Simple Saturday ~ Free ebook from the mom’s @

This weekend the mom’s at are giving away their eBook on for free for 3 days. The promotion begins Friday October 12, 2012 and goes through Sunday October 14, 2012. Follow the link below during the promotion to download the book to your Kindle device or Kindle reader on your computer for free.

They would also greatly appreciate anyone who would be willing to give reviews of their book on after they have read it.

The Weekend’s Mini Missions

Saturday – If you have offered something to a friend but they haven’t dropped by to pick it up, take it to them yourself. Better to just have it out of there.

Sunday - Ask another household member if you can declutter something that belongs to them. You may have no luck but I guarantee you won’t know the answer if you don’t ask the question.

“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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  • Excess of Abundance Cindy's Weekly Wisdom At the height of my cluttery mess, a friend and I went to the home of one of her friends. There was not an inch of surface uncovered; the toy bins were bursting; […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Fiddly bits Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. OOH! I’ve been meaning to get that book for a while now….and now I have it! 🙂 Speaking of food, I’ve gone so long without shopping that I’ve exhausted all of my insta-meals finally (I’m too busy to make EVERY meal). I may finally go shopping and get some food. There’s definitely still some soup to be made with the other leftovers, but it’s getting cleaned up nicely.

    Cindy’s article this week made me realize, I have the day off from work, and nothing better to do, so I got started on wrapping Christmas presents last night. I now have about half of all my presents wrapped and decorated (I drew scenes or pictures on the plain white boxes I picked up), and tied them all off with some of my old art supplies (I used to make friendship bracelets, so I had a LOT of embroidery thread). I realized that I probably have enough things stockpiled that I don’t need to get anything more for my mom, and I just need to make a pair of earrings for my grandmother. This means I really only have one more gift to buy! I hope to have everything that I CAN wrap done by the end of the weekend. (We use bags at my parents house for wrapping presents, and they have the whole supply). It’s so nice to know that I am practically already done with all the work of the holidays, and it isn’t even halloween.

    • And then the mail showed up today and I remembered that I ordered my dad’s present a month ago *facepalm*… One pair of earrings to make and I’m done 🙂

    • Hi Amanda,
      I am glad you got the oportunity to get the book free. I hope it is full of useful tips for you.

      Well done with being organised for Christmas. I am organised in so much as I have no idea what we are doing but whatever it is we can pull it all together at the last minute because it won’t involve much gift giving. So easy peasy.

  2. Re mini-missions. Pretend today is Sunday because I’ve just had a major success in the Asking department. Our basement has always been too damp and as it is also our Black Hole we could develop a serious moisture or mold problem. The official solution is to have a crew come in, jackhammer through the floor and put in better drainage. You can imagine the mess that will make, especially with all the crap we have stored down there. I now have a reason and a deadline for getting rid of excess stuff so I asked…. First to go will be the single bed we do not need except as a place to pile junk. Already offered it to friends. Next was a huge pile of Boxes Things Came In, which included styrofoam, plastic bags, manuals in foreign languages. All but a handful into the recycling. Lastly, I asked about the computer keyboards (we just got two new ones) and I now have a pile to go to the electronics recycling. I hope to get a lot of this stuff GONE before work starts in the spring.

    • Update: We went for a drive this afternoon and discussion started with his old stereo which he decided we could get rid of. Then he thought a bit and suggested we dump the record player, then the records and then his old photo albums and slides. We’ve started an avalanche!

      • Wendy B, you deserve a huge cheering from the 365ers corner! YAY for you and your family!! its a great motivating story to read, and I am looking forward reading about the progress in the basement…

    • Hi Wendy B,
      sometimes fate just steps in a forces your hand with certain things in life. Even if it is expensive and inconvenient at least it is the catalyst, for you, to get on with the basement decluttering. I wish you well with it.

      One day this may happen to me should we find a smaller home that we can’t resist buying. Although I am satisfied with my progress there are things that although I am happy to keep for now would have to go if they just didn’t fit. I am up for the challenge should it actually happen.

      And Wow Wendy, it sounds like that catalyst was just what Ian needed to get him moving on some things. Good for him and yay for you!

