Friday’s Favourites ~ 5Oct2012

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!

Grace from Brazil tells us about some of her unusual and sometimes unplanned ways to declutter her stuff in this comment.

Deb J has made an impression on more that just her mother if this comment is anything to go by.

I also wanted to share with you two more success stories on readers influencing others around them. They were both in response to Deb Js post about her mom. Lynn’s comment & Juhli’s comment.

I loved this comment from Anita. It is nice to know my eco tips are having an influence. Here’s hoping Anita has her way with getting rid of that second fridge.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

The latest Ted Talk featuring Rachel Botsman on Collaborative Consumption.

It’s that time again Buy Nothing New Month this coming November. Consider a pledge to buy nothing new or better still nothing unnecessary at all.

If you live with a minimalist wardrobe shrinking things in the dryer would be a bit of a tragedy right. Well here is a link that can undo those dryer booboo.

Here is a reminder for my NSW Australia environmentally friendly readers who wardrobes either need decluttering or revising the no guilt way. Raid My Wardrobe is on again soon in Newcastle with dates to be announced for Sydney and the Hunter Valley.

For those of you who think they still have way too much stuff check out this post on how the other half live. Mind you even these folks may have too much for the limited space they live in.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter something used for cleaning.

Today’s Declutter Item

With every computer related gadget you buy comes another set of cables that you already have an abundant supply of. These two found their way out of hiding somehow and were immediately decluttered. Who knows how long that phone cable has been hanging around clearly unused because it is still in its packaging.

Cables

Eco Tip for the Day

Any plastic bag that you do acquire can be reused. I use food packaging, such as bread bags, cereal box liners etc, to bag up meat scraps which I then keep in the freezer until bin day so I only have to empty my kitchen bin once a week.

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.

Comments

  1. Some great comments and links. The link about the laundry shrinkage was good. I also really liked the one about the small living spaces. If I had the money to gut and redo something we could live in a lot less space than we have in my book. Mom I”m not so sure about.

    • I was amazed by the link about unshrinking clothes. Who’d have thought that was possible. I rarely use the dryer so it most likely won’t be a problem I have to deal with but I thought is might be useful for others.

      The small living spaces articles always intrigue me. Even though we intend to go smaller I am not sure I could ever go that small.

  2. Buy nothing new… I love the concept, I just can’t pledge to it 😛

    I haven’t bought new (or even new-to-me) clothing since black Friday last year, except for one bra around Valentines day (when big sales make nice underthings affordable). I’ve only bought a few necessary other things, but black Friday is when I do my Christmas shopping and pick up a few new things for the year for me (This year I need button down shirts and jeans).

    I love the eco tip for the day! We recycle most of our plastic bags that aren’t the uniform shopping bag size. Those ones however become our garbage bags around the house. Although, our kitchen bag still gets “full” every two weeks, because our garbage is picked up every two weeks. Don’t want to risk a sudden influx of garbage and no place to put it.

    I also love the “micro-studios.” I’m the kind of person that would really prefer a closed off bedroom, but that wouldn’t necessarily add too much space.

    • Hi Amanda, I have often wondered about the time of Buy Nothing New Month, right before Christmas seems a little unrealistic for most people.

      Since I rarely ever accept shopping bags I actually buy compostable bin liners for my kitchen. However I rescue just about every other bag ~ from bread bags to the bags the toilet rolls come in ~ for other purposes including lining the other two small bins in our house.

      • I ended up collecting a LOT over the last year, when four of us would go buy 2 weeks worth of groceries at a time. I’ve only gotten one in the last month, and that was when a grocer was too fast for me. We’ll be waiting a LONG time to use them all up though, since we only empty garbage bins once every two weeks, and only have 2 or 3 small bins (we have three, but one is almost never used).

        The local dollar store sells 30 packs of kitchen bags for a dollar (and they’re scented!), and I figure that $1 a year for garbage bags is just fine in my budget.

        I think that the November plan was actually chosen BECAUSE of Black Friday and Christmas, to stop the massive haul people usually bring in because of that.

