Dithering? ~ By Peggy W

I have dithered many times in my decluttering journey, unable to make a decision about my stuff.  Two of the “ditherees” left my house this morning because I needed soft fillers to keep the glass bowls I was donating from clashing with each other.  One item was a top I bought that always looked better on my younger daughter than it did on me.  When she left home, she also left the top.  I thought this morning that I’m never going to wear that again and it’s not my other daughters’ style, so out it went.  The other item was a pair of nice warm slippers.  They didn’t have an indoor – outdoor sole, which bugs me, plus they were the type that you have to pull on with your hands.  I like slip-ons better.  So, in all the years I have had these warm slippers in a color I like, I have worn them only a handful of times!

All this got me thinking about how many things we dither about, meanwhile these things are taking up space in our homes!  I thought a good mission would be to gather all “ditherees” into a pile in the most spacious area of your home and think about them as a group.  Maybe when you see the volume of space that these items are taking every day, it will be easier to part with some.  If you want bonus points, you can decide ahead of gathering these items that you will commit to donating at least half of them.

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

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Excellent reminder! I have more dithering items than I care to admit.

    • Hi Creativeme,

      I’m sure you have plenty of company in your dithering… I have 2 such items in my closet right now… I am a sucker for pretty fabrics… That is my story and I’m sticking with it 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Colleen Madsen

        I have to admit I still have a skirt that I wear only rarely. I love the fabric and the make but it is so hard to find the right top to go with it. The only thing I have that works is a white t-shirt and that doesn’t do it justice but I team them up occasionally just so I can justify keeping the skirt. One day just the right top will come along. And yes, I know that is unlikely but one can live in hope.

  2. Love the ‘ditherees’ – alas I am dealing I am helping my inlaws unpack in their home and it is a houselot of ditherees.

    • Hi Moni,

      I think you stated in a previous post that you were bringing the ‘ditherees’ before your MIL for her decision? How is that going?

      • Peggy – very mixed results. So I’ve been concentrating on expired, broken and random. They own literally three of everything. Often the two extras are bought at the same time as the first is purchased. Its very bizarre.

        • Colleen Madsen

          Good idea Moni. As I always say, start on the easy stuff first. Hopefully she will begin to get used to the idea and begin to get more ruthless. The only problem is is the slow and steady decluttering isn’t really what you need right now.

  3. I was talking to a young lady from church on Sunday about the declutter ing of the house she and her father live in. He is not doing well with his health so they have been talking about what will happen on his death. She will be unable to keep the house. We were talking about the “ditherees” and how hard it sometimes is to rid ourselves of them. I told her about 365 Less Things and all the good things we have learned from each other. She ended up sitting down and talking with me about it all. She is even more motivated and feeling less frustrated about it all. I will tell her about this Post.

    • Colleen Madsen

      Good for you Deb, I hope she finds her stride and starts making good headway soon.

  4. Hi Deb J,

    I like how you are able to bring so many others along on this journey 🙂 You must have a patient way of discussing decluttering 🙂 I hope the young lady from church is able to follow along and unburden her father & herself of unused belongings and “ditherees” 🙂

    • I enjoy helping others. The young lady i as very excited about going foward with her decluttering now.

      • Deb J,
        My prayers go out to the young lady and her ailing father. They have quite a journey ahead of them and it is lovely that you found each other and can chat about decluttering. It is so wonderful to help others; sadly many talk a big game and never follow through. And then I look into the mirror and say that to myself because I have a pile of ‘ditherees’ so who am I to talk!!!! LOL Today I am going to make a pile on the table and work through the ditherees!!!! Thank you to both you and Peggy W for inspiring me today.

        • Annabelle, I’m glad I was an inspiration. This young lady is very motivated and has been doing really well since we talked.