  3. After another hospital visit – 6 days this time (the 2nd in 3 weeks), I felt good enough this morning to toss some miscellaneous things from the dresser that seemed to accumulate while I was too sick to care about where I put it. Also, put some books in a bag to donate to the library and put aside 2 books for a neighbor who loves Dick Francis novels. And, I hadn’t even read today’s mini-mission. I also had purchased some Christmas gifts early and put those in a large bag in my closet so when I am ready to wrap, I can find them. I have a bag of clothes to donate and keep adding one or two more things and cannot wait until my next call from our local Salvation Army so I can move them along. So, as I work from home for a few days, I can take a minute or two during the day and clean up or toss or put in the donate pile things that just get missed when I am racing out of the house every morning for work. By the time I go back to work, hopefully, more papers and magazines will also go out the door, too. Thanks for all the tips.

    • Hi Maggie, I am sorry to hear you have been unwell and I wish you good health in the future.

      Your decluttering routine sound much the same as mine ~ notice something here or there, look out for stuff while working around the house, just keep adding to the “clutter collection point” and have a plan in place for how to get rid of them. Simple as that. Well done you!

  4. It goes without saying, that living with less clutter, (especially those things that are not being used), and having things a little more organized (putting like things together, labeling bins, etc.), saves time and in many cases, saves money. Today, after having been gone from the house this morning for about two hours, I return to find another member of my house irritated that a certain item could not be found. This house member knew that the item had been purchased twice over and was still in our possession, but it could not be found and the item was needed so that a particular task could be completed. I decided to help out in the search because I did not want us to have to purchase another one. Naturally, having never used this item myself, I had no idea what this item specifically looked like. I just knew what color it was and approximately how big it was. After another hour of searching, the item was located! Wouldn’t you know, the item had not been returned to the obvious location where it should be located. Getting others on board with your declutter mission is so important, even if it is in an area of your house that you normally do not spend a lot of your personal time. For me the garage is not normally a place I use very often, but my help was needed today. So Sunday’s mini mission really hit home for me today. I know that it will take a lot of work, but in the long run, will save precious time for everyone involved.

    • Hi Jen, it is good to hear that more than one of my readers are embracing the idea of communicating over clutter. Not only did I learn quite early on that this is important but I also believe the the practice of asking about clutter has made me a better all round communicator.

      Good for you persevering to find that missing item so you didn’t have to, yet again, buy a new one.

  5. Spendwisemom – will your book be available thru kobo or Kindle only reads kindle unfortunately. Would love to support a fell 365er

  6. sadly, I dont have time to read other things but uni-related scientific stuff, but in the near future I will have time for other topics as well – and declutter e-books might be an option. Although I might have been sorting out so much, that I dont need a lot of advise anymore 😉

    although I didnt follow the mini missions this week, because I got a horrible cold and slept most of the week, I did make some progress: Together with a friend we decluttered my old reader of uni, that I will for sure never use again (outdated, too big, not my topic at all), my friend asked for three (and said while collecting them “I probably never look in those again” !!), and we threw out 9 big books of texts, half a shelf cleared. a couple of days ago, I went through pictures again (inspired by colleens action on her pictures)
    In order to empty my bl***y drawer, I tackled the fate of some items. yesterday and today, I managed to list another big amount of CDs on a website that buys used books/CDs/games, etc. I got rid of 3 books that were listed on amazon for more than 6 months now without success, I sold CDs that were just taking up space in my drawer, I listed some new things on amazon and I think while I am at it, I will finally make some good pictures of this pandora bracelet and then list that one too.

    • Hi Lena,
      I hope you are feeling better now. For someone who was sick you sure did make some progress there ~ listing and selling and sorting and tossing and giving things away. Well done you!

      I have to say I was mildly amused by the use of both the words uni and bl***y. I don’t know if you picked that up from the Brits or whether I have been rubbing off in your English but it sounded very Australian to me and I felt right at home reading it. I’ll make an Aussie out of you yet mate.

      • haha, Colleen, I am quite sure I would take over the australian accent quickly enough, if I would hear it frequently. 😉
        I did spend a year in Scotland once, and “bloody hell” was one of the first things I learned and got into my own english too, because it just sounded perfect. recently I watched a british tv show and somehow the word bloody came back into my active vocabulary… “uni” is also used in the german language and I didnt know that there was something particular Australian about it…

        yesterday I listed 4 books and 2 CDs on Amazon, 3 hours later the first book was sold. I just looooooooove bringing my possessions to the post office, tomorrow morning, it will be 3 parcels 🙂

  7. That mini-mission is so timely! I had offered two large straight-back chairs to a former coworker living temporarily without furniture. She seemed very excited about them, but never came to get them. My husband finally moved them into the garage (they were sitting in front) because the rain was coming. I’ll give her a call and see if she really wanted them or was just being polite–if yes, I’ll run them over.

