Friday Favourites ~ 18May2012

On Fridays at 365 Less Things I share with you my favourite comments from my wonderful readers and my favourite web finds of the week. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

Favourite Comments. Enjoy!

There were so many great comments for the “Enough! It’s time to get rid of this stuff!” post this week that I didn’t want to single any out. If you haven’t read them go back and take a look and add your story.

This comment from Lena was very interesting and it also shows how far she has come in her declutter and concern and action for environment welfare.

Grace is starting to enjoy the benefits to decluttering. Read about it in this comment.

Toffee made me laugh with this question she said I should add to the Declutter Decision Making Guide. And I did add it.

Judith had a good point with the comment she sent in. My husband uses a similar digital upload site to save our important documents.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

Here is a short helpful article from on What to do when a gift becomes clutter

Here is a little Feng Shui advice about clutter.

This link isn’t about decluttering but about how hip my town is. Newcastle has a vibrant art scene, great cafes and beautiful beaches. So scroll down take a look at where I live.

Here’s a fun little quiz from fellow Aussie Peter Walsh.

Quite often when I link to The Minimalists their post are not universally well received but I thought this one made some good points about consumerism.

Today’s Mini Mission

Spy and declutter something metallic.

Today’s Declutter Item

I used this wire can rack for years in my pantry but the last time I decluttered in there I decided to set it aside. The design of my pantry makes using this item rather awkward and I don’t stock very many cans anyway. I haven’t missed it so it is out of here.

Wire Can Rack

Something I Am Grateful For Today

 Old reruns of Frasier.

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, we have been having some really good conversations lately and I think it is because we are really enjoying what we are all learning and so enjoy sharing it.

    Lena’s good comment reminds me of how I discovered that so many of us humans use shopping as therapy. It’s how we deal with depression, anger, frustration, etc. We instead need to learn to deal with what is behind all of those emotions so that we don’t need anything, like shopping, to help us.

    All of the comments you highlighted are good ones. It’s nice to see how we are all seeing so many more benefits to decluttering besides the obvious ones.

    the links are all good too. Thanks for sharing Newcastle with us. It’s great to “see” the area where you live.

    • Hi Deb J,
      I think you are so right about using shopping as therapy. It isn’t that different to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or over eating. None are good for you in one way or another and once the soothing effect wears off you need another hit. A vicious cycle indeed. Every one of them is bad for your bank account as well.

      There are certainly a lot of benefits to decluttering and I also am glad to see our readers benefiting from that. It warms my heart and keep me tapping away at my keyboard everyday.

    • Hi Deb J – yes I definately used shopping as therapy! It wasn’t until a friend who IS a therapist, but not a therapist to me, pointed out that whenever I felt under valued I would hit the shops. I would never have noticed the connection. Duh!

      I still like shopping, I just don’t shop very often these days. When one is doing Project 333 and trying to achieve a minimalist home, it is counter productive. But when a need arises and I put a rip in my favourite jeans, I enjoy visiting the shops to find a replacement pair, and I can take my time because I’m not dashing around wanting to look at everything else.

  2. reading my comment again made me feel radical. I bet there are a lot of people out there who are shaking their head in disagreement while reading that. Never thought I would go that far. but hey, I also wish that everybody would take the bike instead of the car, once I learned how bad it really is for cities and the environment, so maybe I am a bit radical after all. 😉

    Thanks for the links. I wonder how you other ladies are doing in the test – I got the “you are in the clear”… Newcastle looks just amazing. I so want to swim in this ocean pool, thats beautiful! One day I need to live close to the sea. that said – australia is slowly climbing up the list for places to visit.
    and the minimalists post made me subscribe finally.
    have a good weekend everyone!

    • Me too, I’m “in the clear”, although I probably got some points (I didn’t cheat! 😉 )

    • Lena,
      I don’t think what you said was at all radical. The skeptics keep going on about climate change not being real, so what if it isn’t, overconsumption is regardless of that. There are surely finite supplies of many things to fuel this overconsumption and it isn’t doing anyone any psychological good either. So there is more than one reason to stop the madness.

    • I’m “in the clear”

  3. Colleen, Newcastle looks wonderful. I’m jealous of the weather: all the colours look so bright in the sunlight!

    • Australia is bright and sunny all over for the most part. Although don’t be too excited about Newcastle weather, it has been a very rainy year and I think people were getting a little tired of that. We have actually strung about 10 days in a row without rain this past fortnight and it has been lovely. Beautiful one day perfect the next as we like to say.

      We have beaches to one side of us and a valley full of vineyards on the other with Sydney below and a airport with cheap flights to most other places above. Not a bad place to be I have to say.

