Things I still have too many of

After 25 months of decluttering it is hard to believe that there are still some things that I have too many off. It’s OK though because we are still happily working away at the excess one day at a time. I will however share with you below a list of some of those items. I will also explain the excess and why they are still here even though I am aware of them.

  • Bath towels ~ I have weeded out the tatty ones and donated the extreme excess but the remaining ones will be subject to natural progression decluttering. That is, I will not replace them once they wear out. Sometimes it is just insane to declutter items that are perfectly good and useful to you that will cost money to replace sometime not too far into the future.
  • Keepsakes ~ Periodically both my husband and I sort through these and weed out a few more items. This is an area I don’t like to be too hasty with. I consult the children and my husband about the items I am decluttering because this is a communal collection of our history. Happily there is a lot less of it now than there was when we started our declutter journey. And there will be even less by the time we reach our final decluttered destination.
  • Souvenirs ~ For the most part these aren’t mine so it goes to my husband to do most of the decluttering in this area. Slowly but surely he is letting go of more and more of it. That makes me a very happy lady because I am the one who dusts the items that are out on display. My son has his own collection but like hubby he also has the odd impromptu cull.
  • Kitchen items ~ This area of my home has been continually picked over throughout the last 25 months. As a result there is far less than there was when we began. Much of what is excess is only there because we use a dishwasher which, depending on the daily menu, can swallow up several of an particular item before it is full and warrants turning on. There are some items that I will give to my son when he leaves home and if he doesn’t need them they will be donated to charity.
  • Socks ~ I started out with quite a large collection of socks. Last year I paid close attention to what I was using during the cooler months. Once it became clear which ones weren’t being used I rounded them up and donated them to the thrift store. A few other pairs succumbed to natural progression decluttering which is pretty much what is planned for the remainder.
  • Clothing ~ This is an interesting area for me because over the last two years my circumstances have changed due to quitting my job. I am now home most of the time and don’t see that situation changing any time soon. Therefore last year I donated several of my work outfits as I noticed that there is always a good supply of replacements at the thrift store should I choose to reverse my current employment status. Several everyday outfits have, like my socks, became shabby and old and were thrown out but some of those required replacing. There are still a number of items that are also about to reach the point of becoming rags and will soon depart my wardrobe and won’t be replaced. I am however not content with my fashion choices but am undecided about what to do about that so I will continue to deploy the backward facing hanger tactic each change of season until I discover what the solution is.
  • Craft supplies ~ Anyone who has read my blog posts for a while knows how overstocked I was with this category before my 365 less things challenge began. Well I have a whole lot less now than there was at the beginning due to selling and donating much of it. But there is however still I lot more than I would like and I am not using it up quick enough. This area will be subject to continuous decluttering for some time yet. I am happy to let go of more as I feel ready.
  • Jewellery ~ Although I have been through my jewellery box may times and have let go of several items I know that there are still things in there that I am quite ready to part with. The only thing holding me back is that I feel inclined to try to sell them and just can’t be bothered with that rigmarole right now. They take up so little space that I feel no urgency to deal with them. Perhaps soon.
  • Furniture ~ There are a couple of furniture items taking a vacation from the house in the garage at the moment. They have been in constant use over the years but now I think with the reduction of other items they are no longer required. I will make a final decision on them soon. The most likely outcome is that I will send them on their way.

So no matter whether it is by natural progression or through some effort by me the plan is to continue to reduce. Meanwhile there seems to still be plenty of other odds and ends heading out the door. Do you still have something that you feel you have too many of and what do you plan to do about it?

Today’s Declutter Item

Speaking of craft supplies here are some more that have been used up to make this years birthday cards for the women in my life. Already several have headed out the door to their respective recipients as the first couple of months of the year are busy with birthdays in our family.

More craft supplies converted to this years birthday cards

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Mango and macadamia ice-cream. A flavour combination made in heaven I believe. Cool, refreshing and crunchy all rolls into one. M Mmmmmm!

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

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


Continue reading with these posts:

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  • The problem is acquiring Clutter is very much about being keener to acquire than to let go. We acquire things we need or want but once their usefulness to us has expired we hang on to them. I feel that there are […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Perishables 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. I feel the way about my Jane Austen movies that you do about your towels. It is a bit different though, since I could watch them through Netflix, Amazon, etc. But, I know that when I want to watch a movie, they are the ones I choose. I have about 8-10 of them and I am not going to get rid of them. Instead of getting rid of them and paying to watch them again, I am just going to hang on to them. If you can get downloads that are yours to keep, and not just rent, I may change my mind and do that. They don’t take up too much space, and I really enjoy them. I am happy to get rid of other things, but not these. As for furniture, I am happy to find it a good home instead of have it hanging around.

