What’s your clutter weakness

Since today’s mini mission is to analyse your clutter weakness I thought it would be good if I also made it the subject of the day. Perhaps in the comments you might like to admit your clutter weakness and see if you can get any advice about it.

My clutter weakness would be my craft supplies. It is one of the few areas where I still add items. Mostly cutting dies and embossing folders. However there is more going out than is coming in so I am happy with that. And these items are being used over and over again. I did also bring home fabric and lace from my mother and mother-in-law but I am already making inroads into using that up.

My previous clutter weakness was garage sales. I used to go to them every weekend in the Summer when I lived in Seattle. I love a great bargain. Now I could count on one hand the number of garage sales I have been to in the seven years I have been back in Australia. Lead me not into temptation I guess. I do like the thrift shop though but only for items I am trying to avoid buying new that I have an immediate use for. And the beauty of getting items cheap is I have no qualms about donating them back if they don’t get used within a short length of time.

On a related topic, Wendy F and I went picking through the bulk waste pick up piles on the side of the road yesterday. We had a wonderful time. I was searching for some organising items for the art space where I sell my cards, which I found. I also brought home a free standing hand towel rail for one of our bathrooms. My husband and I had had a discussion about this just the other day. For some weird reason they never fitted hand towel holders in our apartment when it was built. If this rail doesn’t work out I will either be use to hang my potted plants on or be donated to the thrift shop. I also brought home a handful of suction cups from an old desk. We are in need of these as replacements for ones the removal company lost from my dinning table during our recent move. I tried them out but they aren’t quite right so they will go in the bin. It was the try though.

During this outing Wendy and I also collected up a car load of items to be donated to the thrift shop. I suppose you could say that one of my weakness is that I just can’t bare to see perfectly good stuff go to waste. It angers me to see this stuff dumped on the side of the road when it could have been easily boxed up and taken to a thrift shop. Why are people so lazy and frivolous?

Recognising a weakness is the first step to overcoming it. So what is your clutter weakness and do you have it under control?

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter an item of your choice and spend 10 minutes thinking about what your particular clutter weakness is. Knowing this will help you avoid it in the future.

Eco Tip for the Day

If you see something going to waste, rescue it and donate it to someone in need or to a charity of your choice.

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


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Disposing of this weeks mission yields In a post a couple of weeks ago that asked a range of question about your clutter issues and my blog. One of the readers asked for more information on how to get rid of the clutter that […]
  • Don’t agonise over getting rid of clutter I had a reader back in the early days of my blog who seemed to have trouble letting go of her clutter. It wasn't that she wanted to keep the stuff, or found it difficult to make the […]
  • Don’t agonise over getting rid of clutter It has been a busy week for me and I didn't get around to writing a second post. So rather than leave you uninspired for the week I am republishing the following post from the archives. […]
About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. Just one clutter weakness? But I have several! Books, which are knowledge, are a tough one for me. I like to read but rarely have time anymore and have a whole room of books! I also have trouble with clothes and shoes. I like to have the latest in color schemes and patterns, it is so hard to ignore the new trends when my friends and co-workers wear them around me it makes me want to buy buy buy!

    • Hi Shoeaholic… , these are both very comment weaknesses, easily justified and hard to break. Like all clutter causers it is a change of mindset that is the only thing that can get you past this. It doesn’t help that both of these desired also represent an external image that a person can have a need for others to see of them. Books, as you suggested, represent knowledge or a love of literacy while clothing show a person to be fashionable and attractive.

      However, as my husband always says ~ “If you love and/or use these things they aren’t clutter.”. Unless, of course, you think they are. And in that case just work on the items among them that have he least hold on you. The less liked books and the out of date fashions.

      • Great ideas and points Colleen. These are both things I am working on improving all the time. I am now only buying something if I LOVE it rather than just like it. There are tons of things I like but only a few that I LOVE.

