Friday’s Favourites ~ 14June2013

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!

In this comment Melissa tells us about how just the right gift from her mother helped her declutter lots of related clutter.

And this comment also from Melissa proves that happy decluttering requires good communication.

I loved this declutter story from Megan S. Sometimes leaving things lying around can actually reduced clutter rather than add to it. Read about it here.

In this comment from Christine, she tells us about how a couple of homes away from home confirmed for her what she wants for the place she actually does call home.

CJ tells us about one small clutter vice he has and has committed to find a better way for the sake of his partner. Good luck CJ.

Ideealistin’s wise thoughts on declutter regrets.

I especially like the last sentence in this comment from Andréia.

Mel has recently discovered 365 Less Things and in this comment tells us about two methods she uses to help her reduce her belongings and why.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

YouTube Video sent by Wendy F ~ ~ The Good Consumer

I always love a good blog post about cleaning without chemicals, so here is one from ~ The-countless-uses-for-baking-soda-besides-baking.

I think we have featured this article before but given Thursday’s blog topic it is worth a second look. Thank you Wendy F for reminding me of it.

Today’s Mini Mission

Empty, sort and clean out your cutlery drawer. In the last two houses I have lived in, the cutlery drawer has been right below the bread board. As a result crumbs get into the drawer. My children also had a tendency to go to this drawer for a pair of scissors to snip off the end of food packaging and then, as kids do, leave the snipped off piece in the drawer. Also twist ties and rubber bands tend to accumulate here. Being as we no longer eat much bread and the kids have left home I no longer have most of these problems. However this drawer still needs a good clean out every now and again.

Eco Tip For The Day

Don’t accept free promotional products that you have no use for. Accepting these just encourages the continuation of this practice while the environment would be healthier without the manufacture of cheap throwaway or needless items like these usually are.

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 […]
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  • 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 liked Christine’s comment especially this week – I just got back from a few days away with my partner and I have to say one of my favourite things about going away now is how simple things are having only necessities and your favourite items. I really enjoy getting away from all of the clutter, though one day I hope this won’t be the case and home will be just as relaxing as a hotel because there will be lots less clutter to get away from! At the moment I am focusing on scanning anything I would like to keep but don’t necessarily want to keep a physical copy of – old school work, odd photos which can’t be made into albums/scrapbooks, 1-2 recipes from books and so on. I’ve barely started and already my partner is pleased with the pile of items to chuck/recycle.

    I like the Good Consumer video too – it brings to mind a recent marketing ploy by Coca-Cola where there are names put on the bottles – cue lots of people buying Coke because it has their name on it… sounds weird, but it’s actually working – I’ve seen people standing and picking bottles only with the ‘right’ names on.

    • Hi Christine, my husband and I went away overnight last week end. We packed, PJs, a pair of underpants each, one stick of deodorant, toothpaste and our toothbrushes. That is the most minimal we have ever gone away with. Although my house is decluttered, staying in motels still makes me wonder how much less, stuff and space, I could live without.

      I bet it isn’t only your husband that is pleased with the clutter that is heading out the door. I dare say you are even happier than him. Paper clutter is one of the most insidious and the less of it you have to maintain the better I think.

      Have you heard of Jones Soda, you can actually order personalised dozen bottle cartons from them with a photo of your choice on. We did this for our son one year when we lived in the US. The bottle had a photo of him wielding a lightsaber. We kept three empty bottles for years after he had drank the contents. Don’t worry, they are all gone now. 🙂

  2. Colleen, thanks for reminding us of some of the great comments from this week. The video and two articles are good too. I especially liked the article from the daughter of a hoarder.

  3. The daughter’s article was terribly sad. I’ve tried to watch “Hoarders” a few times and I just can’t make it through an entire episode – so sad for all those involved and the ones who hoard animals, I absolutely positively cannot watch. Wow.

    As we are soon to go visit Mom, I have finished one of my recycled can yard art pieces and have to hurry up and get a second one done for her as she requested two. Then when we get back (and after I paint the kitchen walls and ceiling), I’ll get back to my brooch case project. Or maybe I’ll get right to the brooch case and forget about painting the kitchen!! hee hee

    We installed shelving last night in the laundry room and that is simply amazing! So pleased with that part of it. My hubby started to load it up with detergent, etc., and I said that I am looking into different containers for the various laundry items so that it doesn’t look all cluttered up. 🙂

    There were so many great posts this week. Everyone offers good suggestions and even if someone has a differing opinion, people stay nice and I sure do enjoy that, so thanks all!

