Five questions for you and five for me

Today’s post is short and straight to the point. I have laid out ten questions, five about you and five about me. I would like you to read, think about then answer them either privately to ponder on or in the form of a comment so we can discuss them between us. Maybe we can learn a thing or two not only from the answers but from the discussion they generate. There are no correct answers to these questions and some may even be irrelevant to you so just  answer them honestly. Here are the questions.

For you

  1. What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past? (This could be more than one thing)
  2. Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your latest decluttering mission?
  3. Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future?
  4. What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter?
  5. Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised?

For me

  1. Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way?
  2. My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique?
  3. Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t?
  4. Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place?
  5. Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you?

Today’s Declutter Item

Yay! Another use it up item done and dusted.

Another “Use it up” item

My Gratitude List

  • Something that made be laugh ~ Some of the antics of the diggers marching in the ANZAC day parade in Sydney yesterday. They were clearly proud and happy to be a part of the day.
  • Something Awesome ~ Having the family all together for a few days.
  • Something to be grateful for ~ Even though it rained for the parade yesterday we had such a great time honouring the service men and women that we hardly even noticed the weather.
  • Something that made me happy ~ How much my two children are proud of their dad.
  • Something I found fascinating ~ How complicated it was trying to put together what I thought were going to be ten “simple” questions. Even now I think they may have generated more questions than they might answer.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Your responses to Tuesday’s post I know that many of you have been reading all the responses to the ten questions on Tuesday's post but for those who don't have that much time here are a selection of the responses that I […]
  • A post from the archives ~ Ten questions Last week I received a response from deanna ar USA to the following archived post. Deanna is relatively new to my blog and is busy reading through the archives. Quite a feat given I have […]
  • Saturday Extra ~ A reader would like your advice I received a message on Facebook over the holiday break from a reader who would like some advice on decluttering journals. Here is her message :- "Hello I am a follower of your blog […]
About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. first time posting, so i’ll dive right in….
    for me 1) Not having the motivation to deal with it, and a shopping habit..
    2) Yes, yes and yes, no more shopping for leisure!
    3) Yes, definetly, no going back, EVER
    4)How draining clutter is, mentally and physically
    5)Bit of Both, but hey WHAT CLUTTER!?

    For you
    1)Yes, the mini missions really help with the motivation
    2)Initially i hade a huge declutter, something i always did, but it all creeped back and in six months i would have to do it again. I now use the slow and steady approach to NEVER arrive at that point again, so i am constantly decluttering (i love your idea of the donation box and have one on the landing, the kids pop stuff into it and when it’s full out it goes!)
    3)I always welcome advice!!
    4)Love practical advice!
    5)would love a tour of your home! snippets i have seen i LOVE!! I love visuals
    Love Sharron x

    • Hi Sharron,
      thank you for taking the time to answer the questions and sharing that with us. May I extend a very warm welcome to you here at 365 Less Things and I hope this will be the first of many comments.

      I am glad the slow and steady approach is working for you it was certainly an accidental revelation to me too. I had decluttered plenty of times before but this time is so different. I like that you have discovered “no more shopping for leisure” also that is the key to staying decluttered for sure.

  2. Thank you for asking!

    1. What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past?
    “Cool” things (thrift store junk), sentimental things, and bought-because-they-were-on-sale things.

    2. Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your lastest decluttering mission?
    YES. A few months ago, for the first time, I truly recognized that to reduce clutter, you can’t keep bringing more stuff in. I am no longer a recreational shopper (I just wrote a blog post about that!)

    3. Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future?
    Yes, absolutely. I’m a much more thoughtful consumer, and I’m very aware when I don’t *need* something, and I don’t enjoy shopping any more. I’m also less reluctant to let go of sentimental stuff that’s really junk…unless my dad gave it to me, apparently (and he’s living and very present in my life! so it’s not that kind of thing). That’s something I’ve only become aware of recently, and am just beginning to explore.

    4. What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter?
    I have learned SO MUCH over the past couple of years, but one of the most important things is that collecting is a form of identifying with objects, and collecting promotes a lifestyle of lack – you can never have ENOUGH if you are a collector.

    5. Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised?
    Having too much. Organization used to be a big problem for me as well, but I’ve grown into an organized person!

    For You

    1. Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way?
    YESSSSSSS! Truly, more than any other blog. Your Weekly Mini Missions help me to part with more stuff every week; they are a fun challenge that drives me to declutter more and more. I have been pushed to declutter items I didn’t even consider, trying to find something to fit each day’s prompt. It’s also great to put a little work into it every single day; it’s a regular part of my days now.

    2. My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique?
    I think many blogs subscribe to that style, but not as up-front as you do. Although I have done some major clutter-clearing at times, it’s the slow and steady day-by-day that is making the real difference in my lifestyle.

    3. Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t?
    Getting rid of stuff.

    4. Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place?
    I think it has to be a balance of both to create any lasting change. Both are equally valuable to me!

    5. Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you?
    I’d like to hear more personal stuff about you, what you’re thinking of that lines up with your clutter clearing. I almost always feel like there is some situation or information in my life that relates to my clutter clearing, and I like to share it =)

    • Hi Liina,
      I am sure I have said it before but it is fabulous that you are learning these lessons so early in life. You are clearly a very deep thinker (which can be a curse at times I know) but that will help you analyse and retain what you learn. I love that you have discovered that you are unusually attached to things your father has given you this shows that you are really giving individual thought to all that surrounds you and not just being overwhelmed by the task. Your focus is narrowed enough to see things for what they are and not so wide that you are overwhelmed by the size of the whole task. I also liked your answer to number five in the me set, I think the personal touch is what makes Cindy’s post so popular and I sometimes think I am starting to sound like the righteous nuns I used to dislike to much in school with their hell and damnation threats. 😆 Well maybe not that bad, but I will take your advice on board.

