New Year ~ Less Clutter

Happy New Year to all my wonderful blog readers, old and new, may it be a wonderful year for you with less clutter, less stuff to take care of, and more time to do with what you like.

After all that is what you had in mind right, when you googled ‘Less Things’ in the first place and found your way here. And the new year is a good a time to get starting on the less things journey. Oddly enough that is kind of how I got started with my decluttering in the first place. I resolved to be beat the odds of failing at sticking to a new years resolution. Reportedly most people have given up on their promises to themselves by the third of January and fallen back into their old ways. When I learned that, I wanted to beat the odds and chose to declutter a thing each day for a year as my resolution. Needless to say I stuck with it and not only beat the odds but also made my home a more organised, comfortable, easier to maintain space than it had ever been.

So lets make this years resolution to not be a loser. Lets beat the odds and show the world, and more importantly yourself, that you are a winner who has the ability to succeed in what you aim to achieve. And the subject of that challenge will be to declutter your home. That could be, like I did, to set aside something to declutter everyday or to set a goal for the year to remove X amount of things.

So good luck all you practiced and budding declutterers out there and my they change on December 31 this year to the 1st of January next year find your homes looking and feeling good.

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. Happy New Year, Colleen! I have employed different strategies while decluttering and find that the one-item-a-day method works well in tandem with all of them. It is simple to do and easy to start and maintain.

  2. Happy New Year to all the 365-ers!!! (Actually it’s only December 31 here.)

    I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. For me, it always seemed that I was setting myself up for failure. However, I do set goals (may be the same thing?????) But hopefully decluttering is in my blood. I’ve always been an organizer, but my decluttering was sporadical. I hope now it goes on forever, especially since I’ve learned more about it, i.e. especially some of the whys (Thank you Colleen and the other 365-ers!)

    I love New Years because:
    1. the obligation type stuff is over
    2. We’re in for a couple of months of cold, rainy weather with barren trees (I love winter, also autumn, but it doesn’t ever seem to last long enough.) I always dread spring because that just means summer is coming!

    I’ve loved this time of decluttering with all of you! Thank you!

  3. Happy New Year everyone. Colleen, it’s been a good year of decluttering with you. thanks for having this blog and keeping it going. I’m looking forward to another year of getting it all gone. I have decided that once we have moved into our sepatare placed Mom can deal with her clutter and I will enjoy a clutter free home. Happy Dancing!! I have a long list of things I am going to assemble so that Mom has all the things she needs so she doesn’t have to ask me for them. I even know how I am going to arrange them for her. She will start out organized and with no extra things from what she has now. It will be up to her to maintain it. If she doesn’t that will be her issue. I have also decided to not buy anything much for my kitchen. When I need to cook anything I don’t have the equipment for I will either borrow it from her or go to her place and fix it. When the time comes and she passes (a long time from now I hope) I will bring anything I really need to my place and the rest will be sold/donated.

    • That sounds like a good resolution to me Deb. Sometimes you just have to let go of expectations, especially when they involve others. I hope the time comes soon when you can both move into you new homes. Any more news on that yet?

      • The only thing we know, Colleen, is that Mom is the next one to get a place. When that will be we don’t know.

  4. I have same resolutions every year
    1/be a year old by next January
    2/ weigh less than 500 lbs
    3/ remain as humble as ever

    Hee hee hee

    • Well done Gail. There is nothing like making some easy resolutions to make achieving simple. Now go and make a proper one you ratbag. 😉 And happy new year and keep up the humour.

  5. Happy New Year Colleen! Thank you for your upbeat messages and another year of your help and support to all of us in our efforts to make more peaceful( less cluttered) homes.
    I wish you and your family good health and many blessings in the new year.

  6. Hi Colleen, This is a very good post. You are a great encourager for all of us 365rs! My goal for 2016 is to own much less in December than in January!

    Every day I think back to things that were “organized” around the house (extra linens, tape, gift wrap, clothing, shoes, kitchen items, and more) and are no longer here. Yippee! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. Happy New Year! Thank you for all the words of encouragement and guidance on this blog. They are no small part of my success at acquiring less and giving things away fearlessly. I look forward to more successes for 2016!

  8. I will still be decluttering in 2016. I think doing 1 thing a day is very doable. I am still sorting through my mum’s stuff and scanning in photos as I come across them. My long term goal with the photos will be to scrapbook the best ones and kept digital copies only of the rest. I have nearly scanned in 2000 photos. I have done this just by doing a little each day. I am thinking about getting the heritage photos scanned in professionally which should produce a better quality print out if I ever want to do that.

    • Good for you Ruth. Keep up the good work. My husband took care of much of the photo sorting, decluttering and scanning but there is still some to do. One of these days…

  9. Happy New Year & thanks for all the great missions & comments from everyone.

    Just when I think I’m clutter free, I find something to get rid of. I just found 10 things to declutter. I’m always on the lookout for clutter & am very careful about what I allow to to enter my home, but I still find stuff! It boggles my mind how much I must have started with given how many items I’ve gotten rid of.

    I think I’m at the ever watchful stage, maintenance is my key word.

    • Well done Calla. It is lovely to hear how people of changed their ways and continue to look at stuff differently. It makes blogging worth the effort. And I dare say the changes, our little community here at 365, have made to they way we consume has reduced the impact on the environment even if in only a small way. Good for us.

