Declutter your house and your mind

I have been receiving and reading some good post by other bloggers lately that I feel the need to share with you. Here is a great one that Cindy sent through to me… ~Want to be truly productive? End each day like this. By Kevin Daum

Please read it before reading on.

I particularly liked his first suggestion…

“1. Finish one “organizing” project. Busy people always have some organizing project they have yet to get accomplished. It might be cleaning out an old file drawer or clearing your email. Whatever it is, schedule 20 minutes at the end of the day and tackle it.  Even if you get partway done you’ll feel like you started to accomplish something.  Within a week at most the task will be done and you’ll feel lighter inside.”

Why not consider what you want to declutter during the day then take those 10 minutes at the end of the day to physically remove it to your transition point. This idea is in line with yesterdays post of separating deciding from doing. Take your time to make the decision during the day then do the task and enjoy the satisfaction right before relaxing and turning in for the night.

Quite often, even if you have no decluttering item in mind when the day starts out, you will encounter objects during the day that will come under scrutiny. Give yourself the rest of the day to make the decision as to whether an item can stay or go.

Also, as Kevin suggests, doing a small portion of a large task will give you satisfaction and inspiration to continue, if only in increments. Doing a big task in small chunks can be far less gruelling than trying to tackle it all at once.

You can then rest well in the satisfaction that you have accomplished another step in your decluttering journey.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter old videos, DVDs, records or CDs you no longer watch or listen to.

Eco Tip for the Day

Don’t accept free promotional products that you have no use for. Accepting these just encourages the continuation of this practice while the environment would be healthier without the manufacture of cheap throwaway or needless items like these usually are.

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:

  • Mini Mission ~ Wednesday 20Dec2017 Declutter by recycling some items. That mound ofused takeout containers, old newspapers and magazines, paperwork that needs shredding, glass jars you set aside in case you have a use for […]
  • Large area declutter ~ Minimal disruption This post is all about breaking down, into steps, the task of decluttering a large cluttered area of your home without causing undue disruption. I am going to use the kitchen as my example […]
  • You can do things differently Doodles blog post yesterday got me thinking about how out of character my decluttering method is to my usual behaviour. Of the seven sabotaging behaviours Doodle mentioned in the post, I […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Thank you for sharing Kevin Daum’s blog. I enjoyed reading that. Excellent suggestions on there.

    • I really enjoyed it to Michelle which is why I wanted to share it with my readers. I am following his advice as I have been having some sleeping issues lately and am doing what I can to sort them out without taking medication. If only there was a way to stop dreaming I’d be happy. I am hoping less caffeine might do the trick.

      • Urgh, I think sleeping issues often come with getting older, much as I hate to admit it! I’ve stopped drinking caffeine (especially coffee) in the late afternoon. One thing I’ve found that helps me get a good night’s sleep is vigorous (double urgh) exercise – like a long walk after dinner. Good luck with it, and let us know if you’ve found any other good tips:-)

  2. Colleen, thanks for another good article link. Lots of good info in the post.

  3. I really enjoyed this article – thanks for posting it.
    I often write a list at the end of the day and I find it really helps to clear my head before I go to sleep. I even wake up in the middle of the night and write things down so that I don’t forget them – that may have more to do with a knowing I have a bad memory than being organised!
    I listen to a great relaxation app if I have trouble getting to sleep.

  4. I often find when I’m having a hard time sleeping for several nights in a row that taking one OTC pain killer before bed solves the problem. Usually it’s caused by a pain so minor I’m not consciously noticing it but is enough to keep me from deep sleep. This isn’t a long term solution but the good nights rest usually helps to heal the offending injury.

  5. Interesting concept! LOL I am still new at this whole de-cluttering thing and I will admit, I often have more than 1 decluttering/organizing task or project going on at once. It does make for quite a mess and even sometimes stress and mental unease. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Shoeaholicnomore, this is where the inspiration to declutter a thing a day came form for me. I wanted to avoid that happening. For the most part it did. I only reshuffled area when they were quite decluttered so there was a good chance I didn’t end up with big mess. My craft room was the exception, with a million things in there it took a lot of reshuffling periodically so I could get rid of the excess storage items. Also I would set goals as to how much space it as to take up and as I reshuffled I got ruthless with the decluttering to ensure those goals would be reached. It worked a treat.