  3. For you

    1) I used to be too materialistic. I used to measure my worth by ‘things’. Not quite sure how, I never meant to and I don’t these days.
    2) I’d stopped buying so much stuff before I started decluttering but now I really do think whether I want to have to move something to clean it/round it or whether I really love it enough to want to move it across a continent/ocean should that be relevant. Sometimes the answer is ‘yes’ for non-essentials but mostly it’s a ‘no’ these days 🙂
    3) Definitely think I’ve learnt enough that things will only carry on getting better!
    4) I’m beginning to appreciate how memories aren’t caught up in things. This has really struck home now that my youngest is 2.5 and I’m doing a lot of work on getting rid of all the things she’s outgrown. It brings more of a smile to my face to see her baby clothes on a friend’s daughter than it does to see them in a box. Of course I’d love the skills to be able to turn them into a patchwork quilt but I’m just not that gifted. And I’d have to make 3 anyway! So much better to bless someone else.
    5) Problem definitely about having too much and not having designated places for it all because of that. I’m very anal and organised about all sorts of things! Have just instigated two simple house rules for everyone (including me as DH is tidier than me *sigh*) – if you used it, put it away and if you dirtied it, wash it/put it to be washed (as applicable depending on the age of the person).

    For me

    1) Your blog has definitely helped. It is great to track that the ‘one thing a day’ really does work even if it takes a little while to make a dent in the pile. Plus it helps encourage me and some days it is many things. But ‘slow and steady’ is a great way to do things.
    2) See my answer to 1)
    3) I don’t need any more advice personally. I combine you with Flylady who has some fab tips and I work them into something that works for me. But I also like your attitude to it being OK not to be ready to let go of things as long as one doesn’t apply it to EVERYTHING!
    4) I think I’ve just been lazy and it has been good to have a ‘kick up the bum’ to get started. I find that the results are continually motivating 🙂
    5) I can’t think of anything.

    • Hi Lesley,
      it sounds like you have discovered lots of things about yourself and have made some great changes over the period of your declutter mission. I know I am constantly discovering things about myself too. We would never make these changes if we weren’t prepared to acknowledge that they needed making so well done us. Being able to receive that “kick up the bum” graciously and be motivated by the results is a wonderful thing.
      Thank you for taking the time to answer the question so honestly for me. Hopefully they will help both you and me find more ways to improve.

  4. 1) Being bored
    2) I haven’t changed my shopping habits much. I do ask myself more often if I “need” this & I don’t buy items that sit around & collect dust. It’s more clothes, shoes,hair/nail accessories.
    3) I have learned from the past & constantly clearing stuff out
    4) I think it is accepting “free” stuff from others cast offs
    5) I think it’s from having too much. But I have a lot of friends who think I don’t have anything!!
    1) Your blog has helped me alot. It gives me ideas of where I can look to start decluttering that I wouldn’t have probably thought about.
    2) I do like the slow & steady point, cuz sometimes I think if you just chuck it all, you don’t really get a good sense of why.
    3) I would say I like ideas on both-getting rid of items & keeping them & why
    4) I feel I benifit more from knowing what the problems is for my cluttering habits
    5) You do a great job that I can’t think of anything that would make your blog better for me personally as a reader.

    • Hi Daisy,
      thank you for taking the time to answer the questions. I hope you learned a few more things about yourself along the way. I particularly liked your answer to #2 of the questions about my blog ~ “I do like the slow & steady point, cuz sometimes I think if you just chuck it all, you don’t really get a good sense of why.” That is exactly the main point behind the slow and steady approach. It is also good that you have managed to identify the accepting free stuff from others cast off’s is a problem for you, I hope you are finding the will to resist this weakness.

  5. 1) What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past? (This could be more than one thing)
    School… I had about six large paper boxes with just the junk of my high school. After I graduated, I downsized to 2; but lately, I downsized to 0. And it feels good! Also, a lot of my clutter were freebees: supermarket stuff (here were the “wuppies” (dutch weepuls) very popular and other junk that was given free.
    2) Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your lastest decluttering mission?
    Yes, I spend less (my budget also decreased, so it was necessary) and I give more tought about it beforehand, because if I don’t like it, I have to sell it – a pain in the butt.
    3) Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future?
    Yes, I quite enjoy the minimalism in my life now, I don’t want to go back. I have found that I love empty spaces. And also, I can live in much smaller rooms now, because I have less stuff that needs to fit in.
    4) What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter?
    I am not my clutter, or other of my material stuff. I am me.
    5) Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised?
    Having to much, but that came mostly from all of that paperwork from school.

    1) Did my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way?
    Yes, it taught me that even if I declutterd for 10 minutes a day (or week), that I had declutter, and that more stuff are going to a second home which will probably love and enjoy it more than I do. I have dumped my attitude of “If I do it, I do it in one go”. As long as the clutter gets out, then it is fine by me.
    2) My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique?
    See 1. Yes.
    3) Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t?
    Last. Less stuff organises itself (what also helps: empty spaces – love it! :)) and there are still a few items I should send to the thriftstore. That reminds me, I should take a bag and hang it up in my room. Every time I see something that needs to go to the thrift store, I can dump it in that bag. Works like magic to me!
    4) Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place?
    I like the second option. Perhaps hoarding is not the problem, but something mental. But, practical advice is always welcome. 🙂
    5) Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you?
    I love personal touches at blogs, and I love to see the daily decluttered items. So, I go with Liina: more personal updates.

    • Hi Nurchamiel,
      I know you probably live in the smallest space of all of the readers but you have still managed to learn so much and achieve your goal in very quick time. Well done to you. Your answers suggest that you have realised where your weaknesses are and have learned to deal with them to your best advantage. Good for you.

      • Thank you, I know. Smaller spaces are less to declutterd, right? Thank you for the insight, I have never realised that I realise that I know my weaknesses are.

  6. 1. Time: the more time that goes by the more we have acquired. Kids, they are amazing at accumulating at an alarming rate especially with grandparents/uncles/aunts/etc. nearby.
    2. YES! I really analyze my motives for the purchase now.
    3. I have let go of a lot of the pschological reasons for my clutter, my past is now more in my memories and photos than in my belongings (a great leap for me) and my mind chatter is less tolerant of disorder than it ever has been too.
    4. I recently learned that my clutter owns me, it is an anchor to my ability to my freedom (when it used to be a security blanket). I learned that the secure place I am in now doesn’t need a lot of STUFF to keep me happy, and I learned that all my stuff has a voice, and too much is just too noisy for my life.
    5. Both.

