Simple Saturday ~ Clutter with eyes update

Remember back in October one of our fellow 365ers needed our advice on getting go of her clutter with eyes. Read about it here. Well this week she sent us and update that she wanted me to share with you all.

Here is what Chrissie had to say…

This is some update on my efforts concerning things with eyes. Feel free to publish if you like to. I am progressing! Not as fast as I wish to but anyway progress is visible – Especially today!

From all the comments of your readers I created little tutorial

Helpful actions

  • Involve trusted friend or family member (my hubby and my Mom – I don’t like to share this topic with more people…)
  • Start with least sentimental value (I started with a sorting and piled those which I definitely cannot let go and worked only on the remaining stuff)
  • Give the items to a friend for disposal (good a idea, but as above, I will no involve more people an that embarassing topic)
  • Don’t bring item into you house that have eyes (this is what I always sermonize on my on blog – best way to be free of clutter is avoiding new clutter)
  • Paint over the faces to get rid of the eyes (no no no I could not make them blind! Ouch!)
  • Keep only 1 box and the rest let go (this is exactly what I managed – I had 4 boxes with cuddly toys, no it is only 1!)
  • Put them into a box and give them to charity (there are 2 critical boxes waiting for my approaches to charity, but this is not easy in Germany…)
  • Check if you can give them to police, firefighter or pedriatic units who may solace children with them (this is as well option for the 2 waiting boxes)
  • Give them to animal shelter (will keep that option in case charity will not work)
  • Put them face down into kitchen bin and cover with dirt, e.g. tea bags (this I did with items I occasionally decluttered during last time, this very good idea prevents me from digging them out of the bin once again)
  • Take photos (digitalization is good idea, but in fact I was surprised that there were almost no feelings towards the items that I did not put on the “must-stay-pile”. I took no photos, appart from what is attached to this little article)
  • Do it all at once (different option vs. step-by-step – In fact I faced all the 4 high critical boxes on one day, but finally there left only some 20 items the house that were in too bad condition for anything)
  • Put them quickly in the car and bring them away (YES! In fact I brought them to the Textil Container immediately although this is forbidden on Sundays…)

Helpful thoughts

  • Beeing sad is ok, it shows that you have feeling which is not bad at all J
  • Give them 2nd chance to be loved
  • They have fullfilled their purpose
  • They don’t love you back
  • They are from material like plastic, fake fur, etc only – it’s not living!

Yes indeed, I started with 4 critical boxes.

I devided all the content into 2 piles.

The must-stay-pile I reduced to the size of 1 box.

The let-go-pile I devided into bad condition and still usable

The bad condition items I put into plastic bags and brought them out of the house immediately

2 more boxes are now waiting for further purpose.

Inbetween I invited as well my Mom to review what I sorted out. She strongly adivsed me to put one more item into the must-stay-box (…) and took 2 other cuddly toys for decoration purpose back to her home.

That’s it so far!

The Weekend’s Mini Missions

Saturday – Find 10 minute to go through one hanging file in your filing cabinet. Just One! Shred and recycle the papers that need not be retained. The idea of doing the whole cabinet is likely to be paralysing in nature but one small section isn’t so daunting. Am I right? Perhaps next week you could do another small section ~ “rinse and repeat” ~ and before you know it the whole thing will be clutter free. I am using this method on my vast collection of photos.

Sunday - Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

“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

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Chrissie, we are proud of you. You did a good job.

    Colleen, your mini mission for today is a good one. I have gone through all of the files to get rid of things. Now I am slowly going through to digitalize what I can. My big wish is that I could do this with everything but there are some things I still have to keep the paper for. Thankfully, we are getting to where there is less and less of that.

  2. Sometimes it makes it easier to let go when you are working towards a goal. The past few months, my goal was to pay for Christmas mostly with money I made from things around the house we don’t want or need any more. Sometimes it helps to pull everything out of a room and just put back what you want. Each person has to figure out what method works best for them. It doesn’t really matter which method you choose, as long as it works for you. Instead of focusing on each item, focus on the long term goal.

  3. Chrissie, your post in October inspired me to let go of all but two of the bears we had gathered up. Our dilemma now is how to dispose of a REAL stuffed animal. It’s old and faded (who would guess that fur fades) and not good enough to donate to a natural history museum. Seems disrespectful to just dump it in the garbage and it’s not the kind of thing you can donate to the thrift store or sell. So it sits and gathers dust. Suggestions, anyone?

    • Would love to know what it is ! I would probably bury it , if you have a yard, there must be a nice tree that it could be laid to rest under?

      • It’s a Pine Marten, large member of the weasel family. Unfortunately, critters are usually stuffed over a styrofoam or plastic base so it isn’t biodegradable, and the coyotes would probably dig it up. However, you have given me a great idea. Since martens live in trees, maybe we can climb a tree and stick it on a branch. It might scare off the squirrels that steal nuts from our feeders, or make a wonderful nest for one of the birds.
        Then again, I might just mail it to Colleen. (insert evil laughter here).

  4. Wow Chrissie, that’s fantastic. Well done.
    Colleen – I’m with you on substituting today’s challenge for photos. I have now got labelled and filed all my scanned slides (and have chucked out the slides). Now I’ve just got 800 scanned photos to label and digitally file – eek. I found that although I had only kept relatively few slides, I was still binning some of the scanned versions as I went through labelling – there really is only so many pictures of the desert you can be bothered with, lol.

    • Freecycle (or something similar that exists where you live)? Some people just love taxidermy and maybe like what others find appalling, tasteless or plain weird (fortunately tastes are different, otherwise the whole system of passing our decluttered things on to others wouldn’t work anyway ;-))
      Good luck!

  5. Great job, Chrissie! Well done!

  6. Great job Chrissie!

    I like Spendwisemom’s idea of pulling everything from a room and only returning what you actually want in that room with the space available. Dizzy suggested that to me when I was about halfway thru the garage, I would have loved to have done that even as an experiment but alas our Autumn rains had arrived.

    I read in a book that someone who was having a clutter problem in her kitchen did just that, she removed everything to the garage (attached to the house) and as she needed an item or an appliance she would go and get it – this included cutlery and utensils – at the end of six months there was still a bit pile in the garage and so she got rid of those items.

    • What a luxurious method to declutter! How I would love to have the space to get something out of the way (but still accessible should the need arise) to test how I can live without it. Of course this only works for those determined to get rid of stuff and not only shuffle it around. I guess, otherwise it is called storage 😉

      • Ideealistin – the book was quite funny as she was a naturally not organised person and this was the only way she could get her head around it.

  7. Bravo Chrissie! Great progress on your part! We are all super proud of you here!

    I was just thinking about your dilemma the other day when I finally let go of one of my plastic lawn geese.

  8. Found this link this morning , I especially like the computer component Christmas tree.

  9. Thank once again for all the helpful feedback!
    The “2 more boxes” are gone meanwhile as well. “Die Tafel” (this is shops with free food for people who need) took them. During christmas time it is helpful to offer as well “free gifts”.
    In fact my Mom brought them over there while I was on business trip to Poland this week.