    • Same here, I have been watching both the BBC and the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice on repeat for the last month 🙂

    • Hey Spendwisemom, if you enjoy them, they aren’t clutter (in my book). Enjoy!

    • I agree with your choice. There is no point in getting rid of something that you enjoy and use on a regular basis. Decluttering is for getting rid of the clutter.

      • Everybody who’s enjoying Jane Austen movies should check out the BBC series Downton Abbey. Season 1 and 2 have already been aired in the UK. In the US, season 1 is available on Netflix (streaming or CDs) and season 2 is currently being aired on public television.

  2. You and me both, the battle with too much of everything. I’ve been de-cluttering my home for about a year now. But its still feel that I have too much of everything. Again, thank you for sharing your inner thoughts, because when we feel we are not getting any where, their is always light in the end of the tunnel. You are my light and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • Thanks Angelina, I am glad that what we do here at 365 Less Things is making a positive impact on you life. The person making the most difference is you though. You are the one at the working end of this making the real changes. So give yourself a pat on the back. Many people read this stuff but don’t act on it so ultimately it is up to you and you are change you want in your life. Well done.

  3. We’re almost at the place I want us to be, clutterwise. The only things I think we still have too much of is dishes (esp. coffee mugs), towels (most of them his that he had before I moved in), and for me, handbags. I used to have much more (a little less than 50?). I now have 9, which I know isn’t totally ridiculous but I want to get it to less than 5. I’m stuck for now, not ready to let any of the rest go just yet; they’re the one area of clutter I take the most time to let go of. Heh.

    • Faith, if you are getting enjoyment out of those handbags then they aren’t clutter. Just don’t add any more to the mix. Eventually they will begin to wear out and you will be able to do some natural progression decluttering.

      • This was my plan, but I realized it will be years before any of them wear out and I know I will give into temptation to buy another before then. I haven’t bought one in almost 2 years, which is major, so I guess I’m waiting to see how long I can hold out.

        • I consider handbags to be a purely utilitarian item so I personally don’t understand the desire to constantly “update my style”. I do however understand that it has become the norm among the female population and it is I who is unusual. Taking the environment into consideration makes it easy for me to decide what matters most and shopping for things I don’t need isn’t it for me. I do hope you keep holding out faith or perhaps start a handbag swap with your friends and family so you can update your style in an affordable and environmentally friendly way.

  4. I find that if it’s something I’m use not yet ready to part with but know I surely will in due time – I just put it elsewhere. I have a huge Rubbermaid plastic box in the attic for such things as well as smaller container in the back of the guest room closet for smaller things (or things I don’t think will survive being in the attic). I have gone through those 2 “temporary hold” boxes a couple times now & so far I’ve only pulled out 1 item to keep. A tote bag of all thing.

    I was planning on selling that particular tote bag & get another tote bag about the same size, that would hold the same items & be used exactly the same. Only having the tote bag out of it’s usual location did I finally realize that it’s just what I need & there’s no need to sell it & buy something just like it. In hindsight, that all seems so ridiculous but at least I realized that what I had was perfect & there was no need to get yet another. Not only is my decluttering a work in progress – but so am I!

    • Hi Jane,
      it sounds like you have formulated a system that works for you and that is great. Out of site out of mind soon sorts out whether something is really needed or not. You either miss it and want it back of you realise you never really used or cared for it in the first place.

      I am glad you are learning to analyse purchases before you make them and are being more conscientious about the whole decision making process. Well done. You have passed to the next level in your anti-clutter skills capabilities. I just made that up of course but it is appropriate nonetheless. 😉

  5. Well, I did something I normally wouldn’t do. I went out and bought 6 chairs on rollers. These are $300+ office chairs with the low backs. I got them new for 2 for $15!! We are putting 4 of them around our dining room table, one in my mother to have at her sewing machine and one for me in my craft studio. We will be getting rid of the two office chairs we have now and the two chairs on rollers we had at the table (old and uncomfortable). We now have 4 wooden chairs that came with the dining table that Mom wants to keep for now. I think she will soon decide we don’t need them. It is very hard for either of us to push back from the table because of her hip and my knee problems. This will make it so much easier yet we can also raise and lower the chairs for people with longer legs or whatever. I’m really excited about this. I think we can get more out of the two office chairs and the 4 wooden ones than we paid for these 6. On top of that, we were able to take another big bag of things to the shelter. Now if I could just convince Mom we don’t need the empty containers.

