Digging in the archives ~ Day 244 Recluttering ~ A guest post by Cindy Bogard

This little gem was written by Cindy before she had even started writing her weekly post. Any wonder I asked her to join me. She has come a long way with her own decluttering as well.


A Guest Post by Cindy Bogard

It’s bound to happen sometime; you’re going to have to break down and buy something. Before you do, consider these factors:

  1. Do I need it?
  2. Do I want it?
  3. Did I come into the store looking for this item, or did it just catch my eye?
  4. Would I be criticized if my spouse or family members knew that I had purchased this?
  5. Can I afford it? If I cannot pay for it now, should I buy it?
  6. Can I wait a week and see if I still believe I need to buy this?
  7. I am buying it “just to try it”? If I am, is there some other way that I could try it first?
  8. Can I borrow it or rent it instead?
  9. Can I buy it used?
  10. Can I share the purchase of this item with someone else? (Lawn tools, exercise equipment, a bicycle, or magazine subscriptions all fall into this category.)
  11. Have I researched this purchase? Is this item durable and does it do the things I want?
  12. Will this item be easy use, maintain, and keep organized? Does this item perform more than one function?
  13. Do I have something at home that will perform the same function? Will it replace one or more other things that I already have? Am I willing to move those other things along? Do I truly need to replace those things?
  14. Do I have a place to store this item? Do I know that it fits?
  15. Is it in a color or style that I will continue to enjoy? Does it fit with my décor or the other things in my wardrobe?
  16. What is it made of? Where was it made? Are the components healthy for me and the environment? Is it labeled for recycling? Is it made of recycled parts?
  17. Can I sell it when I no longer want it?

Today’s Declutter Item

More aspiration clutter out of the way. These were samples I dropped into a local handmade goods store for her consideration to add me as one of her suppliers. She didn’t even have the decency to send me an email to say she wasn’t interested. Perhaps she lost my contact details but I wasn’t inclined to go in there with the possibility of being humiliated to my face which was why I left them for her to mull over in the first place. Perhaps this says more about my lack of confidence than her possible lack of manners.

Craft Samples

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. Before you throw those things away, I would go in and talk to the lady again. Maybe there was another reason that you don’t know. There is still a possibility if you try. Let her say no to you in person. Harry Potter was rejected several times before someone was willing to publish it. Maybe you will be the next billionaire!

    • Hi Spendwisemom,
      I wasn’t throwing these things out they were the samples that I took to her a while back. They are already decluttered to her shop. I waited to hear back from her before posting the photo but it never happened.
      I know what you are saying but for some reason I have a problem with handling rejection on this one.

  2. I would also go back to followup – that happened to me also but then I was the “shopowner” . I was to followup with someone but my phone died after it fell into a coffee puddle in my car cupholder and I lost all my contact numbers–I had no way to call someone that I wanted to get in touch with in a positive way!!

    • The thought had crossed my mind that she could have lost my contact details. I just have a real mental block on being rejected face to face. It has been so long ago now that she probably wouldn’t even remember me.

  3. Those are beautiful and you should definitely follow up. After all, we have just gotten through the most frantic of holidays and you have no idea what was going on in her world since you gave her the option of using you as a supplier.

    I am going soooo slowly in decluttering and seem to be adding more than I am moving out the door. Of course, Christmas contributes to this, but I am going to go back to your one thing a day and see what happens. Today, I went into the basement to store the Christmas wreath and saw (for the 1000th time!) a box of ugly old ornaments that we haven’t used since we moved in. They have been sitting on the floor at the bottom of the stairs for over six years. Time for them to go. Those are my one declutter item for today, although a lot of cardboard boxes from Christmas will also be going into the recycle for pick up tomorrow. Does that count?

    Anyway, go back and check with her. I’m sure it’s her and not you!

    • Hi Chelle,
      decluttering is just one of those things you have to commit yourself to or not. Maybe you just aren’t ready. This really is a lifestyle change not just a springclean. When I began my quest to declutter the 365 things I was absolutely ready and I have never missed a beat. Stopping and starting was what I had done in the past and it doesn’t work. Although my home was reasonably uncluttered, yet I wouldn’t call my new attitude minimalism, there is certainly a difference to the volume of stuff we used to own and what we have now. And for the most part for everything that comes in something else leaves while at the same time I continue to declutter. Anything the goes out that is replaced by something else ( usually broken or used up things) is not counted as one of my decluttered items of the day because it has been replaced therefore it isn’t actually decluttered. That’s just maintenance.

      So Chelle it is just a case that everything has to be in alignment for this to work. You have to be committed to reducing your stuff or you are just going to find yourself going around and around in circles. It doesn’t have to be a thing a day it just needs to reasonably constant.

      Good luck, I hope this time you will be able to stick to a continuous outflow of stuff going out that far exceeds the amount of stuff coming in.

