Simple Saturday ~ New Year’s Resolution

If you are looking for a

new year’s resolution

consider pledging to


an item a day from your home everyday

during 2012.

That’s 365 less things you will have cluttering up your home by 2013. Whether you think you are fairly organised and decluttered or you haven’t even begun decluttering yet this pledge is not difficult to adhere to. At the start of 2010 I know I was organised and thought I was reasonably decluttered but I set the challenge to decluttered a thing a day thinking I might run out of things before the year ended. Not only did I not run out but in 2011 I have declutter one thing five days a week and am still finding things to get rid of. So why not make the pledge, you have nothing to lose but a whole lot of space to gain. You may even recoup some money in the process.

But remember and this is very important don’t reclutter while you declutter.

* Happy New Year Banner credit ~

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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. Hi Colleen, I hope you are enjoying your time off. It has been really fun going over the archives. I like your sentence about recouping some of your money. The town my aunt lives in has an annual sale every august and this past year I made over 300.00 and spent 3 days with my aunts, cousins and sisters just laughing and people watching. It was nice to make money on stuff that was just in the way. Since than I have done so much more decluttering that we are having a sale in May also. My aunt has also started decluttering and she is really having fun with it. Have a great New Year and thanks again for great and fun tips.

  2. oh yes, I feel like 365 things may not be enough for me! That ‘one in, one out’ rule really does help avoiding recluttering.

    • hey joanna, just checked out your blog. Your “use it or lose it list” inspired me to write down some as well. amazing idea…
      judging from those pics there, you made a big life changing decision. I think its great you dare that, so good luck with your decluttering.

  3. Thanks for the challenge Colleen. I’ve been decluttering for at least two years and I still have lots to go. So I will take your pledge and make this one of my 2012 resolutions.

  4. A great idea. I don’t think I have 365 things but maybe I can get Mom to go along. Now woudn’t that be a miracle.

  5. Between that and my own goals, I anticipate a much tidier year for 2012!

  6. Well I’m up to 481 and I can still find things to declutter. The house does look pretty good and people sometimes comment on how tidy it is, but it’s really easy if the stuff isn’t there to make it untidy!

    We got mostly consumables for Christmas – yay – but have acquired yet another mug as a Christmas present, but broke a glass and a plate to make up for it!

    Colleen, thank you for your sterling efforts at providing us with a blog every day, it’s the first thing I check out, I love it and it keeps me on track.

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

  7. It hardly seems fair to accept this challenge when I have a good ten years worth of stuff to declutter, but I will commit anyway and make it a “rule” that the last week’s items cannot be carried forward.
    Thanks so much for your blog, Colleen – it’s made a huge difference to my life!

  8. Well, Colleen, thirteen months into 365lessthings decluttering, and I’ve easily got another year’s decluttering to go – so, yes, definitely I accept the challenge! Just stay with me, and keep me on track 😉 🙂

  9. I’ve been decluttering a long time, but I still have stuff that needs to go. So I’ll take your challenge.

    Happy New Year, Colleen (and Cindy)!

  10. Great idea! Having small kids its the recluttering I struggle, actually I shouldn’t blame them…its me too! We bought something from a garage sale this morning and so it goes. I have a box filled to take to the op shopbut much more ‘stuff” to boot. One thing a day seems simple and do able, I shall try that!

  11. Though I’ve personally been decluttered and organized for years, I married a man who is a collector/packrat, and we now have some family members sharing our home with us temporarily too.

    Due to these things, I’m constantly trying to thin out and get rid of “one more thing” just to make more room.

    In 2012 I’d love it if my husband would let me help him tackle the clutter in his shop and storage areas, but that might not happen, so I’ll just keep sending stuff out the back door in the house as fast as he brings it in the front door! 😉

    I continue to enjoy reading your blog. Happy New Year, Colleen.

    • Becky, I wish you luck with your husband and his clutter. You should talk with your fellow readers, Katharine and Wendy B, they have both had great success with improving the spouse clutter in their homes. Judging from both their stories persistance is the key. After all when the wife is happy everyone is happy so with enough hints they eventually capitulate just to shut you up. 😉 Hopefully!

