Clutter right under your nose

Today’s Declutter Item ~ Make-up Mirror Cord

The inspiration for this week’s mini missions is today’s declutter item (see photo at left). This electrical cord from my magnifying make-up mirror has been a source of annoyance for some time. It gets in the way when I dust the space the mirror occupies and when I move the  mirror to use it elsewhere. It is a fine example of the kind of clutter that is right under your nose yet you do nothing about it and perhaps don’t even recognise it as such.

The mirror was bought when I lived in America so is made for use with 120v power supply not 240v like we have here in Australia. The thing is I never use the light feature of this mirror anyway, not now nor in the US because I don’t like the brightness of it for applying make-up.

So the question is why did it not occur to me years ago to just cut the cord off it and save myself a lot of bother. This sudden spark of brilliance only came to me a week or two ago at which time I immediately fetched  the wire cutters from the garage and took care of the situation.

One would think I’d have had this brain wave some time back when I read this post from Cindy about her reluctance to separating items that belong together as a set. I remember thinking at the time how I had no qualms about separating such things, like the extra attachments I was trying to find a home for that came with my new immersion blender. And the top section of a buffet and hutch set that I gave away on freecycle (I kept the bottom section to use as our TV unit. But separating a segment of one single object just didn’t enter my mind.

The point of this post is that not all clutter is obvious even though it is right under your nose. Also adapting something to better suit your needs regardless of how unorthodox that may be is not only acceptable but sensible. It never occurred to me that this small yet annoying part of an otherwise useful functioning object was clutter I could easily remove to improve its suitability to me.

So what do you have hiding right under your nose that could do with decluttering or, like my item, separating from it’s whole and decluttering the unnecessary piece.

Today’s Mini Mission

Remove any clutter on and in your TV cabinet or entertainment unit.

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Getting a visit from one of my Newcastle readers yesterday. Thanks Wendy F it was a pleasure to meet you.

“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

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission ~ Friday 22Dec2017 Declutter a couple of old shabby shoes that you no long choose to use.
  • Mini Mission ~ Thursday 21Dec2017 Declutter your fridge of out of date items or by using up as much as possible before adding more. With the holiday season here you will likely need every inch of spare space.
  • How little we really need Every time I go on a long vacation I am reminded of how little one really needs to live a comfortable and functional lifestyle. My husband and I often stay in Airbnb places when on […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I just had this realization last week. We have a duvet we love and use but the sheets and 8 matching pillows we have never ever used and they take up a lot of space! They are now in the donate pile.

    This morning I also cut the straps off the foam change pad. For two years they have been getting caught in the dresser drawers and we’ve never once buckled in our daughter to change her. Snip with the scissors and frustration gone!

    I think the reality is if you love something and are using it, it may not have that much value let anyways when you are finally ready to part with it. Letting it go now gives you space and eases frustration!

    • Hi Jen, I am glad you gave that foam change pad straps the snip. I bet you will wonder for a while now what took you so long. I had to move the mirror to dust the other day and I thought wow that was easy.
      I figured that I will be using that mirror forever so it doesn’t matter if removing the cord lowers it’s value so better that it suits my needs.

  2. Well, I’m not sure this falls under the same thing as your post, Colleen, however, I share here because of the ‘cord’ issue. I am constantly moving my laptop and the (hand) mouse around the house with me (no a/c and it’s hot and sometimes on the main level and sometimes in the cooler basement, etc) and the cord from the mouse was driving me nuts (I’m addicted to using a mouse vs not using one!). So I had a gift card/store credit to a local computer store, along with finding an item on sale, and I purchased a cordless mouse. I was only too happy to donate the other (perfectly good) mouse w/ cord to a thrift store. This action, in general, really goes against my simplicity ideas (replacing a perfectly working item with a new one), however, the fact that I’m so much happier NOT having to deal with that darn mouse cord has added a benefit of simplicity to my own daily being. And that is happiness (along with using the gift card/store credit and finding something on sale!). The gift card/store credit is an entirely different story (as I dislike those cards anyway). My husband had lost a receipt to an item he purchased at that same computer store, and he asked me to try to return the item (since I was doing errands in ‘that’ direction anyway). Without a receipt all I could get was a gift card/store credit. I figured that was better than not getting our money back at all (and having to donate or give away a perfectly brand new in the box item). So I carried that silly card around with me for about 3 months (hated that). I was glad to be able to finally use it to purchase the cordless mouse!!! It all kinda comes out in the wash, but just being more conscientious about consumerism and needs and wants is making a huge difference. Along with a lack of annoying mouse cord, I’m a much happy camper! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • I must admit Annabelle that I also have qualms about replacing one perfectly functioning item with another new product. Considering how little I do buy these days I do feel somewhat justified in doing this occasionally in the pursuit of simplifying my life or reducing the size of something that is bigger than it need be. That being said it isn’t usually me that does that in our household. Just recently my husband purchased a new cordless Apple keyboard for his Mac Mini. I have to say I do love the more uncluttered look of his desk due to the change over. He sold the used keyboard on ebay so I suppose that stopped someone else from having to buy new but I still feel a little bad that a functioning object was replaced with something new even though I had nothing to do with the purchase.

      • Colleen, Annabelle,
        I absolutely get your point of feeling bad about replacing good items with better items. Constant upgrading certainly is a bad habit. But I would draw a line between the things we feel like upgrading because of outer stimulation by media, advertising, others etc. and the things who sort of call for upgrading themselves because they are needed in our life but have proven impractical or insufficient over time. Change (and learning) is a part of our life. We should’t beat ourselves up for decisions made in the past (well, sometimes maybe a little bit). But the constant pressure to upgrade is annoying and not far from “normal” consumerism (meaning buying new without getting rid of the old cluttering up the house with all the multiples). I think the only way to break out is to opt for things that age well (wood, leather, stainless, not overly trendy …) and to develop a certain deafness for inner and outer calling that something is too shabby. It’s a real challenge.

  3. What a great idea!! I never thought of this quite this way. I have thought of things like you and your hutch but never something like this. I can’t wait to go hunting.

  4. I think it was Wendy B. (I hope, noone is offended if I got that wrong) who linked to a blog of a lady refashioning thrift store clothing. That got me going about my own wardrobe. I altered a few items I haven’t worn for a long time in a way that I like them better. It never occured to me before but that knit mini-dress that I lately felt somewhat akward in makes a lovely cardigan now! I refashioned some more items as well.
    Funny how it never occured to me that I could just alter an annoying neckline of a shirt I already own instead of buying another one.

  5. completely of topic, but I just had to share! I went through my fabric stash this morning and NOW I’ve got three bags wainting in the hallway to be taken to the thriftstore tomorrow. I feel so good! Getting rid of craft supplies has proven to be my biggest obstacle in decluttering and allthough I’m nowhere near the ammount I would like to own, I made a huge dent this morning. 🙂 Oh and antoher thing totally off topic: Our new washing machine arrived today and they installed it straight away. It is a front loader and it DOES NOT VIBRATE. Really not at all. the men who brought it left a sigaret standing on top of it to prove it. It’s on it’s second load now and the sigaret is still standing straight up. I even moved it around to see if did not glue it on somehow. Oh, The wonders of new technology.

  6. Love your blog! I think it’s so fulfilling to focus on maintaining a minimalistic lifestyle. I can’t imagine how amazing it must feel to free yourself of so much clutter day by day. If you ever need any ideas, feel free to check out my blog and how I’m trying to lead a minimalist life! xox