Sanna’s final 20 thing a day challenge update

Hi there!

Friday was the last day of July and so my 20 things a day challenge ended. While the first three weeks could be labeled “random decluttering of random clutter”, after about 500 items or so, my assorted little junk items were almost all gone and it was time to change the method a bit. Inspired by a window shopping tour (of all things!) that led us to a interior store, my boyfriend let me know that he would like to get rid of a lot more of what we owned and would actually like a fresh start without the old stuff and, while buying new furniture big style is out of the question moneywise at the moment, we could well get rid of a lot more of what we owned. As I had wondered ever since our guest with “hardly any belongings” that filled 5 big moving boxes nonetheless moved in with us, how much stuff we actually own, I decided on sunday to completely empty out our worst remaining clutter hot-spot: a cabinet in the living room that holds everything from craft supplies, cables and stationery to photos and documents. I packed everything in there along with all the other items that could logically be put there as well, if there was more room in the cabinet, in moving boxes (we happened to have 5! 😉 ). The shocking news is that I needed all five boxes for that! However, the cabinet and it’s surroundings got thoroughly cleaned and we decluttered again when putting things back in there. The task that remains is for each of us to sort through their documents and other paperwork. To see however, how much volume of stuff was there in a relatively small space in our home showed me again, much like the past month’s challenge, that we own still huge amounts of things and that a move would still be quite a task. (We are fantasizing about a long-distance move in the end of next year or the year after, so every box counts! 😉 )

I decided to sell at a flea-market with a friend this week-end, went through the apartment and pulled out some china, books and all kinds of other stuff that I’ll be taking there. It’s all stuff I like, but we just have too much of it in general and it’s not my very favourite of its kind. We’ll see how that goes, I haven’t tried selling at a flea-market since I’ve been a child. 😀

So, I think, in August there will be a lot decluttered, even though my challenge ended. However, a new challenge has come up: those documents and other papers I still have to go through. I’ll do a little bit each day for August and so they should be all neat by September!

Thank you everyone who took part in my challenge, whether as a fellow declutterer or through cheering me on! And thank you, Colleen, for posting my request and my updates!

I had a blast with this challenge and some new motivation for decluttering!


Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter five magazines that you had saved to reference later but so have never have.

Eco Tip for the Day

Buy local when possible or affordable. It is a good habit to break into even if only a little at a time. Because as I always say here at 365 Less Things “Every little bit counts.”

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

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission ~ Friday 22Dec2017 Declutter a couple of old shabby shoes that you no long choose to use.
  • How little we really need Every time I go on a long vacation I am reminded of how little one really needs to live a comfortable and functional lifestyle. My husband and I often stay in Airbnb places when on […]
  • Getting the stuff out of your home It has come to my attention, both through comments on my blog and through real life experience, that one of the issues people have with their clutter, once they finally decide to be rid of […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Great job Sanna! Though you’ve made progress, the job is never fully done. It is a constant process to stop the in-flow and keep going with the out-flow until you’ve reached an acceptable level of “stuff”, at which point you must still take part in maintenace de-cluttering.

    Colleen -as for the 5 magazines mini-mission, I have a crazy day today, but perhaps instead of getting rid of some magazines I have, I can instead call and cancel my subscriptions…

  2. Sanna – you have given me a good idea for the weekend, I will empty my hall cupboard and inventory the contents. The cupboard is not cluttered or over full but you never know what you will find, do you?

    • I’d love to hear about the outcome, Moni! (But don’t blame it on me, if it turns out to be a “hurricane declutter”… 😉 )

  3. It has been really fun and inspiring to follow Sanna’s progress. I love to read how everyone is doing on this journey. 🙂

    In the attic I have a big stack of magazines that I really love the photos, but really, this can move to the recycle bin, me thinks. Saturday is recycle day – good thing I have a truck!

  4. Sanna, you must feel great with what you’ve accomplished in that month! It shows what a person can accomplish if they commit to it. And you’ve shown that even the little items are worth decluttering.

  5. Sanna,
    You are amazing. A big round of applause for your July decluttering accomplishments.

    On a side note, we are expecting back to back hurricanes (Iselle and Julio) for all of the Hawaiian islands beginning Thursday. It is crazy watching people as they prepare last minute. The lines at the gas stations (petrol, I believe some call it?) are very long. Grocery Store shelves are empty. Parking lots are full. Crazy stuff. It got me thinking today about why people don’t have a small area of their home dedicated for these “emergency” supplies that are rotated frequently so they don’t have to do the last minute rush? I bet even a small area that has been decluttered of chatchke’s or things not used could serve this purpose. Prior to moving to the islands 15 years ago, I was from the San Francisco bay area. We not only had an area in the home that was designated for “earthquake supplies” but also had “earthquake kits” in each of our cars. Unlike a hurricane, there is no warning for an earthquake so we were always prepared. The 1989 Loma Prieta quake was the worst I experienced as an adult.

    Perhaps this could be an additional incentive to declutter an area that could then be used for emergency supplies?