      • Hey there Becky! Before I saw Colleen’s response I was thinking, “I know where she’s coming from!!” All spouses are different, of course, but mine is making great strides. Now he’s telling everyone we’re downsizing and starting to suggest things we could release – HIS things. I got him on board by simply letting him know what I was doing and why, occasionally asking about a shared item or something of his that was obviously not needed. I backed off when he wasn’t comfortable and now he doesn’t feel defensive or threatened. Team effort. We both win. Hope you have good luck too.

        • Hi Becky
          my approach is pretty much identical, word for word with Wendy’s and although my lovely husband is not at the same stage of decluttering/downsizing as hers, we have definitely made good progress over the last year. And after a major tackling of his ‘staligmite’ piles of magazines/papers/books earlier this year, not one of them has reappeared.
          And his stuff has challenged me to keep working on my own and I have found that rewarding in its own right. As I continue to do this, I do feel I am creating a culture of normalising passing on stuff that is no longer needed or used.

  12. my resolution to keep on decluttering only got stronger today. We decided to book a last minute trip to a place that’s sunnier than where we live. AND just after paying for the thing I thought I’d look for the passports now. Well mine was nowhere to be found, so we franticaly went through alle the boxes (still recovering from a move) and even drove to the storage to go through the boxes that are still there. Back home we went through every drawer and bag. By this time I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown… and I hadn’t eaten anything after breakfast. So in a last attempt I stumbled to the cellar, thinking i must go trhough all the stuff there. And then I noticed an old jewlery box was slightly ajar. And luckily after 5 hours of frantic searching I found my passport. But it sure did make me realise how little I need or want to keep all that other stuff!
    I sat down on the sofa for a cup of tea and accidentally switched the tv on (i sat on the remote). It must have been a sign from the gods, as it was a program about a woman who had labeled and organized all her stuff down to the pushpins she had labeled individually. She knew she had over 15000 items in that storage, and she was unhappy. So when I come back from holiday I’ll start keeping record.

    Happy decluttered 2012 to everybody!

    • Hunter-
      Reading your comment, I was reminded of a book I looked through, many years ago. Each page featured a family photographed with all their possessions in front of their home. There were families from all around the world, and some pictures, I am sure, were ALL the items the family owned. The American family had a massive pile compared to the others (to be expected) but looking back, I am sure there was a lot more, in terms of clutter, that was left back in the house.
      This poor woman who had labelled everything has one thing going for her: seeing the enormity of the problem. I think if I had to see all my clutter lined up in one spot, rather than tucked away and facing it in batches, it would be a sight I could not ignore. And I have been doing pretty well these past months!
      I have been struggling with how to tackle my writing area, considering using the ‘temporary’ storage idea blogged about a month ago. I may just make a complete inventory, too. Maybe it will open my eyes.
      I love these comments that make me think. And I’m glad you found your passport!

    • Hunter that is a great idea but where are you recording it and how?

  13. As a novice de-clutterer who has tried and failed in the past to make a start on the horrors of my clutter, 365 Less Things has been such an ispiration and motivation and has made a real difference to my life and the way I view “stuff”. Thank you! I will be challenging myself to be at least 365 things lighter by 2013 🙂

    • Hi Philippa,
      first may I say welcome to 365 Less Things and thank you for coming forward to introduce yourself. Thank you also for those kind words as it is always nice to know that what we do here can change peoples lives for the better. The person making the real changes is you though, so well done Philippa. I am glad that the slow and steady approach has worked for you where other methods haven’t and I look forward to hearing about your progress over the next year. Good luck and do drop in often to say hello and to let us know how you are getting along.

  14. This seems like a good time to take stock and report for 2011. I kept a spreadsheet so I could track my total of ‘things out’. It gives me a record of charitable donations, and just makes me feel better to keep a count-out rather than an overwhelming ‘to-do’. Although I got derailed by illnesses and distractions, the grand total for this year was 1078 things out of the house.

    The bad news is there’s a long way to go. We’re not hoarders, we’ve just been in the same house too long, and failed to keep up with clutter accumulation for several years where we had illnesses and injuries making it hard to do. (If anybody ever tells you to let the house slide for a while, DON’T!)