    1. Yes! There are some great motivators and inspiration in this blog. I like how it is possitive and thankful and REAL not just a bunch of vague concepts or instructions (which are good sometimes, but not as effective to get me going).
    2. I LOVE the slow and steady approach, it is the way that is working best for me with my busy schedule. As long as I am moving forward I feel successful, and that is good motivation to keep at it. Seeing your success at this pace gives me terrific hope that this is realistic for me too.
    3. a nice mix of both is working for me
    4. I think the best thing for me is being reminded WHY I’m doing this on a regular basis. Why do I purchase? Why do I keep stuff? Why do I want it all messy in front of me? How can I get over these causes and find peace with my space. There are tonnes of sites that cover closet cleaning, etc.
    5. I know it sounds silly, but I find the typeface a little jarring to read. I like when it comes to my email better than coming to your site (talk about being picky, eh?!) I really think you are doing great keeping the content real, positive, inspiring and helpful!

    • Hi *pol,
      it is interesting that you are the only one to suggest that time is your enemy in the accumulation of clutter and sometimes that is just the case. Even if we are relatively sensible when it comes to purchasing if the redundant stuff is ignored and left to accumulate you will find yourself surrounded by it eventually. So I suppose time combined with neglect of the situation equals clutter.
      Your answer to number 5 was not at all silly. I asked the question for a reason and you gave me your answer. Quite a lot of people are more sensitive to visual stimuli and see things quite different to others, I am one of those people and my daughter is the same. I will talk to my husband about changing the font to something more appealing. Did you have any preferences?

  7. 1. What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past?
    People died or moved away and left all their stuff here.
    2. Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your lastest decluttering mission?
    I’m making very little money at the moment; that’s the best way to stop irrational purchasing. I did spend a dollar on a St. Paddy’s bow tie for my son, but he wore it to school and loves it and since he’s 18, it’s now *his* clutter.
    3. Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future?
    When you’re sorting through vast quantities of other people’s stuff, it takes awhile. So as long as no familial packrats die, I’ll be fine.
    4. No realizations.
    5. Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised?
    I excel at organization–I just have too much stuff.
    For you:
    1. Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way? Maybe. I read it in Google Reader so I can avoid the ungrammatical title. I suppose it’s mostly useful to read other’s ideas. Cindy’s contributions have sometimes been more specifically useful to me although I don’t have an example at the moment. In general, I don’t think I have anything in common with anyone reading the blog, but I don’t read every comment so that could be wrong.
    2. Yes, slow and steady makes your blog unique. I’ve been slowly and steadily decluttering for over 25 years though, so I’m not certain it works for me.
    3 and 4. Neither.
    5. No. It’s a fine blog. I think I’ve read it for almost a year, so you must be doing something right.

    • it took a moment to understand your comment re the title – got it!

      • Hi Jessiejack,
        I know, I should have named it 365 Fewer Things, but there is no escaping my typos and bad grammar as no matter how hard I try my posts seem to be littered with them. Spelling and grammer was never my strong suit.
        When I am reminded of this error I am reminded of a passage from Stephen Fry…

        “The free and happy use of words appears to be considered elitist or pretentious. Sadly, desperately sadly, the only people who seem to bother with language in public today bother with it in quite the wrong way. They write letters to broadcasters and newspapers in which they are rude and haughty about other people’s usage and in which they show off their own superior ‘knowledge’ of how language should be. I hate that, and I particularly hate the fact that so many of these pedants assume that I’m on their side. When asked to join in a “let’s persuade this supermarket chain to get rid of their ‘five items or less’ sign” I never join in. Yes, I am aware of the technical distinction between ‘less’ and ‘fewer’, and between ‘uninterested’ and ‘disinterested’ and ‘infer’ and ‘imply’, but none of these are of importance to me. ‘None of these are of importance,’ I wrote there, you’ll notice – the old pedantic me would have insisted on “none of them is of importance”. Well I’m glad to say I’ve outgrown that silly approach to language.”

        • What a great quote! very educational- Have you ever read any of the Inspector Morse books? he is a brillant detective in Scotland Yard. One of my favorite parts is when he is reading a letter from a suspect or witness and he says to his sidekick-“very interesting information along with the 7 misspellings and punctuation errors” Of course I go back to search them out because I don’t even notice the first time through.

          • Hi Jessiejack,
            and that is because you were more interested in the story than the spelling and grammar. I suppose though that the same way I hate a messy house and can be a little judgemental sometimes some people can’t abide messy language. We all have our little pedantic traits.

    • Hi Jude,
      I can always rely on you for unique and honest responses. You have a way of stating exactly what you are thinking which makes me wonder why it is that you seem to have continued to be the recipient of other peoples castoffs repeatedly over 25 years. Somehow you are attracting this to yourself and just as easily one would think you could put a stop to it if you really wanted to. Maybe your biggest problem isn’t the receiving of these items but an unidentified reluctance to part with them once you have them. What do you think?
      I must say thank you for your answer to #5 ~ “It’s a fine blog. I think I’ve read it for almost a year, so you must be doing something right.” ~ You have no idea how flattering I found that response to be. If the title of my blog wasn’t already so entrenched I would change it just for you.

