Change your focus

First read this comment by Jane from last week in response to Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Mental Clutter

It is interesting how one simple transfer of focus can make such a big difference to someone’s life. Think about it for a minute ~ Jane has transferred her focus from avoiding unpleasant tasks to finding a reason to cross something off her to do list. She naturally got no joy from knowing there were unpleasant tasks awaiting to be done but she gets a great deal of pleasure eliminating things from her to do list. The pleasure can not be achieved without the task being done. Nothing has become more pleasant about the task she has simply found yourself a reward system. As minimal as the reward is it is still something to strive for.

I deploy a similar strategy for the items or categories that I find the most difficult to declutter.  In my craft room I have changed my focus from “I might want this one day” to the pleasure I get from eliminating one more storage item or piece of furniture from my craft space. This helps me to be far more ruthless with the culling process.

Being a very organised person I used to find it difficult to part with storage containers once I had emptied them of the clutter. Now I focus on the fact that if they aren’t around I can’t fill them back up again. I also focus on the square footage they no longer take up in my house.

Moni had this little snippet in one of her comments yesterday that fitted so well with this post I just had to include it:~

“I sew costumes for a ballet school – that is the ultimate generator of STUFF. But I enjoy it because it is very satisfying making something pretty or glamorous. And it is very hard to part with the left overs because we feel an emotional connection/affection to our projects because of the effort and skill and love we have put into the final product. Have since learnt that Kindergartens LOVE left over craft stuff. I find that if I feel left overs and surplus stuff is going to “a good home”, I don’t feel so bad about letting it go.”

So don’t focus on the size of the task or the “what ifs” or the “I might need this someday” just focus on the good feelings you get when…

  • the space is liberated…
  • when the obligation is lifted…
  • when the aspiration has been expelled…
  • when the guilt is no longer in your face…
  • when you clean your home and it takes less effort to get a good result…
  • when you no longer crave a shopping fix…
  • when you can invite people to your home and not feel embarrassed…

You wouldn’t be decluttering if your overriding desire wasn’t to get your home in order. And you must be serious about it or you wouldn’t be visiting my blog. So do yourself a favour and change your focus to the positive side of decluttering. After all it really doesn’t take much effort to declutter one thing day knowing that the reward at the end is so worth it.

Today’s Declutter Item

This A3 drawing board, otherwise known as aspirational clutter or unwise purchase, has possibly more than recouped the lose made in the initial transaction. I sold it on eBay recently for $61. Being as we bought in in the US at Michaels with I imagine a 40% off coupon it may well have netted us a profit.

A3 Drawing Board

Something I Am Grateful For Today

My friend Amber who drove me to and from the thrift store today during the torrential downpours that is our crazy weather this year.

“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

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Continue reading with these posts:

  • Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Mental Clutter Cindy's Weekly Wisdom I was surveying a newly installed fence and gate - my own - and I suddenly thought of Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. Unfortunately for us, I […]
  • See the cup half full side of your clutter Sometimes when you visualise the declutter task ahead it is easy to focus just on the sheer size of the task. How much there is to move, the logistics involved in disposing of it […]
  • The silly season series ~ Part 1 This blog post is by Moni Gilbert who is coordinating this series of posts. As we enter the Silly Season I would like to kick off a series written by Deb J, Andréia and myself entitled […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I enjoyed this post today. Attitude can make such a difference on letting go and moving on. When you see things in a positive way, you see how it will make your life better, not that you are losing something.

    • Hi Spendwisemom,

      Sorry I typed your name wrong the other day and I was asking a question, so here it is again. How does your daughter put your videos over to a dvd. I’m looking to do this as well. We have a heap of tapes. Any help would be appreciated

      Cheers and great post Colleen 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Calico ginger

        Hi Dizzy,

        I had lots of precious videotapes too, and some stuff on those little video camera tapes.

        They annoyed me so much, but getting them done professionally was very expensive so they just stayed put until Aldi (a kind of low cost, generic type supermarket chain here in Oz) had a very cheap combined VCR/DVD player-recorder on sale.

        I pounced on it and did all mine (including the camera ones, because it had camera input connections too and I still had the ancient videocamera) for the cost of getting about 2 videos done professionally.