    • That sounds like me Calla. I am always finding things to give to the charity shop, and they ony came before Xmas to take a lot of stuff already.

      I have a question for you all please. While I am pulling everything out (bit by bit) while looking for a tablet cord, I am find other things to get rid of.

      What do you do with things (usually small) that don’t have a home and I can’t think there I can put them. Does that mean they should go out. No home – out?

      It is so frustrating with the small items. I think I spend more time sorting small things than bigger things.


      • Hi, Katherine. Would you be able to give some examples of the sort of small items that you are referring to?

        I keep items that I need/use/love and try to find logical homes for them, usually as close as possible to where I’d use them. If I find that a certain “home” isn’t working out, I move the item to a more suitable spot.

        I use containers, bins, baskets, etc to store small items. I’ve designated a kitchen drawer for some small items that I need to keep – not a “junk drawer”, but a “useful items” drawer, and I use household items that I already have as containers (small bowls, boxes, jars, etc) to keep the items organised inside the drawer. Ordinary household items can often be used in unexpected ways.

        I also use small clear containers to corral my cosmetics, toiletries and grooming items in a drawer. The contents are visible and easy to access but do not clutter any surfaces.

        Once you’ve decided which of the small items you need to keep, try to group them according to type, use, location or any category that works for you. Repurpose any suitable items that you already have for storage and designate specific containers for different categories of items.

      • Hi Katherine, if they are small items you use then keep them and store them in the most relevant place. I am fortunate enough to have a chinese spice chest, a little piece of furniture with 12 little drawer. Such a great place for all the little bits and pieces that people usually put among all the useless stuff in their junk drawer. It is where is store things lite my spare glasses, tiny cleaning clothes for glasses, batteries, pens, spare keys, tiny tools…
        A layered fishing tackle box would do the same job, in fact that is what I used to use before the chest came along. I kept the tackle box in the linen or laundry cupboard. This way, if there is something small you are after it is likely to be in the box.
        However small toiletry items such as nail clippers, spare razors, small tubes of ointment, nose drops, eye drops etc I keep in the under sink bathroom cabinet in a plastic three drawer box that you would usually use in an office. I use drawer dividers for tiny kitchen stuff too.
        It is starting to sound like I have an awful lot of stuff so I will stop now. Ha ha.

        • I will have to do something like that, or I will waste a lot more time trying to get things perfect, which will never happen.

          I do have a lot of containers, so one (or three) of them will do for the little things.

          Thank you to all who replied.

          • One last piece of advice, quit trying to get things perfect. Quantity over quality is better until the quantity is greatly reduced is the best bet when it comes to decluttering. I have said over and over here at 365… Get things decluttered and the stuff will find its logic place once the space opens up.

      • Katherine – I refer to such items as ‘jetsam & flotsam’ or ‘urban debris’. I collected a laundry basket full during a rapid tidy up before xmas and so far has remained in said laundry basket! I remember a post by Ratitude back when Colleen used to do Friday Favourites with links to interesting posts on other decluttering, organising & minimalist blogs. Anyway, Ratitude talked how he’d decided to put aside a large bundle papers and odds and ends that he didnt know what to do with and/or couldnt be bothered dealing with, all in a box. He simply ignored it for a month. Anything vital obviously re-asserted itself, but when he eventually got around to sorting through it, the simple passing of time meant that most things were easy to dump. Adverts, brochures, catalogues etc he’d lost interest in, newsletters had passed the useful timeframe, bills had been paid by direct debit, random items had had a separation period and were easily hiffed. Items which earlier had been considered as having potential use, hadnt been needed during this time or had been retrieved. So on and so on. I dont know if this has been of any help but I generally end up with a basket load a couple of times a year and follow Ratitudes game plan, Ive found it works well and keeps the house clear of such stuff while I focus on more important areas.

        • Thanks Moni,
          Maybe I am trying to hard. I live in a small house and when I was able got involved with too many interests/hobbies and projects. A lot of unfinished ones at that. Have given so much away and keep find more and more to go out.

          I keep googling to see if anyone is selling a magic wand and go “Poof” and just have left my photos, a bed, some jigsaws and my computer. 🙂

          • Katherine – there was a time when I said I needed some Oompahloompahs (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) to help me.

  10. 2016!!!!!!
    We get to do it all again!!!!! Yay!!!!

  11. Hi Colleen, another year! I’m looking forward to a more simple schedule soon and maybe then I will be around to comment more often and focus again on continuing to declutter.

  12. I just realised that I had scheduled this article to post when I hadn’t even finished writing it yet. And I sure hadn’t proof read it. Never mind, it makes more sense now.

  13. Hello Colleen and the great Declutter Community,
    Have been reading this blog for years and sporadically decluttering. After reading some books about habits and change (the most recent was excellent: “Triggers” by Marshall Goldsmith), I decided I needed some accountability and found a free website:
    “” which enables you to write goals and check in and get reminders and “props.” I stated as one of my goals: 365 Less Declutter One Item Per Day. If anyone else wants to join me, just put in that goal and we’re there together. May you all have the best year ever. Happy Decluttering and thanks again Colleen and everyone participating on this site.

    • Hi M.E. Carveth and a belated welcome to 365 Less Things from me. I am sure some of the readers will be very interested in that website you mentioned and maybe some will go and join you there. I wish you success.