Mini Mission – Tuesday 1Aug2017

Declutter a paper or cardboard item.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Just did this about a half hour ago. One of the cancer centers here gave one of the chaplains (we go to the same church) over 1000 greeting cards. I went through them and organized them and we are going to make them available to people. I dumped all the cardboard dividers, the sacks, etc. It was great getting rid of it all.

    • Deb J, I know I’m supposed to be getting rid of more stuff, but I couldn’t help but be in lust over the thought of 1000 greeting cards!! Ha!! Wish I were there to pilfer through them. 🙂 :). I send cards all the time. Love, love, love finding them in thrift shops where a store has donated their close-outs.

      On a side note, I DID take a few more things to the thrift last week which included a weekly note pad. I had gotten it at the thrift but the sections were much too small for MY to-do lists, so I let it go back.

      • Brenda, I wish I could give some of them to you. Many don’t have envelopes so people will either need to buy one to go with a card or I will have to buy some to give to the thrift shop if any end up there.

        • Deb J, that would be no problem for me. One of the things I haven’t gotten rid of is my vast supply of all sizes of envelopes I have gotten for almost nothing. Every time I consider letting them go, I use another one for a card I have found with no envelope at the thrift. Or to have a better or colored envelope for a card I have. Sometimes now box cards have thin, flimsy envelopes. Too bad we don’t live close.
          But, I’m in N Ga, and I THINK you are in AZ. Ha! Well, I can dream.

          My extra envelopes are in the drawer of a antique bakers cabinet. I would not use the drawer for anything else, so my extra envelopes do not trouble me. I have used hundreds of them over the years making my own cards and supplying missing envelopes. (How’s that for an excuse?)

          • Brenda, I have extra envelopes for the same reason you do. I do’t consider them clutter. I make too many cards to not have extra in case I need them. I also have them because you never know when you will find a card with no envelope or one you don’t like. We are alike in that. Yes I am in AZ. Wish postage wasn’t so high. I would send a bunch to you.

  2. I just moved, so a huge pile of return address labels went into the garbage. I shouldn’t have ever had that many. I also pulled out the various stickers that had been intermixed with them and put a bunch in the box to go to the school-art-store donation. I use them to seal up envelopes, but I had way too many.

  3. I am helping my mother-in-law do 5-10 minutes every other day with her bookcase. So far there is a box for books to be donated, and the contents are steadily growing, so I am very proud of her. We also have an arrangement whereby there is another pile of books that have ‘guilt’ attached to them ie hasn’t read = waste of money, should be utilising this information but haven’t gotten around to it etc – and the deal is that I deal with those after discussing an appropriate destiny for each book, this of course requires extra work for me to see that those books end up in the hands of someone who will find them useful but if this helps her part with books then I figure that each one only has to be parted with once.

    Today – on her behalf – I am dropping off commemorative ladies magazines featuring the royal wedding to the Op Shop. She wasn’t sure why she bought them originally, but as they’re in mint condition (granted a few years old now) such things are still popular with the Op Shop clientele.

  4. We will be taking our rattiest underwear to our upcoming vacation and tossing it as we use. I’m looking forward to that because I have found (and bought) another type that I like much better.

    My husband has donated 2 Bibles to the library. I didn’t know whether that was the sort of thing they would accept and I mentioned it to one of the reference librarians and she said it was okay. So we donated them a couple of weeks apart (to their used books for sale section) so as not to overload them with bibles 🙂

    I had to toss a spray bottle recently as it broke and I could not fix it. I knew I had an empty one stashed under the kitchen sink so put that into service. I since discovered that it only works intermittently, so it has been tossed also (recycle bin). Now I am back to a spray bottle that I don’t like but at least it works and I plan to use until it breaks 🙂 That is 2 less things in my home.

    I keep extra envelopes and find that they do come in handy. I even keep used tip envelopes that I receive at work, as long as they aren’t too mangled. If I want to use them for something, I place a white sticker over the writing and use a Sharpie to label them. I also use extra window envelopes (place white sticker over plastic “window” and write address on sticker).

    Address labels and stickers that I receive from charities: I cross out my first name then use the return address labels as they are intended. The other stickers I use on the flap on the back of the envelope, to make sure it stays put. I have used up oodles of labels and stickers in this manner.

    USA readers probably know about Trader Joes. They put your groceries in paper bags, so we always have a few around. I cut the bags open to lay flat, turn them to the blank side and use them to wrap parcel post packages. I no longer have to buy brown paper for this purpose and I feel good to use the bags for something. The paper bag “handles” and leftover bag pieces are then composted.

    I asked our “hoarding” daughter to go through the almost 100 stuffed toys her kids have. She gave me a good sized pile to donate. A few needed a wash so I took care of that. When my husband & I went to the doctor, I left the stuffies there with a note “We’ve all had baths in the washer. Take us home if you like”. Maybe a sick little patient will find comfort 🙂

    I guess a few of my decluttered items were paper… but I’m much better at decluttering money and chocolate 🙂

    • Hi Peggy – sounds like some progress!
      We haven’t had grocery paper bags here since I was a kid, but I do remember mum using them for all sorts of things, she’d tape them together when she was drafting a pattern, used them as liners when baking cakes and of course, for us kids to draw on. I wish they’d bring them back here.