  2. Colleen, it’s interesting that you bring this up now since I’ve been thinking about my clutter weakness(es) this past weekend. One would imagine that yarn and knitting supplies would be my weakness, but in reality, I usually have that area of my house under control. Yarn comes in and is knitted, and then it goes out. Like your craft supplies, mine is a pipeline. My real weakness is books. Oh, how I love books! Then there are the papers. They’re just messy. All the time. Summer break is coming soon. I am going to tackle those papers again.

    • Hi Willow, your statement says it all for me ~ “Oh, how I love books!” I rarely hear anyone simply say ~ “Oh, how I love to read!” Avid readers all seem to have this desire to have on display the proof of their love of the written word, or perhaps their intelligence or maybe even both. In defence of this most book owners say they like to have these books on hand in case they desire to reread them or use them as reference books. All the while there are libraries everywhere happy to store these books for people and also endless legitimate reference website with all the information one could possibly need. In fact finding exactly what one needs in the way of information is much easier to do with a search engine.

      Maybe you can explain for me why it is so important to hold on to these books and then we will both have a better understanding of why you keep them or maybe even why you could let some of them go.

      • Some of the books are old and I can’t find them in libraries anymore. And I do reread them. Also I want to share them with my family–kids and grandkids. Then there are the books we read and reread like Dorothy Sayers, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. Other books we use for reference materials in our teaching. I think that when people say, “I love books” that includes the given that “I love to read.”

        • Willow – I agree that that ‘love books’ and ‘love to read’ means the same thing.

        • Oh I know that the person saying it loves to read but there seems to be something special about the tangible copies that compels them to hold on to nearly ever book they read. It is just one of those things I find fascinating. I also understand that there a many in peoples collections that get read over and over again. But so many talk about huge collections. Surely there are only so many hours in a day and there are new ones to be read. Surely the entire collection isn’t reread several times.

          • Maybe at the root of my love of books (and keeping them) is the fear that it will not be available when I want it. I guess I read Fahrenheit 451 at an impressionable age! 🙂

  3. I have several clutter weaknesses, too, but the worst one is books. There’s a free book bin at my local library which I can’t seem to walk by without checking out titles. My biggest book temptation? Anything about organizing, decluttering, simplifying! Flea markets used to be a big one, too, but came away from a recent one with only some fresh tomatoes. Found myself looking at all the stuff with a different attitude – like wondering where I’d even put this stuff. Oh yeah!

    • Hi Phillygirl, it does seem counterproductive to clutter up your home with books about organizing, decluttering and simplifying. My only suggestion is that, once read, take them back to the free box in the library. If they haven’t convinced you of giving up such habits then they weren’t worth reading in the first place. Or more to the point perhaps information is useless if you don’t follow it.

      I recall reading many books a babies when I was a young mother. I think ultimately I was just hoping to find the book that agreed with my style of parenting so that I could justify doing things the way I wanted to do them and that I should stick to that method. In the end I stopped wasting my time reading them and just went with my instincts. Every child is different and even the two I had required different parenting so no book is going to confirm or deny that you are doing things right or wrong if you are ignoring the information.

  4. Not really a declutter weakness but a way clutter builds up. If post is not dealt with immediately (junked, answered or filed ) then it builds up in all sorts of weird places – the kitchen work surfaces, the coffee table, beside the bed etc etc. Then suddenly it is a real big job to tackle. Another is birthday/greetings cards: I feel I have to keep every card sent from my husband and his to me, from our daughter and now granddaughter , big milestone birthdays, anniversaries etc. Oh dear what do I do? Any ideas?

    • Linda, have you tried to digitalize it? If you scan the cards in, you could set them as a screensaver (select the “slideshow” option where you change your screensaver on your computer), and you can trow the paper ones away.

      • Never thought of storing cards in this way so will have to investigate the technology on this one …….. ie ask my husband! Thank you.

