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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Continue reading with these posts:

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. (1) stack of car insurance papers from (folder)

  2. deanna ar USA

    (1) funnel from kitchen cabinet

  3. (1) pair of boys sneakers from closet

    We installed a shoe shelf for my son’s sneaker/shoe collection. Nice way to spend time together – learn how to use tools. I leave within the hour with my 2 girlfriends for trip to Spain. I will be quiet for 11 days. Adios amigas!

  4. (1) (s)atchel from shelf

  5. deanna ar USA

    (1) book from (shelf)
    5 glasses from kitchen (shelf)

  6. 1 black (s)weater from (shelf)

  7. deanna ar USA

    (1) Otterbox for iPhone from drawer
    (1) stack of plastic clothes hangers

  8. deanna ar USA

    (1) stack of plastic clothes hangers from closet

  9. deanna ar USA


  10. Good job, Deanna … keep at it!

  11. (1) (s)haver handle extension for back from drawer.

    Back to the game after great trip! Way to go Nichole and Deanna!

  12. deanna ar USA

    Thanks Nicole!!!

    Yay Pat! I’m glad you’re back…I missed you! Hope you had a great time.

    • Yes Spain (Madrid and Barcelona) was great. Ran/walked 10 miles a day. I got hives and then I enjoyed my seista!

      • I’m happy to hear you enjoyed your trip, Pat! Tough luck about the hives, glad to see that you had it all under control.

  13. deanna ar USA

    (1) pair of wine glasses from hutch

    Oh no Pat…hives while on vacation!!!

    • It felt like sunburn. I used to get hives often so I knew what to do.

      • deanna ar USA

        What do you do when you get hives?

        • For prevention I take daily generic of zyrtec so I rarely get hives now.
          REST/LESS STRESS is most importance since my hives are from adrenal fatigue (I believe).
          Also I stay out of the sun and use Vaseline to sooth my bad skin.
          Do you get hives?

          • deanna ar USA

            No. I might have had them one time…when my beloved grandmother died. We traveled for the funeral and the next day I had a terrible, painful strip across my back. Never knew for sure, but it was a VERY STRESSFUL time. Also I was in early pregnancy. I’ve just never heard anyone say before that they knew what to do.

            • deanna ar USA

              I can’t remember how long it lasted. I miscarried.

              • That was painful shingles! I am so so sorry for your loss.
                I have had shingles 7 times even after getting vaccine. I start taking medicine on first day so they don’t last too long. If I don’t rest then I get chicken pox next! Stress affects the immune system big time. I was pregnant when my brother was killed in car crash with drunk driver. A week later I started going into labor so I was put on bed rest since it was 3 months too early.

                • deanna ar USA

                  Thanks for the info! Is it the generic Zyrtec you start taking on the first day, or do you take other medicine too?

                  • Zytec is for hives. For shingles go to the Dr immediately with less chance of lasting pain. Should be Valtrex 1000mg 3/day for 7 days. For the pain Dr may give you Neurontin (Gabapentin) 300 mg at bed. Do you want my email since this is not game stuff?

                  • deanna ar USA

                    The one episode I had was about 40 years ago. So I’m not expecting anything, but you never know and I collect info on nutrition, health, etc. I’ve had/have so many weird symptoms throughout my life, and I’m constantly studying and sometimes trying natural remedies. Sure, I’d love to have your email address in case I want more info…it’s very generous of you to offer! Maybe Colleen could send it to me if you’d rather not post it?

              • I am very sorry for your losses, Deanna and Pat.

  14. (1) set of long johns from drawer

  15. (1) (s)hirt from (drawer)

  16. (1) shirt from closet

  17. (1) (t)urtleneck sweater from (closet)
    2 ladies polo shirts from (closet)
    (2) jackets from (closet)
    1 (s)kirt from (closet)
    (1) slip from (closet)

    After only favorite clothes on my trip it is easier to let go of never worn clothes. Release the past (Marie Kondo),

  18. Hi Pat and Deanna … don’t post the email address online, ask Colleen instead. A friend recently told me about a course she attended, which covered online safety. Apparently many people are not careful enough about protecting their personal information online. According to the course instructor, most people are careful about credit card details, but share too much of other info online without thinking about the fact that they are actually putting all that info on display for strangers (and not just their friends, as they assume) to read. To stay safe, the following info, in particular, should not be revealed online:

    Full name
    Date of birth/Birthday (even without the year)
    Any details about where you live, went to school, etc
    Email address
    Mobile number
    Job/place of employment

    I’m sure I forgot a couple of other things she mentioned. Apparently, only a single piece of info is sufficient for a total stranger to find out much, much more about you. We had an interesting conversation, to say the least.

    • Nicole – Thanks so much for the internet wisdom. I do want to be careful with my personal info. Great plan to contact Colleen if we have future heart-to-hearts.

      I really love playing this game with my declutter friends. I am letting go of the harder stuff. Plus decluttering is part of the rest I need to balance my life. Constant go-go-go wreaks havoc with my health.

      • My pleasure, Pat. Deanna was smart to suggest contacting Colleen for the email address.

        I’m happy the game has helped you … you have played it well. I hope that you’ll continue till you reach the point where it’s “just right” for you.

        Constant busyness has been proven to be bad for our health, we need downtime to refuel and refresh both mind and body. There is a quote I came across online that I like — “Simplify your life. Say “No. “

  19. deanna ar USA

    (1) tube of lotion from bathroom shelf.

