Friday’s Favourites ~ 24May2013

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!

Lucinda shares her experience with collecting packaging in this comment.

Calico Ginger shares her take on Feng Shui, or at least positive energy, when it comes to her home in this comment.

In this comment Wendy B also gives us an example of the negative energy she once felt in her kitchen and how she solved that.

Dizzy gives us an update on how she is feeling about her stuff at this point in time.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

This link is a guest post by Tony, author of the We Do This Only Once blog which was published at the blog Great Jolly Hoombah ~ How-to-bring-others-on-board-with-change/ . It is good advice to keep in mind when trying to convert people you know to a more minimalist lifestyle.

Here is a short little post from the Minimalists which gives a quick insight as to how decluttering continues even when you think you are done. I know I’m not done yet.

I liked the idea of Task Bankruptcy in this link from David at Raptitude. We can do the equivalent with our possessions. When we realise we just aren’t going to use them we could just get rid of them. Both Wendy F and Edna recommended this article. I just hope no-one interprets it as dropping any of their decluttering tasks. 😉

“It’s a paradox that the more we let go, the more control we gain.” This quote alone makes this next post worth the read but it has a lot of other useful advice. ~ 4-Obstacles-to-Decluttering—–and-How-to-Beat-Them

And last but not least here is a little post from one of your fellow 365ers Lucinda at her blog Lucinda Sans. Her post was inspired by a post by a guest post by Andréia. Well done Andréia for inspiring others in their decluttering mission.

Today’s Mini Mission

I used to own more mending items than were ever going to be used in a reasonable amount of time. As a result many elastic items perished, many reals of cotton sat unused, fabric remnants awaited their call up to patch items, and those unique spare buttons that come with new garments were stored in the sewing kit long after the garment has worn out or been passed on. Granted, back in the days when the children were young, I used to sew more but now I don’t. Now I buy just what I need when I need it, I have reduced the cottons and buttons to more generic colours and styles, and the fabric remnants have long been decluttered. If your mending kits has more stocked than need be, give it a good declutter keeping only what really will come in handy in an emergency. Any other repairs can wait.

Eco Tip For The Day

Watch less television. Find something to do for amusement that doesn’t require electricity in place of at least one session of your weekly television viewing. This of course will only work if the television gets turned off and not watched by someone else in the family. Perhaps you could instigate an old fashioned games night.

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. Some really good links again. Tony had some good things to say about bringing people on board. The Minimalists are right about asking if each things we have has a value to my life. Not only things but people, relationships, work, etc. I have bookmarked the article from Raptitude. I want to go back and read it when I have more time and possibly send it on to a couple of others. the “4 Obstacles to Decluttering” article was a good basic one. Lucinda’s blog post was good. I think it is real easy to have a junk room if we are not careful. When my father was alive we had a junk basement and it wasn’t until he died that we even knew half of what was there–and took it to the dump.

    • Hi Deb j, you certainly do need a little extra time to read the one from Raptitude. I don’t know if it was his intention but the tension he build going on about the to do list certainly made me feel the the ToDo List Bankruptcy plan was a good one. I do the same thing with my inbox sometimes. If I don’t have time today to read some things that come through I won’t have time tomorrow either so [delete]. Not emails directed personally to me of course, that would be rude. Unless of course it is people offering the write a guest post for me that are from some retail website or storage company or generic blog content writing group.

  2. I had to go to Spotlight yesterday to BUY stuff for mending! My only jeans have lost their button (but could only buy a pack of 6 jean buttons!) and one of my handbags (I only have 2 for daily use) needed something to keep it closed so I got a magnetic clip thingy. I think I’ve almost run out of my mum’s old cotton (on those wonderful wooden reels), so might even have to buy some new thread for mending and sewing!

    Forgot to mention when you asked Colleen, but I LOVE your eco tips. I don’t watch any TV, but can waste hours noodling around on the computer, which I’m trying to be much more mindful about. Here’s a tip you might want to use: if there isn’t a convenient drop-off point for battery recycling, ask your local library to have a box handy (they are affiliated with the local council so I’m sure they can organise it!)

    Off to read the links. Have a good weekend everyone.

    • Hi Loretta, about those mending items. After writing the mini mission I put on a pair of track pants for the first time this season and the elastic went. Just as well I have a little bit of black elastic to fix them up with. It is the only elastic I have these days so I will hold on to what is left over.

