My decision making process

Today I thought I might bring you along with me during my decision making process. I have chosen several items that up until now have escaped decluttering but that I have had my eye on for a while. I will share with you my thoughts relating to each item and what my final decision is.

Before I get to individual items my first consideration in the decision making process is whether or not I am satisfied that I have gone far enough with my decluttering. Whether I am happy to keep everything that is left in my home. At this point in time I don’t have to waste much thought on this because I know for sure that I am not done yet.

The next step is to take a look around during my daily routine to spot items that are still up for consideration. This also doesn’t take much effort because, with the gradual process that I use to declutter by, there are always items in the back of my mind that have a tenuous grasp on their position in my home. If they aren’t very useful or much loved they are a candidate for elimination.

Then comes step three the individual decision making process which I will run through with a selection of items I chose to consider last week. As I mentioned above they are all items that have escaped the declutter process over the last few years but the time has come to bring them to the fore. So without further adieu here they are.

Glass Vase

Item No. 1  ~ A Glass Vase

The reason this vase has escaped decluttering so far is simply because I happen to like the look of it. That isn’t however enough to warrant keeping it when the object of this exercise is to declutter under utilised items from my home. I guess it would come under the heading of quilt clutter because I wasted money buying it on a whim. So I ask myself ~ How often has it been used since it was bought and the answer is probably twice in five years. Then other issues come to mind like the fact that none of the shelf spaces in my kitchen are tall enough to house it so it has been collecting dust on the top of  those cupboards. It also stands too high to look right no matter where I have attempted to display it and I rarely have a flower to display in it. So the verdict was that it can go to the thrift store.

Fruit Bowl

Item no. 2 ~ A handcrafted Fruit Bowl

This fruit bowl was a wedding gift from two very good friends who have  passed away in recent years. That is the only reason I believe it has stayed this long. How many times have I used this bowl in twenty five years of marriage? ~ I would hazard a guess at twice and that really says it all. Do I particularly like it? ~ No. I loved the people who gave it to me but I don’t need it to remind me of them. It has spend most of its twenty five years in the bottom of one china cabinet or another and has recently adorned the top of my kitchen cupboards with the vase mentioned above. I think it is time to let it go to someone who will appreciate it. It will also go to the thrift store.

Artificial Plant

Item no. 3 ~ An Artificial Plant

I don’t particularly like artificial plants and this one is no exception. You might wonder then why I bought it, well I didn’t my husband did. It adorns my lovely glass dining table. I have tried various other decor items from around the house on the table but have never been happy with the result. I am not happy with the plant either but the table looks too bare without something so for now the plant will survive the cut and stay on my table. This just goes to prove that not everything ones keeps is ideal. Mind you this item has a very tenuous hold on its existence in my home.

Craft Robo Cutter

Item no. 4 ~ Craft Robo Cutter

I have included this item because it is an item that at present doesn’t get much use. I is however a very clever little gadget and has served me well in my crafting endeavours in the past. As anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows there have been a lot of craft items decluttered over the duration of my mission and I dare say there will be more before I am done. But this gadget is safe for now and I can’t see me ever decluttering it. What I do envision is finding more time for crafting in the future. I have always been a crafter and dare say I always will be.

Craft Items

Item no. 5 ~ Knitting Tools

While we are on the subject of crafting items here is another example that came under scrutiny last week. I have passed over these knitting tools time and time again because although I have not done any knitting for about 6 years I have tended to return to the craft over and over again throughout the years. That being so I figured that these didn’t take up much room so why not keep them in the event that I would need them some day. Well my desire to reduce my craft has overtaken my desire to keep these items. I bundled up the better metal needles and stored them with my other sewing equipment but this lot can go to the thrift store along with the other sewing tools you see in the picture. If I need any of this size needles in the future I will check the thrift shop first because we usually have a good selection there.

So I hope that sheds a little light on how I go about choosing what stays and what goes.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter an item that fits with this question ~ What was the person thinking when they gifted me this?

Today’s Declutter Item

In keeping with today’s mini mission I will add one more item to declutter today and let you in on the decision making process involved. This large floral canister was a gift from a friend. It wasn’t a gift I was expecting because the person and I were not close friends. If I remember correctly it was full of different kinds of dried pasta. It was an interesting choice for a gift but I kind of liked its cheery design and its large proportions. It has decorated my kitchen for about 6 years now but it has no other real function for me. Like the knitting needles I have a greater desire to liberate the space than I do to keep the item so it will go to the thrift shop with the other items. That is one more thing not collecting dust and cooking grease on the top of my kitchen cupboards.

Floral Canister

Something I Am Grateful For Today

When the skin on a port roast cooks to a light and crunchy crackle. Mmmmm yum.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

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

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I think your decision making process is very good. I have been thinking about the decision making process we have. For me it has to do with having less to deal with–cleaning being the major thing I hate to have to do. I can just as easily remember something with a picture rather than having the real thing sitting around collecting dust. On the other hand, my mom looks at things with the idea of needing stuff to keep things from looking bare. For instance, we have a triangular 4-shelf plant stand in one corner with artificial plants on it. Mom wants it there because she doesn’t like having the bare corner. We have a built-in hutch at one end of the dining room with a huge mirror between two glass-shelved, glass doored units. She has many things on these shelves. For me if you have to have something on the shelves have one larger item that stands out. We just have very different mindsets about things. I have no problem with bare walls. It drives her nuts. We are finally working on compromising.

    • I agree Deb J, one large thing adorning a shelf is a lot less bother to dust than lots of little trinkets. There are still some areas of my house that could do with some trinket decluttering but they aren’t my trinkets so it isn’t my choice. I dust around them most weeks but every now and again I pull them out and give them a good once over. Luckily they are in pokey dark small spaces where you can’t tell from a distance that they are dusty.

