Happy New Year ~ What is your resolution

Hi there. Just a quick post today to say welcome to any new readers scouring the internet for suggestions of New Years resolutions.

I have one for you ~ Resolve to declutter one thing a day for a whole year. It isn’t hard but it sure is effective if your house is currently cluttered.

For those of you who have been decluttering for a while set a decluttering resolution that suits where you are at with your mission to unclutter.

My resolution this year is to get rid of anything that doesn’t fit comfortably into my lovely new little two bedroom apartment. I am loving it here and the only thing that will make it better is to trim down my stuff a little further. Join me on my journey and be inspired to let go what you don’t use or love.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission ~ Friday 22Dec2017 Declutter a couple of old shabby shoes that you no long choose to use.
  • Mini Mission ~ Thursday 21Dec2017 Declutter your fridge of out of date items or by using up as much as possible before adding more. With the holiday season here you will likely need every inch of spare space.
  • How little we really need Every time I go on a long vacation I am reminded of how little one really needs to live a comfortable and functional lifestyle. My husband and I often stay in Airbnb places when on […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Happy New Year to you Colleen! I am so happy that you are pleased with your new home and I hope you create lots of new experiences and memories there. Yesterday I checked out a couple of decluttering books from the library, just to keep my motivation up. I haven’t heard back from the estate sale gal so I sent her another e-mail. Yesterday old linens went to the cat rescue and I think the Historical Society will take a local yearbook from 1924 that I got as a gift from my MIL. LOL We are going to double check with her that I can donate it, but we don’t think it came down through the family.

    Everyone, Happy New Year and Happy Decluttering!

    • Hi Michelle, it is good to see you haven’t let the holiday season slow your decluttering process. You are doing a fine job of seeking out new homes and methods of disposing of your stuff. Well done. I hope the conversation goes well with your MIL.

      I have a list and and growing pile of stuff to decluttering myself now that we are in the new place.

  2. I’m not a big fan of resolutions, but my plan is similar to yours. We will be moving soon and anything that doesn’t fit comfortably in the new space or have a use in the new space has to go. 🙂 The seller left some items behind, some useful and some that I carted off to Goodwill this weekend. It is lovely that she left the lawnmower as we did not have one and will use it. Things that had to go included an old bathroom scale, a very large mirror that was not my style, a lazy susan in the fridge, some small floating shelves that I took down off the wall, and a folding table that was in pretty bad shape. All but the shelves have been carted off. The shelves will make their way to the thrift store soon.

    • Hi Melissa, when I started my decluttering mission as a New Years resolution it was partly in response to a TV piece about how most people have given up on their resolution by the third day. I thought it would be fun to beat those odds and it suddenly came to me to declutter a thing a day. I had been wanting to do the decluttering and in fact had already begun in fits and starts but this plan turned out to be huge success.

      It is funny that your previous owner left a large mirror you didn’t like because ours left one the I was secretly hoping would still be here when we moved it. It make the place seem more spacious. I free lawnmower would be good because my daughter needs one of those.

  3. Happy New Year Colleen! Thank you for a great time on the blog in 2013. I’m looking forward to 2014 with you and all our friends here. I’m so glad you are happy with your new place.

  4. Happy New Year Colleen!
    I have just thrown out the 365th thing yesterday so I have managed to do my ‘365 Less Things’ resolution in 2013! I haven’t thought about 2014 yet, just enjoying the moment. It’s still New Year’s Eve here anyway!

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Best wishes, Jane

    • Good for you Jane. When I first started my 365 challenge my husband thought we wouldn’t have 365 things to declutter. Boy was he wrong. WE are reaping the rewards of our efforts now though. Perhaps you might take on the challenge again this year. Even if you run out before years end you will still have liberated some extra space.

  5. Happy New year to you all!
    I love this blog, it’s helped keep my motivation up for over a year now. I’ve now managed to declutter items I’ve always previously kept for some reason and am actually decluttering my boys bedroom as I type.
    Two chest of drawer sets & 3 big bags of clothes are in the hallway for charity shop and a pile for a friends boy too. I have empty storage boxes and shelves/drawers for the first time ever.
    Here’s to many items leaving our space and minds over the next 12mnths to come! *clinking glasses* x x

    • Hi Kat, well done. When you have children still in the house there will always be decluttering to be done. They grow up so fast and therefore their needs are ever changing.

  6. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while. I find it truly inspiring. So for 2014 me and a friend have challenged each other to declutter an item a day.
    Greetings from Norway. Happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year! Love your posts. I like the idea of one thing a day. Good to see others around the world that think like I do.

    • Hi Kathy B and welcome to 365 Less Things. I think the number of people thinking like us is growing. At least I hope it is. I am doing my best to spread the word that is for sure.

      Have a wonderfully decluttered 2014.