    • Hi Michelle, I hope your Mom is doing well. I a sure she will be pleased to see you.

      I think you had better do those kitchen walls first you naughty thing. You brooch project reminds me of a trial run I want to do on cutting circles out of mat board to mount some coins for my husband. I must try that out soon as I have long ago gotten tired of the way they are currently displayed. Maybe I can find some play time today between the real work I have to do.

      I am glad you are happy with your shelving. Talking about laundry detergent ~ I was happy to receive a carton of it for free recently but oh my I think it will take me about three years to use it up. Considering I don’t even usually keep a spare box until I am just about scraping the bottom of the one I am using, having a carton of twelve boxes awaiting me in the shed feels an awful lot like clutter to me. Yikes!

      • Hello Colleen – we are really looking forward to seeing Mom and I know she’s excited to see us. Should be a great trip.

        And, darn it! I’d rather do crafts instead of more painting! Guess I’d better get my priorities in order, eh? I like the sound of your coin project – that should be really neat.

        Good story about the laundry detergent. Here we have gigantic membership stores where you can buy items in bulk. Many years ago, I bought a massive bag of rice. I think I made rice twice and finally tossed it a couple of years later. I would definitely categorize it as clutter!! LOL 🙂

  4. A lot of good posts this week!

    Your Eco Tip reminds me of the first time I saw someone refusing free stuff. It was at a quilting course I was attending, about 7 years ago. My friend and I thought this woman was a nutjob; fancy turning down a free tote bag, notebook and pen! Now *I* am the one getting funny looks when I turn down free stuff! Sadly, it is still a rare thing, and most people can’t believe I don’t want it: “But it’s FREE!” Sigh.

  5. An update on my ceiling storage project. Progess has been slow, though steady. The last of my current listings on freecycle left on Wednesday. I have several boxes of stuff that have been promised to relatives awaiting collection, unfortunately both individuals are away on holiday for another week, so I am trying to be patient.

    The masterplan is that nothing can return upstairs until I have finalised everything that came down. Not all of it will go this round but I’m looking for significant reduction. I’m also working on the basis that if stuff stays underfoot it is more than likely to be re-classified as a ‘nuisance’ rather than an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ status back in the storage area.

    I am about to tackle the excess number of duvet inners, I have decided to keep one spare for guests, and to gradually let the others go. I seem to have some issue about this as I have been surprisingly reluctant to instigate this. Who knows what goes on in the subconscious? I never had a cold bed as a child, so no trauma there. Never mind. Have text one sis-in-law and when the other is back from holiday, I will offer one to her too.

    • Update – my sis-in-law wants the 2 excess queen sized duvet inners as they have a camper van and she’d like to keep it set up rather than dragging stuff from the house down a flight of stairs to set up before the go. She also wants a spare duvet cover if I have one. Yes I do!

      So at this stage I’m keeping one queen for guests and will have one king size duvet inner to contemplate over the next couple of days.

      • WooHoo! Don’t you just love being able to get rid of things that easily? I’m enjoying your updates on your project. I think it is great that you are keeping everything down until the last decision is made.

    • Thanks for the update Moni. I like the idea of leaving the stuff underfoot with the thought that it might end up being labelled as nuisance. It is funny how you have too many duvet inners as I have too few. The kids took theirs when they left and I got short notice of visitors coming next week and it has left me scrambling. I have taken one back from my daughter for the time being as so many possibilities of change are going on around here (at my place and the kids) that I am reluctant to buy a new one if in the long term I won’t need it. I love the challenge of making things work without buying, for the environment and for my back pocket.

      • Colleen, I’m like you. I would rather borrow than have to buy. Mom has a problem with it. I told her a while back that she needs to get over it.

  6. Ah just this week I put up photos of my kitchen drawers (mini mission today) taking photos knowing you have to explain them really helps me have a critical look at everything. Though, the utensil drawer is a bit crumby so I’ll get onto cleaning that this weekend

    • You are so right Sarah N, posting areas of you home on line sure is a good way to make you look at it with a seriously critical eye. I have done this many a time and as soon as the camera goes to my eye I set it down again and tweak things.