      • I have this collectible doll. It’s a Native American about 1 year old and looks just like my cousin’s daughter did when she was that age. I saw it and thought it was so cute. My mom got it for me one Christmas. I would love to get rid of it but am still trying to work that inot my Mom’s mind so she won’t care. Maybe I should try giving it to the cousin’s daughter. Hum! I need to see if I can find a picture of her so she sees the resemblance.

    • Hi Deb J – I have a friend who refuses to have anything in the corners because simply because she likes to vacuum right to the corners and doesn’t want to shift things to do so. I like her philosophy.

      I can appreciate the school of thought that extra furnishings can soften a room and make it look more homey but to be honest I’ve never managed to achieve the interior designer looks you see in the magazines.

      • Moni, we used to have a house that looked a lot like a magazine page. But that was before a lot of changes happened in our lives. It doesn’t look bad now but a little too cluttery for me and some things are just outdated. My Mom was one of those who was into crafts and made the latest things. Unfortunately, she still thinks they are the latest thing. Grin!!

      • Hi Moni,
        Not wanting things in corners is an excellent way to actually open out a room. I was reading a book about habitual instincts that cause us to close ourselves in, whether it be furniture or stuff. It made me realise that the first thing I lay my eyes upon in a room is the corners! Weird but true, try it, just be aware of how many times you look at corners, they either make you feel content or your mind starts filling it!! Just lately all I’m looking for is webs and cracks hahaha. I really think you have to ‘dress’ your room/rooms for you & yours comfort, no-one elses. Lets be honest, most of the time we are doing things for others.

        I always tidied up and went extreme for visitors, I used to make do for us. Now everytime I straighten up or clean whatever I know it is for me and mine, not just for others. I love our home now, I walk around knowing that the things I have left are what I want to look at, not things that a design magazine tells me is the latest trend, I got off that wheel and have been so much happier for it. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        P.S Being able to get to the corners and clean is very satisfying I think I feel I have completed the job properly 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Thank you for including us in your decision making progress.

    I think, I would have kept the vase though and displayed it empty on the glass table instead of the artificial plant.

    This is, what I decluttered today:

    Another little stack of books. There are some presents in it, but I enjoyed them all, so no “what!” for me today – I couldn’t find anything matching the mini mission. I guess that’s a good sign.

    • Hi Sanna,
      the vase is just to tall and stark to adorn that table. It needs a tall narrow space or perhaps other object nesting around it’s base to give it balance and there is no way I am going to add more clutter to it. It is now at the thrift store or perhaps already sold.

      I am glad for you that you had no outrageous gifts to declutter. You must have your family well trained. It is also good to see a few more books heading out to be enjoyed by someone else. Well done.

      • I’m getting rid of gifts right away these days. Just last week I received scarves (plural!) from my granny, even though I explicitely told her, I didn’t need any. I think she must be decluttering her wardrobe because she sent me 4 scarves all together this year.
        However, I kept only one as it was in better condition than my old one, passed two others immediately on to friends and cut the last and made a pretty colourful wrap cloth out of it, for which I have far more use.

        I tend to get rid of presents soon these days, as I found that things tend to cling once they have been accepted as part of this household. It’s easier to get rid of them before you even got used to their look.

  3. At first I was horrified that you decluttered your knitting needles but as I finished reading the paragraph, I realized that you didn’t get rid of ALL of them. Whew! I’m OK now 🙂 Just so you know, I also have decluttered needles I don’t use…

    • Get your horror on again. I not only decluttered my knitting needles I’m getting ready to do the same with my crochet needles. I have never used any of them and have had them for years. I keep thinking someone can teach me to do one of the other or both. It hasn’t happened and now I’m fine with it never happening.

      • Oh no! Horrors!
        Actually, it’s so easy to pick up new needles of all kinds–sewing, knitting and crochet–that it does make sense to declutter them if you’re not using them.

    • Sorry Willow, didn’t mean to give you heart palpitations. 😆 As you read I did keep all the good metal ones. The container was the biggest problem it didn’t fit well into my storage spaces. Once it was gone I has the perfect little space to put the needles, some stitch holders, some crochet hooks and a latch hook.

    • Ten years ago when I first started decluttering I got rid of all my knitting needles as I hadn’t done any knitting since the 80’s. Lo and behold, two years ago I took up knitting again. It was easy as pie to acquire new needles and I don’t regret my earlier decision!

  4. Deb J, I’m with you on the cleaning motivation. I always think that I will do more of it once things are easier to clean (eg fewer piles on the floor & fewer things stashed on closet floors & under the couch and beds). Of course, maybe I also need to declutter my expectations about cleaning? No, just kidding. We have a smaller house by US standards with two teen boys, three cats and a large brown dog that sheds a lot, so cleaning is certainly in order.

    • It is only Mom and me in our house and no animals but with living in the Arizona desert we have lots of dust and dirt. I’ve never liked housework. So for me, the less I have to do the better and that’s helped if you have less clutter. My motto is everything has a place and everythings in its place.

      • Deb J, have you ever tried teaching yourself via the internet. Liam taught himself how to play the guitar that way.

        • I thought about it. But, I decided that I didn’t really want to learn. It was one of those “this looks like fun” things and now it doesn’t look so much like fun. For one thing, what do I make and what do I do with what I make when I get done? Back when I was into giving lots of gifts to everyone and their mother it would have been handy to know how. Now that I don’t give gifts to anyone I have no idea what I would do. I could give to a charity but I’m afraid I would get bored pretty quickly with making the same things over and over. So, out they go. If I change my mind some day I can always get some more.

