This goes with this goes with this goes with that…

Have you ever noticed how when you buy something it requires you to buy something else to go with it. You buy a new dress and then decide you need shoes to match. You buy a new cookbook and realise you need some extra utensils and ingredients to make the recipes. You buy a piece of sporting equipment and you need to by a storage bag, another piece of equipment, maintenance equipment and supplies. You buy a leather garment and you need leather conditioner. You buy a bike and need a pump, an oil can, a helmet and a basket…

I could go on and on about this for hours. And the same goes to changes in your life. A young person gets their licence and then they need a car and all the stuff that goes with maintaining it. You have a child and I haven’t got space here to list all the things that usually accompanies this wondrous occasion. You change hairstyles and then you need different products and styling equipment. You start a new hobby witch requires tools and supplies. You change careers and a different set of equipment and dress code are necessary. And once again the list goes on.

It is no wonder then that our homes end up so cluttered with stuff. Even less of a wonder when with the passing of each phase we then store them away in case we need this stuff again someday. Meanwhile we have moved into another phase and acquired all the stuff that goes along with it.

People often ask me if I ever regret getting rid of things. Well sometimes an occasion arises where it would have been good had I still had an item on hand, but I usually improvise and manage without it. I have long ago learned that most of the things we acquire along this journey of life are just conveniences and we can get by happily without them.

Hence why I have little regret for letting things go and no desire to rush out buying stuff to equip me for a new phase of life. That is not to say I don’t buy anything at all, but what I do do is give it long and considered thought. I also test run ideas before taking the plunge. But that is a post for another day.

So what I am getting at with this post is…

When moving from one phase to another in life, as this is inevitable, declutter the stuff that worked with your old life and think very carefully about what you will use in the new one before rushing out to reclutter your home. And be wise to the pitfall that one purchase leads to another and another. Choose wisely.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter a fashion item. Be that clothing, accessories, shoes or maybe just a magazine.

Eco Tip for the Day

Use some sort of reusable splatter guard when heating in the microwave. This can be rinsed off and used over and over rather than wasting paper towel or plastic wrap. I use a large plastic microwave safe container lid when reheating most dishes or a glass casserole dish with a lid when cooking from scratch.

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. Thanks for sharing! It is true, we keep way too much stuff “in case”. I am working to change my mindset on that. I live in a pretty small town, but if I needed something I could probably get it, we do have a Wal-mart (it is small and doesn’t have everything the bigger ones do) and I am lucky to have lots of family in my hometown. I know I could call my parents, grandma and aunts/uncles/cousins if I really needed something.

  2. Colleen, this is so true. After years of living with less in some ways, I have come to realize that I can easily be swayed to have all the stuff that goes with a particular item if I am not careful. My scrapbooking supplies are a good example. I have decluttered $100’s in supplies since deciding I was not going to be scrapbooking any more. Some were supplies I had never used. I had punches and other tools that I had only used once. It was crazy. I got caught up in the idea of it and the fun of it and didn’t think it through. I am learning to be much more careful. I research even more than I did because I don’t want the “supply creep” that an happen when you buy something. My mother is bugging me about my clothes. I have very little and she is tired of it and wants me to have nicer things. I refuse to buy something I don’t like, that needs tailoring, or that needs accessories to pull it off. Not that I find much out there that I like.

    • Hi Deb J, as you know I also fell for the over catering to my Scrapbook hobby. Recently I have been crafting much more and have actually upgraded one tool and bought some shape dies to go with it but I absolutely refuse to buy paper, ribbon, card stock, embellishments etc until I get my supplies down to about nil. That excludes white card stock and adhesives which I run out of frequently.

      Fancy your mother telling you you need more clothes while you are trying to convince her she needs less. Perhaps it is a subtle protest. 😉

      • Colleen, I actually bought a punch recently. It is one that can be used to make numerous embellishments besides the bird it actually is. I knew it would be good for making cards.

