Day 291 Getting results

I can not stress enough times that no matter where you are on the journey of decluttering every little bit of progress counts. Whether you are just finding the floor or you have been downsizing for years every little piece of clutter gone is a step forward. Progress doesn’t always have to be measured by how much stuff you have removed. It can also be measured by how well you have stemmed the tide of stuff coming in and by the valuable lessons you have learned along the way. So if you ever feel despondent about your progress remember to consider all aspects of what constitutes success and keep on keeping on.

Below I have pasted some comments from other readers who are all at different stages in their declutter journey but are getting results and making progress that they are justifiably pleased with.

Sarah:-this morning I spent about 15 minutes, amazing how fast it was, really, cleaning out all the odds & ends and scraps of gift wrap I had stored for years, some of it very ugly. It’s in the paper recycling now, and the closet looks great!

Rebecca:- BTW – you totally inspired me, so I did some re-arranging and sorting and I now actually have some counter space in the kitchen!!! I moved about 6 boxes of crap downstairs, and have a big pile for eBay/Freecycle/donations.

Seriously, it’s more counter space than I have ever had EVER… at this house or any previous abode. This could get addicting…

Rebecca Again:- So, at the moment, my porch is full of stuff waiting for various FreeCyclers to come take away, the kitchen is still clean (well, judging by the photo of your kitchen I’m sure it wouldn’t measure up to your standards, but it’s clean by my standards!), I’ve washed four sets of drapes, and have three more to go.

I’m starting to suspect that there are many other things that can be cleaned… like throw rugs and pot holders… I think I’m gonna buy myself a mop. Any suggestions as to what kind to get?

Thanks again for the remedial cleaning tips!

Rebecca is on a roll:- Link here to her latest comment.

Paola:- Thank you for inspiring me Colleen: your posts are so practical and meaningful and your example seems so easy to follow (and in fact, I believe it is), that you always push me farther, and make me want to do something more in my journey toward minimalism.

Anna:- I read somewhere (decluttering is one of my favourite subjects!) that you should always try to keep an empty shelf. I love this idea and now have one in my wardrobe, and one shelf in the under cupboard stairs. I can’t remember the original significance of it….something along the lines of having room to embrace new opportunities perhaps.

Whatever the reasoning it does feel pretty good :)

Willow:- The first time it really hit me that there was too much stuff around was when I emptied a parent’s stuff into mine. The garage couldn’t hold the car any more. Then four years ago we moved into a very small house from the largest one we’d ever lived in. It was over crowded and so uncomfortable! With this most recent move three years ago, I’ve determined to love the open spaces! It seems like every week if not every day I see something else that just isnt’ going to ‘make the cut’ to stay in my house any longer. Slowly but surely…

Di:- Like you, I think I’m at the stage where the obvious clutter is gone and now I’m tackling the stored and out of sight clutter. I keep going through the same drawers and closets and getting rid of more and more stuff with every inspection. I keep wondering if I’ll ever be done or will this be a continuous process. At times I get weary, but then I get renewed motivation and energy and go at it again.

Di:- When I think of simplifying, I think of how my shopping has been incredibly simplified since embarking on the minimalist journey. I haven’t been to the mall in at least two years. And since we cook mostly from scratch and 3 1/2 months ago we decided to go vegetarian, grocery shopping has been so fast, easy, and inexpensive. I check for the weekly sale items mostly along the perimeter of the store, except for a few staples found in the aisles. I love it!

I hope these lovely ladies have inspired you to work on an area of your home today or at least reminded you of your own successes and spurred you on to the next level. Maybe they have given you that boost you need to just make a start. Either way stay focused on the results and take one step at a time.


I am not even sure where this was hiding but my husband found it and added it to the donation pile.

Instruction Book5 Things I am grateful for today

  1. Decluttering Inspiration – I have found a few areas I need to get working on this week and some good ideas for future post.
  2. Pumpkin Soup – One of those delicious yet simple and healthy recipes to turn to on a cool day.
  3. A beautiful sunny day – I am going to go out and trim some bushes soon and enjoy the sunshine. Even my garden gets the one step at a time treatment.
  4. Watermelon – So refreshing after my time out in the garden.
  5. Finding something I wanted when I wasn’t even looking for it.


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Continue reading with these posts:

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  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Memorabilia Items Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
  • Mini Mission Monday Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. It’ s funny because I realized this just today. I’m having a bout of difficult behaviour with my 2 year old and it’s been hard to get anything done for 3 weeks now. Today I cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom (it looked horrible!) and finished in less than 30 min. including mopping. I’ve de-cluttered so much that even when it looks bad, it’s so much easier and quicker to pick up than before.

    • Hi SimplePoppy,
      isn’t it interesting how we suddenly come upon these revelations and then we realise the true value of decluttering.
      Good luck with your 2 year old I hope the behaviour improves soon. They don’t call it the terrible twos for nothing. Just remember you’re the boss.

  2. My daughter is dealing with the terrible twos, too. Since gboy is almost three, we’re hoping the twos will stop soon. Three is really a delightful age.

    Today we dropped off two large boxes of books, kitchen items and videos and a huge black plastic bag filled with clothing to be donated to a thrift store. They’re out of my house. Oh and we gave a shopping bag full of knitted hats, scarves, sweaters and vests to my daughter for Generate Hope’s auction and craft sale! It all helps me and helps the two organizations too! Decluttering is a win-win!

    • Hi Willow,
      donating certainly is a win-win situation. Now if I could just get my car back of my husband I will be able to take my donations to the thrift store. They are starting to pile up in the garage.

  3. Grateful for pumpkin soup as well, sooo delicious for the fall!! I too am inspired by all the decluttering. My new house will be less than 1000 square feet so no room for anything that isn’t absolutely worthy. I’m really looking forward to that!!


    • Hi Bobbi,
      I have had a look at the “house” you are purchasing and there will certainly be no room for clutter there. You are a braver women than I Bobbi but I have every confidence that I am going to look in awe at the end result of your reno when you post photos.

  4. We have found more stuff in the basement and it is making its way up to the garage. We’ve parked the car on the street for the duration. I will be taking a great number of items to charity, and dispose of the rest during the course of this week. The basement will be nice and roomy while we replace the water heater, and we’ll be able to quickly locate tools and worklights. Doing that job a year ago would be unthinkable.

    • Hi Meg,
      it seems like you have taken care of that basement just when the time was right for you. That is the beauty of taking one step at a time, you can get things done when it is most suitable to the process. I use my garage as a holding area for the items I get rid of. Even though I have cleared numerous things from it over the last ten months there is still lots of work to be done out there. I will be sharing some then and now photos of it on my blog soon because the planets have aligned and the perfect time to tackle it has come. Like you, if I had done it sooner the result would not have been as effective as I am expecting it to be now.

  5. Mmmmm, pumpkin soup. I think I will be making some this week. Colleen, are all those flowers you posted on Flickr from your garden? You certainly have some rare beauties there in Australia. Do you know the names of those you photographed?

    • Hi Di,
      none of the flower are from my garden. The photos I took are from all around the streets near where I live. I will add tags to the flickr photos of Australian flowers so you can google them for more info.