  3. Oh I love tiny apartments like that,sigh. That would be my dream home if I was single (and didn’t need a means to earn income by letting rooms.)
    The first few years of me and my husband living together we had a bed sitting room of 130sq ft and it worked really well, with a single bed we converted every night to a double from the matching bedstored under it. When a long standing lodger moved out, we did decide to convert their small room into our bedroom and it is good to have a separate room for a bedroom when there is two of you: I do like being able to go to a cool quiet, tv free room to sleep.

    • Yeah, the tv-free (and electronics free) really makes a difference to me. I had to sleep in the living room for a while (due to heat and wasps), and the modem light, the standby lights, the porch light we left on for our roommate…. it was far too bright. I ended up taping over the modem lights and unplugging EVERYTHING every night, but it was just too much.

    • I think that sounds more ideal Katharine. I believe there can be too little room but too much is environmentally worse. I look forward to finding that happy medium.

  4. I also save almost all bags (incl the one loo paper come in – I stuff them with recycled paper ,and then use them inside hand bags in storage). Actually almost all of the ‘trash’ is just plastic wrapping – and little trays (like in my rice crackers). Slowly but surely I’m accumulating less and less plastic waste! Thanks for the links!

  5. I’m struggling a bit with this weeks mini missions – I’m not very good at cryptic – would anyone mind telling me what they did for “adornment” “pampering” and “nourishing”

    “Covering” I’m just going to go with clothes – Courtney (younger daughter) got me to go thru all her clothes with her and we have a 90% outgrown situation thanks to some recent growth. The other 10% is clothes we got late Winter, early Spring (its Spring here). So as she is almost a complete do-over, I suggest we make a list of what she requires to supplement what we’ve already brought. I’ve suggested that she gets fewer than what she would usually get and see how she gets on. And because she doesn’t like shopping (I know!) we’re look on stores websites first so we don’t waste time and petrol driving all over the place.

    • Moni, I’m not sure, I got it right: I decluttered beads and sequins from my sewing box for “adornment” and some rarely used hair wax from the bathroom for “pampering”. I’m not sure about “nourishing” yet, I think, I’ll check my pantry and if everything is in order there, I’ll declutter some “mind food”, i.e. a book. 😉

      • Adornment could be Jewellery, hats, scarves etc. It could even be ornaments.
        Pampering could be, lotions, unused grooming items, or any indulgence items such as excess cushions etc.
        Clothing is fine for coverings but it could also be doona covers, table clothes, pillowcases, and old tarp int he garage.
        Nourishing could be ingredients in the pantry you don’t use enough to keep, or food items that need using up, it could even be hair conditioner you don’t like, or lotions that nourish your skin etc.

        I was nearly going to put example for those missions but thought it would be fun to see what the readers came up with. I will include them next time.

        I like the idea of you suggesting you get less items for your daughter until you see if she really needs more. Often we get carried away so I like this way of thinking better.

        • Colleen – yes several 365ers talk about capsule wardrobes – I thought that meant some sort of space age thing 🙂 to begin with but after googling it realised it is what my mum called a mix and match wardrobe.

      • You have got it right Snosie.

  6. I really liked the LA Times article. Smaller (and smarter!) apartments are not only needed in New York. I live in a city that has seen an obnoxious increase in rents and will likely get even more expensive in the future. However we looked for a new place for a while when BF moved in. But what we saw was not only expensive it was also oddly shaped. Build in storage unfortunately is seldom over here but besides not having any closets our 650 sqft are shaped pretty effectively. Now we only have to manage to arrange the furniture effectively too and purge more to really get this place in shape.

    One off question: Does any of you declutterers ever get the blues after decluttering a lot? I was weirdly touched after selling all the sorted out (brand) clothes that did not go to charity in bulk via ebay. So long I had been dreaming of not having all this sellable stuff around and drag it to the fleamarket once or twice a year (and drag big parts of it back home) and know that I still have to do ebay … So selling all the clothes at once was a dream come true (though there are still boxes of sorted out stuff I have to deal with and after that there will be more stuff to go through that I left untouched so far – so I am still faaaar away from my overall goal of a hapy medium, livable, easy, minimalism-inspired lifestyle.) However I felt sort of sad for some days and don’t really know what to make of it …

    • I’m not sure, whether that’s what your struggeling with, but maybe it’s just that that big project is done now.
      I had similar feeling with major book declutterings this year. I anticipated the whole process of ridding myself of them so much and I was busy for quite some time with it, but one day, it just was done and it felt dull somehow. The excitement was gone as well. AND because it was a rather long-term project (took some weeks), other clutter had already crept in the emptied spaces, my eyes were already adjusted to the new state and there was no “wow” feeling of accomplishment. I think I really should have made before photos in that case. I am about to make pictures of many parts of my apartment these days, even though there is no special project ahead of me. Still it will be interesting (and good) to see a difference in a couple of weeks or months.

