In the responses to Cindy’s and Deb J’s blog posts last week I kept reading the same word over and over again. Someday. You know how the saying goes ~ Tomorrow never comes ~ well someday is even further away than tomorrow. And if by some miracle someday does actually arrive, you are best to leave acquiring stuff that you “need” for it until then. Now is not the time.

Oh, how much someday clutter did I accumulate when in the honeymoon days of my scrapbooking hobby? Hundreds of pieces of printed paper that were too beautiful, cute or relevant to resist that I would use someday. The same went for stickers, embellishments and rub-on words. All items I convinced myself I would be sorry if I didn’t buy them because this might be a once in a lifetime opportunity or a bargain too good to miss. Where are many of those fabulous crafting items today? Sold, given away and some still in my craft room. Yes some of it got used but some of it has been undergoing a use it up challenge for three years now. I think I will be giving more of it away soon because I will be years ploughing through what is left. And it is taking up room that could be better served for another purpose.

In this day and age of rampant consumerism what are the chances that something bigger, better, cuter, more fashionable… will come along at the same bargain price or better soon enough? Experience tells me that there is every chance. So there is no need for people to be purchasing items for the future, a future that could be very different than one imagines. This is especially so for items that aren’t even necessary in the first place.

If you can’t bring yourself to get rid of the stuff you have acquired for some day, at least have the fortitude to resist acquiring any more of these items from this day forward. Live for the present because someday is never guaranteed.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter a few books that you set aside years ago to read someday but you still haven’t got around to it.

Eco Tip for the Day

Follow the creed of  The Non-Consumer Advocate ~ Use it up, where it out, make it do or do without.

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

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. That eco tip is great. The post is good Colleen. Someday!! You know, one thing I found out is that someday may come but often it doesn’t. Or at least, not like we think. I’m not saying it is wrong to have dreams and plans but we need to be a little less dreamy and a good bit more practical. Because no matter what you have in your head you want to do it takes work. Very few people have things handed to them out of the blue. If you want a house, you have to work to raise the down payment and work to have your finances in the best shape so that you can afford to pay the monthly mortgage and all else that goes with a house. If you want to be a doctor, you have to spend all those years in school and take out all those loans in order to get there. But even with those dreams our life may end tomorrow. I don’t want to be a downer here but instead I want to help us to remember that the past is gone and we can’t change it, tomorrow isn’t here and we can’t create it but today is here and we can make it the best day. So many times we either buy things for someday or hold onto things for someday when we have no guarantee that someday will come. Someday may be totally different than we expect it to be. So I’m trying to keep myself in today. In buying for this lifestyle, this body, this diet, this financial place. In making plans that pertain to what I am doing now. Yes, I can have goals that I am working toward but I need to have contingency plans. So you want to get married, have kids, have a really nice, big house and go on nice vacations. Hey, that’s great. But don’t buy for that right now when you are single, no husband in sight, you live in a small apartment and you vacation is a trip to see mom and dad can you get room and board free. I look back on all the things we were taught to think we needed just “to get started” and realize that it was all a lie. I didn’t need that stuff. I needed what I needed for then. And I would have been much better off if I had made that realization early on. What a bunch of things I would have left stored at my parents (until someday), wouldn’t have moved from place to place, and wouldn’t have eventually sold or given away having never been used or used very little. I also realize that most of those somedays didn’t ever come. What I dreamed of at 20 and what I got were so different they wouldn’t have even been on the same “dream sheet.” I think I ended up with better. And I didn’t need many of those things that were bought for the dream.

    • Well said Deb J, someday doesn’t mean giving up on your dreams it just means cater for it when the time arrives.

    • Very well put Deb J!

      And to stay in your example: even if you marry and have the house after all it may turn out that you don’t need that much stuff either (or your husband already owns most of it before he even meets you and you end up with duplicates 😉 ) So even if your dreamt of “someday” becomes reality it doesn’t mean you have a need then for all the things you aquired before.

      I found, I did buy some things for my first “real” apartment (not shared student living, but an apartment of my own or with a spouse), which I saved “for good” until that became reality, but if I look closely that wasn’t even the real reason I bought them, it was just an excuse. All of them were things I thought pretty and just wanted to buy though I had no real purpose or need for them – so I just made up a future “someday” where they might be justified.
      I’m amazed what foolish things have been on my wish list for years. I really changed a lot in that regard. I mean, even if I won the lottery now and had to buy everything new and could choose my favourite things of everything, I maybe would go for nicely designed things, but I still would buy only the basics and not just about everything just because the design is neat. (like I was tempted to do before – and would justify with an imaginary “someday”)

      • Sanna, I understand exactly what you are saying. I did some of that buying for someday and later was glad that most of it was usable. But, I look back and realize that I was just “proving” I could buy things I wanted. Now I look back and wonder why I thought I had to prove anything and to who?

