Day 271 Brain waves

We stayed at a very eco-friendly hostel in Rome called The Beehive. They only wash towels and sheets every three days if you are staying four days or more. They encourage you to turn off all electricity in your rooms when you are out. They have a little cafe that provides organic home made snacks and breakfast. And they have a community area where you can access the Internet on the computer provided and there are free magazines to read and a small collection on books (travel and otherwise) that have been shared by passing travellers who have no use for them anymore. There is also a recycling collection area for all guests to use for responsible disposal of plastic, paper and glass.

Among the magazines was a great little publication from Canada called Ode Magazine (for intelligent optimists). You can check it out on line @ There was one particular article that caught my eye about the different ways our brains work. The article is called Your Brain is a Rainforest and I would love you all to read it. This article has nothing to do with cluttering but as our brains’ “wiring” has a lot to do with our individual behaviour maybe there is a connection there for you to find for yourself. Too often people feel alienated just because they don’t fit into society’s general rule of what makes a person “valuable”. We are all special in our own way and we should embrace that and find our own purpose in life that is fulfilling for us. Whether this choice makes us rich or not should not be the motivation, happiness and satisfaction should be the ultimate goal. In fact I believe that there should be a little more equality in what society deems is the monetary value of different occupations but that is just my opinion.

Just to prove that I practise what I preach I am handing in my resignation at my current job and I am going to spend some time experimenting with options so I can hopefully find what I want to do when I grow up. It is never too late to learn, thank goodness, because I have certainly left it late enough. Now that I have learnt not to waste money on unnecessary items I can afford to sacrifice my small wage in the pursuit of happiness.


I had all good intentions to use these pastry horns when I bought them but to be honest I have never used them so that one more thing for the donation box.

Pastry horns

5 Things I am Grateful for Today

  1. My Dyson vacuum cleaner – the house needed a good once over today and having a good vacuum cleaner sure makes that easy work.
  2. Micro-fibre cloths – I don’t know how anyone cleans without these things.
  3. Sleeping in – I slept until 8:30 today so I am feeling much brighter than I have the last two days.
  4. Racial Diversity – I am making Red Thai Curry for dinner tonight. Wouldn’t life be boring without great food from different cultures.
  5. Hot showers – can you just imagine what it was like before indoor plumbing and hot water systems were invented. It doesn’t even bare thinking about.
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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Congratulations of quitting the job. I know that somewhere out there you will find something that is much more in line with your passions and your personality so that you will enjoy working.

    • Hi Deb J,
      thank you and I hope you are right. Quitting this job is a decluttering project I should have done a long time ago. Not only is the job not fulfilling but it can be demoralising as well at times so I will be glad to see the back of it.

  2. Way to go Colleen! Have a wonderful time figuring out what you really want to do. It’s fantastic that you can do that and not worry about money (frankly, I’d rather eat beans and rice every day than have to work in an office at something I didn’t enjoy, so fortunately I cost very little for my husband to keep!)

    • Hi Loretta,
      thanks mate. I think we all still worry about money no matter how much we have but yes it is nice to be able to afford to take the time to do this. Luckily like you I don’t cost much to keep either and my husband has a good job but still, I hope it doesn’t take to long to figure this out.
      I hope you read that article from the Ode Magazine it was really interesting I thought.

  3. Wow! So welcome back home and congrats on the Big Job Decision. I just know you’re gonna come out on the right end of that one 🙂

    • Hi Meg,
      lets face it the job situation can only improve. I used to joke with my fellow employees that I was going to get a job as a stripper because it couldn’t be any more humiliating but it may be better pay.

      • Well, my sister worked as a waitress for a while at a ‘classy’ strip joint (just as a waitress, mind you!) and made excellent money in tips. The hours are terrible though 🙂

        • Hi Loretta,
          come on now you can tell us the REAL story, just kidding, I am sure it was your sister and I am sure she was just a waitress. Oh, I really must stop I am being very naughty. I haven’t gone back to work yet since I returned from vacation and I think the joy of it is going to my head and has put me in a very playful mood. I hope it lasts as I have to go to work tonight.

  4. Congratulations on chucking the day job! Could you (at some stage) do a post on microfibre cloths. I’m tempted to buy some but they vary so much in price – are the cheap ones as good as the expensive ones?

    • Hi Calico ginger,
      I would love to do a post on micro-fibre clothes because I think they are great and can’t imagine why people use anything else. I will start on that now. Expect to see it on Sunday as I have to go away again over the weekend so I will have to get Sunday written before then. Your suggest is a great help because I was wondering what I would write for Sunday. Thanks!

  5. nice posts! thanks to you, my kitchen cupboards look amazing and my garage is on the way. i always had this in mind, but your posts did the final motivating. i had been collecting every lone sock for years, i gave it one last week to find matches, they are now gone!

