Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Hi readers, firstly I would like to wish, all those who celebrate it, a very merry Christmas. And to all others I simply wish you a happy holiday season however you celebrate it. I would also like to wish one and all a very happy New Year. I hope it brings you all your heart desires. In an environmentally friendly way of course. 

I would also like to thank you all for keeping me company for yet another year of 365 Less Things. Whether you are new to the blog, have been with me for years, comment or not, you are all welcome and appreciated here.

I have decided, at the last moment, to take a short break over the next couple of weeks so I can relax and enjoy my family as we celebrate. I will however be posting Deb J’s post this Thursday as it is relevant to this time of year.

Before I go, I just wanted to let you all know that my husband and I have moved into our new apartment and everything fitted better than I even expected. I need to make arrangements for some shelving solutions, particularly in the pantry as it isn’t very functional, but aside from that I am very happy with the layout. There are actually some empty drawers here and there. So it seems my decluttering was quite successful. That isn’t to say that I haven’t already pinpointed a number of items that will be heading out the door as soon as the thrift shop reopens in the new year.

Once again, have a wonderful holiday season and I’ll be back in 2014.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Merry Christmas everyone and happy New Year too.

    Colleen, glad to hear you are moved and things are fitting in well. It’s so exciting. Now enjoy your time off and we will join you again in 2014.

  2. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Colleen! You are a great inspiration, and you live your blog. Your new apartment
    with the empty drawers is a testament to that. I am happy that you will take some well-deserved time to relax and enjoy your family for Christmas and afterwards. (This will give me time to catch up on your older posts 🙂 However, you will still be missed!

  3. Enjoy your break and Merry Christmas to you and yours! Glad to hear the apartment worked out so well. Maybe there will be pictures in the future? All though things are a bit slower, I am still finding items to declutter, but all in all, the year has been a good one on the decluttering front.

  4. Happy Christmas to you too and a happy an healthy 2014. I have really enjoyed reading your blog over the past few months. Completely endorse what you are about. We all have FAR too much stuff! I try to pass on books as soon as I have read them. To friends or the charity shops. It helps to keep the bookshelves in check. Ditto clothes(charity shop not friends!). My next area to clear is photographs. Been on my ‘To do’ for a few years. Perhaps 2014 is the year I’ll tackle this biggie. Perhaps! See phi next year!

    • Hi Linda, I love that you are able to pass on your books. Which reminds me I better check when my library book is due AGAIN. I have borrowed it three months in a row now and still haven’t finished it. And don’t remind me of the photos. I am still managing to avoid that task. Mind you I have a task and a half decluttering picture frames and framed art this just isn’t going to fit into this house. I dare say the kids might take some off our hands.
      Merry Christmas.

  5. Merry Christmas, Colleen. Hope you’re enjoying your new home.

    Wanted to say, I enjoy your blog, particularly documenting your daily declutter. And, have to say, I tried to imitate you, and realised how good you were for those years of daily decluttering, photographing and blogging. Very committed and consistent. How you sustained it is amazing! I dropped off. Some days I don’t declutter, some decluttered items I forget to photograph and mostly I just gave up posting about my decluttering.

    So thanks for the inspiration to declutter. Enjoy your Christmas.

    • Hi Lucinda, I think my commitment may boarder on neurotic but hey I’ll take the compliment anyway. Thanks. 😉 I am making up for it by being very inconsistent with my attentiveness recently. Moving house has been capturing a lot of my attention. Not to mention the hiatus on our internet connection. Surprise surprise the company failed to deliver on the date promised. They were sorry they messed this my husband though. 😉 Lets hope they get it right tomorrow.
      Glad to have been able to inspire you. Take a break over Christmas and enjoy the celebration.

  6. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and my best wishes to you all for a lovely 2014! Everyone has been so kind and helpful and I’d like to express my appreciation to you all. Colleen, we’ll see you upon your return and I am so happy to hear that you are doing well in your new home!

  7. Have a very happy Christmas Colleen and a wonderful New Year in your new home.
    It’s good to hear that things are fitting in well and you even have a few empty spaces 🙂
    Enjoy the blogging break!

    • Thanks Megan S, the same wishes to you for a happy holiday season. I amy be able to post a decluttered item a day for the first month or two once the fine tuning begins on the apartment. We’ll see but for now, as you suggest, I will enjoy my break. And you enjoy your break from me. 😉

  8. Thank you Colleen , Cindy & Deb J for getting me through another year. Thank you to all the guest posters for sharing their story and to all those that comment each day.
    Congratulations Colleen on your new home ! I love it! It is well laid out and just the right size. I think the lifestyle you will enjoy while living there could be described as ‘vacation style’ .
    Enjoy your Chistams . 🙂

    • Hi Wendy, sorry we couldn’t have coffee today. I was running around doing chores for Liam. Never mind that I forgot one of them. I also had to make the Christmas pavlova for Lola and the vegetarian “meat”loaf for the 3L’s. Thank God for the little IGA on the harbour because I had run out of vanilla.
      We will have to find a day soon for that coffee or if you are heading to the dog beach pass by here and I’ll join you.

