Simple Saturday – Odds & Ends Box

This really was a simple little declutter mini mission. The box of odds and ends involved had not even been opened in some time and most of what was in it was well and truly redundant. Some bits found their way to the bin, some in the donation box and just a few things were rehoused elsewhere.




As you can see there wasn’t much left after the unnecessary stuff was removed and I soon found new homes for that. Now I have put the box aside for the time being until I decide if I have another use for it or if it should be decluttered too. I always find it difficult to part with useful storage items like this but if I have no use for it then I just don’t need it do I?

Oh! By the way I forgot to mention that my husband was the one who carried out this particular mini mission. I love that he is so involved and as keen to declutter our home as I am.


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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I wouldn’t get rid of this little organizer. We use this sort of thing all over the place. Really keeps things together. We do label each container with blue painters tape and a black sharpie for easy identification. For example, keeping extra tools (fuses, electrical tape, pliers) or first aid kit in the car. Use it for organizing small items in emergency kit (batteries, small flash light, light sticks). We always have a picnic bag containing a can opener, matches, and so on ready for picnics packed in each car. This size organizer works well for all these things.

    Love your blog. I have really been motivated this year to clear out. I clear out and donate all year long, every year, but this year I feel like I am making more progress than usual.

    • Hi Kathy,
      welcome to 365 Less Things and thank you for stopping by with a comment. You have some good ideas here although I have most of them already covered. I have another tool box holding the first aid items, one with all those little extra for home repairs etc and the flashlight and batteries are in a drawer upstairs with the battery chargers. Like you said though I won’t get rid of it yet because I am still rearranging my craft room and I dare say it will come in handy there somewhere. I think I have had that box for the entire 24 years of marriage so it has served me well so far.

      • I’m a strong believer in getting rid of emptied storage containers unless you know you have a use for them (just like any other object).
        Charity shops can use even odd storage containers that they might not be able to sell. I am slowly getting rid of drawers that I gleaned – now that I have less clutter I don’t need these frugal but imperfect storage solutions!

        • Hi Jess,
          I am with you on this but I do give myself a little time to decide whether I have another use for the container before I decide to declutter it altogether. There have been several that I have given away with the stuff that was contained within lately. However I have retrieved others from the garage when I have downsize other collections of things and got rid of the larger container instead. It is a system that seems to be working so far.

      • Hi Colleen,
        If you’ve been married 24 year, then we were married in the same year – we have our 24th anniversary later this month.
        And this is just the third time I have seriously tried to declutter – when our daughter left primary school, when she left school, and now…. but this is the first sustained effort – thanks for keeping the motivation up. I keep thinking “if we don’t do it now, she’ll have to face it some day”.
        thanks again.

        • Good for you Ann. Are you finding it much different this time and approaching it as a lifestyle change rather then a clean out. Most of my previous decluttering sessions have preceded a home relocation. This time it is for sure a lifestyle change for me as you well know. It is my pleasure to share my experience with you and all my readers because if I can guide others to the same joy with less that I am achieving then the effort has been twice as rewarding.

  2. I tend to hang on to good storage containers until I see if I have another use for them too.

    Good for your husband for being an enthusiastic declutterer!

    My own husband has recently decided to allow me to help him declutter his shop and storage areas. That is going to be a huge project.

    That’s a real break-through, because he never used to want me to help him. Even though it’s hard for him to declutter and organize, he told me I “throw away too much”. πŸ˜‰

    He’s now starting to see what I’ve been telling him for a long time, that lightening the load of “stuff” means you get to feel a lot lighter, and it frees you up to do other things you’d rather do, not to mention it cuts down on the aggravation of not being able to find something you’re looking for. πŸ˜‰

    • Wow Becky good for you, making progress with your hubby. You must be so excited to get into the shop/storage area even though it will be a big task. There have been a few readers who have patiently set a good example and enjoyed the success of that positive influence finally rubbing off on the other members of the household. Even my own son has little declutter sessions in the middle of the night and I wake up to a pile of stuff on the kitchen table ready for decluttering. You should take some before and after photos and maybe even write a little blurb for me about how your husband handled the situation and how he feels once it is done. What a great Before & After post that would be. Give it some thought as I know I would love it and I am sure the other readers would enjoy hearing about it.

