Friday’s Favourites ~ 22Feb2013

On Fridays at 365 Less Things I share with you my favourite comments from my wonderful readers and my favourite web finds of the week. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

Favourite Comments. Enjoy!

Loved that Jane has found a finical benefit in her new attitude towards stuff. She tells us about it in this comment.

This next comment from Hunter_xs was Cindy’s pick in response to her post on Wednesday.

Here is another testimonial from Jane on how she has lost weight by giving up fizzy drinks.

I just had to include this comment because I know how thrilled Moni is to reach this point in her decluttering process.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

Wendy F, after Jenny brought it to her attention, found and sent through this link to a PDF from Purdue University ~ Mindless Eating:  Why We Eat More Than We Think!

Here is a link to an article by Gretchen Rubin from the Happiness Project.

This next article was written by Marianne from The Spendwise Moms on the subject of clutter & eating habits.

Sanna sent me through several link last week and here is one of them from Just A Little Less.

Here is something to think about from The Minimalists.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter a filing cabinet. Once you have decluttered your accumulated paperwork and have become realistic about what you really need to retain in the future, perhaps decluttering your filing cabinet, or at least downsizing to one with less drawers, would make sense. The lack of excess filing space may encourage you to stay on top of the paper clutter in the future, having no place to store it out of sight out of mind.

Eco Tip For The Day

If you are going out to dinner and suspect you will have leftovers, take your own reusable container to bring them home in rather than request a throw away container from the restaurant.

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

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • Friday’s Favourites ~ 19July2013 On Fridays at 365 Less Things I share with you my favourite comments from my wonderful readers and my favourite web finds of the week. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I […]
  • Clutter or not clutter ~ that is the question Some time back I wrote a post ~ How many is too much ~ which addressed the issue of ~ what is clutter for one person is not neccessarily so for another. Last week I wrote a post ~ Over […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ One for the men Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Some great reading here. As far as file cabinets are concerned, I have been attempting to digitize files slowly but surely. There is a good chance that in the next few years I will not need a file cabinet at all; just a drawer for the most important docs. I can’t wait for that day!

    • Hi Tony. My hubby passed away four years ago unexpectedly. Between the two of us we had seven deep file drawers in two cabinets. It took a while, but I now have condensed it all into two small 12×13 inch latched file containers with handles. It’s been such a joy. They take up minimal space on a small shelf, and no more large bulky file cabinets. Good luck with your endeavor and you will love it when your project is complete.

    • I can tell you from experience Tony that it is a wonderful thing.

  2. Taking a break from packing boxes, and your blog notice popped in. Perfect timing! Awesome links today and I’ve only scanned a few but bookmarked to read in depth after my move. I couldn’t get this link to work Colleen: Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think!

    • Thanks Betty Jo I will check on that one.

      You could start a moving company, you must be an expert at it by now. 😉

      • Colleen that is so true. Most of the moves have been so emotionally charged and draining too. This past year and a half living with my son and family has given me the safe place needed to work through the remainder of my grief and to begin to discover who “I” am, and what I want to do with the rest of my life. Plus, each move has helped me to declutter more and more stuff. This past year I’ve learned so much. Living in one small bedroom, a small shared bathroom, one drawer and small cabinet in a shared kitchen has taught me just how little I actually need. The small two bedroom apartment my friend and I will be sharing will feel like a mansion to me. It will be a good experiment to see if I can sustain the minimalist lifestyle I’ve developed living in this smaller place. I believe that I can. . .

  3. The discussion here about avoiding buying things has been good for me. I’ve been trying to be better about putting things I want on lists rather than just getting them, so when my husband or parents say “what do you want?” I have an answer of something I really do want. And I’ve been focusing on using up food we have and cleaning supplies that we already have and avoiding buying food I don’t have a specific, near-term plan for. But, in the manner of a step forward, a step back, I really want to replace our aged refrigerator. The fridge door fell off a few weeks ago, and though we thought we put it back on right, now it likes to pop back open after it has been closed, and I don’t think the door ever closes tightly anymore. The door was open overnight, and for me that was the last straw.

    • The issue is that once we replace the refrigerator, the oven will be my new “most hated appliance”. Which could be dangerous…

    • Hope you can find the refrigerator quickly.

    • It sounds to me Rebecca that those appliances are perhaps unsafe and most likely chewing through more electricity than necessary. Keep a look out for companies in your area that refurbish used white goods. You can get some perfectly good reno rejects at these places that are almost as good as new.