      Have a very merry Christmas my friend and a wonderful 2014.

    • Glad to help, Wendyf. I just love our “little” community here.

  9. Merry Christmas Colleen and everyone !!
    Quiet one here this year – just me and doggie on the day. Been an interesting year, but l can happily say, probably have a little less stuff than last year, which lm satisfied with!!

    • Hi Felicity, I hope you and your doggie have a lovely Christmas day together. I spend a little time with my son’s dog today. She is a delight. I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you.

  10. Great to hear you have settled in so well Colleen, you are an inspiration. Enjoy the festive season and I look forward to your return in a couple of weeks. I still keep decluttering, although much more slowly now, and love how our home feels – mostly thanks to you!

    • Thank you Janetta. I do find myself walking around in circles in the kitchen trying to remember where I have put things but I will get used to it soon enough. It sounds like you are at the fine tuning stage, good for you.

  11. Very glad to hear that the shift went well and things have fitted in better than expected. Enjoy a break and looking forward to 2014!

    Adrian decided to re-paint the interior of the house, starting a week ago and so we’ve been experiencing a degree of chaos while furniture gets moved out of each room, cleaning, sanding and all the prep work that goes with it. A bit of a silly time of year to be doing this but the entrance, dinning room, big lounge and the hall way are done, and my daughter is at home prepping the kitchen and little lounge for us to hook into tonight which would put us over the half way mark if we include the garage. The reason I mention this is that we are having a sort out as a room is re-furnished and there seems to be a growing pile in the garage. There is one piece of furniture that we are pretty sure won’t be returning to the living area and last night when we were emptying the small lounge, everyone mentioned my office desk needs to find a new home too.

    So it sounds like I have my work cut out for me in 2014 with the stuff that didn’t make the cut upon refurnishing each room and also because the lovely fresh paint job has made the curtains (that came with the house when we bought it) look too drab to go back up, so I suspect I will be learning to sew curtains next.

    All the best to all 365’ers, have a safe holiday and catch you all back in the New Year!

    • Hi Moni! Although I would not tackle a painting job this time of the year, if my husband showed the slightest inclination to do anything around the house (as he did this year in his days off) I would just go with the flow and get it done 😉 . Your house will look great at the beginning of a New Year. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

      • Andreia – LOL we first talked about repainting in Nov 2012 so Adrian was a little late out of the starting gates but he is on a roll now. By the way, he got the gardens finished but he is hankering to cut down a tree in the backyard that blocks our morning sun, most days I see him gazing it, mentally revving his chainsaw. I’ve told him that’s his reward when the painting is finished.

    • Hi Moni, Adrien is almost as crazy as us. Painting a house at Christmas v moving house at Christmas, it is debatable which one is most disruptive. I think you guys may have the edge. I am cheating though and going to my daughter’s for Christmas eve night and Christmas day. That hasn’t excused me from cooking though. I am responsible for the pudding, the custard, the vegetarian “meat”loaf and the pavlova.

      I wish you success with the painting, the refurnishing and the decluttering that ensues. Have a joyous Christmas and a happy uncluttered 2014.

      • Colleen – 17 years ago we did both, we took possession of our very first house on 20th of December that was in a very run down condition and spent the next two weeks having to repaint from top to bottom, dump curtains and rip up carpet, as we didn’t have enough money for carpet, Adrian sanded and polyurethaned the floors, we had to replace all the bathroom fittings and most of the kitchen cabinetry and Adrian only had two weeks off work to get it all done. I was six months pregnant with Dayna so I wasn’t a lot of help, Jordy was almost 2 and determined to ‘help’ Adrian with everything. And that was the xmas that a cyclone hit our area. Fortunately we had shifted enough times being renters that I had it down to a fine art but it wasn’t a lot of fun in the rain, and as our new home had no landscaping, driveway or paths it was a quaigmire in the rain. I think we managed ham sandwiches and a glass of lemonade on the day as it was just too miserable to venture out. But we were happy about finally having our own place.

        • Oh my! Moni, I’m so glad Colleen’s move has gone better. Ugh! I wouldn’t want what you went through 17 years ago.

    • Moni, this may be a odd time to be painting the house but consider this a gift from Adrian. It will be great having a freshly painted house to start the new year. Don’t you love that you have found more things to declutter? Another “gift” from Adrian.

      • Deb J – it is definately a very odd time of year to be undertaking such a project, but it started with him deciding to fix a small hole in the wall and it avalanched on from there. I’m not usually someone who deals well with disruption, so it has taken a lot of deep breathing exercises to roll with it. My mission has been to provide the family with a dust-free haven to relax in at the end of each day, with no ‘stuff’ and no laundry to folded lying around. A few light snacks while we chill out in front of the TV. It has been challenging to achieve some days, but I feel it has helped a lot.