    • Thank you!
      Kimberley, I think, these are good ideas (within reason, one doesn’t need to stock up for an apocalypse either!), though what is really necessary varies a lot from region to region. We live in a very safe place in that regard (and in an apartment), so stocking up is rather unnecessary, but we do have working flashlights and a first aid kit which is always in order. On the other hand, maybe the people you watch actually aren’t that ill prepared, as people also tend to overstock with such warnings – they even massively overstock over holidays like New Year or so.
      I hope the hurricanes won’t cause much damage and you’ll make it fine through them!

    • Kimberley – stay safe, though it sounds like you have things under control.
      I have a survival kit – Civil Defence NZ advertise every couple of months encouraging people to put together a “get-thru” kit and to make a survival plan. Ours is in our hall cupboard which I have pledged further up this page to give it the once over this week (the cupboard not the kit) so I will take this as a sign to open the storage bin and check the contents.

      Since I originally put together our kit more compact items have come on the market and technology such as LED torches has come along, so I may consider some upgrades too. I also need to think about how I could keep my cellphone charged during a power outage.

    • Kimberley, stay safe. I agree that when you are in an area where disasters are prevelant you should have an emergency kit and supplies.

    • Hi Kimberly, I hope the hurricanes dwindle out and don’t do too much damage. I grew up in the edge of a cyclone region in Australia so I know what it is like. Luckily we had a, mostly uninhabited, island close by the took the brunt from the mainland.

  6. It’s amazing how much I have said goodbye to over the years while still remaining blind to other things that really are some kind of clutter. maybe that renewed awareness is part of the process. It’s so reaffirming to read this blog and posts like this one and to see how others are changing their lives one donation/sale at a time. It’s such a well rounded blog here that Colleen has, and she has made it a place for like minds to gather and participate.
    I also agree with Kimberley above. we live in the hot desert and must have some supplies on hand in case of a power outage. Even in case of a brief one we need to be prepared and I realized a few days ago that the things we have are not organized or even in one place! Thanks for the reminder to get this addressed!

  7. Sanna’s, thanks for your challenge and all the inspiration, it really helped to give me the push I needed. Sounds like you are making great progress, and it’s so nice your boyfriend is on board too!

  8. Well done, Sanna. You did a great job of deccluttering all the little things. Those can really be easy to overlook.

  9. Mahalo (thank you) for your kind thoughts. My husband and I are as prepared as we possibly can be. I learned much about hurricanes from our daughter who went to school in Florida for both her BA and MBA and now calls the state “home”.
    I agree, that we don’t need to plan for the end of days, but it sure offers us peace of mind knowing that we have things in place should an emergency arise. And, I can’t think of anywhere on planet earth that doesn’t have to deal with Mother Nature from time to time.
    Hopefully, all of us that have our emergency supplies ready never need to use them. One shelf, cupboard, closet dedicated to a small amount of emergency supplies would also never be considered, clutter 🙂

  10. Thanks so much for starting this challenge Sanna!

    From August 1 2013 – August 1 2014 I got rid of almost 800 “items” (a single large box of old papers for recycling was counted as one item but so was a donated shirt!). This week I got rid of an addition 167 items and 2 large boxes of papers. Making progress! I still have a LONG way to go – I’ll count myself at a status quo when I don’t feel like I have to move items out of the front parlor when we have company! 🙂

    I think I need to be more systematic about it as well – and I’m finally going to paint my living room this week! (We had a mix up with the paint so that was put on hold for a while!). So this weekend it’s going to be the bookcases and desks along one wall that get inventoried and put back with only what we need in them. So the plan is to empty the furniture, move the furniture, wash and then paint the wall, put the furniture back and then only put back in the furniture what we need. I’m also starting a list of things we already own and I definitely don’t need to buy – greeting cards are the first thing that I will put on that list (I think they multiply as soon as that drawer is closed!).

    Thanks again Sanna and best wishes for your continued success in decluttering (and everything else!),

  11. I think a hurricane actually got me to declutter first. Before I just organized. We didn’t have much damage but had no electricity for 10 days because of damage closer to the Gulf. I realized I had a lot of clothes that no longer fit because I had lost 10 lbs. or so, and thought how bad I would have felt if they had been destroyed and not been used by someone because I had not donated them. They were loaded up and donated soon after. I think that has stayed in my thinking–get it donated and let someone else get some good out of it–if we are not using it, it has a negative value.
    We are reminded every year to be prepared for hurricane season, so we always have more in the pantry than we might otherwise. When we were without electricity we were able to cook on propane, but had to haul water each day from our daughter’s house who lives in town. They had electricity by the next day.
    On Sanna’s challenge I managed to average about 3 items a day, which was a lot more than I thought I would do. But this has been a really busy week and I haven’t done many. On paperwork I just count about 15 minutes as l item. I don’t really count decluttering the computer, but maybe 15 minutes there would be 1 item. I share my husband’s for the Internet, and he never deletes anything, so it isn’t too hard to find 15 minutes that needs doing.