  8. Great questions Colleen and I have enjoyed reading all the comments

    For you
    1. What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past? (This could be more than one thing)
    I think a lack of focus and just the passing of time and lack of realization that things could be different created too much stuff. Too much fatigue sometimes has stopped me acting before in more recent years.
    2. Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your lastest decluttering mission?
    Yes. While not previously a big spender, I have definitely started avoiding the shops – if there is nothing I know I need, why go to the shops because I’ll only find things I didn’t know I needed before. I learnt that idea here. I also think about what I need to get rid of when I bring something new into the house and where the new thing will live as it needs a home straight away.
    3. Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future?
    Yes, definitely, I really like living in a more streamlined and simple way.
    4. What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter?
    That much of my clutter was stuff I didn’t even ‘see’ any more and kept out of habit hadn’t occurred to me to get rid of. I now consciously look for clutter by challenging why I keep anything I do.
    5. Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organized?
    too much but I used to thing it was I wasn’t organized enough.
    For me
    1. Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way?
    Yes! In part because you post everyday and have made it fun having other people to report back to and share enthusiasm for how great it is to declutter, which has kept my momentum up.
    It’s definitely helped me understand the different types of clutter there are (aspirational etc) has help me untangle what and why I keep things.
    It has also helped me focused of different areas that I wouldn’t have immediately thought of, like the kitchen or my jewellery.
    It has also introduced me to many other interesting blogs that I’m learning from in different ways.
    2. My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique?
    I enjoy your style and I really like the sense of slow and steady wins the race, though have found that I work in phases and that is fine by me. But it has made just getting rid of one thing seem worthwhile and that it will all make a difference.
    3. Do you need more advice about organizing the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t?
    I’m happy with the balance as is.
    4. Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place?
    I feel I am on top of my decluttering with the level of info and support you already offer so can’t comment either way.
    5. Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you?
    I’m not aware of anything I’m missing :O) I really enjoy your blog and it has helped enhance the quality of my life.

    • Hi Katharine,
      it has been a pleasure to share your declutter experience with you. I could actually feel your realisations and relief at times. Your answers show just how much you have learned along the way. I know that feeling because I went into this with no clue about what lessons awaited me and have come away with less stuff, so much more wisdom and some great cyber space friends. I hope that during my world travels I will get to meet some of you in person one day.

  9. For you
    What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past?
    Laziness, lack of overall organization, young children whose needs were ever-changing, too many items for those children, buying a house that needed a lot of work so the house was ever-changing and my time was dedicated to it, a feeling of being overwhelmed by the chaos around me

    Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your latest decluttering mission? I am much, more more consciencious of purchases.

    Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future? I surely hope so, although I know that even the best of habits can get lost sometimes.

    What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter? Cleaning the house is SO EASY when there’s not clutter everywhere, and I still don’t like to mop.

    Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised? Both but probably more about having an excess.

    For me
    Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way? Lord, yes, every step of the way. I got the idea to start a thing a day from you, and I’m almost at my year.

    My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique? Yes, I think slow and steady for decluttering, like weight loss and love, is better than “fast and furious” which often doesn’t last. In terms of your blog being unique. It must be, because I’ve read every single post, and I don’t read any other blogs except for a very occasional peak.

    Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t? I don’t fully agree with your premise that a decluttered house organizes itself. I think some organizing advice would not be out of line.

    Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place? A combination of both, but I think awareness has a more lasting impact on me.

    Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you? I think you knock yourself out, and I really appreciate your daily efforts. I think you should feature that Cindy gal more often. (Ha ha!)

    • Hi Cindy,
      I really like your answer to the first question, you were honest but you also had plenty of hurdles to contend with to cause some self preserving laziness to set in. No-one could blame you for that.

      As for answer no.5 ~ Be careful what you wish for!

  10. For any regular readers and posters who do not recognize me from my photo, I let my hair go natural then decluttered all my extra boxes of red hair dye, so that’s me of Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom, just with gray hair. Or, as I’m telling my husband, all gray but still red hot.

    Love all the comments. I wrote my responses before reading what others said. I would like to add that I like the dialog among the readers, and I like that it’s nearly always of a friendly and supportive tone.

    • Thanks for the photo clarification – I was a tad confused! Congrats on being honest and confident to show your hair colour and not let it define you!

    • Cindy!!! You look younger!! *knashes teeth in frustration that it doesn’t work like that for me* Truly looks lovely on you.

      • Yes,you look great cindy – the shorter cut with the grey looks really stylish and somehow energetic. Love the courage to go for it!

    • cindy you look so cute with the new color and cut

    • Hi Love the grey Cindy! Women spend far too much time and money covering up how beautiful they really are. It is just clutter in a different form. Simplify I say and that includes hours of disguising ourselves.

    • I did a double take when I saw the picture and wondered if it was a different Cindy. I like the new look.

  11. For me 1. cleaning houses for a living and not wanting to do it at home. 2. no, but never been much of a shopper. 3.yes 4. that i had stuff just hidden away in little nooks that i just didn’t know what to do with it. 5 both please. For you. 1. yes because you make it fun and a challenge to try to find something each day, guidelines are always good for me. 2. I like the slow and steady and than it doesn’t become overwhelming. 3. organizing. 4 practical advice about decluttering. 5. I love your blog the way it is. I like when you show little bits about your home (before and afters). I think everyone should have a gratitude list. I’ve been reading since January and realize I have a lot to be grateful for. Thanks for doing this, it is greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Colleen,
      Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions. You must be pretty good at decluttering as you have managed to condense your answers down to the bare bones yet got your points across very well. That is a good sign that you know how to minimise quite well. I think the mini missions are more help to my readers than I realised and the before and after posts make people feel that the is a light at the end of the tunnel and none of us are perfect. I am glad I have help you focus on the things you have in your life to be grateful for. It is very important to be able to see those things and then the things we aren’t so happy about can fade into the background.

