Friday’s Favourites ~ 29June2012

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!

I like this little story from Debbie in Alberta about her Freebie decluttering effort. It just goes to prove you don’t know how things will work out until you give it a shot. Nothing ventured nothing gained as they say.

I loved how Jane’s kindness reaped an unexpected reward in this comment that she left on Friday. Seeing how other people live can be food for thought about your own surroundings.

I think Sanna found her own solution to or at least cause of her messy kitchen in this comment she left in response to Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom. If laziness is the cause the solution is obvious.

The readers had a lot of fun in response to Moni’s Tea Chest Challenge on Tuesday. It was Holly’s answer that I liked the most because she is almost living this situation at the moment and yet her answer was so simple and that is what it was all about I thought. Keep it simple. If I were to find myself in this situation I would use it as an opportunity to see what I could do without.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

Here is the latest interview from Mohamed Tohami @ Midway Simplicity

People often think that minimalist living means boring spaces but that isn’t the case. Here is an article with 5 tips for stylish minimalist décor.

If you ever need a reminder that you shouldn’t over consume this is it.



Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter a wad of papers ~ out of date bills, tax papers, manuals or warranties…

Today’s Declutter Item

Here is a little more of the craft clutter that left my house last month. This lot went straight into the recycling bin.

More Craft Clutter

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Feeling more normal every day. The side affects of having an operation are beginning to wear off. I hate to think about the cocktail of drugs they pump into a person’s body to keep them oblivious to what is going on during an operation but my goodness it is better than the alternative. Ether or a good swig of whisky really wasn’t all that effective. 😉 Modern medicine, now who isn’t grateful for that!

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. Hi Colleen,

    Thanks a lot for sharing a link to my blog. I appreciate it 🙂

  2. Good comments and links. Glad you are improving, Colleen. Having surgery is not fun but when needed like you I’m sure glad for modern medicine.

  3. Forgot to tell you that the first two links go to the same article.

    • Oh, thank you Deb J, all fixed. I nearly didn’t do a faves this week as I really haven’t been web surfing much (actually I am never web surfing much) and I thought I might put in a guest post instead. So it was I bit last minute and is no wonder if I made a mistake or two.

  4. Thanks for the links… Shame the nasty things people said about the ‘story of stuff’ lady. But I can’t agree with her more. I’m really thinking how to get to zero waste (recycling and compost are OK). I don’t think I’ll ever be ‘perfect’ but it’s a good aim to help my consumption – no more disposable coffee cups or cutlery, choosing paper or glass over plastic (I’m never quite sure if my plastics will get recycled…).

    • At least you are trying Snosie and like a think a day decluttering small incremental changes can make a big difference. Before I got more determined to reduce the amount of garbage bags I use I think we probably emptied our kitchen bin three times a week and the recycling bin about the same. By making just a few changes like storing meat scraps in the freezer until bin day and by throwing my veggie scraps in the garden I reduced my garbage to one bag a week. And the changes with my recycling were so effortless that I don’t even know how that reduced by a least half as well.

      • Oh I like meat in the freezer idea! I put mine in my bokashi bucket (when it’s not full… or I’m lazy and haven’t arranged to empty it). Otherwise, I through them in the bin, but for some reason, they dry out, rather than fester. I would try the freezer idea, but we have 3 weekly garbage pickups, which in a way makes it harder to remember when would be a good time to take stuff out! Sunday is useless – either WAY too full, or the bins are already on the street, which is another step to get to them. So, now I just take either rubbish or recycling down when it’s full and try to track how often I am, and slow it down…

  5. Fellow declutterers, I need help. I have been stagnant for weeks now. I have stuff set aside that I do not want but I am overwhelmed, yet again, by the sheer amount of stuff I just don’t want to deal with any more. We are no longer even barely pack rats, just “normal”…but we have far more than we want or need and I am tired. I wish I had a friend who could come help me just to keep me motivated.

    I know I have a baby and a preschool-aged kiddo but I just wish I had more done for them, not less.

    Encourage me? Please? I can do this…right? I feel so tiny among so much unwanted stuff.