  6. Colleen, this article was exactly what I needed yesterday before going to bed. I decided a day before that my floordrobe I somehow developed is no good at all and that I wanted to have a clean room when I get up in the morning, but I hadnt had the power/time/strengh to do it then. so yesterdays article was just the push I needed to get my place clean and sorted, one load of washing and the dishes done. my place looks decent again and I dont need to hate it in the morning anymore.
    Best tip: I could sleep longer because I decided on the clothes the night before. that is one hell of advice.

    • Hi Lena, good for you. Although I must admit I would have thought that you would have perfected these habits by now. You have always been so good at taking on decluttering advice and giving plenty yourself. I do admit thought that I still sometimes leave the baking pans to scrub for the morning even though I should do them after dinner. 😉

      • lol, you might think, right? I am also good at forgetting and especially at getting lazy and letting things happen… And I struggle with the amount of clothes that I got lately. Due to my workplace (reception) I had to invest a small fortune into good and decent clothes, as I apparently cant wear hoodies, when talking to customers. urgh.
        So I am slowly figuring out how to deal with all of those clothes, how to get the washing done in a logical way. I need to take care of my things much more than before, like hang the nice jackets and cardigans and shirts on hangers, when I get home, so I can easily wear them again. But sometimes I just dont feel like it, and then floordrobe comes. and I order pizza instead of cooking, because the kitchen is not done. and then I spend days ignoring the ugly things around me.
        good thing is: its almost spring (although we had no winter) and I can change to less clothes, yay!

        • Hi Lena, I have made some adjustments to my wardrobe recently too due to my changed location. I needed two extra pairs or short and a new bikini. Living near to the beach has a uniform of its own so it turns out. 😉 Ahhh life is good.

          • I am so jealous. I would love to live close to the beach.
            I was never a kandidate for the 33 projekt, but I am really thinking about it. I give myself a year of trying and failing.
            Although this spring will be much easier with all of those nice and new things and this new genius method of chosing the clothes the night before.

            have a great sunday at the beach, Colleen!

  7. Thanks for sharing Colleen. I would especially like to take on the 20 minutes before bed to decompress. Off the topic; however I would like to report that I decluttered 3 collectible items today and donated to a thrift shop in the neighborhood (I usually give to Salvation Army or Goodwill). Funny thing is that I removed them, wrapped them to prevent breakage about 3 weeks ago. Drove around with them in my trunk for at least 2 weeks. Decided to bring them back in the house yesterday, unwrapped and placed on shelves/table. Took some time to look at them and ask those important questions, removed them, wrapped them and delivered today before I changed my mind again. My thoughts were that they had monetary value and I wished I could sell on ebay. Looked them up a few times and realized there were others trying to sell them and I would never get around to having my daughter teach me how to take a picture and upload to ebay. Extra cash is nice but so is letting someone else have them who is truly excited and happy to have them. I have enough other stuff to decide on.


    • Well done you, Anna. I have done this with things myself. Sometimes it is just too much hassle to sell things. I am glad you got them out of there and saved yourself the bother. The experience was also a lesson learned so win win.

  8. I like this post today. I have been putting off tackling some dresser drawers but I will get it done today. The twenty minute a day organizing tip is good and that should be all that is needed to organize and assess the contents of those drawers. I have purged them before but I have to admit, that I normally pull clothes from the top of the drawer so those are the items that get used again and again, unlike the items on the bottom of the drawer. Just like you say one item a day is all it take to see a difference in the clutter, 20 minutes spent tackling an area every day will go a long way toward accomplishing that goal too.

  9. One of the best changes I made in my schedule was laying out my clothes for the next day. I think and plan better at night and so the decision making doesn’t stress me out in the morning. I sleep better knowing that I have ‘my plan’ in place.

    All is well here at Willow’s Cottage, Colleen. Just an incredibly busy season of parenting/grandparenting/teaching.

    • That sounds like a good plan Willow. Especially since you are dealing with kids for the rest of your day. A head start on your game plan is always good when kids are involved. Often there is enough stress in that environment that you don’t need to add your own by rushing around disorganised and being late before you even hit the front line.