    • Hi Linda, it sounds to me like you already of the solution to the mail situation. All you have to do is be determined to stick to it. And also finding a way to reduce paper mail is a good place to reduce this burden. There are no shortage of web sites specifically written for whatever area of the world you are from to help with this issue. Today I will be sending emails to two real estate sales companies reminding them that NO JUNK MAIL signs on mailboxes means NO JUNK MAIL. They seem to think they are exempt from this practice. In fact I think I will do that now before I answer any more comments.

      As for those cards. One way around this is to put a stop to exchanging birthday cards. My daughter always writes a beautiful, sometimes funny or a combination of the two in her Facebook page to celebrate her loved ones birthdays. Not only us but all her “friends” can witness how she loves and respects us. No paper and no clutter required but still all the sentiment and love. She does still like to give cards and I do keep some of them, but only the select few with the most poignant hand written messages.

  5. Well made Longaberger baskets. I had 84! I’ve sold 15 and gave 5 to charities . 64 are left and YES I use them all for craft , candle, linen, sock storage.

    • Ha Gail – I used to have the same one! When I was crazy for them I would say, ‘I want to have enough L baskets to hold ALL my stuff’. Now I say, ‘I want to have so few things that they would all fit in my L baskets!’…I’m working on it!

      • I like your idea
        Honestly, I have simplified my possessions to a level of comfort and pleasure. I use them all.
        Additionally, I haven’t brought in additional decor/candle/ craft in a long time, like 5 years.
        I mentioned in an earlier post that I have RA and its exhaustion, so I keep my live simple and with reasonable # of possessions so that I have energy to clean. Too much is not only visual noise but a pain(literally)to maintain and clean.

    • Hi Gail, I think Vicki K summed up what I was thinking. I actually had to look up Longaberger baskets to see exactly what they were. Very nice.

  6. My clutter weakness is the empty container left after the food is used. I’m trying to solve this by drastically reducing the number of packaged items that come in, but I have a long way to go. I currently make myself throw out many of them, but it’s hard. When a container’s quality is simply too good for me to toss in the trash, I put it in a single, designated box and use from the box for my go-to when I want to up-cycle or repurpose. If I could think of more ways to use them up, I would, but after years of DIY projects, I’ve basically done everything with a second-rate plastic tub that I can possibly do.

    • Good for you being so conscientious about recycling and upcycling. However set yourself a limit on how many of these items you store at a time and anything else must go in the recycling bin. Swap out good for not so good but keep a limit and you will be fine. I do this with plastic bags. If less are being used than coming it some have to go. Like you, I try to keep the inflow to a minimum but it isn’t always possible.

  7. I had to think quite hard about this one as my instinct would have been to say books but I own very few books these days. I buy digital books for my kobo. I guess it would be stuff that falls into that limbo place with a family where it is waiting to be handed down (in my experience that only had a 50-50 strike rate) or something has potential to be re-used in the future but usually has ‘maybe’ or ‘possibly’ attached to the description ie “we might possibly be be going camping again before the kids leave home”. For me I know the odds are high that it won’t get re-used but I have to allow a grace period.

    An example is my girl’s dance stuff – both are still active students. We only have shoes, costumes and accessories that they fit. However costumes do get re-used but each year more are added to the collection (both are full grown). It would be rather difficult to replace if I got rid of them and then needed again. One daughter leaves the school this year, the other in the next 1-2 years.
    So on the surface there are a number of storage bins full of stuff which will be eventually sold or donated, but until both are finished or certain milestones are passed, I have to keep them.

    • Another example is that I have a lot of sewing threads – I sew ballet costumes for my girls and the dance school – but I plan to retire from sewing when my youngest finishes dancing. My older daughter loves sewing and has put dibs on my machines and threads and other bits and pieces, so it will go straight to her but in the mean time it all sits in the cupboard.

      • I had plenty of that holding on to stuff for the kids while they were still at home. It is another thing that makes some economical sense. Fortunately for me they didn’t stay at home until they were 30. Yikes, imagine that.

