Do something important today

I read this quote last week when it arrived with my latest update to Gretchen Ruben’s ~ The Happiness Project ~ newsletter.

   “Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.” ~ Gertrude Stein

The part that struck me mostly about the quote was this “Anything one does every day is important …” which said to me ~ Whatever you do today make it something good because it is important either way. Important because no matter what you do it will have either a positive or negative effect on either you, those around you, the planet you live on and all that inhabit it or possibly all three. I am sure you have all heard of the butterfly effect.

So, today,  with that thought in mind would you rather…

  • Buy something new today that you really don’t need ~ or ~ donate something today that you already have and barely use to someone who might have a use for it. (This choice will affect you, others and the planet)
  • Today would you rather continue holding on to stuff, that you don’t need, that your family will have to deal with someday when you are gone ~ or ~ start getting rid of the excess stuff today so you family don’t have to in their time of grief. (This choice will affect you and your loved ones, those benefitting from your purging and untimately the planet)
  • Add to your debt today by buying something new that you want but don’t need ~ or ~ sell something of your excesses and pay a little off your debt. (This choice will affect you, your loved ones, others and the planet)
  • Continue to live in a cluttered, oppressive and possibly unhealthy environment ~ or ~ start purging items that are violating your space, depressing you, collecting dust and possibly hindering your cleaning process. (This choice will affect you, your loved ones and anyone living with you.)

This list could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

So what are you going to do today?

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter a shirt, pair of trousers or jacket that you no longer fit or like to wear.

Remember the November keep it tidy challenge

Today’s Declutter Item

With two people eating mostly a low-carb diet one set of measuring cups for baking is enough these days as there is very little baking done.

Measuring Cups

Eco Tip for the Day

Remember that every little thing you can do today to lessen your carbon footprint will have a positive effect on the environment.

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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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Colleen, “Anything one does every day is important …” is so true. I think we so easily forget that we are not out here in this life as an island unto ourselves. Everything we do does have an impact on everyone else in some way or another. One cross word to a cashier at the grocery can ruin their day and make them cross at everyone who comes through. Then those customers spread it on to those they come in contact. the ripples are wide. It’s the same way with every action we take. It can have a good or bad influence on those around us. I’m trying to chose to be a positive influence rather than a negative one. It’s a daily, sometimes, every minute choice. I’m thankful I have God to help me with it.

    Those projects are moving forward and will soon be off my desk. I found 50 wedding reply cards with envelopes that I had bought to use for something else for our Women’s Ministries last year. Off to the new WM Director they go. Our vacuum cleaner has not been the best for some time. Saw the one I wanted on sale for $70 off plus I had a $30 off coupon. Bought it and the old one is off to Repair for the Needy to be fixed and thrifted. The new one also really cleans hardwood floors well so that means out goes the Swiffer. One less item in the way and no more buying of Swiffer refills. I am thrilled.

    • Hi Deb J, you are so right about those ripples and as you say we need to be aware of this constantly. It is so easy to take our moods out on others who are just innocent bystanders. I will try harder to keep that in mind as well as be sympathetic to those I encounter who are in a not so good mood of their own. Making it worse for them or taking in on ourselves only perpetuates the problem.

      I am glad your work desk is coming together and the new vacuum cleaner must be a treat. There is nothing like making a job easier to encourage you to get it done.

  2. I am volunteering for a clothing Give-away that our town does every year on the weekend before Thanksgiving. Better way to spend my time doing service instead of our shopping!

    • I agree entirely Spendwisemom. I really enjoy the volunteer work I do. After my day at the thrift store I bring home any broken jewellery that comes in, repair it to sellable condition and take it back the next week to put it out for sale. I enjoy the task and am glad that the outcome will mean more money coming in to the store.

  3. Thank you for this post today. I can’t tell you how much I have changed my way of thinking when I go into stores or even when I am just contemplating an item to purchase, and I attribute my new way of thinking to this site. Actually thinking before going on impulse and purchasing something, helps me so much. I am not always perfect, but I have come a long way. Making a conscious effort to do things differently and getting rid of one item a day lets you know that every little thing has an impact and is important. It all makes a difference.

