Friday’s Favourite Five ~ 16Sep2011

Oh my! This weeks comments had me hitting highs and lows and I am kind of glad it’s over. Here are my favourite five, they are an eclectic batch, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

I received this comment from Paul (his first) which contained a link about perfectionism in business that was quite interesting. Check out the link as well because much of what it says could apply to decluttering or any walk of life.

I loved reading about Snosie’s attempt to declutter the leftovers in her fridge in this comment. It had such a multi-national theme.

This comment is Jo’s response to all the kind responses to her post on Saturday. We have such a supportive community here at 365lessthings.

Jo@simplybeingmum shared some great tips on grocery shopping and pantry control in this comment in response to this weeks Mini Missions.

I liked this comment from Di because it shows she understands how complicated we make our lives by placing too many expectations on all sorts of things. The goal of physical decluttering is to simply our homes, lighten our work load and be happy with less, decluttering our minds can simply of lives even further.

I didn’t have to look to hard to find my favourite five internet reads and views this week. They just about fell into my lap all week long. Enjoy! ~ Buying Experiences, Not Possessions, Leads To Greater Happiness

This article and particularly the accompanying TED video is brilliant. While you watch the video think how you can relate it to decision making while decluttering. 

This link was tweeted by Peter Walsh on Monday and I just had to share it with you all. It gives hope to people with hoarding issues. ~ ~ Cluttered lives of hoarders

This link is a real eye opener when it comes to the cost of consuming oil based products. ~ Finding-freedom-in-prison

I have added this link as a follow on from the previous one  just to give you an idea of how many products are oil based. This is why we need to cut back on consumption. This is why we need to free our unused clutter back to the community to save someone else from buying new. ~ oil uses

Today’s Declutter Item

Half used note book are almost as prevalent as baseball souvenirs in this house. I wonder if they will just keep coming out of the woodwork forever.

Half Used Notebooks

Something I Am Grateful For Today

I took a walk at the beach today and I really enjoyed watching folks go buy laughing and talking to each other. There was one lady on her own that was smiling and I thought that must be what I look like, smiling as I walk for seemingly no apparent reason. It’s not a bad way to be even if people might think I am a little strange. 🙂

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

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  • Sharing others’ wisdom Today I just want to share with you a couple of post from other bloggers that I enjoyed, and a comment from one of your fellow 365ers. 1. A great article ~ For many people, gathering […]
  • Friday’s Favourites ~ 1Nov2013 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 […]
  • Friday’s Favourites ~ 25Oct2013 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 […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I really hate spiral notebooks for this very reason. Once they’re half used up, the kids don’t want to use them again, and there they are…wasting away.

  2. The spiral note pads would become smaller note pads for my shopping lists or to do lists 🙂
    I’ve got a scrap pad for everything 🙂

    • Hi Kim,
      welcome to 365 Less Things and thank you so much for adding your voice to our community.
      it does seem wasteful to get rid of these the the fact is that there is still a mountain of notepaper aside from these that also needs using up. I am constantly surprised at how little paper I use even though I love writing lists it would still take me the next ten years to get through all the leftover school supplies from my kis high school days. The kids are now 22 & 20. It did donate these, along with some more stationary supplies and excess scrapbook papers to a school just up my street, so they didn’t go to waste.

  3. I’d rather be happy and have people think I’m strange, than not be happy but be regarded as perfectly normal!

  4. Hi Colleen, I’ve just listen to Dan Gilbert presentation, and thank you, it’s really interesting, and fun too! I just requested his book from my local library. I can recognize myself in the indecisive type, should I do this, or that, or wait… what would be best… Finally he put words and pictures/graphs on what I had just started to figure out. I understand today that it is not the decision I make that is important, it is to have decided something and then move on. Just like contemplating our clutter, not being sure what to do with it, versus doing something to get it out of our home. I now understand where the feeling of freedom comes from decluttering.

    What did you end up doing with your half-used notebooks?

    • Hi NatalieinCA,
      I really enjoyed that talk too, it spoke volumes about how choice can be a debilitating when viewed the wrong way.
      As for the notebooks, I donated them to a school up the street from my house along with some other stationary and a pile of excess scrapbook papers. They were very happy to receive them. As I mentioned to Christa, I had more paper leftover from the kids high school days than I will ever be able to use up so I have slowly weeded it out and decluttering it responsibly.

  5. Grace from Brazil

    Colleen, I am sure this was not intentional but the wide variety of hot political/philosophical issues presented this time around in your favorite five left me really uncomfortable. I love how you help me think about how to de-clutter my life and I don’t mind some greener living ideas but I don’t want to engage in a discussions about evolution (TED video), global warming (Onedressprotest), and the evils of oil consumption. (If I need a heart valve I am going to get one.) I find your blog very uplifting so I was a little disappointed with what is usually the highlight of the week for me.

