our space now than we did a year ago and certainly more comfortable than four years ago when we were first married and combining two full households for the first time and had doubles or triples or more of just about everything imaginable. I’ve always been one to periodically purge unused items but after combining households I felt paralyzed by how much stuff we had when it was all combined. It’s taken a long time to get it under control, but we’ve made a ton of progress, particularly in the past year.

    Over the weekend I drove to Goodwill and dropped off a rather large yard fountain that hasn’t been used in the last 4 years and a 2 drawer file cabinet that I used to use but don’t have room for in our current space. I finally finished shredding and sorting the papers were in there. I didn’t need to keep most of what was in there, so time to ditch the cabinet too! Yay! More space! More change! 🙂

    • Melissa, great progress!
      Two persons really don’t need that much more than one – it’s amazing that it took me (and apparently you, too) a paralyzing jumble of things to realize that.

      • Thanks Sanna! It’s not so much that I thought we needed all that stuff for two people, it’s that we both came with full households that then had to be trimmed back to one. Two full sets of dishware, two full silverware sets, etc, etc for just about any household item you can think of because he had one and I had one from the decade or so we had lived on our own. We actually haven’t bought very much since we’ve been married because we don’t need anything other than groceries and other consumables.

    • Well done Melissa ! and good on you for working it all out so early in your marriage. I can remember years ago going out and buying a second filing cabinet !! What was I thinking ! It didn’t occur to me to actually cull the contents of the one we had.. I used to buy matching plastic storage containers too. I did a lot of sorting and tidying but not a lot of decluttering . But not any more ! Now I love to see lots of free space around everything -inside cupboards especially -and accessing things is so much easier when you don’t have to remove a whole lot of other things to get to what you want.

      • Thanks Jez! I agree, empty space is wonderful. Thanks for the encouraging words too. It feels like four years is a long time to get a grip on it, but I suppose you are right that it’s really still early in our marriage. 🙂

        • Melissa it took me about 34 years of marriage to realise we had too much stuff ,not 4! -so you can see that 4 years is definitely “early ” to me 🙂 I spent a lot of time “acquiring ” but ,happily, the last few years have been reversing that trend . So once again – well done!

    • Melissa, aren’t you so excited at how much change has come along with all that you have been doing? Good on you, girl!!

      • Thanks! Yes, it is exciting that there’s been a lot of positive changes. Now we’re planning a move to the other side of town soon and I’m REALLY excited that we won’t have nearly so many boxes this time as when we both moved from our separate places into our current home after we were married!

    • Hi Melissa, I am glad you can see, and feel, the changes in your home. Well done. I have never had the experienced of combining two households since I lived at home until I was married. I can imagine that it would be quite messy at first. The closest that I have come to this is when our overseas removal and the stuff we had left in storage 7 years before all converged on us at once at our new smaller home. Yikes, that was messy enough.

      Well done with decluttering enough paperwork that you could also declutter a filing cabinet. That is a big task but so worth the effort. We had owned a filing cabinet for years but when we moved into this house we decided it would just clutter up floor space. So we made a concerted effort to digitise and minimise the paper work had and what came in in the future. You would be surprised how little paperwork we actually have these days. Lets just say we no longer have a filing cabinet just a two little hanging file boxes.

      • It was insanely messy for quite some time when we first moved into our current condo. Two full households into 1200 sq ft of space is not for the faint of heart! lol. Not only did we have two or more of everything but i had just finished grad school and he had too and so there were many years there where both of us had let shredding and other culling go by the way side because we were way too busy with school and work. But, we’ve gotten a pretty good handle on it now. Our next move is probably coming a bit sooner than I had anticipated so there’s extra motivation there to step it into high gear and finish the old projects so they aren’t bogging us down in our new home. Each day I’ve been making a point to do 1-3 things that will help acheive our goal of finishing up old projects of all sorts- decluttering projects, sorting projects, shredding, craft projects (there’s not too many of these…just one that I can think of and I have it scheduled to begin on Friday), fixing projects, etc.

        I can imagine that dealing with a storage unit after 7 years away is a pretty daunting task too!