        • Sanna and Deb J, I’m not so good with words, but your comments really resonated with me. When I was young, I bought everything I thought a person needed for their own home and ended up with some useful items and some items that were completely useless for my lifestyle. Sanna, I like your “lottery” comment. We have always said that if we ever were to win (and hubby does play), we’d have a little, bitty home on acreage. Heck, I can hardly keep the house clean now. I’d hate to have a big house to clean!

          My husband and I bought our first home in 2000 and are still in that house. I was a shopping fiend in the beginning and through the years, I have certainly realized what has a been a waste of money and space, as well. I no longer want the bigger, better, faster or whatnot. I’ll tell you what really bugs me is spending money on the same thing more than once. We put carpet in when we bought the house and I guess it was not fantastic quality because it looks so shabby now. Hubby had to really battle with me to buy a new tv. The old one was fine. Why do we need to spend the money?? He won. LOL I never want to buy another new tv – think I’ll get away with that??? 😉

          • Michelle, I think you do fine with words. I like what you had to say in your comment. I know what you mean about spending money on something more than once. I’m that way about electronic things especially. I know that I have to upgrade my laptop every so often and I hate that. Why can’t they make them so that things can be switched out? Because they want the money you pay to upgrade. They make most things with a built in obsolescence and that really bugs me.

          • Hi Michelle, I also dislike having to buy the same thing more than once myself. It is OK if it has lasted well and needs replacing but when something hasn’t or isn’t performing well or when someone else in the family wants to replace something just for the fun of it really doesn’t sit well with me.

        • Deb J, Michelle, Colleen:
          Happy to read that what I was trying to convey actually did come across. Lately I’m struggling more to get my ideas on paper (the screen) in an understandable manner. I think I should practise more. 😉

          • I feel your pain Sanna, I am trying to write an eBook and some days I have a hard time getting my head around it too.

          • Sanna, I know what you mean. I have to have time to think about what I am writing before I publish it. Sometimes when I write a comment I think of how I use the same words all the time. I need to stop that. It’s pure laziness on my part.

      • Great point Sanna. It is so easy to find an excuse to buy things just for the fun of buying. I am sure we have all been there. I started to wonder if my hobby was buying stuff for scrapbook rather than actually doing it, there for a while. I am so glad to leave those days behind me.

    • Very helpful words, Deb J! I always imagined that I’d live in a house and have kids and do a fair amount of entertaining. But my husband and I love living in a condo, have no current plans for kids, and don’t entertain often. We might end up having kids, but it would be a decade or more before they’d be old enough to play with any of our cherished toys. And the toys we have kept have already been in boxes for >10 years . Better pass them on now and let the future take care of itself… except for the inevitable handful of exceptions that I don’t want to part with. 🙂

      • That sounds reasonable to me Rebecca J. No harm in keeping a couple of old favourites.

        • This is my experience with childrens’ stuff: When you pass it on freely it will come back when you need it. Perhaps not the exact things and not the same path you gave it away. And also you will enjoy much more to pass on the really cherished things and buy a few new things.

          Recently little son (2yo) and I visited a family with 2 kids (4yo and 2yo). They had a toy room overflowing with toys that seemed to have belonged already to their parents PLUS a big bunch of new things. I found it overwhelming and flet that there was little room for “big wishes” because everything was already there. I think I will even reconsider the things of big son (12yo) which I keep for little son… I want to make enough room for little son to develop the wishes that are really his own.

          • RebeccaJ, getting rid of most and keeping a few precious toys is good. Dagmar, I understand what you mean. My cousin was that way with her children. They actually had a playroom (one of the spare bedrooms) that was full of toys. The only problem was that they wanted to be near Mom so would bring lots of the stuff downstairs to the family room where the parents were. So there were two very messy rooms because at the end of the day none of them wanted to carry it all back up the stairs. They had way too much and presents for them were not really appreciated that much because it was just more of the same.