        • Colleen – my eldest moved back home earlier this week and so my outwards source of stuff just made a u turn!

          • Bummer Moni. I dread the thought of that happening. Oh well, he is young yet. I am sure now he has had a taste of freedom he will want to go back for more.

    • Yay Moni, you are one of the few avid readers I have encountered who have been able to reduce your love of the written word to the words themselves. Well done you!

      I think a grace period is not only acceptable but a financially viable practice. The main thing is to keep this in check and it seems you have that under control. We might need it some day is fine in moderation.

      • *jumping* here! here! here! me too!!! moni is not the only one. I learned it too!
        I remember considering books as the opposite of clutter – I sold more than 200 since then. I am donating old books (they reproduce while I sleep I swear) and I started to give books I recently read immediately to friends who might enjoy them. this gives me the most joy. what also helps was to limit the space in my shelf to 3 rows, and this results in a very peculiar, always changing collection.

  8. My paper weakness is under control. My current challenge is my craft supplies. I have reduced the size of my collection, but I still rarely use what I do have, and do still from time to time buy more (decorative tape!). The problem in giving them up entirely is that it would seem to mean letting go of the idea of myself as an artist or crafts person.

    • Hi Melanie, I was in much the same situation earlier in my decluttering mission. I decluttered my craft supplies massively but what was left wasn’t getting much use. I wasn’t in any sort of denial, craft was just not my priority at the time. Now that I have found and outlet for my craft I am crafting all the time. I am a creative person and always will be and it was just a matter of time before I found my rhythm again. There are just things you know you’ll ever unlikely do again and then there are things that are intrinsically a part of you. Crafting was that thing for me and I knew it. Perhaps you are the same.

  9. This is such a good question! I’m going to have to admit to still being drawn to cookbooks, and also to handbags/purses. It took me a long time to realize that the perfect bag does not exist. At least I’ve been able to donate or sell several of my experiments. Another thing that has huge appeal to me is pretty china. At least now I am aware of the appeal that these items hold for me and I am determined to use them or lose them. I feel that after almost two years of decluttering my mindset has completely changed overall and I have lost my attachment to so many types of possessions, but it is still very helpful to ask myself questions such as today’s and my answer would be that I still have clutter weaknesses for a few things but they are well under control.

    • Hi Christine, I would say, from your comment, that you have the clutter bug well and truly under control. You question your possessions and analyse your reasons for keeping things and are rational about it. I would say you pass this course with flying colours. Well done you! 😉

  10. My clutter weakness is books and yarn. I also have a thing for fabric and leather. At the moment, my current “game-strategy” is to avoid shops (working so far) and using up the supplies, many of which I bought for projects that I wanted to do last year (I think you get the idea 😉 ). At the moment, I’m finishing up some project – finally, including a very large project which I have been working on and off since last october. I’m slowly working through my stash. Slowly but steady wins the race. 🙂

  11. My clutter weakness is bits of paper with notes that I want to remember, clippings from magazines (recipes, exercises to try, books to read) etc. I don’t seem to get around to using my bits of information but can’t bear to throw them out as they represent great ideas that I want to try. I’ve tried scanning them into my laptop but then I forget about them. Any suggestions to get the paper monster under control?

    • Hi Lisa and welcome to 365 Less Things. All the things you mentioned sound like things that can be stored digitally. Mind you they all also sound like aspirational clutter. I used to have recipe books, recipes clipped from magazines, craft magazines piling up, pages in notebooks with snippets… Then I started to use the web for most of these things and the notes I just tore out and tossed if not used within a reasonable amount of time.

      My advice ~ Go cold turkey on this. Put them in the recycling bin right now and start sourcing this stuff digitally and only when you are actually going to use them. Bookmarking and Pinterest are my favourite ways to keep recipes, craft ideas, helpful hits etc etc. Give it a try, you’ll never go back.