        It was a bit of a pain, but once I got the set up right, I just chugged through them. The VCR/DVD player only lasted about a year, but I felt it paid for itself many times over and, since I no longer had any tapes, I replaced it with a very small simple DVD player which does us all fine.

        Hope this helps…

        • Too bad we do not have Aldi’s here on the west coast (I am from Germany and very familiar with that store)
          I know you can purchase devices to do the same task (puts it on USB) on

          My question is – can you please provide a link to that app “Things”? I do not have a phone etc, but have computer – I need a to-do-list app badly!!

    • Exactly Spendwisemom, and it is amazing how small the individual immediate reward has to be to keep you focused on the ultimate goal are larger payout.

  2. I am not sure how to do it myself. My daughter knows much more than I do about computers, etc. and she is the one who did it. If you want to send me an e-mail to, I forward it to her and see if she will let you know how. By the way, you can call me Marianne instead of Spendwisemom if you want!

    • Hi there,
      Thanks for the response, I will try the recorder first and then see how that goes, I have been given a bit of advice with the computers so I’ll be trying that as well. I am so looking forward to getting 30 odd tapes onto a few DVD’s or USB’s.

      Many thanks everyone. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. Excellent post, Colleen. I especially liked this item on your list: “when you no longer crave a shopping fix…”

    For anyone who is just beginning to declutter, and who is still doing recreational shopping, I can tell you for a fact that it really IS possible to no longer crave a shopping fix.

    Years ago I was queen of the mall. I shopped all the time. Now—I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve set foot in a mall, but it’s been years and years, and I have absolutely no desire to go into one at all.

    I don’t like to shop at all any more (except grocery shopping, which I still enjoy). There are very few things in the stores that I’d want to bother cluttering my house with. I NEVER need a shopping fix any more.

    Now, if I could only get my husband into the same mindset, it would be great. 😉

    • I so can relate to this! I literally only go into our local mall 1 time a year just so I can get my annual Hallmark collectable ornament. When I do go that 1 day, I loathe being there. Malls just irk me. Now when I was a teen – that was different!

    • I nearly missed this comment Becky but I am so glad I didn’t. WE are certainly of like minds when it comes to this subject. I had a helping hand at recovering from the shopping bug when I moved back to Australia and wasn’t paying USA prices anymore. Ouch that hurt but I sure made it easy to give up recreational shopping altogether when I starting my 365 Less Things challenge. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that if you keep bringing stuff in your decluttering efforts will all be in vain.

  4. One of my BFF’s has smugly reminded me that with one-off costumes made for competitive dancing – you would be silly to get rid of the left over fabric, trims and what-not, especially if your child is still growing. Ok, that is correct.

    What I meant above related more to groups and troupes ie when the curtain comes down on the ballet concert, I no longer am required to keep the left overs but I found it difficult to throw in the bin bits of bling and left over fabric. So these days off to the kindy for arts & crafts.

    HOWEVER…..solo costumes are a bit different as they are expensive and generally need to last two years, so yes, left overs are considered an asset. Here’s what someone showed me. Put all the left over fabric, trims, sequins etc for that costume only in its own large size zip lock bag. When you sell the costume at the end of its time, include the left overs, the new owner will be very grateful. I listed a waltz tap costume on Trademe auctions and showed the bag of extra fabric (enough to make a bigger leotard – the expense is in the skirt) it turned into a bidding war

    When I did this for all Courtney’s current costumes, I realised I had 8-9 years of stuff. Suffice to say the local kindy is turning out some spectacularly bling-y art. Hall cupboard was an avalanche zone, now it has shelves going spare – and I can find things. My husband sometimes opens the doors, just because he can’t believe the transformation – ironically he was on the brink of buying me extra storage cabinets before I started de-cluttering. I wonder if he will give me the money he saved to put towards an iPhone so I can get “Things” app!

    • „My husband sometimes opens the doors, just because he can’t believe the transformation “ Moni, you are cute!
      But I can absolutely relate. I LOVE to admire the space I have created after a notable decluttering. Sometimes I even make myself a cup of tea, sit and stare. I devour the feeling of having accomplished something because all too soon it will fade and the next “construction site” is opening up before my eyes. Taking the time to be proud of myself is my reward.

