Try it, you might like it!

Oh, how we get stuck in our ways. We do what we know, what other people do, or simply blindly follow old habits. Every now and again we might consider the idea of changing a small habit, but after a little thought decide – ‘Maybe not.’ or ‘What’s the point?” and continue on in the same manner.

Quite often we assume a little change won’t make much difference and ultimately decide not to bother making the effort. What we don’t consider is that maybe one small change could have a larger impact that we imagine. If that is a possibility than allow yourself to imagine how much of a impact several of these small changes can make.

I am not talking about life changing habits, just little tweaks that possibly could have small positive impacts. That being said, small positive impacts can be more life changing than we expect. Just consider the large, positive impact my one-thing-a-day decluttering has made to the functionality and serenity of my home and to that of many of my readers. You would have to agree that finding one thing a day to declutter doesn’t take much effort but it sure makes a lot or difference over time.

Other applications

  • A few small incremental changes in diet can lighten up your pantry and make a large improvement in your health.
  • A few small changes in your shopping habits can make a positive impact on your savings account and help avoid a cluttered home.
  • The same small change in your shopping habits will also have a positive impact on the environment.
  • A little less vanity could help reduce the clutter in your bathroom cabinet or on your dressing table.
  • Preparing for the morning before going to bed can make for lower stress levels, a happier awakening and aid you to be where you need to be on time
  • Allocating a small pocket of me-time during the day can do a lot to improve ones attitude to working on projects that aren’t so enjoyable.

Where can you make a small change in your life that might just make a big positive impact in the long term. How can this strategy help with your decluttering.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter an unwanted gift that you have been keeping out of obligation.

Eco Tip for the Day

If you hang your clothes out to dry made sure you bring them in out of the sun as soon as possible once they dry. Excessive time in the sun will fade them and age them prematurely making it necessary to replace them sooner.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

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.


  1. Colleen, you are so right that small changes can have a big impact. I love what I see happening here at our house and in the lives of others.

  2. Hi Colleen! You are so right! All the big changes that came about my own home started with a little thing…I decided not to hang on to so much paper and that was that.

    • Hi Andréia, I am glad you found the solution to your paper issue. I bet you feel like you could slap yourself for not realising the solution sooner. Mind you I tend to just be grateful I eventually find the solution rather than beat myself up about not realising it sooner. Our brains all work in different and mysterious ways and sometimes individual solutions can be quite unorthodox which is why it doesn’t come to us immediately.

  3. So true, Colleen.

    This month I have made a “little” change to what I am eating. I haven’t cut alcohol, haven’t changed what I eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner., haven’t decreased portion size. I am not counting calories. What I have done is changed my snacks. I have cut all the chocolate, biscuits, cakes, lollies, Pizza Shapes, twisties, chips I eat between meals and for morning tea, afternoon tea and dessert. And I am losing heaps of weight. I hope it also helps my cholesterol and blood sugar which were on the rise.

    And I am still decluttering – aiming for one thing a day. It is easier to grab and item than empty and sort whole rooms or cupboards.

    I feel that my home and I are getting leaner.

    • Hi Lucinda, I am so glad you shared your dietary change story with us. It is a perfect example of how changing ones eating habits doesn’t have to be a miserable, unsustainable exercise in deprivation. You have made this one small change and it has made a big difference. You also have the option, once this change has imprinted itself as normal for you, to tweak something else in your diet like slightly reducing portion size. This are both changes that leave you with endless variety in diet so you don’t feel like you are missing out which makes it more likely that you won’t revert back to old habits. Good for you.

      I am glad to see the slow and steady approach is working to your decluttering as well. You clearly respond well to this kind of change. I am pleased for you.

    • That’s not a small tweak – that’s on a par with stopping smoking cold turkey!
      I’m very impressed. So what are you munching for m/t a/t and supper?
      If this works it is my first reply. I’ve been reading 365lessthings for a while. It was the only decluttering site I found which could appreciate that I might want to keep most of my Science Fiction book collection or my cooking mags.

  4. Well Colleen, your decision to get rid of one thing a day certainly had a flow on effect that literally went global! And each and every 365’er has managed to influence at least one person to join the cause, most would have influenced several people. Just imagine if everything that everyone had decluttered as a direct or indirect result of this blog, if all that stuff was heaped together in a big pile or set out in a field. It would be ginormous!