          • thats honest and smart thinking… there are a lot of things that I would love to learn, like languages. but in order to do that, I dont have to own 5 language/grammar/vocabulary trainer. one decent book is enough. and what colleen mentioned is also true. the internet provides you with really great options. I found a daily podacst of a french guy reading a text, explaining it very slowly and then repeating it. 5 minutes max. everyday. thats the decluttering approach in learning languages… lets see if this is as successful. come to think. this blog is also kind of a trainer.

    • Hi Mama Minou,
      having less clutter sure does make cleaning easier. Pets however certainly do not. I have to admit I am glad I don’t have any. As lovely as they are they sure do add a lot of tasks to your to do list. When I did have dogs they were outdoor dogs. They were only allowed inside in the evening and were trained to go straight to the pet bed on the floor next to me where we watched TV.

    • Hi Mama Minous – I have three teens (one boys, two girls) and 3 cats. Oh and hubby. I spend a lot of time cleaning and picking up. It has got a lot easier since I’ve been heading in a minimalist direction.

  5. Regarding craft supplies clutter, there is also very exciting way of breaking some world/country record 🙂 . Few months ago i found out that one crafting site is organizining breaking a record in longest string of beads (which will be then donated to people with disabilities). I went through my bead stash and choose beads not very loved / bough in too big quantity, spent few months stringing and donated a full bag of beads 🙂

    ….. and yes, the world record was broken recently with 14805 meters long sting of beads 😀

    you can see that sea of beads here:

    • Hi Verka and welcome to 365 Less Things. Thank you for adding your voice to our comments and thank you also for the link to that worthy cause. Wow that is a lot of beads and how wonderful that they are going to help people in need. What a great way to declutter unwanted craft supplies. I think I will google “donate craft supplies” now and see what I come up with.

    • that is amazing! great way to get rid of those unwanted beads. I just wonder what they will do with almost 15 km of beads?

      • ah, yeah well, you know. I should read more carefully 😉 got it, they will give it to children…

  6. I agree with Deb J and Mama Minou on the decluttering to make cleaning less of an effort thing. I don’t like doing housework (I even got a keyring from a friend that said: My only domestic quality is that I live in a house) so the quicker and easier it’s over the better. Getting there slowly as we had a great weekend clearing and sorting through stuff. We’re not there yet but it is getting better. And I’m getting to the point where I just go: where should I store it…. dunno………But it is in the way…. Oh well, ill just get rid of it then.

    • Hi hunter_xs, even though most of my clutter was well hidden away in closets there were enough trinkets and stuff around to make cleaning that little bit more of a chore. I am glad to experience it getting easier and easier. For some people the clutter is everywhere and as the declutter process proceeds I can imagine the freedom and ease of the now wide open spaces.

    • “my only domestic quality is I live in a house” love it!

  7. I like to hear about the detailed thought processes of other people as they declutter, especially for things similar to items I have that I am finding it hard to part with. Two other blogs that really helped me are these:

    Both of them are now closed, as the authors achieved their goals, but the archives are well worth reading if anyone is getting stuck on some items.

    • Hi Jo H, thank you for those links. Clutter really is about the psychological attachment to things and how to break those attachment not about the variety of clutter and how to declutter it. That is why I rarely focus my posts on how to declutter this or that particular kind of item, like kitchen clutter, books, tools etc. The decluttering is mostly in the mind.

  8. missed an s for spaces (shelf paces)

    It seems the top of your cupboards are really getting it today! Got to dash, will have a read of all the comments a little later, but great post

  9. interesting processes. I go similar. Most of my items need to survive the question: do I use it? do I need it? those items that I still cant part with are then getting the question: do I love it? and if this is a true yes, it can stay. if its a no, I will have that one on my radar for the next couple of days/weeks. I usually reflect on them, like why can’t I part with it, or what are those memories worth, etc…
    I sometimes also keep things, because I think they dont take up a lot of space, so I just leave it there. Or I have the problem of “to-do”. like books to read. I realized that I need to get this under control. for the next 7 month I will read and read and read research and theory and articles on all sorts of topics and finally learn for exams, so there is no point I am storing books around that I borrowed from friends or so. I will therefore give away the borrowed, but unread books (2) and throw away my second central american travel guide, as it is so out of date and just taking up space. I wont sell this, as I have written in it and I don’t want others to read that. it was mine alone and it has done its purpose. I will sell another book about architecture in Berlin. Although I am really interested in the topic, this book is not what I expected and I am not going to use it ever again. I listed it on amazon. I am getting used to selling books. I think what you said is true. My desire to make space is bigger than the desire to keep them. books are everywhere on this planet. it is also about the content and not about the physical object. so yeah, I got over my addiction for books. interesting.

    I need to tell you ladies, that I went for a little cruise with my friend today, because he wanted to get a musicbox/wooden commode from the late 50s/early 60s. He is the one that is already cluttered like hell. He just cant accept the fact that people throw away good things, pretty things, and especially things that are in a good shape. we also found old leather rests, and a set of couches that were in a pretty good shape and had adorable fabric. So we cut off the fabric from the back and got the leather in. He is an artist making handbags. beautiful things. So we got the musicbox in, made space in his little atelier and I cleaned it properly and then we turned it on, and the radio was still working… It was just beautiful. I stood there and admired it and realized that although I really appreciated this item, I dont have any desire to own it myself. No jealousy, no greed, nothing. pure admiration for such a pretty object. and I was absolutely happy with it.

    • Hi Lena, it sounds like this post had you reflecting on more than just the decision making process. You also go to thinking how much you have changed in your attitude to stuff over the last year or so. Big changes there my friend and I bet it feels liberating. It is amazing how the things we think we love are really quite suffocating at times.

      • and how you fall in love with something new. My love for less is so much greater than my love for more. in so many ways. so I am learning to say goodbye to a once very very loving relationship I had with books. its a bit sad. but only a bit.

