Friday’s Favourites ~ 12Oct2012

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!

Jen shared with us a few techniques that work for her in trying to get rid of clutter items in this comment.

Anna B shares her plans to create a space to collect all her “outgoing things” in this comment.

One of this weeks mini missions has inspired Wendy B to work on her key clutter. Here’s her comment

I like the way Sanna goes about Christmas gift giving and receiving. You can read about it here and in this follow up comment.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

Kim sent through this link that I thought you would all enjoy.

Loretta was also kind enough to send me a link this week. I had my doubts about posting this one because I didn’t like that they made it sound entirely pretentious to eating local, organic and in season foot, because for some that is an environmental choice not a form of snobbery. I really did mostly agree with the rest of the article though so I decided to share it with you anyway so here it is.

Here are a couple of articles that Moni sent with tips on yard/garage sale safety. There are some very sensible tips here and some common sense ones as well. I only hope that you see them as good advice and not let them scare you off having a garage sale altogether. Article 1  Article 2

Mark from has been commenting here just recently so I went over to his blog to do a little exploring. I found this short but simple post that I thought you might enjoy. Take a look around while you are there as I am sure he has plenty more wisdom to impart.

Today’s Mini Mission

Do a small section of a larger decluttering task that you’d rather avoid~ like my photo decluttering task. If you attack this task in small doses it will be eventually be completed without being such a drag.

Today’s Declutter Item

In keeping with today’s mini mission I have weeded out another handful of duplicate, out of focus and just bad photos. That’s one more small step towards getting this task out of the way.

Decluttered Photos

Eco Tip for the Today

Most people have digital cameras these days but some still think “old school” when it comes to printing and insist on hardcopies of everything. Why not save paper and ink and only get the photos printed that you intend to display. Even sending copies to family and friends can be done digitally. No need for waste there either.

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

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • 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. Colleen, again some great comments and links. I know that the link Loretta sent could be taken wrong but I liked it. The main thing I got out of it is that we live in a world where we are bombarded with messages that we “have” to live a certain way to be a success. The truth is we really need to live a way that is good for us and where we are in our lives. Yes there are optimal things that will help us be more healthy and debt free but they don’t have to be things designated by “them” or “They” and it’s different for every person. It also doesn’t have to be done by using name brand things, eating or shopping at certain places, or spending lots of money. I make very little money on disability yet I eat healthy, have enough, see doctors when I need to, and am happy just the way I am. I really understand where the author of the piece is coming from and I think most of us do or we wouldn’t be into decluttering.

  2. I really like the simple way Mark from explains it.

  3. That article on Loretta’s link was good -though I, like you, don’t fully agree about the point about organic and local food. I know I’m lucky to have the money to buy organic and fair food, which I do because of environmental and ethical reasons even more than health reasons. I try to be ethical in my consumption and I don’t think it’s snobbery. I can’t buy non-fair chocolate without seeing pictures of child slave labor in my head.. or cheap clothes without seeing people working in sweatshops with terrible conditions and ridiculous pay. I don’t expect everyone to be able to afford this kind of selective shopping but I don’t think it’s our birth right to drink cheap coffee and eat cheap chocolate, at the expense of other’s lives.

    I do agree about the personal “maintenance”, fashion, houses, and so on. I have never paid for a pedicure or a manicure in my life, I cut my own hair (or visit a friend’s salon once a year at most) and don’t color my hair. I don’t have perfect teeth -except that I have not had one single cavity in my life, and as we have public dental care here and the dentist isn’t making money off of me, she told me to come back in five years when I last visited :)I let my legs get hairy during the winter (and a little bit in the summer too.. )I often wear sweat pants to the grocery store and hardly ever wear make-up. I don’t pluck my brows. I have less than 20 pieces of clothing at the moment I think. We only want a small house to live in(less than 1000 sf). I know where I live it hasn’t gotten as crazy as in some other parts of the world, but sadly we are approaching. I’m doing my best to fight the “norm” becoming so absurdly distorted.

    • And others think they live the good life Cat’sMeow. Personally I think you are the one with the right ideas. The norm surely is absurdly distorted and it’s time things turned around. And that doesn’t mean that their need be no luxury at all it just means that consumption and production need to become far more sustainable and ethical all round.

