Mini Mission Monday ~ With Deb J

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.

Colleen asked me to write a set of mini-missions based on what I would like to see decluttered from our home.  As you know, my mother tends to hang onto things long after we need them or use them.  Right now she is also holding onto some things just to keep the present house “looking descent.”  Here are my mini-missions along with what I would like to see decluttered from those areas.

Monday: Declutter any item from your living room.  We have a small étagère with 5 pitchers on it.  I bought one and was given two of them.  Mom and I were given another and the last one Mom bought at a garage sale.  I do not want any of mine.  She says she will get rid of them when we move.  I say why wait.  We have another étagère with an artificial flower arrangement, a music box with two cardinals and two pots of artificial African violets.  It could all go.

Tuesday: Declutter any item from your dining room.  We have a set of pictures of fruit with two candle sconces hanging on the wall.  We also have a hutch with two sections filled with “pretties”  such as decorative plates, vases, bells, and other items.  All of the items in both places can go.  None of them really have that much sentimental value and most are never used.  They just sit and gather dust. 

Wednesday: Declutter any item from your office and/or craft room.  These rooms are combined for us.  We have books that need to be given away.  I have a desk that I want to declutter as soon as we are sure when we will be moving.  In the meantime, all of this clutter drives me nuts.  It needs to go.

Thursday: Declutter any item from your bedroom.  Mom’s bedroom has a jumble of pictures and pretties on the walls.  Many of them are just on the wall because she thinks a wall has to have stuff on it.  Some of the “pictures” are cross stitch items I made her and she doesn’t want to part with them.  I say ditch them.  They no longer go with her décor that well.

Friday: Declutter any item from a bathroom.  There are too many things on the walls in one of our bathrooms.  They are things like mermaids and bubbles, a weird clock made from fabric, an embroidery hoop and the clock works and a picture that looks out of place in a bathroom.  On the wall above the toilet is a cabinet with a small shelf and a top both weighted down with stuff  like little figurines, little vases of flowers and jars of creams or oils.  There are also too many things on the counter top such as cosmetics, toothpaste, a denture cup, etc.  Much of it could be gone. The rest could be hidden away in a cabinet or closet.  In the cabinet under the sinks are numerous drawer units filled with all sorts of items like extra soap, numerous bobby pins, curlers, permanent rods, duplicates of things seldom used, et .  Most of it could be decluttered.

Saturday: Declutter any item from a closet.  The main bathroom has two closets in it.  In one closet are all the linens.  There are 6 pillow cases, a set of sheets, two bath sheets, several towels and washcloths and two beach towels.  We don’t use any of them.  We need to declutter them if I can convince Mom to do so.  In the other closet we have a number of items that again aren’t used.  There is a back brace to be used after surgery that never took place and will not in the future.  There are travel size containers and products.  We no longer travel so these can be decluttered.  Finally there are several blankets and pillows we neither one use.  The pillows need to be trashed and the blankets passed on.  We don’t need extra blankets when we live in an area where we seldom use a blanket and when we do only a light weight one.

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

Don’t use throw away cleaning wipes. They have them for cleaning wood, kitchen spills, television screens, make-up removal etc etc. They are usually made from manmade fibres, soaked in chemicals and sold in plastic containers, all of which are bad for the environment. You can do all these jobs with a little water and a microfibre cloth that can be washed and used over and over again.

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


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Things you may still have more of than you need Mini 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 […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Accumulation Mini 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 […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ This and that Mini 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 […]
About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. Oops! A little with publishing this morning as I forget to schedule it. No worries, it is here now and still way early for most people around the globe.

  2. Hi all. Back after a brief absence….illness and death of a beloved furry family member in recent weeks. 🙁 Never easy but this little angel was the joy of my day.
    Meanwhile, I am back at decluttering. Can’t believe I can find more still.
    Not feeling very decisive these days so maybe you can weigh in to help me decide.
    Jumping ahead to Tuesday’s mission:
    I have 2 sets of china cream and sugar and one single china creamer (that I am using presently for sugar!).
    I haven’t used the sets in years, if ever, but just found one set selling on a china resale site for approx. $150. I’ve never sold online before, and probably won’t start now. Should I just donate it so a charity will make the profit? Or should I save them for my future years when I will suddenly have tea parties and want china cream and sugar dishes?
    I also have 4 sets of china salt and pepper. Three of these sets are only for Thanksgiving (turkey shaped). I’m thinking of getting rid of all my china salt and pepper and getting a set of unbreakable stainless steel or the like that will be nice for any occasion. That makes more sense to me but except that it seems wasteful to get rid of 4 sets and buy a new.
    Just thinking out loud here!