    My parents came to stay on the weekend, it was the first time they’d visited in four years due to poor health or us travelling to see them, or meeting up elsewhere etc. They knew I’d taken up decluttering but they were gobsmacked with the changes. They’d started their own efforts over the last year but now mum is keen to do more, dad is the reluctant one but my husband piped up how he originally wasn’t keen either but how its made our house so much more relaxing to come home to, and much easier to maintain without the excess. We discussed was there anything from their house that I particularly wanted or treasured (mum was nudging dad saying “see I told you she wouldn’t want Grandma’s souvenir teaspoon collection”) and we bounced ideas for some ideas for what to do with stuff that they’d like to get rid of but don’t know how to go about it.

    • Hi Moni! Your comment is so true. If it wasn’t for this blog I would still have a very cluttered house. My Mom came to visit after 7 months and was really amazed with the results. I have invited some friends over and all told me how much space I had now. It is great to bounce off ideas about decluttering. I have been doing very well on my challenge so far. I have resisted a month without buying a single piece of clothing. I have to e-mail you, I know.

      • Hi Andréia, I am interested to hear more about your self imposed abstinence from clothes shopping. You will have to tell me all about it when we chat on Friday.

      • Well done Andréia. It does get easier. I haven’t bought clothes for nearly 10 months now. Previously I was a big, big shopper. The first few months were the worst, like any addiction. But then I felt no desire to shop. Even when I was in the shops, barring a few minor temptations, I found myself thinking of all the clothes I already had that were similar or unworn.

        And you can’t declutter, if you keep bringing things in! My goal is to be able to fit all my clothes in my existing cupboards and wardrobes. I am nearly there. Gone are the boxes under the bed. Gone are clothes hidden in my son’s wardrobe.

        And we have had three holidays this year from the savings!

    • Thank you Moni, I do like to think you are correct. We could do with that pile of stuff here in NSW at the moment to donate to the bushfire victims.

      And look at you being a good influence on your mother and her noticing what a great difference decluttering has made in your home. Good on Adrian too for putting in his ten cents worth on how he has been converted over time. You must be so pleased with yourself.

    • Moni,
      Congratulations on setting the example for your Mum and Dad. Isn’t it great when our parent’s learn things from us? 🙂

  5. I don’t think our decluttering shows that much, although I could be wrong, but a lot of ours was more or less stored in closets, and the closets certainly look different–even empty spaces on the shelves. We have simplified our canned and boxed groceries, too, and by getting everything alike in one spot, can do a quick visual inventory before a weekly or bi-weekly shopping trip. We live too far from the store to go more often and combine this with doctor’s visits and other errands days.
    I did try something different. I do the bookkeeping for our sons, and thus use office supplies daily. Recently I emptied out a deep drawer next to the computer and arranged all the everyday tools–scissors, stapler, extra pens, etc. in it and that area definitely looks neater, and the tools are handier than where they were, and get put back quicker.

    • Hi Nanna, I think you just proved your opening sentence wrong with the remainder of your comment. Your decluttering may not be all that obvious to an outsider but from what you have written here, it sure is making a marked difference in your life. Well done you.

  6. I just saw a sign today that read. “All you need is LESS”. I think all of us 365ers would agree to that. Small steps, Big changes accomplished one day at a time.

  7. We have three dogs. One is an elderly (15) Springer Spaniel, she is a bit deaf, has mild cataracts and some arthritis. She is happy enough but long walks are beyond her now. On the other hand the Jack Russell and Newfoundland like a good leg stretch. For ages I thought that two big dog walks a day would be impossible. But then I tried it out It was so easy. One gentle 20 minute walk for everyone and one 45 minute walk for the youngsters.

    Side effects:
    Clearer mind – if your mind is foggy get out of the house and walk. Two walks a day focused my mind and I work much better and faster when back in the house.
    Hips have shrunk!
    Now I can do a decent fast walk with the youngsters we can tackle hills and more adventurous stuff poor Meg could no longer handle. My fitness has improved.
    I found a fantastic cep (mushroom) on the slow walk today, because we had time to take it slowly.

    Little things and big rewards 🙂