    • I agree with you how we can appreciate the beauty of something without wanting to own it. It is like the saying ” all care, no responsibility” .

      • I think it was the first time I had that feeling. I kind of waited for the jealousy to step in and make me feel bad about my friend having such a great piece of furniture, and not me. But it never happenend. I even thought: imagine you would get this in – it would take you ages to push yourself to get rid of it again, because its so beautiful. I clearly put my decluttering/minimizing desires on a higher priority these days. how liberating indeed. decluttering is not just about physical objects that you throw out, you also throw out these negative emotions that can be related to it.

        oh so many deep insights for me lately, if this doesnt stop, I will be explode of wisdom soon 😉

  10. “I have a greater desire to liberate the space than I do to keep the item”. That statement says it all!

    My “what was this person thinking” declutter item for the day is actually a funny story…..
    20 years ago my in-laws, who were in their late 60’s, decided to bring me their 1940’s canning equipment they no longer used (just in case I decided to can, I guess). 1 month later, my husband and I receive a birthday card (our birthdays are 5 days apart) informing us the canning equipment was our joint birthday gift. 2 months later they ask me to return it as they needed it to can pickles. 1 month later, we receive a Christmas card which says, “Canning equipment is expensive, so this is also your Christmas gift”. I guess they “forgot” that they had taken the gift back. I never saw it again. We still laugh at the “Gift that kept on giving”. At least I didn’t have to declutter the item. The decision was made for me, haha!

    • What a great story Kimberley, if only all gift givers were so thoughtful. 😆 I love it!!!

    • Now this is a great story. That’s like a gift I was given that I really didn’t want then the giver borrowed it. She broke it and never replaced it. I was fine with that.

  11. Hi. Ok here is the story of the “What the….?” gift. A friend (who has sinced moved away and on with her life) spent some of her divorce settlement and got a boob job. After her recovery period, we all met up for a girls night out so she could show us her new figure. She presented us all with a gift and to our horrified surprise we’d all been given a pair of boob extention-enhancers, or as I have come to describe them….external implants (I know it doesn’t make sense but everyone generally gets what I mean) flesh coloured, anatomically correct, silicone, slip over your own and held in place by your bra, designed to take you up several sizes instantly. Imagine opening that over your appetiser! We were all gob-smacked!!!!!

    Now I can appreciate that sometimes we need to give nature a helping hand to look our best, but I was a rather reluctant recipient, actually we all were. The problem is this 365’ers. How do I get rid of them? I can’t send them to the local Kindergarten fund raiser yard sale. I am sooooo not listing them on trademe/ebay. I can’t bring myself to take them to goodwill or the salvation army, the old dears would be shocked! I don’t really want to send silicone to the rubbish tip either.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for a bit of fun and jokes and pranks, and I can understand my friend thought it was funny. Personally if I was going to give a friend a “boob” theme gift a push up bra or a voucher to a lingerie store, or even better, saved her money!

    I know there are worse prank gifts out there, have received worse, but like I said, they’re a bit awkward to get rid of, and I looked it up and they were pricey at the time.

    • Well Moni that gift sure was unique if not a little strange. I do however have a solution for decluttering them. You can send them to me, I can do with all the enhance I can get. Those “chicken fillets”, as we call them, would probably only help me fill out my A cup bras. I always say I was built for speed not for comfort. 😆

      But seriously, send them to the thrift shop, I work in one and I know the ladies would all be mildly amused momentarily not shocked. Don’t be mistaken in thinking that older ladies didn’t live very interesting lives themselves. I could tell you a thing or too about some of their stories. One of the guys I work with is only in his mid twenties and has four sisters so he has seen it all as well. I would like to bet though that the chicken fillets would sell in no time.

      • lol. this is an amazing story. and then this comment. excellent.

        Moni, you could send them here. I would love to try that for going out. I was actually wondering how it would be to have a huge chest. not that I need to complain, I think I am actually ok. but I was shocked, when one day I decided to change my hair colour to blonde, just for the heck of it – I got looks. really. you change your haircolour and men look at you differently. same thing with losing kilos. men can be so simple, its mind-boggling. Now, I bet if you have really big boobs in addition you can just go and play with them all…

        • Hi Lena – I dyed my brunette hair blonde once and my hubby didn’t even notice. Or rather he knew I’d done something but he couldn’t figure it out…….

          And yep people treated me differently straight away, the guys where I worked at the time would be very careful in their explanations, and I was like for goodness sake I’m still the same person!

          My daughters were blonde right thru their child years, one is still blonde, my older one had been getting gradually darker since 13 and so this year she went brunette, and she said people treated her like she was a different person initially.

          As for the inserts – like I told Colleen they add an extra 3 inches. I’m not much over 5 foot which is rather short here in NZ and I’m already generous in that department, I’d look ridiculous!

          And imagine if one fell out!

          • ridiculous is best, I mean I dont know how it is in your part of the world, but I find the way people dress here so ridiculous sometimes. I often have to try hard not to laugh. had to research inch to cm again. lol. thats huge!! I still would try it though. just to see how people react.

        • Hi Lena – sorry about the inches – we use centimetres here too but we also seem to have a working knowledge of emperial ie we all know what a pint of beer is, we understand height in feet and inches better than centimetres, and we all seem to only comprehend babies weight only in pounds ie a 10 pound baby is a whopper but a 4.5 kilo baby we’d all have to think about. Even though it is marked as 500g we still call it a pound of butter.