    • Hi Claire, I am sorry for you pain at losing a beloved furry friend. I know has that feels as I lost one myself just recently. I was shocked at how it affected me and it wasn’t even my own personal pet but was much loved by us all anyway. I must be getting old and soft. Oh, who am I kidding, I was always soft. 😉

      Anyhow, back to the decluttering. I think you have probably answered your own questions here. None of those items sound like they are much treasured to me. It sounds like you keep them out of habit or because you might actually use them someday. As they are not essential items that are really need neither of those reason for keeping them is very valid. If the idea of freeing up the space is more important to you then I would let them go. However at the value of $150 for the sugar bowl and creamer, I would suggest now would be as good a time as any to dabble at attempting to sell something on-line. But if that seems like too much bother then donate it to charity.

    • Hi Claire, With items that could be sold at a substantial price, you could let an eBay-wise friend do it for you and let them have a commission off each sale. Or you can ask an auction house to handle them.

      I’m so sorry about the death of your special friend 🙁

    • Claire – sorry about your furry friend, they really do become family members.
      Claire, I vote get rid of the four sets of salt and pepper shakers and treat yourself to the ones you would like.

    • Claire,
      Pets are people too. For me, there has been no difference whether they are people that I loved or pets that I loved.
      Time does help heal, so does keeping the memories alive. We lost our beloved maine coon cat, Mickey, 14 years ago and I still feel the loss of a member of our ‘ohana (family).

      • Kimberley – if you don’t mind me going off topic – you mentioned once that the garage is a place of entertaining in Hawahii – I saw something briefly on tv along those lines, and thought I would ask.

        • The garage as an “entertainment” room is definitely a cultural thing here in Hawaii for many.
          I was told when we first moved here by some older church members that it originally started because most homes had no air conditioning. The air conditioning came from the trade winds. Opening the garage door or using the carport made perfect sense to maximize the comfort level. Personally, we have always used our garages as a room for our cars. We do store a minimum amount of gardening/car supplies and holiday decorations in the garage, but there has always been room for our two cars in our two car garage. We had air conditioning in our home in California and we have it here in our home in Hawaii which makes a difference. I love the days when the trade winds are strong and cool and I can shut off the A/C and use natures air conditioning by opening the windows. Another fact that you might find interesting is that most homes in Hawaii either have no air conditioning or air conditioning only. Few homes have furnaces for central heating.

    • Hi, Claire. I am very sorry to hear about your loss. I hope that the happy memories give you strength during this difficult time.

    • If you donate to charity you may want to include a print out of what you found online so they realize they aren’t just generic china and to be careful when pricing. Note that if yours are not in mint condition their value will be significantly decreased, and also that what someone is asking online is not the same as what they are getting. (If you search eBay, make sure you look at completed listings for the ones that sold, not current listings. There are items that have literally been being relisted for years and have not sold at the asking price.)

    • Oh thank you all for your condolences! This is a wonderful community here at 365! My fluffy little angel was such a part of my life for the last year that it has been a tough time finding out she was ill, nursing her, and then losing her after six weeks battling her virus. Having two cats really impacted my decluttering. There are a lot of things you can’t easily have in a house with cats. I never minded losing anything at all to make the house safer and more simple in order to live with our cats peacefully. As a matter of fact, there isn’t a thing in our home that I wouldn’t give away just to have her back. If only that was the way things worked. But losing my girl has really made me realize that I do not value the things in our home. I use the useful ones but I’d much rather have my little furry babies. I think it has spurred me on to more decluttering now. I really just don’t value the stuff anymore.
      Thanks for all your reinforcement in my decluttering of the china cream & sugar and salt & pepper! I have moved them ALL into the give away pile! As per your suggestion, Moni, I will be on the lookout for a salt and pepper that I want – that isn’t breakable or tied to any china pattern or holiday! Thanks again, it is good to be back!