      • I so agree with Moni’s husband and Ideealistin, it is sooooo nice to gloat over a decluttering job well done. Mostly at one thing a day it takes a while for a space to open up but other times I go crazy in one area and by decluttering and rearranging I see results quite quickly and I do sit back and enjoy the scene. I also revisit regularly over the next little while to gloat some more. This is a joy that has replaced recreational shopping and is much more lasting and fulfilling.

    • That all makes perfectly good sense Moni. AS for that things app Ingrid has found Wunderlist which is similar and is free on i-tunes. I haven’t compared them yet but free is cheaper than $10 so I am trying Wunderlist first.

    • Dear Moni,

      I so believe you are my long lost twin sister! Aside from the usual clutter and ‘STUFF’ we also have Dance and Dance Costumes in common hahaha I so get where you are coming from in this Snippet. My son dances, tap, modern, ballet and sings so every comp season becomes a clutter fest in one way or another, wouldn’t change it for the world but I would love a ‘Dressing/Costume Room built onto the house.

      What costumes aren’t sold get donated to Schools for their Dance and Drama Classes. Needless to say they get a lot more wear now than they did before hahahaha. Comps are upon us here in WA April will be bringing showers of bling, material and make-up etc. Oooh I can smell the hairspray and shoe paint hahahaha!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I am currently sorting a suitcase of one-offs for my niece, to either sell or donate and I am adding in all the bigger pcs of fabric etc so changes can be made. We’ve held onto ‘scraps’ whilst solo’s are performed ‘just in case’ they get sold. 🙂

      • Yep you’re definately my long lost twin – my girls do ballet, jazz, tap & contemporary. Our comp season kicked off last weekend, though we’re not entered again until May.

        It is amazing how much STUFF gets accummulated for dancing isn’t it? And yes, that “just in case” – you just KNOW that if you don’t keep it, you won’t be able to find more and it will turn into a big drama and next thing you know you’re starting from scratch, making a replacement, last thing at night.

        I recently had an extra shelf added to my craft cupboard – the irony is that I have decluttered this and it looks rather bare – Zen Contemporary is the official description – so the wardrobe installer dude was baffled that I wanted an extra shelf.

        Between the top shelf (roughly level with top of the door) and the ceiling was this empty space. I had an extra shelf put way up there, and that is where all the comp stuff lives ie makeup kit, accessories box, CD box, I also have a bag which holds costumes which don’t need to hang up – Dizzy, if I said Tap Solo, Speed and Impromptu – you would know what I mean – and so its altogether in row, ready for me to pack. BUT the best part is that its out of the way, and no one ever looks up. Unfortunately I can’t store the costumes that need to hang in there too as it is shelves, but in my dream house there would be facility for those too.

        Do you have any clever ideas for keeping comp stuff under control?

        • Ha I was going to ask you the same thing!! LOL although I have a fair hand on everything I do find that having so many pairs of shoes are my bug bear. I dance as well so you can imagine. A few years ago I gave up changing shoe colours on my taps and ended up buying another three pairs of shoes, black and tan to use as is and a really light camel colour (from America) so I could colour change them as needed, my others are now practice shoes or spares if anyone throws a tap etc. My purple shoes are my go to shoes when I really need to hear my feet because they ring so well. I myself have 6prs of tap shoes (Heeled and flats man style for when I have a male tap part) 2prs of jazz shoes and 1pr of demi-s ( I only do ballet for stretch etc and because I’m useless at ballet) 4 prs of character shoes. My son has 4prs tap shoes, (soon to be joined by another two prs because I’m sick of changing colours on his as well) 3prs jazz shoes and 2prs ballet shoes, and about 8 prs toe thongs on the go for contemorary and slow modern. The cost of toe thongs alone generally keeps me broke!! My only organisation at the moment is a shoe rack and a shelving unit for the kits and a rolling rack for the costumes (which I have to cull regularly). For the bigger costumes (he’s been Fagin, The Tin Man, The King for ‘ALICE’ the King of Bollywood) all these costumes take up a huge amount of space and are really hard to fit in any space. Wigs are another, I have 8 really good ones that should be on head stands but I don’t have the room for them, hats are the other, between us we have 20 hats, and seeing as some of them are quite big it makes for a storage ‘pain’ but they are still in use so I’m not getting rid of them just yet! These are my dilemmas at the moment.

