Mini Mission Monday ~ Elephants Grave Yard

mini-logoMini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

On Wednesday this week 365 features yet another of the wonderful Nicole V’s guess posts. This one has a various pachyderm theme to it. White elephants, elephants in the room, how to eat an elephant… I am going to latch on to the elephant graveyard theme and have you clearing out the areas in your home where your elephants (things you no longer use or even bother to look at) go to die.

Monday – If you have a basement, garage, attic or general storage area in your home, today would be a good day to seek out an “elephant” ~something you no longer use any more ~and send it to the outgoing clutter pile.

Tuesday – Another elephants’ graveyard can often be found in the back of kitchen cupboards. Have a dig around in there today and see if you can find some excess storage containers, crockery, electrical gadgets… that you never use and declutter them.

Wednesday – The tops of closets are another place where less than useful or sentimental stuff is often stored. Get up there and find one or two things that you could happily part with.

Thursday – Under beds are not only a good example of elephant graveyards but dust bunny heaven. Find something under there today to relegate to the donate pile.

Friday – Back to the closet today. Items of clothing can certainly fit the dead elephant theme. There is usually a section of a closet where the least used items of clothing gravitate to. Take a look through that section of your closet today and declutter one such item

Saturday – And how about those book shelves ~ I haven’t picked on them for a while ~ how about you visit the elephant book graveyard and choose five books you are unlikely ever to reread and declutter them.

Sunday – Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Eco Tip for the Day

Using electricity off-peak doesn’t save electricity but it can lessen the strain at peak times which can result in a reduced necessity to  increase infrastructure.

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. Boy, do we have a graveyard! Midway between homes we are summering in our 5th wheel (travel trailer) hooked up to a tiny decrepit mobile home. Our big stuff is located in a friend’s garage and anything we could easily carry is stored in a large room in the basement of the rec centre, boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff. A few mornings ago Ian looked around the 5th wheel and said, ‘If this is the stuff we need to live, what’s all that stuff at the Rec Centre?” Now I know what to call it…the elephant graveyard.

    On the Thursday theme… a few days ago a young woman was telling me about a great new storage container she’d found for keeping things under the bed. When I told her I never keep anything under the bed she almost fell over from surprise. She said, “I’ve HEARD of people who don’t store things under the bed, but I’ve never actually MET one before!!!”

    • WendyB, I don’t know that I would want to live in a 5th wheel with another person but could see doing it for the duration if I had one and a nice place to park it. I’m sure it gets old though.

      We keep nothing under the bed either.

    • Hi Wendy, I have to admit I still store things under beds. Only things that are too big to store anywhere else in the house. A big cutting mat for craft projects, a photo mat cutter and the mats in a separate portfolio, and a styrofoam log that I use to do physio on my shoulders/neck when needed. I am reconsidering the usefulness of the mat cutter and mats these days though. They don’t get used all that often any more and I am tired of them being stored under the bed.

      I did love what Ian said. What a changed man he is.
      At the end of the year Steve and I will be living in a studio apartment for three months. I am interested to see how that experience pans out. I think I am going to enjoy so little space to have to take care of for a short while. However our two bedroom apartment is as small as I am willing to go for everyday living.

      • Colleen, I decluttered more craft items a few weeks back. I only have enough to fit a 12X12X2 inch drawer plus a little bit of paper. I am thinking of decluttering that also. I will give it some time to decide for sure.

        I can see living in a studio if you are one person but I think it would be hard for two. there would be no place to have some quiet time or get away from a TV or music if you wanted and meeded to. But I know people who live that way. They have a busy and mostly away from the home lifestyle though.

    • Wendy B – I love it. We are a seperate species!

    • Hi Wendy,

      It’s one of my goals to have nothing under the bed… But as long as we have 6 people in this modest size house, I think I’m stuck with my junk under the bed… and many other unwanted things LOL

  2. LOL
    I’m another person that doesn’t store things under the bed. I have other areas that clutter abounds in. I have a platform bed and I like to see under it when I walk in the room. My other beds are regular box/mattress with no storage under them.