  8. Happy New Year to all!
    2013 has been a good year for de-cluttering and I think 2014 will be even better. Thank you to Colleen and all others who have posted, providing inspiration and ideas over the last year. I will continue to get rid of things. The big thing this year will be tackling the paper stuff, which I seem to have such a problem with, both at home and work. I did get rid of a bunch of papers at work today, but there is sooo much more to go:)

    • Hi Sheryl, I wish you all the best with your paper decluttering. I think the key to keeping paper under control is to be realistic about what really needs to be kept. We are ever vigilant about that at our house. As certain items leave or breakdown I make sure the warranty papers and manuals are also weeded out. My husband stays on top of tax papers and any accounts that still come by mail (very few) and the No Junk Mail sticker on our mailbox takes care a unnecessary rubbish.

      Have a wonderful 2014 and happy decluttering to you.

      • Colleen, this struck me as wonderful–that your No Junk Mail sticker on the mailbox keeps junk mail away. We are still getting mail for people who lived here decades ago, and I’m told there is nothing I can do to stop that coming.

  9. I just discovered this blog/website and am so excited to try the item-a-day for 365!! I think we are fairly good at keeping the clutter down, but there is always room for improvement!! I do not like knick-knacks or things sitting around because it is just one more thing to dust, and I like my housecleaning process to be simple. If I have to move things to clean around or under them, they aren’t here for long. The problem is, those things don’t always go out the door. So even though my house looks very simple and decluttered, the unwanted items go into hiding in cabinets and closets (out of sight, out of mind). We just had a garage sale summer 2013, and made over $400. Some of it was stuff that had been in boxes, bins or cabinets for years. And I’d say at least 50% of it were (unused) gifts from various friends/relatives who (still) don’t understand that I do not keep or use trinkets, knick-knacks, etc. And here it is only 4 months post-garage sale, and I am excited and ready to declutter 365 more things!! I was hoping to enlist my family and with 4 of us, that would be 1,460 things!! But the kids were not too excited about this idea (they are only 10 and 8, though, so they quite possibly do not even own 365 things). I am thinking they could declutter 1 item per week, though, and improve the look of their rooms. 🙂

    • Hi Deb and welcome to 365 Less Things. I excited to here that you are willing to take the 365 Challenge, good for you. I am with you on the simple housecleaning thing. So much so that we have just finally downsized to a two bedroom apartment and am loving it. There is a little decluttering to do still though. I am going to take the Thing a Day challenge until I have this place in ship shape. I wish you success with your challenge and hope you will keep us updated with your efforts.

      • Happy 2014!! I am so excited about getting started on this decluttering process.

        I do have a question about the thing-a-day process. I realize everyone will do it a little differently, however fits their situation. But I’m just wondering if you started with any guidelines. Is it literally “1” item per day? So if I go through a cabinet and come up with 7 things to toss, I’m good for a week? Or does the one cabinet count as my “1” decluttering project for that day, even if I come out with 20 things to get rid of? Just curious how others are doing it.

        My first project of 2014 went well. I went through the kids’ bookshelves and was shocked at the number of books we have accumulated since they were small!! I weeded out about 75 books they have outgrown or just don’t care for — they will all be donated, go to consignment, or classics I want to save for grandchildren. The shelves still look full, how can that be!! 🙂 But the shelves do look neater, and have been somewhat organized into fiction, non-fiction, and picture books.

        Thanks for the website and blog … 2014 is starting off great so far. I love the feeling of lightness decluttering brings!! 🙂


        • Hi Deb!

          When I was doing the 1-thing-a-day-challenge (I kept at it for quite a while, but have slowed down for the last few months), I didn’t have a continuous list, so I neither worked ahead nor tried to “make up” for breaks due to travelling etc. I did literally one thing a day, not 365 things a year. However this “one thing” could also be just rubbish that somehow hadn’t got thrown away in time (like an empty shampoo bottle that was sitting empty in the shower for three weeks already or some older junk mail that somehow made its way to a paper work stack on my desk), so there were plenty of no-brainer-declutters amongst them. If you keep at it each day, looking for something to declutter, you will be astonished how many no-brainers are sitting there in your home, and keeping to get rid of them is probably as important as the decluttering of “real” stuff that comes out when weeding through cupboards and such.
          However, there were also times, when I decluttered more of a “7 things a week” style, mostly when stressed – but that was considerably less than “1 thing a day”! 😉

  10. Happy New Year neighbour, life is kind of fun around here isn’t it? Did you watch the fireworks?

    • Hi Carole and a happy new year to you too. It is fun around here. And yes we watched the fire works from the roof. Tell me what was all the fire engines doing down your way the other evening. We went out for a stickybeak but couldn’t see anything going on. Did you burn the sausages? 😉

      P.S. I seem to have a rejuvenated creative streak since moving in. I have been making cards like a demon since Christmas. It is so nice to be using up some of my craft supplies. We will have to get together for a craft/art day soon. You can teach me to make rubber stamps.

      • Lol, I think the fat hit the fan at the Hog’s Breath cafe and as our buildings are related we got to pile out in our jammies onto the footpath! Comforting to know the fire drills work. Looking forward to a craft day.