          My only saving grace at the moment is that all his upcomming comps are to be danced in easy shirts and pants and a suit for all his tap numbers and I am not dancing in this round!

          If you have any solutions for me I’d love to hear them 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • How many years does your son have left competiting? Here in NZ it is strictly 17 and under.

            Shoes – we have black flexi’s and tan flexi’s (Bloch brand) – cuban taps seem to have gone out of favour over the last few years over here.

            Have you ever thought of using spatz or over-boots? I’m probably calling them the wrong thing. I noticed a girl at our last comps had coloured shoes, and that’s unusual so I had a closer look in the wings and they were made of lycra and have elastic straps that go under the shoe. I think iceskaters invented them. Just an idea.

          • Hi Dizzy – I have been thinking about your storage problem. Do you have one area that all your costume stuff is stored in? Or is it over a number of locations around your house?

            I hang each costume in a suit bag on a rack in the garage to keep them tucked away – not everyone in the house shares Courtney’s enthuisiasm to comp dancing, also makes for easy transporting keeping in mind that I live in NZ and rain is a regular occurance.

            Is the dance gear/costumes your only de-cluttering vice? ie do you have any other huge collections that you are working thru? How do others in your house feel about all the dance gear/costumes?

            The big costumes you mentioned Fagin etc, are they in current use? I didn’t quite understand if they are being used or if his tap costumes are now limited pants and shirt.
            (I’m just trying to get the bigger picture here.)

  5. I needed this reminder to get rid of empty bins effortlessly and quickly. I struggle with this, and yet I do not want to fill them back up! I’m not done decluttering; so I have a huge stack of them waiting to reorganize stuff, however I am pretty sure I can go ahead and let many go without needing to replace them. Thank you! 🙂

    • I too have this need to hang onto empty boxes and storage containers. Like there’s a world wide shortage on cardboard boxes ex-supermarket.

      • Moni I am sure if I can get over this you can too. Just focus on that fact the storage usually means of things that aren’t being used. AKA Clutter.

        • Exactly! Organised clutter is still clutter. I’m actually going to talk to you in the near future over what I call “The Fine Line” – namely the fine line between good storage solutions and attractively stored clutter. Was looking at a Storage World catalogue yesterday and marvelling at all the storage opportunities and then I thought, hang on a minute, shouldn’t I be figuring out what I don’t need to keep first? Its a tricky one because a seasoned de-cluttering will obviously respect a good system, but can these stores and catalogues also be wolves in sheeps clothing?

          • Oh Moni I so agree with you. Here’s a challenge, why don’t you write a blog post about this subject for me. I will send you my email address so you can send it to me when you are done, if you are up for the challenge. I often thought I ought to get blog sponsoring from a company like that but then I thought ~ I don’t want to encourage people to keep their stuff. They do have good organising products for the everyday useful stuff as well though I suppose.

          • Sure I could have a lot of fun with that one – and can you add to a mini-challenge one day: Corner cupboards. I bet we all have one or two in the kitchen and I bet it will be a real hoot what comes out of some of them. You’ll have heard me mention my hubby several times – clutter is deeply in his DNA but he has come over to the Dark Side (he’s the one who opens the craft cupboard just to marvel at the transformation), this morning he said that our next house will have a long kitchen with no corner cupboards, so goodness knows what he was looking at to make such a comment.

            • Ah yes, those corner cupboards they can be a real pain. They had the good sense to put the pantry in the corner of the kitchen in the house I am living in at the moment. And the one in our American house had a carousel in the corner cupboard so that solved the problem there too. Funny thing is people mostly only keep clutter in that corner cupboard because it is so hard to get into. Perhaps in that case people ought to just nail them shut and get rid of the clutter.