        • Hi Annabelle,

          Good luck corralling & subduing your ditherees! and good on you for your follow through 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. I like that word “Ditherees!” I purged my collection of hand tools this week. Most of them had been my dad’s- he’s been gone 9 years already! I started with the screw drivers- so many duplicates of phillips and flat heads. I kept the best 2 or 3 of each size and let go the rest. Same with hammers (kept two of these), pliers and such. I also purged any tools I had no idea what they were- a fair amount of those. This morning I took the all “ditherees” to Habitat for Humanity. Out of my life and garage hopefully to benefit someone else.

  6. Hi Jeff,

    That is a great effort and I’m sure will benefit others 🙂 I like that you took the “ditherees” / tools to Habitat for Humanity because tools go with what they sell… Now you will have only your favorites taking up space in your garage… Good job!

  7. Love the concept of “ditherees” and have experienced them in my decluttering journey. I find that they may not make the first pass, or the second pass, but often if I’m going back over an area, the “ditherees” end up finally making the cut to being released from my space. I give myself permission to be undecided about some things because there are still plenty of things I know I want gone and those are the things I focus on. In the end, I either find a new purpose for the “ditheree” or it leaves the house so someone else can give it a new purpose. I enjoy your blog and your approach to decluttering!

    • Hi Cindy Clays,

      I pass over my “ditherees” too, in order not to “stall out” in my progress… I feel that as long as something is going out and not much coming in, I’m making progress 🙂

    • Colleen Madsen

      Hi Cindy, I am glad you are enjoying 365 Less Things. We all have our dither items thats for sure. Half of my craft supplies are dither items I am sure. I used up some of them decorating my granddaughter’s birthday gift yesterday. She as the cutest, blingiest brown paper wrapping there ever was. Didn’t use up much stuff though because the gift was quite small and I only decorated the upside. The biggest part of her gift is to add money to the travel fund we put her family’s birthday/Christmas money into. Eventually they will use it to go on a nice vacation together.

      • Hi Colleen,

        I love your gifts to your family! 🙂 It’s nice that you could use up some of your stash on that gift too 🙂 Whenever our daughters’ student loans are paid in full, maybe we will start vacation funds for them too 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. Placed 4 pairs, 3 almost new, of shoes to donate to DIL for her garage sale. Three pairs are toning shoes–one of which I wore a lot, but no longer think I should wear toners because of arthritic knees. I loved the look of the other pair but it never fit quite right though that brand is usually a very good fit. I had been dithering, so am glad they are going. I am gathering other things, too, so they will be ready when she visits again. Some books are going to the thrift store–more dithering, but the print is just too small and I have books on my kindle I haven’t read. I don’t have a lot of free time anyway. I found some gloves, bras, and hose I no longer wear. Seems like having a time frame helps get over the dithering. Loved your article, Peggy W. 365 is so good for keeping us thinking.

    • Hi Molly,

      I think you’re making great progress on your “ditherees”, especially the shoes! Thank you for the compliment on my article 🙂 Maybe with the books you can think about how others will enjoy them? Good luck with all your “ditherees” 🙂

  9. Please help me stop “dithering” over my 20 year old suitcases. They are the old style (rectangular with wheels going the wrong direction so they tip easily). I struggle because 1) there is nothing wrong with them, 2) they were very expensive (good quality for the time), 3) sentimental value because each member of my family gave me one for Christmas for an upcoming college study abroad experience, and 4) not even our local charities will accept them. I don’t want to put these in the trash, but I don’t think I can sell them either. Why do I want to keep these and how can I give them up? I am hoping another perspective will motivate me or convince me they are okay to keep.

    • Hi Becky and welcome to 365 Less Things. I am surprised that the local charities won’t take them, I see all sorts of suitcases at my local charity shops. Try putting them on Freecycle, there is always someone out there who can’t afford such things and don’t mind how old they are. Also Foster children need suitcases to move their belongings from one place to another so look into that as well. As for the reasons for keeping them, the only one that would affect me is having to put them in the trash. I hate waste so that would really bother me but none of the other reasons are good one for keeping them if they aren’t working for you.