Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom – Why 365 Less Things?

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom – A Review of the Basics

Cindy

Why 365 Less Things?

Let’s get the grammatical question out of the way first and promptly. Yes, we know it’s supposed to be 365 Fewer Things, but it’s not. That’s all there is to it. (Can you believe that Colleen regularly gets comments from readers telling her she’s named the blog wrong? Do they think they’re the first to notice? Declutter this worry from your mind: You’re not the first.)

Now on to the meat of the matter: Why does 365 Less Things exist, and how can it help you?

I truly don’t know the origins of the 365 Thing A Day challenge. I saw it the first time on Unclutterer in a comment that Colleen had written. (Thanks to my friend Janet K. who referred me to Unclutterer, without which my life certainly would have been different over the past two years.)

The idea was simple: Declutter by getting rid of one thing each day.

I thought, “I can do that,” and I’m still doing it almost two years later. My house was a disaster of surface clutter (clean cabinets and drawers, messy counters and floors). Once I started, I couldn’t stop! On average I’ve decluttered three things a day, and it seems like I could go on for another two years.

Decluttering just one thing a day is such a small challenge. It’s so easy to find just one thing. You can take a random approach, open a cabinet or cupboard, and grab one thing, or you can be much more methodical and start in one location, systematically working your way through the house, garage, attic or basement, shed, yard, your neighbor’s side yard (oh wait – you better stop!)

Decluttering one thing a day allows you time to decide the best way to dispose of an item: sell, give away, recycle, trash.

Decluttering one thing a day allows you time to think hard about sentimental clutter and items that you think you “should” keep but don’t want to.

Decluttering one thing a day allows you time to realize the error of your ways in acquiring goods –  whether you shop too much, garage sale too frequently, or never pass up a treasure when it’s bulky trash day in your neighborhood – and slowly amend those ways so you don’t re-clutter at the same rate (or faster!) than you de-clutter.

Decluttering a thing a day is like the saying, “A  journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”

What one item will you be decluttering today?

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter those shoes that you rarely wear that are too uncomfortable, you just don’t like or don’t fit your current lifestyle.

Today’s Declutter Item

So here are my declutter items for today. The shoes that I rarely of don’t use. One pair are too uncomfortable, one pair don’t suit my current lifestyle and the other pair I haven’t worn in so long I don’t even remember what they went with. Either way they are out of here.

Shoes I don't use

Something to be grateful for today

The beautiful sunny day that we have experienced here today. I took the opportunity to take a walk in the sunshine. I saved some gas too by walking to the post office and the dry cleaners. Win win!

“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:

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  • Owning your life skill ~ By Doodle One of our long time regular readers Doodle has kindly agreed to help out here at 365 by writing a blog post for me every other Wednesday. Today is her first regular post although not the […]
  • Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom – Have Storage Will Clutter, part 2 Cindy's Weekly Wisdom When Colleen wrote Have Storage Will Clutter, I assumed it would be about storage units, which exist all over the US, some row after row of garages, and others […]

Comments

  1. I am currently taking an English Grammar in Context course as part of my English degree. It is interesting as instead of just pointing out all that is technical wrong, it points out that there are different types of grammar according to the image or style of the writing or conversation you are trying to portray and that it is sometimes better to use incorrect technical grammar to project an idea. Your blog title fits perfectly with your style of writing.
    But I disagree that de-cluttering one item a day is easy. When I get started I de-clutter I have to do as much as possible. I would be tormented if I went one item at a time 😉

    • Agree…also, 365 Fewer Things doesn’t sound as interesting..

      • It really just sounds too proper, doesn’t it Faith.

        • “Fewer” just doesn’t sound as committed. “Less” suggests progress. Or at least in my Kiwi English it does.

        • Dizzy and I had some fun the other day comparing accents, my stepfather is Australian so I get quite a bit of teasing from him. Yes our vowels are quite different, my theory is that our vowel sounds lean towards the Maori vowels.

    • Thank you for that Starlet I appreciate your input on fewer v less, especially since it is in my favour. I think I will cut and paste this for the next time I receive one of those detracting comments about my ignorance.

      I totally understand that decluttering one thing a day could be very frustrating for some people. I am usually a fast pace person myself but for some reason this was a task that I was in no hurry with. Wisdom must have shone down on me the day I chose to do this one item at a time because I think if I had done the task quickly I would never have been as thorough as I have been and are still being. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this slow and stead approach has changed my life.

    • Yes I agree with Starlet – its about context – and “less things ” just works really well! AND its your blog Colleen and you can do what you like!!!

  2. Jennifer L. :

    Colleen and Cindy, I like to think that I’m semi-literate! But, I still don’t get how 365 Less Things is incorrect. It sounds perfectly fine to me and it gets the point across. I think sometimes people are too picky!

    • Thanks Jennifer L,
      when I named the blog I had no idea that “less things” was not correct and I dare say most people wouldn’t notice either. The mistake doesn’t bother me, the thing that bothers me is when people seemingly dismiss the idea that I spend most of my free time helping people with their clutter issues (out of the goodness of my heart) and instead feel the need to point out an error in the title of my blog. I have to wonder about people like that. I could be out doing paid work and lining my coffers instead but prefer to give back to the community. I am never sure what brings them to my blog in the first place.

      • the urge to correct any grammar mistakes they find on the web, because they have nothing better to do?
        I for a start think its rude, if the first thing you introduce yourself with are corrections of another person. do they not think of what kind of picture they present of themselves?