    • Rebecca, could you investigate Freecycle to replace your fridge? I recently needed an “interim” washing machine when my old one died and my soon-to-be new one was still some weeks away from arriving in Australia. I found one on Freecycle that had only a minimal problem, which was annoying the owners so they got a new one. I am more than happy to put up with it for a few weeks as it will save me a lot of money! Sometimes people get rid of things for the strangest reasons – a small ding, wrong colour for the new kitchen etc and you might strike it lucky!

      • We have a kinda small, awkward shaped kitchen so the fridge has to be a specific size to fit. I think it is worth it to buy a new one that will be more energy efficient and hopefully behave itself. But that is a good point, I should see what I can get on freecycle instead of buying new as much as possible.

  4. Another great list of comments and links. ALERT: the link to Mindless Eating isn’t working.

    Gretchen Rubin’s list is good. A reiteration of what you say over and over here on 365 Less Things. I especially like the idea that you don’t organize first. You declutter and then what is left you organize (if it hasn’t organized itself naturally).

    Marianne from Spendwise Moms covers decluttering and weight nicely. I do think that there are many who eat according to patterns they have adopted unthinkingly. I know that growing up food was high the list of rewards we got. I think back to the way people ate back then and I realize that it wasn’t until I was much older before I realized that the eating patterns in our family came from being farmers and people who worked hard and burned huge amounts of calories. Unfortunately, most of us no longer had those jobs so we didn’t need those huge meals.

    • Rats. I accidentally hit post before i meant to. The article on Just a Little Less was a good one. Yesterday I was talking about meal planning with S because she was just diagnosed as being diabetic. She is easily overwhelmed and was stating that just thinking about making a lot of changes to her diet made her want to quit before she even started. I told her that if she started eating with moderation it would be a good first step. She was raised on a farm and eats 3 times what I do because that is how she was raised. I told her the size portions she should be eating and said to just cut down to that to begin with. Once we see how that goes then we can move forward. No calculations. No new recipes. No anything like that. Once she has gotten her portions under control then we will work with other things. You could just see her relax and calm down.

      • Deb J – one of my daughters was given great nutrition advice last year and to change one thing every week and by the end of two months…’ll have 8 better food habits and a whole different diet without going thru a lot of food stress. It worked really well.

        • Moni, I think that is a great idea. That’s what I am planning to do with S. To tell you the truth, I think that just cutting her portion sizes and dropping out so many sweets & Pepsi (she’s addicted to sugar) will really be a big help for her. She has already voluntarily cut back on Pepsi to one big glass a day from refilling it all day. I think we can eventually get her off it. The big thing will be the sweets. She has way too many in the house and eats them.

      • Cutting back on how much you eat can be difficult, if you’re used to it, as indeed your stomach can adjust to the amount you eat, so you might really not feel full after eating a portion that would suffice to nourish you.
        What I found a great way is to eat or drink “fillers” before the meals.
        Another thing I picked up in Japan. Almost each meal a day includes a soup (broth, mostly miso-soup) and a drink (unsweetened tea), and though it is served at once with the rice, salad, vegetables, fish, meat or whatever else, most people start of drinking some broth in the beginning of the meal. And both the warmth and the amount of water really fills you up. It’s rather low-fat broth, too, basically water flavoured with seaweed, soy or fish or a combination thereof.
        Of course you don’t need to start eating Japanese, but just to drink a big mug of tea before starting the meal (and drinking even more while eating), or starting of with some kind of low-calory soup will really fill you up and make you unwilling to eat huge amounts. I found, one can more easily eat lots of solid food than lots of liquid food at once.
        It might be easier to reduce portion size using a trick like that (however I think, each person has a different personal approach that works for her)

    • Hi Deb J, when I was reading Happier at Home by Gretchen Robin I wondered if she reads my blog. Her and I have similar ideas when it comes to decluttering. I had never read anything of hers until just recently so I didn’t get my ideas from her.

      You are so right about eating patterns. One of the problems is that people tend to like the pattern they are on and don’t want to adjust. For some reason I seem to have attuned myself to the idea that as I have changed I adjusted my diet. Not by what I ate but how much and for some of the naughtier things, how frequently. It seems to be working so far.

