Mini Mission Monday ~ Life’s Clutter


Continue reading with these posts:

About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. Some good ideas here Colleen. So last week we ended up doing nothing in the decluttering arena. Maybe this week we can thought the first two we don’t have to worry about.

    • Hi Deb, there are a few that don’t apply to me either but I have other things in mind. Like any unnecessary stuff hanging down the side of my fridge. Like more craft supplies, including bundling up some papers that have lingered way too long and that don’t appeal to me.

      • I have goals but they all depend on Mom. I can’t do much more with my things until I know what I will need when we move. If we move. We were told that it waiting time has been extended but not by how much. It can change again so it is all up in the air.

  2. Hello Colleen,
    It is time to thank you for this amazing blog and all the work that you have put into making it special.
    I have been reading for a few months now and am also catching up on all the posts and comments from the past years. What an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience from you and your readers!
    I’ve read some other books on decluttering lately ( have probably read most of them over the
    years) but 365 Less Things has been so much more helpful. Proof: Stuff is leaving by the carload and, more importantly, other Stuff is not taking its place!
    Quick intro: Sixty-something wife, mom and grandma living in the Adirondack Mts. of northern NY state in a largish home that we built ourselves 25 years ago. Before that hubby was in the Navy and we moved around a LOT and tended to keep our worldly goods under control fairly well.
    Then we settled down for good and always. (You know where this is going, of course. :-)) We had lots of room. And we could keep things. So we did.
    With plenty of space and plenty of storage areas, we usually appeared fairly tidy on the surface.
    However….. The time has come……Too much is too much.
    There is a little thrift store run by church ladies here in our little town and I am there every Friday morning with my car full of ” inventory” for their shelves. ( I always ask if they can use what I bring and they always say yes.) Often they get a Saturday shipment, too. They are the beneficiaries of the advice given by you and your readers!
    And so am I – tons ( literally -tons! ) of Stuff gone in the past few months. To family or friends, mostly to charities, and a bit of rubbish. Feels so good! I am grateful!
    Still working on the Big Purge, but the Mini Missions are fun – still Sunday here, but an outgrown collar and leash just went into the Out Box.

    • Hi Dianna, and thank you so much for the wonderful opinion of my blog. As you say, your fellow readers are as much, if not more, to thank for their great contributions and support of each other. 365 isn’t just a book or a self help resource, it is a community of like minded people helping one another deal with the result of overconsumption in this day and age. The advice isn’t just about the stuff, it is about the thoughts behind the stuff that tricks us into acquiring it and scares us into keeping it. 365 is all about changing our way of thinking about stuff and our behaviours altogether. So welcome Dianna, we hope that you will be very happy here and, with our support, continue with the wonderful success you have been having getting rid of your clutter.

      • Yes, it has been realizing that organizing everything to the nth degree isn’t the solution.
        And who wants to spend their time doing that anyway. Letting go of what doesn’t add to one’s life only makes sense.
        I thought that gathering more and more craft supplies (yes, I’m one, too! Quilting, embroidering, knitting and crocheting, dolls and dollshouses, paper crafts and mixed media materials….good grief) would keep me busy and happy always. But having too much, as many others have commented, seems to have the opposite effect. It seems to be
        more of a burden of obligation to use all those things, rather than an opportunity to just
        enjoy them. It has been freeing to admit my mistake in accumulating too much, passing most of it on to others – I guesstimate about 95% – and concentrate on my first love, quilting.
        Learning lots of other lessons along the way, too; more every day!
        Thank you for your kind welcome, Colleen!

        • You are so right about the craft materials. I have pledged not to buy certain papercrafting supplies for two months. What I am hoping that two months does is give me the opportunity to not only plough through lots of stuff I already have but to give me such a feeling of satisfaction doing so that I will want to extend that two months.

    • Welcome Dianna A. So glad you like Colleen’s site and all the advice that shows up here. We have a great bunch of people. How exciting that you are having a mazzive decluttering and delivering them as presents to your thrift store. Keep up the good work.

    • Loved to read your story Dianna A! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Dianna A!

      Yes, this is the best blog on the internet for decluttering. Great people, great ideas, and very funny posts from time to time. I hope you’ll post more often! Go Navy!

  3. I ended up battling the flu last week so didn’t get as much done as I would have liked. Hoping to be back on track this week.

    • That’s no good Moni, I hope you are feeling much better now.

    • Hope you are much better Moni. hang in there.

    • So sorry to hear you had the flu Moni. Hope you’re feeling much better soon.

    • Feel better soon, Moni!!!

      And when you do feel better, please tell me how to pronounce your name. Is it Moni like Bonnie? Moni like money? Or Moni like pony?

      Thanks in advance!

      Melanie (like felony)
      LOL

      • LOL, Melanie! Regarding Moni’s name, I just assumed that:
        (1) It was short for Monique and
        (2) It’s pronounced the same way as the Billy Idol song “Mony, Mony”.
        But now that you’ve asked, I get to find out how way off the mark I might have been. 🙂

        • I am sure Moni will get back to us on this but I believe it is Moni rhyming with pony. Unfortunately I was told this when I had it so embedded in my head that it was Moni as in Bonnie and it is hard to shake that pronunciation now.

          At least Colleen is simple and just as well because it doesn’t really rhyme with anything.