    I figure I have more than enough clutter, that it needs to be in my line of sight, easy to get to it so I can declutter.

    • Good for you Calla. I sometimes think I would like box spring beds just so there isn’t he option of keeping things under them. That would force my hand to live without the stuff that is there now.

  3. Mom reorganized all the kitchen cupboards yesterday. She didn’t declutter much but a few things. She discovered that she has enough mini-muffin tins to bake 78 muffins. I think she has made them once and didn’t make that many. So why does she need them? I think she will be surprised when we move and I take very little of the kitchen stuff with me.

    She has lost weight and all her clothes are way too big. She is now going through her clothes and decluttering them. WooHoo!!

    • The question is can she fit enough pans to make 78 muffins in the oven all at once. If the answer is no then there is no point having so many pans. Do you talk to her about “Under what circumstance to do think you will find yourself in that you will need …?)? I think it is the habits of a lifetime scenario. I sincerely hope I never get like that. Mind you people do think I am weird for behaving in the way I do about stuff so hopefully that means I am on the right track. 😉

      • Colleen – good point.

      • Colleen, I have asked her why she keeps so many when she can’t fit them all in the oven at once. Her response is that she can be filling one while the other bakes and thus get done faster. I can see that with the 24 per pan ones but the 48 per pan ones not so much. To me it is crazy to keep them at all since she has NEVER in my lifetime made mini-muffins.

        • Hi Deb, I think you need to go a little further with the questioning. Something along the line of your last statement ~ “When in your lifetime will you have cause to make 78 muffins?”.

          • Oh, I asked her that. Her responce is that maybe she will have time once we move. Ha! Not likely.

    • Hi Deb,

      Your mom could make mini muffins in every flavor at the same time if she was in an ambitious mood!

      It’s great that your moms’ size has changed so that she has a reason to look through her clothes. My size stays pretty much the same so my stuff has to get ratty or I have to get very tired of it (not sure that’s ever happened!) in order to release it. At least I don’t buy new clothes regularly anymore. I don’t shop for anything if I can help it!

      • You and I have everything in common in that comment Peggy.

      • I’m like you Peggy. My clothes have to get ratty before I declutter them. Unfortunately, we both needed clothes at the same time. Mom from losing weight and me from a combo of that and things getting worn out

  4. OK – Monday’s mini mission, my attic area has become untidy lately, my husband returns stuff to the attic area by just shoving it in the door. It is a bit cold to be working up there at the moment but I do know that there are a couple of items which can be photographed to go on trademe.

    My kitchen cupboards and closet areas are good.

    I have a ‘nothing under the beds’ policy but there needs to be a bit of maintenance and of course, a good vacuum. Last year my husband made an obligation purchase from a friend running a stall selling fireworks (even though we still had a big box left over from the year before) and it is too long to go anywhere but under my bed. I’m not happy about having a big box of explosive under my side of the bed, and yes I’ve had a few ‘fireworks’ jokes from friends. I think I need to organise an event to have them all let off.

    Off topic here, I have ‘promise vouchers’ from two of my children whereby there are cheque type vouchers offering everything from vacuuming the house to breakfast in bed. I remember an episode of My Name Is Earl where Earl and Randy’s mother decided to cash them in even though they were in their 30’s. I flicked thru the one from my daughter and realised that she has fulfilled these many many times of her own free will as a young adult. And the one from my son…..I can easily say he wouldn’t honour their redemption.

    Should I throw these out? Some of the things they wrote were really cute or does anyone have any other suggestions.

    • Hi Moni,

      I think I might hang onto these vouchers just for their entertainment value… I have here and there some notepaper with stuff written that my kids said when they were younger. The paper doesn’t take much room to store and I like happening upon those things from time to time 🙂 Maybe you could gather them altogether in a simple frame and hang it in the powder room?

      • Peggy – what is a powder room? I’ve heard it mentioned from time to time, but not sure what one is.

      • Peggy – I googled it. I live a fairly average New Zealand life and we don’t have a guest bathroom. Its a nice idea and I imagine some of the upper classes houses might have them but we don’t in my realm.