    • Claire, I”m so sorry to hear about your loss. Pets are more than just an animal and losing them is hard. It looks like everyone gave you some good advice that I agree with. You are doing well by putting them all in the declutter pile.

    • Claire,

      Welcome back, and I am so sorry about your beloved pet! I remember one or two posts about your kitties.

      Good luck with the continued decluttering and finding a new salt & pepper set.

  3. Nothing to do with the mini mission here but I felt the need to brag. I have, for the first time in ages, achieved an empty email in-box this morning. I haven’t managed that for a while as there always seems to be a message in there that I need to get back and respond to (as anyone who has ever sent me a guest post would know). I know it probably won’t last for long but I am happy about it while it lasts.

  4. Deb J – I had to google étagère which was followed by an exclamation of “so that’s what those are called”. Learn something new everyday!

    Your mini missions sound like a woman on a mission!

    Maybe strike a deal with your mum that your pitchers are going, they are yours, and perhaps the remaining ones go on the other étagère and something there needs to go – artificial flowers would be my suggestion, at worst they could always sit in the patio in the interim. Then one étagère could be sold/donated.

    I’d suggest leaving alone the cross-stitch pictures, you did gift them. However, any of the items that you have mentioned – if they are yours, then I can see no reason why they shouldn’t be boxed up to go.

    My daughter is neck deep in her art external and her design external and has taken over the dinning room table and the office desk. To touch anything there would be certain drama. Eventually the deadline will arrive and it will come to an end. This means I can’t re-visit my photo project until I have uninterrupted access to the computer. However I want to re-house the assorted boxes relating to the photo project and similar projects ie family videos which need editing – into the hall cupboard so they’re out of storage bins and baskets on the garage floor. Eventually I want them compacted down but for now there needs to be some sort of order and organisation.

    I know there is plenty of room in my hall cupboard but it has gotten very untidy lately.

    I did however on the weekend, go thru a little chest of sentimental and/or inherited items and photographed the ones that relate to my parents. I e-mailed it to them and asked if they could identify anything in the photo – I figured if they couldn’t that should be green light to part with them. Unfortunately my mum identified all but one (which came from my dad’s mother) and I could hear from her voice that she was a bit sentimental seeing them again, so I offered to send them to her, she liked that idea, so I will do so this week.

    • Moni, I am definitely a woman on a mission. My mom is 87 1/2. I know that she will not be with me that much longer and I really don’t want to have to deal with a lot of “fluff” at her death. My brother could care less and the rest of the family do not need any more fluff as they have more than enough already. Mom has said in the last few days that when we move she plans to not take some of the things on my lists above. I’m happy dancing over that. Now to gently suggest a few other things for her to get rid of.

      It sounds like your daughter is a bear when she is working on her art projects. Hopefully this one will be gone soon and she won’t have another she needs to do for a while.

      Photos can really be a pain. I’m so glad we have taken care of that. I hope you will be able to get back to it and will find it goes quickly. It is great you were able to send some things to your mom and no longer have to deal with having them in your house. Isn’t it interesting how linen closets and other places like that can seem to take on a life of their own. No matter how well we organize them and declutter them they seem to grow stuff.

  5. MON – living room – some old candy in our “snack basket”

  6. Deb J.,
    It really does sound like you have won the battle. Even though the items are still in your home, just knowing that the decision has been made to let them go when you move must give you a sense of accomplishment.

  7. Good missions Deb J
    Mon- living room, three craft magazines to granddaughter
    Tuesday-dining room, ceramic Sun
    Wed-craft room, will have to take a better look there
    Thus-bedroom, 1 sweatshirt, 3 magazines to donation pile
    Fri-bathroom, will have to give it another look
    Sat-closet, 1 white knit shirt & 1 white cotton shirt to daughter. Still amazes me I still find clothing items since I got rid of over 50%in this year.

    Good job on the inbox Colleen! I know how hard it is to do.
    Sorry for your loss Claire.

    • Calla, you are moving along well. I’m always amazed how my closet seems to grow clothes when I thought I had done a good job of decluttering.

  8. Hi, Deb J. I have nothing for Tue, Thu and Fri. I’ll see what I can round up for the other days.

    • Nicole V, I hope it is a good thing you have nothing for those 3 days and not a case of hanging on to things you should let go of. If it is the former Congratulations.