  6. I’m about to get the rest of my surplus furniture etc. taken away! 😀 I’m so happy.
    Cross fingers that she’ll take it all.

  7. So true, Colleen. I started going on my Great Wardrobe Diet in January. My challenge was to buy no clothes for a year. Five months in and I am still going strong but I have noticed a change in how I view my clothes, view shopping and view my “need” for new things.

    I see I have enough and can combine items for new looks. I had clothes that I had bought but had never worn, or only worn a couple of times – so there were plenty of options for different looks.

    Having your clothes hanging freely, with space to slide along the wardrobe, gives a great sense of luxury. It also helps to see what you have and makes for an easier time in the morning.

    The most astonishing change for me is the change in how I view shopping. I don’t want to spend time in shops anymore. The shopping centre (or mall) holds no attraction for me. Going there is a chore. When I do, I move quickly to get a set job done. So now I have more time for friends, family and reading. And the few times I have looked in clothing shops, I just can’t justify the expenditure I am on a good income and used to buy a lot, so it is not the price of clothes that has changed, it is my attitude. I look at other things I would rather spend money – namely holidays. This year I will visit Central Australia, the snowy mountains for a week’s skiing and SE Queensland. When I look at new clothes in the shop I also think of the item I have that is very similar, or better, at home. Why buy a new dress, when I have the same one with just a slightly different cut? I don’t NEED it, so walk right out.

    Change can be. So liberating!

    • I agree totally Lucinda -“Having your clothes hanging freely, with space to slide along the wardrobe, gives a great sense of luxury’ yes it does- just like the magazine photo shoots ! And as you say – practical too – easy to see everything.

    • That’s what I’m talking about Lucinda, The liberation from wanting, the ease, the simple joy of living with less. Yay for you. And it only took five months or less to get to this point. I bet you never thought that was possible. I hope you really enjoy your holiday. Now you might be able to pack light as well.

    • Lucinda – last year I did Project 333 and I’m still living it. It is sooooo much easier. I can remember being at the 3 month mark and one evening I found myself standing there whoooshing hangers back and forth along the rack just because I could. I know, I know, I need to get a life, but I just couldn’t get over how easy it was to get by on so few clothes. Like you, I had items in my wardrobe that had never been worn and often I would buy similar looking items though I didn’t realise it until I got home. These days I am so fussy about what clothes I buy.

  8. Forwarded to our children as a hint, hint, hint. Nothing like still raising them, is there. LOL But a little word here and there can take root. Think my husband is beginning to see where I am coming from and on my way to.

    • Hi Nan, it never hurts to drop a few hint every now and again. I know I do. Lets also hopes that now your husband decides to join you on your journey now that he can see the wonderful destination possible.

  9. Really good post Colleen. I was vacuuming (hated task!) yesterday and feeling very grateful that we don’t have a lot of furniture, so I can maneuver the vacuum cleaner easily without it bumping into things. I love having all my clothes hanging in the wardrobe so I can see at a glance what I have to wear (and all the clothes are worn regularly – apart from my wedding dress – which I’m keeping for dressups!)

    I’ve been having interesting conversations about decluttering with people lately. So many of my friends find it difficult – or actually impossible – to get rid of anything they’ve received as a gift. Others are in the process of decluttering and cannot believe that they have so many sheet sets and towels. When I say we have 2 sets of each: one on the bed/in the bathroom, and one in the wash, you see a lightbulb go off in their heads:-) It did take a long time for me to change my way of thinking though, I’m so glad I’m at this stage where stuff doesn’t have a big hold on me:-)

    • Hi Loretta, I know where you are coming from. I love this life with less too for all the reasons you mentioned.

      I hope you have been able to give some good advice to the people you encounter who are having difficulty with their decluttering. So often I find I am talking to a brick wall because although many people know they ought to do something about their clutter they really just don’t want to have to deal with it. I just tell them all the wonderful things I have discovered about living in an uncluttered home and hope that will help sway them to want to do this.

  10. Colleen, there was a great story on the local Newcastle news last night about cafes in the city doing suspended coffees and meals. What a great concept!