      • Ideealistin – all I can suggest is that sometimes after an event I feel a bit down, a bit low and I think it is because all the excitement leading up to it, its the coming down the other side of that.

        As for decluttering projects, I can’t say I feel low after they’re finished, but that possibly is because there is another one waiting for me, and my decluttering projects never quite go to plan, so I am quite relieved when it is over. I can say, however, I have had some unusual reactions post-project – I become rather defensive of a cleared space and a bit stressed if something gets put in that spot later. My guess is that I’m human and a little bit crazy.

    • I can certainly feel a little anxious and ‘little girl lost’ after getting rid of a lot of clutter. I know myself well enough now to just ride it out and it goes away after a few days. And other times it feels a huge relief and the ‘weight lifted’ senasation.
      Fear of the anxiety is something that does hold me back from doing more at times though but I get there eventually.

    • I am not much help with this as I am usually glad to see the back of most things and just want to do a happy dance. However I imagine that you are probably feeling a passing of an era and that can be a little sad sometimes. I have told the story before about my son decluttering a bunch of toys once in his early teens and how sad he felt. Not because the toys were going, as that was entirely his choice but he could feel his childhood slipping away and that just took a little getting used to.

    • Ideealistin – Oh boy, do I ever understand what you are talking about! I’m actually quite relieved to hear that this isn’t just exclusive to me too!
      I’ve been an Ebay selling machine this past month & a half & while I’m glad to have have unloaded a significant amount of stuff (more about that later) I’ve found myself both relieved AND oddly confused. I just can’t wrap my brain around what the actual feeling is, but I don’t feel elated nor do I feel depressed. It’s almost like I’m in some type of emotional purgatory.
      This past month has been quite the whirlwind of massive decluttering & my emotions have run the gamut but yet it doesn’t occur to me that I’m decluttering too much or too fast – strangely enough, the decluttering “blues” have egged me on & I’m even more motivated to make nothing but leaps of progress.

    • Hi Ideealistin, I had a similar experience recently doing a really big decluttering in one week. I think it was partly guilt over the money I had spent buying all that stuff and partly a little sadness over decluttering some of my childhood toys. I rationalized that a little guilt over money spent will keep me from shopping, and that sentimental items kept boxed up and never looked at can’t mean that much to me anymore. I got over it and am back to looking for things to declutter. 🙂

    • hey Ideealistin. I know that feeling too.
      I recently got into an emotional state that I couldnt identify first. it was some sort of melancholic nostalgia (another decutter-round of the photobox the day before had some influence) and boredom.
      I figured out later that as soon as those decluttered things are gone, I have so much more time on my hands. and now I have to find a new way to spend it. so my strange emotional sad moments have certainly something to do with the fact that my life is changing. just like Liams toys were indicating adolescence, my new (minimalistic) lifestyle indicates my adulthood. and adulthood is still kind of scary.

      • Hi,
        thanks for all your input! The good thing: The “sad” feeling has pretty much vanished by now. Trying to analyze my confused, unexpected low I came to the conclusion that there probably was a little bit of everything in it. It definitely was about letting go of the past (me being more careless about purchases -which was wrong but sometimes easier than being aware and responsible and yeah, probably adult …- , me being more into fashion, more in shape …). It was some guilt over the money spent and some mourn over the money I would not get for the stuff some time in the future by letting it go cheaply in bulk. Also I think it was about getting a big task done and knowing I could not proceed at that speed and would need to be happy with baby steps again in the future. Also it freed the way to see all that is still left and needs to be dealed with. It’s easy to not see the whole picture at times (and probably necessary not to be driven crazy and be overwhelmed)
        One interesting and highly motivating thing I noticed when I had to count and describe every piece: It was 80 pieces. That’s less than three months when you do one thing a day! So it really adds up and is significant even if we don’t see the big box going out but only bits.