  3. 365 fewer things doesnt really sound nice. and as we are so international, we really dont care about that little incorrect thing anyhow. 😉
    I didnt declutter any item today as I spent most of my day outside with friends. But while I explained freecycle (in german of course) to them, because they never heard of it, I said the english sentence “what is my trash might be another ones treasure”. they loved it and got immediatly what I meant. Sadly we dont have such a precise phrase in german, and the english just fitted perfectly. I really hope they will check out freecycle soon.

    • I love that Lena – we’re too international to be overly concerned with grammatical errors that don’t cause confusion anyway.

    • Hi Lena,
      I think fewer has less impact. It is almost gentle in a way while less just seems more “in your face”. Less is used more and is therefore more identifiable I think. And the topic isn’t just about fewer items it is about less effort, less outlay, less impact on the environment and the word fewer doesn’t work in those circumstances.

      I am glad you are having an influence on your friends and I too hope they utilise Freecycle. Well done spreading the word.

      • Hi again Colleen – I should have read down further – yes ‘fewer’ is too nice-y nice-y this is for the Super Stars of Decluttering.

      • 365 less things is “in your face”, thats true 😉

        I certainly hope I have an influence on those two, they could need it. everytime I am at their place I get the urge to declutter… they are open to my ideas, but they never seem to take action. shopping and keeping things in a tiny flat (although I bet it would look bigger, if it wasnt so cluttered).

    • Hi Lena – I didn’t realise it wasn’t an international saying, but yeah everyone understands the sentiment.
      This week I have used Freecycle a lot, I think it is an awesome concept, and yep I learnt about it here at 365!

      • Moni, I dont think its an international saying. but it has a fun little wordplay and a big truth in it, so I use that, in lack of something as short and crisp in german.
        I learned about freecycle here too. And about saving plastic, and about trash, compost bins, clothes, books (big time!) etc… just 10 minutes ago I stood in front of my trashcan and thought for the first time, that I might want to “downsize” this object (I thought it in english ;-)) as I dont produce enough trash before it starts smelling and I have to get rid of the bag before its even full.

        oh and whoever came up with the fridge cleaning before it gets filled – BEST ADVICE EVER. I did this for 2 minutes today while I let the coffee cool down and before I packed away my fresh veggies. I will so keep that habit! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

        • Hi Lena – I love hearing sayings from other cultures that we don’t use, and yes we always get the gist of it. We’re all the same the world over, just needed someone clever to point it out. I also love hearing words that have no direct translation in English – how cool is that!

          I think downsizing is a byproduct of decluttering.

          AND yes I totally agree fridge cleaning before it gets re-filled – yes BEST advice. I have started that habbit too.

          And I’ve got to say, your English is great. Sometimes I am surprised to hear someone isn’t a native english speaker – if only my German was as good!

          • I do live parts of my life in english, so I sometimes feel almost as a native speaker. I studied in english, I have friendships and an ex-relationship in english, I dont watch synchronized movies anymore, and the last books were english too…
            I love english for its internationality (look who I can talk to) and simplicity. if you want to say something in german you usually have to build a long sentence for that. what cracks me up is the specific english that germans use to sound global and modern. we translate the name for perfektly normal professions into english, and I really dont understand why. sometimes it isnt even english: we call a mobile phone a “handy”. embarrassing, really 😉

            and yay to us, having learnt how to keep a fridge clean. lol, if you read it like that, it sounds a bit ridiculous, but it really will save me time and energy in the future. so yay us!

        • A “handy” – ok thats different.

          Yes so obvious to clean the fridge before refilling it. Traditionally I’d wait until the lettuce stuck to the bottom actually rotted!

  4. I’m sorry, but (while I enjoy reading your blog) I am really irritated by the incorrect grammar. It’s a teacher thing.

    • I understand that Lindy and I sympathise with you having to endure it (I mean that sincerely). I only wish I had more time to proof read my posts better but to do that I would have to post less often, stop answering peoples comments and have no time to live. Some things I am prepared to live with but others I am not. It is funny how I notice every error in the comments I read but I usually go in and correct them so my readers don’t feel embarrassed when they realise they have made a mistake after the comment has published.

      • thanks for correcting us…

        colleen, I really hope you keep posting and commenting that often. I would rather decipher your posts and have a really friendly atmosphere than reading a blog where people are arguing and fighting, being little pain in the ****s – but with correct grammar. sometimes, when I read other blogs or articles I am shocked at the tone of the comments. I usually leave there as quick as my finger can click. I know where my priorities are in this. and as far as I can tell, I am not the only one here.

        • Lena, I’m not 100% sure why we always get along so nicely here, but I can’t count the times people got really snippy or rude on my fingers. It is VERY important to me that we all play nice. There’s no reason not to.

        • Thanks Lena, I too like things just the way they are. It is a friendly atmosphere here.
          Your “pain in the ****s” comment reminded me that english isn’t the same everywhere either ~ colour, humour, Aluminium, arse, organise, neighbour etc are spelt different in America than they are in Australia. And as an Australian we use different words for some things than they do in both England and America and even NZ. That is half of the fun of an international audience. I often wonder how you manage to translate some of what I write at times.

          • my secret: the internet connection is stable enough to let one window open for my online dictionary.
            Cindy, I can only speak for me. but because noone else in my life gets excited about my progress in decluttering, but those ladies here, I bring all my excitement and happiness that derives from decluttering into this blog. the change I made I consider positive. AND: if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all.