      • Melanie, Nicole and Colleen – Moni sounds like Bonnie. Yes it is short for Monique but I only get that when I’m in trouble. 🙂

        • Oh yay Moni, so I was right all along it is Moni sounds like Bonnie. I’m glad I don’t have to try to get my head around a new way of saying it as I was not having any success with that.

          • Same here! I was saying it like Bonnie in my head as well. Glad I don’t have to change it! Thanks, Moni!

    • I hope you are able to get plenty of rest and that you recover soon, Moni.

  4. Hi, Dianna A! Wow, you have certainly done quite a bit of decluttering! And yes, Colleen has a great blog, with an equally great community!

  5. Just going off topic here. We had to re-house the office desk and computer from the garage back to the little lounge. Sigh….

    My set of drawers that fit under the desk didnt get dragged thru as my daughter wants more leg space.

    When the pc dies, I will get a laptop which should eliminate the big desk. I have a spot in the hall cupboard for my future wireless printer.

    Im going to have a looksee thru the office drawers and have a think about eliminating the drawers with the desk.

    Does anyone, not have a computer desk/drawers. And if so where do they keep stationery items in their home?

    We dont have an excessive amount of items but there does need to be some sort of containment. We dont have any other spare drawers in the house as we’ve eliminated most storage type furniture pieces.

    Has anyone come across any clever ideas?

    • Hi Moni,
      I store all my stationary items (pens/pencils, note cards, extra printer paper) in boxes on a bookshelf. I’ve found that the boundaries provided by the boxes help keep my acquisitiveness (is that even a word?) under control! I also know where everything is….no more frantic running around the house.

      For the pens/pencils and note cards I’ve reused photo boxes (finally managed to empty those!). For the printer paper, I found a pretty box which will hold a single ream of paper. I pull paper out as I need it and can easily see when I need to visit the office supply store to pick up a new ream.

      One other way I’ve found to keep the need for printer paper down to a minimum is by choosing not to print to hard copy. Instead I use the computer functions which let me ‘print’ to a digital copy. I still have a copy of the receipt, confirmation or whatever, but I haven’t used paper or physical space to maintain that copy.

      Hope that helps!

      • Katie – I love the word ‘acquisitiveness’! The computer is mainly used by my daughter who is still at High School but going to Uni next year. I use it to work on organising and digitising our photos, but she is the main user. I think a laptop will do me nicely.

        A shoe box would probably do the trick, I guess I need to have a big clear out of the drawers and establish what exactly is in them these days. I chucked out the phone book/yellow pages the other day, haven’t used it in forever.

    • Hi Moni,

      Neither of us has a computer desk — we both use tables. I can tell you this for sure — as soon as we are in the new house we will both be buying new computer desks! At the moment I have my pens, etc. in a small plastic organizer. Drives me nuts. Ian has that same, plus a similar one for paper. His desk is cluttered and messy. I have room for my paper in the filing cabinet but I miss having drawers, even ONE drawer. Having needed items stashed in cupboards and drawers all over the house is not conducive to efficiency or clear thought.

      • Wendy B – what a pity we don’t live closer you could have mine!
        My youngest heads off to Uni next year and the older two will filter out of the house eventually. So I’m looking towards a future with a bit more flexibility to move or be able to jump if the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself. It is quite firmly in my mind with all household purchasing decisions these days that it could be just the two of us in the near future.

        • Wendy B – I should amend that to…..just the two of us and three cats that belong to the kids but probably will be left behind with us when they go…….

    • Moni, my husband downsized his computer desk to one without drawers. There are times when stuff can mount up on his desk and I ask for him to tidy it up. That was particularly annoying when the desk was in the living room. Now it is in the spare bedroom. Last week he bought a narrow set of drawers to fit in beside it because we wanted to eliminate a larger IKEA wheeled craft cart in the corner. So I guess, now the dest has drawers.
      I guess that isn’t much help to you but everyone’s needs and circumstances are unique. All I would say is, think outside the box and use whatever vacant space you have, or can acquire within the house to achieve the task. I have a little spice chest that is mostly decoration but holds things like batteries, pens, eyeglass cleaner, spare keys… My point is perhaps if there is some other space a small decorative piece of furniture that may look more appealing and do the job rather than using something purpose built.

      • Colleen – my husband is supposed to be building us a new coffee table this year at some point and maybe if it doesn’t affect the design too much I could get him to include a drawer in it to hold pens and stuff. Otherwise Katie’s suggestion of a box could do just as well.

    • Moni,

      I haven’t had a desk in several years. I try to keep my office supplies to a minimum, but I do have some. Here’s what I do:

      Pens, stapler, thank you notes, tape, label maker – decorative photo box
      Bill paying supplies (bills, stamps, checkbooks, letter opener) – small plastic container
      Larger items (8×10 manila envelopes, sheets of labels, legal pads) – 11×13 clear plastic zippered envelope
      File folders – in the box they came in
      Printer paper – haven’t found a good solution; need a 10×12 box that holds a ream of paper

      Now, the location of these items varies depending on where I’m living. For example, the container I use most often is the bill paying box. I keep that in a kitchen cabinet. The other items are in different locations because I don’t use them on a frequent basis. What I like about my system is that everything is specifically contained in such a way that the supply can’t get bigger. And since the containers are individual, I can rearrange them easily when needed, and individually they don’t take up much space. This system worked even when we lived on our sailboat (sans file folders & printer paper).

      I wouldn’t be opposed to creating a much larger “Office In A Box,” but then again I think that might start to take up almost as much room as a desk. Hope this helps.