    • Hurrah for you Deb J. My grandparents had padded rolling chairs around their kitchen table and very much preferred them to non-rolling chairs. You got a good deal, too, as usual.

    • Hey Deb J, that is a great example of furnishing outside the box if ever I heard it. Good for you, buy what works for you instead of what is conventional. I am sure your mother will realise that she doesn’t need to keep those wooden chairs soon enough. Let her have a little cooling off period and she will come round I am sure. You didn’t tell us how you got such a bargain on the new chairs though.

      • Mom is already dropping off the amount of chairs she wants to keep. Love it. I got the bargain chairs from a guy who buys up groups of new business furniture from companies (like Staples or Office Max) who have too many in inventory or from companies who sell a building full of furniture they no longer want (and is in good shape). Well, some company gathered all the office chairs of this one type from their inventory in all their stores and sold them to him. 300+ of them. They had decided they werent moving fast enough. With so many of them, he sold them CHEAP. I looked them up on the web and they regularly sell for $299-$359. They sit so nice and we really like them around the table.

        • Wow, how bad is the stock control at that company. Ouch! Sounds a bit like the furniture company I used to work for. So intent of padding the inventory with items that they get the best mark-up on while not paying enough attention to what the customers want and are purchasing.

  6. I haven’t had a martini in over 2 years, hate entertaining, yet still have 8 martini glasses! They are so pretty though, and we now have cupboard space to store them properly, but I figure if I haven’t used them by the time the lease is up on this house (December) I’ll get rid of them.

    • Could you repurpose them Loretta? At this moment, I can’t think of what other function a martini glass might have, but I’m sure there’s something.

    • Loretta, you have decluttered so much over the last couple of years I am thinking 8 little martini glasses won’t cause too much clutter while you decide whether you really want to keep them or not. That is the beauty of slow and stead decluttering ~ At the start of this venture you can be decluttering lots of other stuff while undecided items can be set aside for now. The middle of the journey is much the same and then at the end there is so little left that that one thing you are undecided about really isn’t in the way so it can stay until you are really ready to let it go. No rash decision ever need be made.

  7. We have too many kid craft supplies, which I’ve attacked in bursts, and an excess in our garage, which is going to have to stay that way for now. My parents have moved many of their items into our garage so that they can remodel their house. (It’s only outside brick, roof, and interior studs right now.) There’s not much room to maneveur to declutter, although we decluttered a lot of larger items just before they moved into it.

    • Your parents are doing a reverse children clutter manoeuvre. Instead of their child leaving clutter in their house once they are married and gone, your parents are leaving their clutter at their child’s house. Be careful they will be moving in with you next. 😆

  8. I think I have too many dishes but I do have the storage for them so can’t see the harm in keeping them just yet. I have culled some, and I’m sure more will go in the next round, but apart from that I am quite happy with how things are looking. Never going to be a minimalist though, not that I particularly want to be 🙂

    • Hi Judy, I like that you are thinking about the next round. Those dishes are safe for now but who knows when you will feel like you have done enough rounds. How we feel in the beginning of our declutter journey can change as time goes on. I had never even heard of the minimalist movement when I first began decluttering. Not that have any minimalist aspirations either but I am much closer to it than I used to be.

  9. Hi Colleen
    There have been a couple of days over the last week or two when I haven’t received your post. Was wondering whether you know what the problem could be and whether anyone else has experienced it too? As far as I’m aware, I haven’t changed anything from this end…at least not intentionally 😉
    Thanks
    Colleen P

  10. interesting question. “things I still have too many of”… and I am thinking and thinking, and there are 2 areas where I might have too many of. I have around 20 scarfs, in different styles and fabrics. haha. I wasnt aware of that. I should go through them and see which ones I dont wear anymore.
    the other area is tupperware. I have a shelf full of them, but to be honest I do use them a lot as well. I am cooking a lot myself, freezing things, bringing things to friends, keeping leftovers in the fridge. And I think there is just one that I havent used in recent weeks, I might put that to the destination shelf too…

    I think you are making great progress on your areas. Since I have been reading (couple of months) you had countless occasions where you made cards, gave away paper, pearls, tools, etc. if you keep up that pace you are done with crafts by 2013 😉

    • Ha Lena, there is that optimism again. I hope your are correct that I will be done decluttering craft supplies by 2013.