  4. I agree with the post on Loretta’s link. That is exactly how we are pressured into doing “so and so” with our lives. You try a more simple aproach, less upgrade, or just what fits your budget at that moment, and you are made to look shabby. And you have to try and take one step back and live in a way that fits your needs, without going to the extra top. I specially think that these aplies in the environmental talk. I like the eco tips (don’t get me wrong Colleen), but there are a lot of bigger things going on, and some people go on and on about environment and keep on plaguing you about waste, because it has to zero, you have to let go of plastic bags, and so on and on. And in my case that’s what I identified on the post. I am taking a tiny little step, trying to grow a few things on my own, try not to send all that organic leftover to the landfill. I will see if I have sucess. But if I don’t my front yard will have some GOOD soil to grow things.

    • Hi Andréia, I am glad that you are starting to make tiny steps to do the right thing by the environment as that is what my eco tips are about. They point out more and more tiny steps that each person can make to turn this world into a better healthier place to live. Or perhaps even save it from destruction.

      However, I am afraid that I are going to have to disagree in part with what you say here. There is no “bigger thing” going on here other than people ~ each single person ~ adding to the supply and demand for all this excess. Yes they are being suckered in by flashy advertising and expectations of society but society is only made up of other single people. It is up to each one of us to see past the hype, look deeper into where all this stuff is coming from and how unethical it often is and make a stand. Take away the demand ~ that is people consuming the stuff ~ and the manufacturers naturally have to back off on supply or they don’t make a profit. It is really that simple. The demand comes from us.

      Too many people turn a blind eye because they know what they want and they don’t want guilt marring their objective or causing them inconvenience. There has not been one eco tip that I have published so far on this blog that isn’t easily achievable for anyone. Yes some of them may cause a slight inconvenience but it is the convenience items that are the most insidious when it comes to the pollution of this planet. So yes it is up to each and every one of us to make the difference that needs to take place.

      • I understand your point Colleen, and maybe I wasn’t clear. I am trying to consume less, as I have seen it is the very best course of action. What I don’t like is that people, in general, talk a lot about environment, BUT DO NOTHING. They don’t even sort out their trash. And they come to you and go on and on about how you can’t do this or that because of the environment. How you should only eat organic things and put less of a stress on the planet and they have three cars, because they need it. I think if I put less garbage on the landfill I will help. We will not buy anything for this project, we will recycle soft drink bottles, make our own fertilizer. I am not sure it will work but I am going to try. I like your tips, and if my project works I will be glad to share. What gets to me is the Wal Mart “shopers for all” that don’t give up not one confort, and the planet go jump, come lecture me about environment. Learning makes me glad, seeing what I can do to change, even if it’s 1kg less of garbage per week in the land fill is worth the hassle. But people posting “don’t throw your garbage out, because there’s no “out” for the planet” and not giving alternatives irritates me. Did they not throw their garbage out? Your eco tips are commom sense advice that sometimes no one gives. So it is not wanting to take responsability that irritates me. It is the hypocrisy that permeates our times, where people have a lot to say to others, a lot to point in others and nothing to do themselves. Keep those ecotips coming, I am eager to learn more.

        • Hi Andréia, I clearly misunderstood you the first time around and I apologise if my response offended you. You sound very passionate about learning and implementing new simple tips on how to behave in a green way. Good for you. We can learn together.

          Keep me informed no how your garden is growing. I wish you success with that.

  5. Colleen, I enjoyed the post today, especially the additional links. It gave me much to think about and consider. In reference to Loretta’s, link, it makes me sad that some people put so much value in having name brands or having a certain look. Neither of those things make me the person that I am. Thank you for today’s mini mission. This gave me the boost that I need to start a decluttter project that I have been putting off. Finding an item each day to declutter is easy for the most part, since I tend to reach for the easier items that take very little thought. There has been a project that I have been putting to the back burner, but I think it is doable, if I do not do it all at once. Doing a little at a time, will not make it so overwhelming, so I will take that approach. It is mainly dealing with paper items. They tend to build up so quickly and they fall into so many categories. Maybe, if you need future ideas of what to write a post about, you could consider writing about how to deal with paper items (cards, mail, magazines, newspapers, articles, kid’s school projects/artwork, etc., the list goes on and on).

    • Hi Jen – what project are you starting? I’m working to clear my garage floor today for a visitor arriving tomorrow with a wheelchair, hoist etc.

      • I hate to admit it, but a have a huge basket full of paper items that I need to sort through and deal with. It sits in my bedroom (of all places) and calls to me everyday, even though I have it in an inconspicuous place. Doesn’t matter how much I try to hide it, it is still there, and therefore it is time to deal with it. I think it may take me several days to sort through it since I do not wish to deal with it all at once, but I am determined to be rid of it. Good luck on your project!