    • Hi Grace from Brazil,
      I am sorry if my choices this week were a little heavy for you. On reflection it probably was a little too much reality in one dose. But reality it is and if we all keep turning our backs on it those heart valves won’t be available when we need them. If all of the world resources are used up on frivolous consumerism then eventually there has to come a time when we won’t have what we really need when we need it.

      I promise that I will take it easier on you next week. After the caning I have received this week I may need that heart valve myself so next week I will go easy on my readers and on myself.

      • Don’t be too hard on yourself Colleen…to be a blogger especially as you get more popular, you have to develop a thick skin. I was reading Trent Hamm’s work from The Simple Dollar and he gets nasty comments and emails all the time as he has one of the biggest personal finance blogs and he doesn’t let it worry him…Just keep plugging away, I personally love your blog and I don’t mind if it gets a bit heavy, in fact I like it not to be all sweetness and light all the time!

        • Hi Low Income Lady,
          thank you for your support. It isn’t so bad, because for the thousands of comments I have received I have only encounter about a handful that were negative in some way. And half of that handful I was kind of expecting some sort of back lash. I would feel a whole lot worse about myself if I did make my posts all sweetness and light as you say and not make people think about whats going on in the world around them or in their homes for that matter.

          I am no saint when it comes to the environment myself but it doesn’t take much effort to improve our consumption habits. Take a bag to the store to do your shopping so you don’t waste plastic, stop recreational shopping, recycle everything you can, walk more and drive less, only wash when you have a full load, toughen up and use your airconditioner less, don’t accept junk mail, share the wealth of abundance in your home by donating your excess so someone else doesn’t have to buy new… These are all just little things that make a big difference in the end and so many people turn their backs because it might be a little inconvenient. If I can keep pushing this message to those who may not already be converted then there is a chance that more and more people will come on board and help save our planet. I make no apology for that.

          I am glad that you and I are on the same page and that there are plenty more like us out there. Thanks again my friend. 🙂

          • Thanks Colleen,
            That’s a really good précis of what it’s all about, only wish we were all on that page!

            • Thanks Ann,
              some people don’t think the page even needs to exist. I work on the principle that even if globe warming is a myth all this polluting and raping the land can’t be good either way so why not turn it around now. We have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

      • Grace from Brazil

        Dear Colleen, I was not a part of the caning so I had no idea. Sorry! I hope my comment was not seen in that light. I really enjoy your positive outlook on life (not all sweetness and light) and that really challenges me to think deeply about how I live. Thanks! My only concern was that it is easy for issues to get confused. While I am all for living in a way that is less consumer oriented I don’t want to become fearful that others are then going to waste away the earth’s resources. People then become evil. So much of the doom and gloom prophets today grossly exaggerate and even lie. (Hard to understand why!). I love truth and need it. I know you do to. I remember some months ago you did some research about the big floating island of plastic and you posted another view to that. That was awesome. I would suggest that there are other sides to all those issues that were presented on Friday’s post. There is incredibly good news out there that never gets reported. People can change, people can work to make things better but we can’t begin to value the earth and it resources more than people. People are what make this world so wonderful. Do we need correction? Yes. Do we need wake-up calls? Yes. That is what I really admire about your blog. You do all these things in such a winsome way. Keep up the good work.

        • Hi Grace from Brasil,
          I have to admit that I did find your original comment on Fridays post a little confronting. Although you stated you opinion politely and kindly I couldn’t help but think that you were upset that I was just not allowing you to hide from the issues. I am sorry if I jumped to the wrong conclusion there.
          I didn’t find anything political about these issues, it is a fact that forests are being wiped off the planet for the sake of providing resources for our consumption. And although I do agree that at times the facts are exaggerated to make a stronger point (and I don’t like that either) they are more often swept under the carpet so people don’t really know what is going on. I feel your frustation about the good news that doesn’t get reported, that is the sort of news that inspires people to think ~ I can do that to help. When it comes to this subject I could list my frustrations until the cows came home but I will leave it at that.
          The list of items that are made from oil based products is just the sort of facts that inform people of how much of these resources we consume on a regular basis. Of course there are things that we need among that list that we aren’t about to go without, but it also brings to light posible areas where we can reasonably cut back on our consumption.
          I thought that the TED talk was more about the intricacy of the decision making process. I missed the evolution side of this altogether, my focus was obviously on my own agenda. I thought that this insight might help people with their decision making process when it comes to decluttering. Maybe I was seeing something in it the you missed and vice versa. I have now gone back to review the TED video and it does indeed revolve around the science of evolution. I missed that because I am comfortable believing in God and evolution at the same time, for me one doesn’t rule out the other. I apologize if you found that confronting.
          The first link said to me that the world economies don’t have to shut down because we consume less resource based product but that we could spend on experiences and services instead. This is a positive for the fight to convince people the the world will not fall into financial ruin if we cut back on product consumerism.