  12. This might seem totally off topic, but my clutter weakness was the excuse ‘ when I’m looking for something I won’t find it, so I better grab this one’ It relates mostly to my clothes. I would be out “browsing ” and there would be an item on sale. My mind would say, ” if I was looking for something special I wouldn’t find anything, so I’d better grab this one” I ended up with a motley collection of mismatched clothes. Then Colleen wrote a post on clothes she had for her son, buying many affordable shirts that he didn’t wear compared to the expensive shirt he wore all the time. Now I purchase what I like and wear it till it begs for mercy! It means my wardrobe is full of wearable clothes that I enjoy wearing not a bunch of useless bargains.
    It wasn’t that I had a lot of clothes, just the majority were not comfortable or unsuitable for me.
    My clutter weakness would be free stuff, the complimentary soaps and shampoos from Hotels. Brochures from Display homes and of course the free stuff on the side of the road. As I go through life I realise that there is an abundance of free stuff, always , everyday, everywhere , but I don’t have to take it.
    Cheers

    • Wendy F – one of my daughters justified her ‘selfies’ to me recently by checking thru her phone photo album to see what she was wearing in them, this was while we were out shopping.

    • Hi Wendy, that comment was right on topic I’d say. I am glad you have the clothes thing sorted out. And you are so right about the free stuff. There is an abundance of perfectly good stuff in those piles beside the road and all one needs is the councils pick up schedule in order to help themselves.

  13. Oh – papers – mostly from my children but anything that I “might” need some day.

    Started working on this by getting rid of our huge lateral filing cabinet here at home and my even bigger one at work. I have three file drawers in my desk at work – one for each class that I teach – that works great and I have a definitely limit on space. My goal for summer is to go through the piles of ‘special’ paper I have here at home – I have one accordion file for each child that will hold special papers and a scrapbook for photos, ticket stubs, etc. Anything that doesn’t fit can either be photographed and recycled or just recycled. We REALLY don’t need it.

    I’ve gotten rid of the craft/sewing supplies, the excess books, the candles, clothes etc. by using them up and not replacing or by donating. I haven’t gone back. Time to tackle that last weakness of paper!

    Love your site – first time commenting, long time reading,
    Lea

    • Hi Lea and a belated welcome to 365 Less Things. I seems to me you have good systems in place and good plans for dealing with this issue. Well done. Paper clutter can be the absolute worse because once out of control it is a long laborious task to go through it all and get it in order. Luckily my husband took on that task and now we just need to put in minimum effort to keep it in check. Best thing ever.

  14. I guess mine would have to be china/dishes. I just counted 30 china dinner plates I have for “everyday”. I also have a different set of 10 from our wedding, and a set of 10 for Thanksgiving. These all have multiple serving pieces. I did give away the tea cups, saucers and small bread plates from our wedding china because they were never used in 21 years! I also have about 10 Christmas desert plates. I accumulated all of these up until about 10 years ago. I haven’t added much since except for my MIL doubling my everyday dishes when she gave me hers (we had the same pattern). So I guess I have about 50 dinner plates I could use all at once if I wanted to! There are only the 2 of us now and we get about six guests max at one time once or twice a year now.
    Recently I threw away 3 cracked bowls and a cracked mug. I had been using them knowing that some day the cracks would break open and my cereal etc. would go all over the place. I took that chance for months with some of them but finally decided it wasn’t worth the risk. No doubt they would have broken open over my keyboard or computer etc. and caused a lot more damage than they were worth.
    I’m brainstorming about how I can get this china collection down still!

    • Hi Claire, getting rid of some of the china collection isn’t the problem it is letting them go that you are having trouble with. I have a four place setting ( it was 8 place but I decluttered half) in the top of my kitchen cupboard which used to be used when guests came or on special occasions. I think it is time to let it go because when people come over and on special occasions we just use the everyday stuff because I just don’t care about the “special” ones. It’s time I got on with that little declutter I think.

