Day 217 Declutter regrets revisited

Back on day 192 I wrote a post on decluttering regrets and today I would like to follow that up with a story about a woman I work with.

As you can imagine I hold nothing back when it comes to spreading the word about decluttering whether through my blog, with my friend or anyone who cares to listen really. My work mates are no exception and they often hear my stories and sometimes have a look at my blog.

The  woman who is the subject of this story recently came to work laughingly complaining to me about how my “worthless advice” had caused her grief. She then informed me of the source of this grief. Her daughter has to dress up as a children’s book character for school and chose Little Miss Muffet. She immediately remembered a cute little bonnet that had been in there dress-up box for about six years. The unfortunate part to this story is she had taken my advice and decluttered it recently and was now unable to use it “this once”. Yes once in six years the only problem I can see with this situation is that this item should have been decluttered five years ago at least.

Lo and behold a few days later we had another similar session about a curling wand that had also been lurking about her home for a similar length of time. She had also gottten rid of it and now wanted to use it to curl her daughters hair for the same event that the hat was needed for. Needless to say I wasn’t that sympathetic. I just told her there was no shortage of curling wands going begging at the thrift shop or get her daughter to borrow one from a friend. I implored her to not waste money buying a new one that would most likely also sit unused for the next six years.

If we all used six years as our yard stick  to how long it takes for something to be eligible for decluttering wouldn’t our homes be a mess. I do not regret giving decluttering advice I only regret that more people don’t experience the joy and/or freedom achieved from…

  1. having less unused items cluttering up their homes.
  2. the financial benefits of not wasting money on items you could easily live without.
  3. knowing you are having a minimal negative impact on the environment.
  4. setting a good example for the next generation
  5. not trying to keep up with the Jones


These speakers had an 120v power cord that is really no use to us here in Australia at 240v.

Computer Speakers

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. This sounds just like my mother’s thinking. it drives me nuts. We would have a lot less STUFF if I could get her to think about how little we use the things she holds onto “just in case.” You can always borrow something or go get a cheapy. Or change your daughter’s mind to fit what you do have or can find. Grin.

    • Hi Deb J,
      I am all for change the daughter’s mind to fit what they do have. How many million characters are there to choose from anyway there must be at least 40 mentioned in Dr Seuss’s Hooper Humperdink for starters and that would be far more original.
      Knock Knock… who’s there…. Justin…..Justin who……Just in case…….go away we don’t need you here. lol

  2. So frustrating! I think a lot of people take a perverse pride in having lots of useless things around just so they can use it that *one* time they “need” it. I’d rather see people take pride in being resourceful.

  3. I’ve heard and seen this attitude so often! To have to carry that ‘thing’ around for so long just in case you need it, maybe, someday, 6 years from now, 10 years in the future, whatever, seems to me to be a terrible burden.

  4. Hahaa, if someone has saved some stuff for 15 or 20 years and then tells me with a glee, how they now had use for it, and isn’t it good that they still had it.. well good for you – or not. Whatever. 20 years (or six) is too much a price to pay for JustInCase.

  5. Oh yes, I know Justin Case, in fact I think we’re cousins once removed.

    Don’t let the turkeys get ya down, Colleen! That co-worker sounds like the type who blames others for anything that goes wrong, when the real problem is her own lack of imagination/ability.

    • Hi Meg,
      I think Justin has a lot of relatives.
      Actually my co-worker is quite nice I am sure she was just complaining in jest but then you never do know. I hope she was though becuase I would hope two useless objects like that wouldn’t put her off decluttering altogether.

  6. I have spoken to my friend at work and told her I wrote a post about her. I did warn her that she may be insulted by what I wrote but that she should also read the comments just for further evidence that hoarding useless items isn’t a good idea. Once again I warned her that she didn’t get any sympathy from my readers. She hasn’t read it yet but she did inform me that she has managed to borrow a curling wand from one of the other ladies at work. So score one for “Actions Against Supply & Demand”.

    • a mutual friend to the rescue.. thankyou L( so glad she keeps a little bit of clutter)you will be happy to know I have also sourced the hat…and yes everyone I was just complaining in jest…thanks to Colleen I can almost see the back of my cupboards,though the family don’t like the de cluttering of the pantry!

      • Hi Terea,
        glad you know you have servived your decluttering regrets mostly unscathed. I will be doing my best to keep you on the right path to a decluttered house. I am curious as to what you have been decluttering out of the pantry and why the family aren’t happy about it. I’ll ask when I see you at work on Monday, maybe that will be more fodder for another post.