Declutter With Friends: Let the games begin! Part 2

The following post was published previously however it has reached it’s comment capacity. As there are still readers who are enjoying participating Nicole has come up with solution of republishing it so the game can continue. Maybe reposting will also entice a few more players. Enjoy!

A guest post by: Nicole V

Do you know the word game in which a player begins with a word in a particular category (countries or cities, for instance), with subsequent players taking turns to say a new word that begins with the final letter of the previous word? Once a word has been given, it cannot be repeated and any player who is unable to come up with a word is out of the game. It is usually referred to as the ‘Last and First’, ‘Last Letter Game’ or ‘Last Letter Word Chain’ although I’m sure there must be other names for it. Well, I was thinking that it might be fun for us 365ers to try out something similar while decluttering, but I wanted to make it a more challenging game, one involving quick thinking and action and one in which anyone can come in at any time and make a quick play in real-time. I decided to throw down the decluttering gauntlet and wait to see who is the fastest 365er to take up the challenge. Here’s what I came up with:

1. I begin by decluttering three forks from a drawer.

2. Whoever is fast enough then continues the game by quickly thinking of and finding an item to declutter from any one category – either number or item or place – to play in. This could be eitherthree items (but not forks) or an item beginning with the letter ‘k’ or ‘s’ (the second last or last letter of forks*) or any number of anything (that is not a fork) from any drawer. If you select the number category, you have to declutter identical items. So, if Colleen is the quickest player who is able to continue the game, she could then either declutter three bowls or one (or any number) kettle orspoon or a non-fork item from any drawer in her home. She will then update the rest of us in the online comment thread.

*In the case of plural nouns, you can use either the last or second last letter of the word to continue under the item category – in the case of the forks, this would mean that the next item can begin with the letter ‘s’ or ‘k’. Thank you, Colleen, for your input regarding this.

3. The game continues with any 365er who is quick to identify something to declutter and comment about. There is no need for the item to leave your home immediately, you just need to identify it and earmark it for decluttering (whether you donate, recycle, shred, etc) as soon as possible. But you have to be quick on the draw as the categories will keep changing depending on how fast another 365er declutters something and updates the rest of us about it. If another 365er has read the latest update and quickly decluttered something and updated the online comment thread before you were able to list your item, you’ll have to either:

(a) Recategorize your item under one of the other two categories, if possible, or

(b) Keep that item and jump in on another round or

(c) Quickly look for another suitable item that relates to the current round and play it before someone else does.

4. To keep it interesting, items cannot be repeated in consecutive turns – if someone declutters shoes, the next person cannot declutter shoes as well (and must find another item that begins with the letter ‘e’ or ‘s’) but the person after that can. The number of items decluttered and the place or room that the item was decluttered from can, of course, be repeated in consecutive turns.

5. Be as creative and imaginative as you can possibly be (or get away with!) regarding the categories and have fun!

So, with apologies to Effie Trinket, all that’s left is for me to say: “Happy Decluttering Games and may the odds be ever in your favour!”

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. (1) honey from kitchen (shelf)

  2. (1) softball from (closet shelf)
    (1) softball glove from (closet shelf)

    The softball was gifted to the same little girl who was given the bat by my hubby, and the softball glove went to her grandfather so he can practice with her. Hubby admitted it was a little hard to pass on…good job!

    • Your hubby scored a home run – bat, softball, and glove are having so much fun outdoors being used then sitting on a closet shelf! Congrats! (I still have my bat, glove, ball)

  3. Oops…(shelf)!!!

  4. (1) golf bag from garage
    2 golf clubs from (garage)

  5. 1 (b)all from garage

  6. 3 (l)inen items from shelf

  7. (3) stationery items from drawer

  8. (3) odds and ends from tool box

  9. 2 (s)crewdrivers from (tool box)

  10. 1 DirecTV (r)eceiver from shelf
    4 bottles of prescription drugs from (shelf)
    1 coffeepot from under (shelf)

    You know, sometimes I forget what a difference it makes when I declutter even 1 item…like the receiver and the coffeepot. We don’t plan to replace either of those.

    • I’m still in shock that you gave up TV! What do you do in the evening? Do you watch TV via a smart TV? I am starting to have empty shelves around the house – with a single picture.

      • No, we didn’t give up TV…we gave up DirecTV. We watch Netflix. It was actually a financial decision.

        • We did give up TV one time though…for several years. It was a spiritual thing at that time. We got rid of a huge percentage of our stuff…stored the rest…stayed with my mom for a while. We were given an old school bus which we converted to a camper. We lived in that for several years…living several different places. It was really cute…one of the best times of our lives. However we got very hungry for another house/home. We built our current home and managed to accumulate again. I don’t want to get down to nothing, but I do want to declutter more. We still have our TV and a small one in front of my treadmill. We still have a coffeepot too, but not an electric one. I like it because hubby makes the coffee now…lol!

          • Wow you lived in a school bus! I now who someone who lived in a tiny house – love that show. Did you blog about it? Our house is already small so it is very important NOT to accumulate. We talk about an RV for when we retire to travel in some day.

            • deanna ar USA

              No, I didn’t blog about the old school bus…don’t even have a single picture of it…didn’t have cell phones then. We also lived in a really nice RV half time for about 3 years for hubby’s work…mainly traveled Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. No longer have the RV. When we finally were able to “sell” it, it just about broke us financially with the economy down. Lots of memories…

          • You sure are full of fun and interesting experiences, Deanna! You should write about them. 🙂

            • deanna ar USA

              Nicole, good idea, but I’m not likely to write about them. I never aspired to be a writer…I always wanted to be an ice skater (though I have never skated on ice…lol)…that’s my favorite sport to watch on TV though.