  7. Hi Colleen, Thanks so much for including my comment from this week! Interesting articles today. Hoarding clearly greatly affects other family members. Today I was reading a discussion about how to make soap last longer, and one of the posters mentioned that when her mother died, aged 87, they found 144 bars of soap in her home which they calculated would have lasted her for about 12 years. Another person commented on her mother hoarding dozens of extension cords. I guess the fear of being without something is very powerful.

    • Hi Christine, I agree the fear of being without something is very powerful. The funny thing is that if you hoarded the money instead of the stuff you would end up far better off in the long run.

      On the subject of soap, I always add the last chard of the previous bar to the new one so all of it gets used up and nothing goes to waste. When both bars a wet the glue together quite nicely.

      • I think fear is a very real part of some peoples clutter. Fear of being without and not being able to get what you think you need. Fear of what others will say. Fear of not fitting in. So many fears.

  8. Hi! I really enjoyed the link Wendy F sent. It lead me to look for more along the same lines and it got me to this link on the same page: It spoke to me because hoarding shows have been fundamental on me getting rid of more and more stuff. Every Sunday, at 9 pm for about six months I tuned into TLC´s “Hoarders: Buried Alive” and as I watched I kept thinking that I never wanted to be like that. And while the show was aired I was going through folders of papers, merciless tossing loads of papers I had kept for 7/8 years and realized were very much useless. Or I was going through my books and seeing them , really seeing and accessing which ones I REALLY liked and wanted to keep. I did like the link Wendy F sent. And great comments from everyone. Thank you for mentioning my comment Colleen. I wrote those sentence thinking about the big changes I want to make in my house and how those changes will confirm I am letting go of the past and starting a new momentum in life. Clutter free, hopefully! 😉

    • Andreia, I followed your link. It’s a really good article. I think we all have things that we struggle or have struggled with in the decluttering process. I think the thing that made the biggest impression on me was all the stuff Mom insisted on keeping when my father died (we got rid of a huge amount of stuff too) and the work I have helped my friend, S, with. It all has made me want to have very little and leave behind very little.

      • Hi Deb J! I agree with on what is going to be left behind. I am probably going to leave a functioning house, with all that it entails for me to live a full, meaningful life. What I don´t want to leave behind and you don´t either as you wrote, is a house with so much stuff that no one knows what is useful and what is not. So many belongings that leave the already mourning relatives more upset and is just “junk” in the end. I am working to have that feeling around my house. It is hard, because we hang on to the most stupid and useless items. I just found a 2004 Palm one that does not work anymore – never did with me – and it was a “hand me down” I got in 2007. Why I kept it all this time one will never know…:D 😀 😀

        • Andriea, I think we all have those things we can’t figure out why we hung on to them. I know that for me most of the time the odd things I hung onto were because I was just to lazy to take the time to dispose of them properly. I have this bent toward proper recycling and because of that can put things off. I’m working hard to stop that.

    • Andreia – that is a really article, I like how she points out that a hoarder doesn’t have a present, what a waste of life. I can understand the idea of how the lady said she’d rather the house burnt down, it saves confronting individual issues and attachments, however, I’m pretty sure she’d simply replicate the situation in the next house. And I think we could all agree that getting rid of stuff is actually quite hard work!

      • Hi Moni! I think that when they talk about “losing it all in a fire” they have no idea that the problem is within them. I completely agree with you that decluttering and getting rid of all that was accumulated is real hard work. And it can´t be done overnight. I think that back in 2006 if some TV crew invaded my house and did a complete “makeover” we (me and my husband) would freak out and be hoarders, in the full sense of the word, today. However, since the change came from our own minds and hearts it was and it will always be slow, but it will keep. My husband takes a little longer to decide over stuff than I do (and I am slow…). I am letting him mull over his decisions. Whatever he has decided to donate is still in full sight. That way I make sure his decision is final. I did bully him on a couple of occasions, but he latter recognized it was for the best. He now wants new sweaters. I told him that sure he could have new ones if he pointed the ones he wanted to donate. He said the ones he had were fine and did not need to be donated, he wanted to keep them. Then I said he did not need new sweaters. The subject was dropped…like a boiling potato! 😀 😀 😀

        • Well done Andréia, over the sweater situation. It reminds me of when Bridget was younger and we would move out hands up and down like scales and say to her “need, want, need, want”. She says she thinks of this whenever she buys things. It seems we have scared her for life 😆 . It works sometimes but other times no.