          • I find that really interesting “develop the wishes that are really his own”.
            I think it’s so often true not only for children that we in being surrounded by things that demand our attention don’t have the time to develop “big wishes” and the time and energy to pursue them. Like learning to play an instrument or doing some sports or writing a book or whatever. We’re just not free to do that, as we think “bur I should rather use up the fabric stash or finish the knitting projects” (or other “shoulds” imposed by aspirational clutter)
            I think it’s great to realize the importance of free space/lack to develop wishes that are actually lasting and good for your personal development also.

  2. So very true Colleen! I learned my lesson about “Someday” when I was a teenager and my dressmaker mother was making my clothes. We would go shopping for fabric and I was always tempted by more than was necessary for the present season so would buy for those “Someday” clothes. Of course, as you said Colleen, next season’s fabrics were even more beautiful or last seasons’s colours and patterns looked a bit dated etc and soon I had a stock of “Someday” fabrics. Over time some fabrics did get used but I decided that buying anything for the future was going to have the same problems associated with it – change of taste, change of lifestyle, and more choice to name but a few. So I wholly support Michelle’s new warcry from yesterday’s comments 🙂

    • We have something in common Megan S, my mother was a dressmaker too. She made all our clothes until we were teenagers. She had a stash of fabrics in drawers under the beds. Someday actually did arrive for a piece of guipure lace that she bought for
      $13 in the seventies. She incorporated it into my wedding dress in the late eighties. By that time the same piece of lace would have cost about $100. I am sure however that for that one piece of lice there were twenty other pieces of fabric that never got used.

      • Oh Colleen wasn’t it wonderful to have a mother who could make us beautiful clothes and that’s a lovely story about the lace used in your wedding dress! But as you say, so many other pieces never got used and although fabrics are not among the biggest, bulkiest items to store the other “someday” issues apply – money wasted, inappropriate for current lifestyle etc etc. I made some things for my two when they were little (including many dance costumes for my daughter) but only bought the fabric when needed!

        • Hi Megan S, I was always pretty frugal when it came to fabric but at $1 and $2 a metre for knit fabrics at one point they did begin to stockpile a little. Never too much though but they are all gone now. The only pieces of loose fabric I have in the house now are my piece of calico for making my Christmas pudding, my muslin for making labna and a piece of black fabric for using in the back ground when photographing items for ebay or my blog. No project backlog fabric at all. Yay!

    • My Mom made most of my clothes when I was younger. I had some really nice clothes and they fit me. At 5 feet tall it is hard to find clothes that fit even in the petite sizes. We still have to alter them. It was easier to make them. Now she no longer makes clothes and I miss that.

      • Deb J – I am also 5 foot – my mum used to sew a lot of our clothes when were young, and I can sew too, but I have found it darer to sew an outfit than to buy one.

        • I gave up on finding anything much in the dress line that fits. I end up buying separates and then I can also mix and match.

          • Deb J – I don’t have much problem with dresses, I find the ‘short’ length dresses end up being the right length on me. I find tops tend to be a bit on the long side though.

          • Moni, everything I buy has to be altered except sleeveless tops. If it is slacks then 4-6 inches off the legs. If a top the sleeves have to be shortened. I don’t buy sweaters because they are knit and I would have to turn up the sleeves or find someone who can shorten them. Coats have to have the sleeve length shortened. Short dresses work sometimes but then I have to deal with the neckline being too low. I’d love to have the money for tailor made clothes. But, I do find clothes and I Mom can do most of the altering. I’m thankful for that.

          • Deb J – thanks for the reminder ……..yes, I have to turn sleeves up too. Its summer here and so I haven’t had sleeves to turn up for some time. I’m not usually bothered by it unless it is a shirt with cuffs but I don’t wear many button-shirts to be honest. Maybe that is why.

          • Moni, I don’t wear many button shirts either. And here in this part of Arizona it seldom gets cold enough for long sleeves or sweaters. So I’m good to go that way.

        • Hi Moni, my mother says the same things these days. Clothes are cheaper than the fabric to make them so why go to all the trouble.

          My Bridget is only 5′ 1″ and she was so exited when she found a maxi dress that was actually the right length for her. Then she saw it on another women and realised it was actually cut as a below the knee length. She didn’t care it still looked good. We all found it amusing though.

          • Yes, that is right. I can get clothes cheaper most of the time and it doesn’t mean Mom getting around to making them and taking her time.

      • I am so much taller than both of you, Moni and Deb J! 😀 I am 5,2…So I just have to adjust every pant leg when I buy, because they are always made for taller people, but I am still taller 😀 😀 😀 . Now, for real, I had never had anyone in the family who made clothes. My grand mother used to be a seamstress, but she never liked it and stopped just before I was born. But it must be great to have someone making your clothes and they fitting perfectly.

