Day 86 Recycle & Reshuffle

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Nice to know I’m not the only one adverse to gift giving for the same reasons you mentioned.
    I have my gift wrap box sitting on the guest bed (as we speak) waiting for inspiration to purge. Most of it is quite old and never used. I guess that answers my question “keep or save?”
    I enjoy your blog. I, too, am on a 365 Day Clutter Challenge starting last Nov. 9. It’s been fun but I’m not photographing my items – just keeping a list of them. It’s been a fun game. My friend asked me today what am I going to do when I run out of stuff to get rid of. Ask me in November.

    • I hope you make it all the way to November with your 365 day quest and if you don’t then you have probably done all you need to do. Do you find that you no longer want to buy stuff because your mind is set on decluttering? And do you find you are getting more ruthless about what you throw away as you go along? Good Luck!

  2. In our family we are oceans apart (literally!). Therefore, we just give a donation to a charity in the family name. We all do it. Then we don’t have to worry about anything to do with the commercialism of any holiday where gifts are ‘supposed’ to be appropriate! It took us a while to get everyone on board with this process, but now we would not have it anyother way! Our holidays and etc are MUCH SIMPLER and HAPPIER!

    • Hi Annie,
      that is fabulous. That approach would make every occasion happy in my book. I had got to the point where I dreaded Christmas not because I couldn’t afford it but for the commercialism, the waste and the difficulty of not knowing what to buy. The whole pointlessness of it used to drive me mad not to mention the fact that it had turned from a Holy Celebration to a materialistic free for all. People going into credit card debt to buy gifts they could not afford. Oh, I could go on forever and I know I sound very bah humbug but with the new arrangement in our family I am actually looking forward to Christmas this year.
      So good for you for dematerialising and simplifying your special occasions!

  3. Juletta Joy Aycock

    I disagree with the idea of no gifts. At one point my Christmas gift list had 42 names; the mailman, pastor, siblings and families, teachers of our children, all Aunts and Uncles, gift exchanges and anyone who touched my life throughout the year. I shop year round and although most of these folks have passed on, I’ll never forget the look of joy on their faces to know they had been remembered. Most of the time it was something they would use (ie lip balm, note cards with a book of stamps, purse size hand cream….) I never expected anything in return. My gift is in the heartfelt joy of giving. We are all very different, one no better than the other. Just wanted to share a thought on this subject.


  1. […] my blog way back on Day 86 when I decided to find a way to use up all my gift wrap items that seemed to be multiplying rather […]