  3. Becky, that is a huge breakthrough that your husband is going to let you help declutter those areas. I am hoping that as my own husband sees what a great job I am doing with my own clutter, he will get inspired to clean out the garage (which I really should post a “before” picture of).

    I also hate to get rid of storage containers, but Colleen is right. If there is no use for it, there’s no point in keeping it.

    Colleen, I’m curious as to where all the stuff went that was in the box. Did you throw a lot of it away? I’ve been wondering how you remove stuff on a daily basis. I keep accumulating piles and then either donating them or giving them away or putting them into the trash. It’s hard to actually physically move one item out every single day, since I don’t go out every day.

    I did a blog entry on my decluttering today (linking your site!) at, if anyone would like to see some of the stuff I got rid of this week. In addition to what I put up there this morning, I also got my friend to take a yoga mat with her that I wasn’t using. One more thing out of here!

    Thanks for the continuing inspiration, Colleen! I love your website!


    • Hi Chelle,
      I sent an email explaining my system about choosing and getting rid of my clutter, maybe you didn’t receive it. I have cut and pasted what I wrote below.

      the short answer is no it does not leave the house the day I choose it. I have an area set aside in the garage for donations and once I have a car load I take them to my local thrift shop. Anything I give to friends gets set aside until the next time I see them. Some things are sold on ebay so I set them aside in my office/craft room until I get around to listing and selling them. Anything recyclable or trash go straight into the bin.

      The long answer concerning my thing a day is that I declutter on average a thing a day, not necessarily a thing a day because sometimes one ten minute effort will yield more than one thing. Other days I may just dedicate time to perusing an area to get an idea of what needs doing, or setting up things like my craft sale, sometimes I just reshuffle, some days I spend taking photos of things I have set aside, sometimes I dedicate the time to writing my blog… I explained even more in a comment reply yesterday.

      Some people have a tendency to return the item back to the home if they don’t remove it soon after choosing it and in that case I would be inclined to get rid of the stuff as soon as possible.

      I hope that clears up what you wanted to know.

      I went over to to check out your progress at your blog and you have had a busy week. I bet you are starting to feel more liberated already. You are making great decluttering decisions and are open enough to ask your friend if she wanted her cookie jar back and that is a good thing. Sometimes we can be too sensitive to others feelings in this process and end up hanging on to stuff that we just shouldn’t in fear of upsetting people. I am a firm believer that if people are that fickle and value our relationship so little that they would place stuff over our friendship then there is no great loss if they do get unduly offended and never talk to me again. Even putting that down in words sounds ridiculous so I think the likelihood of it happening is minimal.

      Keep up the good work and happy decluttering.

      • Thanks, Colleen. I did miss your email reply or it got lost in the clutter of the in-box! I have made enormous progress and have had my son taking tons of trash to the dump all week from the basement. It’s a great feeling. I gave my friend ALL of my scrapbooking supplies and several quilts yesterday and all of the cross stitch stuff. So a LOT of stuff went out yesterday.

        I think it’s only the nice thing to do to ask someone if they want their thing back before I get rid of it. And luckily, she’s the kind of person that would never be offended by that.

        When my friend looked at my bedroom closet yesterday, she said in shock, “Do you have enough clothes to wear?” I got a huge chuckle out of that. I read somewhere that we only wear 1/3 of what we actually own. I can still take some things out of there that I don’t wear, but it’s starting to look like I’m a homeless person because of how few clothes I actually do wear. Simplicity and minimalism. I love it!


        • Good for you Chelle, you are making such great strides. Make sure you give yourself time to make informed decisions about how much you get rid of as you don’t want to get too overzealous and end up regretting things not far down the line. That is why I took the slow and stead approach in the first place because I wanted to be sure about everything I decluttered because this time it is more of a move towards minimalism rather than one of those whirlwind periodical decluttering efforts.

  4. I love it when my hubby gets involved with decluttering – he is definitely guilty of techno clutter ( but when he gets going, he is really good at clearing out.