  12. For you
    1.What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past? (This could be more than one thing)
    I think that the main cause for my clutter problem was keeping stuff, because I thought it was important, I might need someday, I payed good money for it, and so on. Anything that came into the house, never got out. And my husband’s bad habit of not letting go of things because he would sell them and never did.
    2.Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your latest decluttering mission?
    Yes, very much so. I only buy consumables and specific items that have been discussed and given very much thought before the buy. We buy less food to, because we make a list to go to the store. Long term items and knickknacks are the easiest because you decide not to buy, and don’t buy, because they are expensive. Little things for the house are a little more difficult, because they are cheap, but if I think long and hard before buying, I don’t buy it.
    3.Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future?
    A very definite yes. I have figured out how the clutter begins in my house. So when I see a spot brewing, I can immediately sort it out. And now, when I declutter a place, I find a place to store what I am keeping, which makes it easier to organize, which by consequence makes it easier to keep the house in order.
    4.What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter?
    Yes. It is time consuming. It always gives you the illusion that you are busy, when, in actual truth you are overwhelmed. It makes a five minute job turn into a five hour crusade, with no good results. It makes your house horrible. And, last but not least, it makes you want have a magic wand to make the house look lovely.
    5.Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised?
    Having too much stuff. Once the stuff was gone, keeping the house in order has become a calm and fast job.
    For me
    1.Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way?
    Yes. Your blog helped me tackle BIG decluttering jobs that I had been putting off, like my backyard. My office also got decluttered with the encouragement of your post directly at me in your comments section. It gave a boost having someone to talk to and receiving encouragement from many different people. And as I said before, it is nice to see that we are not alone.
    2.My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique?
    I guess it works for me as well and I saw that advice once or twice, but not consistently as you do. With two children, a husband, a job, and family, it is hard to declutter a whole house in one week. Besides, the very first lesson that I learned when I started to declutter, was that I had to think about my choices. At first I just threw things in the bin. Then because it never worked, I had to, at first, think if I needed that object and what it was worth for me. So I could consciously decide I no longer wanted something and would not reclutter it. So I could have a successful declutter story.
    3.Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t?
    Getting rid of the stuff, most definitely.
    4.Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place?
    I like more the practical advice about decluttering. We have so many objects in our lives that sometimes we don’t even realize that something is cluttering and is a bother until you read someone saying that he/she got rid of this or that because it was clutter. And you say I have one of this and that, and it is clutter! I’ll get rid of it now!
    5.Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you?
    No, I like it just the way it is. Not a big fan of changes. 😀

    • Hi Andréia,
      I particularly likes this sentence in your answers ~ It always gives you the illusion that you are busy, when, in actual truth you are overwhelmed. That pretty much says it all. I think sometimes that half of our exhaustion when it comes to unpleasant task is mental exhaustion generated fully from the mind games we play with ourselves. In the end we think we have been hard at the task but in actually fact all we have been doing is emotional wrestling.

  13. Excellent questions! Colleen, your blog just rocks!
    1) main cause of clutter build up? Buying too much.
    2) changed purchasing habits? YES!
    3) changed habits to not end up at square 1? Yes.
    4) something realised now but not before? I was trying to fill a ‘need’ within my soul. I was trying to live a life I had been brought up with (shopping, keeping up w/ ‘Jones’, etc).
    5) clutter problem about having too much or lack of organisation? both, over time, sometimes one more than other, sometimes neither (just a desire to fill that ‘need’).

    1) Has your blog helped me, and how? OH MY GOODNESS COLLEEN, ABSOLUTELY YES! Your blog is like my ‘new best friend/personal coach/boss/addiction’! Through your blog I’ve come (publically) clean about my shopping sickness, I’ve learned how deep it really stems into my soul, I”ve learned was to change my behavior and dig deeper as to finding other means of personal fullfilment (deep breathing, slowing down, etc).
    2) your slow and steady style work for me and make your blog unique? Yes. I used to be a GET RID OF IT NOW and by the boat load! But then I would just return to the cycle, buy, feel like I’m drowning, get rid of, buy, drowning, get rid of, etc. Once I slowed down (learned from you) and really examined the process, I really started to listen to your blog, your readers comments, and take it all in, and learn. The rush of it all was killing me, the slow and steady has SOLVED me! 🙂 (helped me solve my problems/issues and really look at what the cycle was and be able to STOP the madness). YAHOOOOOOOOOO!
    3) more advice about stuff keeping and more advice about getting rid of? Yes, both, more advice, more input, yes. It is so helpful. Even with the small amount that I do own (I’m not counting!), still I need constant help. I’ve also put this to prayer, and find that the less I own the more my own soul blooms. Somehow it is seated deep within me and decluttering is and continues to open up a new world, and helps me save tons of money, Too!!! 🙂
    4) practical advice or being awakened to initial problem? They really are two things, and yes to both. I have definately been ‘awakened’; and I treasure the consistent learning process for personal improvement.
    5) something missing at blog; something to better help me? I’m so amazed that each day I open this blog and find something to help me that I didn’t think was an issue. Somehow your work mostly parallels my own situation and together is wonderfully helpful. Just keep doing what you do! It really is fun to see before/after shots; it really is lovely to read other people’s experiences. THANK YOU COLLEEN!!!! 🙂 Blessings to you always!!!

    • Hi Annabelle,
      your enthusiasm is infectious. You throw yourself wholeheartedly into everything you do by the sounds of things. I can relate to that and maybe that is what gets us into trouble at times as well. It sounds like you have done a lot of soul searching over the last year and have come along in leaps and bounds. It is never easy to 1.) figure out where we are going wrong and 2.) to admit it and do something about it. You have achieved both these things when in comes to shopping and clutter and I applaud you for that. I am glad to have been a help to you but when it boils down to it you have done all the work so be proud of yourself and use those good feeling to spur yourself on in your journey. 🙂

  14. This is my favorite website and I read it with my sister and comment to each other everyday. Here are my thoughts on the questions.
    For You
    1. Main cause of clutter is buying things before checking to see if they are really needed. Some impluse buying and also some buying to make myself feel good.
    2. I have most definitely changed my purchasing habits. I buy no decorations, I have more than enough. If I buy an item of clothing it is with the understanding that I have to get rid of an item at home. I also only buy gifts for others that are consumable, like food, or gift cards for dinners out.
    3. I will never end back up at square one. Eventually we are going to downsize our home and less will certainly be more in a smaller place
    4. I have realised how much time clutter was stealing from me. I work about 50 hours a week and spent much of my weekend cleaning up. Now I can keep up with it during the week and can enjoy my weekends.
    5. My problem was having to much.