        I think my kids are a bit too old to appreciate me putting up baby photos or cutesey stuff. Maybe if my son had a Significant Other I would pass the promise vouchers onto her but I don’t foresee one in the near future.

        • Hi Moni,

          Our house is a “split level” meaning the ground floor is family room & powder room (sink and toilet), then up 6 steps to kitchen, dining room, living room, 6 more steps up to 3 bedrooms and a regular bathroom. About 1100 square feet. We have 6 people living here… Our 2 daughters and 2 grandkids, and my husband and I. We would have plenty of room if all the kids moved out. Not sure when that will happen! In the meantime, our daughters fuss at me if I even hint that I’m thinking of decluttering anything… very frustrating for me!!! The feeling might be similar to how you feel about your attic space? You clear it all out and leave the remaining items nicely organized… then someone comes along and plonks things down any old way… This scenario happens all over my house LOL

          • Peggy – I have a simple way to deal with it – my house, my rules. That’s not to say that I don’t have to chivvy up family members for being untidy but for the general household (not personal possessions) I’ve had free reign to declutter.

            The attic used to be absolutely full and so I shouldn’t grumble, and every Spring and Autumn I spend a bit of time up there and eliminate a few more things each time. Last year I dragged everything down and put it all back neatly so hopefully it won’t take too much effort to tidy up.

    • Hi, Moni. I don’t know how many vouchers you have but these are my suggestions:
      (1) Laminate them (or not) and use them as bookmarks.
      (2) Keep them in a memory jar.
      (3) Scan and add them to any digital photo folders you might already have.

    • Hi Moni, I would keep the vouchers but I think those fireworks need to be somewhere other than under your bed. That sounds like a disaster about to happen.

      • Colleen, I totally agree with you. Moni, those things could be really dangerous being under there. Have a big bash party with friends and set them off.

    • Never say never!
      After saying there was nothing in the kitchen to be decluttered, I discovered a very small frying pan in with the baking gear, this frying pan wont work on our induction cooktop. Next I took a metal bottle that in the past we used to carry milk if we were packing a thermos. The only time the thermos gets used these days is if Adrian goes fishing in Winter and I figure we can buy a small carton of milk which can sit in the ice chest.

      From there I did a tidy up of the pantry and I found some expired goods, empty containers etc. I moved onto our medicines cabinet above the fridge and had a good cull there too!

      In light of this, I shall re-visit the closet mini mission, even though I worked on it last week. Maybe I’ll talk Adrian into doing his side of the wardrobe.

      • Never say never is right. I have seen Mom ditch some things she said she would never get rid of. I have also seen her ditch some things from things she said she would never have to revisit again. Isn’t it funny how we can find things in the most unlikely places?

      • Ah those kitchens Moni, there is always something lurking there.
        My closet has the opposite to needing decluttering at the moment. I have too few clothes as several had become too ratty and went to the thrift shop as rag. The problem is, there is very little out there that takes my fancy. I think I will muddle through and hope that there is something more to my liking in Berlin.

        • I’m not fond of the clothes out there either. I have to really hunt to find anything I like. Hope you do find something in Berlin.

        • Colleen – ohhh Berlin sounds exciting!

    • Moni you get the prize for fearlessly living on the edge! Fireworks under the bed would make me subconsciously nervous I think. You must be a very relaxed woman! 🙂 Reminds me, we have a super large framed print over our headboard. Glass too. It is hung pretty well, I think, but it makes me nervous because one picture in the living room spontaneously fell off the wall in the middle of the night a few months ago. I am looking to get something frameless and glassless for over the bed now. We get small earthquakes here and looking up at the huge picture at night doesn’t help me fall asleep any.

      • Claire – no I’m not a naturally relaxed person at all. We’re prone to earthquakes here (New Zealand) where are you? I’ve been meaning to get straps for the big screen TVs so that they don’t fall over in a quake.