        • Hi Jen – sounds like a really good project and the best thing about it is that when it is done, it will be done forever! At least that is how I cheerlead myself thru a project. Garage floor going good and just about to tackle an extra area that wasn’t on the agenda but its the last day of the school holidays here, so have the girls here to lend a hand.

          • Good luck with the garage Moni. You will feel much better when that is taken care of. I finally got rid of something out of my garage that has been lingering for a while this week and I know I am feeling good about it.

        • Jen, I know just what you mean about having a basketful of papers. I think that paper is the thing that drives me the most nuts because it doesn’t take long to pile up. I have done my best to get to where everything comes to me by email so that I don’t have paper statements and bills, etc. I have taken my name off every mailing list I can think of. Yet, there seems to be more paper coming in I can’t seem to stop. If I have a couple of busy days where I am not home enough to go through the mail then I have a pile. We recycle paper so I have a bin to put it in and I try to go through things as they come in the door but sometimes it just gets by me. My Mom doesn’t feel comfortable throwing anything away before I see it so it sits on my desk. One of the things I’m going to do in the next week or two is go through the mail with her and show her the things we don’t need to keep. There are many things I don’t even bring home from the mailbox when I get the mail. We have wall boxes in the clubhouse in our community (don’t ask me why cause I don’t know) and the clubhouse has a paper recycle bin right there. So I tear off my address or any identifying print and throw it away right then. Many times I come home with nothing because it all went in the bin. I really like that.

    • Hi Jen,
      I feel the same as you ~ I feel sad for those who find it necessary to sport bands in order to feel that they fit in or stand out. What an enormous waste of money and resources (because one is never enough either). What has the world come to. Personally I would rather not spend my money on the label of a product because it is not always a guarantee of quality.

      And Jen, regarding that paper clutter. My first rule is don’t be over sentimental as that is the biggest problem with most of what you mentioned. Consider scanning anything that a digital copy of would suffice and only keep hard copies of things that you truly hold dear.

      • Yes, I agree with your summary of labels. One can never judge a person by what brand they are or are not wearing. How much better the world would be if one spent their time on more meaningful pursuits…
        Definitely getting past the sentimental part of paper clutter will help tremendously. I will consider scanning some of the items, that will help too. Mostly though, I believe much of it will be able to go to recycling. Thanks for the advice.

  6. Thought I would report on on the progress at the home of my friend, S. She has about 300 books ready to give away, another 100+ pieces of clothes to go to the Women’s Shelter, and we are about 3/4 of the way through getting all of her scrapbook stuff organized (some is even now stored in the craft room). She is excited about how things are going and that I’m there helping her.

    • Deb J – that is great news! I have been wondering how its been progressing. Dare I ask if you and S are going to tackle any other areas of her home after the current project?

      • Moni, we are going to tackle the entire house. We are leaving her husbands office till last because it is the worst part of the house and right by the front door where everyone sees it when they come in. We have a LONG way to go but we are getting there and that’s what counts. I think next week I am going to go over and spend the night a couple of nights so we can work 3 days straight. Her twice daily radiation treatments will be over then so we won’t have to work around that schedule.

    • Thank you for the update, Deb J!
      It doesn’t sound as if you met much resistance! That’s wonderful. I love it when decluttering is mainly about getting the stuff out and not so much about pondering and considering. 🙂 Might get a little more ruthless again here, too…

      • Sanna, I think S has pondered for a long time and now she is ready to just do it. With me being willing to help she has someone to talk it over with and to just be a big boost to her. I’m her cheering section.

    • Hey, good for you Deb J. I hope she is going to take you out for a huge treat when all is done. Although I dare say seeing the joy in her face is reward enough for you. Once you are done you should arrange to do some crafting together once a month at her house. That way you can enjoy her decluttered craft room together and she will have to keep up the new decluttered state of her house because she know you will be there to check up on her. 😉

      • We have already talked about planning to have a craft day at her house. She’s so excited to have the dining room look like a dining room. She called last night about something else and said she went into the dining room to get something and was shocked because she hadn’t noticed that the floor was clear and everything gong but all the scrapbook paper. That would be gone if we had the shelf built to put it on. She’s really pleased.

        • Ha ha Deb, lucky she didn’t call the police to report that they house had been burgled. Hee hee!

          • HaHa! You are right there. They were over last night and the husband said he needed to get to his closet. I’m dancing a jig on that one.