  3. A great post, Colleen. Thank you.

    Deb J, you are correct with someday may be totally different than we expect it to be. That was true for my mother – my step-father had a life changing accident just a few years after they got married in 1981 and the life they live now is certainly not what they had thought it would be. They are ok, but definitely a different outcome.

    I think it’s a good thing to keep an eye on the future, but we have to live in the time of NOW.

    • Hi Michelle, especially if we waste money of things that may never get used where as the money saved could be needed in the future or better spent now on something else.

      • Exactly right and that’s where I’m at with projects. Not going to buy anymore projects until I either finish those that I still have or shift them over to someone else who will finish and enjoy them.

  4. I have a friend who says that ‘someday’ is just an unsubstantiated rumour.

  5. Hi Collen! Great post and Deb J’s comment was also something that really gave more food for thought. Before I started decluttering we had a lot of “someday” projects. One of those, which I shared here once, was that my husband had a lot of computer units and he was going to establish a home network “someday”. That was at the beginning of 2003. Well, computers changed a lot in 5 years and by 2008 all we had were a bunch of old, outdated and broken computers and monitors. I was 8 months pregnant and acting like a mad woman (hormones, girls! 😀 ) and I just told him that either he threw out all those old things or I would burn them all in front of the house. He, sensing things were bad, complied quickly (just because of my pregnancy, mind you… 😀 ) and the next day it was all gone. Now, he learned that computers are bought to be used, if they break and can’t be fixed they meet the recycling bin. Still, I think I just remembered an old and broken laptop he was saving for “someday”… 🙁 . The world is not perfect.

    • I do, from time to time, have my “someday” moment with items, but I keep coming here every day so I am reminded of what I really need in life. 😉

    • Andreia – you are so funny! 🙂 Glad he took you seriously, obviously someone had warned him that pregnant women can be dangerous.

    • Better one laptop than a bunch of old towers and monitors. Don’t push your luck Andréia you had your rack victory best to leave him alone for a while. 😆 😉

    • Oh my! I can just imagine the mess. Those old computers took up a lot of room. My friend, S, had one her husband was hanging onto and it was in the floor in their walk-in closet in their bedroom. Men put things in the oddest places. She was finally able to get it out of there. Along with an old stereo with turntable, a reel to reel tape player and some other old, no longer usable electronic items. In the closet??? What was he thinking?

  6. That is a great point Colleen – I can always buy whatever-it-is I might want someday in the future and probably get a better version. It is frustrating to think of the money I’ve wasted on things I didn’t use and gifts I’ve given that weren’t right.

    As I’ve decluttered, I’ve become more aware of projects around the home I’d like to have done. I’m trying to figure out which things are really worth repainting, and whether we should spend the money to redo flooring or replace an appliance. I think at some point focusing too much on “gah I want that wall repainted” can become mental clutter that pulls me away from happier and better uses of my time. Or maybe that’s just something I tell myself because I dread getting into big projects like that around the home.

    • That is an interesting question Rebecca J. I have an interesting solution to the problem. Keep concentrating on the decluttering and leave the home project until they are easier to get at due to less stuff being in the way. The more you declutter the easier it will be to clear a room for flooring or a wall for painting. This gives you a legit reason to put of the other project until you are ready. 😉

      • Rebecca J, decluttering does encourage a person to reassess their homes, doesn’t it? A couple of weeks ago, I finally went through partially used cans of paint (interior and exterior) that I had been saving for touchups. I’m sure those paints had long gotten gross and unusable. Honestly, what is the point of keeping a 20-gallon can of paint with maybe an inch of paint left in it?? Just want to smack myself sometimes. 😉 We have a couple of large projects that would need to be done before we could ever sell our home. {sigh} But we’ve lived with things this way for so long, what’s a little longer when we don’t have the $ to do these projects? Sometimes I am embarassed about 1) our attic and 2) our laundry room. It is what it is and right now, that is how is has to be.

        • Hi Michelle!
          I filled the leftover paint for touchups in glass jars with tightly closing lid (I think those were pickles jars in the first place). That saves a lot of space. (I use them, so I keep them)

        • Pouring that leftover paint into smaller containers is an simple but effect declutter project. Go for it.

      • Hehe, that is a solution! Moving things to paint or re-floor will be easier the less we have.