    • Hi Lynn,
      don’t think about how much there is mate, just one thing a day. Pick the things that are easy to get rid of, things that can go straight to the thrift store. Stack them until you have a car load and then get them out of there. Sometimes it gets tiresome trying to recoup money for the things you are going to get rid of so just ignore those things for now and work away at the other things. Once you feel like you are making progress your enthusiasm will return. As I always say finding that one thing a day may be slow progress but that is better than no progress. And YES you can do it.

    • Lynn, you can do it kiddo. Just one day at a time and one thing at a time. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Each morning get up and remind yourself this is a new day. You can do ONE thing. Just remember that Colleen has been at this for 674 days or so and still has things she will be decluttering. Don’t let that discourage you but instead let it invigerate you. Also, ask you hubby to take that kids for a walk or something for one hour on the weekend and then use that time to tackle something you feel needs to be done all at one time. This is not a sprint but a marathon.

      • Thanks Deb.

        Your suggestion really spoke to me. Why *shouldn’t* I ask hubby to take the kids for a walk? He loves to go out with them and I can get some “me time” to declutter for 30 minutes every few days instead of doing it late at night when I’m tired. You’re brilliant and I am absolutely taking your advice!

    • Hang in there, Lynn. Your comment resonates with me, as I’ve been there. The first thing I would tell you is LET GO of the notion that you have to have it all together right now. I know for me, a baby takes all my attention, so if I can keep up with laundry and cooking that first year, I’ve accomplished a lot. (We’ve had lots of scrambled egg dinners.)

      If you do feel like you need to make at least some progress, box or bag up the stuff you have set aside and call a charity that picks up donations. If you don’t have one locally, check Craigslist or the newspaper for someone offering to haul off garage sale leftovers. I agree with Colleen, don’t putz around right trying to find homes or worrying if it could be sold. The relief of getting it out of your house — and off your mind — is worth so much.

      Then, have a box, bag or bin for unwanted items, maybe on the floor of a closet or in the laundry room. For some reason, it seems to help to have that designated spot for things to collect in, that way they don’t hover around and continue to get in the way. Once a week put it in the car and drop it off, whether there’s one thing in there or a dozen (or more).

      You CAN do this. And I have a feeling that you are doing plenty for your children.

      • Thank you, Vivian. You’re right. I have a baby and babies mean that I don’t have to have it all together. I need that reminder sometimes. 🙂

        I also really appreciate that last line. I don’t think we ever feel like we do enough for our kids, but I am trying my hardest.

    • YES YES YES you can do this! Hang in there Lynn. My kids are now 7 and 8; and the results I see in them for their efforts at cleaning their rooms and thinking about what they can give away, are wonderful!!!!

      It is tough right now, I KNOW, I’VE BEEN THERE!!!! However, keep at it slowly and don’t let the piles drag you down. Load stuff in the car to go to the thrift, load up the kiddies, drive over and drop it off, then come home and get everyone down for a happy nappy (even YOU!).

      Just take baby steps and keep at it. Sometimes there will be two steps forward and one step back; and then one step forward and two steps back, but trust me, if you just follow what Colleen/Cindy and the 365’ers discuss (slow and steady) then you will be OK!!! Oh, and try not to bring more in (that is the hard part for me and still is, but I’m better). With little kids that part is even harder due to gifts and freebies (clothing – which can be a great freebie!!!). So just keep at it. We love you and we’re there with you every step of the way! 🙂

      • *breathes* One item a time…and bringing stuff in. That last one is hard! It’s so easy to bring stuff in when you have little ones around.

    • Hi Lynn – hang in there. Even if you do one drawer or one little area that builds up a pile of clutter (I am looking at one that has recently developed on my desk) just do that. I agree with Colleen, somethings it is better to just get things moving out the door rather than hold things up with auctions or classified sales. Of course if it is particularly valuable that is different, but if each item is only going to yield a couple of bucks, it is better to let them go. I have read it here and elsewhere that gifting out often brings rewards back to the household. That’s not my motive for donating to goodwill but it is a byproduct that pops up every now and then, and in different forms.

      I also hit plateaus, I have had pretty well two weeks off due to family committments on my time and I feel a little out of “shape” but I have written my list and have hubby recruited to do the grunt work for me today.

      Hang in there!