  20. deanna ar USA

    (1) bottle of expired aloe vera gel from bathroom (shelf)
    3 small expired containers of melatonin from (shelf)

  21. deanna ar USA

    1 bud vase from (shelf)
    (1) Stack of papers edited from folder in file (cabinet)
    4 file folders and contents from file (cabinet)

  22. 1 microwave egg cooker from kitchen (cabinet)

    Way to go Deanna!

  23. (1) bottle of rancid olive oil from kitchen (cabinet)

  24. deanna ar USA

    (1) package of expired gluten free spaghetti from kitchen (cabinet)

    I have one more package. I’m sure it’s expired too. I don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to try it. This one was awesomely awful…a real waste of my wonderful spaghetti sauce!!

  25. deanna ar USA

    P.S. We usually serve our spaghetti sauce over zoodles (spiralized zucchini…very tasty), but our zucchinis were too big!

  26. deanna ar USA

    P.P.S. Too big for our spiralizer, that is.

  27. deanna ar USA

    2 bottles of expired vitamins from bathroom (cabinet)
    1 package of expired gluten free spaghetti from kitchen (cabinet)

    This is the other package of spaghetti. It was dated 2012.

  28. (1) vase from (cabinet)
    (1) lighter from (cabinet)

  29. deanna ar USA

    (1) bottle of eye drops from (cabinet)

  30. (1) bag of caramel (p)opcorn from (cabinet)

  31. (1) food processor from under stair case.

    I have not used it in many years – this morning I cut 2 onions and it is not worth the cleanup. Plus I enjoy hand cutting alot.

    • deanna ar USA

      I gave away my food processor, bread maker, blender, 1 toaster (still have 1), etc. a few years ago. I don’t really like gadgets…just one more thing to clean up. I bought the Instant Pot last week. It’s a BIG gadget. It has a learning curve. I hope I use it enough to make it worthwhile. I researched and debated for several months.

  32. (1) picture frame from closet
    3 ties from boy’s (closet)

  33. 5 bath/hand towels from (closet)

  34. 1 sun visor from (closet)

  35. (1) bag from floor

    • I finally have my energy back. I have had shingles every summer for 5 years in a row. Gardening and heat tire me out I guess. How are you guys doing? So quiet.

      • deanna ar USA

        I’m glad you’re feeling better, Pat. I’m still moving like a tortoise. I’m scheduled for a pacemaker on August 4.

        However, I think decluttering is something we’ll always do…it’s a habit now. This is my birthday month so I’ve bought a few extra items…one was a definite fail, but I got my money back. I usually don’t buy anything except groceries, vitamins, things like that…so I’m cautious about buying. We live so much more frugally than a few years ago. It actually feels better!

        • Happy Birthday! July is my birthday too! To have low energy takes so much patience. I will pray for your health and speedy recovery. I agree living frugally does feel good – I appreciate what I have more.

  36. deanna ar USA

    (1) partial bottle of hemp oil from shelf

  37. (1) block of fire starter (l)ogs from shed

  38. (1) keyboard from desk

  39. deanna ar USA

    (1) bra from drawer
    (1) blouse from my closet

  40. deanna ar USA

    How are you two doing, Nicole and Pat? It’s still very quiet here!

    • Oops sorry! Miss you guys too. Lost the link on my desktop. Weekends tire me out during the summer – pulled out dead lawn spots and reseeded. I envy a carefree house. My husband and son sit in lawn chairs and watch me work. Am I crazy???

  41. (1) pair of shorts from (closet)

  42. (1) stack of used index cards from box

  43. (1) pair of (s)neakers from closet

  44. 7 tee (s)hirts from drawer
    3 pairs of (s)horts from (drawer)
    4 (s)weatpants from (drawer)
    2 blue jeans from (drawer)

    Growing son did great job cleaning out his old clothes!

  45. Thinking of you Deanna. How are you doing after Aug 4 surgery?

    • Thanks for checking on me Pat! The surgery went well. I stayed in the hospital one night. We were both exhausted when we got home. I’m having one problem. I’m having these great big spasms in my stomach…feels like a heartbeat but it’s just about an inch below my left rib cage. I don’t know if it’s from an electrical impulse or what. I think I have a hiatal hernia in that area, so I don’t know if that’s involved or not. It’s not exactly painful, but it’s very uncomfortable. Even when it’s not happening it still feels like someone has their fist pushed into my stomach, sometimes kind of unbearable. Other than that, probably the biggest problem is that my hubby doesn’t understand pony tails or hair clips…lol. But this weekend I’ll be able to lift my hand over my head…problem solved. Glad that part’s over…just hope everything else gets better. Two different friends told me that my face now has color in it again!

      • Yeah you are back!! I held down the fort.
        I don’t like the sound of that hernia thing. Yeah to your hubby for trying to do hair.

  46. 1 compass from (drawer)

  47. (1) tube of makeup (expired) from (drawer)

  48. (1) overgrown (p)lant from garden

    Felt so good to get outside even though the mosquitoes started in tonight.

  49. 5 tee shirts from (drawer)

    • 5 (t)ee shirts from drawer

    • It’s nerve stimulation…not that uncommon after getting a pacemaker. Went back to doc because it was so nerve wracking. They reprogrammed pacemaker. It’s so much better. And I can now reach over my head (and do my own hair)!!! And all my bandages are off. Progress!

  50. 1 bottle of eye drops dated 2010 from (drawer)

    They’re EVERYWHERE!! The reason I have so many is that I switched to eye drops with no preservatives a couple of years ago, and I’m still finding the other kind.