      • We definitely have no clutter in those areas, Deb J. They were among the earliest to be decluttered and have remained that way since. It makes it so much easier to clean and maintain. Everyone who visits remarks about the spaciousness of our home – even those whose homes are larger than ours – even though we aren’t done decluttering. We figure we’re about 80% done. I try to ensure that everything has a place and that things are in their place, and I like being neat and organized. It’s also easier to declutter an item a day when you can see all your stuff in their rightful places, instead of being jam-packed with a whole lot of other stuff. My husband is also incredibly supportive and we have spent several weekends (in the past) tackling various hotbeds of clutter around our home. It’s taken a lot of time, but it is definitely worth it.

        • I forgot to mention the items for the remaining days:

          M: A huge (and heavy!) crystal bowl – given to a colleague who wanted it.

          W: I’ll be pruning more paper from the filing cabinets.

          Sa: A bath towel

        • Nicole V, it sounds like you have things in hand so that you decluttering is something that takes less time. It’s great that your husband is supportive.

  9. GREAT LIST, Deb J! I’ll see if I’ve got the right days/tasks in order here:

    LR — we have a great hutch (actually the dresser from BR furniture I repurposed when we moved in): going through a drawer to get rid of duplicate toothbrushes, expired meds, etc., we keep there, because it’s not terribly accessible, but a good stash place.

    DR — I’m moving duplicate utensils and cooking devices into a china cabinet drawer or two as an interim holding place, and then putting the ones we really don’t use in our donation box. (Hubby, who is the neat freak in the house, seems to have a problem of me getting rid of knives I don’t use, don’t like, and don’t need. I figure if I put the four extra can openers, some of the useless (to me) knives, etc., there, he won’t be as wiggy about it. “See, honey? They are still here — just not in the way …”)

    OFFICE — oh, big issue. I don’t know where to start, so I’ll just pick up SOMETHING and toss. Hmmmm — I have a lot of very nice journals, still unused. I think I’ll give one to a young lady I’m mentoring as she blooms as a poet. Yes!

    Deb J, you’ve solved a big problem for me with this list. :-))

    BEDROOM — I just did a huge clothes closet dump. Pulled big bags of jeans, sweaters, shoes, etc., together to give away. I’ve gained a lot of weight this year eating gallons of ice cream while plodding through a series of root canal failures, old crowns that decided to retire after 25+ years of service — six new ones, plus two implants. By the end of October I should be done.

    I decided not to keep what doesn’t fit now, replaced a few items, and then washed all my fall/ winter stuff I’ll wear. Later, I’ll get more jeans. No more holding on. I called it facing my current reality and moving forward.

    BATHROOM — went through our first aid kit area over the weekend, too, but still have a bit to do. Pulled out possibly useful yhings like ACE wrap bandages, extra rolls of bandage tapes, and misc. items.
    CLOSET — hall closet (almost forgot!) — went through our gloves, scarves, hats. Didn’t throw any out, but reorganized so we know what we have, and can see it. Washed my scarves; hubby said his didn’t need it. I don’t agree, but his are wool, and I didn’t know if they are washable. But I did empty and clean out all the old tissues, receipts, shopping lists, and found $19 in a pocket. No idea why it’s there, but, hey, I’m not complaining.

    Wow — this is too long! All of my donations go to a group called Families First, connected to the Salvation Army. The families in transition clients get first shot at everything. What they can’t use then goes into the Salvation Army truck for their store. A have some kitchen stuff already in the box, but have more to add later.

    Thank you for the thoughtful way you put together your info, Deb J. You hit on the dilemmas we face when it’s not just out own stuff in shared space. Good luck on the move. I think we’d all love to see some before and after pics.

    • Wow RoadWriter, you have really taken this week and done a great job of decluttering. I love your idea of moving things to an interim holding place so you can gradually declutter things your hubby has a problem with. I have found that “out of sight out of mind” works well. I’m glad I was able to help you with a big problem. You seem to be really doing a good job of finding things to declutter and with no problem of doing it. Doesn’t it feel really good?!

    • Hi, Road Writer. I enjoyed reading your amusing account of your decluttering. Good job!

      • Thanks, Deb J. I was really inspired by the community spirit and responses to your post. Nice to be on the “doing” side instead of the “reading about” sideline.