    • Hi Leah, I think it may have all started here in Newcastle when Wendy F and I suggested it to the owner of Suspension Cafe on Beaumont St in Hamilton. We had read about it on the internet (not sure who brought it to our attention) and thought it was a great idea. It took him a little while to take up the idea but when he did the local paper wrote a story on it. Now it has caught on to lots of other cafes in the area.

  11. One of the neighborhoods I drive by to go to the Farmers’ Market has a HUGE yardsale the first Saturday of every June. The county blocks off 3 or 4 blocks and residents can rent a space for $5 and bring all the stuff they want to sell. For a few years, I stopped by to see what was there and ALWAYS came away with something. Last year and the year before, we were out of town or I was ill and could not go. This year I made a conscious decision not to go. I drove by and said, I don’t need anything, don’t want anything and don’t want to waste time even strolling through it. So proud of me!
    And speaking of empty shelves – we have a four shelf cupboard in our bathroom that hangs at the end of the bathtub. It has always been full to the brim with potpourri, suntan lotion and a variety of other lotions and potions. I have been steadily (a few every Saturday when I clean the bath), tossing out the expired items and things we no longer want or need. It looks almost weird to see that one shelf has only one thing left on it and 2 of the others are headed in that direction. Now, to get to the “under the sink” cabinet.

    • Well done Maggie on both resisting the temptation of going to the market and of getting those shelves emptied in the bathroom. I used to have quite a variety of toiletries once myself. Then when, in 2007, we had six months notice of our move back to Australia from the USA I decided to go on a use-it-up mission of those toiletries because for one, I didn’t know if the removals company would allow them in the shipment and two, I didn’t want to risk them bursting open in the shipment and three, I just didn’t want to stock so many. I have been good about keeping the numbers down ever since.

  12. Colleen this post is “right on” (a phrase from my youth!)
    It’s as you say: without changing one’s attitude to stuff the problem is never going to be overcome.
    Most people fear change (even though it is inevitable) but to approach decluttering on a daily basis as you prescribe is not so threatening as a major all-out clean up.

    • Hi Megan, I like your phrase and am glad you agree with the post. Change in small increments sure does seem a whole lot scarier than one major step.

  13. Good post Colleen – ‘Changing the way we think about stuff’ is the hot topic in my house this week. I thought we had a good handle on this but working thru the ceiling storage has brought a few things into the light of day.

    It has been interesting watching how some things we are totally disengaged from ie “why the heck do we still have this?” To other items which still trigger an emotional attachment, whether its because someone still ‘wants’ it even though they want it to remain in storage or whether it is because they don’t want to donate or give away the item because they feel there is value or worth still attached to it. Sometimes it isn’t the original owner who is still attached but someone else in the family thinks the original owner should be keep it. Not as bad as we would have been a few years ago, because we were able to talk our way thru most of the individual items but it was still interesting to see ‘attachments’ at work.

    • This sounds like a subject for a post Moni. Are you up for it?

    • Hey Moni,
      I find others in my extended family are more attached to something I owned than I am/was!! Now that is weird. Losing the Attachment gene was the best thing I changed. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. Today I was able to take some software off my laptop and clean it up. I have a friend who I may have come over and clean it even more. He knows the things needed to make it go and to keep the software I have working. After 20 years in computers I have forgotten some of the less used things from my knowledge. Feels odd.

  15. I have gotten rid of many things over the past year and I have found that it is truly freeing. You spend less time dealing with your stuff when you have less of it. There is less time spent cleaning/maintaining, looking for stuff that you cannot find, and when a conscious effort is made to only have around you what is useful and beautiful to you, you have time to do other more important things. Stuff does not have the same hold on me as it once did and it does not have the same importance to me as before. I too have found that not only do I feel differently about what I now possess but I do not feel the same about shopping anymore either. I don’t do it as often anymore and I find it to be less enjoyable than before. I really try to ask myself if I really need something and more often than not, I talk myself out of purchasing things. I am also well into using up what I already have too. It was funny, the other day my husband needed a clothing item and I also needed something too, so we went to a store to look for our items. I did not find what I needed so I went back out to the car and waited for him to return. Instead of him waiting on me and me returning with a shopping bag, it was me waiting on him to return with his shopping bag. That rarely happened in the past :).