    FOR ME
    1. Your blog has been a huge help. I can tackle anything one item, one drawer at a time.
    2. Slow and steady works very well for me. It keeps the task from being overwhelming.
    3. I still need advice about getting rid of stuff. My main floor and upstairs of my house is done. Now I have to tackle the dreaded blackhole of the basement.
    4. It has helped me to be awakened to what the problem was.
    5. I cannot suggest any changes for now. I love this blog. Cheryl

    • Hi Cheryl,
      I am glad you and your sister are still having fun sharing your decluttering experience. It certainly helps to have a like minded person to bounce ideas of and to cheer each other on. You are a lucky lady and so is your sister. I particularly liked your answer to question 4 in the top group ~ I have realised how much time clutter was stealing from me. I work about 50 hours a week and spent much of my weekend cleaning up. Now I can keep up with it during the week and can enjoy my weekends. That says it all really doesn’t it. Clutter not only robs you of your hard earned cash but also of your time and that is worse. Clutter is robbing you or your time in two ways ~ 1.) by wasting time taking care of it and ~ 2.) by wasting your time earning the money to afford it in the first place. Wouldn’t it also be nice to be able to cut back on the 50 hours a week you work simply because you aren’t wasting your hard earned wages on stuff you don’t need. Good luck with your declutter mission and I look forward to hearing more about the progress you and your sister are making.

  15. Hi Colleen, I see there is another Pat, so let’s call me Ruby to cut down the confusion, if that’s okay. Here’s my feedback, only been reading for a week.

    part 1

    1. Illnesses, lack of interest in housekeeping, many other interests/projects (too many I guess).

    2. No, I was never a shopaholic.

    3. Yes.

    4. How much square footage of the mortgage it costs, how much ‘living space’ could be freed up by downsizing the clutter.

    5. Having too much.

    part 2

    1. Yes, though I am very new to this blog. The daily ideas help me stay focused and break things down into do-able little steps, and the archives and links to other resources have helped too. And I’m counting things out of the house, 172 so far. This is a good thing for me, to count my positive progress, instead of counting endless undone tasks on a to-do list.

    2. Yes, I am past the point where I can whip through a huge project in a weekend, and I would rather go thoughtfully through each area.

    3. I guess a selling-on-ebay tutorial would be nice, but otherwise I am getting the hang of purging fine, but will soon face many hurdles as far as organizing the remaining stuff without spending a fortune on furniture or organizers.

    4. I don’t need to be awakened, I am vividly aware of the problem!

    5. I am just very grateful you are doing this, and feel bad I don’t have any ideas on what you might add!

    • Hi Ruby (Pat),
      I was particularly pleased that you have learned to focus on the postitive ~ And I’m counting things out of the house, 172 so far. This is a good thing for me, to count my positive progress, instead of counting endless undone tasks on a to-do list. This is crucial to staying enthusiastic when it comes to completing what could otherwise be an unpleasant task. The attitude with which we approach a task will very much influence the outcome and certainly the state of mind in which we find ourselves as we carry it out. Good for you!

  16. What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past? (This could be more than one thing)
    I think my biggest challenge is buying something that “will do” rather than holding out for something that is exactly what I need – especially when it comes to clothes. The other thing is not knowing how to get rid of/donate little knick knacks that aren’t recyclable but aren’t worth Goodwill’s time.
    Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your latest decluttering mission?
    Definitely. I think the most telling example of this is that I received a $100 gift card to an entire shopping center and am having a hard time figuring out what to do with it (tried to get prescriptions and printing with it but they don’t accept the card of course). This includes lots of clothing shops, but nothing exactly what I’m looking for so it’s still in my wallet.
    Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future?
    I definitely think so. I evaluate each purchase now and have done my best to curb my bad habits. My motivation, surprisingly enough, is “clutter” – a knick knack from my grandfather’s house (of which half the contents ended up in my parents garage because my mom has a hard time getting rid of ANYTHING): it’s a reminder of what I don’t want to happen to my family when I die.
    What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter?
    I’m not really happy with anything in my wardrobe, and until I figure that out it will continue to be a black hole (although I must mention that I have waaaaay less clothes than most people, having thrown out everything that doesn’t fit).
    Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised?
    I think it’s a combination of both – I’m living with dorm furniture at the moment so it’s not my optimal organizational style. I think something interesting to tackle would be how to infuse color in a room where you can’t paint if you no longer have need for bulky furniture.

    Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way?
    I love the mini-missions, they’ll point out something in my life that I had overlooked and give me the confidence to just let it go.
    My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique?
    I definitely started out with a whirlwind, and that was great for me as I was itchy to make and see a difference. That has subsided but I still have a long way to go. From here on out it’s making lifestyle changes.
    Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t? Definitely getting rid of the stuff you aren’t. Someone said it above, but things magically organize themselves when there’s less to clutter up a space.
    Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place?
    I benefit more from the psychological aspect of clutter and why we feel the need to buy things which do not impact our ability to survive.
    Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you?
    Nope, I think you’re doing a great job!

    • Hi Katie,
      you appear to be a new commenter here and I must admit it is getting more and more difficult to tell the difference so If you aren’t new ignore the next thing I am about to write. If you are new I would like to extend to you the warmest of welcomes and hope that you are enjoying what you read here and it is helping you in some way.

      Either way, thank you for taking the time to answer the questions, your responses were very interesting and I particularly your take on #2 and #4 on the For Me list….

      2. Q. My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique?
      A. I definitely started out with a whirlwind, and that was great for me as I was itchy to make and see a difference. That has subsided but I still have a long way to go. From here on out it’s making lifestyle changes.

      You are so right here it is not a finite task it is a lifestyle change just like dieting. If you don’t keep up the good habits you are going to end up back at square one so instead of dieting or decluttering one needs to make permanent lifestyle changes.

      4. Q. Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place?
      A. I benefit more from the psychological aspect of clutter and why we feel the need to buy things which do not impact our ability to survive.

      You have hit the nail right on the head here too. The clutter doesn’t just miraculously appear in our homes we make the choice to add it. If we can figure out what drives as to make poor choices we have a good chance to change our ways.

  17. 1. What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past? Adopting four newborns in five years in addition to two biological children already in the home; living in a rural area which encourages a mentality of buying in bulk or holding on to things “just in case”; copying my mom’s way of living, decorating, shopping without realizing I was doing it. I feel like at 46, I’m just now discovering the real me!

