Fridays Favourites ~ 20July2012

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!

Here is Ingrid’s success story . Her advice to stop shopping is the best I can give anyone if they want to get and stay uncluttered. Well done Ingrid.

Valerie has just begun her declutter journey please give her some encouragement. The past is in the past Valerie, it is onwards and upwards from here.

Here is a wonderful comment from Stephanie who is in the middle of decluttering things passed down to her from lost loved ones. She has such a wonderful attitude to letting go which has turned full circle from her days of hanging on. Decluttering is all about the attitude and only you can determine that.

Here is a comment from Gen who is reading through the 365 archives. She tells us how she is letting go of sentimental clutter in the form or cards, letters and the like.  She has found a good way to preserve the items that mean the most while letting go of the ones only kept out of habit.

I enjoyed the two stories Maggie shared with us in this comment. One of the good old days when the simple things in life were the norm. And the other of her recent trip to the beach where 365 advice was in her head when it came to souvenirs.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

Here is a link that is more about financial smarts than about  clutter but if we were all this smart with money clutter would be out of the question. Oh to be so financially switched on at such a young age.

This post has a write up about the NY Times article I linked to last week but it is the video ~  Clear the clutter to sell your house ~ that I wanted to share with you. The videos I am referring to is the first one to appear.  Some of the other videos are interesting. There are also some other links includes in the article that are worth a look.

I love the lead-in to this article about the miscellaneous kitchen drawer. The points made are great too of course, especially number 3) Be decisive – most clutter is unmade decisions.

Here is a decluttering post written by Jane Harries, one of our fellow 365ers. Take a read and leave her some encouragement. Also take a look at this little cartoon she found on Facebook. I thought it was amusing yet makes a good point.

I stumbled upon this article while looking for something else but how ingenious, resourceful yet simple is this solution to a problem.

Declutter your need for instant knowledge is the advice in this blog post from

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter some books ~ I know I mention this one often but it was bought to my attention again this week when I received an email from one of my readers that has been with me form way back. She has managed to declutter one third of her sizeable book collection over the last twelve months. Rachel has been slowing decluttering in preparation for a downsize move. She has finally made the move and is now decluttering more as she settles in to her new home.

Today’s Declutter Item

I didn’t have any books to declutter as per today’s mini mission but I do have something in the paper product category. These photo mats were excess to my needs so I packaged them up and sent them off to the thrift store.

Photos Mats

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Just another uneventful yet pleasant day with the anticipation of a lovely dinner with friends to finish it off with.

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. As usual some really great comments and links. I especially liked the one about the 1 liter lights. It’s a mind blower. It really is something to think of what that little bit of recyclable material can do. I’ve been intrigued by the Tiny House movement. I keep watching it and thinking about what I could do SOMEDAY. I was very interested in mmmlist’s discovery about turning off the computer and finding out what you want to know. I’m trying to wean myself back from being online so much. I could sit here all day. Not a good thing.

    • I loved the one about the lights too. What a clever and sustainable option to their lighting problems. Here we are in our opulent homes ~ whether they be big or small they are still opulent in comparison to the homes in that article ~ still finding things to moan about each day while these folks are delighted at the thought of a plastic bottle light fixture. Like I said in Tuesday’s post ~ We are spoiled and conned.

      You are right Deb J, sitting at the computer all day is not a good thing even for me trying to maintain a blog to help others. I make a point of doing other stuff so I can’t be on it all the time. Just think how much decluttering and reorganising you could do with the extra time you free up. Better still get our of the house and enjoy the sunshine or socialise more.

      • Grace from Brazil

        When I first saw an article about these lights a few months ago I was completely hooked, since I live in a country where these roof tiles are the norm. I was even thinking how I could put them in our own house. I mean everyone wants to recyle items and save money at the same time, right? But as I thought about it some more I wondered about several factors that these articles don’t treat.

        First of all this is light only during the day. When they say solar lighting or indoor lighting it makes us assume that it is somehow harnessable or services the house all the time. But it is only during daylight hours, which many times brings enough light. In my tropical home I don’t need light during the day. Now if they could turn that into harnessed solar energy that would so revolutionary! May be that is the next thing the MIT students can do. (I don’t mean that flippantly at all.)

        In Brasil, at least, there also exists roofing of this type that is transparent so that would also let light in. I used them in a dark kitchen I once had and more recently we closed in a small patio to make a service area and I put in two transparent tiles so no lights are needed during the day. They are wonderful. A negative for these roof tiles is the heat that also comes in with the light so I wondered if the water bottles would generate any heat as well. kind of like what a magnifying glass would do. The article did not say.

        Also the use of these lights would not prevent the use of the kerosene lamps at night. So the danger still exists.

        The other thing I thought about is that having these lights means there can be no drop ceiling. (We have very cheap pvc ceiling in our home.) There are a lot of implications for not having ceilings like any thing can come into the house where the wall meets the roof tiles, like birds, rats, bats, moquitoes, cats, etc.. I speak from experience. : ) You can’t have the 2-liter bottle lights and a ceiling. Yes, it does provide light in dark houses during the day but this solution seems a superficial one at best and does not really treat some central issues. I think it makes us feel good seeing items recycled and I am all for that. But it still leaves some some difficult issues to deal with that we must not overlook like real energy solutions and rampant disease that comes from being exposed to rats and mosquitoes in these impoverished neighborhoods.