  7. I enjoyed the post today. I have gotten rid of most of the craft projects (cross stitch) that were someday ideas. This came about mostly because my tastes have changed. I think that is so true of many things that fall into the someday category. When we finally do get around to dealing with our someday items, we may just find that they no longer interest us or possibly they were just another passing trend and they no longer fit our taste, lifestyle or our goals. I had many items and ideas for decorating my future home, which is the one I am in right now. I would purchase things, primarily on impulse, with ideas of how I would decorate my home once we moved into it. It was out of excitement and anticipation that I bought things on impulse. It was not a smart thing to do as my ideas changed once I actually was living in the home. It is best to stick to easy, classic decorating where less is more. No to mention that those trends change with the season just like clothing does. What we like today may not be what we like tomorrow. I have dealt with this issue by not only decluttering, but like you wrote in the post, curbing my urge and resisting buying more. If I do have my eye on something, I really think a long time on it and wait to see if the feeling passes. Most of the time anymore, after a few days or weeks of thinking on an item, I have talked myself out of it or better yet, the item will no longer be available. That solves the dilemma quickly :).

    • Hi Jen I like that you use delayed decision making when it comes to purchases. My mother always used to say “I’ll go home and think about it. If I am meant to have it it will still be there if I go back.”

    • Jen you are so right about how we end up with things we no longer really want because we buy before the need. Delayed decision making is such a good idea. Too often we are taken in by sales when it will always come back around on sale and if we don’t desperately need it then waiting may show us we don’t need it at all or the next sale may be better.

  8. Timely post Colleen. This could so easily apply to the pile of stuff my daughter is accumulating for when she leaves home – Someday!

    • Wendy F – I almost commented something similar today – we joke about my son’s “glory box” – (its an old fashioned term, also like a “hope chest” where girls collected and made items for when they eventually married and had their own homes) J is talking about leaving home at some stage, and has this cardboard box full of the sorriest looking collection of hand-me-down household bits and pieces he has acquired from friends and family. He has also collected a fridge and a washing machine from neighbours were moving away to retire and didn’t want to take their (quote) crappy old stuff with them. My concern is that he will end up going flatting and won’t need those particular items and we’ll end up hosting them even longer. Or that he’ll discover that the rubber has perished and we’ll have to pay to dump them.

      My next child down, eldest daughter – she’s a minimalist but likes nice things. She’s suggested that in return for not having a glory box, she’ll put money aside when the time comes and if we match it (Bank of Dad always saves the day) she’ll just buy what she needs to get started.

    • Tell me about it Wendy. I have been doing this for Bridget for years. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  9. Someday … I’ll declutter this. 😉 LOL
    (well, actually I’m chucking small bits and pieces right and left these days – but though I am super eager any bigger projects from now on will have to wait. Little miss might come any time now …)

  10. Amen sister!

  11. “In this day and age of rampant consumerism what are the chances that something bigger, better, cuter, more fashionable… will come along at the same bargain price or better soon enough? Experience tells me that there is every chance. So there is no need for people to be purchasing items for the future, a future that could be very different than one imagines. This is especially so for items that aren’t even necessary in the first place.”

    THIS may be the best thing you have ever written—for me. We are downsizing our large home to a smaller townhome (less than ½ as small) As I have begun to pack and purge I am facing “bargains” I purchased on sale, as well as over half of all our stuff and furniture. I argue with myself that I should hold on to this great bargain, what would happen if I need it or want to go back to scrapbooking/crafts/fancy baking/storage containers/decor…..your quote makes it simple—“if” I go back and/or need something I can go get it. If I am not using it right now or it has particular meaning OUT it goes. Whew. We move April 1 and are having a huge moving sale April 5 & 6. I love your blog. I actaully have been purging all along, so our task is smaller than it would have been.

    • Hi Scrapabbey, I love it when one of my readers lets me know they have had a ah ha moment due to something I have written. So thank you for sharing. However when I declutter something I never declutter it with the intension that I could replace it easily enough. That’s my eco friendly side coming out that makes me shudder at this thought. In the paragraph you quoted my intention is to deter people from purchasing items for the future in the first place. However I am confident that you will never find the need to repurchase the items you are letting go of simply because they were under consideration to declutter already. Your ah ha moment just gave you the boost to push you over the edge of making the right decision. Well done!

  12. It is such a great mini mission, especially since I absolutely LOVE books…Books are so sacred to me…call me crazy..but I hear you loud and clear.


  1. […] J had some great comments this week. This first one gives her take on those somedays that never come, while the second lets us in on a little update […]

  2. […] Someday I am going to need this stuff…Do you also fall in the same category? No wonders, you are never able to kick the clutter out of your house. […]