My response to yesterday’s post

Paperwork no longer necessary to keep.

Today’s Decluttered Item
Paperwork no longer necessary to keep.

Sorry about the delay in today’s post. I think I caused to problem by forgetting to give the page a title. Alls fixed now.

Doodle asked yesterday…

“If someone came to you for help, what 3 top tips would you give them to get them started (decluttering) and how would you sell the knock on benefits of a de-cluttered life to others in less than three sentences?”

Here are my answers…

  1. Start with the easiest stuff to part with first and don’t be in a hurry. Take your time and make it easy on yourself. Be satisfied in knowing the stuff is heading out the door and it doesn’t need to be immediately obvious.
  2. Set your disposal methods in place before you begin. Find a charity nearby you can donate to and brush up on selling methods that work for you.
  3. Stop the flow of stuff coming in.

How to sell the knock on benefits…

Freeing up your space, time and effort is enough on its own but being free from the consumer rat race is one of the best knock on effect of decluttering that I can think of. The money saved to go towards things that really matter.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter something hiding behind something. Behind a door for instance.

Eco Tip for the Day

Share and loan with family and friends things not don’t use often enough to own/store. (Spices, tools, kitchen gadgets…)

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

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

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Continue reading with these posts:

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  • Owning your life skill ~ By Doodle One of our long time regular readers Doodle has kindly agreed to help out here at 365 by writing a blog post for me every other Wednesday. Today is her first regular post although not the […]
  • To be perfect ~ By Andréia We all are taught that perfection does not exist. What we fail to do is to believe that. I don’t really know about the rest of the world, but I am tired of seeing in all places the […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I remember when I first came to 365 Less Things I kinda misunderstood the idea and thought it meant the item had to completely leave the property each day – LOL I took it literally and every day I stopped in at the drop off donation charity bin at the supermarket carpark or to the goodwill store on my way to work – and because I thought it would look stingy to drop off one thing to the donation counter, I figured I had to at least fill a bag. I was like wow these 365ers who have been doing this for years, wow how do they keep it up? They’re legends! And eventually I figured out that it was ok to put one item aside in a box that when it was eventually filled up could then go to the goodwill store. Well, all I can say is that it really kickstarted my decluttering mission! And the staff at the goodwill store were very appreciative.

    • Haha, Moni, that’s hilarious! However, for the first year I’ve been dropping of and selling big bags or boxes almost every week, too. I was furious. 😀
      I was thinking about how to go about decluttering this year (with days getting longer again, I’m in spring clean mood), and I set up a cleaning/decluttering schedule that focuses on one area each week. I did something similar back in my early days of decluttering and it’s a good way to ensure nothing gets missed and each nook gets a thorough scrub as well on the way. It will take me at least until the end of march to be through with all of it – at a very relaxed and slow pace of course. However, I’m not fearing the small progress any longer. What I learnt through the years is that small actions do add up. 😉

      • Too right Sanna the small efforts most certainly do add up.

      • that sounds like a good plan. I need a reminder that small things do add up, because I tend to forget things I have learned… I have been lazy and my kitchen needs a proper clean out and I have been putting this ahead, because I somehow thought I needed to do it in one go.
        thanks Sanna!

    • Ha ha Moni!

    • Ah Moni, you must have thought I was mad. Almost as insane as blogging about it everyday. Ha ha!

  2. Hello again,
    thanks so much for your reply to my earlier message Colleen. I have posted about my first week of decluttering on my blog . I have also been thinking about your third point and being more mindful about what comes into my house as well.

    All the best,

  3. Moni, that is fantastic! Ha! Sanna, funny, I’m kind of in spring cleaning mode as well. 🙂

    I know that Colleen has spoken on this topic before: about keeping like items together to see what you actually have. I was going through the guest room aka the “catch all” room of the house and I began to pull out things that were not in their correct location. A vase, some other knick knacks that didn’t have a proper home, some things that belong in the outdoor shed, some things that go in the donation box, etc. and it is incredible how much neater that room is now.

    An area that is still kind of a mess is our closet. Really, it’s not that bad, but a thorough purging is probably a good idea. We do have several months until summer and I should begin to see what the wardrobe is missing or what doesn’t fit or what never did look good in the first place.

    Colleen, you are not an insane blogger, you are a Friend to the Over-Stuffed! LOL

    • Michelle – I like it Friends to the Over Stuffed!

    • Hi Michelle, I wish you success on the closet purge. Mine is in good shape that the moment but I need to put in an extra hanger so I can spread things out a bit. I was pleasantly surprised that the walk-through robe ended up being big enough. When empty it didn’t look like it would hold very much but that was not the case. Because I don’t need all the shelf space I have taken out two shelves in order to put up the extra hanger where my blouses will go. Things won’t be so squished up then.

      “Friend to the Over-Stuffed” I like that.

      • Thanks Colleen. So lovely that your new closet is working out for you. I resisted temptation today – I drove by a new “eclectic, gently used home furnishings” store. I almost parked and then remembered I am trying to have a “no spend” week this week. Day 4 of no spending. YAY! I’m going to have to break that resolve tomorrow. We need milk for coffee and eggs for breakfast early Saturday a.m. 😀

        • Michelle – I’ve heard of friends of friends who have a designated day of the week that they pay bills and spend money. Their reasoning is that this particular day of the week is only two days off the next pay day and by time they’ve paid the bills, bought the groceries etc there isn’t a lot of time left over for casual spending.