      • OOPS! I hit the wrong button.
        Thanks, Nicole V. You’ve been quite busy, too. How does it feel to be able to say, “I don’t have anything left to declutter ” on a task? I wonder …

        • Keep at it, Road Writer … you will get there. I love Colleen’s one-item-a-day method because it works beautifully with any type of decluttering that I do and it’s so easy to begin. Even if you fall off the wagon for whatever reason, it’s a cinch to just start again, and you can even do it in advance if you are planning to go on vacation. 🙂

          Once those areas were decluttered, we worked to keep them that way … it helps to motivate and inspire us to continue. It’s a nice reminder of how far we have come and a great incentive for us to continue until we reach the point that’s just right for us.

  10. Regarding the unused back brace:
    Frequently, Senior Centers have a ‘closet’ (which is frequently a large room), in which they keep donated (clean!) medical supplies that can be reused by others. Crutches, walkers, raised seats, grapplers, neck braces, et cetera. I’m guessing that a back brace, especially unused, could be used by someone else, maybe not ‘happily’ per se, but perhaps gratefully.

    • Min, you have a great idea. I will have to check into it.

      • Hi Deb. Other ideas for the back brace, should you need them: the local home care or Red Cross office – wherever people go to borrow or rent crutches and things, or through your church for a medical mission somewhere.

        I hope you will be able to convince your mother to get rid of (or at least pack up) a lot of the ornaments for one simple reason — homes sell faster and for a better price if they are not cluttered. If financial considerations are a reason for keeping stuff, maybe financial considerations could be a motivation for NOT keeping stuff. Good luck.

        • Wendy B, thanks for the other ideas. I do think that I will be able to get Mom to start doing more about decluttering things now rather than later. She is working on the spices today. Woo Hoo!!

  11. Your column this week is outstanding as it is full of “pretties” and my mother will soon be sharing my home and she is both the Queen of Clutter and the Empress of what my Dad, delightfully, called “Tinkly Things.” When Dad said “Tiinkly Things,” you knew that he mean useless, delicate “pretties” that were packed so closely together on shelves that they tinkled when a heavy delivery truck went by on our narrow street.

    My own “excess” consists of neatly shelved shelved books, knitting supplies and LPs, as I am an old-school audiophile and do not want to digitize my music nor pay twice for things I’ve bought once. The album artwork, posters, and even the smell of vinyl is a strong sentimental comfort to me, as is the ritual of putting the album on the turntable (my husband and I both were deejays and met at a radio station). Nonetheless, I do regularly cull a few items from my books, hobby, and music collections regularly, no matter how neatly they are stored. When I knit a garment, I save a sandwich bag containing about ten yards of the remaining yarn, for repairs, and an index card indicating which garment it goes with (Dave’s RED ARAN SWEATER, for example, along with the date it was completed.) This way I can easily find repair yarn and/or an extra button if needed. But every garment results in at least a half-ball too much of that yarn, and there is always that ball of yarn one bought spontaneously and never found a project for. Those I donate to our local Montessori school, as they teach knitting. Likewise I am ruthless with books — a one-time read, like a popular novel, is NEVER shelved, but given to a friend or the charity store. Of course I keep reference books and classics.

    My mother is a challenge; as she wishes to get rid of nothing whatsoever. So, here are some suggestions that have worked for me in paring down her home:

    Un-frame small “sentimental” artwork (like children’s pictures and cross stitch projects). and put them in a memory album. Donate the frames to a thrift store.

    Convince Mom that some young woman at the battered woman’s shelter will delight in Mom’s countless “retro,” but no longer used, kitchen items in setting up a new, safe home. Many young people enjoy 1950s things now. Likewise, convince her that non-utilitarian items (usually not accepted at the women’s shelter) can be sold at a “retro” shop (whichever items are rejected by the retro shop, I donate to the thrift shop on that side of town and I add some extra money so she thinks they all sold. Not 100% honest, I know, but it motivates her, and it sticks to the rule of “once it leaves, it does not come back in.”.

    TAKING PICTURES of everything she balks at discarding is a huge help. This tactic alone helps her decide to unload a surprising number of things, yet takes up SO much less space than the items themselves, and she gets to reflect on the memories she associates with them. For example, the huge 1950’s coffee-table ashtray she could not part with — Mom never smoked, dad quit in the 70s. The retro store DID want that.