    • Hi Lindy – as a teacher you could appreciate this…..I’m a New Zealander ok, and I’ve been helping my daughter with her book review (they’re now called a ‘book log’) on The Hunger Games – I’ve been working with her on grammer as she writes using the way we speak. I told her we have to use the Queen’s English when we do formal writing, she looked a bit blank and told me that Hunger Games was written in America so it was written in American.

  5. And Hi Colleen. We seem to be on at the same time!

  6. Hi Cindy,
    thank you for this post. It has got me thinking more about fewer v less and I am glad I chose less (albeit ignorantly at the time) because it fits the overall message better.

    Having been a quick declutterer in the past I now know how ineffective it was for me long term. This slow approach has taught me so much more and been so effective. I am a changed person for it and love the freedom of no longer desiring stuff. And I feel good about doing the right thing by the environment. Slow decluttering is certainly better for me. Thank you for accompanying me on this journey.

  7. For me, to accomplish any enormous project, I set a goal of 15 minutes a day. It doesn’t matter how impossible it seems, with 15 minutes, I will eventually get there. That seems to me like another version of the thing a day approach. As for the title, yeah, I find it annoying, but I solved the usage problem by renaming it in my RSS Reader, where I happily call it 365 Fewer Things. I rarely visit the actual site to comment, so I can handle it in spite of what some might consider my Grammar and Usage OCD. After all, the information and support are useful, even if the title is wrong (although I see above that many of you feel it is correct and the rest of us are wrong–to which I say, whatever).

    • Good for you Jude, you are alway true to yourself. I think your 15 minute approach is pretty much the same as the thing a day approach and I am sure that is effective.

  8. Wow! I really like your blog. 🙂

  9. Hi ladies – the cool thing about this site is that if you go into megadrive and declutter a months worth in one day, you have an international team of decluttering cheerleaders in the background.

    If you just do one item, you probably only did that one item because of the daily mini mission.

    And if you find yourself stuck unable to part with that obscure item that you have an emotional attachment to….. you have an international intervention at your fingertips!

    How does it get better than that?

  10. I like the title the way it is. Yes, I knew it was incorrect but I didn’t care because I understood what Colleen was going for. In my normal mode grammatical errors and misspellings are quickly noticed. But here at 365 LESS Things I am finding myself enjoying the blog to much to care.

    I find that when I am decluttering it is sort of in spurts. I will declutter one or two things a day for a time and then not have anything I’ve decluttered for several days. Other times I will see something that needs to be done and I will find a bunch of things in on foray. The one thing I don’t ever want to do again is to do it in one big swoosh. Too many times when you do it like that you end up making poor decisions or hanging onto things you later will declutter. Doing it slowly really gives you time to think not only about what you are decluttering but also about how to go about parting with it.

    • Hi Deb J – just a nosey question when you joined 365 had your house been already “swooshed”?

    • Hi Deb J,
      I agree that doing the declutter slowly whether that is one thing a day or just here and there but with deliberate thought is very effective. I am pleased to have decided to approach it this way. I have learned so much.

  11. Wow, I never really thought too hard about the blog title – I knew what the intent was & that’s good enough for me! Amazing what some folks will get in a tizzy about & find it necessary to point out errors any chance they get. I’m too smitten with being happy instead of correct.

    • You go Jane, I would vote for happy rather than correct every time. Happy, now that is something I wouldn’t want less of.

      • Just like Jane, I’m ” I’m too smitten with being happy instead of correct”… Didn’t even know “less” was “wrong” (and don’t care either)… Thank you so much for all you do to help everyone here!!!!! You are the best 🙂

  12. Yes, sort of. I decided one day that I was going to get as much out of the way as I could of my stuff because I knew Mom had her heals planted. I did okay that way because I had really been thinking about it for quite some time but it wasn’t the best because I am still decluttering things even now from my stuff. I think that Mom can better handle it when it is slow even when it is my stuff. When it comes to hers I have found that it is better if I sort of bring it up at some point and let her say NO and then later she thinks about it and decides on many things to get rid of them. I’m much more decisive than she is.

    • Hi Deb J – I take it your mum lives nearby? Mine lives on the opposite side of the island about 5 hours away, and they only visit every second year due to health. However, my parents do have a lot of stuff and it will fall to me then to sort out. I’m hoping that that will be far off in the future, and in the mean time I still have plenty to do in my home.

      • Moni, my mother lives with me. We have lived together since my father died 19 years ago. Seems like a lifetime in many ways. We get along really well except she does tend to hang on to things and has an inflated idea of what things are worth.

    • By the way, this “Yes, sort of” reply was in answer to your question about the swoosh Moni.

  13. I adore the title, it’s PERFEKT! 🙂

    I adore this blog! “International”, oh yes! Amen to that!!!

    This is the best ever! It’s like getting together with friends for a cuppa and a chatta about decluttering!

    • Annabelle you truly are international, especially since you are an American who lived in Germany but understand the concept of a cuppa and a chat. Love it.

      • haha. dont you underestimate us, we germans also understand that concept. and we can pronounce the word PERFEKT the perfect way…

        • Lena,
          Cute!!! Perfekt, perfect. I like it with the ‘k’!!!

          Also, I sooo miss the cuppa und eine Breztel from the local Bäckerei! Now that is the best!

          🙂

          • oh. I havent had my weekly Breze. Need to get that tomorrow for breakfast… thanks for reminding me.
            what I like about the pronounciation is the intonation on the second syllable. you can really smash it out that way.

        • My Australian stepfather says I say ‘purfict’ – Dizzy any opinions on the Kiwi accent?