    • Hi Jen, I think your comment here demonstrates the epitome of the change I was talking about in this post. Good for you on all counts. Did you husband comment of the role reversal?

      • No, he didn’t but I could tell that he was surprised that I was already done and waiting on him :).

        • Jen, I am completely with you on the change in your feelings about shopping. I don’t do it near as often either and when I do (out of necessity), I’m quick in-and-out of the store. I don’t want to just linger around deciding what to blow my money on.

          • Michelle, It really freeing to walk into a store, not find what you want and then leave without buying anything. Good job. I feel like I have conquered a mountain when I do that. And it reminds me that I still have that cash to do something else with – like go to a movie with my husband instead of bringing more things into the house.

          • Yes, I have other things I can do with my time and when I go in and get what I need, I save money instead of mindlessly spending on stuff that serves no real purpose for me.

  16. Colleen-
    I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your site. I have been reading for a while, but have never commented. I started my declutter journey about a year ago. In that time, I have gotten rid of soooooo much stuff. I don’t miss any of it. Thank you so much for your inspiration!

    • Hi Emily and welcome to 365 Less Things.I am flattered that you find my site enjoyable. You can thank the contributing readers, Cindy, Deb and other occasional writers as much for that as me. I am so glad that your decluttering is going well. I wonder, are you still seeing it as a decluttering mission or more of a journey to minimalism? I am never sure which track I am on but it sure is a great trip.

  17. Colleen – I just recently found you and am continually finding inspiration from your posts – thank you! I started at the beginning of April to declutter and have made great progress but am maybe 30% through my first pass through my house. Ever since I began, I have completely lost my interest in shopping, including thrift store items. I am beginning to discern whether items I could currently purchase might end up as declutter material in the near future.

    One of my bad habits was going to the store for a specific item and having more items hop into my cart along the way. I caught myself in the act just this weekend. I went to purchase invitations and passed by some beautiful earrings which I thought, “oooh, they are only $20.” Then I saw my hand take it off the holder and I realized how that was such a habit. I walked out of the store having purchased ONLY the invitations. Progress!

    • Hi Vicki K and welcome to 365 Less Things. I am glad you continue to find inspiration from the posts here. That is the whole purpose behind what I do. You might notice that I don’t talk much about organising. That is because my thinking is that once you delete all the useless-to-you stuff everything will naturally find their rightful uncluttered space in your home. Organising just kind of happens logically.

      Well done resisting those earrings. I am impressed. Just like shopping became second nature, resisting the urge to buy things can become second nature if practised often enough. Well done you. It sounds to me like you have all the ingredients there ~ resistance, decluttering and good attitude ~ to execute a successful declutter mission. I wish you every success. Do drop in often to share your wisdom and successes stories.
      Cheers Colleen

  18. Well said Colleen!
    I have learnt that there is no shortage of stuff.
    A/Stuff is not precious.
    B/Stuff is easily replaced.
    C/Less stuff means less thinking.
    I used to fear saying no to offers of items from people. Why? Because it was more polite to say ‘Yes Thank you’ than ‘No thank you.’ Then I realized A,B and C.
    I can see change now and I can enjoy the benefits of change.
    My recent dilemma (definately 1st world problem) was the multitude of varying shades of brown, black and blue socks I had to match up after washing. Then separate them to the wearable pile. Then separate them to individual owners pile. Most of the socks were becoming unwearable comfort wise. So I purchased 6 different style socks , with patterns to easily match the pairs. The other socks donated. Simple, time saving and comfortable.
    Sometimes we need to change our stuff too. :). Never be afraid to let it all go.
    Cheers

    • Hi Wendy F, I am glad you solved the sock issue. And I know that hubby is finding them very comfortable, I heard him say so myself.

    • Wendy F – I figured out when my kids were young that the answer to sock was to buy plain white ones and heaps of them so there was never a problem with matching pairs. These days I can’t get away with that, so Jordy has plain white work socks, Adrian picked out ones that have this little guy embroidered on them so I got him half a dozen or so pairs, Dayna has ones from Countdown which look quite different from Courtney’s ‘Bonds’ socks. Mine came from Kmart. Everyone can tell whose socks are whose at a glance when they come off the line or dryer.