    The difficult things are items she associates with childhood. Not just a few precious things from her own childhood, like a beloved doll, but anything having to do with ANYONE’S childhood. he used to spontaneously purchase little tea sets at shops (more Tinkly Things”) and cram them into her china closet because she LOVED playing “teatime” as a child. It has been difficult to convince her to save only her OWN childhood tea set. Her china cabinet and any available shelf space is crammed full of such things.

    This is so long, but I want to close with one thing: never forget that you can always stop at the thrift store or charity shop to donate even one or two items. You needn’t wait until you have a FULL box, unless your closest thrift store is located at an impractical distance. I pass a certain charity shop on my way to work each day. I keep a box in my car for unwanted items, and sometimes take a moment to drop off only a couple of shirts and a book, for example.

    • Dez, I just want to say good luck with having your mother move in with you and your husband. I know it will be hard for her to give up things. Unfortunately, you can’t give her as much space as she is used to and so she needs to start the culling.

      I can see how it would be hard for you to suddenly dispose of all of the LPs after both of you being deejays. I have to say that there is something about the tangible feel of them and the sound of them that calls to those of us who were used to playing them. I seldom listen to music at home because Mom doesn’t not to have it going. It will be interesting to see if I pick back up with it once we are no longer sharing a home. I am also one who prefers a “real” book (the paper kind) rather than a digital one but with my hands no longer liking to hold them I have become acclimated to my tablet. I have very few non-digital books now.

      I like your idea for how to keep yarn and buttons for a project in case they need repairs. We do the same with the extra buttons that come with a item of clothing. You have some great ideas for helping someone pare down their home. All of them work for various items they have a hard time decluttering. Mom just said a few minutes ago that she really wants to get at the spices/herbs cabinet as we have a lot we need to get rid of. I’ll say!! We have things she brought with us when we moved here almost 8 years ago. Some we have never yet opened.

    • Hi, Dez. “Empress of Tinkly Things” – LOL!

  12. Wow, everyone has been really busy and so productive already.

    I love the list of things you want to get rid of Deb, will be interested to hear about the results.

    Claire, so sorry for the loss of your furry angel – they are only our companions for a little while and it just breaks your heart when they are gone.

    I had a quick look at the missions before I left for Sydney today to visit my Son & DIL. I had already decided to take a few things along for them. They don’t exactly fit the criteria but it’s stuff out of my house.

    I gave them a near new steam mop that I have used twice and found hard to push – Son & DIL have all tiles and boards – only in their 20’s and should be fine with it. That was in the hall cupboard which is off the living room.
    Also a set of 6 glasses we don’t use from the kitchen which runs off the dinning area.

    From the bedroom, will go through my wardrobe again but I do have a book in my bedside table that I started several months ago, I’m giving myself to the end of the weekend to finish it or it will be donated.

    Have a good week all. Mich

    • Hi Mich, where are you from?

      • I’m from Buttaba – Lake Macquarie. Not so far from you. My husband works nights – he was listening to Tony Delroy and your interview several years ago. He came home and told me about you as I had started my journey to minimalising. I dismissed the idea of one thing a day immediately. It would all take just too long and I want to be freed up from all this stuff now. The thing that did interest me was that you were a local. It’s the only reason I looked at the web site and was so encouraged by everyone’s efforts. I let go of all the easy things which for me was clothes, jewellery and just about everything but my cookbooks and kitchen things – that’s where I hit my stumbling block. Then I made a commitment to let go of at least 1 cookbook a day as that was all I could manage without being overwhelmed. I have gone from over 700 books to now just 71 cookbooks. Also I have been able to donate 4 bookcases as well.
        So Colleen, a big thankyou for your 365 less things and all the wonderful people that leave comments and keep each other motivated towards a life without clutter. Mich

        • Hi Michelle, thanks for responding and sharing your story. So the one thing a day method did come in handy in the end. I had also gotten rid of a lot of stuff before I started on the thing a day so I can understand why some people couldn’t start out at that pace. While other people, even from the start couldn’t manage more than that until they honed their decluttering passion. I am so glad you managed to declutter so many cookbooks. I am a lover of taste.com as I will never need to buy another cookbook again.

          And if you are even in Newcastle and at a loose end send me an email and we could meet up for a chat.