      • Calico ginger

        Dear Lynn, sometimes even dealing the charity shop stuff is too much – look around you for the actual rubbjsh, broken toys, worn out clothes, expired foodstuffs, dead pot plants and bin/compost them! Cheering results from almost zero effort. Anyway, best wishes and remember (as someone else memorably said on this forum once) you have an international cheer squad thinking of you and sending you encouraging thoughts…

      • Thanks Moni! I actually find that too. The more we give away, the more blessed we are, but not necessarily with stuff. (Though I find we run into what we need just when we need it…hmm…)

    • Lynn, here’s what I ‘ve been doing & it seems to appeal to my get-it-done-in-big-bites mentality.

      I have a space set aside for Ebay things – stuff I know that will sell & stuff I know I can get a decent amount of money for my efforts. Not awkward items that are pesky to box & ship – just the no-brainer things I know that will sell. Don’t put too much effort in this really. List it & be done with it.

      Now for those items that are awkward, heavy, breakable & not worth futzing with Ebay BUT I know I can get some money for – I take those to a consignment shop. One that doesn’t sell clothing – just household goods, decorative stuff, etc.

      Now for clothes that didn’t sell on Ebay but I’m sure will sell to my someone in my local area – then I take those to a clothing/accessories consignment shop.

      Everything else? Donation store. Keep a detailed itemized list in case you go over the $500 tax deduction limit (US taxes).

      Giving things to friends & family? Well yeah, I suppose that’s good but bleh. Truly it’s a time-eater & seems to require too much effort on my part it seems.
      Time is of the essence in purging this stuff & I can make the rounds to all the above stores pretty quickly. If I give things to family or friends – now we got chat & gab & chit-chat & time is lost. I don’t want to get in a discussion about all this with them.

      Anyways, I find putting the stuff to donate & consign in my car is really all the motivation I need to get the ball rolling. I don’t like having stuff in my car, so I’m very motivated to take it to consginment/donation store quickly!

      Don’t want to mess with selling on Ebay or other online thing – then go directly to the consignment shop & or donation store. Just get the stuff outta your house. It’s not gonna leave on it’s own.

      Driving FROM the donation store or consignment store with a now empty car (& thus less cluttered house) is a quiet little self-satisifying feeling. It’s freeing & lifts the weight off your back.

      Need a super huge dose of motivation & stress relief? This is a good solution & I’ve done this a few times & man has it given me the BEST results.

      Say screw it & take ALL those items you have set aside in your house…you know the stuff that inspired you to ask us for motivation & help with? Yeah that stuff. Well throw it in the car & take it to a donation store. Pack it up. Drive it to the store. Unload it. Get back in your empty car. Grab the steering wheel with both hands & take a deep breath & let it go. Literally & figuratively. Now smile & even laugh at just how quick that went. Don’t spoil the moment fretting over what you had originally paid or how much all that cost you.
      It’s not your stuff anymore.
      It’s someone else’s problem!

      • It seems I was unclear. I am not holding this stuff to sell. I have stuff set aside, ready to go to Goodwill or any other place like that, BUT I have so much other stuff that I don’t even want to deal with any more.

        The money aspect of it…unless it’s something I can sell easily or for a lot, I don’t bother with it any more!

        • Hi Lynn,
          I am sorry I was probably channelling selling being the issue as it is usually the reason why I find things a little hard to shift at times. Luckily I am starting to run out of things that I would consider selling.

          • It was for the longest time. I think you are the one who helped me get past the mentality of needing to sell. Now I sell things like my daughter’s diapers (we use cloth diapers) which are always easy to sell, or electronics (ex: digital camera), or big lots of things that I post for maybe two weeks and then donate. (Baby gear or clothes tend to go fast in groups.)

            So thank you for that! It stings a little if I see something I bought for $50 go to the donate bin without enough use but letting it sit around isn’t doing anyone any favors.

            • Hi Lynn, I love that you use cloth diapers, good for you. I must admit disposable diapers were a new invention when my kids were born but cloth ones were easy enough to wash and way less expensive than buying disposables all the time.

              You have inspired me to list my husband’s ski jacket one more time on ebay and then I think it will be off to the thrift shop. Perhaps it will be third time lucky.