        • Moni, I am on the other side of the globe from you in Texas. Moved here a couple of years ago and had no idea they had earthquakes here. After I wrote that comment I went online and found the canvas print I was eyeing was on sale. I decided to go for it even though I hate adding more stuff to the place. I just don’t sleep well with that big glass framed print over my head. I hadn’t thought of strapping down the tvs. I’ll have to look into that, thanks!

          • Claire – I would never have picked Texas as a quake zone, usually its the Pacific ring of fire. You learn something new everyday!

            Good for you, I wouldn’t like to sleep with a plate of glass over my head, earthquakes or not. (Says she who has a big box of fireworks under her bed)

            Quake proofing flat screens – yeah they tend to fall in over in a shake. A toddler died in the Christchurch earthquake when a screen fell on him, it was very sad. I doubt the average adult wouldn’t be hurt by a big screen falling but its also about minimalising the damage that happens. In a major event insurance claims can take a long time to be processed. When we used to have large bookshelves and tall furniture we used straps to bolt them to the wall too.

            http://www.amazon.com/Quakehold-4520-Screen-Safety-Strap/dp/B001132UEE

            I have just been reminded that relatives who went thru the Christchurch earthquake when it hit, stuff flew like missles across the room, so its not always a case of just tipping over. It wasn’t just small items too.

            Here is a pdf available re: quake proofing. I’ve just had a quick look thru and realised that I need to do something about our microwave oven too. I really wouldn’t want to be hit by that.

            http://www.eqc.govt.nz/sites/public_files/documents/quake-safe-your-home-2012.pdf

    • Moni, our attached shed is like your attic. There isn’t that much in there but it is not organized any more. We are saving boxes for our move and they just get chucked in there. With the temps between 110-120 we are not going to do much about it just like with your attic being cold. I have tried to get Mom to break down the boxes before storing them out there. Invariably I will take a broken down ont out there and she will have put some out there not broken down. Ah well.

      • Deb J – that works out to about 43 degrees centigrade which is certainly hot by my NZ standards. Yeah the attic is cold in Winter and hot in Summer. And unfortunately being the only short person in my household, I will be nominated to go into the attic while Adrian stays at ground zero and shouts encouragement.

        It used to be full to the top up there, so I shouldn’t grumble.

        • Men are so helpful that way. I used to be the ladder girl but now neither of us can climb it. So when it gets cooler I will have to ask someone for help.

    • Moni, for the vouchers why not put them in a little album so they are preserved?

  5. I had a “tiny win” today… A few weeks ago, my vest flew open while I was out walking. I thought nothing of it and kept on. Later at home I realized that the top button of my vest was missing. Now I have been looking everywhere when we do this walk, which goes through several neighborhoods and commercial areas. No luck. So finally today I looked in my extra button selection (which I organized last year)… Lo and behold, I had an exact match! (It must have been one of those extras you get when buying certain garments). I sewed the button on and now my vest is good again and I have one less “homeless button” in my collection… It’s all good!

    • Ah Peggy, being able to really appreciate the little wins in life are what make it so great. I am pleased for you and I hope you get many more happy years with your vest.

    • Peggy, I’m having a little laugh here because at first I was thinking you were using “vest” in the British (Scottish) English way – which I seem to remember is a bra! But maybe your “vest” is the American English – jacket or sweater with no sleeves? If you are British/Scottish I would say you are very forgiving of your “vest”! I would have chucked a vest/bra that flew open on me – and that has happened! 🙂 I guess a button to repair it should tell me but I had to read to the end to be sure!

      • Ha ha Claire, I had a bra fly open on me once right in front of my male boss. Luckily it was under my clothing but nevertheless I made a fast exit and did a running repair. I don’t think my boss was any the wiser except to wonder why I just disappeared so suddenly.

        • Oh no Colleen! That is an exit you can’t explain easily! It has happened to me a couple of times. One of the few things that will make you fly out of a room without explanation! These days, I would not forgive that bra and give it a second chance – out!

      • Haha Claire, I don’t think anyone but me would realize if my bra busted open! I don’t even wear one most of the time because no one can tell the difference LOL. The vest is one of my favorite things because it’s good for warm or cool weather and gives me pockets for tissues and lozenges and library card and cell phone… 🙂

        • Haha Peggy, it wouldn’t be that obvious for me either! It is just usually just such a sudden shock and nothing you can do about it unless you make a quick exit!