      • My husband and I don’t watch commercial television either. We have Netflix and Stan but we don’t watch much of that either. Instead he watches a lot of YouTube, listens to podcasts and reads. I listen to what he is watching/listening to while I knit or some other craft.

  11. (1) bird house from yard

  12. (1) thick folder from filing cabinet

  13. (1) stack of photos from drawer

  14. 4 odds and ends from stationery (drawer)

  15. 2 bathing suits from (drawer)

  16. 4 erasers from (drawer)

  17. 1 note pad from (drawer)

  18. (1) book from shelf

  19. (1) pullover from closet (shelf)

  20. (1) army jacket from closet

  21. 2 hand (t)owels from drawer

  22. deanna ar USA

    1 pair of (s)hoes from my closet
    (1) pair of Docker style pants from hubby’s (closet)
    (1) pillow from our bed

  23. (1) container from kitchen

  24. (1) tee shirt from drawer

  25. 4 clothing items from (drawer)

  26. 1 pair of jeans from hubby’s (drawer)

  27. 2 (s)hirts from hubby’s closet

  28. (2) piles of paper from filing cabinet

  29. 4 boxes of cereal from (cabinet)
    1 can of coffee from kitchen (cabinet)

    Postal workers are collecting for a food drive tomorrow.

  30. (1) canister from (cabinet)

  31. deanna ar USA

    (1) pair houseshoes from my closet

  32. (1) folder from filing cabinet

    I’m almost at the end point of my decluttering.

  33. (1) black sleep mask from drawer

  34. (1) handful of stationery items from (drawer)

  35. deanna ar USA

    (1) hair curling wand from cabinet

    (very old)

  36. (1) stack of photos from folder

  37. deanna ar USA

    (1) OTC med from cabinet
    14 packages of (D)octor’s BrushPicks toothpick brushes from (cabinet)

    (don’t ask…I still have more of other brands)

  38. 1 folder from filing (cabinet)

  39. (1) book from night stand

  40. (1) stack of photos from box

  41. (1) (s)crew driver from tool (box)

  42. (1) bottle of insecticide from garage shelf

  43. (1) stack of document folders from filing cabinet

  44. Hi Nicole & Deanna – So what are your hobbies? Any hobby clutter like Colleen talks about?

    • Hi, Pat. Off the top of my head — reading, listening to music and board games. No hobby clutter, I keep only what I like and use, and I know where everything is as it’s all neatly arranged. What about you?

      • I have a hard time letting go of kid games thinking they are good for visitor kids or future grand kids.
        I like reading, run/walk, travel (leave next week for Spain with my running girlfriend). My windsurfer does not get used much but I cannot let go of it. Decluttering is also my hobby! Oh and I like gardening – been busy trimming my bushes this weekend.

        • You’ve decluttered lots of other stuff, Pat — keep the windsurfer if it means something to you. Keep a few of your favourite kid games as well. Have a wonderful time in Spain!

          • Thanks Nicole! My worst area is photo clutter from the days before digital. Boxes and boxes, special cutters, many empty photo albums, and now a digitizer to get them on the computer. The rest of my life comes before this project but I am always hopeful. Maybe if I just start with 1 envelope of pictures and learn how to use the digitizer. I have pictures of my deceased brother that my family would love.

            • Sorry to hear about your brother, Pat. Your plan sounds good — learn how to use the digitizer, then begin with one envelope of photos, then another … baby steps. For inspiration, think of how happy your family will be when they see/receive his photos … and how good it’ll make you feel. You can do it!

  45. deanna ar USA

    I like reading and I spend a lot of time on my iPad. I research and follow blogs on nutrition, health, decluttering and minimalism, a little bit of fashion. I collect recipes, but I don’t like to cook, clean or garden. I love being retired and having hubby retired. We don’t travel much these days, but we don’t often miss it…probably because we traveled for work for a number of years. We love spending time at home. I’m not very good at keeping the clutter off my iPad, and I’m still in slow motion on decluttering right now.

    • What do you do with the recipes you collect, Deanna? Are they all on your iPad or do you have clippings/index cards as well?

      • deanna ar USA

        Nicole, the recipes I currently use are on my iPad…also some saved in my email. But I still have some old recipes on cards. I have weeded those out and donated recipe books that I no longer (or never) used. Probably need to weed through them again. I also have a lot of old ones on my iPad…need to go through those too. I have different folders of recipes because our way of eating changed through the years. I have old family recipes, early marriage recipes, low fat recipes. However, now we eat no wheat, high fat (saturated), fairly low carb and low sugar, and those are the recipes I use now. It doesn’t feel as disorganized as it sounds…probably is though. Have no plans of stopping current WOE (way of eating). It’s kind of like my pictures…I don’t know if it’s worth spending time on organizing them further.

        • It doesn’t sound disorganised to me, Deanna. 🙂 Go with your instincts regarding your photos and recipes.

  46. deanna ar USA

    Pat, what a good idea! I love feeling that I know y’all a little better.

  47. (1) bunch of digital photos from folder

  48. (1) luggage tag from desk

  49. (1) CD from (desk)

  50. (1) heap of photos from folder