    • Hi Jess,
      I am not sure there are plenty of other techno husbands out there, mine for starters, so you aren’t on your own with that.

    • Andréia

      Hi Jess! I don’t know if you got rid of all that stuff by now, but I can relate to the computer part. It took me three years to get rid of all four computer towers in my house. My husband hung on to them like they would save his life!!! πŸ˜€ I had to be 8 months pregnant and in a rage of hormones (You know: “Get rid of these junk or I am going to maim you, even though I can barely walk” kind of rage πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ :-D). Then I got rid of two. It is very challenging, but we are here to support you. Good luck πŸ˜‰

      • Not even close to all gone, but with the motivation of making space for an au-pair to stay for a year, some things have certainly moved on or moved out of sight.

        Sometimes I play the “what’s this computer?” game with him, just to wind myself up πŸ™‚

  5. Hi from Canada. I’ve been following 365 Things since just about the beginning. I’m not a major clutterer (I have WAY too much stuff, but I’m organized). The clutterer in the family is my spouse, whose days are a perpetual round of looking for keys, glasses… But, I’ve been slowly and quietly disposing of my own excess and now that he’s confident that I’m not just going to barge in and toss his stuff, he is starting the decluttering process too. It might be a thing a month, but the seeds have been planted… We’ll get there, eventually!

    • Hi Wendy B,
      a belated welcome to 365 Less Things and thank you for making yourself known to us at long last and for sticking with me quietly in the background for so long. Your clutter situation sounds much like mine was ~ plentiful but well organised.
      Congratulation on the progress with your spouse, you are a good example of what I was saying in a response to Becky’s comment earlier today. This kind of progress may not happen over night but so long as it comes eventually that is great. Keep on encouraging him and reward him for his efforts, that will help keep him on track.

  6. I love reading your blog. I find it inspiring and real. It is like having a chat with a chum. I would love you to post some more thoughts on the following issues I seem to present myself with. I have emptied our house out a whole lot, in comparison to what used to be in it. However, as my minimalist tendencies kick in even more, the house feels worse and more claustrophobic than ever. I seem to see stuff everywhere ( even though it is comparitively less than it ever was ) and this makes me feel really depressed. The other people in my hosue aren’t like me, but by the same token they are not materialistic possession-grabbers. Even so I simply feel like I am drowning and it is making me impossible to live with, or to feel comfortale and content in my house. Please post some words of wisdom to help me ” get over myself “. I know I am being way too dramatic and self-indulgent. Thank you.

    • Hi Francesca,

      I really empathise with you on this one – when you’re highly tuned to clearing a space it can be horribly frustrating to notice how much stuff is still out of control. Sometimes I just want to pick up everything on the floor and throw it away.

      One thing I find helps is to remember the difference between decluttering and tidying. My frustration is worse when I feel I am the only one tidying things to their homes (and everyone else excels at taking things out). But if you have succeeded in decluttering, it might be just that you need to delegate the tidying task to other capable people.

      Also, is there a clear haven that can be just for you?

    • Hi Francesca,
      sometimes we just have to change our mindset about other peoples clutter. There is nothing we can do about it except to continue to set a good example and hope that others follow suit. Fretting over it will only cause us grief and perhaps even blind us to the joys of the progress we have made and the relationships we have with those around us. My 19 year old keeps a cluttered and often untidy bedroom but that is his only personal space in the home so I turn a blind eye within reason and only insist on him cleaning up if it gets really out of hand and periodically he show the initiative to do it without being told. I just stay out of there as much as possible. The closet and some areas in the garage have lots of items my daughter left behind when she went to college and I would love to see the back of that stuff too but until she is settled into a place of her own I am stuck with it. I just content myself to declutter around it and re-arrange it as better spaces become available. These are inevitable areas I have no real control over for now and it is best to just accept that and move on with your own downsizing. Don’t get too obsessed with your ultimate goal, causing yourself misery by over-aspiring can be just as unhealthy as hoarding. What would you prefer a little clutter around or to live alone in a sterile environment with no loved ones to share your life with.