        I really do have very little in the way of clothes. I too would like to have something different. But I refuse to go buy the stuff that is out there right now and I can never seem to find anything much better at the thrift stores. I was recently told about a thrift store that I didn’t know about. I want to try it out and see what they have. Right now I have a total of 2 t-shirts for every day, and 4 for sundays. Yes I very much need some more. Unfortunately, I don’t like the fabrics they are using right now nor the low cut necklines. Even the t-shirts right now are made of a real thin, stretchy material that clings. Ugh!

  3. This happens in the knitting world. A lot. Oops, I need a new set of needles. For that pattern, I need a stitch marker (they come in packs of 10, so 9 are unused). Oh no, I need another skein of yarn to finish the project = 3/4 of that skein ends up in the leftovers bag. I want one pattern in a pattern book. Why can’t I just download the one pattern and not purchase the whole book?
    One another note, The Professor and I were walking in a nearby neighborhood last night and noticed the entire street on both sides was filled with parked cars. His observation was spot on: Those people have two car garages and they are filled with so much junk the people can’t park in them so they park on the street.

    • Oh, Willow – you are so right! You have just made me think of another area that I can go declutter. For awhile I was grabbing up pairs of knitting needles from the thrift store “in case” I didn’t have that size. But did I let go of extras? ***she leaves the computer to go find the needles***

    • Hi Willow, I think most hobbies are like this. Have you ever looked on Pinterest for knitting patterns. They have lots of cute patterns for using up little bits of yarn.

      You are mostly right about those cars in the street or parked in the driveway for that matter. Although there also comes a time when the kids still living at home get to driving age and then the cars multiply. We found that in our street when we living in America. When we arrived there there were home where cars were parked in the driveways and when you saw their garage doors open there was too much stuff in there to park a car. While others could put their cars away. Then as everyones kids got older the driveways were full and the cars began to flow out onto the street.

  4. I organised a small picnic last weekend and since I no longer have my picnic basket and plastic ware etc I made do with my ordinary glasses, china and silverware and took along a normal tablecloth and napkins and my everyday salt and pepper grinders. Nothing got broken and oh how much easier it was to assemble and then put away afterwards. I did have a fleeting moment of wishing I had the old stuff, but then I thought about where I would put it and that went away fast! Colleen is right – improvise, improvise, improvise.

  5. It always amazes me that we don’t allow ourselves to experience something and then let it go. Some things are not meant to stay in our lives forever. They serve their purpose, but we beat ourselves up over the investment that may or may not have been long lasting. Every experience is either a blessing or a lesson. And, there is always a blessing in the lesson. Too much emphasis is always placed on “getting my monies worth”. So silly when you think about it.

    • I like your attitude ~ “Every experience is either a blessing or a lesson. And, there is always a blessing in the lesson.” What a wonderful way to look at it.
      Getting my money’s worth never seems to be taken into account when people get excited about acquiring. It isn’t until they have to let it go that economy seems to come into the equation. “I might need it again someday.” ~ when the reality is that we rarely ever need most of what we acquire.

      • Spot on, Colleen!

        “Getting my money’s worth never seems to be taken into account when people get excited about acquiring. It isn’t until they have to let it go that economy seems to come into the equation.”

    • A great comment Kimberley! I especially like this ;
      “Some things are not meant to stay in our lives forever. They serve their purpose….”
      Well said.

  6. Colleen – this is so true. I have been thinking about this a fair bit lately as we find ourselves at the start of another transition period of life with older teens.

    • Hi Moni, when there are kids in the home is when stuff especially needs to be kept under control. When the hand-me-down period is over things need decluttering. And when they leave home a good way for the parents to declutter is to pass on their excess to the kids who can’t afford to fork out cash on the essentials.

      • Colleen – phases overlap and this is the time where there is probably a genuine case to hold onto something ‘just in case’ but setting a time limit to keep it would be a good idea. We have a few of these items as my daughters begin to finish up their dance levels and shoes and gear become redundant. It is still possible that she might join an open class or a performance group but until they formally leave the school or ‘retire’ that gear is expensive to replace. The idea is to not let it sit in the cupboard for years afterwards.

  7. I’m just happy that it’s true the other way round, too: oftentimes when I let something go I realize, I can let go another item as well and then another one and another one and another one… no sense in keeping ski goggles when you already got rid of the skis! 😉

    Happy decluttering everyone!