Question your stuff

Cindy I. posed a three part question in a comment two weeks ago. It went something like this…

Question. What makes you feel at home? Which little things do you need in order for you to feel good about yourself and your surroundings?  Do you think they may be things that other people take for granted?

This is a very good series of questions that make you think about what means most to you. Once you have formulated your answer ask yourself ~ “So why do I need all this other stuff?” Let this questions guide you in making easier decisions on whether to keep things or let them go.

If you feel inclined share your thoughts on this below. My answer is this…

The people I love is what makes my house a home but on the “stuff” side of things ~ I appreciate items that I find constantly useful. I appreciate art and like to have pieces I really enjoy in my home. I like to have items on hand that I can exercise my creativity with. I like to have a minimal amount of sentimental items. Aside from these things I really have no space to waste on anything else.

Today’s Mini Mission

It seems I have gotten this weeks missions mixed up and posted todays on Tuesday so I will post Tuesday’s today.

Declutter something that evokes a feeling of dissatisfaction. Perhaps an item of clothing that never quite suited you.

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

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • What is right for you? I often get comments from people contradicting my suggestions regarding what to declutter and pleading their case on why they keep certain items or collections of things. Avid readers […]
  • Transient Stuff Much of what comes into my home these days is transient. Aside from groceries much of what does come in is free, secondhand, or both. And I have to say it makes it a whole lot easier to […]
  • Coming full circle ~ By Nicole V He awoke with a start, his heart pounding from the strange dreams that he’d had. He had no idea how long he’d slept. The inky darkness stretched all around him … and the silence, the […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Last night I discovered, buried in the back of my car trunk – cards, pictures, from when my dad was in the hospital. My dad was hospitalized due to a massive heart attack and stroke on April 12, 2011.

    My dad could not speak and he was bedridden, had a tracheostomy so he could breath with a ventilator. A few times he was successfully weaned and off the vent. This went on until my dad finally died from renal failure on February 20, 2012. My dad had also moved to different hospitals and had been in one nursing home – so more photos and notes collected, holiday decorations, etc.

    I am proud to report that I ceremoniously dropped my findings into the recycle bin last night.

    I have no need for these reminders. They helped me at the time – but 2 years in the trunk of my car! C’mon, Robin, get a life.

    I will be decluttering from my mom and dad dying for some time yet. Last summer, I finally ditched my mom’s wedding dress. There really is very little I need from my parents’ lives regarding material things. But, they SAVED EVERYTHING!!!

    I am glad I found that plastic bag last night and got rid of it. I also noticed I have a framed invitation from the 25th wedding anniversary party I gave them – back when I was 24! This was 29 years ago. Out it will go…I have no need for this…maybe the frame can be donated, who knows. I can’t even spend much time sorting all of this stuff. Like a dog-walking service: out you go!

    Thank you for your site – I’ve decluttered so much in the last 2 years, and still have so much more to go. I am realizing that I need very little to be ok in my life. Clothing, a few toiletries, some photos, some earrings, and that’s about it. I have accumulated WAY too much for myself too – and this stuff is being whittled down too.

    Happy Thanksgiving. Robin

    • Good for you Robin. Better to remember the good times with your dad rather than the last painful months/years.
      I was just saying to my mother that I have done a lot of relaxing lately between seven weeks of vacation and the last week being here visiting her and my dad. She said I would have plenty to do when I get home with moving house. I laughed and said I don’t think that is going to cause me to much effort either. It seems inconceivable to some people that owing stuff is a liability and a lot of work. And people with all that stuff think I am the strange one. ???

    • WOW Robin…thanks for posting this comment. I am in the same boat. I lost both parents last year, and I am swimming in “stuff”….and “stuff” guilt. I’ve never cared to have much myself, but to be deluged with my beloved parent’s belongings who had lived lived in the same home since before I was born (I am 45). It’s been a process with a packed 4 bedroom house, but what I have left is down to a closet full or so. What a journey! Again, thanks for sharing. Becky in NW Florida~

  2. Good questions. (1) What makes you feel at home? My Mom. Enough furniture and supplies to sleep, eat, sit. (2) Which little things do you need in order for you to feel good about yourself and your surroundings? I don’t need much in the way of “things.” I would like to make sure I have my Kindle and Laptop because they are something I need in order to keep things going. Otherwise I can do without the rest. (3) Do you think they may be things that other people take for granted? I don’t know about this one. I think we all take a lot of things for granted.

  3. In thinking over what you want your children will have to do with what you leave behind, don’t forget to “declutter” your computer. You may have very personal feelings that you wrote down and saved somewhere. I actually had a folder for my personal stuff used to any emails I received and wanted to keep for one reason or the other. Looking through it, I knew I would not want anyone to really read some of it. So I have removed that file.

  4. Good questions for reflection. I need books, lots of books, a comfy lounge and a blanket to feel at home.

  5. I agree with your thoughts on what we need Colleen. Except I do not desire to be creative, but I appreciate what others do to be creative.
    Does anyone start to write a reply and realize that they what you are writing is not exactly the truth? Do you write ‘ I have NO Sentimental clutter’ then realize you have all the children’s baby clothes boxed away in the wardrobe? I just did this! I confess! I did buy some large crochet hooks to have a go at trying to be creative, I can picture Colleen and me at the coffee shop trying to crochet useful items with oversized crochet hooks. Cheers

    • Hi Wendy, somehow I can’t imagine you crocheting. Never fear though I could teach you if you like. 😉 If not perhaps you should drop those crochet hooks off at the thrift shop next Wednesday. We could go for a coffee afterwards. 🙂

  6. I am slowly but surely working my way through more stuff. Where does it keep coming from??? I had an extreme thought, and I know others have mentioned it, but what if everything was lost in a tragedy? All that would truly matter is my husband and my cat. Things I could get over, but not those two loves of mine! 🙂 Make no mistake, I’d be a big pile of blubbering tears, but eventually I’d get through it.

    • I Agree Michelle, but maybe my tears would be of relief that I don’t have to worry about this stuff anymore! 🙂

    • Hi Michelle, you are so right. In the end all that matters are our loved ones. Everything else is just stuff. I only care for my stuff enough to insure it in the event that I did lose it as you say. I was just saying to my husband the other day that I see no point in paying insurance on items we wouldn’t bother to replace if we did lose everything. That does beg the question ~ What are those things and why do we still have them.

  7. Came home to find this yesterday.
    Actions like knowing where to find everything in the dark, spending time with my parents…
    I think that everything I have (minus the things I have to keep for now before I change what I am studying in and some stuff I have to keep for now for other reasons) makes me feel warm.
    In fact, one of my questions was more like “which little things, that most people take for granted, do you need […]?”. I think that things we do everyday or see everyday may be taken for granted, but when for any reasons they are not here anymore (things we have in that case), we feel that something is lacking. The people, animals and plants we share our life with make us feel home, mainly.