      It is funny how one little question will get people thinking and identifying items they hadn’t thought to declutter. Before you get rid of that tupperware container check throughout your home as to whether it can be utilised as storage for something. My son repurposed one of my Tupperware containers into a flash diffuser for his camera last weekend. who’d have thought that was possible. Too bad it was a type I use regularly but I relinquished it to him anyway.

      • lol, of all the decluttering that is going on in your house, your son is picking those things that you actually use. Haha. I like that guy.

        great idea, I will reuse the blue box for the small screws and nails that are currently in a little orange box that is too small. thanks!

        challenge? you send me a card to germany with the last pieces of your craft supplies by the end of this year. 😉

  11. The only thing I can think of are my paintings 🙂 Paying to store them is so annoying. I’m always happy when one of them finds a new home, but I have so many I feel like I’ll have to keep a storage place for them forever. In our home, I can honestly think of nothing we have an excess of. I have gone through everything and I just feel uneasy if there is anything in excess. (Okay, there are my husband’s paperwork and receipts and whatnot.. I turn a blind eye because it would drive me nuts if I thought about it too much. I just try to make sure it’s contained in designated places and not growing everywhere.)

    • I always think its a shame if there is art in dark and private storage. wouldnt it be nicer for your paintings if you save the storage fees and pay it into a little rent and hang them in a gallery? people can then see and mybe even buy it.

    • Hi Cat’sMeow, I can understand your frustration of having to pay for storage for your paintings. Paying for storage of any kind seem uneconomical. Oh well so long as you are making more money from the painting than you are paying on to store them you are still ahead financially. If that isn’t the case you really need to reconsider the situation.

  12. I started to declutter my closet this weekend. I couldn’t belive how many black turtleneck shirts I have (6) – and I live in Florida US!! It’s 75 degrees here (23.9C) but I am wearing a black turtlenck at work because it is cold inside and I still wear more wintery things now. I don’t need so many but I decided to keep them as I lose 1-2 a season to stains, wear & tear etc. I won’t buy any for next winter tho!

    • I went to put away newly purchased and washed guests towels, and alas, already in my small home I have too many towels to nicely fit. I have 2 bath towels (white), usually one awaiting wash, the other in use. Recently both were in the wash, so I started with a blue towel (which in my head is a ‘ water polo towel’). Alas there is another blue towel in the water polo bag, and another other towel in the closest (the gym towel), then in the linen press there was one other blue towel (the scrap towel, it has a hole, it’s used to protect items, ie my mirror as it rested on the floor etc). It annoyed me that the clean towels didn’t fit nicely!!

      I also still have too many deodorants (the fave has been relegated to hard to reach, so I’m working on two at the moment with daily use).

      Socks, I have too many, so 5 pairs were squirreled away, so that when these ones wear out, I can have ‘new’ already owned ones. I think I needed socks, bought a five pack, then went overseas, and mum found me a 10 pack, and that’s how I ended up with so many. At least I wear them every work day, plus all through winter on weekends.

      I empathize with the dishwasher dilemma. I have a six setting of crockery, and my family can’t see why I don’t use the dishwasher – mainly cause it’d take so long to fill, and by then I’d need a bowl. And… all the big stuff needs washing up anyway, it’s not too hard to add one plate/bowl etc to the wash up.

      As for furniture, Saturday I splurged on my only ‘new’ (ie unused) furniture – $2600 for two sofas.

      • Hi Snosie,
        your towel problem, I imagine, stems from you now living alone and not wanting to wash small loads of washing. I of course don’t have that problem with three of us in the home but having towels in colours that can easily be washed together without affecting each other is the solution to this problem. Maybe if you could wash your sheets, your white clothing and your white towels altogether that would get them back into circulation more quickly.

        The dishwasher has the same size issue as the washing machine. My sister has a two drawer dishwasher and can wash one small drawer at a time saving water and detergent. It is a great solution for her needs.

        You have done very well with your secondhand furniture purchasing so I think you deserve to splurge on some new sofas.