    • Hi Jen, I thank you also for sharing your progress and often commenting here to let us all know how you are getting on. I makes me feel good to know what I do here makes a positive difference in peoples lives and your positive stories in turn can be the trigger for someone else to begin their declutter journey.

      None of us are perfect at doing the right thing all the time but being willing to try and constantly improve overall is a wonderful thing.

      • Hi Colleen
        I am copying your last paragraph because I love it! So true!
        ‘None of us are perfect at doing the right thing all the time but being willing to try and constantly improve overall is a wonderful thing.’

  4. I agree. So today I took a bag of stuff to oxfam and also purchased a Christmas pressie in the form of a ‘gift card’ whilst there. And then I took a bag of old linen to an animal rescue shelter. Yay, more stuff out of my way. And after cindy’s post on being generous I will donate some things I was going to sell, to a sports club raffle – win:win – no eBay stress for me and hopefully a happy prize winner in due course.

  5. Hi Colleen. Sometimes we just don’t think about our actions. I started to declutter lots and lots of things from my kitchen. I am not selling anything I am just giving away for those who need it. And every piece of china I give away, someone will happily use, and not buy a new one. Yes, as I have told you I am feeling a little overwhelmed in a certain area of my house, but I decided to let that rest for a time. I will declutter where I have been decluttering easily. The thing is, I have a china cabinet in my living room. That is where the TV is also. As I have decluttered more and more uneeded china I have opened up space in this cabinet where I can put my books. And I have been, slowly emptying a bookcase (just like Moni’s) that is in my bedroom that I intend to sell. And I have (now, brace yourself!!! 😀 😀 😀 ) started to look at my books and selected the ones I really enjoy and like as “keepers” and considering giving the others away. So, instead of whinning (thanks for letting me do that once in a while 😉 ) I started seeing that one thing DID lead to another, as Colleen always says. Aren’t you a clever woman, Colleen? 😀 Yes, you are!” A great post, and a sure way of making the day go well, or at least try.

    • Hi Andréia,
      even though sometimes we would like to focus on getting one particular area decluttered we need to be patient and allow things to happen in a natural progression.That is you were trying too hard to declutter that bedroom of yours but in changing your focus you have stumbled upon a way to reshuffle and declutter your china cabinet so you can now declutter and get rid of one of the items ~ the bookcase ~ from your cluttered bedroom. Your frustration has lead you to finally convinced yourself let go of a bunch of old books you probably won’t ever read again and a collection of china that you never use which were hindering the process of achieving that decluttered tranquil bedroom you so very much wanted. I know there is a ways to go yet but I think perhaps you have found your rhythm at last. Just go with the flow now my friend and see where it takes you. And remember patience is a virtue.

      • Hi Colleen. Yes, I need patience. The thing is, I was thinking about one place, that is really hard to declutter, full of sentimental itens, loaded with things that I held on because they mean something to me, and forgot a place that, for me, is easy to declutter. I have no attachment to china. Except for a lovely set I inherited from my grandmother, that will be put to use. No attachment to pots and pans. No attachment means an easy declutter. I went “do I use it? no? donate.” Easy, fast, simple. It got me the results I was needing so much. It gave me a new impulse. And thank you, and your readers for the encouragement they gave me this week, I really appreciated it.

        • Andréia my friend I hope this is where you stop making things so hard for yourself. Keep on finding those easy things to declutter, then the things you do use or love will fall into place.

  6. Andreia, that is brilliant, what a great description of how things just seem to decide that their time to move on has come. It sounds like you are making heaps if progress which although felt like a little has suddenly added up to a huge amount. And I’m so with you on doing the easy stuff first. No need to go punishing ourselves and make it really difficult. Your post really shows that it will flow!

    • What a great response to Andréia’s comment Fruitcake. She will be thrilled with your encouragement I am sure.

      • Hi Fruitcake! Thank you for your comment. I was feeling very dispirited about the whole decluttering process. I could not find any way to make my bedroom better without cluttering somewhere else in the house. But, as I watched “Hoarders: Buried Alive”, “Clean House” (I am a big fan, watch every week 😀 ) I started to think about stuff. And all that china, full of dust, unused, was staring at me. And I could easily declutter that. And, as Colleen always says (shame that sometimes I don’t believe her, 😀 ) it got easier and easier. And thank you Colleen!


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