      • Yes, Colleen, exactly, letting go of them is definitely the problem. I was assessing it all today and I think I can pare down about 10 settings without too much pain. Those are the ones given to me by MIL so I might just need to put stickers on them for now and give them away closer to our next move. It is the kind of thing MIL will notice is missing and pine over if I’ve given them away. I know, classic guilt!
        While scanning the cupboards I made a little progress and disposed of our wedding candle! It was dusty, yellow and sad looking. We haven’t lit it since our wedding nearly 21 years ago in spite of the fact that I’ve been keeping it in case of power outages. That candle made 6 moves with us!

        • Hi Claire, the mother-in-law factor, that is a tricky one. I am lucky that my mother-in-law is pretty easy going and wouldn’t comment on whether I keep things or not. That and I usually visit them rather than the other way around. Your strategy seems sound, but what if she comes to visit. Best to just do what you like and deal with the consequence. What’s the worse that can happen.

  15. One of mine would be sewing items – fabric, thread, batting, notions, etc. But, as others have said, these items flow in and out of my life. I’m in a couple different quilt groups that make donation quilts for the Salvation Army and another charity. Storing all the stuff is a pain, but at least I know it won’t be around forever. Other than that, my biggest challenge is paperwork – medical stuff we should keep, info about the house we need to keep, appliance brochures, etc. I constantly weed out the files but the paper never ends. We have a scanner, I just need to get going with scanning the docs and saving them as electronic files.

    • I had “misplaced” my manual for my vacuum cleaner. I went on the company’s website and was able to download a pdf manual for it. It is now stored on my computer. If I ever find the paper copy, it will go straight into the recycling bin.

      • Smart thinking Michele L. I did that with all the assembly instructions for any IKEA furniture in our house. I think most of the furniture left with the kids though so I don’t need either any more. But with this in mind it may be time again to check our file for any manuals that we don’t have the appliance for.

        • huh. now I feel stupid to have kept all of the IKEA manuals. out they go immediately. together with the obligatory imbus keys that comes with all IKEA furniture. thanks!

    • It sounds like you know the solution to your paper issue there Barbara. Now all you need is the time and inclination to get on with it. I have had a busy weeks so I understand that time can be an issue but if you just did half and hour here and there you will get through it eventually.

  16. I saw the title and immediately thought “books” but it may be flat places. I always seem to put something down on flat surfaces then add to the pile.

    No. I’ll go with books. There are way more coming in than going out, even when buying ebooks, print books are still coming in and staying.

    Now, I’ll go read the post {blush}

    • Hi Gina…, I always find it fascinating that many clutterers are book lovers. I hope that between the reading sessions my avid readers are finding at least ten minutes to declutter. Which gives me a thought for a solution for you. When you sit down to read get up every half and hour and spend five minutes clearing something from one of your piles. Make it that you earn your reading time by doing your chores. I do this with my crafting. I craft for a while and then I do a chore. Then I can enjoy creating all the more for knowing that I have also done something I should be doing, not just want to be doing.

  17. It changes as I go along the journey to minimalism, but right now I would say clothing because I have so much and I really don’t need it all. I recently went away for almost a month and took only 1 suitcase of clothing and other items. It wasn’t even full and I didn’t even use everything or wear everything in my suitcase. So I would really like to reduce the amount I have. I am going away for the whole summer and I plan on experimenting with less clothing then too, if I can go 3 weeks without even using everything I packed I am sure the same will apply to my summer.

    Thankfully today I finally sold a few items on ebay and so a fairly big box has now left the house. 1 less box of stuff to keep tripping up over, and boy did it feel heavy as I walked the 10 minute journey to my Post Office! Glad I will never have to carry that to another home and unpack it etc.

    • Hi Jane W, it seems you have your weakness identified and are doing something to prove to yourself you could let go of some of it. Well done, you are well on the way to some serious clothes decluttering.

