Growing

Wisdom Life“Either you’re growing or you’re decaying, there is no middle ground. If you’re standing still you’re decaying.

“What do I know that is absolutely, incontrovertibly true?” I sat there for about an hour and a half and all I could come up with is that everything changes. That’s all I know with any certainty. It’s all going to change, and flowing within change keeps us flexible and helps to develop a sense of humour about everything.” ~ Alen Arkin from Wisdom (Life) by Andrew Zuckerman.

What Alen Arkin says here is true, and one thing that occurs with change are different needs/wants. In my case change has caused me to want less things but in times past it had the opposite effect. And I am sure all you, my readers, have experienced something similar. That is why I write my blog and that is why you are here reading it.

As I have said in many ways before, that in order to remain uncluttered after these times of change we need to declutter those items that become redundant.

And as for that sense of humour he mentions ~ During these times of change we sometimes need to utilise our sense of humour in order to forgive ourselves for unwise purchases that we encounter during the decluttering process. Items we rushed into acquiring during a previous time of change that ended up not being used very much. Laugh at yourself, learn from the situation so you don’t fall into this trap again, declutter the offending item and move on.

Also, decluttering in order to reduce permanently and not just to make room for new stuff, is a major change in itself. Embrace this change with enthusiasm and pride. Living with less isn’t just about letting go, it is about simplifying and, as a result, is kind on the environment. And who can’t do with a little simplification in their lives while at the same time creating a cleaner world.

So don’t view this process as a chore, consider it a path to a better you and enjoy the journey.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter five small long time unused items in your kitchen.

Eco Tip for the Day

Return hangers back to the dry cleaners. Every little thing helps!

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

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


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Owning your life skill ~ By Doodle One of our long time regular readers Doodle has kindly agreed to help out here at 365 by writing a blog post for me every other Wednesday. Today is her first regular post although not the […]
  • When your hand is forced Sometimes when it comes to clutter it takes a major event to force you to deal with it. Sometimes we chip away at the clutter slower even than a thing a day, letting go of an item here and […]
  • Clutter Calamity! by Claire I received this story from Claire at the bottom of a long list of comments to Wednesday's post. It is a cautionary tale of a near catastrophe all in the attempt to save some meaningless […]
About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. Colleen, growing & changing are good. I’m to the point where I want so much less that I used to. It’s great to feel this way. I’m hoping that with my next move I will be able to get along with even less.

    • I hope this for you too Deb. The beauty of moving into a smaller place is that you have no choice but to unclutter to fit in. Then once you fit you find more stuff to let go of so your limited space isn’t packed tight with stuff.

      • I have been working on decluttering down to what will fit in a new place. I want to have everything done so that when I move it will not take long to pack up, move and unpack. Just thinking about it feels good. I did something Saturday that was new. I had some 12 year old copies of x-rays. I found them when the plumber had to put a new access panel in my closet. I had forgotten I even had them in there as they were up against the wall. I cut them up and put them in the trash. One less thing to deal with when I move. Today I cut the bedskirt off my bed and tossed it. I never liked it. It was sewn on the box spring of my automatic bed because putting it on the regular way wouldn’t work.

        • Hi Deb J,
          X-ray films contain silver in the form of halides, which can be extracted and converted into pure silver. I’m not sure where you live but lots of places in Australia recycle them. There are a number of scout groups in NSW that accept x-rays for recycling. Your x-rays can be slipped under the door of the scout hall at any time, or you can contact the scout group directly. Also you can post or drop them off to Quantum Technical Services or Ecocycle Australia. I think a really good recycling information website (Australian) is recyclingnearyou.com.au – you can search by product and state or local area.

        • Deb J,
          You are doing great working your plan.
          Will you have to pack Mom’s things or do you have siblings that would be willing to help move her and her stuff?

          • Kimberley, we have no family in the area but lots of friends. Mom and I will probably pack stuff up but the friends will move it all.

        • Hi Deb, that is a smart move. It certainly worked for me when we moved into our new place at Christmas. The move went very smoothly.

          Good move with the bed skirt. I hate bed skirts. They are just a nuisance when making the bed.

          • Mom hasn’t noticed the bed skirt is gone and she was the one who thought I needed it. Went on and on about it. In order to keep it on the hospital style bed I had to sew it on. It still didn’t look good in my opinion. Now it is gone and I am fine without it. If Mom ever notices she will have to learn to be fine without it too. Grin.

  2. I used to like to collect things, especially books, now I’m happier “uncollecting”. This weekend I went through and boxed up 40% of my books to go to the library book sale. Making some progress anyway.

    • Deanna,
      I read a comment in Karen Kingston’s book from a client that said something to the effect that she didn’t know there could be as much pleasure getting rid of things as there was acquiring them in the first place. Books are like old friends. I also limit what I keep. I even have my three favorite little golden books in my bookshelf and surprisingly, every so often I take them out and feel like I am a time traveler back to my childhood.

      I have used old book pages for giftwrap as well.

    • Well done Deanna and I like your term Uncollecting. I have uncollected a lot of things over the last four and a half years.

  3. I used to think that having stuff meant you were well resourced and prepared for all eventualities. Sort of like a grown up Boy Scout. Then I realised having all this gear was pointless because I would have to be able to find it amongst all the other ‘resources’.

    • Isn’t that the truth, Moni? We collect so much stuff “just in case” or “just because” but it doesn’t help when there is so much stuff we can’t find or access what we actually need. I feel that way about the tools in this house. We have so many yet can rarely find the ones we need easily. Sorting and purging are helping this.

    • That’s funny Moni. I like your way of thinking. The trick is recognising what is a resource and what is clutter. Everything is useful in its own way but if not particularly useful to you then clutter it becomes.

  4. I did then what I knew how to do. When I knew better, I did better. ~Maya Angelou

    This is true for me about acquiring clutter. Sometimes I remember how much fun I had escaping on Saturday mornings to visit my favorite 2 or 3 stores, usually bringing home some little treasure. Now I wonder why I needed that. Colleen, you’re right about forgiving yourself for past habits concerning stuff. I know better now, so I am doing better.

    Thinking about progress made – like having 1200+ Less Things helps keep me going. I am feeling the weight of two households now, mine and my parents. One thing at a time, slow but steady progress…

  5. Colleen,
    This would make a good theme for a week of mini-missions.
    Things that we have outgrown or no longer fit who we are or the age we are right now.
    I am reminded of about a decade ago when I decided that my current tube of red lipstick and red nail polish were going to be my last. I had outgrown the color and needed to tone it down as I was preparing to enter my 50’s. Or, leaving behind the above the knee shorts, dresses and skirts for a more age appropriate length. I bet we all have some “clutter/bumpf” in every room of our homes that represent some part of our selves we have moved on from.

    • All too true Kimberley, all too true. When it comes to clothes the expression “Mutton dressed up as lamb.” comes to mind. Some of my things are borderline but the suit the lifestyle here by the beach so for now they are safe.

  6. I’m late reading these comments. I like the “uncollecting” term. I gave my husband a cracked with ugly repair job Royal Doulton child’s bowl to mend something the other day. It was real heavy, flat and just what he needed. I said that was from “back when I was collecting”. I hadn’t donated it because, in spite of it all, I still kind of liked it, (and yes, it was cracked with ugly repair job when I collected it), but I knew that someday it was going to go. I have uncollected a lot of things, just didn’t call it that, but I like the sound of it, lol. So some of us are uncollectorers as well as declutterers.

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