    2. Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your latest decluttering mission? Realizing my husband and I could reduce or eliminate debts, that we didn’t have to be buried in debt like everyone we knew, started me on the path of changing my purchasing habits. Realizing I really disliked shopping and that it was okay to dislike it has changed what I buy and how often I go to the store. I have always had an aversion to clutter but now, even hidden clutter bugs me so I buy pretty much only necessities.

    3. Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future? Having several small children at once contributed to me getting buried under clutter. I had two in diapers more than once, was sleep deprived and down right exhausted with just daily living. As a child, my room was always organized and clean so, as an adult, it wasn’t so much learning about my clutter habits as it was reaching a point in life where I had time, energy, and could focus on something besides babies and toddlers and teens. I do not see myself ever again being in a situation of having too much stuff. I have realized I have quite the aversion to things and stuff and this aversion grows stronger as I get older.

    4. What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter? I was more attached to certain things and more sentimental than I realized. My grandparents on both sides gave me quite a few things which I kept for years because I missed them after they died. I never saw my clutter because I was so organized. I never took the time to evaluate each item, I just made sure it was all arranged nicely.

    5. Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised? I never thought I had a clutter problem because I was ultra-organized. I even taught others how to organize. The great awakening occurred for me when I realized I DID have too much stuff and that it was suffocating me even if it was organized and neat.

    1. Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way? Seeing the photos of items you decluttered really encouraged me to dig into areas I hadn’t really looked at in years. The encouragement to do a little each day helped me to not get overwhelmed.

    2. My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique? I have read blogs promoting both “slow and steady” and “fast and furious”. I’m encouraged either way. I have used both approaches and they both work for me depending on what else is going on in my life, my energy level, whether or not we are having a yard sale or making a trip to the thrift shop, etc.

    3. Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t? I occasionally benefit from organization tips but it comes natural to me. I need a kick in the butt to face the situation, admit the truth, and take action.

    4. Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place? The practical advice is helpful at times, but I think recognizing the problem and realizing (through reading others’ stories) I can make changes has the most benefit for me.

    5. Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you? I don’t think anything is missing but do keep up the photos of items decluttered, the before-and-after photos as visual examples are really powerful for me!

    • Hi Lisa,
      well heck, you haven’t had any time to find the real you and for that I think you deserve a medal. You are a braver woman that I. Your story adds a whole extra facet to the desire for space around you. There are enough loved ones to fill your home you certainly don’t need clutter taking up valuable space. It is funny isn’t it, I grew up with four sibling and that was normal to me but the thought of having six offspring completely blows my mind, I stuggled at times raising just two.

      This statement was true for me too ~ I never thought I had a clutter problem because I was ultra-organized. I even taught others how to organize. The great awakening occurred for me when I realized I DID have too much stuff and that it was suffocating me even if it was organized and neat. I couldn’t have said that better myself.

  18. Whew! I wanted to answer these but began to think i wouldn’t find time. But here I am.
    FOR YOU
    1. Main cause of clutter build up in the past? lack of organizational items & my mother being a pack rat
    2. Have you changed your purchasing habits? yes, quite a bit. I finally have Mom convinced that we don’t need to have a pantry filled with a years supply of food and we don’t need 20 sets of towels “just in case” and other things like that. So we don’t buy unless we actually NEED something.
    3. Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future? Yes. For which I am eternally grateful.
    4. What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter? My mother clutters because she is from the depression era. I clutter when I am overwhlemed with too much to do. I am much better at time management now.
    5. Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised? Having too much. I’m in the process of culling books. We have too many again. We like to have some well loved ones on hand for when we run out of other things to read but I don’t want too many.
    FOR ME
    1. Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way? It keeps me reminded of why I am doing this and also reminds me of places I might have forgotten over time. I also like to read other’s ideas and responses.
    2. My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique? Your blod is definitely unique. I like the one thing a day plan for many people. For some there is the need to do one big “regurgitation” of stuff and then refine it slowly. But for many, it is a matter of giving some thought to one thing or one small area at a time.
    3. Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t? Not really but I think many do. I like what you are doing.
    4. Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place? I think people need both.
    5. Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you? Can’t think of anything at the moment.

    • Hi Deb J,
      thanks for your input, I particularly liked your response to FOR YOU question 3 ~ That is exactly I would say to a question like that. Your clutter situation is fairly unique among the readers here in so much as your clutter problems have been inflicted upon you rather than having caused them yourself. That can be a much more difficult problem to solve but I have seen you making progress over time and I congratulate you for that as I am sure it hasn’t been an easy task. Your diplomatic skills must me highly enhanced by now. 😉

  19. I’m late to the party, but here is my two cents’ worth.

    For you

    1. What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past? (This could be more than one thing) A lot of reasons: large house with lots of storage space, husband and I both pack rats (partly because our childhoods were both relatively poor and we grew up with the “it could come in handy in the future), volunteer work with lots of paperwork, a closed-down business which meant we took everything home with us – equipment, supplies, and paperwork, a parent whose belongings ended up at our home, a child with illness which meant limited time & energy for me to deal with all the stuff.
    2. Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your latest decluttering mission? Yes. I was never a big shopper except second hand clothing and books. I rarely buy either anymore. I also avoid going to stores unless I need something, and I just get that thing and leave. And I like it better that way!
    3. Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future? Yes.
    4. What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter? That it will require constant appraisal of items to avoid the clutter creeping in again – decluttering is not just a one-time event.
    5. Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised? Having too much.

    For me

    1. Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way? Yes, yes, and yes again. I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was to hear someone else express the “slow & steady” process. Everything I read previously about decluttering was about taking a week and ignoring feeding your family and having baths and life in general and just get in there and get ‘er done. That’s impractical for most people. And it would have overwhelmed me even if I had the time and energy for it, because there would be too many hard decisions to make in too short a time frame. You made it acceptable to myself to just be me and do it in my own way, and you also gave a lot of tips about how to make decisions which I had been having trouble with. Finding your blog was truthfully life-changing.
    2. My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique? Yes it is the only style that works for me in fact, and if there are other similar blogs out there, I haven’t found them because I haven’t had the need to go looking for them after I found yours.
    3. Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t? I think I can organize fairly well, but it would still be interesting to hear how you do it, because there are probably lots of things you and your readers can share that would be new ideas to me. I think I have learned the answers to getting rid of stuff, but it also never hurts to be reminded of it again and have it reinforced. So – both.
    4. Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place? Practical advice. But maybe that’s only because you’ve covered the underlying problems very well so far, at least where my problems lie.
    5. Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you? Perhaps the organizing aspect would be helpful, but I can’t think of anything else.

