You just never know.

Continue reading with these posts:

  • Happy Holidays to all! Wishing all my lovely readers all the very best for the holiday season.  It is such a busy time of year to be spent with friends and or family and also a good time to take a break from […]
  • Home again and on with the decluttering. Hi folks, well all good things must come to and end and my vacation is one of those things. We had a lovely time in Japan but it is always nice to be home again. And now it is back to the […]
  • How little we really need Every time I go on a long vacation I am reminded of how little one really needs to live a comfortable and functional lifestyle. My husband and I often stay in Airbnb places when on […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Glad you are back but I can completely understand you rushing off to be with your parents. They are blessed you were able to do that.

    You are right about planning ahead and making sure things are in good shape as you get older. I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about a lot of things anymore and since we have no family in this area I’m thankful we have friends who will step in and handle things whenever we pass on. For me, it all goes to the church and they can sell it and put the money toward Compassionate Ministries of our church

  2. Hi Colleen,

    I agree that it’s best to think ahead to the twilight years… We may at any time become ill or disabled in some way and not be able to take care of things (as we might have planned!)… It is best to start it before it needs to be done, not only because we could fall ill, but taking care of clutter can take longer than we think. We also could have an unexpected upset to our finances… so it is good to look at that and maybe cut down on the shopping or other expenses… We could also have a change to our living circumstances, if we need to move in with someone or they with us, or we lose our home… If we shave expenses and declutter ahead of time, we will be better prepared for whatever life throws at us 🙂

    So glad to have you back Colleen 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Peggy and thank you for your enthusiastic welcome back.

      “We also could have an unexpected upset to our finances… so it is good to look at that and maybe cut down on the shopping or other expenses…”. This quote from you comment is so true. Cut down on the waste now and invest the money for the future when you may well need it to get by. The unexpected thing that could happen may be living a very long life and then running out of the necessary funds.

  3. Hi Colleen! Yes, I agree with you. Thinking ahead can save a lot of grief. Life, even if you are not in your twilight years can be unexpected. And if you start early and make a habit of clearing stuff as they end their usefulness, you feel good and you have less to deal with as the years passes. Excelent advice you have, as usual.

  4. Colleen, this was a wonderful post! I’m so sorry your Mom was taken ill, but you are the perfect example of why it is best to keep life simple. I can so relate because when my husband had his accident, I basically had to leave home for 3 mos in a hurry. I still had lots to declutter then, but I have always been organized. I was able to grab my already packed “ditty bag” (that has all needed toiletries), an up to date address book that had all personal and business numbers I needed to contact people, and some clothes, and I was ready to go. It was a great comfort to know my home was in order when I left. Now, with every load of small stuff that leaves the house, I am always thinking it is things no one will have to deal with when I am gone!

    • Thank you Brenda, sometmes incidents like my mum’s illness and your husbands accident or wake up calls to get things in order. Hopefully that will be the case this time for my family.

  5. Hello Colleen,

    I’m so very sorry to hear about your mother and I hope she is well on her way down the road to recovery.

    I’ve been told that I am living my life way too much for the future. We’ve been working with our financial planner with an eye toward retirement, my employer and I have already mapped out his retirement/my leaving his employ. When my boss retires, we plan to move to what will hopefully be our retirement location, but I will still work – won’t be of age or ready to be not working. My point is, I’ve still been decluttering as I have no wish to move a bunch of junk, we’ve streamlined our finances, minimizing new purchases, determining expected expiration dates for things like vehicles, etc. If my boss decides to exit early, I’d like my husband and I to be able to make our move at the drop of a hat. Living a simplified life is my goal for a happy now and a happy future.

    Take care!

  6. It is a blessing to be able to pour into our parents’ lives as they grow older. Unfortunately I lost my Dad at 58 and my Mom at 62. I am grateful for the moments we had together. Losing them at, what I consider, an early age brought home my own mortality. I have tried to use it as a lens as I look around my own home…what do I want to save my children from having to go through! Also looking forward to retiring and being much more flexible in moving between my children’s homes to visit. Thank you Colleen, and all those who comment, on being consistently encouraging and caring!

  7. I was sorry to hear about your mother Colleen; hope she is now doing well.

    Your words struck me deeply – just a couple of weeks ago one of my friends passed away and has unfortunately left behind her an enormous quantity of possessions. Her husband now has a huge job in front of him, not just dealing with all the paperwork and inevitable consequences of losing his wife, but sorting out roomfuls of stuff. Many of the things are her own personal items, clothes and shoes, which apparently number in the hundreds, and on top of that there are piles of boxes, many unopened, which probably contain gifts and household items. My friend was virtually housebound for the last few years and spent much of her time ordering things from catalogs, planning for gifts several years into the future. I just can’t imagine having to open all those boxes and trying to figure out what were her intentions and then distributing it all, or more likely disposing of much of it. As you say, you just never know what might suddenly happen, and all those possessions become a huge burden when we have to deal with serious difficulties and things that really matter.