          • Absolutely, when it comes to cookbooks all I can do is 1 at a time, 1 day at a time. Would love to meet up for a coffee with you Colleen. I nurse at Newcastle Private, so am often in town. I enjoy browsing taste too but love the feel of a real book and looking at the gorgeous photos. The starting point for decluttering cookbooks were the ones that didn’t have pictures. The reason I have decluttered in all other areas of my life is to spend more time cooking. I wanted to do the Minimalist Packing Party – Hubby was no way. Stick with one a day and if we get rid of extra then it’s a bonus.

            • Well, we could have caught up at Newcastle Private last week when my daughter-in-law was in there having my grandson. It’s a small world isn’t it.

              I am not surprised that you first got rid of the cookbooks without pictures. When I did buy cookbooks I wouldn’t buy one if it didn’t have photos.

    • Mich, I like the idea of taking things to your son & DIL. I like that with a quick look you could see things you wanted rid of.

  13. living room: 5 boxes of oven cooking bags from hutch

    dining room: 6 Tupperware sipper seals

    office: 30 books from hubby’s office closet (I was so surprised! I had offered to make room in another closet for his dad’s books. Then when he began to go through them, he decluttered 30!!! And kept way less than that. He also decluttered some of his dad’s sketches this week…his dad was a photographer and he and his friend would go out and photograph beach scenes, shrimp boats, etc…then the friend, an artist, would make sketches from the photos. We have a number of them hanging in our home, but there were some that hubby felt we would never hang. Hallelujah!!!)

    bedroom: 1 vinyl shower curtain liner from bedroom drawer

    bathroom: 1 herbal footcare product

    closet: 1 bottle aftershave

  14. Idgy of the North

    Great missions, Deb J.

    For Monday, we are deck uttering an upright piano and accessories. Only spouse plays and has rarely played in last 20 years. The piano is going to a family where all the children take lessons. So glad this big beast is leaving our small living room. Spouse is even considering another musical instrument (played once in 10 years) despite saying 3 months ago that he would keep it forever. We talked a lot about good quality musical instruments deserved to be played.

  15. TUE – dining room – recycled a plastic container I’ve been using to store flax seed. replaced it with a lidded glass container from our garage, but it is still a net loss of one 🙂

  16. OK – today I literally got rid of a tonne or so of clutter. The old family wagon that got run out of oil and has been sitting on my front lawn for several months, today left.

  17. WED – office – I have been working to downsize my digital “sticky notes”. This takes time as I have to go to each link and decide whether I am still interested in it. Some progress, but I cannot say that I am “done”.

    THUR – bedroom – I’m working on reading through a professional magazine (was on my nightstand) which I will donate after I’m through with it… but it will take some time so I’m claiming a declutter now 🙂

    FRI – bathroom – We used up an Isopropl Alcohol, will not be replacing because we already have a “stash” of this 🙂 Also, I poured a tiny bottle of body wash into the hand soap and recycled the empty container.

    SAT – closet – hmmm… I’m cheating here because I took care of something that “lived” in both the garage and a kitchen cupboard. We had a stash of baggies of all sizes. But before we realized it, the oldest grandkid had pulled them out of their boxes and left them littered around both areas. So, I put the still nice clean looking ones inside the largest size of baggy and will donate to Goodwill. The remaining ones will go to pet shelter for “scooping” etc.

  18. Peggy, good job finding things to declutter this week. The digital “sticky notes” are one that I find I need to do often to keep them from getting out of hand.

  19. Deb J,

    This was a great guest post! I feel for you, having to live with so much that you would like to be rid of. But I admire your patience with your mother and her things. It sounds like her mind is still very sharp, in that she knows what and where everything is! LOL. At least she is making progress.

    I’m on my own moving schedule for the next nine weeks, so I hope you don’t mind if I am not following the missions. We cleaned out the rest of our garage yesterday (which was so easy, since I had been 365-ing since the beginning of the year). We also donated a lot of food to the food bank. And tomorrow we will clean up the kayaks and list them for sale. One thing at a time, one day at a time…..

    • Melanie, it sounds like you have your work cut out for you but you are getting it done. Good for you. Hope the kayaks sell quickly.

      Yes, Mom is still very sharp as well as very spry for her age. She’s a hoot most of the time except for hanging on to things.