      I am pleased to say that one of the libraries in my area collect batteries for recycling. I just collect mine up in an old takeout container in my buffet until there are enough to make a trip or I am going over that way. It is nice to have a place to take them locally where they will disposed of properly. I will add your tip to my collection. Thanks Loretta.

  3. I always enjoy Raptitute and have decided to subscribe. I have enjoyed other articles that have been used as links here and I have read some articles in the archives. I like the idea of a Task Bankruptcy. I do love a to-do list, but you know that saying about if you want a job done, give it to a busy person? I have been wondering if perhaps while I might get a lot done, but how much of it is imperative? Can I simple my life down a bit? Its worth thinking about. – this spoke to me: “To me minimalism is having what you love, but not a bit more than you can maintain” – I have been wanting a way to describe my take on minimalism for sometime now and I think that sums it up.

    And YAY Andreia – and of course, Lucinda – but I know how hard Andreia is on herself and she often forgets and down plays her progress.

    • Thanks Moni! It was really good to see that my progress has helped someone out there. I have this “now, now, now!” problem that makes me not see the really good things that are going on around my house. As I was telling Colleen yesterday, I am starting to see the big results. My house has never been more “put together” and chores are taking less and less time to get done. I am a happy declutterer at this moment! 😀

      • Yes Moni, you should see her bedroom. So tidy and uncluttered. It looks like such a restful space now. Onwards and upwards Andréia.

        PS. Moni if you use an apple computer if you press [option + e ] and then the e again, you will form the accent for over Andréia’s name.

      • Andreia, don’t you just love how much easier and less time consuming cleaning house is now you have decluttered so much? One BIG inducement for decluttering in my book since I hate housework.

    • Hi Moni, I liked that quote from too. Especially the “…not a bit more than you can maintain.” part. This is the mistake a lot of people make. They forget that all the stuff they acquire requires maintaining or it gets damaged and wasted along with the money spent on it.

      Last week one of my neighbours said she had a load of stuff for me to take to the thrift store for her. I said I would be happy to take it. She said there would be a blender among the stuff. She assured me it worked perfectly but she didn’t need it because she had bought a new one. From previous experience I knew what to expect. The only thing wrong with the blender was that it was filthy. Not once, it would seem, had it ever been wiped down after use. I gave it a good clean up and gave it to my daughter. That one more thing she won’t have to buy herself.

  4. Hi Colleen! I really liked the Raptitude link. I understand the author is saying we should drop the unimportant tasks and focus on what is important. To draw a parallel with decluttering, I think it means that when decluttering one should not set an impossible goal, making it unattainable, thus dropping it in the long run and end up doing nothing at all. As an example applied, if someone sets to declutter 10 years of clutter in a week, the person will give up, because it is too much. Settle for a shelf a week and the list of to do things looks manageable. Although this link did make me think about my filing system which is a failure, to say the least. I have to start looking at alternatives…
    The post from The Minimalists is a reality. One is never done decluttering! Life is always changing and we must flow with it. i have hung on to stuff far longer than I should because I did not accept that life changed. I am learning.
    About getting others on board with changes, I have been surprised (in a very nice way) by my husband. I have been decluttering stuff. I have been giving away clothing. However, it wasn´t until he saw some results that he started to help. His results were getting some new clothing. I made him see that whenever we donated his spoiled clothing (can´t be fixed for him, but can be used by someone smaller) he did get good, quality stuff in his wardrobe. No more crappy quantity, but a few good quality pieces. He is sleeping better without all the dust collectors we had before in our bedroom. And he started to realize that, if we are not using it, why keep it?
    Thanks Colleen for mentioning Lucinda´s post and me. You know when I was writing that e-mail, that became a post, I was so happy with my progress, so overjoyed with the neatness of my house, that it must have gotten across.
    Happiness is a great feeling! 😉

    • Hi Andréia, it is funny about the Raptitude link, I think it inspired me to get done a few things on the list in my mind today. The list might be in my mind but the stuff had already made its way to obvious places because I had decided to declutter it. I just hadn’t gotten around to doing what needed doing to send them on their way. I think I might list a few things on ebay as well, that have been hanging around awaiting my attention.

      You and the minimalists are so right, life is ever changing and that can add clutter or allow it to be released. I am definitely still in the releasing stage. Here’s hoping neither of the children change their mind and want to come home. 😉

      I am so glad that you have come to a point in your decluttering that your husband is noticing the improvements and realises that there is advantages to this minimising idea. Once it becomes easier to find things, keep things in order and choose from the better things that are left it is hard not to admit that decluttering changes things for the better.