          • you know I know that a pint is a bit more than half a liter, so thats around the same sizes we have. But this inch, or feet thing is really strange.
            I always thought that a pound is actually 500g. because we call it a pound of butter as well. argh. I just dont understand why we ended up with different sizes and measurements. thats so ridiculous 😉

            • Actually a pound is close to 450g but whose counting, 453.59237 Grams to be exact.
              The reason it is all foreign to you Lena is because you are younger than Moni and I. I was in year four in school when Australia went metric so I learned both and that is why I understand both to this day. Mind you I had a good refresher course when I lived in America. My knowledge of this came in very handy when I was working in craft stores over there. Our store was in an area that was quite multicultural and often people would come to the cutting counter wanting so many metres of fabric and didn’t know the measurement in yards. The ladies serving also didn’t know so they would call me because I did. Don’t ask me what they did when I wasn’t there.

              • LOL! Was born well after the changeover, but have noticed most NZ’ers seem to have a basic knowledge of emperial. Probably because import and export with UK and USA is pretty important to us. Have noticed my teen kids even seem to have the same, most prefer to hear height in feet and inches – and its not even our official measurement. Yard is one we don’t hear a lot of though, mainly feet and inches but that’s probably because builders use those terms. Oh and we can thank Coronation Street for my working knowledge of what a “pint” is!

      • Hi Colleen – yes I bet they probably have seen it all! I forget that these lovely little old ladies were once wild young things.

        These are more than chicken fillets, these are pretty well a whole boob. Would be about 3 inches in height when lying flat, so you stick out another 3 inches when worn.

        Yes certainly the most unique gift I have ever received.

        • Wow that sure is more than a chicken fillet. I am sure people would notice if I grew that much virtually overnight. I don’t think I would want to draw that much attention to myself.

          • All I can think of is young girls stuff socks down their trainer bras!
            They’re going to goodwill!

            • I think it is the modern day version of socks or tissues that you are decluttering. 😆 The socks and tissues were so much cheaper and dual purpose as well.

    • What a hoot! I can see why you are having a problem figuring out what to do with it. Any contribution bins anywhere in your town? We have some here that are just these tall square bins with a hole to put things through to get them in the bin. If you have anything like that you could drop them in and not be seen by the recipient group. One never knows who might want them. I guess! Maybe……?

    • Hi Moni, Love it made me laugh but I think I would have been a little shocked too. Just because she felt she needed to up the anti’ doesn’t mean all you girls needed to up yours! hahaha lets face it ‘more than a handful is a waste’ LOL Donate them, I agree with Colleen, the older ladies will love it!

      When I worked in Radiology, I used to cringe terribly when we had ladies and girls in for x-rays of damaged breasts due to augmentation and others fighting Breast Cancer, I totally get all the reasoning behind wanting to change what the good Lord gave you, but honestly it is quite horrifying as well. Go the extentions on the outside and give em something to look at!! hee hee. I bet someone will snap them up so fast you’ll hear them sizzle 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. How many of us have friends with immaculate large homes, who have a cleaner come once a week?
    Major motivation for decluttering is having to clean it!
    Do I use it? Can I store it and access it when I need it. I think stuff that is out of sight and stored is more in my declutter radar than stuff I can see. It annoys me to think I am storing stuff I never use. Some advice I was given years ago, is when you store stuff write the date you stored it on the item. If you have not used it in 12 months , dispose of it. I think just the fact that storing stuff is enough of an indicator that you do not need it.

    • Hi Wendy,
      So true, another one that I heard is ‘Imagine all your stuff you have stored in cupboards etc, is a black oily stew of stagnant mess’ sounds gross enough to make you have a clean out. Hee hee, I say let the Chi flow and smile!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • I consider all the stuff hiding away in cupboards as square metres in the moving truck next time we have to up camp. I want to hear the packers say, “Wow you don’t own a lot lady.” or “I wish my house was this organised and uncluttered.” when we have our next pre-pack and uplift. I also don’t want to waste company money on a bunch of stuff I don’t need. I also want to be moving to a smaller house and everything fits immediately. Plus I love that there is less to dust and that I can find things in an instant because there is a place for everything and everything is in its place uncluttered and easy to get at.

        • That would be great, wouldn’t it? Last time I travelled to NZ, I took one small rolling suitcase, which I checked as hold luggage but many people were using identical sizes as carry-on. I got an endless stream of compliments from people handling baggage; airport staff, bus drivers etc etc. It’s so heartening. I looked at some of the monster rolling suitcases people had and I could have used some of them to take a nap in, and I’m ot far shy of six feet tall and no skinny-minny. No idea what they were carrying in there; kitchen sinks?

          • I so know what you mean GreyQueen. My hubby and I travel with a backpack each no matter where we go or for how long. I am putting together a post about that so stay tuned. I wonder what those bags are full of myself, travel clutter would be about right I think. I be they get home and haven’t touched most of it or the go for three weeks and never wash while they are away. I have never had a problem finding a laundromat so I only carry enough clothes for about six days.

          • Hi GreyQueen – I’ve been doing the Project 333 Challenge ie 33 wardrobe items – I’m actually down to less than that now and still have items I haven’t worn – but that aside, I can fit my 33 items into a suitcase easily (factoring in that I would be wearing some) – and that’s my clothes for 3 months! So yes I do wonder why people take enough clothes for a month for a 7 day trip.

          • I was one of those. I overpacked. I think I still do, especially if I am away for a week. a weekendtrip is often just a handbag extra with another shirt and underwear and my toiletbag, but as soon as I go away for minimum one week, I need to force myself to minimize. deliberatly.

