Friday’s Favourites ~ 19Oct2012

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!

Jane was way ahead of me on repairing little household annoyances. See her comment  here.

Mark talks about his organising concept that he calls RESET read about it here.

Sanna tells us how having less stuff around encourages her to make quick repairs in this comment.

Jen tells us how she is seeing the benenfits of her decluttering in this comment.

Favourite Web Finds. Happy reading!

I watch YouTube videos while I am ironing. It almost makes ironing enjoyable and at least it seems to get finished quicker. Anyway this video is one I stumbled upon that I thought you would all enjoy.

Here is an interesting post from - Minimalism isn’t just for the affluent

I likes this post so I thought I would throw it in here to see if you could find a way to apply it to your decluttering decision making.

Here is some good advice from Leo at Zen Habits on starting new good habits.

And here is another video that I really enjoyed. Although it isn’t directly related to clutter, the basis of the talk could certainly relate to putting off decluttering even though you would feel better for it. I think I will have to come up with a blog post that relates one to the other.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter something purely kept for memory’s sake ~ Perhaps a souvenir or some other sentimental item.

Today’s Declutter Item

This flour sifter had more sentimental value than use. It used to be my grandmothers but that wasn’t reason enough to keep it. It was donated to the thrift store. And just to make a point on how people evolve while they are decluttering take a look at this blog post I wrote on day 258 of my original declutter challenge.

Flour Sifter

Eco Tip for the Day

When sending parcels do your best to use recycled packaging. Retail stores are great places to pick up boxes and packing materials for free. My hardware store has big cages full of boxes right at the check out. I go there when I need boxes to mail eBay sales.

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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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I may be the only one who gets an “about.blank” page when trying to load the “minimalism isn’t just for the affluent” link but, just in case, here’s the link: I like these compilations and recommendations. I don’t always take time to read the comments or go back to the post. Thanks!

  2. I love the idea of ‘re-set’ – it sounds so much better than “tidy-up” don’t you think?

  3. I also really like the article on Minimalism isn’t just for the wealthy – this is something I struggled to get my head around, up until quite recently. I had in my mind a stereotype that was beyond what I could ever be/achieve and so when friends asked if I’d gone minimalist, I’d reply “no I’m just not a maximist” or “no, I’m a declutterer” just so the Minimalist-Police didn’t jump out from behind my bookcase and arrest me for falsely impersonating a minimalist! 🙂
    I felt a minimalist surely couldn’t have a craft cupboard or a collection of any sort or heaven forbid, kids in the house! It was from reading some articles by Becomining Minimalist his story that I realised that regular people with kids considered themselves minimalists and reading Midway Simplicity that everyone gets to pick their own level of minimalism that I have recently been answering “yes I am minimalist and I love the changes it has brought to my life”!

    I completely overlooked the fact that the majority of 365’ers consider themselves minimalists, and have never been pounced on by the Minimalist Police! Duh!

    • Funny you should say that Moni, because I have never professed to be a minimalist. I would prefer not to call myself that until I achieved the level of decluttered that I am satisfied with and that hasn’t happened yet. Although I am really not one for labels at all actually. If I was forced to choose a label I would prefer to think of myself as a uncluttered conscientious consumer.

