Manage your time (From the archives)

As I am on vacation in New Zealand for some time I will be republishing old posts from the archives to keep you all entertained and motivated while I am busy. I hope you will enjoy the post I have dug up for you today and that it inspires you to have at it and get some decluttering done.

How much time do you waste in your day then profess to have no time to get your house in order. No time to begin decluttering that stuff that is making it difficult to keep your house in order.

We are all entitled to downtime. I am not going to argue that fact. The question is has your downtime taken over. And do you actually feel better or worse for it. I know that when I have been sitting idle for too long not doing anything useful I start getting agitated and feel the need to get up and make myself useful. I think it is a guilt feeling from being slothful. Once again I am not talking about rest time I am talking about wasted time when enough rest has already been had.

As this weeks mini missions show it isn’t hard to find a little time every now and again to fit in a little delcuttering or perhaps you could even use the time to do some much needed quick tasks around your house. In the time it takes to boil the kettle and brew the tea I can manage to empty the dishwasher. During add times on television I can put away the folded washing. The washing itself can be folding while watching television, as can ironing, sorting papers, doing a decluttering of your jewellery box or make-up kit. You can even pull out a drawer, bring it into the living room and declutter while watching your favourite show. You can clean the rubbish out of your handbag while waiting for an appointment. There is sure to be a rubbish bin close by to throw the trash into. And with a little imagination you can find many periods where time can be better used.

This morning I was feeling listless so I did the ironing. I felt much better for it. This evening while my husband was watching a movie, I wasn’t that interested in, I did some reorganising and a little decluttering in my craft room. I must admit I am a little “different” because I actually enjoy organising and decluttering so I wouldn’t consider this task a chore, but you get the idea. I enjoy the challenge, thinking outside the box and, of course, the end result. And of course I enjoy my actual downtime when I take it, happy in the knowledge that I am keeping up with my household chores.

Lets go back to that ironing I mentioned. I don’t know anyone who enjoys ironing. I don’t have a lot of it and can easily ignore it in the laundry cupboard for weeks before clothing items are needed or my husband runs out of hankies. (Yes I iron the hankies, not linen, underwear, jeans or t-shirts though so please don’t judge.) When I say ignore, I mean the items that do require ironing won’t run down for a while. But one thing I hate worse than ironing is feeling like I have neglected a task until desperation sets in. Especially when I know that I have had plenty of opportunity to get on with the task sooner. It makes me feel lazy and inefficient which permeates my downtime.

I know from experience that many people feel a similar way about their lack of effort to declutter. They know they need to do it, that they want it done but can’t bring themselves to make the effort. And often their downtime is marred by that fact that they know this task is being neglected because the evidence of this is staring them right in the face. Goading them and nagging when they should be relaxed and tranquil. Hours and hours are wasted feeling far less than tranquil in the effort to avoid something that would take much less time to solve.

So don’t waste those spare minutes here and there where you can achieve more than you would expect. I have been following my own advice about this to the letter over for the last week and I have achieve things that have been waiting around for me to do for weeks if not months. Nothing that important but nevertheless things that have quietly been nagging me to get them done. Not only can I go on my vacation content with my achievements but when I get home I will be able to ease on into routine with

“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” — Unknown

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • Slaying the “PROCRASTINATION” dragon ” By Jackie Do you have trouble with procrastination? Is “later” always the perfect time to do something? Are you stressed, missing deadlines, and constantly playing catch-up? Well…..hello! […]
  • Manage your time How much time do you waste in your day then profess to have no time to get your house in order. No time to begin decluttering that stuff that is making it difficult to keep your house in […]
  • Dithering? ~ By Peggy W I have dithered many times in my decluttering journey, unable to make a decision about my stuff.  Two of the “ditherees” left my house this morning because I needed soft fillers to […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I have been trying to do things like empty dishwasher, fold laundry etc while waiting for things like coffee.
    I quit ironing 20+ years ago..
    got rid of everything that needs ironing. I have a small steamer for the few item that need a touch occasionally
    Did take extra new incandescent chandelier light bulbs to Goodwill. I finally put in LED bulbs, have replaced all bulbs in house. Yay!

    Found someone that wants my extra plastic flower pots, so making a bag to drop off.
    Enjoy you trip. Thanks for checking in to keep us motivated!

    • Calla, PLEEEEEZE tell us all how to quit ironing!!! It seems everything I like to wear is cotton. Can’t seem to stand the feel of synthetics on my body. What fabrics do you wear that don’t need to be ironed???

      • Lol
        I wear mostly 80% to 100% cotton. After machine washing I hang my clothes to dry. I noticed if I hang my clothes carefully on plastic hangers and leave space between the clothes that it reduces any wrinkling. No one, not even my daughter (who is never shy about telling me how I look) has said it looks like I need to iron my clothes.

        Occasionally (a few times a year) I user a steamer on collars or pockets. Usually I make sure they are straight when I hang them so no steaming is needed.

        This method has worked for me, hope it reduces or completely replaces ironing for you too!

    • Calla – I too do not believe in ironing.
      My policy is that if it doesn’t go in the washing machine (I will use a mesh bag for delicates) if it doesn’t go in the dryer and if it doesn’t go in the dishwasher, it doesn’t come in my house.

      • I’m same way with the dishwasher, in fact gave away all my silver. After washing hair I brush it and let it dry naturally, luckily I have naturally curly hair so this method works

        All my clothes go into wash machine, but not everything goes into dryer. You give me something to strive for Moni! I have to admit I’m basically a wash and wear kinda gal, but still have some areas I can improve upon!

  2. A large vintage Amish made hutch literally just left the house. I had contacted a school with pictures about donating it for their annual fund raiser auction, and they wanted it. I contacted them in February and hadn’t heard them since February until they called today. What a weight off my shoulders! Can’t believe how much bigger room seems without it!

  3. Thanks Colleen for sharing your thoughts, today’s column really resonated with me. Enjoy your vacation!