  19. Hi Colleen,

    My biggest change with out a doubt has been ‘Brain Change” Amen! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    If I could go back and change one thing only it would be the thought I had of ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting to weigh everything and see how much weight my house has lost.” I think I chucked the scales long before I had the thought!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Dizzy – I wish I had weighed things as they left too, wouldn’t it be cool to say that you’d lost half a tonne!

  20. What’s been most amazing along the journey has been to realize just how much stuff there is.
    When I moved that furniture out of our living room, I thought it must free up quite some space. Now I wonder how it fit there in the first place, because the room is still rather complete, not sparse in the least.
    Just as the small things within the cupboards seem neverending, because it is quite a stretch from “crammed” to “free shelves”, so that might take a couple of months or even years to be there, the same goes for the bigger things like furniture as well.
    I’m happy that I am making progress, but it’s quite fascinating how long this journey actually is and to realize how far from minimal I’ve been when I started off. Given that we’ve lived in a small space to begin with, I wouldn’t have thought that it was going to take so long.

    • Sanna, the mind boggles!! I can’t believe how much I managed to have in my previous small home. Well hidden in pretty boxes and organised so beautifully but TOO MUCH FOR THE SPACE!!! It doesn’t matter how I look at it I had so much it still blows my mind that it was all in there?????

      You will have your space exactly how you want it soon! Keep at it 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Not just too much for the space, but too much for me! I can’t even imagine I ever would want that stuff again.
        I think I’m not that far from reaching my “how I want it” after all. 🙂
        Except, of course I have to live with a computer man cave in the living room (we don’t have a seperate office and he likes to keep his workspace as computer-nerdy as you can imagine), but even this isn’t bugging me as much any more as it’s becoming smaller and smaller and almost everything else is becoming more and more serene. 🙂
        I can live with that for the time being.

  21. Hi Everyone,
    If you get the chance, please check out The Simple Life click on January 2013 and go to the entry on the 25th (or sit and read a lot of them Kerry is a scream) anyway it is entitled ‘Can’t take it with you!! Anyone needing a prod, this may help!! Enjoy!! The article may be the one thing that helps you ‘Change’ x
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • You mean “The simple year”, don’t you?

      • OOps yes thankyou Sanna, brain not working today I have a head cold !!! 🙁 🙁 🙁

        • Dizzy, thanks for the info on The Simple Year. I think I may check back there more often. Last year, we went to an estate sale and there was SO much junk. Frankly, it made me sad. Here were things these people had collected all their lives, everything was dusty, things were poorly/cheaply made and I thought, “Is this what it comes down to? Am I going to die and this is what happens?” It kind of made me feel a little sickly and we left without buying anything.

          I guess I don’t know what different should be the end result, but it was an odd experience.

          • Hi Michelle,
            I get what you mean. Sad and morose. I personally want to be remembered for the ‘fantastic person I am!!! 🙂 not the mad bag-lady collector or keeper of the keys to nothing!!! It happens all the time. I just don’t want to be a burden to my family when my card is punched!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Dizzy – just read the article – its kinda sad and intrusive and stripped of dignity – I know I haven’t summed it up correctly, but its the reverse of the saying that ‘one man’s junk is another man’s treasure’ – this is one man’s treasure is another man’s junk. Sure, buffalo and bears aren’t really everyone’s idea of fashionable decor but to have strangers amongst your treasures, is really uncomfortable.
      Of course, the idea is not to leave such a burden to your children or grandchildren

      • Exactly Moni,
        We are even starting to get ourselves sorted for the final push!! As morbid as it sounds, it has to be discussed and planned for if there is going to be a service and maybe a Celebration of Life. I really wish my parents had been more open to discussions on a real level, not just “When I go just plant me with the roses”!! When my Dad passed it was a shock all round and it is so hard to function and get things done when nothing was really planned. Probably not the best way to say it but all due respect “Dying is easy, it’s the fallout that’s hard!! 🙁

  22. Sorry everyone try The Simple Year , January 2013 Just makes you want to make sure you have only what you need, love and want. Everything else just ends up being conversation for someone!!