    I think it was Cindy who added that she enjoyed the community and the comments here, and I fully agree. I think you are responsible for the lovely atmosphere and it attracts like-minded people for the most part, so it’s very positive and supportive and a helpful place to come. I have not come across very many blogs where the blogger answers every comment. That is really unique and personal, and gets people involved and sharing. By facilitating that sharing, you make it possible for us all to learn more.

    For all you do, thank you, Colleen, from the bottom of my heart.

    • Hi Jo,
      starting from the bottom up ~ I am always glad to be of help and your heartfelt thanks brought a tear to my eye. A very wise man once said that volunteering is not a selfless experience, the person helping is rewarded in just as many ways and the ones being helped and I fully agree with that. The pleasure it gives me to know that I am making a positive difference in peoples lives fills my heart with a warm fuzzy feeling that money just can’t buy.

      Despite my gratitude list, sometimes I don’t think I realise just how lucky I am. I know last year I had a glimpse of what it is like to have a sick child it was, as I said, only a glimpse. I have never had the stress of running or shutting down a business and never had the combination of grief and toil of dealing with the possessions of a lost loved one. And the thought of doing all that at once boggles my mind. The problem is that you must feel like you are forever playing catch up.

      I am so glad the slow and steady method is helping you make progress and that my somewhat no nonsense approach is helping you let go of some things that you were having a hard time making decisions about. If ever you need a little personal advice off line about the clutter decision making process never hesitate to send me a private email.

      I have to agree it has developed into a great community here at 365 Less Things and that is thanks to everyone who contributes even if only in a small way. We learn from each other, we support each other and we sometimes have a laugh and that sounds like a pretty good combo to me.

  20. I am very late answering this, but I love your blog and keep digging into your old posts.

    1. What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past?
    Keeping everything I once bought because I have the space.

    2. Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your latest decluttering mission?
    Not really, I never liked shopping. Decluttering came along with living a simplier life, going toward zero waste. But, my kids, 8 and 10 years old, finally understood how easy it is to maintain a clean and tidy bedroom once you get rid of all the unnecessary stuff. They even trade items with their friends (with parental approval) instead of buying new things. 🙂

    3. Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future?
    Yes, I finally understood that I need to get rid of things I don’t use as soon as I don’t use them anymore. No more keeping stuff just in case…

    4. What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter?
    That it feels so good to get rid of things! 🙂 Selling feels good, donating feels good, trading feels good.

    5. Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised?
    Having too much.

    1. Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way?
    Yes, yes and yes. You always have a positive attitude. You raise interesting questions, concerns, and that makes me think.

    2. My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique?
    Definitely. I love that there is a post each day.

    3. Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t?
    Getting rid of stuff.
    I hate throwing things and producing waste. But it is very time consuming to dispose wisely of each and every item that I don’t want anymore. It is summer break here in the US, and my kids are going to help me dispose of their stuff, a little bit everyday, until school starts again. They will take pictures, write and post ads on selling or donation sites., think about recycling etc… They are very excited!

    4. Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place?
    Both. I think it goes hand in hand.

    5. Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you?
    No, I love it the way it is. Thank you.

    • Wow Natalie, what a great idea for your kids to trade stuff with their friends rather than buying new stuff, how clever is that. I love the slow and steady approach you are taking with them over the summer and what a great learning experience that will be for them.You are teaching them well.

      You are learning a lot about your own clutter too it would seem from the answers you have given. Wanting a simpler life and the desire to have a less wasteful lifestyle sounds like a recipe for success when it comes to decluttering.

      I am glad my blog has helped you in your declutter mission.

  21. deanna ar USA :

    What do you think has been the main cause of clutter build up for you in the past? I was not taught to get rid of things, so I don’t think it ever occurred to me that I could/should get rid of any excess. Also, impulse buying and buying in multiples.
    Have you changed your purchasing habits since you have begun your latest decluttering mission? Yes, almost all of my clothes have come from thrifting for the last few years. And the last 2 years I haven’t even done much of that.
    Do you think you have learned enough about your clutter habits not to end up back at square one sometime in the future? Yes, but I have found that when money is a little looser, I tend to want to buy more. I don’t like shopping though.
    What is something that you have realised recently that had never occurred to you before about your clutter? When I have fewer things, I enjoy using them more. The more I have, the more decisions I have to make.
    Is your clutter problem more about having too much or not being organised? Having too much.
    —————

    Has my blog helped you with your clutter mission and if yes, in what way? Yes, I love it. I like your practical approach, your consistency, your caring attitude. And I enjoy the interaction among those who follow your blog. I read all the comments as I’m reading through your archives.
    My style of decluttering is “Slow & Steady” do you think that is a style that works for you and makes my blog unique? Probably. However, I tend to go in spurts. I declutter as I find things or think of things. Also, I read the blogs I follow and get really motivated…I usually declutter more quantity then. However, most days I read for motivation more than I declutter and, since it’s slow and steady, I don’t feel pressed.
    Do you need more advice about organising the stuff you are keeping or getting rid of the stuff you aren’t? Getting rid of stuff…I’m a pretty good organizer. I’m one that people often remark at how organized I am. Yet I don’t feel organized.
    Do you think you need practical advice about decluttering or do you feel you benefit more by being awakened to what the problem might be in the first place? Both, but mostly practical advice.
    Is there something you would like included here at 365 less things that you feel is missing and would make my blog a better help to you? No, I like it as is.

    • Hi deanna ar USA, I am glad you brought my attention to this old post. It was written quite some time ago but would be a fun one to republish. So I am going to do just that this Wednesday. I have added your responses to the end of the post so you don’t have to go to the bother of retyping them all again.
      Also, I am glad you are finding the blog useful and wish you great success with your decluttering.