          Thank you for your kind words about my blog. I am just one little person in this world trying to do my bit to help others and possibly the planet in the process. It’s funny that I actually just started out trying to perform the lazy mans approach to decluttering but it turned into something much more than that. I will keep at it though because it is a worthy cause.

  6. I’ve been reading onedressprotest almost since the beginning. Her post made me cry as did the video she posted.

    • Hi Willow,
      I can understand your reaction. God bless her for making a stand. And that video of the forest destruction in Canada was particularly upsetting. It never ceases to amaze me that this sort of eco-devastation continues in this day and age. I don’t even want to think about what is happening to the Amazon with all these new super-dams they are intending to build. Native tribes will be flooded from their lands and forests will be underwater all to provide electricity. There has to be another way.

      • As you know, Indonesia is a place dear to my heart. The deforestation I personally witnessed in Papua in the 80s was horrific. And I don’t think it has stopped.

        • Hi Willow,
          it is sad isn’t it. We all want to blame the companies but we in the end are the consumers that they are supplying for. There is one sure fire way to send the companies a message and that is to back off on the consuming.

  7. Snap! Colleen RE: grateful for today.
    We went down the beach yesterday – looking at shells and trying to find whales. We were the only people out there until a friend and her two dogs came past! We were talking about how beautiful the beach was and we realised those of us in Oz are pretty lucky to live near the coast (as most of us do). One good thing living in the bush, you really get to appreciate nature. Especially now the warmer weather is coming on!

    • Hi Felicity,
      I was amused to find a big grasshopper on the beach yesterday just sitting on the sand. I plucked up the courage to nudge it to see if it was alive and it was a dead as a doornail. Nature sure is amazing. How are your friends the Kangaroos doing? Have they visited you lately?

  8. Hi Colleen! First of all I am kind of annoyed that a nasty comment was made by someone who identifies herself directly as “from Brazil”. As I said once and say it again: if you don’t like it, don’t read it. But I came here just to say that one of your links led me to find a great solution to an ongoing problem and for that, I love you! Well we use plastic bags, mostly because we always forget to take the reusable ones, because they are always out of reach somewhere we don’t even remember. Our storage of plastic bags is also messy and done in a “stuff that thing somewhere” kind of way. Well my solution is: put the plastic bags in a holder (I’ll not buy anything new, I’ll improvise with what I have 😉 ) and place them on the door to my under the sink cabinet, which can not store anything because is too humid and creates mold (yuck) so I don’t store anything there. Thank you for indicating a link that led me to another link that showed me a solution!!! Your blog is great, and we have to think about the environment, because if we don’t…big problem for us!

    • Hi Andréia,
      I am glad you found the links useful and that you found a solution to your plastic bag issue. I use those “recyclable bags” the heavy duty ones and I keep them in the trunk of my car so that the worse that can happen is if I forget them I just have to walk back out to my car. I also keep a light weight fold up one in may handbag and I have used it so many times. I taught myself to remember mine by refusing to use a bag when I forgot and had to juggles things back to the car. I soon learned to remember the bags. I hope your solution works for you but if not start learning to juggle. ,) 😆

    • Grace from Brazil

      Andreia, I am sorry if I some how offended you. That was not my purpose in my comment to Colleen at all. I hope that others did not read something into my comment that was not meant. What I was commenting on were not Colleen’s ideas at all but others. What I look so forward to on the favorite five are ideas that have to do with De-cluttering and living more freely.

      As far as the plastic bag idea I have started just putting them right back in the car so they are always with me. You did a great job in coming up with a solution that works!

  9. Hi! I was amazed at what oil is used for…I would never had imagined!!!

  10. Hi Colleen,
    The “three muskateers” as l call them are still around. Haven’t seen them go past the house lately, but they have their little paddock where they sit out in the sun oblivious to all that go past (unless they hear a dog barking). The other new “neighbours” l’ve noticed are the flock of black cockatoos that screech by. They are quite big and have yellow tails. Really want to see a wombat, l know there are around but haven’t see one yet.

    • Hi Felicity,
      when I lived in Amberley in Queensland we used to have Koalas in our gum trees. Some afternoons I used to have to protect them from the traffic as they crossed the road. They used to grunt like mad in the middle of the night at times but I didn’t mind. I used to get up to go see what they were up to.

      Those black cockatoos are noisy, we have sulphur crested ones around our neighbourhood and rainbow lorikeets and eastern rosellas. All of them are pretty noisy too.