      • The weather is always a talking point no matter where you are in OZ, my favorite places for weather are Tassie and Melbourne, if you don’t like the weather wait 5 mins hahaha. I had all extremes when I was in Hobart and the same in Melbourne. Hahahaha. We are very lucky in OZ though and I love it everywhere 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Newcastle is very much like our Fremantle and Subiaco, mind you I see so my similarities between towns. Have you had the pleasure of visiting the West yet? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Ahh I miss Peter Walsh and Clean Sweep. He always got straight to the point and sometimes gave this hilarious “what the hell’s wrong with you?” look at the people he was working with. haha.

    • That’s what I love about him, he makes so much sense but he has a gorgeous way of ‘Telling you like it is’ Grab a brain then grab a life, I love him, he gets away with being Cheeky, all for a good cause 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. Your description certainly makes him sound like he hasn’t lost his Australianess even though he spends most of his time in the US these days. I used to enjoy clean sweep when I loved in the US, I don’t know if it has ever been on here in Australia, I don’t waste my money on Pay TV so I wouldn’t know if it comes on there either.

  6. Wow, Newcastle looks a LOT different to what I imagined! What a beautiful place to live. (Though I was thinking: 10 years ago I would have booked a flight in an instant, just to spend heaps of money in those gorgeous boutiques. Now I’d probably prefer to just find the good cafes and walk around, and catch up with you of course.)

  7. Hi – I’m assuming that Dizzy and Colleen will know what I mean, but had this moment this morning where I was talking to someone recently immigrated here to NZ and although we were both talking English, we didn’t know what the other was talking about.

    If I said someone was “crook” (not “a crook” just “crook”) would you know what I meant? And if I said something was “chocka” would you know what I meant?

    • Chocka sounds like crazy, but I don’t know. Not sure about crook. I’m currently reading In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson. It’s about his visit to Australia, not New Zealand, but it’s very entertaining. Love getting the language lessons via this blog. My favorite was probably when someone used the term tosser. Who knew that could have such a different meaning. I’ll have to be careful with what I write.

      • Hahaha depends what conatation you want I like ‘Tosser’ especially here coz ya can toss ya clobber and gear as much as ya like!!! No one ere is a drongo with their gear anymore!!

        Mind you most of the colloquial jargon is English anyway!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Dizzy (or as I would sound like to you Duzzy) how about…..”No chocka homes here, cobba” ???

      • Hi Anita – crook means sick as in unwell and chocka means full. Yeah the day “tosser” got talked about – I was just about laughed till I cried!

        • Crook? Tosser? Chocka? Ok, I adore reading anything by Bill Bryson so I’ll grab (at the LIBRARY) the book IN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY. Sure hope it has a definitions section!

    • Yeah SICK and FULL 🙂 🙂 🙂 unless that changed too whilst I’ve been slimming down my Scraproom! My room is so chocka it’s making me crook!!! heehee 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Yes Moni,
      crook means unwell and chocka means full but that is a whole other brand of English. Best to speak straight old boring English when talking to English speaking people from other countries. Start throwing in the colloquial stuff once familiarity has been established. Mind you I can understand clearly what you are saying here in writing but get the Kiwi accent going in person and it might be another situation altogether. Us Aussies have a whole other set of vowel sounds to you folks over there.

      • Hi – yes Dizzy and I hashed out the vowells while you were away. I have a Oz stepfather and he takes great delight and pointing out the differences. Mind you I give him heaps back and take delight in yelling out “Crikey” at every opportunity.

        • “crickey” – the brits use that too. that was one of the first words I used myself, after a couple of months. and “bloody hell”. I only met a guy once from NZ, and started giggling everytime I heard this really long and sluggish “eeeee” like the example of flight of the conchords”. Although the british english is my absolute favourite, I can find a lot of joy in listening to other english accents. 😉

          • Hi Lena – I have a friend who immigrated from UK and to us it sounded like “bluudy ‘ell”. So we started saying that too just for fun, although our brit friend thought we sounded more Indiain than brit to him.
            Yes I’ve watched Flight Of The Concords and I loved the episode where they couldn’t all understand each other.
            Even amongst us some people have a thicker Kiwi accent than others, or for fun when we want to laugh at ourselves we make it sound broader.
            Our vowels seem closer to the Maori vowels than the british vowels, which is ironic cause when kids are at school learning to sound out words they are expected to use the british sounds and I’d say some have never encountered them before.

            Oh and that eeeeee sound? He was actually saying aaaaaa! I know. Mind you we think the Oz accent is funny, but that is because the two countries have a fair bit to do with each other and I think we understand each others slang easier than we do other countries. My stepfather is an Oz so we give each other heaps whenever I’m over there, and use the corniest of sayings to each other. Good times.