          • As a family of four, we (airplane) travel with only one backpack each (even to colder climates). It is possible to layer effectively, to wash in a sink overnight and let air dry, to only need one pair of sturdy shoes and maybe a pair of flip-flops (and then again, maybe not). My parents are currently on a trip overseas. My Mom told me what she was taking and I told her to delete about 6 items. AND SHE DID. But then she added an extra scarf so that one simple black outfit could have mulitple looks with the addition of a different colored scarf! Bravo MOM! 🙂

            Considering many airlines these days are opting to charge an arm and leg for any baggage at all, one backpack per person to avoid any extra fees is a delight. Besides, WE DON’T NEED ANY SOUVENIERS!!! So we don’t need extra space to bring stuff home! AHHH the joy of simplicity and a decluttered minimalist LIFESTYLE!!! (Colleen, I am excited to read your post on lightweight travel…!!!). 🙂

      • Oh Dizzy! Makes me not want to have cupboards at all! I forget what I have stored. Once I would have bought something because I did not have one and find another in the back of the cupboard. Now I just buy less. I would love an open pantry, so i could see what i have. And I would love one of those tiny houses that seem to be popular in the U.S. at the moment!

        • Hi Wendy,
          I think I saw those houses on Rowdy Kittens website. They are too cute reminds me of the ‘Wendy House’ we used to have as kids, only a bit taller. No pun intended but that’s what we called cubby houses or play houses here. Some of the trailer houses are great aren’t they, couldn’t imagine living in one with kids but some people do and they thrive!

          I used to have an open pantry situation years ago and I really liked it, mind you everything was containerised and I think that is the key to open look simplicity, I used to have all my cast iron and enamel pans along the bottom row and visually it was very appealing. I’m undecided as to whether I could live with it again, I think pantries in general end up being a catch and hold all quite often. Constant vigilance is required or the pantry monster reigns supreme. 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • Hi Dizzy, I’ve started reading the Feng Shui book. Was feeling good about the progress I’d made on the house until I read Karen’s perception of clutter – wow!

          • oh, our abode is not THAT small…but those very tiny houses are totally amazing! 🙂 Our place is a 1920’s one main level and basement bungalow, detached garage out to an alley (we live in a city).

          • yeah I love the tiny houses too. I also think all those people who even built it themselves are so great. I would actually love to do a DIY project like that one day. =)

        • Dizzy and Wendy,
          Our kitchen cupboard doors are being refinished (we didn’t want to put our very solid, but very old and still in GREAT condition cabinets in a landfill, so we are just having the front doors redone). Anyway, for the past 3 weeks I’ve been having a kitchen with no cupboard doors (as they were taken off and off site to be worked on). AND I FIRST looked into my cabinets and almost had a melt down. WHAT DO I HAVE IN THERE (and we just moved back into this house, so one would think these cabinets are in good clean decluttered order). One major overhaul and poof, they look ok. However, now I’ve gotten so used to NOT having doors, and I can see exactly what I am looking for, and so I’m almost not wanting the doors put back on!!!! Well, I will keep you both posted, the contractor is due to return them and rehang them sometime within the next week or so!! 🙂 And yes, we have a VERY tiny house in the U.S. When we rented overseas, our place was huge, so at first when we returned home we were kinda ‘climbing’ all over each other, and sometimes our very tiny kitchen gets congested, but overall, we have decluttered even more and added one small dog and we are just so happy in our tiny adobe! 🙂

          • my posts are up side down, the tiny house one is after the kitchen cabinet one…sorry for confusion folks! just so excited to be a part of the thread and delightful discussion

          • That sounds great Annabelle, my friend went through a building re-vamp and left her doors off. When the ‘Chippie’ returned them she had him rest them against the dining room wall till she could get her hubby to hang them. Liked it so much they became ‘Doors to Nowhere’ and stayed put. Her pantry remained tidy and open all hours! Maybe fit your doors to a wall and live with the open pantry for a while. You can always get someone to re-hang the doors on your pantry if you find you can’t put up with looking at your food!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  13. While so many other blogs take on abstract notions of ridding oneself of possessions, or simply refer to excess belongings as junk (or worse!), I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your style. I love the way you took individual items and shared your decision making process. I could so relate to unloved gifts from lovable people. Now let me go take a look at my own stuff that falls into this (often emotional) category. Thanks again. I look forward to more posts like this one.

    • Well said Melissa,
      I know it wasn’t a mad frenzy for me, rather a more steady dig in a peel back the layers on some things and a total toss of others. Along the track of my journey I realised that my acquisitions far outweighed my releases for no other reason than I thought it would either come in handy one day or someone might want to borrow it. I really like the 365 approach and I agree there are a lot out there that advocate chucking the lot but to what end? Slow and steady wins the race I feel. Although I have thrown total ‘What The’s’ I do like to consider what path I will take for something I am getting rid of. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • I am glad you enjoyed the post Melissa. You grasped exactly what I was trying to convey. The items are junk they are useful and lovely but I prefer the decluttered feel to my home. While these items could be useful or lovely to someone else so why hide them away wasted.

    • you are so right! the thing I like here is that you are allowed to feel sentimental about some things. Yes I want to get rid of my possessions, just like other bloggers too, but I dont want to trash the planet while doing that, and I dont want to give away things before I am a hundred percent sure about it. I dont want to follow minimalism just so I can brag about it, or suddenly state that I dont have a relation to stuff anymore. because I do and I always will. at this blog one can take their emotions and feelings seriously. no jugding, that you dont do it fast enough, no generalizations on rules, but tips all over the place on how to declutter the best way possible. For yourself…

      • Thank you Lena, I like what you said there and am glad 365 makes you feel that way.

      • Well said Lena good on you. All shedding of stuff and clutter is fine as long as you learn by your process and it is so true what you said, it is about doing it your way for yourself with a little good advice and a cheering squad to help you along. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Holy Cow someone paid what for those bracelets. I really do need to rethink what I do in my spare time. I could be making a fortune with my crafting talents if only I was crazy enough to think that people would pay that sort of money for such a simple concept. That’s it no more blogging I am ditching you all to make my fortune. 😆 just kidding.