    • Hi Rachelle,
      It’s good to hear from you again. Those loose socks are a mystery to most people. The beauty of buying several pairs of the same socks is that eventually they will have a pair again.
      I am glad you are making good progress with your decluttering. I am back in the game again and decluttering every day so stay with me and we can work on this together. If you have a subject you would like me to address please feel free to let me know as I am more than happy to help.

  6. Colleen, enjoy your new-found freedom! It’s just the start to opening a ‘new door ‘ and finding adventures behind it!

    I also would like to know more about micro-fibre cloths, I’m looking forward to Sundays post! (silly how the littlest of things can be such fun!).

    Ok, I admit, I bought some of those pre-packaged cake decorating things (like in your photo), and I’ve NEVER used them. So now they sit in a bag in my kitchen cabinet…FOR WHAT? Time to go decluttering….

    • Hi Annabelle,
      isn’t it amazing that my readers often have the same useless things lurking in their cupboards as I do? Some days I think I am writing absolute garbage that no one will relate to but then I am surprised with a record number of comments because so many of my readers have the same thing that they had forgotten that they had hidden away somewhere. Then off they go and declutter it and I feel totally vindicated and am happy to be of help. Thanks for writing and letting me know that we have something in common that’s what I love about 365lessthings.

  7. Hi Colleen
    I discovered your site a week or so ago and love it. Thanks for the inspiration.
    I’ve been steadily decluttering for some time now and still no end in sight…but I’m ever optimistic it will be finalised sooner or later.
    Thanks, also, for the ODE Magazine link. Fabulous article.

    • Hi Colleen P,
      you are my first Colleen, we aren’t very common you know. Welcome to my blog.
      Don’t look for the end just enjoy the process. There is so much to learn along the way which is where we get the tool to help us not reclutter. So take your time and by the time you get to the finish line you will have all the knowledge you need to keep your posessions to a minimum.
      You are the first to comment on the ODE Magazine link, I am so glad you read it and enjoyed it. I was very impressed with that magazine and will check out their articles on line regularly.

  8. What a great article!! I also love the magazine’s descriptor: The online community for intelligent optimists. I’ve shared on fb. I waffled for years about whether to take my youngest son to be “diagnosed”, but ultimately decided to give him time and space (by removing him from the school system at age 7) and a peaceful home environment. The decision came down to: what is his quality of life? Will he be helped by diagnosis/therapy, or is he doing well by traveling his own unique path? To tie this into decluttering: this son is now 16 and already has decided to live a life with fewer things and more time!

    • Hi Kate,
      I am glad you enjoyed the article. I am so happy for you that the decisions you made for your son worked out so well. We all have our place in this word and we should not be detered from finding that place because of what society dictates as success. We were born the way we are and we shouldn’t be mde to feel ashamed of that and equally we shouldn’t feel excessive pride in that either.

  9. I found the linked article quite interesting – my father had a stroke several years ago with paralysis on one side and some cognitive issues. How I wish that he could have an environment tailored to him, although the nursing home he is in is the best in the area and they do try within their means. But in an ideal world …

    Also looking forward to the microfiber cloth post!

    And best of luck with figuring out the career path. I’m keen to see how you approach this and how it goes. I chose my studies when I was too young to have a good idea of my strengths and weaknesses, then went into full-time motherhood for many years. Now working part-time at a job that’s okay – but wishing for more, maybe. Good for you for taking on this challenge in your life.

    • Hi Jo,
      I am glad you also enjoyed this article. It is a good little magazine actually with lots of great articles on how we can help the environment. It is so hard when a loved ones quality life is diminished in such a way and I can’t imagine how sad that must be for them and their loved ones. My heart goes out to you and your father.

      Thank you for the well wishes for my career path adventure. I am not sure where it will lead me but so long as it is away from where I am now it should be an improvement. I am more of a doer, an organizer and an artist type than a book person so at least I know that much about myself but who knows. My plan is the try some things even if that is on a voluntary basis so I have more of a rounded view of what I am capable of then go from there. I am lucky to have a loving and supportive husband behind me.

  10. Good for you, Colleen, in having the courage to move on from a job with little or no personal satisfaction and taking your chances on finding something more in tune with your passions and talents. Getting rid of a job is the ultimate in minimalist living. I wish you success.

  11. Colleen in my moving frenzy I totally missed this post. I’m thrilled beyond measure that you are giving up your job!! Woo Hoo!! You will be much healthier and happy, I can guarantee it. ♥

    • Hi Betty Jo,
      Thanks for the encouragement, I can use all that I can get. I must admit it does feel good though. Now I just need to get off my but and search for the next adventure. I am actually hoping that the planets will all align for me and the answers will present themselve conveniently without me having to do too much soul searching. Not much hope of that I don’t think luckily I have a few ideas up my sleeve.