      You have every right to be overjoyed with your home and the fact that your successes are influencing others. Good for you.

    • Yes, thank you Colleen for mentioning my blog, and thank you Andreia for you motivation. My junk room is still a junk room, but I am making sure more goes out of the house than comes in. I hope to get to the stage that everything can be contained within the cupboards I have, and nothing is stored on the surfaces of tables and desks nor in plastic crates.

      And then I can have people over without the no go area or the mad rush to hide stuff in the junk room.

      And when I have nothing stored on the floor, I will reward myself with a robot vacuum cleaner!

      • Hi Lucinda! I read your post, but could not comment because I had to have some sort of register and didn’t know how to do it (technology baffles me sometimes… 😀 ). You have to keep doing it. I have been on this journey for 6 years. I was already decluttering when I found Colleen’s blog. My house was unmanageable. I had just my husband and me. A lot has changed since then. That post I wrote reminded me of that long ago time. Stuff can have a powerful hold on us.
        Go slow, do one thing at a time and eventually you will get there. Make the journey a fun one, as it has been for me for the last three years and it will be a great one. Count on us for help anytime!
        Good luck and good decluttering!

      • Lucinda, that sounds like a great goal I wish you every success.

  5. Great comments and links, Colleen!
    I especially like the eco tip :-). Sometimes it’s better to schedule a games night or a reading night as TV and computer tend to suck one in once you turn it on – and it’s rather boring to spend every evening in front of the screen.

  6. Hi all! I wanted to share something. You know we’re working on our laundry room and tomorrow the drywall will be dry and I can prime and paint. I have leftover primer from two years ago, trim paint from two years ago, and my kitchen color from 11 years ago. (The kitchen paint I need because some damage occurred to the shared wall and had to be repaired.) So I took my old cans in to determine if they were still good. All was good except the kitchen paint. But I was really happy that I am going to be able to use up most of what I already had. The bad paint will go to the Household Hazmat Recycling place. And they also take batteries, which I love! Like Colleen, I have a specific place where I put the dead batteries until there is enough to take in.

    This blog is really great because it makes me stop and think. I’m working hard to try to use up what I have instead of buying new, trying not to bring more stuff into the house, trying to get rid of what is not useful/needed/wanted/loved. I had to take my knick knacks off the top of the kitchen cupboards due to the nailing on the wall and it looks so clean up there! Some things I think, are not going to go back up there, but into the yard sale pile they go.

    I don’t have time just now to read the links, but will try to do that over the weekend too. All your comments suggest these are good links this week!

    • I think is is great, Michelle, that you are not only going to be able to reuse some of the paint but that all of this is helping you think about what you want to keep or get rid of. I am with you about liking how much this blog keeps me thinking and see new things to declutter or change the way I display/store them.

    • Hi Michelle, don’t you love it when fate steps in and forces a trial separation from your stuff and you then realise that much of it is just clutter. I am glad you are letting go of some of those things. Especially from the top of kitchen cupboards as they tend to get especially grimy up there I find. Mine used to have lots of things up there too. Now there is just a lovely colourful plate and a cookie jar. In fact I think no one wants the cookie jar so it can probably go. I must go get it down right now. I will send my son an email to ensure he absolutely doesn’t want it, as it is his, and if not it can go to the thrift store. Thanks for the inspiration Michelle.

  7. I liked the post about bankrupting your to-do list, it’s a good idea and at times I believe I have done this myself.

    At the moment though I am just trying to simplify my life in any way possible so that my to-do list is never that big, and the things on it aren’t even major or that important that if I forget them the world would stop turning. I’ve been tackling things I put off for so long and as a result my to-do list is far shorter, it’s a little unnerving though because I always feel like I’ve forgotten something now! I guess I will have to learn to what if feels like to live with a shorter list! 🙂 (A rather pleasant task ahead of me I imagine!).

    • Hi Jane W, your comment reminded me of when a mother no longer needs to carry around a diaper bag. Every time she goes out she feels she has forgotten something. Having a short to-do list is a wonderful thing.

  8. Great comments and links this week. I always enjoy the posts by the Minimalists and the Raptitude. I managed to part with a few barbie dolls this week. My collection is getting very small, but I am really happy about that :).

  9. Hi Jen, and good for you. Poor old Barbie first Ken deserts her and now you as well. 😆

  10. Hi Colleen. Thanks so much for mentioning our site along with Tony’s fine post. I am a regular reader of Raptitude and thoroughly enjoy each of his posts. Looking forward to seeing more of your offering in the future. Have a super FUN day!