              • Hi Colleen
                Reporting back on my corner kitchen cupboards. In one was two roasting dishes with lids. At our house 9/10 roasts are done by my husband in the hanging basket of hooded bbq, wrapped in tin foil. (which is really yummy, and saves me dishes, so I’m not complaining)
                And if I’m totally backed into a corner, I do a beef roast in the crock pot during the day while I am at work. So not sure why I even have one let alone two roasting dishes. Anyway, getting rid of one, I think I should keep one just in case my mum visits. Am swapping one for a bottle of wine with a friend. Talk about a win-win transaction!

                In another corner cupboard was an automatic pasta cooker. Never used and a coffee perculator, (I don’t even drink coffee) dropped off at the Red Cross store this morning.

                And the last corner cupboard, a collection of serving dishes (never used) gifted to me by my mum after we shifted into this house from one that had a tiny (and I mean really tiny) kitchen as she thought my cupboards looked bare. Ironic I know. I still use the ones I had in our last house, so Adrian and I are going to pull those out in the next couple of days and decide together, though I suspect we will donate to the Red Cross store too, but as he is the better cook I’m giving him some input.

                • Keep up that pace Moni and you will be able to leave those corner cupboard bare and not have the hassle of trying to get stuff out of them ever again. And my you do have a lot of corner cupboards to deal with, three and I though one was a big enough pain. Well done and the Red Cross must be loving you.

    • Good for you Angela. Organised people often feel more attached to useful objects rather than sentimental ones and it can be hard to let go of these useful objects. Trust me I know. But perhaps in the future if you find yourself “needing” one and think ‘oh I wish I still had…’ maybe that will be a reminder to double check that what you now “need” it for might just be clutter you shouldn’t really be keeping. Consider letting go of them your pledge to never clutter again.

  6. I feel I am drowning in stuff again at the moment and it has really ground me to a halt…it really is paralysing me,particularly mentally.
    It’s down to not being able to get stuff that has been shifted from it’s home, due to bedroom overhaul, out of the house I think and it has all built up, and of course 90% of that is not mine so I can’t control the time scale of it going. I can only encourage it’s departure.
    However, on a positive note, our bedroom is now really lovely and relaxing and calm and not full of unused horded clothes, higglety pigglety furniture and an unattractive, if practical bed. The soft gentle colours and varnished floor feels harmonious.

    • I decluttered my bedroom first, and I’m glad to have a haven when everything is crazy. Hang in there. Write a quick game plan, set a rough timeline, pin it up somewhere obvious. Even if it isn’t your stuff to get rid of, this will keep it happening. If you don’t mind me asking, whose stuff is it?

      • It’s my lovely hubands Moni – it’s the 30 adult years of stuff (that he neither looks at or uses) that he horded before we met. Timelines, game plans and deadlines have no effect what so ever. He has come a long way with downsizing his stuff but the only thing that works is loving patience and gently retrying every so often til I catch him in the right mood.

        • Hi Katharine – I took away half of my husband’s clothes and he didn’t even notice. I stored them in a suitcase in the ceiling just in case, and then six months later I just got rid of them. Can you quietly sneak some stuff away – out of sight, out of mind?

          • I’ve always resisted going that route Moni – it’s paid off so far as he has learnt to trust me with his stuff and let me in to his world, so to speak to enable me to help him declutter perhaps a third of his stuff so far. But it is getting tempting I do admit…this weekend I actually have thrown away his 3 year collect of bus tickets stuffed on his wallet and keys shelf and not told him..I feel such a rebel!

          • Hi Katharine – Aha! That’s the missing piece of the puzzle, yes I do know about Aspergers – one of my good friends has a son with it. Then your husband’s done really well to do what he has done so far and he is very lucky to have someone as understanding and supportive as you. Hang in there.

        • You rebel you! OK I am with Colleen then, a heart-to-heart conversation. I always make a point of telling my hubby how much happier I feel when we have gotten rid of stuff. Does your hubby like your overhauled bedroom? My hubby loves our minimalist room, so it wasn’t too hard to get him on board for other projects.