    • Peggy, even the little wins are good. Some buttons we keep just for the reason you state. Others we don’t. We go through them every once in a while and cull out the ones we can no longer match to something.

      • Same here Deb.

      • This reminds me – there is a quart jar full of buttons in my craft closet that I can declutter.
        I donated 8 jars recently ( all sorted so nicely by color). But for some reason thought I should keep all the white ones. Can’t remember why now. And I don’t even remember the last time I needed to sew on a button. Will keep a few and the rest will be in the out box first thing tomorrow. Thank you, Deb J, Peggy & Colleen!

        • Hi Dianna,

          This is the opposite of my button collection! I keep all the decorative ones just because I like them (they are all organized in craft baggies and fit into one pencil box). All the plain white or cream ones that I trim off of ratty clothing go to Goodwill as “shirt buttons” for any who like to sew 🙂

          • Hi Peggy,
            That sounds like a good plan.
            I have been getting rather ruthless with my craft supplies. It seems as though I was more creative back in the days when I had much, much less in the way of crafting materials. But then I was able to purchase more and more materials and I think I became overwhelmed with the abundance and didn’t know what to work on first (I know – first world problems, ay? And I am embarassed, yes).
            So it feels much better to pass these things on to others to use and just keep enough to enjoy in the present and not be storing enough for the next 50 years! Like your little box of special buttons and not gallons of ordinary ones!
            It’s about finding the right balance, isn’t it?

  6. If you all don’t mind me asking – but how many sauce pans do you have? (We call them pots in NZ but I don’t want to be mistaken for the plant variety). My husband and son have done an excellent job of ruining my good sauce pans. I’m leaning to buying individual rather than a set, so I don’t end up with too many.

    I’m curious to know how many other people own/use compared to how many in the household.

    • I have six saucepans but one is purely for craft purposes. And given that I have only used it once for that I think it might find it’s way back to the thrift shop soon. The others all get used regularly

    • Hi Moni,
      I have 4 saucepans, but mainly use 3. Small, Large and a stockpot for soup etc. (I only use the medium pot occasionally- they were a set) I also have 3 frypans which I use all the time. (small/medium/large). I cook veges in the microwave often, otherwise I would probably use the 4th pot more often. Maybe take note of what you use regularly over the next few weeks. Seasons can alter how I use things too. The stockpot gets used often in the winter but rarely in the summer. So keep this in mind too, if you cook seasonally.

      • Ruth – I also have three frypans – a wok style, medium and small. I cook frozen vegetable in the microwave, and realistically I can’t use more than 4 saucepans at a time. Now to decide which 4. Maybe I should put them all in an out of the way place like the garage and see which make their way back to the kitchen over a couple months.

    • I have two sauce pans and one fry pan. I just got rid of a large stock pot that we haven’t used lately. I would like to get a 5-6 qt replacement for it and get rid of one of my two sauce pans. I’m pretty sure I could make due with two if they are the right sizes. We are a household of 2 now, down from 5 a few years ago. I don’t cook large quantities of things except for maybe the holidays and we haven’t had them here for over a year and don’t plan on it this year. I’ll be ok though because I looked at all of my recipes and menus for the holidays and I only need two appropriately sized sauce pans.
      I also just donated all but one mixing bowl. I found that I can use my large glass serving bowl as a mixing bowl too so I’m good!

      • Claire – you’re just the person I need to talk to. There were five of us plus one boarder. My oldest son has left home (again) and my youngest plans to go off to University next year. At this point our boarder isn’t planning to study next year so she probably won’t be around. Which leaves my middle child who may or may not continue with study next year and so may or may not shift out. So we could go from six to two within six months!

        We are at the point where there seems to be a lot of household items which need replacing and I am definately factoring in that our little birdies are starting to fly the nest. I have been told by a friend who replaced all her Tupperware pantryware the year before her twins left home that if she’d realised what a drop in groceries (and utilities and every other expense) was going to happen she would have opted for smaller containers for dry goods such as sugar, flour etc. Did you have a similar experience?

