Dy 235 More on yesterday’s post

In response to yesterdays post I received this comment from Deb J…

I don’t recommend white lies and they are still lies and can often come back to bite you. What I have done to take care of this is to say up front with people who are gift givers that I love receiving gifts but I am not sentimental about them. So if some point comes along when I no longer feel they suit my taste or have a purpose I may give them away of sell them. I think that most people who know me now know this about me. I don’t have to worry about being asked about something. I also try to make it clear to those I give to that I feel the same way as far as something I give them. I try to make sure that anything I give is something they want at the time but I also tell them that I know that over time we change and they don’t have to keep it forever and put it out when I come visit. It’s so freeing.

…that really got me thinking. I know Deb J is right that little white lies can come back to bite you but that in itself raises more questions about this topic.

  • How often have we accepted these gifts politely when we really didn’t want them in the first place. That is a little white lie in itself?
  • How often do we get so enamoured with the crafts that we do that we don’t even really consider whether those we are gifting will appreciate it. Are we just looking for an outlet for our creativity?
  • How often does someone show proudly what they have created and we politely say that is lovely whether we mean it or not (another little white lie) and then find ourselves being gifted a similar item soon after? I am sure if my friend Liz reads this she will probably be thinking “Like all the jewellery you keep making for me”.

Some people are very aware of their intentions and happily give and receive these kinds of gifts making it known that there are no strings attached. Unfortunately not everyone foresees the dilemma they are creating for someone else by giving these gifts. That being said, I am not sure I can ever remember a time when someone flat out asked me “where is that such and such I gave you, I never see you use it?” So maybe we are just being over sensitive about this situation and really are better off just taking our chances that we will never find ourselves in that embarrassing position.

Please read all the comments from yesterday and today (if we get more) if you want to get the most out of this topic. I seem to have a lot of crafty readers who have some interesting opinions on this.


These old suit bags have been stored away in my camphor wood chest for about 10 years unused so out they go. Add those years to the tally and now we have 89.5 years in total.

Suit Bags

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  • Let go of your “should” clutter Should is just another word for obligation. The answer to all the following questions is NO! Should I keep this in case I need it some day. Should I keep this because (fill in the […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I have a suggestion for Jacquie about her hubby’s sweaters. Hang them up on hangers in his part of the closet so he can see them every day, move them when he needs to get at the clothes he wears. Have him put them on and take his photo in them. Offer again to make them in to pillows to highlight their beauty where he can see them every day. Well, it’s worth another try…

  2. Well, my advice to the sweater/afghan problem is to kiss that drawer space good bye and move onto other areas of the house. Unless space is frightfully tight, I don’t think it’s worth the martrimonial cost to come between a man and the memory of his mother.

    • Hi Cindy,
      unfortunately you are most likely correct on this one. If it means that much to him one drawer isn’t a big sacrifice.

      • Clutter is in the eye of the beholder. His wife thinks it’s clutter, but he thinks the sweaters are a warm, fuzzy memory of his Mom doing something loving for him. I only look at my wedding album every few years, but I don’t consider it clutter, and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about the day I was married. Same thing.

  3. I find, when I’m ready, that taking a photo really helps me get rid of the actual object. A photo of hubby in his mom’s sweater would be my approach but I don’t think he’s ready.

    • Hi jessiejack,
      that’s a nice idea. I am surprised someone hadn’t come up with that already, including myself. Sometimes I think I may get a little too focused on just getting rid of stuff these days that maybe I have become too detached from the emotional ties others may have to their stuff.

  4. How right you are, Colleen, on all three points. Been there, done that. Thanks for bringing this out in the open.
    I’m sorry I’m so far behind in reading and responding to your posts. Had been spending too much time reading about decluttering/minimalizing and not enough time actually decluttering. So I’ve been working on paper clutter in the last two weeks and spending evenings making piles: recycling paper, file/take action paper, and shred paper. I’ve been trying to shred some paper every day to keep up with it. Whew! What a project.

    • Hi Di,
      sound like I should get you to write a guest post on decluttering paper files. You should be pretty up on the best methods by this stage of the exercise. Give it some thought.

      • Will think about it, but let me get through more paperwork first. I feel like I’m drowning in it, but now I’m coming up for air every so often.

  5. A woman made two sweaters for her 25 year old son.Next time he came to visit her he wore one of them to please her.She asked him:”Why are you not wearing the other one,did you not like it?”–As a kid I made nice things in school for my mom,a spice shelf of wood with nice carvings-we never had one before.It disappeared the next day and I have never seen it again.That happened a few times more and I kept what I made in school.My teacher took all my art projects in the end for his family and kids.I grew up owning one stuffed animal I got for my first birthday and a bible when I was 6.After more than 40 years I still don`t own much but I did the 365 day challenge in two months and are at item number 465 today.I am living in a small apartment and have 4 kids.Most things we have are theirs.A divorce ,move, having no job yet and living from hand to mouth is a good reason for getting rid of a lot and not getting cluttered again.I have time to get rid of all sentimental items,even the expensive ones.We just have a second hand store for clothing and the rest went to neighbors who are poor too.
    I had a death experience when I was young and never got attached to any material things since then.If I were rich I would buy my clothes instead of receiving used and old ones-but I would only buy what I would like and wear.
    We come into this world without anything and leave that way too and I would exchange all I have for a true and loving partner and friend.
    Thanks for those posts,its an interesting read-and guys,its easier to let go of clutter when you keep in mind what is important in those years we live on this planet-true love and compassion for others and there is no greater joy than to give.Blessings,

    • What a beautiful comment Maus and welcome to 365 Less Things. You certainly put into perspective what life is really about. We have lost our way a little bit in this crazy consumer society but hopefully we are finding our way back. Bless you and I hope life is good to you and you find that loving life partner you are searching for.