        • Ah thanks for commenting on my ‘late’ comment (internet expired at home, and I was on a day off).

          I’m happy to wash sheets with towels, wonder why it didn’t happen that way this week?! (Am puzzled as I usually do this!?).

          I think I’ll just continue to hand wash dishes whilst I have a big installed dishwasher. It’s a large drying/hidden rack, so it’s all good! I’m not (really) using a double cupboard in the kitchen, so I’m not short on space. (When I say not really using, I mean it’s got shoes in it when I decided I didn’t like them in the open, and the shoe cleaning pillowcase, and the new tapware – but all those things are just ‘hiding’ there, awaiting decisions on best homes or use)

          • Yeh Snosie I would go with the hand washing dishes too. I survived without a dishwasher from the age of three until I was 34 so it is possible. And yes I meant 3, my mother had us doing the dishes from a very early age. I was about 4 when my 3 siblings and I all got into trouble for making too much noise while doing the dishes. My mum was trying to watch the news. Perhaps we were fighting I don’t know but she gave us all a smack. Unfortunately for her I was holding a fork at the time and in self defence I covered my bum when she when to hit me. Too bad I had the fork in that hand and she was stabbed in the hand. My dad was out of town at the time and my 6 year old bother was the hero of the day running to fetch the neighbour to help. I always tell her she deserved it for beating innocent children and that she was a child slave boss. We laugh about it whenever the occasion arrives to remember it.

          • lol colleen. I hope that was a lesson for her 😉

            I am the opposite, I am living the first time of my life without a dishwasher. and I hate it. I mean, I am getting quite good in avoiding a lot of washing, but because of my mother (“you need this, and that too” – “no” – “take it, just in case”) I have enough to actually build up stacks of dirty dishes…

            • I will admit that even with a dishwasher I am too lazy to wash the pots and pans some evenings and they are still on the sink dirty the next morning. Perhaps you should get rid of those excess dishes and that will force you to be more diligent.

    • That makes economical sense Jessiejack.

  13. OH that is an AWESOME story (I have no doubt she is now OK!). I’m glad she got you working early, there’s a lot to be said for starting kids on chores whilst they still think it’s ‘fun’ (even if they don’t, they need to learn that it’s part of being responsible!)

    • Well Snosie I did the same with my own kids but it didn’t encourage them to be willingly useful around the house. Liam still does chores but it would be less painful to do them myself. Perhaps I need a big stick. 😉

      • lol – having read all those stories from your son, I dont think a stick would be a good idea…

        when I think about it, my mum was relaxed with chores. I think she avoided the confrontation and discussion when it came to it. funny enough, I do help a lot now when I am there. its probably that experience of living alone, and realizing what amount of work a household really needs (if there is no mum around) 😉

        • I think Lena that there is always that fine line when it comes to parenting. Sometimes you push too hard and sometimes you don’t push hard enough with your kids. And each child responds differently so parenting them the same doesn’t always work either. Parenting it is a tricky business all you can do is your best and hope it all works out in the long run. I imagine that like you my kids will turn out to be house proud when they leave home and keep there homes tidier than they ever kept their bedrooms. Then I am going to visit and mess it all up. 😈 😆

          • haha. yeah. I expect you to do that.
            my mum is coming in a couple of weeks to stay for few days. I am actually very happy she is coming over, she might have some smart ideas about my little household problems. experience and a practical mind, I am learning from a wise person.

  14. This week I began decluttering my jewellery. This has been a far bigger job than I thought it would be. For instance, this morning I counted how many necklaces I have – 52! I have decluttered 11 but then the job just became too overwhelming. I will revisit this area soon.
    Souvenirs – I’ve done a fair bit of travel and have HEAPS of souvenirs! I love them too, so most of them will stay.
    I used to work in the craft industry and was able to purchase craft items at wholesale prices. As a result, I have far too much craft stuff. I’ve been inspired by you to use up as much as possible this year.

    • I can sympathise Sammyleia,
      I also have been decluttering jewellery this week and have put several pieces on ebay.
      Most of our souvenirs are either decluttered or are nice scenic art pieces that are hanging on our walls. The wall art will stay the rest is gone. These days we travel very light and have learned not to bring home souvenir clutter except photos that only clutter our hard drive.
      Like you I also worked in the craft industry, in the USA no less. And like you I now have far more supplies than I need but I do far less craft than I used to. I ams slowly decluttering it though.