        I’m holding off replacing our (slowly getting tatty) towels as I would like my husband and I to have the nice new ones and also because I doubt we’ll need the quantity we have now.

        My husband and I joke that for the first six months we are going to live on Subway and Turkish takeaways.

        • Oh Moni what a change it has been since we became empty nesters! So many things different but we are feeling pretty good about it! 🙂 If I had to guess I think that we have about 1/4 to 1/5 of the stuff we used to have just a few years ago. We moved at the same time the last birdie flew the coop so that also helped us clear out the stuff. I continue to downsize the kitchen because we had enough in there for dinner for 60! Five people plus houseguests can go through a lot of dishes, glasses, silverware. I don’t need all that anymore. Same with excess bedding and towels. The other thing is décor. I think I was decorating for the holidays to create an atmosphere that I don’t necessarily want myself. I’ve downsized quite a bit of that too.
          Oh so funny you say living on Subway and Turkish takeaway! I have hardly cooked a thing in two years. Not great for the wallet or the waistline but it has been a wonderful break. We don’t splurge on much except for healthy take out or restaurants. Kind of a little vacation from the crazy kid years. I highly recommend it! 🙂

          • Claire – my husband and I try not to look to eager when we talk about the kids leaving home. We love them to pieces and will miss them when they all go but are looking forward to being able to travel and to have a smaller house etc. My youngest announced she is off to University next year, I will miss her soooooo much as she is so much fun but it sounds like she plans to come home fairly regularly for the first year at least. My eldest shifted out (again) a few weeks ago, he really needed to go as he’d reached the stroppy stage (again) when they need to get on with their own lives. I also think he was a bit worried that his baby sister would leave home before him. So if my middle one stays at home another year I’d be happy with that, she’s very helpful and it be less of a mass exodus, but it depends on her plans.

            There is still a fair bit of stuff in that house that I don’t want to get rid of until the kids have moved on but it is easy to see how being empty nesters would certainly speed up the whole process.

          • Moni, oh yes, we tried not to look to eager too. 🙂 Really, I didn’t know I would like it this much. It took quite a few months to get used to it in the beginning. But when they came back to visit and seemed to have regressed in maturity and respect we were relieved to have our space again. Hopefully that will improve in the future.
            In regard to the stuff, we figured we’d give a lot to the kids and we did furnish nearly a whole small house for one of them. But the other two didn’t need or want any of it so we were still left with surplus. Somehow I still have some of their things, Christmas ornaments, school papers and a few toys. Those are on the to-do list. Empty nest is a huge shift but if you can look into the future and see that having less will be a huge advantage, then it is an opportunity to let go of a lot.

          • Hi Moni and Claire, I got a big chuckle out of you “trying not to look too eager” when talking about your kids moving out… We are the same 🙂

    • Hi, Moni.
      I have four saucepans, two soup pots (a large and an extra large) and two really big stockpots that I use when canning. They are all used regularly and the stockpots are stored in the back room off the kitchen so they are out of the way. As for fry pans – way too many and they need thinning for certain.
      This is for a household of a varying number. There’s my husband Dan and I, and our granddaughter who lives here during the school year because I homeschool her, my son & his family often stay on long weekends and the rest of our family are often here for a meal on the weekend. Right now our teenage grandson is staying with us for a week or two or? The saucepans will be staying for the foreseeable future, but there is plenty of room for them – and for the kids and grands!

    • Moni,

      I currently have two sauce pots (2 & 3 quarts), two frying pans (8 & 10 inch), and one large stock pot (6 quarts). I use the 8-inch pan and the 6-quart stock pot frequently. I could probably live without the others. In one of our previous small apartments we had only one pot and one pan, and we managed fine.

      There are only two of us (my husband and me), so that makes a big difference.