          • I love it, I also love the spelling for PERFEKT, that kinda has a Swedish look to it (I think). I am an accent aholic I love them all and let me tell you this if we are all supposed to speak the Queen’s English then will someone please explain a Yorkshiremans’ farm accent or a bloody Liverpudlian hahahaha, my brother-in-law is from Wigan but sooo Scouser!!!!

            I say we are all Purfict 🙂 🙂 🙂 This has made me aware of the difficulty some of our European friends may be facing with trying to translate our slang so sorry to them but I love your style so don’t stop!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Ave a beaut dai Y’all xxx

  14. Sometimes people get so overwhelmed just thinking about decluttering their homes. By doing one a day, or three in you case, it breaks it down into “baby steps” that are easy enough for anyone to do. IF you don’t want to tackle certain things, you can just put them on the back burner for now and do the easy stuff. This method can work for anyone.

    • Hi Spendwisemon, I love the back burner it is where I have put my photos. I will get to them when I am ready. Works to me!

    • spendwisemom, (I always read spiderwebmom… makes me giggle everytime),
      you are so right about this. the overwhelming feeling of “thats too much” is a paralysing thought. and this approach is taking the pressure out and you focus on the progress you make. After half a year you gave away 150+ items, without it being a big deal. I made it a enjoyable habit. And I am slowly trying to apply this method to other aspects in my life, where I stand in front of the mountain and say “its too much”, or its too less time, or whatever that is. just focus on the progress you already made and take the time to be relaxed about it. you will finish quicker. Because: (I love this) It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.

      • Lena, I like your sentence about using this one a day idea with the rest of your life. I’ve started doing that too. I have always been a list person and then I was trained in the Franklin Covey method of keeping everything in a planner and having lists for everything. This was great when I worked because it kept me sane. But 7 years ago when I had to go on disability and quit work I began to have problems with this. I just never seemed to have the energy to keep up with that list and get things done in a timely manner. Lately I have realized that I am still trying to live at too fast a pace. So I am slowly making changes to my life and decluttering it. It feels good.

        • haha, Deb J, we are exactly in the same situation. I am also a list writer. I have one big book (an old empty schoolbook I somehow never decluttered since school) in which I write my to-dos in everything. and it really helps me to keep it together (paying bills, making appointments, etc).
          but writing the final thesis for graduation is not done by keeping a list. actually I found the opposite, it made me anxious, because I had so many to-dos for that paper that I felt I never finished my tasks, for one scribbled out I added two new ones and it grew and grew. yesterday I put everything I wrote already together and found out I had already written around 40 pages of around 100. thats 40%. I have done 40 % of my task already. I took the rest of the day off and enjoyed the sunshine and relaxed. I am not done yet, but I am in the middle and not the beginning and I have to make me see this more than keep the list to work off. interesting thing what you learn in moments like those… and how to break procrastination habits is another topic though.

          • Ugh! I remember writing my thesis and all that time it took. I also remember that I had the same problem you had. I had such a list that I couldn’t see past it. I finally created an outline of the major tasks with the steps to finish those tasks under each one. Then I put it away where I couldn’t see it and only refered to it occasionally. It gave me something to use as a final check list for each task but I didn’t use it as a daily to-do list. It helped me see how much I had accomplished but kept me from freaking out over what I had left to do. I still do big projects like that because it does keep me from missing things but I don’t freak out over ALL the little things that make up the big thing. It’s nice to learn things like that. That’s why declutting a day at a time and a few things at a time is so nice. You know you have the whole house to do but you don’t freak out because you are only looking at today. Less stress and I will take that any day.

        • Hi Deb J – what is the Franklin Covey method? I am a natural born list writer. Ironically I use my cell phone as a diary, and I use my diary as my to-do list and my daily accounts. I never realised that until just now.
          I would love to have an iPhone but my phone still works fine. I don’t have an iPod – or rather I did a few years back, but one of my kids offered to set it up for me and I never got it back.
          I am thinking of getting an iPod Touch as I have enough Fly Buy Rewards Points to get one, I figure it would get me into the whole ‘i” scene without the pressure of a different phone. If my phone dies I can always give it to my son or hubby.
          One of the 365ers recommened an app called “things” which is basically a digital diary and checklist.

          • Franklin Covey is a planner you buy and then take a class on how to use it. They teach you how to plan things with all sorts of accessories. If you type in Franklin Covey in your interenet search box you will find their website. You can see an explanation and pictures of their planners. My company sent me to their training back before there were even PDAs and way before things like iPhones, iPads, etc.

          • I have an iPod Touch and a regular, very simple cell phone Moni. I’m not willing to pay the greatly inflated cell phone bill that an iPhone would bring to my world. I enjoy having it quite a bit, although you do have to be in a hot spot to access the wireless. My husband has a more recent one than mine, and I do envy his camera. That’s something that wasn’t available when I purchased mine.

            I use a to-do list on it and the calendar, which synchs to the google calendar on my computer. However, I also carry a paper calendar. I love that my on-line version keeps up with everything, synchs, and reminds me, but the visual month-at-a-time paper calendar helps me to see the bigger picture and not overschedule. (I’m keeping a calendar for all 4 family members, so it’s easy to overschedule.)

