Declutter With Friends: Let the games begin!

A guest post by: Nicole V

Do you know the word game in which a player begins with a word in a particular category (countries or cities, for instance), with subsequent players taking turns to say a new word that begins with the final letter of the previous word? Once a word has been given, it cannot be repeated and any player who is unable to come up with a word is out of the game. It is usually referred to as the ‘Last and First’, ‘Last Letter Game’ or ‘Last Letter Word Chain’ although I’m sure there must be other names for it. Well, I was thinking that it might be fun for us 365ers to try out something similar while decluttering, but I wanted to make it a more challenging game, one involving quick thinking and action and one in which anyone can come in at any time and make a quick play in real-time. I decided to throw down the decluttering gauntlet and wait to see who is the fastest 365er to take up the challenge. Here’s what I came up with:

1. I begin by decluttering three forks from a drawer.

2. Whoever is fast enough then continues the game by quickly thinking of and finding an item to declutter from any one category – either number or item or place – to play in. This could be either three items (but not forks) or an item beginning with the letter ‘k’ or ‘s’ (the second last or last letter of forks*) or any number of anything (that is not a fork) from any drawer. If you select the number category, you have to declutter identical items. So, if Colleen is the quickest player who is able to continue the game, she could then either declutter three bowls or one (or any number) kettle or spoon or a non-fork item from any drawer in her home. She will then update the rest of us in the online comment thread.

*In the case of plural nouns, you can use either the last or second last letter of the word to continue under the item category – in the case of the forks, this would mean that the next item can begin with the letter ‘s’ or ‘k’. Thank you, Colleen, for your input regarding this.

3. The game continues with any 365er who is quick to identify something to declutter and comment about. There is no need for the item to leave your home immediately, you just need to identify it and earmark it for decluttering (whether you donate, recycle, shred, etc) as soon as possible. But you have to be quick on the draw as the categories will keep changing depending on how fast another 365er declutters something and updates the rest of us about it. If another 365er has read the latest update and quickly decluttered something and updated the online comment thread before you were able to list your item, you’ll have to either:

(a) Recategorize your item under one of the other two categories, if possible, or

(b) Keep that item and jump in on another round or

(c) Quickly look for another suitable item that relates to the current round and play it before someone else does.

4. To keep it interesting, items cannot be repeated in consecutive turns – if someone declutters shoes, the next person cannot declutter shoes as well (and must find another item that begins with the letter ‘e’ or ‘s’) but the person after that can. The number of items decluttered and the place or room that the item was decluttered from can, of course, be repeated in consecutive turns.

5. Be as creative and imaginative as you can possibly be (or get away with!) regarding the categories and have fun!

So, with apologies to Effie Trinket, all that’s left is for me to say: “Happy Decluttering Games and may the odds be ever in your favour!”

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter something beginning with the letter T.

“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” — Unknown

Eco Tip for the Day

If you use a printer in your workplace, only print what really needs printing and print double sided if you can.

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

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. 1 pair of (t)ongs from kitchen

  2. 1 (g)ift from cabinet

  3. 9 expired OTC meds from (drawer)

  4. Oops…guess that doesn’t qualify!!! (even though I refreshed)

    (1) hair remover pumice from closet

  5. (1) set of seminar handouts from shelf

  6. (1) microwave dish from kitchen shelf

  7. 1 pair of pot (h)olders from kitchen

  8. 4 stacks of photo(s) from closet

  9. (4) CDs from cabinet

  10. Sorry I have been missing – busy with the summer gardening and power washing and just had shingles(7th time so no big deal).

  11. Pat, ha! I’m the one who’s sleeping. The (s) was for Nicole’s pot holders…just put it in the wrong place. However I’m not sure of the actual rule on this…when it’s a “pair of”, “set of”, etc. I’m never sure whether I’m supposed to use the last letter of “pair” or “set” OR the last letter of the items??? I’m pretty sure I’m not consistent on that…or if it even matters.

    Pat, I’m sorry about the shingles. Seems like 7 times is VERY extreme. I know it’s said to be very painful.

    • Just use the last letter of the item, Deanna. Anyway, good job on the decluttering … photos can be difficult to go through.

  12. (4) little blankets that belonged to our beloved cat from closet (lost her 10 years ago and could not part with them at the time)

  13. 2 (t)otes from shelf

  14. 1 (s)crapbook from closet

  15. 1 (k)ey holder from drawer

  16. 1 (r)uler from pocketbook

  17. (1) poster from office

  18. (1) Christmas book from closet

  19. (1) sharpener from shelf

  20. (1) stained glass window hanger from drawer

  21. 2 handfuls of party & craft supplies from (drawer)

  22. (2) reference books from shelf

  23. 1 pair of (s)neakers from floor

  24. (1) large box of gift wrap supplies from closet

  25. (1) storage container from study

  26. 2 pairs of ear buds from (study)

  27. (2) decorative pillows from closet

  28. (2) odds and ends from cabinet

  29. 1 (d)uffle bag from closet

  30. (1) basket from cabinet

  31. (1) ball of yarn from closet

    Probably apparent that I have cleaned out a closet (round 1). Hubby brought some things in that we needed to store, so I offered a portion of a closet in my office. However, his was quite a lot of stuff, and we agreed that we would get rid of an equal amount (which I have now set aside) but it’s not out of the house yet.

  32. 1 xray from (closet)

    My son broke his finger 8 years ago.

  33. (1) framed poster from living room

  34. (1) tote bag from closet

    I’ve been organizing pictures again. I hope I can get them separated well enough (his family, my family, ours) so I can get this perfectionism out of my head!! It looks like I’m ending up with 3 plastic boxes full. I so hope it’s “good enough.”

  35. (1) booklet from desk

  36. (1) small alarm clock from closet

  37. (1) chain from tool box

  38. (1) bulletin board from closet

  39. 1 (d)umbbell from shelf

  40. (1) wall clock from closet

  41. 2 (k)nick knacks from drawer

  42. 7 tee shirts from (drawer)

  43. 1 pair of scissors from (drawer)

  44. (1) afghan from closet

  45. 2 (n)otepads from drawer

  46. (2) wooden wall plaques from closet

  47. (2) mobile phone chargers from drawer

  48. (2) Tupperware containers from closet

  49. (2) medium storage containers from storeroom

  50. 1 (s)tack of pens from closet