        Yes, I have to keep looking forwards. On the upside, Adrian is very fast and effecient and the girls have been troopers pitching in. We are fortunate that our house in generous in size and has the internal access garage. We have lived and painted in a tiny house with no garage and it was hard working around the lack of space. On the other hand, the house we are in is roughly three times as big and is taking a lot longer.

        Yes, a fresh new start on the house for 2014. I think we have been stuck in a rut for some years decor-wise, as the curtains that came with the house were ‘expensive and quality’ nevermind that we all hate them. And as they need to be rather long I can’t go and buy ready mades, so I shall have to learn to sew curtains. The carpet in the lounge needs replacing and so on and so on.

        And yes, a pile of decluttering to kick off 2014 and some challenging changes to make around the house.

        • Okay! More work than you would like and at the wrong time. Looks like you are handling it better than you hoped and that’s good. Sorry it is such a mess but glad for what the end result will be.

  12. To Colleen and all of the wonderful 365-ers:
    Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year) with aloha from Hawaii!

  13. Merry Christmas, everyone! Colleen, thank you for your continued help with our decluttering journeys. It must be nice to be in your new apartment in time for Christmas, especially with the satisfaction of knowing you made the right choices to allow you to downsize.

  14. Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a healthy New Year to everyone. Colleen, thank you for your ideas, insights and research to help us to unload the stress of being buried in stuff.

  15. Merry Christmas, Colleen, Cindy and Deb J. Thank you for many helpful and encouraging decluttering articles this past year. I look forward to more in 2014. Very best wishes to you and your loved ones.

  16. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Colleen and all my fellows here at 365lessthings! I am very happy that all went well with your moving Colleen. I did not expect any different because the less stuff we have the easier these things get 😀 .
    It has been a great year for me in the decluttering department. Even my set backs have helped me achieve a lot more in decluttering and getting my house in order. Of course I am already making plans to declutter more big stuff in 2014 and it is driving my husband insane…:D 😀 😀
    See you all next year!

    • Hi Andréia and thank you for your contributions this year. I am glad you a becoming more successful with your decluttering as time passes. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and more decluttering success in the new year.

  17. Merry Christmas Colleen! Congrats on getting into your new apartment and even having empty drawers!! I am very appreciative of all your hard work (and those who’ve contributed as well). You’ve all been an inspiration to me. I have a ways to go, but little by little I’m letting go of things.

    Hope to see everyone here in 2014!
    Barbara in Northern California

  18. Hey, Happy Christmas everyone.
    I’ve just been baking the annual speciality chocolate cake for our family get together that my mother has made for years: I discovered I have a surplus of wooden spoons that can leave the house and I didn’t miss the egg separator I got rid of in the summer,that this recipe ‘requires, and improvised fine with a measuring spoon.

    Delighted to hear all went well with the move Colleen.
    Our family are not exchanging any gifts this year – hurrah, so will not be bringing home any clutter 🙂

  19. Hi Colleen

    So glad the house move went well and that you are getting settled in!

    While I don’t often comment I continue to read and be inspired by your blog. I’ve been ill this year and now that I’m better I’m decluttering as I can and loving it. I just feel a need to free myself of way too much stuff!

    Have a wonderful Christmas

    Judy xx

  20. Happy festive season Colleen and co and happy new house Colleen! Hope you all have a wonderful time. I’m enjoying our emptier house these days and working hard to ensure it says that way – so always popping in here for some inspiration – love the posts and comments, thank you all.
    Di xx

  21. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!!!

  22. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2014! I am so glad to hear that your move went so well Colleen, that is quite a challenge at this time of year.

  23. Congratulations on your successful move! I am so happy to hear that the new place is comfortable for you and your husband! We haven’t moved into our new home yet, but that will be coming in the early part of the new year. Merry Christmas!!!

  24. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Colleen! It is wonderful to hear you got into the new place and fit so well! I am not surprised. It is so encouraging to hear you have come so far. I discussed with my husband how far we have come-after yet again a new guest commented on how organized and clean we are. I still have issues with full cabinets and drawers, but even the bedrooms have clear flat surfaces…except for one of my children who has treasures all over his dresser top and “animals” all over his bed-at least he keeps them pretty neat. I used to be an all-or-nothing person without realizing that was a type of perfectionism that kept me from doing a little at a time, and I have changed greatly in part to your blog! Thank you! I really enjoy all the space we have opened up and the way it gets easier and easier to clean. After Christmas, we have plans to take more to donate. A couple car loads went this month so far. Thank you for the contagious enthusiams and reminder that a little at a time = a lot!

  25. A little late but heartfelt: I hope you all spent a merry christmas and wish you all the best for the New Year 2014!