  15. Hey Ladies! That thumping sound you hear is me patting myself on the back. I mentioned a while ago that I was taking on the monumental task of relieving our Seniors Centre of a great deal of ‘precious belongings’. The ‘you can’t get rid of that!’ stuff. Well, tonight was the meeting. I got there ahead of time and had three tables loaded with junk I had pulled out of the supply room and the office and the attic and everywhere else (I’ve already turfed the dust-encrusted silk flowers, chipped crockery, ragged dish towels and every ashtray in the place). I was wearing my flame-proof suit and had a bayonette handy just in case, but it was over in 35 minutes! A few things went back to be used, a few things went home with folks, and the rest will accompany the expired couch and chair to the dump on Saturday or the garage sale on the 19th (and the dump afterward). This is a major leap forward for these folks. Just imagine, the piano out in the hall where someone could play it instead of at the back of the store room piled with paper napkins and empty cookie tins. I think they were all relieved someone had the gumption to start the ball rolling. Onward! W

    • Hi Wendy B – well done you!

    • You Rock Star take a bow lady Woo Hoo, Get someone to play the tune to ‘She’ll be coming round the mountain’ only sing – “We have all decreased the Mountain yes we have Yee Ha!! WELL DONE 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • I want to pat your back as well… its great that you have done the first step. maybe your example will lead to a change of mind and people might find it easier to part with items in the future.
      congrats!

    • Well done Wendy B. Give yourself another pat for me. I bet they are all glad that you made the decisions they weren’t prepared to make. The physical work is often not where the real effort is.

      • Thank you all. You have it right. They just needed someone with the guts to take the first step into the alligator-infested swamp (emotions, not stuff). I brought out two supposedly sacred items – a pile of spiral notebooks in which the morning coffee gents keep tally of crib scores, and the big cardboard bin they used to store packages of cookies. I had been told repeatedly, “You can’t get rid of those – the men will have a fit”. So, when asked about the notebooks, they merely shrugged. And the cookie bin? One of them said, “I’ve always hated that thing. There’s better ways of storing cookies.”
        Gonna make up a sign. “This is a CAN’T FREE ZONE”
        Have a great day, everyone! W

    • Way to go Wendy!!

    • Good for you Wendy. Here’s a few more pats on the back from me. thump, thump, thump. You did great girl.

    • Wendy B,
      Awesome work!!!! You are an inspiration! Oh what fun it must be to look back and on it and VISUALLY see the progress (a very clean STORE ROOM, which really should be renamed “DO NOT STORE IT IN HERE ROOM”). Super wonderful congratulations! 🙂

  16. LONG VERSION:
    Did or does any 1 reelly car aboot the title so much that thay had too rite aboot it? Obveusly sum 1 did and mi bet is that sum 1 still got heeps of gr8 eyedeers from the sight!

    I think you can all see that a few errors here and there are not going to stop you from reading something that you have trolled through all the internet stuff to get to a site that has a catchy title and allows you the freedom of decluttering your stuff out of your life anyway you see fit.

    I myself googled the word ‘LESS’ and sifted through a lot of articles simply because a key word generally generates some responses. The things that jumped out were the words ‘Clutter’ and ‘LESS’. I happened across ‘Be More With Less’ although it is a beautiful site and very helpful, I happened to notice other sites as well, and yes I saw ‘365 Less Things’ and to this day I couldn’t give a flying fat rats bum that it should have really been written as ‘365 Fewer Things’. All I saw was a site that was visited by like minded people. I had no idea who anyone was or what they did, or where in Australia or the World they were writing from, what I got was like minded people that didn’t hold back in giving advice to a clean loving but somewhat pack-ratty, semi-organised clutter-bug type person who craved to have ‘LESS’ in her life ‘STUFF WISE’. I found a blog site that was accessed everyday by a variety of ‘Lovlies’ 🙂 doing the same thing as I intended to do with some good honest advice thrown in to everyones’ comments by a lady who has taken the time to help others along the way and has probably gotten some good advice herself. Grammatically correct or not, I believe it’s probably the best title out there because it makes you look!!

    To date, I have probably gotten rid of 365 things every other day and I will probably get rid of another 365 things x 10 during the next few months! I personally love the mistakes here and there, it keeps it real! 🙂

    SHORT VERSION:
    OMG can you tell the Grammar Gurus SOD OFF! heehee (is that being too cheeky?)
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • I used to have a brother who would send my letters back with the grammar and spelling corrected. “Used to have” because I don’t need people like that in my life.
      However, I still think we need to rename the site. How about: Fewer Things, Less Crap, but all the chocolate, ice cream, laughter and friendly international support you like.

      • Hi Wendy B – what a twit your brother is! Its not like you hired him as a tutor and he should be darn grateful you even bothered to write.

      • Shame he become a “used to have” just think of all the great advice he could of garnered from his wonderful sister, you could have taught him how to de-clutter his ‘Whole missing the point of getting a letter from a loved one’ What a twit!!!

        What is it with brothers? I love mine but honestly I would gladly smack him with a sensibility stick and then de-clutter the evidence!!

        How about ‘We all have less crap now it’s time for 365 types of Chocolate, icecream, fun & frivolity International Style! All talking in our native language for intoduction, mine would be G’Day Mate or Oooohhhh Hellooo there Loveykins!!! Hahahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Hi Dizzy – can you explain what “snake up a drain-pipe” means

          • Hey Moni, my friend Patty in America didn’t know what stickybeak was. And Cindy had never heard of the term Cheeky. Isn’t the world a wonderful fun place. Our friend Sunny did his best with a little Australian when we met him in Seattle. He excused himself to go to the Loo and referred to a man at the bar as a Bogan. He also calls me mum with a U (just a affectionate term I am not his mother) while my kids always write it with an O just to stay American.