  11. Happy New Year to you Colleen and to Cindy, Deb J, Andréia and all in the wonderful community you have created here!
    It’s wonderful that you are loving your new apartment and feeling creatively refreshed too.
    Mirrors are a great way to create a feeling of spaciousness and they reflect light so beautifully – especially nice in a clutter-free interior 🙂
    I’m happy to report that I’m still finding things to declutter too – but best of all have been able to encourage another couple of friends to lighten their load and know the joy that comes with owning less stuff.

    • Good for you Megan S. I continuously try to encourage my friends to see the sense in decluttering and reducing their dependence on consumerism but often to no avail. Luckily I have all my wonderful readers who are, or are trying to be, of like mind.

  12. Happy New Year to you all. I’ve spent a productive afternoon sorting, culling & tidying cards, envelopes & all that stuff just from one box that I keep for wrapping presents. I seem to have enough cards to last me the rest of my life. I never want to buy another again. In fact, the more I think about it – I only send about 4 cards at Christmas anyway, so what am I doing with them anyway? I also culled a few files – paper builds up so easily.

    • Hi Katy, I have to confess that I have quite a stock of cards myself right now. I have been on a creative streak making them since Christmas. Luckily my family has a lot of birthdays in January and February so I will be making a continuous dent in them for a couple of months. I will also be offering them to my friends to buy. It pays to have an outlet for craft so one has a reason to continue creating. Perhaps I could make a set of cards for my two children, pack them up with a birthday list of there grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins so they can send their own instead of me continuing to put their names on the cards I send out. They have left home after all.

  13. Yay 2014! I can’t believe I am still finding things to declutter!

    My short term goal is to return my household to order in the next few days. We will have reached the 3/4 mark of interior painting tomorrow when the last touch ups are done in our daughter’s rooms and we are going to call a halt there for now as we are pretty tired and we need a bit of down time before we return to work next week. As a room was finished we took the opportunity to leave behind in the garage anything we didn’t really want back in the room. Unfortunately there wasn’t really the space or time, to organise properly as room lots were coming and going from the garage but the break from painting will hopefully give me the opportunity to have a good sort out.

    I would like to focus on making my life less hectic this year and bought a book which I thought dealt with that subject but actually focuses on emotional clutter and after doing a couple of the self assessments I realise that there are areas of my life which need some attention and re-prioritising and which have been contributing to the hectic-ness. I haven’t finished the book as I felt I would get more out of it once the household was back to normal and I would actually like to start the book over.

    Aside from that there are the usual goals of improving my personal finances and improving my fitness.

    • You have some great goals there Moni. I wish you success with all of them. Generally being a hectic person is self-imposed so I am sure you can do something about that if you allow yourself. Learning to day no is the key to that.

      • Colleen – I’m reading Peter Walsh’s book “Enough Already” and yes I’ve been given a lot to think about.

        I have also read some other books over the break and there are some other ideas/concepts I want to implement too.

  14. Happy new year to all! My new year’s resolution is this year that I tidy up after I’m done with something – this includes making the bed in the morning.

    I’m usually forget my chores to do, so I’m thinking of framing a list with chores, get an erasable marker and tick off the daily and weekly chores (a.k.a. write on the glass). It is so easy, I don’t have to print out a new list every week (saves the planet) and I can easily replace the list or add extra chore. Plus, I really like to tick off chores on a list. Win-win.

    Perhaps, if it works good, I also do it for my weekly planner 🙂

    • Hi Dymphy, I like your “framing a list with chores”. If you lived close I could give you a frame at the moment because we have more frames and artwork than can fit on the walls here in our new smaller home. I think my kids will be glad to take them off my hands though. I wish you success with getting in the habit of doing your chores.

    • Dymphy – my girls are off school for the summer break and each day (when I’m at work) I leave them a list of chores and it occured to me the other day that I pretty much repeat myself each day and that I should just write a standard list and laminate it and highlight what is applicable for that day.

  15. I never really had any New Year’s resolutions, probably because one year seems far too long to keep at something – although I sometimes keep at things longer, but I don’t like the feeling to fail halfway through, so I’m more for resolutions for one month or so (and you can just renew them! 😉 )
    However, I want to keep at decluttering. We came quite a way and I enjoy my home a lot now. However, as you know, there are always new things entering our homes and needs are changing as well and I want to get even better at keeping that balance of stuff.

  16. I plan to do again what I did last year, but do it better.
    I got rid of 2013 things for 2013. (I kept a tally going all year) Win!
    Given the lack of a visible dent though, too many other things sneaked in during the year, or maybe everything else just exhaled and filled the gaps LOL
    This year my tally will include incoming items in RED pen added on.
    I intend to declutter the 2014 items, but as a net loss this time. Surely then I will see a real dent.

    • Stephanie – that’s great, I didn’t take ‘before’ photos and I didn’t keep a register of outgoing stuff and I regret it, but never mind, I’m at the point where there is definately something to show for my efforts though.