      • Just because it is pricey and on Etsy, does not equate to fortune made.

      • Think that’s outrageous, I saw a wreath made out of plastic spoons, as crafty as it was I had to think ‘What The’ and then thought how often would you use it and dust it, and then thought how well could one dispose of such an item, I’m all for re-using if you can but this was 6 pks new spoons hot glued together and that’s it!!! You couldn’t clean it with water due to the glue!!! I was amazed (a little) %( %(

  14. Gifts I’ve (recently, not today) got rid of:
    – recipe cards & box (like, no way I’m going to that effort to rewrite recipes on a set card, I’ll either print from a computer, or someone will surely give it to me in whatever format suits them).
    – soap (exchanged for a solid shampoo bar I use)

    I could get rid of the babushka nesting measuring cups I ASKED for, for Christmas. Shame you need to immerse your hand in the flour to measure them, plus they have annoying rims (so they make babushkas). I feel horrible that I so quickly realised their annoyances! And I have two other sets of cup measures (one set are in containers, like for b’fast oats, or washing powder).

    Moni – Out of the mouths of babes, or nannas! The things I’ve talked to with retirees, well, I’m with Colleen, they are a very liberal bunch! Best of luck with chicken fillet re homing! But I reckon someone would buy your implants! I have some (of the less large, chicken fillets) as I like Colleen are made for speed!? – and still single, so you know!

    • Hi Snosie don’t you hate it when things are poorly designed. One really has to look past the cute exterior and investigate the design before we lay our money down.

  15. Hi,
    Colleen, I adored reading the thought process behind your choices. Particularly what struck me as awesome was this part, “a greater desire to liberate the space…”.

    There is such a sense of peace in todays post. Thank you. 🙂

    • My pleasure Annabelle, thank you for reading. It is true, I do have a greater desire to liberate the space than I do to keep most things. I have been busy liberating some space and some aspirations just this morning. The items won’t appear here because they were broken jewellery pieces and single earrings brought home from the thrift store to recycle into other pieces but they were coming in faster than they were leaving. So I disassembled the pieces and put them into a glass jar to be sold as a craft lot. Judging from past experience I am sure they will sell very quickly. Even little pieces of liberated space add up over time.

  16. Hi Colleen,
    Re the fake ivy/centerpiece. Have you already tried potted herbs instead? If I remember right you are not a plantlady but rosemary for example is quite indestructible. And smells good. And is food themed. And tastes so great with roasted potatoes or fried salmon. A bowl of succulents also makes a great centerpiece. I usually have a bowl of fruit sitting on the table (the table is in the kitchen, so the bowl needs to be somewhere anyway) but sometimes I change it to fresh flowers or candles to keep it interesting (yes, I do admit that I am a bit of an interior junky and that my sense of aesthetics can’t take bare everything. But the socalled centerpiece is something I don’t really get when it comes to something other than fruit, flowers/plants or candles. I find it even stranger on coffeetables though. Where to put my feet if the whole table is covered with decoration?)

    • Thanks for the suggestion Ideealistin but you remember correctly I have a brown thumb. I have a huge rosemary bush in my garden which I haven’t managed to kill yet so I don’t need another. I tried putting a terrarium there but it got some sore of mildew thing and died. I have tried succulents before and they didn’t seem happy there. I transferred them to the garden where they are growing nicely. I do like the idea of a real plant there but how many have to sacrifice themselves before I to finally find one I can keep alive. I haven’t given up on the idea though.

      I have to confess I haven’t really put much thought into it really because I don’t care enough when I can fall back on the ivy.

  17. Oh, Colleen, and after my unasked for decorational “expertise”: I did declutter something this weekend! And I am so glad about it, because it was something I did not know how exactly to approach it before because I don’t understand much about it: cables.
    When the BF was too lazy to get up from the couch to go out into the sunshine I gave him the choice to either get up or I’d drag down the box of miscellaneous cables from the attic and go through it with him. He chose the cables … one shoebox full of bits and bobs will head to the thriftstore!
    And one cutting board decluttered itsself by breaking (not happy about it but not too sad either as we have enough left from our two households)

    • Ideealistin your decorational expertise was very sound and most appreciated so don’t you worry about that. Good job conning the BF to take care of the cable decluttering. You gave him the choice, do something I want to do or do something I don’t want to do. It was a win win situation for you really. You have this BF thing down pat you clever girl.

  18. How I love this blog and the commentators. 😛 Those canning jars, going to and fro………..

    One of the weirdest things I was ever given, when I was in my twenties, was a pair of peach-coloured nylon frilly knickers (panties) by my auntie. Which were several sizes too small. Not that nylon would be getting anywhere near my nethers, but still……..!

    I have a tiny flat and have only 3 things on my living room wall; two wonderful photographs of scenery and a watercolour painting which is a constant delight. One wall has a whole lot of nothing and I enjoy resting my eyes on its plainness. This wall is an obsession for a clutter-bunny acquaintance who finds a few square feet of blankness deeply troubling. She has even offered to do me a painting to put on it. It’s very hard to explain that blankness isn’t an absence of stuff which needs to be rectified but a valid and reasoned choice in its own right. Which is why I know exactly what you mean, Colleen, about valuing the space liberated much more than the object which formerly occupied said space.

    • Hey Grey Queen,
      If life gets boring looking at your blankness wall I suggest pinning a pr of nylon frillies to it, see what your friend makes of that haahahha.
      Oh and thanks for the laugh I haven’t heard ‘nethers’ for years heehee.

      A lot of my friends come by my house and always comment on the walls I have chosen to leave clear of decoration. I, like you, think that a blank wall is a resting place for your eyes, (maybe we are mental and need therapy!!) Nahh I think we’re fine!! I also like clear corners as much as possible as well.