      • Colleen – doesn’t a good wardrobe system make a huge difference. As we have been painting the bedrooms, Adrian has been dismantling each of the wardrobes (handy hint: take a photo before doing so) so he can paint inside these as well. He is surprised how much stuff can be accommodated in a wardrobe by utilising all areas, compared to my son’s wardrobe which only has the basic shelf that has a clothes rail underneath.

        My son has a big set of drawers that we bought the year before I began decluttering and likely he will take them with him when he leaves home, he’s not big on hanging things up but stuffing into a drawer he can manage.

        We don’t have drawers in our bedroom, everything lives in the WI wardrobe and the girls have a small narrow set of drawers each that we repainted (these used to belong to my son but the drawers were too small for man sized clothes) so it was definately worthwhile investing in adding to the wardrobe system that came with the house for ours and the girl’s rooms.

  4. Moni, that made me Laugh Out Loud 🙂 Still, it worked!

  5. Does behind a dog count? One of our dogs is a large and very lovely newfie, but she does take up an enormous amount of space. She also has a thing about socks. I moved her (with some difficulty) from her preferred place in front of the aga so that I could cook…. and found she was sitting on 2 odd socks, both now beyond redemption 🙂

    • Hi Gillie, I have heard of such sock loving dogs and cats before. People have wondered where all the missing socks had gone and later found them hiding behind furniture. The pet was the obvious culprit.

      • Yepper. My grandma had a cat one time that would run off with her (gma’s) furry little slipper socks. Bobbin the cat would haul them around like a kitten and yodel the whole time. Then she would put them in her nest and lay on them. Funny cat.

        • One of our cats Nuppi – when we are weeding the gardens or pulling dead leaves out we make a pile as we go. Nuppi insists on grabbing several weeds or leaves from each pile and dragging them across the deck or lawn area. We do not know what he thinks he is achieving but he always manages to appear from nowhere and proceeds to spread the debris around.

  6. Hi how do I read your journey from Day 1 please? Just starting myself and need some tips from where you began,

    • Hi Rachel. That has always been a challenge for my readers and that is because although I began my challenge at day one I didn’t start blogging about it until day 64. You can use the archive section to find March 2010 where you will find day 64. Thank you for been keen enough to read from the beginning. That was almost three years ago. Enjoy!

  7. Yes, that is hilarious, Moni! I used to think that Colleen sat at her computer and posted her blog post around the same time every day. Even if she might have written it hours ago. But I’ve never gone to the charity shop or whatever every day. That ‘s so funny it has made my day! You must have been exhausted.

  8. You made our day, Moni. Still laughing. As far as spring cleaning goes, something about being past Christmas and starting the new year seems to bring that urge on. By the time real spring comes here we are having more like summer.

    • Nana – I live in the Southern hemisphere and so I am in Summer but yes there is something about the count down to a new year that makes me want to tie up all loose ends on the household, Spring clean, organise repairs, all that sort of thing etc – mind you I tend to get influenced by the Northern hemisphere spring cleaning blogs and posts that appear around Autumn here and make another half hearted attempt.

  9. Too funny Moni. My first thought when discovering 365 Less Things was “only one thing a day?” But after a few weeks I realized that for most people finding one thing a day was a big deal because they were so busy and also so overwhelmed for their clutter.

    • Deb J – yeah I remember thinking that I could probably manage a carload a day at the outset. There are times when boxes of stuff is leaving on a daily basis and there are days when one thing into the ‘out’ box is all I have time for. I have also found that the end of a season is usually a big push for outgoing stuff in our house because I can review what didn’t get used, what was outgrown or damaged etc or what has passed its ‘no longer required date’ as my older kids finish up invovlement in things or the likelihood of something being re-used passes. And of course, the start of a season is also a good time to sell stuff which means my focus is on getting all that stuff ready for trademe (our version of ebay) and all that faffing around taking photos and doing measurements, writing descriptions etc. Then all of a sudden it is like the floodgates have opened and boxes of stuff are leaving again, but in the meantime I have struggled to keep up with one thing a day.
      And yes definately running around after the family definately takes up a lot of time and sometimes life just plain gets in the way.
      Every year I am a little bit suprised that I am still decluttering, I initially thought it would only take a year and each year I have assumed that this year would see a finish but I think I probably have a ways to go as life and circumstances change.

  10. Hahaha, Moni — I love your early enthusiastic commitment! Actually, I kind of thought like Deb J (only ONE per day??) but now I see the point. Practically, sometimes I will gather at least 7 items to be sure I get my week’s quota and whatever else I find to let go of – is a bonus.

    • Vicki K – sometimes if I can’t find something for the day’s mini missions I will try and find extra for one of the other days for good measure. And then if in doubt, go and find something else!

  11. Hi Vanna, I went over and take a look at your blog. I was pleased to see the big pile of stuff you have managed to declutter and also very happy about you stopping buying bottled water. You will likely notice a difference in your bank account for that change too. Hopefully some of the other readers will also drip in to see your site when they see this comment. Remind me in a week or so when you have more posts up and I will link to it. Cheers Colleen and keep up the good work.