        • Hi Grace!

          I read the article like those bottles do give light after nightfall. They recharge during the day and then give light when it gets dark for a couple of hours. That’s also like LED solar lights work here which some people buy for their gardens.
          I’m not an expert though, that was just what I took from this article.

          • Grace from Brazil

            Sanna, I had not read anything about that. I really appreciate you letting me know. I guess I needed to be “enlightened”. : )

            I am really impressed with the Brasilian government, though. They have a program, Electricity for Everyone. A friend of mine went on a boat trip to get away from it all and ended up staying in a river home, way way way far away and ended up with light and TV! Ha! But there are many places without electricity still.

  2. I need to do this decluttering mission. I do it every three months or so. And about a month and a half ago, I bought a bunch of books (one of my local thrift stores sells used paperbacks for ten cents….I’m a sucker for mysteries) and now I need to pass them on to other people.

    I will never likely be one of those people with just own a Kindle and a couple of physical books. I like my Kindle a whole lot but it simply doesn’t replace the experience of holding an actual book or seeing the color and texture of book series I love (and re-read regularly) on my bookshelf. Ah, I do sometimes wish I could fully convert to e-books.

    Off to read the links provided. Have a lovely weekend!

    • I am not the person to give advice about decluttering books as I have no love of owning them. My simple advise would be to just get rid of them. Enjoy them for the words and pass them on. But like I said I have no love for the physicality of them, I feel no need to possess them once I have finished reading them. I am a library person, if I want to read something more them once I will just borrow it again. Other people would probably not understand why I have an area in my home dedicated to craft and considering how little of it I do these days I have to wonder about that myself. So each to his own.

    • Grace from Brazil

      Rachel, I don’t think it has to be either or. I love my Kindle but I also enjoy reading print books. And if there are books that I will definitely re-read then I keep them. But there are those books that have been on my shelves for years and I have not picked them up. Those are the books that need a new home! May be someone else is looking for that particular book. But keeping a book just in case I might read it again is not a good enough reason and besides I might just find it again years down the line. Can you make a deal with yourself? Like, for every new book you bring in you need to get rid of one. That might keep you a little bit more serious about the books you have and about those you think you need. I have a shelf of books now that I have owned for a long time but have not read. I asked myself if I really wanted to still read them and my answer was “yes”. So I separated them and am working through them. So far some I have read and enjoyed but won’t keep while others I am saving for my teenage daughter to read. I think when it comes to book clutter it only pertains to those books we hold on to but don’t really intend to read or read again.

      • I would be a kindle lover if I could read the subjects I am interested in : theology, social science, philosphy … . I checked once, the only books I have bought where neither in easy-to-go libraries nor on kindle. As for reading on my laptop, my aging eyes do not enjoy it !
        Well, I might be dishonest.

        Though, I decluttered lots of books three years ago and know I miss some of them so badly that I will buy them again very soon !
        s ago

      • I am a HUGE fan of my e-reader, I have always loved books but had a wrist injury and found it difficult to hold up a book for the length of time that I like to read. I have come to prefer reading on an e-reader but took some time transfer loyalties.

  3. Great links this week, Colleen! Thanks!
    Decclutter a few books? which ones? which ones? I’ve begun to go through my children’s book collection and decide which books are staying and which are going. It’s a slow process.

    • The children’s books that I am keeping ~ not for me but for my kids ~ are in a box in the garage. It is only my daughter who wants them now so when she visits I get her to do another look through to make sure she still feels the same about keeping them. As a result they have been transferred to a smaller box over the years.

  4. Big sigh – I truly am the Pied Piper of books. Two boxes of books were returned to me recently from a long term loan – I was hoping they wouldn’t come back but maybe they are decluttering too. Entire sets of Horrible Histories, Murderous Maths, Horrible Geography and Horrible Science. I initially tried to to sell the set of the science books on trademe but no takers for a whole set, I did think about splitting up them but my son felt that the best thing about those books was that we had the set and he felt they should stay together.

    To cut a long story short (as I now had two big boxes sitting in my garage) I was in contact with a learning institution who supported us when my son was younger and I learned they were trying to set up a library but had little to no funding. I asked them if they would be interested in them as a donation – they were very eager, so yesterday two big boxes of books left on the courier.

    • I bet that felt good Moni – to get rid of something, but to someone who really wants , needs and appreciates it ! Very satisfying !

  5. Another wonderfully , inspirational week ! I totally agree about how spoilt and conned we are. Conned into consuming and containing what we consume, then we are dazed and confused with what to do with it. We are then Spoilt with so much choice , it takes days to decide which item to buy, we have to consider so much about the purchase.
    In Australia, you only have to keep financial records for tax purpose for five years, so this week I was able to empty a large plastic box with outdated records. Yippee.
    Cindy’s deadly fifty list of what inspired you to de clutter made me stop and think about my “journey”. I am now more focused on the future, than dwelling in the past. Everyday you learn some more and it is wonderful to have some control over stuff instead of it controlling you(another of those pesky cons)
    I loved Thursdays post by Anonymous, well done !

  6. I’m honored to be mentioned as one of the Favs for the week of July 🙂
    It’s been a bit under a month and I have went through a year and a half of archives…almost caught up. I had been stuck off my feet for a full week, so that helped. It’s taken me a while because I try to read most of the comments…and cheer/moan/hope with the wonderful readers along the way.