    • Moni, though I read many minimalist blogs (okay, many might be exaggerated, but I read about 5-8 blogs regularly, of which only one isn’t on the topic of decluttering/simplifying/minimalism), I’m hardly one. Just for the record: I still have 3 complete bookcases in which all shelves are full (if not all of them crammed with books any more – one holds my sewing machine for example), I still own 5 tea pots and 6 coffee pots. 🙂 I guess, I have more than 15 vases, too.
      We have a collection of about 30 purely decorative adornments (it’s mostly my boyfriend’s and it’s really a collection, he won’t part with it and frankly, I like it, too)
      Compared to most of the bloggers, though, we are living in a quite small flat. (It’s nothing like a tiny house, though, it’s about 65 square metres) We also have managed to host guests here for extended periods (3 months) in a room of their own, thus reducing our personal space by 14 square metres to about 51 square metres. I know from experience that I can do in an even smaller space, too.
      Why I prefer reading minimalist blogs over normal housewife’s blogs who purge sometimes over the year is purely, because just like most reading Colleen’s blog here, I feel, I’m on a journey. I want to feel free to downsize over the course of the years, should it present itself as an opportunity. I want to be detached enough from my stuff to just leave it behind when it becomes a burden. I want to have my “priorities right” and not see those 5 tea pots as “necessity”, but just as what they are – a spleen of mine and ultimately, something I could do without. I want to keep my eyes open for clutter about my home which I can easily get rid of, thus reaching a higher level of “feeling on top of myself” and a higher level of cleanliness also – as I’m not the best one it that regard. For this achievment of cleanliness, the adornments aren’t much of a problem (except dusting and I don’t dust that often), by the way, it’s rather those things I use constantly and have many of that cause a mess. Those heaps of clothes, heaps of fabrics, heaps of anything.
      Though we have come a far way over here, we are far from minimalist, except in a few personal areas where we minimized a lot and are much happier for that reason (e.g. make-up, cleaning products, bf’s clothes and slowly I’m reaching a near-minimalist state with my clothes as well)
      But as we are still “not done” and still on that journey to less, I just can’t fit the “usual” decluttering tips on us (Like “sort out clothes that don’t fit” – they fit all), we just don’t bring in much new clutter, we have that part well under control and my environmental concious mind can’t bear with those gals who declutter just to reclutter in fashion soon afterwards. I rather read about people going further than me, so I can get new input and new ideas as to what to declutter next (and why).
      Btw: this blog here is still my favourite and has been, BECAUSE it’s not that much about minimalism, but right about the journey, I’m on as well.

      • Gosh, this was long. Sorry for that! 🙂

      • Well said, Sanna, well said. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist either, but a wanna-be-minimalist. Being on the journey is the key here. Compared to friends/family though, I have really not a lot of stuff, and they do think that I live on the absolute minimum possible, while I consider it still too much. although its not that obviously cluttered, I still want to reduce the amount. and my final goal is to make it to the camping van (the backpack is taking it just a bit too far ;-)), and I know that one day I will get there. slowly but surely.

        my wardrobe is beyond minimal, though and I forced myself to buy 2 new bras yesterday, because I see one giving up soon, and living with just one bra is not possible though. I think the summer-shirts are ready for a new declutter round. yay.

      • Hi Sanna, thank you for that. You are so right it is about the journey, learning as we go and hopefully becoming better people along the way. I am not even sure if my destination is minimalism in fact when I started this journey I had never even heard of minimalism. Should that be where my journey ends well so be it but for now I am happy to just own less and less.

    • A few months ago, my brother-in-law stopped by to visit when he was in town for business & it had been some time since he’d visited us at our home so I was showing him around & found it necessary to tell him that we had become minimalist which is why we have less things sitting out & about.
      Anyways, hearing myself say out-loud that I was minimalist weirded me out. I don’t think that word describes me. To me, minimalist still describes the art movement or architectural style that describes stark whites & empty landscapes with lots of horizontal edges with nary an interruption. I also think of the guy who lives with only his MacBook Pro, a multi-tool swiss army knife, a backpack & the clothes on his back. Neither describe me.
      I don’t even like the term “simple living” either as that to me describes the pioneering families living on the plains in a cabin the manfolk built while the woman makes her own bread, mends ‘n darns, washes the clothes on a river rock. If you call that simple living – sounds like work to me. LOL
      I own a smartphone, I have a car, I use my automatic dishwasher & laundry – is that simple living? I dunno, sounds like a regular life to me.
      Anyways, I don’t exactly know what minimalism or simple living describes or who it describes…but neither of those titles seem to describe me. Maybe downsizing declutterer?
      Not sure why, but it’s been quite awkward & even a bit difficult to explain what we are doing when we are culling out our stuff. We don’t want to come across like we are chucking stuff for fear of armageddon or that we are forgoing today’s lifestyle for yester-years or even that we loathe modern technology & conveniences – because none of that is true for us.
      We simply have too much unused stuff that we no longer want to be held responsible for.
      Still, I wish I could come up with a better explanation or description for what it exactly is that we are doing & why – without it sounding so dismal & bleak.

      • Jane – exactly the image I had in mind for a minimalist. But I actually now consider that austere living, minimum suggests the least possible. When I met my husband he had a bed, a table, a beer fridge and that was about it. It wasn’t a lifestyle choice it was just he didn’t care about about feathering the nest.