  4. I agree with the three comments above Colleen. Go Colleen Go!

  5. Great post Cindy – and a lot of what I’m saying to myself (without even realizing). I won’t buy something til I know it fits where I want to put it. I have a notebook/journal in my handbag with measurements I think I’ll need – it’s not easy to find a ‘skinny’ drying rack. But then I know I can just lay things on a tea towel for now… Or put them in the (currently) unused dishwasher to ‘drain’.

    It doesn’t even frustrate me that my shopping missions seldom results in many purchases. At least I know when I buy something, it’s right for me, and my house.

    • Brilliant Snosie, you have got it right. You really get it. Improvise before compromise. Make do with what you have for the moment until just the right thing comes along. Wow, I think I feel a post coming on.

  6. Colleen,
    Go back, and check that shop. IF she doesn’t want them, don’t leave them with her! Your stuff looks good, and there are other shops out there, or start a stall of your own. Confidence? You were brave enough to put yourself on the line with a blog, it can’t take any more to go back, and find out. Here’s hoping for you.

    • Isn’t it funny how a person can have all the confidence in the world with one thing and not so much with another. I was thinking about this last night. I married a man who has a job that moves him around the country/world and was happy to throw myself in with that deal even though I had lived at home with my parents until that point. And as you say I was happy to put myself out there in the public eye with my blog regardless of the possibility of rejection and or ridicule. I have even taken on radio interviews regardless of the fear of putting my foot in my mouth. I have, several times, thrown myself into a new work situation that I wasn’t familiar with. And yet this thing I am unwilling to expose myself to rejection for. Go figure.

  7. Cindy,
    A well-timed reminder! I “fell in” only yesterday, bought an “ideal” blouse from the Warehouse without trying it on (tired and hot). Did last night, and oh dear, “ideal” until wrapped around me, definitely not a “wearer”. I’ll take it back.

  8. Great reminder Cindy, thanks. Loving these archive pieces.

    Ok, anyone else joining me in taking a Christmas pressie they received to the charity shop this week. I really apreciate the thought behind it but the item is not my taste at all, so I am choosing not to put it in the attic for a year but let someone else benefit from it, and to make money for our local hospice.

    I have had a great purging day, removing yet more stuff from our attic that is now in the hall ready to go next week (most charity places shut this week)and have put a lamp and a clothes dryer on to our freecycle board.
    The final 4 boxes of my husbands stuff that have been in the dining room for exactly a year now are now upstairs in our sitting room ready for me to go through each item with him to chuck or store (started off with 40+ and15+ bags of clothes). This is a huge step forward. This is the last of his life time of horded stuff. Once these are opened up and distributed, then from now on, everything that comes in to the house is about choices made now over which I hope to have more influence!

    • Katharine,
      I searched through the archives to see when you first commented here. It was 21 Feb this year and what a long way you have come since then. And what a long way you have brought you now darling husband along with you. Wow! You are an inspiration. You have clearly made this a lifestyle change not just of purge of unwanted stuff and that is key to staying decluttered once and for all. Well done my friend, well done!

      • Thank you for such kind words Colleen, truely.
        This blog has been so very instrumental in that journey: because you are always here. I am not it seems by nature a one thing a day kinda gal; find the mood comes and goes, but this blogs constant presence means I am always keen to read and it has kept the desire to purge much nearer the surfice.
        I have also found it phenominally helpful to learn here and understand the different types of clutter we collect (aspirational, sentimental etc); this has helped break down all I own from one mass into lots of different groups and then access the right emotions and attachments for each differnt object. Such clarity has made letting go much easier over time.
        I have been up in the attic again all day, totally re organising what is left up there so it is easy to access. I’ve been really ruthless too – it is true, the more you do the easier it becomes. Today, I have finally let go of a small set of shelves I nade at school when I was ten, and haven’t used in 20 years but just kept them with me everytime I moved. Woohoo!
        Now that my husbands stuff is all stored away, I can see which boxes I can re visit with him every year or so to gradually help him get rid of more, because I know that much of it up there, is old hobby stuff that he will never ever use again. (Because he hasn’t touched it in the 9 years I have known him).
        Onward and upward :O)

  9. Hi Colleen,
    if you don’t feel like confronting her in person (which I absolutely understand, sometimes one just knows that one could just not keep up the appearance when treated with rejection, impolite or even unfair) why don’t you send her a handmade card nicely asking about her descision and about when you can come pick up your samples should she not intend to work with you in future? This might trigger her memory and every decent person would react to it one way or the other. If she doesn’t she is just nasty or sloppy or both and you would not want to work with her anyway. If she says you can pick up your samples you can still send your son or husband who “happened to be round the corner” if you don’t feel like confronting that person.
    I think there is nothing wrong if people who generally get by from time to time avoid a situation that they don’t feel fit to handle well. This is simple self protection. But don’t blow the chance that actually something good may happen. Maybe someone on the other end is just forgetful and/or disorganized.


  1. […] with a list, or avoid those stores all together until you are able to control your impulses. Follow this list to make wise buying decisions (starting with “Do I need this item”) and then complete […]

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