          I do find that he gets overwhelmed when its lots of stuff, so I just say “I’m only going to do this box, or this corner today” – and here is the cunning trick “and afterwards I’m going to make something nice to eat/open a bottle of wine” – I use this trick to get my teenagers home in time for dinner [time to come home pls, spaghetti bolonaise, gr8d cheese, salad & hot rolls] works well. Stomach trumps brain everytime And it works well on my hubby too. And when he hints halfway thru that he’s hungry now…..I just tell him that as soon as its done I’ll have it done in a jiffy. So then he’s thinking about tummy and not the Hawaiian shirts I’m putting in the “out” box.

          • Good strategy Moni. There is always a secret to get anyone moving isn’t there. And if you can combine strategies even better. Well done.

          • Ah Moni, I have have many loving heart to hearts with my husband on this issue. No he doesn’t like the bedroom overhaul because it has meant change and he finds that difficult. He physical winces going near the new shelves and hasn’t been able to place a single thing on them yet.
            What I see as disorder, excess and chaos he sees as comforting familiarity.
            I have spent the last 2 years doing one box at a time. No reward works because the act of sorting is very very painful he can’t see past that. But together gently we have worked through 30 bin bags of clothes and perhaps 20 boxes of stuff, so we are getting there. I’m a complete specialist in helping him cope and he has changed enormously. I just needed to vent a little of my frustration the other day, the method I have used for the last x years do work; i.e many of the things you suggest we have long since been using, I just need to be patient for a little longer. And of course, he is worth it.

            Have you heard of aspergers? Well my husband has some tendencies in that direction – so what is easy and obvious for you and me is enormously painful for him, so logical and obvious strategies just don’t work.
            This time next month I am sure this will all be done. The biggest problem at the moment is that I need to be the strong one to get this last bit done and I’m not too well at the moment and am just about managing work and getting an evening meal and not a lot else.
            But “this too shall pass”. Nothing stays the same for ever.

    • Your bedroom sounds lovely Katharine. I am sorry though that the clutter is now out in the open and driving you crazy. All I can suggest is to make it clear to your darling man that it really is doing your head in. I am sure your wellbeing is more important to him than a bunch of old clutter. Communication is so important.
      Just last week my hubby and I viewed a much smaller home with the view to buy. We didn’t proceed but it really got us thinking about how much more we would have to downsize to fit in that house. The subject came up about crockery of which I feel we still have too much and as it turned out so did my husband and we were of exactly the same mind as to what needed to be done about it.
      So my friend talk to him about both of your feelings about the clutter. Perhaps there is a common ground you could reach that is more acceptable to both of you. Or perhaps he isn’t even as attached to the stuff as you think he is. He might decide once you have articulated your feeling clearly that he doesn’t want the stuff as badly as you want it gone.

      • Thanks Colleen,you can tell it’s really getting to me now,huh.
        I have told him how it is wearing me down but his struggle with change is making it difficult to hear and act. The real problem is I have been fightning excessive fatigue since Christmas and it’s finding the mental energy to make it happen. But you are right, I need to push this further and tell him how much it is doing my head in now.
        Last weekend he did suddenly tackle the pile of 23 jumpers and got rid of 6 in 2 minutes. Bit of a wow moment. I just need the same to happen with the 37 pairs of trousers and 2 x 3ft pile of teeshirts/tops. Oh, and the shoes, oh and the comuter and screen that haven’t been used in 10+yes. I do think he will get there. I will try again on Sunday (he’s working Fri/Sat).

        Once this lot is done though, that is most of the historical clutter dealt with: we will never be in this position with his clothes again.

        • You are doing well and once he realises that the things that have gone have had no detrimental effect on his life I am sure he will be able to let go of more. Get him on to the pants on Sunday and then the shoes next Sunday… and then loop back around to the beginning. It may take a while by any progress is good progress. But do do let him know in no uncertain terms that all this unnecessary stuff is a major torment to you.

          • LOL, he hates it when I leave drawers or cupboard doors open after use. I’m thinking of leaving every cupboard door in the kitchen open a few times and then explain that is how I feel about the clothes in the sitting room.

            Honestly, I think we are nearly there, I just need to find the energy for the final push…watch this space.

        • Hi Katharine,

          This might sound a little cruel but watching a few episodes of ‘HOARDERS’ might help. Man nothing gets me going like a shot of that show. hahaha terrible I know but it just might be the ‘ticket’ your hubby needs.