          • Eerm, is it similar maybe to a “rat up a drainpipe” in that case it would mean quick & shifty. What about “Slicker than a s**thouse rat” hahaha, my favourite one is a saying my Aunty always uses, “What a ta do in a lads lobby” meaning a ruckus, I fell off the stairs laughing when she first said it 🙂 Mark me if I’m wrong! 🙂

          • Hi Dizzy – well I’m going to assume that when my step-father says someone was like a “snake up a drainpipe” I’m going to assume it meant they were fast. At the time I was more worried that snakes could get up drainpipes too. Uggghhh. Obviously tolerance to snakes has been bred out of our DNA down here.

        • Mmmmmmmm chocolate!!!!

          • Yep I know what a stickybeak is and cheeky. And definately know what a bogan is! My son and friends are trying to grow mullets! Cringe!

            • Oh dear Moni, not mullets. Is it too late for adoption. 😆

              • I very much doubt I could pay someone to take on a wannabe bogan. My masterplan is to take photos……lots of them.

                • Just get him to google Eric Bana as ‘Poiter’ or Warwick Capper or Russell Coit, seriously BAD!!! Hahahahaha then again it’s a trend that I think NOT a lot will follow so they may be famous for 5 mins and then they’ll get sick of tucking hair behind the ears. The other thing is he’s too young to have had the indignity of a mullet the 1st time round, you my dear are in for a good show hahahaha!!

                  A mullet sporting wannabe Bogan that de-clutters COOL 🙂 🙂 🙂

                  • Hi Dizzy – I’m just rolling my eyes…..a lot. I reckon the best way to get rid of it, is to like it or get his dad to grow one too. That would be sooooo uncool! Its cross country at his school next week – I’ve mentioned it before it is a dress up event (old wedding dresses, 1980’s jazzercise outfits, guys in tutu’s, sari’s, whatever they can find at the 2nd hand stores – and they have to run from school to the beach to do the beach dune part of it, so imagine 1800 of those going down the road). Anyway, I have modified a clip-in-ponytail and sewn it onto the back of a cap and he is going to run as a “Vintage Bogan”. Didn’t know they’d evolved that much to be honest. 🙂 I noticed however that it started off hanging below his shoulder blades and it has already been cut to shoulder length cos it was annoying him.

                    What he hasn’t factored in is that we have really wavy hair, so he’s going to end up with something that looks like a racoon hanging off the back of his head. Just wait till his sister offers him hair product to tame it or takes to it with the hair straighteners.

                    • Now that is a sight I would love to see. Anyway you can video the mad dash and share it with us? I made the suggestion to my sons college to do something similar and they are going to organise one and all funds raised will go to the Youth Hostels here or something similar. I can’t wait!! I so love your sense of humour.

                      Can you enlighten me as to the origin of “Beached as Bro” my hubby was going on about it, the lads from NZ have moved on to another worksite and he forgot to ask them. He actually got the boys saying “you’re looking like a skunned rabbit” they howl everytime they hear this! A good laugh makes the world a happy place!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

                    • Hi Dizzy – will see what I can do.
                      “Skunned rabbut” makes me laugh.
                      Lets not even start on “Feesh and Cheeeps” going back the other way!
                      And the number six!

                      Beached as bro. If you go onto youtube its either under beached as or beached az. Its a cartoon, not particularly great graphics but a while series of them popped up on youtube and got a following. I don’t know if the crew your husband worked with were maori but if they were, then he will recognise the style of talking. There is one beached az cartoon called “ghost chips” you won’t get the joke unless you youtube “ghost chips” and pick the one called “legend” which was an ad campaign run here since late last year that went viral. Its a bit of a stereotype humour thing.

    • Well said, long and short Dizzy.

  17. I love the concept too and it inspires me every day that there are so many here who just keep going on (and don’t quit after one big purge, but show up every single day – or every week.)
    I’m not decluttering literally every day, but I’m decluttering more than two days a week – often about 2-5 items at once, so I think, I’m doing rather slow and steady as well. 🙂
    As I tried a pair of summer shoes for the first time in years last week and got two blisters at each foot, I think, I know quite well which shoes will go with today’s mini mission.

    • lol. and I thought I was the only one who got blisters on saturday, because I forgot over winter that those summer shoes are not for long walks… I ended up walking barefoot and got two blisters on the sole. ouch. But I will keep those shoes, they are still good enough for bike trips and the little walk around the corner for icecream.

      • Nope blisters are international as well, I got one from my tap shoes, should of worn my pink socks instead of the crappy knee-hi tights, guess what got decluttered today 🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. I’m usually pretty good on grammar and spelling but to be honest the title has never bothered me. I think I enjoy the site too much to have even noticed! I visit every day (in fact it’s the top of my list :)) although I don’t always comment, and I really do need to get back into some more decluttering (unfortunately work and other committments seem to have gotten in the way)!!! So keep up the good work, Colleen and Cindy! Cheers Judy

  19. I’ve been grinning my way down the Comments as usual; how I love checking in with 365 as you get such warmth, wit and humour. I’m normally a bit of a grammar nerd with a twitch about Less and Fewer and I hadn’t even noticed it in the blog’s title. 🙂 It seems so perfectly formed that “fewer” would just be plain wrong, IMO.

    I don’t have a formal process of one-thing-a-day but I have a thrift store bag always on the go. When an item is identified as superfluous, in it goes, and then the full bag is dropped off when I’m next in that area. I call it reverse-shopping; I go out with a bagful and come back empty-handed. I suppose it’s one bag a week, with the odd item on Freecycle.

    Of course, there are also bags for stuff headed towards recycling if they’re not good enough to be thrifted and if I have anything which I think might suit a friend or family member, they get first dibs.