      I hope you get to see your wombat, perhaps you need to go on a night walk to spot one.

  11. So I did go to the other links to see what the fuss was about and I’ll tell you what: we have to make people aware of what’s happening everywhere. Polluttion on the other side of the world could an will probably end at our backyard. Winds, sea currents, it is only one world and it is interconnected. So we can’t ignore it. I loved the act of civil disobedience. You protest and nobody gets hurt and what gets across is the message and not some act of violence.

    • Hi Andréía,
      pollution unfortunately is in everyone’s backyard just some more so than others. Did you know that they are building super-dams on the Amazon to supply electricity to Brazil and other growing populations in the region. As I said before there must be a better solution than that. They are introducing a carbon tax here in Australia which I don’t mind paying. I just hope the procedes actually go towards finding more carbon friendly solutions to our energy demands. I think they also need to start implementing other strategies to cut our need for oil and coal. Better public transport, solar energy on all new homes, band the manufacture of crap like McDonalds happy meal toys and the like, ban plastic bags in stores altogether which will force people to provide there own carrying solutions… Anyway enough of my ranting for one week. Thank you for your support as always minha amiga, have a good weekend.

  12. Thanks for the plug Colleen – always adds some excitement to a Friday to see my comment was memorable. I’ll try not to be a circus seal and garner for more though!

    I’m so sorry you’ve taken a battering this week. It is really hard to be thick skinned and let nasty comments pass you by. You’ve got to be strong in who you are, and what you believe and be ok with those values, and other people disagreeing with you. As long is your intent is honourable, you should be able to sit with yourself and be mostly ok.

    • Hi Snosie,
      Thank you for the good comment. No overachieving now mind. 😉 No one loves a teachers pet. 😆 Just kidding.

      I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, it is more the way they state their point that makes the difference. What is hurtful though is when they put 2 and 2 together and come up with 16. 4 = I don’t agree with you but that OK here is my opinion while 16 = I’ll just fill in the blanks, come up with my own conclusion and accuse you of being heartless. Nothing could be further from the truth. it is a risk I understand I am taking at times but as you say my intent is honourable and that sits OK with me. Thank you for your support though I very much appreciate it. Have a good weekend lets hope we continue this beautiful weather for the next couple of days at least.

  13. Ignorance is a bliss. I *do* want to engage in discussions which leve me thinking about how my small ways add up to the global environmental issues.
    Ungraceful comments are not attacks on you or your blog, but simply attempts to clear one’s conscience – nothing worse that someone else pointing at the errors in your ways, especially those you try hard to overlook.
    And while we’re at it, while I am still guilty of using plastic bags occasionally, I surely will get that heart valve if I need one, but will also I think twice over the next pack of crayons.

    • Hi Ornela,
      I think you hit the nail on the head there on all counts. And yes there are certain things on the oil products list that are far more essential than others. I don’t think I will be needed a typewriter ribbon any time soon.

  14. Cheers for the shout out! If I can help just one person to reduce food waste then job done! It is becoming an obsession though – On my mobile I have photos of my fridge interspersed with those of the kids – always good for a laugh when showing snaps of first day at school etc… at family occasions… they’ve stopped asking why I’ve photographed a broccoli head also 🙂

    • Hi Jo,
      I understand your obsession and think it is good to be passionate about something. Especially when it is something that helps to make a positive impact on the environment. Well done!

  15. Hi, Colleen. Thank you for sharing my article with your readers. After reading through the comments I see that many of your followers are less comfortable with the deeper implications of the what having the stuff that clutters their homes and lives means for the planet. I hope that those persons would pause to consider that we have to declutter because we’ve been fed a level of consumption that not only fills our homes and asks more of us in terms of cleaning, organizing, and often can contribute to an overwhelming feeling of being owned by our stuff (which is what ultimately leads many of us to a life of greater simplicity and perhaps even minimalism) but that that same fed-consumption is simply NOT sustainable for our planet. We are not only consumed by our consumption but we are robbing the planet of its depleetable resources, both awful, I fear the latter is ultimately worse though. But through our simplifying we can assume a life of less stuff, and more of all those things we want more of. I see these as all too connected, the consideration of our consumptions impact, as well as our deculttering and living with less. And I think considering the latter and doing the former, is uplifting and positive on all accounts!

    • Hi Kristy,
      thank you so much for responding to my post and thank you for putting your reputation on the line for such a worthy cause. You were very brave and I am not sure I could have done that. I do what I can with my humble little blog to encourage people to reduce their consumption, enjoy life with less and to share back to the community the items that they realise are excess to their needs. I know that there is probably a lot more that I can do and I am learning as I go through in information available through the web. Good luck to you and your part in the fight for our planet’s wellbeing. Thank you for all you do!