          Here’s another ‘What The’ my hubby, bless his cotton socks! Had an obsession with a revolting 80’s jumper. I bought this jumper back when hideous things were in but looked normal (if ever!!) I still don’t know what possessed me to buy it but it soon became a go to jumper and then the horrible thing kept staying around year after year!! It actually made it into a Salvo bag on many, many occassions but always seemed to re-materialise later on. I swear to God for a while there I actually thought I may have bought more of them along the track. Noooooo hubby just kept pulling it out of the pile and putting it in the cupboard. I finally either took the scissors to it or chucked it in the compost bin! His only excuse was that he loved the jumper because I had taken the time to buy it for him, now believe me I must have been drunk or stoned when I bought it because even in the 80’s that jumper should have been thrown away straight after buying it hahahaha!

          Good luck with hubby’s things, patience and love may be the key and after a while I’m sure he’ll be bitten by the ‘Fling Bug’ and then watch the feathers fly, you my dear may very well just have to try and keep up!!

          Good luck 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • LOL Dizzy – what is it with 80’s jumpers: I have had the same thing, except he never wore them, the just aded to the pile of excess clothes! Hideous things (and long before he knew me;O) ). However, the final 6 went last week when he had a 2 minute frenzy of sorting. He has assured me several times he had good times in those jumpers! To which I always reply – you still had those good times and the memories now they are gone.

            I’m hoping he’ll have another 2 miute frenzie on the trousers and everthing else very soon. They say the darkest hour is before dan eh? :O)

    • Woo hoo way to go Katharine,

      Feels great doesn’t it! I love my Zen Bedroom, I’d still like to get rid of everything else (which isn’t much anyway) and just have the bed in there, but I like the chair and the lamp too so for now I’m happy with Zen – ish 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Just try and have a little patience with the stuff that has to go, it will eventually and in the meantime you can imagine what the space is going to look like.

  7. Awesome!
    I managed to mark off 2 more joy-less boat anchors this week. I sorted through & got all our tax receipts/info ready for the tax preparer and I checked our annual free credit reports online & all is well with those.
    I hate Hate HATE dealing with anything tax-related (even if it nets us a refund) as it’s time consuming & requires too mch of my energy even though we have a tax lady who does all the actual calculations. Still – I hate it.
    But I got to mark those off my “Things” list & that gave me instant relief. It’s almost like I hold my breath thru all the crummy tasks and only when I finally check the crummy task off the to-do list do I then exhale & take a well-deserved breath of fresh air!
    Oh and I cancelled our cable TV today. Just like that. Well, after discussing it with the husband first. But our cable bill had risen again for no good reason & with the return of Spring/Summer & daylight savings time – plus we just don’t watch enough TV to justify the $92 a month cable bill. Yeah the cable people tried to give us some (temporary) appeasement offer – but I held firm (plus it was a pretty crummy offer) & got it disconnected. Plus, we can still watch just about everything thru streaming services for no where near the cost of the $92 cable bill.
    But I rather like freeing up the time (clutter) that I had just sitting in front of the tv watching shows I really didnt love but was just watching out of habit.

    • The Other Lynn

      We’ve been two years without cable. We are more intentional about watching shows now and I love it. We get better reception (HD) with our antenna than we were getting with our cable (not HD)!

      • We have never had cable since returning to Australia. Sometimes I wish we never had a TV either. At least there is no TV in the bedroom here and I will never have one there again either.

    • Well don Jane getting that tax task crossed off your to do list. But even more well done on cancelling the cable. How often to people spend hours watching TV and then can’t understand why their houses are such a mess? I know we all need down time but sometimes the downtime gets a little out of hand. I say again, good for you.

    • Us too, we cancelled it about 8 months ago for the same reason as you and honestly we don’t miss it as we have lots of digital channels to keep us going.
      Also we don’t watch that much TV really, only at night and late afternoons on the weekend.

      • We watch almost exclusively cable shows, but I really think there must be a better option out there. Our bill went up another $2 this month to $160!!!! That is way too much, although it also includes phone and Internet.

