Large area declutter ~ Minimal disruption

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Great steps!

  2. Colleen, this is a really good explanation of the process for decluttering. I think we are going to do the kitchen this week. We have done a lot over the last year but we are down to where some final choices need to be made.

  3. This post is timely. I’m feeling a bit like “chicken with my head cut off running amok”. I’m getting nothing done and getting more frustrated as time goes along. I slowly started to go through the Christmas stuff again. A few ornaments, a couple of holiday coffee mugs, and a brand new set of lights that I’ve never used went into the donate pile. The tree is standing, it has lights and an angel, but I’m a wee bit slow on the decorating. hee hee Oh! I also went through the bookcase again last night (while I was sitting there doing nothing) and yanked out 3 more books to donate. 😉

    • It sounds like you are making plenty of progress to me Michelle. There is plenty of time left before Christmas to finish decorating the tree. Have a hot chocolate and give yourself a pat on the back for what you have achieved so far.

      • Thanks Colleen! I’d love a cuppa hot chocolate . . . with a shot of sumthin’-sumthin’ in it. LOL

  4. Colleen,
    You are spot on! As with any project, breaking it down into manageable tasks is the key to success. Your post is a good reminder for all of us.

  5. What seems obvious after you’ve been doing it for awhile may not be so obvious to someone starting out, so this is a great list of the necessary steps – including the second most important one, in my opinion. Obviously making the decision to get rid of the things that are no longer needed or wanted is the most important step. But I feel the step of limiting yourself to one small, defined area at a time is a hugely important one, if you are having trouble letting go or even if you are just having trouble finding time or energy to declutter. It limits the discomfort of decision making and keeps it from seeming overwhelming. It is easy to fit into even a busy schedule. It keeps the process from being too tiring, too messy, or too disruptive – all of which are handy reasons we may latch onto to avoid doing further decluttering.

    A bit off the topic, but I think this technique is also good for housecleaning. I can’t vacuum my whole house in one day, but I can do a room a day or even every few days. Just so long as progress is being made, the job will eventually be done. Maybe not to someone else’s standards, but our situations are all unique and I’m okay with that 🙂

    • Hi Jo H, there are so many methods of decluttering but, as you know, I like the slow and steady approach. No only is it doable but it gives a person more time to identify the same cluttering mistakes that have been made over and over in ones past. This way we are more likely to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Decluttering that lasts, although slow, is more permanent as far as I am concern so saves you time, energy, money and space in the long term.
      Oddly enough I am a bit of an all or nothing person when it comes to cleaning my house. For the entire 27 years of married life I have designated one day a week to clean the entire house (usually Monday). That is because I had the freedom to do so and because I just love to see it completely clean at least one day a week. In between times do extra cleaning tasks, like the fridge and freezer, organising, washing, decluttering etc. That of course doesn’t work for everyone because not everyone has that sort of block of time. So bit by bit is definitely the way to go when you can only find time to do a bit here and there.
      It is comments like yours that remind me how lucky I am. Although I suppose much of that luck is good priority planning and living within the means of that plan.