    My other decluttering goal for the day is to round up all the boxes and bags that are designated as to-go and actually move them out and where they need to go (mostly charity, but also to friends). Somehow I often seem to stall at that last step–a kind of hesitation. Yet when the items are gone, I don’t miss them or regret it–I feel relief and enjoy the space. Does anyone else have that problem? I’m not sure why I do.

    • Hi Mama Minou,
      your chair story sounds very familiar to me which is why this mission came about. I had a corner shelf unit in my garage that I had offered, some weeks ago, to a friend who is often quite busy with work, family and friends. We try to get together regularly for coffee to catch up and talk philosophical stuff. This week I sent her a text that just read COFFEE and she responded with a yes. I suggested she come by and pick up the shelf on the way and hey presto the shelf is now gone.

      I hope your chairs and gone too.

      Yes, get those boxes and bags out of there. I sometimes wonder why we hesitate on doing things that we often feel so good about it when they are done. Especially when the task takes very little effort in the first place. Bit like me and listing things on ebay.

  8. Colleen,

    Just wanted to thank you for your kindness and support. I love the way you respond to your reader’s comments and show that you care enough to take the time to write back. I think that is what attracts me to you blog the most as well as your motivational posts to keep people moving in the right direction to make their homes a place where they love to be. Thanks again. Have a nice day.

    • Hi Spendwisemom,
      thank you for those kind words although I have to admit I do miss the odd comment these days. I only have enough time to watch a particular post for one or two days and then I just have to move on. I hope that there is enough conversation between the readers themselves that they won’t mind that I can’t get back.

      How did the ebook promotion go. I don’t have a Kindle so I was unable to take advantage of the offer. Reading now that is another thing I struggle to keep up with.

  9. I finally bought an e-reader. Still figuring out the details, but I am already at my bookshelves, purging…

    • go go go! purging books is a good pastime for rainy sundays…

      • Thanks, Lena! I did some purging yesterday, but somehow the shelves seem to be as full as before…

        • I know this feeling. you will see, it takes one little chain reaction and you will be surprised at your progress…
          I have been tackling my music collection again, and even though I thought I found and identified every single CD, there are still some coming up, that I somehow missed before. I have decluttered another 20 the last days (I wonder: how on earth can someone collect THAT much music?!?).
          In addition to that, I have been very successful at selling books on amazon (new semester started), I decluttered my university scripts/readers, and I rearranged my system of cardboard boxes, because I needed a big one for the post. All those changes came together now, and I sit in awe in front of my shelf, because suddenly it shows. I love the fact, I am over my addiction of books, I minimized my music collection and I found a way to even get money out of my stuff.

          • Well, I hope so. I sold about 10 books last week as well, but put new ones online. As for CDs, I haven’t really purged them yet. Don’t have a clue as to how to do it either. I’m not listening to music very regularly (mostly in phases) and as my boyfriend already is playing music rather often, the need to play and choose some myself has dwindled even more. However, WHEN I listen to those CDs I still like them. :-/

          • hmp. written an answer and then something went wrong. well anyhow. If your CDs are no problem, then there is no need to declutter them anyway.
            selling books is amazing right now, isnt it? tonight I sold another two. This weekend was unbelievable, I think I earned about 80 Euros for books, CDs, and a purse. I wonder if its the bad weather that makes people shop online more 😉

  10. Where does Spendwise Mom live? The prices in the ebook are 3 to 4 times less than prices here. We have been considering a move to a less expensive part of the country!

  11. I live in Montana. My website has the prices I currently pay if you want to make more comparisons. Hope some of the ideas were helpful. I think, like decluttering, there are certain basic principles to follow and if you do those you can be successful. If you are big into using coupons, Montana isn’t a good place to live. We don’t have the variety of stores or the availability of coupons. But, since I am not into using coupons, it is a great place to live. We try to stay away from processed foods and eat as fresh as we can.

  12. Would you be willing to narrow it down? We used to live in Great Falls.

    I agree it’s more about the principles. We used to buy a lot of local produce and meat when we lived there.

  13. Bozeman.