        • Andreia, your husband sounds like my mom. She said yesterday that she would like some new clothes. I don’t blame her because she has been wearing the same things for quite a few years. But it isn’t that she needs them but is just tired of what she has and wants something new to wear. Unfortunately, not only would she probably have a hard time getting rid of the old ones (because they are still good) but we really don’t have the money to replace her clothes even at thrift store prices. I think your husband just wants something new to add to the mix like my mom.

      • Oh, and I am tempted to keep those suits just to get you to visit me over here. Then again, the thought of us fighting over 10/12/14 year old suits in full sight of the neighbours is not a nice one… 😀 😀 😀

        • Andreia – I’m just picturing me turning up in my wedding dress (which wouldn’t be able to be done up at the back so I’d probably have a tshirt or something on underneath) and us having a tug of war over the suits. Yup, it would certainly get the neighbours attention!

    • Good for you Andréia and thank you for the link. I am so glad that you are seeing and enjoying the progress you are making.

  9. I think your Eco tip should extend to all Free Stuff! Even stuff that people are giving away on the side of the street.😉.

    I think Moni first posted the link to ‘My Mother ..’ I have it in my bookmarks and it gets opened quite often by mistake when I hit the wrong tab.
    It had been a great week for me. I can declutter almost anything 😜. So I am thinking that if I focus on cleaning the house and keeping it clean, then the clutter will eliminate itself over time. This Probably seems pretty obvious to most people, but not to me 💡.

    • Thanks again Colleen, your a wizard!

      • It is absolutely my pleasure Wendy. I am going to make a neat freak out of you yet. Like I said to you the other day ~ You listen to what I say, mull it over and come to your own conclusions as to how that applies to your situation. You are doing well my friend.

  10. Thanks Colleen for another great collection of comments and web finds. I especially liked ” the Good Consumer” – but I wonder if those in the thrall of consuming would realise what the video was intending. I hope so 🙂

    • I linked the video to a friend, her comment was it was long and depressing and she had to go out shopping 😉

    • I wondered about that myself Megan and almost but a message to that effect. I gave everyone the benefit of the doubt that they would understand it was poking fun at consumerism and advertising hype.

  11. I love your Eco Tip. And coincidentally, I wrote about just this in my latest post on the perils of conferences. Not only the peril with amount of food you consume at a conference, but the excess things they give you, generally in the name of advertising and promotion. I said no to free things from all the sponsors. Other conference attendees thought I was strange, but really how many pens, highlighters, note pads, lanyards, sharpeners, bags do you need? I only decluttered the gumpf from last year’s conference a month ago. And I didn’t enter any of the prize draws. I don’t want to win things I don’t need.

    When I got home my children asked what freebies I had to give them. Only a USB drive each, which they needed. They weren’t disappointed, they just expected I would arrive with bag loads of stuff.

    So an Eco win in many ways. I did not accept things that only add to the manufacturing of environmentally unfriendly plastic. I did not add to landfill, only taking home things that would be used.

    And a decluttering win. I did not add what really is rubbish to my emptying junk room.

    • Lucinda, good for you and not taking things from the conference. The first time I went to one if they handed it to me I took it. Then I wondered why. But I took it back to work with me and gave it all away. That was the last time I did that. From then on I took nothing unless it was something I really needed which was very seldom. I also find that lots of people will go to a conference and to keep themselves entertained in the evenings will go shopping. I didn’t do that either. In fact, other than one time when I combined a conference with a vacation I would not even get a rental car. I would take some books to read, use the pool or gym and go home with nothing new.

  12. That Salon article was EXCELLENT! Thanks for posting. I must have missed it earlier.

  13. I have to say it. That video was very depressing. Tongue in cheek or not, I was left with a very uncomfortable feeling that too many people BELIEVE that crap. And even more people LIVE it!

  14. Great stuff this week, Colleen. I did find the article about the daughter of a hoarder very sad. It brings to reality how clutter can have such an impact on other family members. It tied in greatly with your post this week. I found the video to be so true of what the mindset can become if we let influences in.

  15. Colleen, wanted to tell you how much I enjoy the Friday Favourites. I enjoy your blog and the comments from everyone but only make time on Saturdays to catch up. Keying on the Friday Favourites takes less time and I get the “best of the best”. Thank you for your inspiration and insight.