From the archives ~ Key #6 to simple decluttering in 100 words or less

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I think this is something my mom does–overthink. Because of it she thinks things are worth more than they are, thinks she might need them again and thinks of the money spent to buy them in the first place. She thinks I am impulsive. She thinks, thinks, thinks.

  2. I’m guilty of overthinking, which leads to stalling. However, I’d like to offer a tip on using that 2nd rate shampoo. Shampoo is great for cleaning sinks. Just a bit will do. It cuts through gunk and leaves everything sparkly clean. I use the stuff that has a scent that doesn’t sit well with me if I have to wear the scent in my hair all day. It’s hard to give away a partially used bottle of shampoo, so I put it to a better use. It does create lots of bubbles, so start with just a tiny bit.

  3. I use shampoo to clean our combs and brushes. If it will take the oil out of your hair, think how nice your combs and brushes will be. I usually use the old shampoos (little bits left in sample bottles) or add some water to the bottle that I have finished and the bit still clinging to the sides will yield enough suds for cleaning. This is a good way to clean out the bottle so it is ready for the recycle bin.
    Tonight, I am dumping out my microwave cabinet drawer. It holds all the odds and ends kitchen gadgets but the drawer is so full, I can hardly close it. I’m sure there are a few things in there that I don’t use anymore. Now is a good time to start my weekend projects. One drawer at a time.

    • maggie, thanks for the reminder, I will also go through the one messy drawer. I havent dont this in quite some time, and it grew and accumulated all sorts of things.
      Btw. I do similar things for the shampoo. once I dont get anything out of the shampoo bottles, by shaking and squeezing, I let a bit of water in and shake it well. for my short hair it usually contains still enough shampoo for one or two washings.

  4. Loving the eco habits! I turn other people’s vacant room’s lights off when I’m a visitor! And to think how much us kids used to think Dad was nuts for being so thingie about the lights – like father like daughter!

  5. Oh, my gosh, when my daughter comes to visit she leaves the light on in every room she goes in. My husband just follows her around and turns them off. She says it doesn’t matter but we are the ones paying the bills so it matters to us.

  6. Fly Lady had the tip to use a little shampoo to clean the commode on a daily basis. Just add a few drops and clean with the brush as usual. Avoids the harsh chemicals. Can buy a cheap brand in a scent you like.

  7. I’m notorious for overthinking although I have gotten a little better with age. 🙂 I use sample soap and shampoo for shaving and my sister uses it for cleaning.

  8. I read once that they clean Thomas Jefferson’s house by starting at one end and cleaning until the day is over. The next day, they start where they left off and keep cleaning. The next day, they start where they left off and so forth. I try to do that with decluttering too. Start with one room in the house and go from room to room and then start over and keep doing the same. That way they get equal time to be decluttered and cleaned.

  9. I agree that sometimes taking it slower, and doing a little at a time, is the better option when it comes to de-cluttering. Doing too much at a time can be overwhelming. When you are steady and keep working toward your goal, those little steps will add up to big results. I liked a previous post on this blog, where you gave alternative uses for some of our stock pile of shampoos, lotions, etc. That helped me a lot to find other uses for those items. I have always tried to just “use it up” (like you have mentioned) when it comes to items like shampoo, etc., even if I don’t particularly like it when I got it home and used it. Sometimes, I can find a family member that will enjoy it more than me and will take it off my hands, but mostly, if I paid for it, I will use it until it is gone.

  10. Love the Thomas Jefferson house style of cleaning. But don’t think it would work for my decluttering because I want to get rid of one thing a day regardless of what room it is in.