      Well done with the successful ebaying too. There is nothing like a big box of stuff heading out the door.

  18. Sentimental items.

    I dug out my Track & Field ribbons from Junior High and think I can let them go now. They were all bent so I had them under heavy books last night and will try to remember to take pics of them today.

    It’s not like I ever saw them that often anyway. I also found some of my baby teeth… ugh, may need to let those go too finally.

    • Hi Ron B, it sounds like you are getting good at letting go of sentimental items. I let go of all my trophies some time ago and I haven’t missed them. It really reduced my dusting chore.

  19. Colleen, a while back I would have said books and scrapbook supplies. As you know I have decluttered the majority of my scrapbook supplies. I have also decluttered many books. We have one of the larger IKEA Expedit bookcases with 25 sections. At one time all sections were full of books. We now have books in only 8 sections and of that only 3 are full. I would declutter some more but Mom wants to keep them. We now have hundreds on our Kindles most of which we got free.

    So what is the area now? The top of my desk and one cubby in the bookcase. The desk isn’t too bad but does have a bit of clutter as it is where I keep things in progress. The cubby in the bookcase is like a staging area that I haven’t had time to clean up. 1. I need to finish the household inventory. 2. I need to get Mom to do something about the pecans that need to be shelled.

    • Hi Deb J, how far you have come. That is a lot of books to have gotten rid of, made even more incredible by you convincing your mom to part with them. I think you can cut yourself some slack on the staging area. Mine is usually a little dishevelled too. This week I drove to the thrift shop rather than ride the bike so I had the opportunity to drop off all the stuff in my staging area, which is a shelf in my wardrobe. Good luck with the unfinished tasks my friend.

      • Colleen, one thing I am glad about is that we have a Goodwill right around the corner from our community. A quick trip to take things to it.

  20. My clutter weakness is books. I love to read and I love the feel, look, and smell of books. The books I love to reread are not clutter but the ones I end up with that I didn’t enjoy or will never reread again – those are clutter to me. It is something I have to be vigilant about because I get books from friends and family, thrift stores, and actual bookstores.

    As for the idea of keeping books to show off anything…that’s not necessarily the case. My books are tucked away in drawers under my bed (except at the moment because I currently have kittens who like to crawl into those drawers). I have them because I do regularly reread them. Some people have arts and crafts, sewing, or rock climbing as a hobby. I have reading. My collection isn’t big by my standards but all of it is well-loved.

    And yes, I read plenty of new (to me) books. :]

  21. My clutter weakness is the entire contents of my kitchen. I have a lovely collection of dishes, kitchen gadgets, appliances and pots/pans but I rarely cook or eat in our condo! I bought everything new after marriage (everything put away and neatly organized) but my mother-in-law cooks daily and my husband, daughter and I end up having meals at her house. I can’t part with the things just because I don’t currently cook so I have all this stuff that’s waiting to be used. What to do!?

    • Hi Muntaha, in this circumstance I wouldn’t declutter these items either. This circumstance could change for any number of reasons and then your kitchen would be used on a regular basis. Perhaps that isn’t the response you would expect from me but the kitchen is there and, as you say, the stuff is nearly stored.

  22. A weakness for me is magazines. I have “culled the herd” a time or two, but I still have about 2 years’ of “Phoenix Home & Garden” because the pictures are absolutely outstanding! Deep down in my wee brain I know there is not a valid reason for hanging on to them. At least I stopped subscribing to the magazine. For a while I also got “Southern Living” which had nice decorating ideas and some fantastic recipes, but I have a bunch of recipes already! Stopped that subscription too and did not keep any of the old magazines.

    I love to read, just as many have said. Fortunately the library is right across the street from work, so I spend LOTS of time over there gathering new reading material.

    Craft projects are bad for me. I get an idea, make the plan, buy the supplies, and then it takes a couple of months for me to follow through. Yikes!

