Day 99 Photo Deterrent

You are probably wondering what Photo Deterrent means. It is a idea that just popped into my head yesterday while commenting to Anna at about her lovely shoes. I am sure this probably isn’t an original plan but I thought I was clever anyway.

Here is the plan…

  • Choose an item you have that torments you because you never use it even though you spent quite a bit of your hard earned cash in it.
  • It would be best if the item is one you are having a difficult time parting with because it is addictively appealing to you on some level but you know you probably won’t ever use.
  • Now take a photo of it
  • Print the photo in a wallet size format
  • Put it in your purse/wallet in a very prominent position where you can see it every time you go to pay for things (even if you have to cover the photo of your sweetheart/children/husband etc).

At this point I think you clearly understand what Photo Deterrent means. Every time you go to make an ill advised purchase you will see that picture and at least think twice about what you are doing and hopefully put the item back and walk away.

If you find this photo is just causing you a lot of unneeded stress try this approach instead…

  • Take a photo depicting a goal you intend saving for. Maybe an overseas trip, starting your own business, paying off your home loan.
  • Put that in your wallet in a prominent position
  • Hopefully that will inspire you to stop spending and  start saving.

The possibilities are endless. You could use a photo of the last “bargain” you bought that you still haven’t used yet or of  something you have multiples of that are completely un-necessary…

Any one of  these strategies could potentially deter you from acquiring any more un-necessary clutter. If however it is having the opposite effect for goodness sakes get rid of the photo.

Since I can’t for the life of me think of anything to get rid of today that has any relevance to the subject at hand I shall make today’s item this scary looking knife that my husband sold on eBay


Colleen’s Helpful Hint of the Day

To easily clean your microwave oven place a damp microfibre cloth on the plate, heat in microwave on high for about 30 seconds. When timer goes wait a couple of minutes for the steam that is generated from the heated cloth to soften any soiling on the inside of the oven then just wipe away.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Colleen – I think this is a great idea, will print shoe picture out immediately!

    Seriously though, going through the whole shoe incident and subsequent analysis (if you can call it that) has made me think twice about purchasing further items because I simply love them.

    I should add that shoes found a new home very quickly, after being listed on ebay. The winning bidder picked them up in person,so I met the shoes new owner and we had a giggle about the whole story…somehow it was easier to let them go under these circumstances!

  2. Colleen
    Just found your blog via unclutterer and really like it!
    I have also used the photo deterrent system to help me declutter something I was almost ready to let go-The photo gives me the memory but I can let go of the object. This system tries to stop the object from even getting in the house!

    • Hi Jessiejack,
      Thanks for the comment. I am glad you are enjoying my blog a I enjoy all the feedback that I get from generous people like you.
      I have touched on the idea of photo achiving before on day 66. As you just mentioned the method of keeping a photo of something rather than the object itself is a great way to reduce clutter while still having a reminder to look back on if you wish. I have a bunch of old trophies that I intend to do that with, they have been one of those things that we have walked away from before because we weren’t prepared to part with them at the time, but their day is coming.

  3. Colleen,
    Thanks for the microwave tip – it worked a treat!

    • it does work a treat doesn’t it. I used to put a cut of water in mine but then I figured I could cut out the middle man and just heat the damp cloth.