Mini Mission Monday ~ Category Declutter

mini-logoMini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

I love to throw in a good old clutter category set of  missions on a regular basis to get you thinking about what sort of clutter you have. So this week we will declutter something from each of the clutter categories I refer to on a regular basis. Declutter at least one item per category.

Monday – A Sentimental item. This is self explanatory really it is an item you feel personally attached to or at least once did.

Tuesday – A Guilt item. Something you feel guilty about acquiring in the first place.

Wednesday – An Aspirational item. Something you have aspired to getting around to using or trying one day but never have.

Thursday – An Obligation item ~ Something you only keep because you feel you should. Often something someone else gave you.

Friday – A Lazy clutter item ~ No attachment you just haven’t got around to getting rid of it.

Saturday – A Natural Progression item ~ Something that no longer fits, physically or intellectually or has simply been used up or worn out.

Sunday – Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

Good luck and happy decluttering

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Feeling cheeky today. How about a Sentimental item you feel an Obligation to keep but have the Aspiration to lose the Guilt from being too Lazy to get rid of it.

    • Ha ha Wendy, sounds like the perfect thing to declutter since you asked.

    • So timely. Just now I scanned in my dear father’s business cards (with his name on them) (he is overseas, in aged care and 90). He has led a public life and had many cards from different Associations etc he belonged to.

      I was keeping them for sentimental reasons, but how long can they just stay in a box? So I scanned them (at least I will sort of still have them), and hope others in the family want them, otherwise sadly they will be thrown out. Actually some of them were going yellow.

      • The Other Christine

        Though I’m sure that some of the business cards are very special, if he had a lot then they probably all aren’t. Maybe you could make some sort of graphic with the best ones and put it somewhere you would actually see it (whether that’s the wall, or a photo album, or facebook)

      • I like that you are exploring the possibility that someone else in the family might want them. I think this is an important step before decluttering anything family related.

  2. Wendy B. got me laughing. I think a lot of things we declutter would fit that. We are still having rain and more rain, so I have some items I need to get sorted out to take to the thrift shop if it clears off soon so guess that is lazy clutter.

    • Hi all. I think once you’ve been decluttering for a while and gotten rid of the ‘low hanging fruit’ what’s left is the stuff that fits into multiple categories and that’s what makes it so hard to deal with. My friend said yesterday that she had a huge bin full of sewing patterns, probably every one she’s ever used. She pulled them out, looked at them, cried over them and then gave the entire lot to her husband who immediately took them to the recycle depot so she couldn’t change her mind. To some it would be just a box of tissue paper. To her… half a life of memories and much more besides.

  3. It was long weekend here in NZ this weekend and so I’m a little late to this week’s mini missions. My decluttering is on hold at the moment, however I gearing up to help my in-laws (pack rats, lower end of the spectrum hoarders) move into their new home once renovations, painting etc is done. I plan to use these categories to help me at the sorting end of things. They have boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff that they have dragged from house to house to house thru the years and it is going to be a challenge. I’m hoping that seeing a pile belonging to each category will help with the reality check. I also suspect Aspirational is going to be over represented, in which case I’m thinking that if we inventory it and use a plan of the section, a plan of the house, a time-line calendar and a project budget sheets (for each of the individual projects) I can use reality to guide the process.

    I’ve never used a project budget sheet before, has anyone got any suggestions?

    As my FIL, BIL and hubby are tradesmen, I suspect there will be an expectation of DIY, but I also need to bring attention to that both my BIL and hubby have their own homes and families to attend to and can’t be expected to spend the next 52 weekends making their aspirational dreams come true.

    I also need a diplomatic way of asking or calculating their age versus energy levels and what time frame they want the bulk of the house/garden up to completed in ie they’re in their 70’s, do they want the timeline of projects stretching into their 80’s.

    If anyone else out has some advice and/or experience to bring to the table I would be much obliged.

  4. Hi, Colleen … these are interesting categories that got me thinking. Paper would be a “lazy clutter” item and there are a few “natural progression” items that I can think of … I tend to use something till its last breath. 🙂