      While out house-hunting on the weekend, we happened upon one home that was over-run with everything and I mean everything, from Gnomes (creepy little things too) all the way through to junk in every room, BUT! Amazing but true, one feature wall was completely BLANK! Really struck my hubby as weird, but I thought to myself the house and surrounds had such a cacophany of ‘NOISE MESS’ I believe this one wall gave them a little visual peace! I found myself ‘cleansing my vision’ quite often. 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • I have also blank walls, in the bedroom and in the livingroom. I love them. mental? maybe. But as long as there is no great picture or poster coming along, I leave it bare.

        • All the walls in my bedroom are blank. My mother hates it. I love it. My room feels quiet and peaceful. I may someday put something up on a wall or two but not until I find exactly what I want and it “speaks” to me.

      • The joke is that my living room is only 12 ft x 9 ft 5 inches, so the blank bit of wall which so troubles my friend is an area above a table which is barely 5 feet square. I get “visual indigestion” in cluttery environments, even if they’re just ones I’m visiting. Stayed in a B & B once with knickknacks everywhere which was very unsettling.

        • haha. thats 10m², nice minimal living room. I know what you mean. I was a very cluttered person before and I always loved my walls which were full of pictures and postcards and really everything that was important for me. It was a huge collage of all little things. But now I just love the blankness of my white walls. I think I have about 17m² and 2 blank walls (one side are widows). On one side, I have a painting hanging that I got from my dad. its a guy who is showing his tongue. whats funny about that is that people either love it or hate it. no in between. on the other side the wall is blank except one small picture of the “sagrada familia” basilica in barcelona. its right above my dinner table. I have also an art poster with a lot of chairs on my living room door, which is always open. so there is actually a bit of decoration. and visual points. but because I have a very very very old dark patchwork rug (grandmothers, still alright, but not very pretty) and a brown leather couch) I feel I need to keep the rest as bright as possible.

      • Glad “nethers” made your laugh, hun; I was racking my brains for something which was neither crude nor twee. :p

  19. Taking a picture of an item to remember it takes much less clutter and may make it easier to let go of.

    • Hi Spendwisemom, that is good advice for those items people have trouble letting go of. I however have a photo of everything I have let go of since the beginning of my 365 Mission. I must be up to about 725 photos by now. If I ever stop blogging I will gladly delete them all because I don’t need them for memories only for if something goes wrong within WordPress and I loose my photos uploads and need to replace them.

  20. just a suggenstion Colleen, but couldn’t you change the faux ivy with a real one? Real plants make a better impression in my opinion and they help with the air condition in the house.
    Ivy is prettymuch impossible to kill, grows in a huge range of temperatures and ammounts of light and can stand no watering for ages and then huge ammounts in one go. And if you manage to kill it (please tell me how you did it) you can replant one of the surviving leaves (it never dies all at one ) and you will have a new ivy plant in no time. If it gets too big you either replant it with a single stem/leaf or just cut the excess. Just don’t compost the leftovers. 🙂
    I used to have some faux ivy too, but after a while it became a horrible dusttrap that I could not get clean.

    • Hi hunter-xs I think you are right about the ivy or even a similar plant that is almost indestructible. I have managed to keep two indoor plants alive so surely I can manage one more. Real plants are good feng Shui

  21. I had all my schooling in the metric period but my teachers were firmly raised on imperial measurements so I have an eccentric use of both systems. I measure small amounts in centimeters as they’re easier to subdivide than inches and big amounts in inches. 1 metre = 39 inches btw. I know my weight and height in both systems (pretty tall and too darned heavy is the answer ;P) The UK is thoroughly schizoid with metric measurements; we legally have to have stuff in metric packs but lots of people detest it, so the veggies are priced in pounds and kilos, we sell milk by the pint (but print the cl equivalent on the label), beer is by the pint and distance is by the mile. I don’t know how many generations will have to pass before we embrace metrification but some elderly people are still nursing grievances from the changeover from pounds, shillings and pence into decimal currency. That was back in 1971. We used to sell petrol by the gallon but it’s now by the litre which helps disguise the truly shocking price of the stuff.

    • Hi Grey Queen,
      What I miss the most is the ‘thrupny bit’ hahaha, this is how I found it spelt in a note at my Aunty’s house!

      That cute little coin was amazing when it was time to visit the ‘sweet shop’. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  22. I recently discovered your posts and have enjoyed them as I am a long time declutterer looking for motivation. I have the exact same floral cannister myself. It was a Christmas present. I also enjoyed the colors that match my kitchen. The pasta stayed unopened in the canister for several years till I finally tossed it thinking it was too old to eat. I kept the cannister in my kitchen for several more years. Now it is in my basement. Maybe it is time to let it go to someone else.

    • Hi Gail and welcome to 365 Less Things. I don’t think we ate the pasta out of mine either. I think it is quite a nice canister but as I said in the post the empty space is more important to me. It sounds like yours has long past being of importance to you since it has been relegated to the basement. I think you are right ,time to let it go.

  23. I used to do a lot of entertaining and whenever we had an office event, I would bring home the plastic serving dishes and spoons and forks for use at home. I have been slowly tossing these in the recycling bin. I used to give them to the Salvation Army but they will not take them anymore. Guess there were just too many to deal with. I still have a box beside the refrigerator with some large platters. They will be decluttered this weekend. I just cannot stand that box there any longer. And I will be scouring the rest of the cupboards for any of the other plastic containers. I am keeping some of the platters and shell bowls to take to the beach next week to use there. I’ll probably leave them since they don’t have a lot of usable serving pieces. Perhaps someone else can enjoy them and if they break, it is no great loss.