        I throw everything tax related into one file folder all year long, spend an hour or so sorting it in February, and then send it off to the accountant. Well worth it. This year we are getting back $5,600!! What an awesome surprise.

        • When we moved back to Australia I was shocked at the price of phone plans and internet connectivity. I don’t know if the prices have gone up in the US but $160 sounds like a lot of money to me. Youch!!

  8. Hi Moni,

    Over here you can dance till you drop, literally, only exception is if you become a commercial dancer (ie: get paid) you cannot enter back into your Local competitions. My son is 17 and can dance in 18 & under if there is no age group for his age. Once he’s 18 and 1 month he can only dance over 18, silly rules here for ages and different in all the different comps.

    Yes I do have spats and we often use ‘booties’ for us girls but because we dance a lot of small troupes we like to have a specific look and we tend to stay with only a few colours. I used to have a pair when I iceskated many moons ago and then used the same type of thing with roller-dancing, before my speed demon appeared and all the girly stuff went flying out the ring. Man nothing like clocking the clock on the turns and ‘whipping’ through, I loved it all until one pretty nasty tumble that re-did my knee that I blew out in Netball and the shoulder I knackered pitching. Tap seems to be my speed demon now. My choice of weapon these days are ‘Ovation’ by Annarra, the taps are clear too so no need to loosen a heap or wear down for a ring. I love them, if your girls are older and like the heel try this brand, they are comfy and have a really nice vamp that is close to the foot so you don’t get the saggy sides.

    My name is ‘Emelda’ at the studio but I’m fine with that hahahaha! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  9. Hi Katharine,

    I have just read the rest of your posts, patience will get you there. How would your darling feel about 1 item every so often to build momentum, last thing you want is a meltdown.

    I’ve tutored 2 students with Aspergers and one of the things I found gratifying with them is their neatness and willingness to tidy up. The motion of tidying and cleaning was soothing for them, although change was difficult for them they seemed to handle it way better when the change was brought about with their doing.

    For a while you might have to put up with the ‘slow go’ but you’ll get there 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Thanks Dizzy.I appreciate your kind words. My husband doesn’t have aspergers, but like all of us is on a continuum, he just has some tendencies and his manifest as finding change difficult, but he also gave me his complete blessing to do what ever I wanted with the bedroom as he knew it was troubling me: he even helped me carry all the stuff out with a smile.
    I didn’t realise what to me was just the need to express impatience here and longing for it to be finished off, would be seen as a cry for help. No, I am very confident that the techniques we have worked on over the last few years together do work as I have helped him get rid of loads over the last 2 years. It’s just this last bit that needs me to hang on a bit longer and he will suddenly do it all. He will also adapt to the new look bedroom so that in time, if i dare change it, he will complain,lol. I promised him this was the last change for a very long time as I now had the bedroom how I really wanted it. He laughed and confessed he didnt believe me:O)

    I think too, part of my frustration is my own go slow health wise so everything I would long to do in own life is generally on hold so I have more time to see the clutter, lol.

  11. My next house will have a gallery style kitchen…..and probably nothing to put in it.
    Yes we have 3 charity shops in a row and time I pick a different one to donate stuff to – mainly because its embarressing how much stuff I’m off loading.

  12. I, too, love to keep my storage bins. Just in case, although recently I have all of them filled up and need to sort and toss.
    I have a question and hope someone can help me. I LOVE, love, love, the metal tins that popcorn comes in (the ones with the pretty scenes on them) and have been keeping fabric scraps in them. I use some for holding bows for the holiday gifts, too. Now, I am beginning to empty a few and hate to get rid of them. Anything I can use them for? They are too big for kitchen use and how many trash cans can I have with Christmas themes. I have tossed some in the recycle bin but the ones I kept are really nice. HELP!

    • Hi Maggie,

      Know your comment is over 2 years old… But when I had a doggie, I used my large popcorn tin for his kibble. It kept it handy but safe from insects, etc.

      *keep the bottom part as a trash can, lint can next to the dryer, trash bin for the car

      *make it the “box” you take your next donation to the thrift shop in.

      *toy bin for a toddler

      *water, sand, or soil barrel

      Hope this is helpful 🙂