        • Ideealistin – I’m glad you worked thru it. This weekend I let go of some ornaments that I didn’t even particularly like anymore but was attached to them because I had just bought them prior to getting major bad news. It sounds weird but I was so happy when I got them and everything so was sad for along time afterwards I attached way more happiness to them than they were worthy of. Does that make sense? Anyway, I have been bracing myself to let them go and being all silly about it, and then when they left I felt nothing. I’d been building this all in my head. Who knows how long I would have kept them in my house, when actually I don’t feel anything for them.
          One less box in the garage. Lovin’ that feeling.

  7. thanks for the links, I spent the week in Munich and left my laptop at home. I love days without screens. so I am catching up again.

    there is a very uncomfortable feeling about this lady from the ted talk. she suggested reputation capital. turning all this beautiful ideas of trust, networks and people working together into the big economic language. my toenails roll up: I would rather have less money and more trust than trust becoming the new money. neoliberal thinking gets in everywhere.

    I loved the link of unshrinking the blue pants. I have one shirt that might work on this… I will try that soon.

    • Lena – you lucky thing, a week in Munich. Europeans have such great travelling opportunities.
      Do you subscribe to Midway Simplicity? This week he challenged his readers to screen free weekends – no phones, no tvs, no computers, no ipads, no smartphones, no ipods…………
      Just a little bit too soon for me for that one.

  8. ha, I had subscriptions for a lot of things, and soon realized that thats cluttering up my mailbox if I dont have the time for reading… (sidenote: isnt it ironic that minimalists and declutterer websites produce clutter and make you spend more time online?) so I unsubscribed to everything but 365lessthings… I will always keep reading this one.
    When I was a kid, I was a scout, and we had all sorts of trips, like hikes and tent camps and traveling around abroad, where we were never allowed to bring anything. but then again. back in those days, mobile phones were not THAT normal and you needed tapes/CDs to listen to a walk/discman. I guess its still normal to not bring any electrical device with you. I always enjoyed that, and besides my normal mobilephone (that I need otherwise I wouldnt meet my friends), I am happy to leave the laptop at home.

    you know the best thing is, I live in the middle of germany, I have 3 to 5 hours trainride into every direction for big cities. and I decided a couple of years ago, that I will visit at least one european capital city each year (this year I went to see Paris). if everything runs as planned, I will be done with my exams end of november (keep your fingers crossed) and then I will take more time to travel around on short trips. Amsterdam is next on my list…

    • Lena, we were separated at birth, well you me & Moni! I recently unsub’ed from a massive amount of magazines, online newsletters, blogs, email subscriptions, etc.
      It literally took me close to 24 active billable hours to accomplish that task – I know because I’ve kept count using a little time management app thingy.
      I’m nearly embarrased to admit I even had that many inbox/online subscriptions to begin with.
      No wonder I can’t ever seem to find the time to do stuff what with all the inbox obligations. Most of which were shopping related.
      Anyways, the select few subscriptors I kept are very near & dear to my heart – one’s like 365LessThings!

      • haha, thank god, I didnt count the time unsubscribing. I found that if I have time on my hands and feel like it, I can easily just find the link to the blogs in my favourites and read. I decided that emails are for personal things only, and I dont need reminder for anything unnecessary.

      • Jane – 24 active billable hours – heck! that’s a lot of email subscriptions!!!!! Wow, what will do you do with all the extra time that you are not either reading those or deleting those?

        • Here’s the thing…I would get an inbox full of newsletters, sales promo’s, followed blog update notices, etc…and would simply delete them all in one fail swoop.
          I never unsub’ed from them but took the low road by just deleting them.
          Actually I ended up deleting an ancient email account I’ve had for nearly a decade. It broke my heart, but I simply couldn’t keep all the subscribed emails, notices & spam from coming back – so I deleted the whole gmail account.
          Should have done that first & it would have saved my 23.5 hours of wasted labor!
          LOL

          • Jane – you have reminded me of an old e-address I have that I haven’t checked in at least a year that I should just delete.