    • Hi Moni!
      In general, I think you don’t need more pans than you have place for on the stove top.
      I find I like to have one or max. two big ones (for boiling pasta etc.) and two to three medium sized ones. Those tiny toy-like pans have no use at all for me. I do have different pots, though, some with a thicker bottom which in my opinion is better for steaming rice or making curries/ragouts/etc. and some more light weight.
      In addition I have two frypans, one more wok-like for stir-fries and one really flat and wide for making meat, crepes etc.
      By the way, this amount fits a 2-to-5 person household in my experience.

      Maybe start with a smaller amount and add, if you think you need more. However on special occasions (like a once-a-year big gathering), one can go a little creative before adding more things. Neighbours might lend a pan – and you can cook things in different ways maybe, e.g. in Japan it’s common to boil spaghetti in frying pans with lid (they are wide enough, so you don’t need as much water).

      • That said, this is a no-microwave, no-other-gadget household, so if you rely on other cooking methods than the stove, you would get by with even less…

  7. Hi, Colleen. So I went on a little safari of sorts and rounded up a few elephants:
    M: A radio that hasn’t been used recently. We have space for it but if we aren’t using it, it should really move on and meet its next owner.
    Tu: A dishwashing brush.
    W: Not from the closet though – a pair of hiking shoes that might be beyond repair.
    Th: Nothing under the bed.
    F: A t-shirt.
    Sa: I’m happy with my books, at least for now.

  8. I am another 365’er who has never stored anything under beds. Instinctively I think I just knew from a young age that it was not a good idea.
    Many years later, I learned that in Feng Shui it is a no-no to store things under the bed because whatever is there disrupts the energy of your sleep, especially if it is something negative or bills, receipts, old taxes etc.

    • Hi Kimberley, It was Feng Shui that allowed me to make the hard and fast rule about nothing under the bed. Didn’t sleep well before, don’t sleep well now…. so much for that theory!

    • This comment makes me wonder what bad mojo Moni is attracting by having fireworks under her bed. They make tax papers seem pretty harmless. lol!

      • Kimberley & Colleen – yup some bad Mojo sleeping above explosives.

        I don’t like having fireworks in the house at all. Here, fireworks can only be bought and sold for one week prior to Guy Fawkes, so its a bit of a shopping frenzy. Every year there are rumours that this will be the last year that fireworks can be sold to the general public and every year I agree that it would be a good thing. And because a lot of fire works that were around when I was a kid have since been banned, I guess all the blokes I know have a tendancy to want to ‘stock up’ in case they get banned altogether.

        I believe the masterplan is that eventually it will become events run by pyrotechnicians with all the safety plans and services in place, not just letting anyone light an explosive.

        I am giving some thought to holding a street party or similar so that everyone can enjoy, all pets owners are warned ahead of time and children don’t miss out.

        My plan going forward is that we do not buy any more fireworks!

        • Moni,
          Move those fireworks immediately….bad juju!

          In reply to your number of pots people have…For use on the stove/range top, I have two frying pans, 1 stock/soup pot, 1 small sauce pot and 1 larger three quart sauce pot.

  9. We are moving in a few months, and our circumstances are such that we will be a bit nomadic for 12-18 months. I was contemplating either getting an apartment that I wouldn’t be using full time or putting everything into a storage unit, but I have now decided to get rid of everything that won’t fit into two suitcases each (plus one small storage unit that we will keep). It’s pretty exciting, but now my entire house has become an elephant! Somebody hand me a fork….

    • All I keep under my bed is my dust collection.

      • LOL, Melanie! I hope it’s not too impressive a collection! 😀

        • Oh, you’d be impressed, all right. LOL. I looked under there after I made that joke, and YIKES! After living in this house with all wood floors, I understand why someone invented wall to wall carpeting!

          • You are in fine form today Melanie. I do like a good laugh.

          • Ian had a childhood friend who was a hoarder. We visited their house once and I THOUGHT they had beige wall-to-wall carpeting. Nope. Hardwood floors covered with dust-bunny pelts. Uggggghhhh

  10. Lots of elephants, but not under the bed, just a lot of pet rabbits called dust bunnies. We only use pots & pans in the winter–mainly a large stainless stock pot for stews, pot roasts, etc. In the summer, we use a wok or a couple of iron skillets. Only use for a sauce pan is making one-pot-cheese-macaroni in a Teflon one which makes it easy to clean. Use Pyrex with glass lids (which we already had ) in the microwave for most things.