    Off track for a second: I was in Walmart last week and the gals in front of me had at least 15 bins in all different sizes. I wondered what on earth they were storing and thinking, thank goodness I don’t need that many bins to store my junk. Of course, I have no idea what their plan was, but you know what I mean? 🙂

    • Hi Michelle, I had the magazine weakness once. I decluttering them all, bar about three, bit by bit. Moving back to Australia cured me of subscribing because it is so expensive here. I sounds to me like you are well on the way to getting over them too. There is so much on the internet that magazines really just aren’t necessary. And it is easier to find what you need with a search engine.
      How very convenient to have the library so handy. Mine is only a nice block and a half walk form my apartment. Also very convenient.
      Like you I am so glad I no longer need many storage containers. I must have decluttered quite a few over the last four years.

      As for those craft project. So long as you haven’t go too many on the go at once you’ll be just fine.

  23. Contemplating on this subject I find for me, it is a little of this and a little of that. I still purchase books, jewelry, clothing (especially tops), makeup/skin care, etc. but I have slowed down considerably. You might think I’m some type of fashionista…but really I am not. For now I try to stick to the one in one out rule; or better yet one in, two out!! I’m also talking to myself to avoid the habit of acquiring stuff. Will I ever be cured? Probably not. Very similar to loosing the last 10 lbs. and keeping it off!

  24. someone already said it. flat surfaces. tables. my clutter weakness. its not things I acquire, but things I dont put away immediately. my kitchen table is covered in stuff that I drop there when I get through my front door.
    my dining table is covered in a very very hard puzzle with 3000 pieces (its been there for almost half a year – but its growing). my sofa table is covered in food related items as I eat there most of the time and my desk is covered in “to-do” items. paper, gifts, letters, bills… I managed to tackle the desk and found a bill that was almost over due.

    most of this problem stems from the fact that I dont spend much time in my flat anymore. I am often just here for a night, a shower, or a change of clothes. it gets even worse in summer. things get lost nowadays…
    I keep things because I “might use them some day” and aspirational clutter. those bloody projects are down to a minimum, but there is still more to be aware of.

    thanks for the push. I will be more alert on this now.

    • Hi Lena, I can only assume you are working to hard and are too busy to deal with the private part of your life. This is wrong in my opinion. No job should take up that much of your time even if you are working hard to advance in your career. It is an sad reality in this modern world. I am just glad I am not a part of that rat race. i have always said ~ “I don’t know how people find time to go to work.” and have always found that when I do have a paid job other things have to give to make room for those hours spend at work. The solution is to simplify. I hope you can find a way to do that.

      • Colleen, I am so glad I can say, thats not really the case. I am working nowadays, however its only 30 hours a week and I definitly dont bend over backwards. Most of my time I spend with my girlfriend, often at her place. and I go out and meet friends. I am also travelling to see my family (I will be aunt soon). so I am not in the rat race. I know that if I want more money, I need to sacrifice my time for it – and the other way around. I think I found a great balance and I am living a very nice comfortable life. but most of the time, outside. task on hand? I need to declutter more, so it gets even easier to manage home.

  25. Wow, your Blog is growing. My weakness is born out of childhood poverty. I can’t dispose of anything until I’m absolutely 100% sure I can’t use it or won’t ever use it. Then I have to consider if I know anyone who could use it and I do mentally go through everyone I ever met!!! And then I would store it for a while to be sure then if I had to would give to a charity. Thankfully I can now go through the laborious thinking process in minutes and I’m happy to let someone who really needs it pay for it from a thrift shop. I now believe its better for an item to be purchased by someone who wants/needs it than for me to gift to someone who won’t use it. Thanks to you and my friendly neighbour who shared your blog with me.

    • Hi Clever Blonde Donna G and welcome to 365 Less Things. I am so glad you are making such great progress with letting go of stuff. That is really wonderful. And I thank your neighbour for any help she is giving you and for introducing you to my blog. I really am pleased for you. Cheers Colleen