      I hope you have success with S and I think that is good advice you gave her. I am sure her doctor would want her to do more than that but more often than not, from what I have noticed of those around me, many go for medication rather than deprivation. So to adjust one step at a time is better than not at all.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if all who write about decluttering read each other’s blogs and get ideas from each other. The thing I like the best though is that your blog is more personal. Many of the others feel like the expert telling us what to do. Yours is more you sharing what you have done and opening it up for others to share too. I really like your way of doing things best.

        • Hi Deb J, I know Gretchen Ruben didn’t get her ideas from me either as her first book as written well before I started blogging. Like me she also isn’t an expert. Her story is from her own life experience too and she either harshly judges her behaviour or she really did need to create her happiness project to improve some of her not so pleasant tendencies ~ quick to temper and that sort of thing. She does however love to investigate studies on her special subject and use lots of the information from those as examples. I on the other had don’t have time to sit around reading much more than my own readers comments and producing the next days post. I mostly just write from experience.

          • Writing from experience is the good thing. I know this, I really like your blog and it is the one I will keep up with as long as you keeping posting.

  5. We decluttered the filing cabinet last year and then actually ended up getting rid of it altogether. Haven’t missed it. We now have one of those accordian files and even that is mostly empty.

  6. Great links today, Colleen. My church is having a yard sale next week to raise money for a missions trip. I am excited as I think that will be yet another way to donate my things.

  7. Thanks for the link to the Just a little less blog, it’s lovely. I also really liked The Minimalists post – so simple yet so true!

    On the topic of fizzy drinks/soda. I stopped buying anything made by Coca cola or Schweppes (which pretty much cuts out 90% of soft drinks!) because of the companies’ decision to oppose the NT Container Deposit Recycling Scheme. I’m not in the least bit political but this makes me so mad and has turned me into a raving greenie who is writing letters to Government!! Sorry to go off-topic, but my point is, that by boycotting certain companies I limit my grocery decisions to healthier choices anyway (and my kids know that they can’t have Milo or Uncle Toby’s muesli bars as they’re owned by Nestle).

    • Oh Loretta! There is an election coming up, this law should be nationwide. Which ever party supports its introduction in Australia wide would perhaps get my vote;) why not go further an ban plastic bottles altogether….

    • I am aware of that situation in the NT. Coca Cola & Schweppes ought to be ashamed of themselves.

      The coalition are going to have to prove they give a damn about the environment before they get my vote. So far I haven’t seen any evidence.

  8. Wow – I really liked the link to the Happiness Project. It is extremely helpful to keep hearing these things – keep them fresh in my thoughts as I look around my home. Truthfully, I have only decluttered about a third of my attic space, but I feel really good looking at the area that has been taken care of. It is nice just to see “space”. I think Colleen has said before that as you go along in this process, you become more ruthless and that is so true! I’ll look at something, consider it, decide I need to keep it, look at it a few weeks later and think, time to go!! 🙂

  9. Thanks as always for the links. Somewhere I’d seen the link to Rubin’s post about NOT getting organized and had read it. Wise advice (same advice comes from you). Declutter and organize what’s left. LOVE it.

  10. Good reads again, Colleen!

  11. For a long time I have been following your blog, I used to write as Tasmanian Minimalist, but no longer do and have let that site go. I needed a slightly more focussed direction, and your inspiration for me has been pivotal. Thus I have now begun, it’s a like your idea but is focussed only on my clothes and accessories as I have minimised everywhere else in my home, just not my hoarding in my wardrobe, or spending. Debts knock on my door, and I still can’t find anything to wear,m despite chucking money after the issue. Thanks for all you do, Francesca.

  12. WOW, There I was, just happily thinking about my decluttering, and decided to share the fact that due to changes in life my reasons to declutter (more) changed over the past few years.I.m not really good at putting words to paper, but i just saw I made it into the friday favorites. 🙂 Thank you Cindy and Colleen!
    BTW, we have started on the monster that is our administration, we are hoping to become better at it by digitizing most of our administration. (at 30 years old I still am horrible at paperwork). We don’t have a filing cabinet, just stacks and stacks of binders.

  13. I don’t know anything about that Purdue link – it looks like a self-assessment survey related to the same topic – but the Mindless Eating book I was talking about earlier in the week is by Brian Wansink. It’s fascinating and has made me really be more attentive to what I put in my mouth, and more importantly to think about why I’m doing it.

    Here is the Amazon link to the book itself: