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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Hi Colleen,

    Thank you for posting my comment AND thank you for everything else you do! πŸ™‚

  2. Very insightful, its all about changing our habits. One at a time and of course doing it consciously.

    • Thank you Lorena, I think you hit the nail on the head! It’s that thing of being conscious of our consumption and waste patterns πŸ™‚

  3. YAY for Peggy!! I love stories like this. πŸ™‚

  4. Great job Peggy. Thanks for your comment because it inspires us all.

  5. Lol, I recently came across a photo of one of my cats sitting in our little lounge with a background of clutter. I literally reared back. Yep that is what that room used to look like, it was horrorifying!

    • OK Moni, now you have to share. Please send me that shot and the same spot now.

      • Colleen – I will have a look, it was amongst the digital photo era photos, it may have gone to the recycle bin.

    • Hi Moni,

      First of all, your comment made me smile and chuckle πŸ™‚ But also, that is exactly what I was referring to in my comment, what my place must have looked like “before”… only I don’t think I have a photo, just have to imagine all that stuff added back into my house (shudder!)… Some day, the current state of my home will become another “before” haha πŸ™‚

  6. Very nicely put, Peggy. When you talk about changing your thought processes and creating a better-functioning home I am nodding my head in agreement. Exactly what we are trying to do and it is wonderful to be part of a community that understands our goals and celebrates every success.

    • Hi Christine,

      I wish I knew when I started to really get the thought process thing… I know this blog was the main cause of the change in my thinking… It’s great that we are all here together sharing the journey πŸ™‚

  7. Good on ya Peggy.

    I too look back at all the things I have given away to the Charity shops. If I was to take all those things back, I would definitely need a bigger house.

    And I am still finding things to give away. More is going out than coming in. Hurrah.

    Thank you all for your motivating comments.

  8. Thanks for sharing Peggy . πŸ™‚
    When family come onboard the process is so much easier .

  9. Thanks for sharing Peggy . πŸ™‚
    When family come onboard the process is so much easier .

    • Hi Wendyf, I’m still trying to get the daughters on board… But I’m glad my husband is coming around πŸ™‚

  10. Inspiring! Time to get on my declutter projects with more will than ever!

  11. We just returned home from 4 months on the road and travelling overseas. When I got home, I am once again blown away by the stuff I didn’t miss and things I forgot we even owned. AND we downsized in 2012 to a condo.

    • Hi Jackie,

      Your comment made me smile… I imagine being able to “see” stuff like that once our daughters leave home for good. Right now, there is much I would like to part with but it isn’t mine to pass along (sigh)…

  12. yay peggy!! this is such a good feeling!!

    I just got home from a week of vacation. I learned a couple of things:
    I travelled Colleen-style. with just my everyday rucksack and a little handbag (iPad, iPhone, cable, purse, sunglasses sunscreen and a book). It was amazing and I will NEVER ever go back to big backpacks, travelling bags or suitcases. I consider buyign a slightly bigger rucksack with more pockets, so I dont have to stuff clean and dirty laundry, shoes and books all together… Colleen any advice?
    I saw a copy of karen kingstons “clear your clutter” in german. when I pointed out to the owner that I love decluttering, the owner gave it to me as a present and we talked a lot about feng shui and how to “improve” the house. I read the book twice now. Although there is nothing new about clutter in it, it is a perfect source of inspiration. Isnt it amazing, that there is no end decluttering? After three solid years of throwing out, reclycling, giving away, rearranging, minimizing, improvising, understanding and changing, there is still something to learn.
    spring is magical. I feel adventurous. I think the time of bare white walls is over. I will paint them light green and add new decoration.

    • Hi Lena, I agree a bag with separate compartments is good. I also have three mesh packing cubes for mine too which keeps everything very tidy in there. My bag also can expand but I have rarely had to do that. If I have to expand it then it would be too full and heavy to carry on.

      Now on the subject of Germany, I will be spending three months in Berlin over Christmas. You must send me an email to tell me where in Germany you live and if we are in your area at anytime we could meet up.

      • just sent you an email regarding your visit.

        Regarding the bag: I was at our local shop already and had a long talk with the guys there. we figured that for my ideas it would be a so called “bike-rucksack” with around 30 litres volumes. it would still fit the hand-luggage size for flights and still be big enough to carry all the important things. I loved one specific bag especially. it had a bottom pocket for shoes, a top pocket for valuables and an integrated raincover. it had everything I actually wanted. I think I will check it out soon.
        I did see those mesh cubes, but I didnt really understand the purpose of them – just until last week.

    • Hi Lena,

      I love it that you travelled “Colleen-style”! I’ve been using a large zippered tote for travel. It doesn’t really have compartments, so I make do with a couple of Ziploc baggies for toiletries and jewelry. But I like that the tote is fabric and since I don’t fill it, it can squish down to a small size for carry-on. The zipper keeps everything secure πŸ™‚

  13. A comment I received by email from Tanja
    In fact I have just finished packing 8 gifts – I laminated “holy” Christmas cards, up-cycled necklaces, and included some kind of toiletries (unwanted teacher gifts)…and wrapped each set in huge maps (and old American Sate Farm
    atlas). These will go to the residents of a Home next Tuesday

    • Hi Tanja, I love it that you wrapped the gifts in maps… I have thought of doing that but have to be ready to part with the maps first LOL

  14. To everyone: Thanks for all your comments <3 I've been a little under the weather with a cold πŸ™ But I'm glad I could tell a story that you could relate to πŸ™‚

  15. I have been a collector of “stuff” my whole life. Had a major life changing operation last October and since then have been getting rid of lots of stuff. For the past 10+ years, I had been stock piling items for use after retirement (this November). Using “poverty thinking” (after retirement not having enough money to buy craft items, books to read, clothing, i.e…). My small home was piled high! After many trips to Goodwill with bags and bags of items, one or two bags of books donated to our local library for their book sales, I am starting to see the light! Major clean out of old financial papers, sentimental papers, etc… (on the 11th clothes basket for the burner). I feel so different. God has continued to provide anything that I truly need.

    • Good for you Jill and welcome to 365 Less Things. The trick with not falling into the poverty thinking mode is to realise what is actually necessary in the first place.
      Your comment has got me thinking about an idea for a blog post so stay tuned for that.