            • Deb J, you definitely shoot to the top of the class when it comes to being a good influence on those around you. In fact you have been there for a long time now. At this point you are just going above and beyond the call of duty. There should be a medal for that. You must be feeling so good about yourself.

  7. Colleen, I’d say, it was great that you included Loretta’s link, as it caused most comments here… 🙂
    Me, too, I mostly took from it to ask yourself what degree of “perfect” is necessary after all and, even in those areas in which you don’t think the standards are too high generally (i.e. food or environment) to not beat yourself up if you make it only to 98% instead of 100%, as it could be so much worse.
    I am not always making the top-eco decision when buying food (partly due to expense), but I consider every purchase from an environmental point of view and don’t make the worst decision eco-wise either. I stick to regional or at least German or European products where possible (veggies, dairy, fruit etc.), as I know that transport expenses aren’t that high and that there are legal standards both eco-wise and for working conditions. I do sometimes get eco, if possible and not too expensive, but I focus on regional more. For imported products from farther away (exotic fruits, spices, cocoa, coffee, tea,…), firstly I try to not use them as much and I am always on the lookout for fair-trade and eco-labels, to ensure I don’t make the worst decision there. Another thing I consider is packaging, and I prefer less packaged, non-eco foods over packaged eco food. And, I’m on the lookout for certain ingredients (like palm oil) which I try to avoid as I know their production causes severe damage to the world (Indonesia is the world’s third biggest producer of greenhouse emissions, due to burning down rainforest and draining peatland, to plant palms for palm oil production). I also buy food which is about to be thrown away (we have a special market where they sell such excess food cheaply), without considering the usual criteria (I think, if it would be thrown away within the next days anyway, I might as well eat it, it already is produced and past the usual consume-circle)
    I do sometimes feel “bad” about not buying each and every product completely ecologically produced, as I simply can’t afford paying 10 times as much for certain things or just don’t have the time to make it into different shops to see if there was an even better option. Still, I am an intentional buyer and go for the best ecological options within my means, so I think, I’ll just take from that article to not beat myself up for these 2% less – than – possible, but keep in mind that I’m already doing better than many, at least constantly trying to make “good” decisions and that “perfect” is hard to obtain.

    • Hi Sanna,
      I am no saint either when it comes to being environmentally friendly. Not for one minute would I profess to be but I am learning new things all the time and implementing them into my daily routine and will continue to do so. I say well done anyone who is learning and trying it is only those who don’t even care that bother me. Well done you Sanna because I think you are much further advance than I am in the food area particularly.

  8. I’m glad that my link has generated so much discussion:-) I have a dear group of friends who are all at the top level of grooming: laser hair removal from EVERYWHERE, constant hairdressing appointments, new clothes for every special occasion, perfect nails. I admit that sometimes I feel the pressure to ‘keep up’ but I try really hard to just be myself (and sticking mylong hair in hot rollers when I go out on the town is my way of dolling myself up:-)) I know they think I’m slightly mad as I used to be the Queen of Shopping, but they love me anyway, I think;-)

    • Thanks for that link Loretta and thanks for dropping by to weigh in on the subject. I am sure you look just as, if not more gorgeous than your friends even with minimal preening. You looked beautiful to me when we met last year. And the beauty shines out from the inside as well. Hope we can get together again sometime.

  9. I actually have mixed feelings about the swistle article. I know where the writer is coming from – I could never be described as a fashionista nor a foodie – however there is a part of me that admires such people for how much effort they put in. Yes it could be described as vanity and it could be described as unnecessary, but its what gets their blood pumping and it makes the world a little bit more colourful. If they’re happy doing that, I’m happy for them. The world would be a very boring place if I was in charge of food technology and fashion.

    • Fair enough Moni. My only problem with it is how it affects the environment. All those procedures, grooming supplies and brand name products leave their own carbon footprint and using them to excess isn’t good.

      Sure if people want to spend all their time and money on how they look then they can go for it. Personally I would rather spend my time doing good deeds that make other’s live better. That being said I don’t mind a fancy meal every now and again. I do like my food.

  10. I guess I haven’t been thinking about me so much as being proud of S that she has decided to do this and get it done. Yes, she is needing my help but that’s cool. I’m having a great time with her. I just talked to her and she told me that her husband can’t go make the last hike of the season at the Grand Canyon unless he gets some stuff done on her list. And he has agreed without being upset. I’m excited that she is standing firm AND that he is actually following through. they have come a long way in a short time.