    Candid confession time; I bought something for a very small amount of money at one thrift store last week, realised that I had made a poor choice and peeled off the sticker and put it straight into the bag for donations. I toyed with the idea that I should keep it in my home for a while to justify the money spent, then realised this was plain irrational. I owned my misjudgement and off it will go and raise money for a good cause. I wonder how many items spend their lives rotating on and off thrift store shelves and racks……..

  20. GreyQueen, Good for you for tossing that item right back into the bag. I wouldn’t have even taken the sticker off! The thrift store I shop at most does accept returns for store credit to be used that same day, but I have rarely taken advantage of that policy.

  21. GreyQueen, I bought 3 headband like things for my hair yesterday. I can’t stand the color of one of them so have already put it in the Thrift Bag. I am getting so much better at this. For a long time I would have had a discussion with Mom about this because she would have had a fit. I finally got the guts to just tell her that I didn’t want something and I wasn’t going to have it sitting around taking up space just to make her happy.

  22. I almost forgot. I had said a few days back that I was going to declutter the dresser that I was just given and then painted to put in my bathroom. Someone wanted me to let you know what my Mom said when she heard. Her response was, “I told you that you would decide you didn’t like it and get rid of it.” I don’t remember if she actually said that or not. My reply was, “Well, I tried it and it feels crowded. It’s no big loss.” I haven’t heard anymore about it. I can’t wait to get it out of there. I need to find someone who can move it out for me.

    • that was me… I wanted to know because I got rid of my bathroom roll-container-thingy which was annoying via freecycle the weekend too. (and I already making adjustments with good old tape in my now crowded bathroom mirror)

      I am laughing now. you thought she would flip and there she is saying “told you so”. mothers can surprise you once in a while, huh? seems like she is making good progress in your decluttering example though… very good for you. have fund getting rid of it! the best thing is the new spaces suddenly…

      • My mother is a surprise all the time. You never know what she will do. It is like when we moved here to Arizona. She had said she wasn’t going to move from our condo in Indianapolis until she moved up (to heaven). then one day after I had been here visiting friends she turned and looked at me and said, “I think we should think about moving to AZ.” I did a double take. This coming from my mom?! What!! And here we are. Of course, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t complian about it here and doesn’t compare. If she ever stopped that I’d definitely faint. Grin!!

    • Ha Ha Deb J, your mum is going to be the one nagging you about decluttering soon. I can’t wait to hear more of those stories as they arise. 😆

  23. Ideealistin :

    Whooho!
    Now I take a couple of days “off” from you to declutter the leftover paint by painting my kitchen and you go totally nuts … 😉

    • Hi Ideealistin,
      I think this comment needs a reference point. I don’t understand who or why they are going to “go totally nuts”. I have clearnly missed something. Please enlighten me. Enjoy the painting and don’t let those fumes go to your head.

      • Ideealistin :

        Over a hundred comments and mullets for adoption? I’m never going to catch up on this thread … But don’t worry, no real fumes, it is only wallpaint. And one more wall (this weekend) and I’ll be able to declutter the containers that have been sitting around for too long, too.

        • I am not sure if you understand what a mullet is. Here is a photo of a mullet (hairstyle). I was suggesting to Moni that I think I would have to adopt my son out if he were to grew his hair like that. 😆

          I didn’t realise there were over 100 comments on this thread. WOW!

          Good for you decluttering your paint. That one more thing out of the house. Yay!!

          • Hi Colleen – yes thread do go on tangents around here! I wonder if a mullet is called a mullet elsewhere. Or if they have bogans. Which are also called “Westies” here. (Because there seems to be a lot of bogans living in West Auckland)

          • we call mullets a Vokuhila, an abbreviation of the (translated of course) “front short – back long”. it would be a froshobalo directly translated. funnier than mullet, thats for sure 😉

            • That certainly has a ring to it. I wonder why mullet was used for this hairstyle. I actually had mine cut like that many years ago and it was called a Pageboy style them.

          • Ideealistin :

            Hi Colleen,

            yeah, I knew mullet. (I looked it up once when I read something about a „shirt mullet“ and I could not figure it out though I usually just ignore it if I don’t know a word and hope to figure it out in the context). I just skimmed over the comments and when I read about mullets and adoption I was pretty sure I could not catch up on this crazy day 😉
            Lena, I’d absolutely like to establish the “froshobalo” with you in the English language! It sounds as ridiculous as it looks and might possibly extinct this creepy species of haircut for good. Mullet sounds way too nice, doesn’t it? (Before I looked it up I thought of a cute little animal similar to a mole maybe …)

          • lol. I also thought of a cute little furry animal. I checked again and a mullet its actually a fish…
            as long as we have oversized girls in leggins, we will have guys with froshobalos. bad taste will never end…

            • I have no problem with oversized girls in leggins so long as they don’t team that with a lycra top as well. Even I wouldn’t do that and I am small. I asked my son about this one day while we were following two really cute girls wearing leggins with short t-shirts and he even said that is not good fashion.

