Handbag Clutter

This week we have been talking about making decisions about what is clutter and what isn't. Recently I received an email from a reader named Lesley who shared with me a story of why she decided to declutter and downsized her handbag. Here is what Lesley wrote~ "Hi Coleen, I have recently come across your website and I am enjoying it very much and finding it very inspirational. I was reading some older posts from your archive and came across one regarding handbags, and I wanted to share my experience with you. Three years ago my large, very cluttered, handbag was stolen. It contained too much Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Pantry Management

There is such potential for waste in the kitchen! I am certainly not perfect, but I really try to keep it to a minimum. Here are some of my tricks and tips: Don't buy in bulk except for items that you know, for sure, you and your family make good use of it. Toilet paper I buy in bulk. Paper towels (which, per Colleen's suggestion below, I almost completely eliminated years ago), I buy one roll at a time, and I always buy the "select a size" towels, so I can pull of just a small amount. Use substitutions in the kitchen. For reasons I won't go into, I ended up with a cheap jar of "meat Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ You Don’t Have to Have One Too

Every time you see something fun, intriguing, clever, imaginative, or functional at a friend's house, are you tempted to buy one for yourself too? When your child loves a toy that he or she has played with at a friend's house, school, or the doctor's office, do you think he or she must surely want one for your house as well? This is a trap. Don't fall for it. In my experience, parents and grandparents are the first and worst to fall into this trap. If junior loves a toy elsewhere, he/she will surely love one at home too. Not necessarily. Instead, by buying a duplicate, you've removed the Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ The Shortage Is Only in Your Mind

I went to high school with a girl named Helen, who was extremely petite and wore a very tiny shoe size, 5 I believe. In college, Helen and I lived in the same dorm. Her room was remarkable because it contained the largest shoe collection in the dorm, probably in the entire school. Why did Helen own so many shoes? Because she wore a tiny shoe, many stores would only get one in her size when they ordered a style. Helen was constantly afraid that she wouldn't be able to find shoes that fit. As a result, she bought every shoe she found in her size. Clearly, the idea that there was a shortage of Continue reading

Let go of your “should” clutter

Should is just another word for obligation. The answer to all the following questions is NO! Should I keep this in case I need it some day. Should I keep this because (fill in the blank) gave it to me. Should I keep this, even though I have more of them than I need, just in case one day I actually have to cater to a much larger group than I normally would. Should I keep this because someone made it for me. Should I keep this because, after all, everyone has one. Should I use this only on special occasions. (Everyday is a special occasion, use it often or let it go is what I Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ For Advanced Declutterers

Today's post is geared toward the advanced decluttered. If you're a beginner, don't try this at home...or anywhere else...it can lead to discouragement, a big mess in the hallway, and a complete lack of improvement in your situation. But if you've passed the beginning stages of decluttering, if your friends call you The Decluttering Queen (that's what mine call me, at least), or if you've been at it for more than a year, then today's post might be for you. Sometimes, you've just got to start all the way over. Yes, all the way over. That's what I did last week. My pantry is decluttered. Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Don’t Over Buy (revisited)

This post first appeared in September 2012. Since I am in the thick of plowing through the Lost and Found and checking the cleanliness of all the uniforms from the uniform exchange closet, it seemed like a good time to reprint it. At the end of every school year, I volunteer to take home all the lost and found from my daughters’ school. I look through it, sort it, wash it, fold it, and give it to charity. The amount of lost and found (or as the Head of School calls it, “Lost and Sometimes Found”) is absolutely amazing.  At the end of this school year, I had 20 expensive metal water Continue reading

Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom ~ Moving

Last month, I helped my friends, The E family, move. In the last month, I also helped my daughters' school pack for a move. The Es have lived in their house 13 years; the school has been in this location 10 years. Let me tell you, I have seen a lot of junk, stuff, things, good stuff that's no longer needed, beautiful useful items, heirlooms, and lost & found in the past month. A lot. Moving really forces you to focus in on what's essential. This is especially true for the school, which is being torn down and rebuilt. For the first half of the next school year, The Girls' School of Austin Continue reading

Fourth Thursdays with Deb J ~ Get your affairs in order

It has been almost 5 years since we moved to Arizona. I have been putting off the hassle of updating all the legal paperwork like the wills, etc. I know I should have done it sooner but can admit that what we have would work in a pinch. I also have to admit that it would be more of a hassle for those left to deal with it if I had left things as they were. I have been updating everything and creating a set of instructions for those who will be our executors if both of us go together or at such time as the other is gone when one dies. It’s much more of a hassle than any of us want to deal Continue reading

Guides ~ Declutter Decision Making Guide

Not everyone is aware of the resources available in way of guides here at 365 Less Things. Although they are quite helpful I don't often refer to them. Today I would like to bring your attention to my Declutter Decision Making Guide. I hope that both those who have not seen it before and also those who could do with a refresher find in useful. Questions to ask yourself when you are deciding what stays and what goes when decluttering How long since I last used this:- If you are keeping an item just because maybe you might need it some day then it is probably clutter. Is it still Continue reading