        I was reminded of a saying: If it walks like a duck, if it sounds like a duck…….then its probably a duck.

        Meaning we are living with or working towards having the minimum we are comfortable with, that is our goal, maybe we are minimalists.

        I think that stereotype that we keep thinking of, refered to more of a minimal decor style than a lifestyle choice. Does that make sense?

        Anyway, spoke to my friend who happens to be a therapist, and she said if you keep telling yourself you are a minimalist, your brain will begin to believe it and make it easier to accept your choices. For example she tells people she sees for weight loss to tell themselves 20 times a day “I am grateful to be (insert goal weight here) kgs”.

        Positive thinking.

        Quack, quack!

      • Hi Jane, I understand what you mean. I suppose though that it is all relative to our times. I really look at what I am doing as the sensible approach. I will see if I can coin a new term that better describes our situation.

  4. What a great week to get back on track!

    • I am glad you had a good week Ideealistin.

      • Oh, I actually had a horrible week (the second one after a another not too pleasant one) at work and felt really down and drained by that. Also I had too many projects going on at once to manage them well. It was good to finally get motivated to pick myself up, pick a starting starting point, pick up the place and get going again!
        Sliding back is dangerous (and so is self pity …). But now I think I’m on the verge of making progress again.

        • Wow, now THAT sounds like self pity … What I actually just wanted to say is that I am glad to be back on track and that I’m glad I found the inspiration I needed for it here so easily this week.

  5. Colleen, this flour sifter is the funnest (this isn’t a proper word, but I think you get what I mean) thing, I ever saw. It’s quite a piece of art!

  6. I loved the last video!

  7. This guy in the last video, Dan Ariely wrote, Predictably Irrational. Very interesting.

    • I’ll have to see if I can get that book at my library. Unfortunately I think my library has decluttered all the book I would want to read. At least it seem that way every time I check there catalogue to see if they have something I am looking for.

      My goodness, it’s a miracle, I just searched the library and they actually had this book. It is now on order.

  8. I thought I have seen the picture before. it is really a unique thing. I think its wonderful that you share your change of thoughts on that particular item.

    thanks for the links, Dan Ariely made me laugh several times and the lady explaining sentimental clutter is adorable. I also loved the article on mnmlist. good week here on this blog, good links. Hope you guys have a great weekend. have fun decluttering!

  9. I have always re-used, when possible, shipping materials and boxes. I do not ship as much stuff as I used to in the past, but especially around the holidays, I save boxes and shipping materials that I receive from mail orders. I use those boxes to ship any gifts that I may be needing to send to family or friends. After the holidays are over, if there any boxes left, I recycle the cardboard. I try not to have many of them sitting around unless I have a specific need or use for them, like a de-cluttering collection box :). I used to also wrap boxes that I mailed with brown paper bags. Most stores do not give those out anymore though and I found out that postal services do not prefer them on the outside of boxes due to the conveyor belts that some boxes are subject to during the shipping process. I have also used comics from the newspaper for wrapping gifts and have saved gifts bags and even tissue paper for re-use, (if it is still in usable condition), from gifts that have been given to me or my family. Since, I am trying to be a better consumer, I find that I do not need to have a supply of this stuff laying around anymore, so it is pretty limited now of what I actually need.

    • Good for you Jen. I used to use the brown paper bags from the grocery stores when I lived in America to wrap parcels with and to bag up the paper from my shredder but they haven’t had paper grocery bags since I was a kid here in Australia. If the boxes I use have a lot of stuff on the outside I sometimes unstick them and turn them inside out and tape them up again, as the inside is always clear. I do keep a variety of boxes in the garage because I am still often shipping eBay sales but I always have the option of ducking down to the hardware store to pick one up if I don’t have the right size. I buy next to nothing via mail order so my supplies are dwindling. I do however keep shoe boxes which are often a good size for shipping and are always sturdy. They tend to hang around a bit too long though at times which does become irritating. I use that as inspiration to find something to auction on ebay.

      I no longer have gift wrap as I don’t give material gifts. I most give acts of service as gift ~ lunch out that sort of thing ~ or just send a homemade card.

      Good for you trying to be a better consumer, I always love to hear that about my readers.

  10. Great stuff this week.


  1. […] tells us about how she isn’t all that comfortable describing herself as minimalist in this comment. I don’t use that title to describe myself either as I don’t believe it is true for me. […]