          • colleen, if your son would really do that, you could shave his head at night and pretend it was the hairfairy. you are his mother after all. 😉

  24. Hi, Colleen. Just adding my two cents worth re less/fewer.
    I think it’s called poetic licence. Yes, pedantry would favour “fewer”, but you’re up with the best of poets and novelists by choosing the word that best “fits” and is “unpretentious”.
    So, good on you, you girls who have said the same thing in different words to Colleen. I come from a traditional English/ESL teaching background, and have learnt over the years that style has to have the importance it deserves, not a rigid form that is not always appropriate. Language can’t be effective if it is too “just so”, and I think the adage about “rules being meant to be broken” could well be applied here.
    But in any case (yes, you pedants, a “but” to begin my sentence with, or “with which I begin my sentence”), what comfort and knowledge we glean from Colleen, Cindy et al, and all gratis.
    Truth be known, Colleen, you choice of title was really to get your readers stirred up, now wasn’t it!
    Now, as they say, on with the show.
    Welcome home, Colleen, and thanks to you and all your contributors.

    GailC

  25. I love this website. I love hearing all the stories from everyone. How wonderful that we are from all over the world (I’m from Virginia – just across the river from Washington, DC, USA) and love to hear the different words you all use for the same things. Just a few southern phrases to add to what is shown above. If someone told my mom, we “used to do (whatever)”, she would say “Old Man usta is dead”. I sometimes tell my friends that my husband would squeeze a nickel until the buffalo poops if I want to buy something and he is not in agreement. (My dearest is a little more frugal than me but I am glad he is that way). And finally, love the word “mum” for mom. It just sounds so friendly. I read a lot of brit lit and love the turn of phrase from that part of the world.
    So, just wanted to say thanks to all of you for letting me join your wonderful website and I hope to get to know you better as we declutter our homes. Just a note: I am decluttering my office (away from home) too. I am trying to toss one or two items a day here as well as at home. This morning I got rid of about 50 pieces of paper that were no longer needed. Step by step. Thanks Colleen and Cindy for helping us on this journey.

    • Hi Maggie,
      I am glad you are enjoying it here at 365. The language differences are fun and I must say I have never heard any of the phrases you mention. I did like the one about the buffalo pooping although I am sure your darling isn’t that tight with the finances. 😆

      My husband moved into an new office at the beginning of the year and the first thing he did was declutter it. There was years of unnecessary paperwork and other stuff littering up the space. He made short work of that and added a few personal touches when he was done.

    • Hi Maggie, Here’s another Brit one for you from Lancashire way ‘Me Mam sed so’
      because your mother is always right, and I love ‘Ecky thump’ a nice way of swearing, or busier than a one armed fan dancer with lice !!! They all still make me giggle 🙂 🙂 🙂

  26. Didn’t have time to comment on less v. fewer, but when I first saw the name of the blog back in Jan. my first thought was along the lines of “less is more” which is a common concept. Anyway this is a nice very supportive of each other group, and we don’t need any “grammar police”–the quilters say “No Quilt Police Allowed”. In the US a mullet is a fish, and I think someone thought the hairstyle looked like a dead fish LOL.

    • Hi Nana,
      thank you for your opinion on this subject. As for the mullet it is a fish here too but I am going to have to google why we call the hairstyle a mullet as well.

      • Hi Colleen – isn’t a mullet also a type of fish? Have googled image of them and they don’t look very bogan to me……

        • Hi Moni, yes a mullet is a type of fish. I also googled mullet (the hairstyle) and they did show some very acceptable version I must admit. I guess some mullets are cute and some are hideous depending on how bogan the person is in the first place.

  27. For me the error is not in ‘less” over “fewer”, it’s in the whole “1 thing a day”. Often it’s the challenge is not simply 1 thing, it’s a few things as the daily photos show. It’s not 1 pair of shoes, it’s 3 or it’s not 1 necklace but a bunch of jewellry. Technically it’s not only 1 thing a day, it’s a whole lot more and that’s an awesome “error” as it unclutters our homes so much faster. I also find that often the success of declutter 1 bunch of things motivates me to do 1 or 2 more things on my way to the bin/recycle piles.

    So thanks for keeping me motivated to unclutter 1 or more things a day 🙂

    • Hi Gail,
      yes I must admit that it isn’t always one actual item a day but a group of things at times. I can only imagine how many truly individual items I have decluttered from the beginning, especially if I counted every sheet of scrapbook paper. I think I might be up to at least 1500 things so far in that case. The mind boggles.

  28. The title ‘365 Less Things’ doesn’t irritate me at all. When I first came across it, I thought ‘I like the sound of that.’ It got my attention. ‘Less’ is more powerful than fewer. It’s also easier to say. It was only later that I realised that ‘less’ is not grammatically correct, not because I didn’t understand grammar but because that’s how I’d normally say for example ‘I weigh less pounds’ then correct myself. The title doesn’t matter as much as the content. We know what it means.

    The reason I came on to comment is that I’ve reached the end of my second 365 Less Days of decluttering. I didn’t declutter every day but was sporadically putting things in my ‘Outbox’ or thinking about what to declutter next or trying to talk myself in to being brave about sentimental things or things I might need, with the help of this blog of course.

    Just last month I realised that I was nowhere near my target of 365 things and started frantically getting more things out and also looking for more. I told myself ‘Never again! I’ll do it more gradually next time’ but it did help me to get loads more out. A lot of these I had already considered and that’s half the battle, the thought process. The thought of failing to reach my minimum target of 365 things was too much so it motivated me! The fear of failing was stronger that my fear of getting rid of things I wasn’t ready to let go of. I couldn’t have just done it without much thought. Now they’re gone and I’m thrilled that I reached my target! Looking at my list of things that I decluttered over the past two years (when I started to keep a list) I’m so impressed. Some are huge items, some a huge burden no matter what size they were. It’s exciting. Only a declutterer would understand! I’m raring to go and continue with the next lot!

  29. I meant to write ‘I’ve reached my second 365 Days of decluttering’ (second paragraph), not less days!