          • I know what you are referring to: I dont know how many hours I spent talking and laughing about language and dialects with so many people. just today I had a friend over and she has been studying in vienna. as I grew up close to austria and consumed a lot of their media (I still listen mainly to austrian radio stations whenever I am down there), I am pretty good at that special austrian way of pronouncing words. So we went out for icecream and grocery shopping and we talked the whole time in this dialect. I laughed so hard, it made people stare at us. good times indeed.

  8. Australian translation ; crook – as in unwell, sick, possibles hungover.
    Chocka – overloaded , as in full house , car, fridge etc or you have eaten far too much. Used every day. Reminds me of my lovely Vietnamese baker who did not understand ” what’s the damage” as in how much does it cost?
    Just received my electricity bill, and noticed that there is a BPay View logo on it. I use BPay to pay my bills via Internet banking , but this facility allows you to Receive, view and pay the bill via Internet banking , available in Australia, but would guess different variations world wide. Cheers

    • Correct – we’re big on internet banking here, cheque books will be phased out next year here. Most invoices go by e-mail these days, and I’d say most people use direct debit for utilities bills, and if something can’t be eft-pos, it is definately direct credit.

  9. uhoh, Feel kind of stupid, but I have to admit that I somehow missed the connection before. It was only when I saw the map of newcastle that I realised: I’ve been there. I have family living there (my dads cousins) and we visited them 10 years ago. I only wish I’d been less shopping orientated back then (I went with half a suitcase, came back with an overflowing one). But I did really enjoy the town because of it’s friendly and laidback atmosphere while not shopping.

    On a side note: does anybody else have the problem of items being the only one left? I seem to end up with a lot of lonely dishware (breakables) that used to part of a set but that somehow are thougher than the rest. They are perfectly usable and are in most cases getting a lot of use. It’s only that having a lot of different shape/size and clour dishes don’t stack nicely in my cupboards and setting the table with them looks a bit studenty/unorganized. I’ve been thinking of donating them but the thriftshops like to accept things in sets or at least pairs.

    • You can always donate them straight to students or others who are just about moving out for the first time.

      We just tackled our dishes again this morning. 18 plates, 4 cups and about a dozen other items have to leave here. I’ll have to figure out the best way, too. I’ll probably ask a friend who lives in a shared apartment and is in a constant need of tableware, if she doesn’t want it, it’s off to our thrift store (they take single items here, they sell them for a few cents each)

    • Actually Hunter_xs when I first saw your username I thought you must have been from around her because the Hunter Valley is right next to Newcastle and I though you lived in the hunter with your excess stuff. Maybe ten years ago you didn’t miss so much. Newcastle used to me a steal town dirty and not considered a tourist town. I think perhaps the artsy cafe culture is only a fairly new thing here as a result of the steal works closing down. It is getting better all the time too. Maybe in another 10 years it will be even better. I hope so.

      As for your “only one left crockery” if it gets to that with my stuff I take the only one left to the thrift store. Funnily enough it is usually the stuff one likes the most that ends up broken and you are left with only the ones you don’t really want.

    • Hi Hunter_xs,
      I would not worry at all about donating single pieces because sometimes that is exactly what people are looking for. Some like to mix and not match overall, some want a fun piece to go with an otherwise uniform look, others like to give pieces they would not shed a tear for to their toddlers, pets and/or drunken party guests, put a flower in it, basically: whatever …
      Have you seen the bright red mug with hearts on it in the newcastle piece in one of the antique stores? I have a set of bowls matching it (I believe it is German, 1970s). Would I want more than those four different sized bowls? No way! A whole set would drive me nuts. But a single of these bowls containing fruit (or candy) on the table really cheers me up.

  10. Hi Colleen – love the photos of Newcastle and would definitely put it on my list of places to visit if I ever get to go” grey nomading”. I would once have looked at at those wonderful little shops and been aching to get inside and bring a little something home with me but not any more . I can now enjoy the experience of looking and appreciating colour or artistry or originality or quirkiness or whatever but without the urge to buy it and own it (and clutter up the house with it). A huge mental and emotional shift which started very small and in a very gradual way but which gained momentum the more I decluttered. I’ve suprised myself!

    • Hi Jez,
      I have never been tempted to buy things at those cute little craft shops because I usually walk away thinking “I can make that”. I go there for ideas rather than to purchase.
      Isn’t it fun to watch your own personal transformation. Never stop surprising yourself.

  11. It’s late Friday night (my time, USA Rocky Mountains) and I’ve finally a quiet moment after an incredibly hectic week for a glass of red and a lovely read through 365LessThings.

    Ahhhh, it’s great to be relaxing with friends. Colleen, I adored seeing your town, thx for sharing!

  12. Newcastle looks fantiastic Colleen, but it looks like we’ll be doing a lot of shopping when I visit!

  13. Your town looks REALLY nice!