  11. I skipped ahead to Friday’s mini mission – I’m doing everything out of order. I had a clear out of some of my shoes and clothes last week, also a bag which I use for something I am involved in but have been taking a break from. I have decided that when I return to that activity I will buy a new bag for a fresh start. In the mean time it makes me feel guilty that I’m not actively involved at the moment and to be honest I didn’t really like it anyway.

    Last night I focused on my son’s wardrobe. I took him the shirts he left behind when he shifted out, I noticed a couple were size Small amongst them whereas he is a Large, so I’ve added those to the donate pile. As he had the most spare wardrobe space my daughters had ‘borrowed’ some space and had some clothes in there too. So I’ve delivered those back to their rooms for them to make decisions on. I suspect they’ve forgotten about those clothes.

    I did Top of closet Wednesday on Tuesday – ok my son’s wardrobe is now empty. The top shelf of my side of the walk in wardrobe is empty except for one small chest. Maybe I should investigate that. I had a quick looksee on my husband’s side of the wardrobe, I took away one empty basket, but there’s another one up there, so I’ll investigatge that tonight.

    Question: fridge – does anyone use the egg holder/stand thingees that come with the fridge? I generally keep the eggs in the carton in the pantry and I take the egg holder/stand thingee out and have two extra small shelves in the fridge door to hold small jars. I noticed that the egg holder/stand thingees are sitting in a cupboard above the microwave with the cookbooks.

    • Refrigerators used to come with the egg holders molded in, but my current fridge doesn’t have that. It has a space in the door that will hold an egg carton (it has a little clear door that slides up), which I like. I could put butter or cheese or something else in there if I wanted to. That seems smarter than having 12 egg holes taking up space in the door.

    • Hi, Moni. I don’t use the egg trays in our fridge. According to experts (or should that be “eggsperts”?), eggs should be stored in their cartons so that they don’t absorb any odours or flavours from other foods through their highly-porous shells (hmm … eggs with more than a hint of Roquefort, Limburger or Blue Stilton, anyone?), but that wasn’t why I removed the egg trays … I just needed the space to store other items.

    • One of the last things I did before moving out of our house was to place the egg trays in the fridge — in the original unopened wrapping. No doubt the new owner will put them back in the basement where I stored them for the 8 years we owned the fridge. I too have read that eggs should be stored in their cartons.

  12. Hi everybody! I posted months ago about a papasan chair that I was beginning to view as clutter, but my husband loved it so I didn’t think it would go. Well, we don’t have the chair anymore. He changed his mind after we made other changes to that room, and we decided to freecycle it. So that worked out nicely.

    I think we’ve gotten better at having decluttering discussions as a couple; we’ve both been learning to think past the initial knee jerk of “no I can’t get rid of that!” and consider whether we actually want something.

    I love that the house is generally tidy these days, but I’ve let the paperwork build up in the filing cabinet and haven’t been decluttering aggressively for a while so I’m sure there is build-up elsewhere too. Time to get back into the groove and go through the home again to reassess.

    • Good news about the chair. I think I wrote a blog post about this once. You see with spouses it is always good to plant the seed of thought and just wait patiently for it to grow. They may, during this process, forget that it was your idea to begin with but don’t let that irritate you. Just be glad you got your own way in the end.
      I laugh about this with my daughter at times. She said she has reaped to benefits of seed planting herself.

  13. Hi, Rebecca J. My husband and I have gone through what you described … sometimes it’s amazing what you can part with … and each item gets you a step closer. I hear you about the paper and hope that you tame that beast soon.

  14. WooHoo!! Mom finally got around to decluttering her dresser and closets. While she kept more than I would it was projects she hopes to finish. She has EMPTY drawers and one EMPTY closet. I’m happy dancing all over the place. GRIN.