      • Jane, I like the point you made about the amount of time it takes when giving to friends and family. It takes longer, because it’s a visit and a story time for every single item…too much, too much. If I know they need something in particular, perhaps I’ll save it (like baby clothes for my cousin with a newborn) but otherwise, just pass it on without offering it up!

    • I’ve been thinking some more. You know it is easy to put too much on our own shoulders and then it overwhelms us. I kow that for a while there I was like that. I wanted things done NOW and because all I could see was the “mess” I got overwhelmed. Then I realized that a lot had been accomplished and I needed to celebrate and acknowledge it. So, say that, maybe you need to take some time and stop looking at all you feel you have left to do and instead look at all you have accomplished already. And this you have done while having a baby and a toddler. Honey, what you have done is great. Just keeping your head above water with two little ones is a miracle. So take deep breaths and when you feel overwhelmed just remind yourself that you are slowly accomplishing your goal and you will get there. Hang in there girl. You can make it. Just don’t push yourself and don’t expect miracles at this stage in your family.

  6. Also, Colleen, I am glad you are improving.

    • Thanks mate, I am doing quite well I think. Although I feel a little vague most of the time. My wise arse husband says that is normal for me. Being as it is a hysterectomy I have just had he shouldn’t be so cheeky or I can drag this recovery out for quite a while (if you get my meaning 😉 ).

      • He ought to treat you like a QUEEN for this. Pfft.

      • Recovery takes a bit but tell hubby the benefits are super. Grin!!!!

      • Might I say I’m jealous!!! (I know, crazy talk mate!). I was just thinking about having one myself! Ugh. However, for the results to be GONE with this silly monthly stuff (at my age I’m ready), then Yah! 🙂 ???!!!??? Anyway, I do hope you are feeling better! 🙂

        • Hi Annabelle,
          I tried every other procedure possible to solve the issues I was having but nothing was successful. It was either op for the last resort or put up with it for possibly another 10 years. Seven years was long enough I opted for the last resort. Every person I know who have had the hysterectomy were glad they did and wondered why they put up with their issues for so long before making that choice. I am sure, once I am healed that I will be saying the same thing ~ seven+ years was too long.

  7. My furniture is now mostly painted – though I need to paint a couple of more things, but I need to buy new paint first – and as I predicted (but somehow forgot on the way), everything is slowly looking nice again.
    I’ve rearranged a lot of furniture the other night and now everything has a reachable place again. Within a few hours even the badly cluttered surfaces in the kitchen lightened, although I haven’t been intentionally cleaning there.
    It’s really true that clutter attracts clutter and having a nonfunctional space in one area creates a lot of mess in other areas as well.
    I’m dreading to return to the final painting, as it will cause temporary mess again (though it’s “only” one table, one chair and one stool, luckily no cupboards), but I will be so happy, when it’s finally over.

    • sanna, it’s great that you have the majority of the painting done. Just think, you have so little left that it shouldn’t be long before you are done. Then you can get everything back in it’s place and feel so good about it all. You did good!

    • Hi Sanna – glad sanity is returning to your home.

      • The beauty of having to disrupt your surrounding to make improvements is the joy of revelling in the end result. Not just the new fresh painted furniture but putting every thing back in its place. Big sight of relief for you Sanna.

  8. Happy to hear you are recovering quickly from your surgery. It certainly did not slow you down on the blog.

    Great shares this week.

    • Actually it has Larry. I have had Moni do some guest posts I have two others in the wings from other readers and I opted out of this weeks Simple Saturday post. Naughty me. I actually nearly opted out of this post as well and used one of those extra guest posts but changed my mind at the last minute.

      Funny thing about operations, it is the hangover affect from all the drugs they pump into you that leave one feeling rather vague. It has left me without much imagination or enthusiasm when it comes to writing post. I am sure it will pass soon enough.

  9. Always wonderful links to great reads!!!

    For the 20 ways to declutter (or whatever it is called), number 18 hit home, in my opinion, as being WRONG (buy more organizational stuff)! NO NO NO DON’T BUY MORE ORGANIZATIONAL stuff. REMOVE more stuff so that one doesn’t NEED more shelving units or storage spaces!!! Otherwise there are good ideas to be had in the 20 suggestions. What it does come around to in full circle for me, however, is what 365lessthings is all about, SLOW AND STEADY! There are so many blogs and articles and ideas about decluttering, and they all have great things to say, HOWEVER, it is a lifestyle change so that MORE stuff doesn’t come in (although one in one out is good, IF it is a needed thing!).

