Decide, divide & Conquer

I want you all to read this post by David @ before going on.

Take from it what you will but this is how I applied the concept to decluttering.

Before doing any decluttering decide on your options for disposing of your clutter.

  • Do some investigating and make a decision on where you can donate your clutter so you have this option in place prior to choosing which items are to go.
  • Decide if eBay is an option for where you can do your selling.
  • Check if Freecycle is available in your area and decide if that is another good option for you.
  • Decide if putting your stuff aside for a yard sale would work for you and arrange the space required to store it before doing any decluttering of sellable items.
  • Test the curb side decluttering method and decide whether that is also an option for you.
  • Decide if a garbage skip is required to clear junk clutter and make the arrangements for one before you begin doing the dirty work.
  • Decide on a staging area for storing your decluttered items prior to doing the selling, donating or giving them away. This way you can make your decisions then remove the items from their wasted space in your home until the next step is taken. You will feel like you are making progress even before they are totally gone.

Making the decisions on how and where you can offload your clutter will make the doing so much easier. With these arrangements made  you are left with plenty of mind space to make your choices of what you are prepared to let go. And if making those decisions still proves a little hard you can simplify your choices further by just following my mini missions.

Trying to decide, choose and do at the same time can be very frustrating and ultimately defeating. I had success with my decluttering process because I already had a donation site chosen, had sold the odd thing or two on eBay, was experienced at curb side decluttering and had a large garage for my staging area. And although I had plenty of successful garage sale experience I knew that, at one thing a day, I did not want to store things for months until I had enough for such a sale. So the decisions were made which just left me with the task of choosing what to part with. Disposing of them was a cinch making the process go smoothly. This gave me the confidence to stick to my task and achieve my goal.

So if you are in a pickle trying to decide, choose and dispose of things all at once. STOP. Then…

  • Decide ~ (where and how to get rid of your clutter so you have a simple system in place to follow, then…
  • Divide ~ choose, at your own pace, what no longer fits in your life and then…
  • Conquer the clutter for good, by sending it on its way.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter an item of clothing that you no longer wear.

Eco Tip for the Day

Save a tree ~Stop junk mail. It mostly contains advertisements for stuff you don’t need anyway.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • Positive attitude to decluttering Here is a great comment from Kimberley that I didn't want anyone to miss... "Selling vs. Donating….. When we acquire an item, there was an obvious need for us to do so, real or […]
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  • Getting the stuff out of your home It has come to my attention, both through comments on my blog and through real life experience, that one of the issues people have with their clutter, once they finally decide to be rid of […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Colleen, thanks for the link to David’s post. It was very good. I like your post too. I do this kind of thing with most items on my mental “to do” list. I remember when I was working. Early on I was sent to a Franklin Covey seminar to learn how to use their system (pre-PDA’s). I found that I had been doing it all my life but their system just made it easier to keep everything in one spot. Then I “graduated” to a PDA when those came out. I was amazing how easy it was to keep things going and keep on track when the decision had been made and the work divided into steps. I still do this even though I have a lot less to keep track of only I now do it in my Outlook program.

  2. I always enjoy Raptitudes take on things, I enjoyed the head for the peak until you hit an obstacle and then go to the right until you are round it. Decluttering is full of obstacles and a lot of people give up at this point but if you keep the mind set to get around the problem and to continue progressing eventually you will win.

    • HI Moni, with decluttering when I hit a difficult item I just made a metal note of it and moved on to something else until the solution presented itself. That way I continued to make progress.

      • Colleen – fair call, but I can recall an occasion whereby I couldn’t get rid of item A because of Item B which couldn’t be dealt with because of C which likewise required something to happen to D first which needed item A to be dealt with first. Aaaarrrgh! Can’t remember how long I went around and around in circles. I’m pretty sure it went beyond D to a little bit further down the alphabet but you get the picture.

        • I certainly do Moni. I hit a couple like that myself but at a thing a day I just waited patiently until my ducks were all in a row and voila. I will stress the fact that it did take some patience at times.

  3. I am a secretary so I work really well with instructions, a plan, a path, whathaveyou. Sure I can do free-thinking work on my own. But if I am seeking a specific result, I am certainly happy to follow instructions. For instance, I am a big fan of both Dave Ramsey and Larry Winget. Both gentlemen advise if you want to be smart, do what smart people do. If you want to be rich, do what rich people do. If you want to be organized, do what organized people do. The idea of deciding what you want, determining how you can get it, and implementing a plan to achieve a result, may it be simply putting on a meal or event for friends/family, be it a financial goal, be it a home organizational goal, I think is a fantastic way to do it. If I don’t have a good plan in place, I tend to become the Tasmanian Devil and whirl around dramatically while accomplishing absolutely nothing. (Ya’ll understand I’m talking about the cartoon, right?) 😉

    • Michelle – I used to love Tasmanian Devil on tv and so yes I have the visual in my head, and yes I can relate. In some areas of my life I am like you, organised, sequential thinker and then I seem to unleash the kraken and suddenly Hurricane Moni finds herself surrounded by chaos and wondering how she got there.

    • I have been known to do the Tassie Devil myself at times when there is no plan in place. Usually this takes place when I have a goal in mind but there are so many options that I just throw myself in a make it up as I go along. Sometimes that means changing my mind and redoing but there are times when that is quicker than trying to figure it out beforehand. I think this happened once or twice with my craft room during its gradual yet massive declutter.

  4. This is a very helpful approach to decluttering. I find myself pondering the usefulness of items as I am going about the house doing other tasks and then it is so much easier to put them in the donation box because I have already done the thinking, made the decision and detached myself from the stuff. It makes the job much less overwhelming.