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  23. “Change” — wonderful words of wisdom.

  24. Hi all. I haven’t been posting as much because I have been SWAMPED at work. I feel this whole experience has very much changed how I behave as far as accumulating things, using up what I have, getting rid of things that are no longer useful.

    The laundry room isn’t going quite as well as I had hoped, but it will eventually be done. Honestly, how long could a wee room take to redo?? Oh well. I won’t be getting as much shelving as originally thought, so I am having to cut down even more on what goes in a laundry room. Last weekend I was at an antique store (haven’t been there in months!), and I saw a very cute wall vase that would be great in there. I picked it up and started to walk to the cashier. “Oh, hang on, I already have a wall vase that isn’t being used now that would be super in there!” Turned back around and set it down. Not spending money and using what I already have and like. Also, with this remodel, I’m keeping all the receipts and if there is something that isn’t used, you can bet I’m gonna return it.

    There is this issue now (I feel) of having way too many choices on this. My mom is replacing her carpet and limited herself to Home Depot. She said, “Why should I go to Lowes too? How many carpet choices to I need to look at?” 😉 Right on, Mom.

  25. Hi Colleen,

    Thank you for your timely advice about not having to accept gifts. I’ve been struggling for awhile to try and tell a friend overseas that I no longer wanted to exchange gifts. As lovely as it is to receive them in the post, inevitably they would be things I neither wanted or needed. This would be followed with trying to find something suitable to send in return and the ever increasing and ridiculous cost of postage.

    I had just read your post yesterday when my friend popped up online saying she was up to her neck in stuff getting organised to sell it at a carboot sale on the weekend! This gave me the perfect opportunity to say “so you’re decluttering too!” and finally broach the subject.

    We decided the money we spend on gifts should be put towards visiting each other one day and the time we spent looking for them could be spent chatting online instead. I feel so relieved!

    • That is fabulous Shelley. Isn’t life wonderful when something potentially awkward needs to be done and the perfect opportunity presents itself that takes all the awkwardness out of it. I bet your friend was just as relieved as you.

      • I think she might have been relieved as well Colleen. I have tried approaching another friend overseas about the same thing before too but she said that she loves giving presents and wants to carry on. However, she has just moved house for the first time in about 20 years and money is also tight so might be the perfect time to try again.

        Thanks for the daily inspiration!

        • Sounds like a good time to give the suggestion another try. I wish you luck.

          • I haven’t done quite so well today as I came home with 4 new items for my work winter wardrobe! Well….I did whittle it down from 8, they were all half price and I won’t need to buy anything else this season. Excuses, excuses, I know! BUT on the bright side, I’m sticking to a “one thing in, one thing out” philosophy and as I hung them up, I took 4 things out of the wardrobe to put in the bag for the charity store. I guess it’s a step in the right direction.

          • Hi Shelley, there is no need to make excuses if you actually need them. It is important to look good in the workplace after all. However if you feel you didn’t really need them then next time, if your resolve is weak, think about the effect that buying unnecessary things has on the environment. Perhaps that will tilt the scales in the the right direction.

          • Friend number 2 has also agreed to no longer exchange gifts. She definitely appreciated the decluttering sentiment after her recent move. It’s great to be free of the guilt associated with unwanted gifts!

          • That’s fabulous Shelley, well done.

  26. Tuesday’s mini-mission is done. Mom took a bunch of stuff out of the garden cupboard. We are going to give the cupboard to a friend who is going to use it for pool stuff out by his pool.

  27. We don’t have a garden, but we do have potted plants. I donated two unused planting pots (which makes it just one unused spare one now). Due to getting rid of furniture we do have a slight overabundance of plants now, so we will certainly not add more.

  28. Oh, how fabulous this change feels. The bonus: the more I change, the better I get at change, and the more things that I change and improve. Oh, what a wonderful life change has brought me.

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  1. […] (non sempre ), è che mi pare giusto diffondere le idee altrui che condivido. Anche oggi tocca a Colleen di 365lessthings che ci parla di decluttering e cambiamento. Il minimalismo è un percorso (o un mezzo) che […]