    Maybe I’m looking at this in the extreme, and it all depends on each individual. I’ve lived the other type of declutterer, where I’ll purge a bunch (“fill up the bag until it’s full”) but then more stuff just comes in to replace it (MY BAD!). Thanks to Colleen/Cindy and all the 365’ers, I’ve learned that I’m better AND MUCH HAPPIER living the slow and steady and DON’T re-clutter lifestyle!!! 🙂

    • lol, you are correct it is not buying even more stuff to organize your things, it is getting rid of the things you do not need. 🙂

    • Hi Annabelle,
      there were actually a couple of things that struck me as wrong about that link but for the most part it had some good ideas. I am strongly with you on the DON’T BUY MORE ORGANISATIONAL STUFF. I would rather suggest you get decluttering, empty the organisational stuff and declutter it before being tempted to fill it back up again.

      I don’t think that you are looking at it in the extreme at all. I think that the other quick declutter then reclutter ~ which is inevitably what does happen ~ is a fools way to declutter. The person that does this over and over again either aren’t realising the error of their ways or are really not dedicated to the idea of real decluttering.

  10. I try to get rid of at least one thing every day – but I don’t do it every day. Sometimes, I go round the house on Friday evening (housework night) and find at least 7 things which can go to the charity shop. Then Saturday morning they are in the car and gone. I do not look at anything when I am at the shop. I just drop the donation bag and leg it out before I can see whether they have any cute coloured glass vases! On Saturday I get the boys onto recycling (they are teenagers). They have to produce the contents of their rubbish bin and at least one item for the recycling (one of them has about a million Playstation magazines in his room and the other seems to collect plastic water bottles) before they can have a lift anywhere!

    • Hi Tracey,
      I often do my weeks worth of decluttering in one day too, especially when I know I have a busy week ahead of me. I average 5 items per week. I also try to have a months worth of items catalogued ahead of time for my blog because you just never know what will happen. In my first year of my 365 less things challenge I had just returned from on months holiday in Europe when my son had a serious accident. I had to play catch-up there for a little while once I decided the best thing to do was to try to keep things as normal as possible. I haven’t let myself get behind since.

      It sounds like you are doing a good job with your boys teaching them to be recycle conscious. It is funny that my son, who was 18 when I first started this decluttering challenge, seems to conform to the idea without much encouragement from me. I think he appreciates the benefit of being reasonably organised. I say reasonably because his room usually looks like organised chaos to me. At the end of each university semester he usually has a good clean out of stuff he no longer needs to keep.

  11. I’m just reaching an impasse with my husband. I keep finding that things I had set aside for recycling are back in the garage. Two old biscuit tins must just have jumped out of the kerbside box and onto his workbench. So frustrating!

    • Tracey, I had this problem with my mother. So now I put things where she doesn’t find them and then give them to a friend to discard. I have an arrangement with a couple of friends. One has a yard sale twice and year and collects things in one side of her garage for that. I just give her the things I think we can sell. Once they are out of the house they don’t get brought back in. Another friend has a great place to put out freebie stuff. I give her the things I think someone would come along and pick up. It works out great and Mom is none the wiser.

    • Oh dear Tracey, you might have to find a hiding place for your kerbside box until and only put it our when he is at work. Sometimes one just has to get crafty about these things. Hee Hee!

  12. One of my older sister’s said her husband almost made himself late to work seeing what she threw in the garbage. Her good advice was “wrap anything in newspaper” husband or kid might retrieve. Also if it is buried under something messy, it won’t get touched.

    • Interesting tactic Nana and how scrumptiously devious. 😆 I however have a very cooperative decluttering family and never get rid of anything that belongs to anyone else without their approval. That is what trust is all about when it comes to decluttering. If they find out you are ditched their stuff they are likely to get more possessive and that is not what you want. I was however amused by your comment and your clever sister.

  13. My sister was throwing away true garbage–worn out belt, cracked plate, etc. If we checked with previous owner, probably he/she would have come up with a future but never actually done use. In my case it was usually truly broken toys, worn out stuff. We both donated anything usable.