The hurricane method of decluttering Part II

Find Part I here if you haven’t already read it.

I forgot to mention that at the end of Saturday’s effort we were sitting together in the craft room talking a little about the progress of the day, and my friend was lamenting that she wished things had been different and this task could have been a lot easier. I don’t recall exactly what I said but I assured her that I was proud of the progress she had made and how well she was doing with the decluttering process. It is always best to look forward and not dwell on past mistakes, just make things better in the future.

Sunday dawned and I had only half a day left to help my friend with this feverishly fast pack and declutter. So we got right to it with me finishing up in the craft room while she continued to tackle the bedroom. I soon completed my task in the craft room and began packing up the back of the SUV with the first load of the day to go to the new address. Once that was full, delivered and the vehicle empty yet again we began filling it up with a load to go to the thrift shop.

As I bundled up stuff and transferred it to the SUV my friend continued in the bedroom. By this time she was getting more and more ruthless with her stuff. At one point she brought two items out to me stating that it took a big effort for her to part with them. These items had been the last things given to her by a dear friend who had passed away recently. They were things she knew she would never use and was keeping for the sentimental value. By this time, after listening to my logical reasonings about letting go of attachment to stuff she had come to the conclusion that she didn’t need to keep these items in order for her to remember and cherish the beautiful friendship she had shared with this lost loved one and had decided to let them go. I was very proud of her and not just a little surprised that she had already risen to this level of decluttering awareness.

Soon after, she brought out yet another two items that were a token of the progress she was making. She was, at that point, boxing up a collection of unicorn figurines. These had been amassed over a long period of time but she had decided to begin a trial separation on them by leaving them boxed up at the new apartment. The two items were the first items of the collection that she had decided she could live without and had brought them to me to add to the donation pile. I enquired if she was sure she was ready to part with them and she assured me she was. Of course I conveyed a genuine “Well done!” and we continued on with the task.

With the SUV filled again with the load for the thrift shop we drove off together to deliver them and to deliver her from that big burden of ownership. Oh what a relief it was to take such a huge chunk out of the mass off belongings that was to be unpacked at the new address.

We then picked up some lunch and went home for some much needed nourishment and a short rest from our labours. At this point it was time for me to freshen up for my bus and train journey home. I almost wished I could stay and continue to help but my darling husband was eager for my return and my wonderful daughter had invited us for a delicious roast chicken dinner.

But that is not the end of the saga.

To be continued…

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter kitchen gadgets that weren’t so useful.

“If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” — Unknown

Eco Tip for the Day

Donate or sell under utilised items in your home in the hope that it will prevent someone else, who might have a use for them, from having to buy new.

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. I feel as if I’m reading a novel, and waiting on the author for the next chapter!! 😉 I love that this segment involved some sentimental clutter and “collection” clutter. I really like that your friend is getting more ruthless. She is going to feel relieved not to have all this stuff in her new space. I’m happy for her.

    ps: Got rid of another cookbook on grilling – actually used a tape measure and it is now officially 10″ of shelf space used. 🙂

    • Hi Michelle, I am glad you are enjoying the story so far. I go back on Sunday so you can expect another episode next week. Which reminds me. I had better get ahead before sunday with my posts as I won’t have internet access while I am away.

      Glad to here you got rid of another cookbook. I was presumptuous for me to assume you had a laptop or tablet that you could use in your kitchen instead of recipe books. Too bad about that because it sure does solve the recipe book clutter problem. But 10 inches isn’t so bad.

  2. I agree with Michelle, Colleen. This reads like a serial novel. It’s interesting how quickly your friend started learning to let go of things. I think it is exciting to see the progress she made in just a couple of days. Tell her we are proud of her too.

    • Hi Deb J, she was ready for it. She had been wanting to do something about it for a while and we had discussed the fact that I would help. So when her hand was forced by this sudden move it was now or never. I am looking forward to going back on Sunday to start arranging her craft room and help her arrange her other rooms if she needs help with that. I have been scouring Pinterest for organising ideas.

      • Colleen, it’s good of you to be willing to help her. Going back to help her now she is in her new place will be great. I hope she will actually not only organize but do more decluttering. Can’t wait to read the next segment of the story.

  3. I am enjoying this continuing story. At our house, we are packing and cleaning because we are planning a major overhaul/remodel (which partly explains my absence from here and other places).

  4. I had an epiphany the other day! I love, love, LOVE purging!! I swear I get a high from it. But I never knew why I loved it so much. It finally dawned on me, that “stuff” holds responsibility. It’s so freeing to get rid of all that responsibility! Now at home, instead of calling piles of junk “clutter” I call it “responsibility.” You can occasionally hear me saying “Honey, can you please move all your responsibility to the office?” or “I took all that responsibility out to the dumpster!”

    • Nikki – I love the ‘responsibility’ idea. Stuff requires responsibility for its storage, maintenance and eventually its exit strategy.

      • Yes, I liked the way Nikki put it, too. That kind of responsibility just drags a person down, down, down. hee hee

      • Thanks!! Yes that’s it exactly!!

        • You’re right! It’s responsibility! “I have too much responsibility.” 🙂
          I had a conversation recently about being responsible for a large collection of family photos. I’m tired of the responsibility, in both senses of the word.

    • Hi Nikki, you have come to the same realisation that I came to some time ago. Everything we own bares a burden of responsibility so it makes sense that the less we own the less responsibility we take on. Who wouldn’t enjoy unburdening themselves of some of that. And I think a high is a good way to describe it. I still get that high whenever I let something go or use something up. Even things I have to replace. I just love to know that I am either lessening the millstone around my neck or using something to the fullest.

      • Colleen, I agree – it’s a high. This morning before work, I found a drop off donation location for old eyeglasses. It tickles me to know that someone who really needs a set of eyes is going to get them. Makes me HAPPY!!

  5. Wow she internalised that knowledge really fast. I still occasionally have to give myself a good talking to.

  6. Your friend is certainly embracing the “year of the horse” with her giddy-up and go attitude. I just love that when it happens.
    It is very empowering when we make the decision to let something go that once served us and/or our family well. You are an awesome friend, Colleen.

  7. Thanks Kimberley, it isn’t all a one sided affair though. I actually enjoyed it in many ways. It made me think I could do this professionally if I chose to. I also ended up with crafting supplies out of the deal. Some of which I have already used in the cards I made for my art space this week. But most of all I get the enjoyment of giving and the reciprocal gratitude. Those two things are worth the effort.