    We will be pressing on in 2012. Maybe I should commit to 7 items a week rather than 1 a day, because to be honest I find I have to work in weekend spurts for now. Maybe when we get to ‘maintenance’ the daily pitch will work better.

    We made a good effort yesterday installing a needed cabinet which will store stuff which was in the way of our living space. It was a pain, but good to see it done.

    Best wishes for the New Year to Colleen and all the 365ers who help us all stay on track!

  15. Challenge accepted!! Feeling a little ‘hemmed in’ at the minute with a little too much Christmas stuff about the house!!

    Happy New Year to Each and everyone over here at 365 things!!

    Sharron x

  16. Nope! Not my resolution. Except if we can make it “one thing a day – or more!”. Then I’m absolutely in. With not nearly all of my 2011 goals (yep, they were too high but I am fine with that) met (am I fine with that too) and the BF moving in in three months I have some serious tasks to tackle. But the combination of doing a bit almost every day (minus some periods of motivational struggle that I hope not to repeat next year) and some big action days did it for me 2011 and hopefully will work just as well in 2012. If yes I might be down to a level of clutter to do one thing a day in 2013 😉
    Thanks for a year of keeping me in track and by the way also thanks for reviewing Corinne Grant. I actually bought the book and read it in two days and loved it (and loved that I could buy it and put it in my bookshelve without any regret because after all the decluttering of books I secretly was afraid I could not enjoy buying a book anymore).

  17. I’ve been following your blog for a while, and enjoy reading about your decluttering adventure. Your posts on aspirational clutter have been especially helpful. I’m an artist who has been interested in way too many techniques, which led me to acquire way too many art books, supplies and tools. Most of them have been unused since I finished art school more than 5 years ago. Because my concentration was sculpture, I’ve been moving around heavy things like bronze ingot, rusty steel scrap and anvils. One of my New Year resolutions is to start commenting on blogs I follow, and I’m going to take your challenge to declutter 365 things in 2012. Happy New Year!

    • Hi Delona,
      welcome to 365 Less Things and thank you for dropping in to introduce yourself. You picked the perfect day to drop by as I have just spent half of my day decluttering in my craft room. I do this periodically as I feel comfortable to let go of more stuff. It is so easy to hang on to the stuff we think we will use one day but one day always seem to get further away rather than closer. I am in no hurry though and I am happy to just plod away at it as the whim takes me. That is the beauty of slow and steady decluttering so long as something is going out each day you can be satisfied that you are making progress.

      Good luck with your 365 Less Things pledge and please keep in touch I would love to hear how you are getting on.

  18. I am on day two and going strong. I have a calendar where I am writing down what I rid my house of and hope to have it filled everyday!

    • Hi Bunny, you should start a digital calendar like Google Calendar so you can save your data for years to come without it causing clutter. I used to save my physical calendars because they recorded personal historic evens but I learned to let them go but now I use Google Calendar. I set all the birthdays and anniversaries to repeat indefinitely so I don’t have to rewrite them every year and record any events that I might need/want evidence of for future reference and it is all online so I am not wasting an ounce of space in my home of on my computer.

  19. What a great idea. I found you through Betty and I am so on board with this idea. One thing a day is definitely doable! We are planning on downsizing this year…so because this is Day 2 I am going to be clearing out TWO things before the day is over. I am so glad I found you- Diana

    • Hi Diana, may I extend to you a very warm welcome to 365 Less Things. I am glad you managed to find me, I must remember to thank Betty for that. I am so pleased you a going to give the Things a day challenge a shot. It really isn’t that hard to achieve in fact limiting yourself to one thing a day is harder once you build up some momentum. My solution to that is ~ Don’t limit yourself. The idea is to declutter an overage of one thing a day so you have declutter 365 things by the end of the year. If you end up declutter 1000 things by the end of the year, all the better. And don’t forget, if you feel you need extra encouragement just send me and email through my contact link or leave a comment here where everyone can helpt spur you on. Good luck.

      Oh I had to add I just went over to take a look at your blog and I am still smiling. It seems you and I have a similar sense of humour. I’ll have to check your blog more often.


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