Mini Mission Monday ~ 25Mar2013

Mini 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.

Monday – Repair something that has become clutter because it is broken or declutter it to someone who has the skills to fix it.

Tuesday – Declutter an item that you only keep because it was once useful to you. If it isn’t useful to you anymore it is just clutter.

Wednesday – Scan your home for an item that has become so much a part of the scenery that you haven’t even realised it isn’t useful to you anymore.

Thursday – Declutter something that has been sitting in a storage area for quite sometime but still isn’t being used.

Friday – We all have clutter we would be happier to give to a family member or friend rather then sell or donate. Do this with such an item today.

Saturday -Declutter something that you have more of than you really need for the sake of convenience rather than necessity.

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

Eco Tip for the Day

Avoid anything battery operated or use rechargables or solar rechargables if batteries are unavoidable. Tip curtesy of Greenpeace USA

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.

Comments

  1. I am pared down to the minimalist’s minimum, but am still going to try and see if I can do each challenge. Francesca.

  2. Tim and I have Monday’s mission in hand as we are big on repairing things and (so far ) have had the skills to do so.
    Thursday will be our challenge as we unfortunately do still have things in our storage areas that should go. It’s my belief now that having a lot of closet, attic or basement storage space is actually a bit of a curse as it has a way of encouraging the keeping of things that are not essential. Well, that has been my experience anyway 🙂

    • You and Tim are repairers, that is good news. So many people have no clue how these days and it is such a shame.

      Keeping things just because you have the space is another mindset that needs changing if one is truly dedicated to letting go of the things they don’t use. The space isn’t the curse it is our willingness to fill it with something.

  3. Monday’s challenge just reminded me I have a pair of tights I need fix.

    I will have to think about what suits Tuesday’s challenge.

    • Good luck fixing the tights. And I am sure you will find something for Tuesday. Getting rid of things that I once found very useful were always the hardest for me. I have respect for useful well made objects. Now I just love the space left behind more than I do keeping things that I no longer use. I just enjoy that fact that someone will find my once useful things at the thrift shop and get lots more use out of them.

  4. Good challenges for this week. I have something that needs to be repaired and some ideas for the other days. The rest I will be thinking on. I took another full bag to the donation center this weekend. It took longer to get this one together as it was busy for some time here, but I finally got it together :). Each time I do it, I feel a weight is lifted.

  5. Great ideas, especially Tuesday!

  6. Hmmmmm……will have to put my thinking cap on…….

  7. oh wow. Monday mission rings a bell. There are some electronical devices that should be sent to the next smart guy with skills, but I am too broke for the moment. Hopefully april will be a better month 😉

    I had some accidental decluttering going on during the last week, so one of my candleholders broke and yesterday my beloved coin bowl fell out of my hands and broke into nonfixable pieces. Sentimental-Lena almost cried until Decluttering-Lena focused on the space… it served me well, I loved it until the end, but I wont replace it.

    Otherwise I need to get a grip on the listing, I have been lazy with selling things lately, and my bank account reminded me that my home is full of stuff I could sell. lets keep up the monday motivation. yay

    • Oh, I remember those days of struggling to find enough cash week to week. Glad they are well behind me now and I never want to go back there. My car was a real money sapper back in those days. Now I think if I did end up where I didn’t have much money I would just ditch the car if it broke down and make do without it. Not sure my hubby would agree with that but with him around it is unlikely to happen.

      Sorry you broke your much loved coin bowl. I also wish you luck with selling a few things you don’t need to help the cash flow situation.

      • oh my, I am glad I dont own a car and have to deal with insurance, taxes, repairs and the worst – petrol. I will however get my bike fixed as soon as the weather gets warm again. (I usually like cold weather, but there is a limit even for me and its reached already. I want summer NOW) biking will keep me and my purse in good shape…

        I listed another book that I was not sure about, as it was a gift from a good friend. I decided a long time ago that it was well meant, but not my style and I never read it (popular science can be a tough one). but because I felt like I would hurt her feelings, I kept it. I know that she would understand me selling it, because I need money, so I decided to put my hesitation aside and just list it. feels good to finally make that decision, but I obviously needed the time to ponder about decluttering it. as I do so often.

        • Lena ~ Don’t you just love it when a problem turns into an opportunity. Now you have a very legit excuse to sell that book. I hope it sells quick so you can relieve two problems at once.

          You are so right about cars. As if running costs isn’t enough, then there is the cost of just being allowed on the road with them in the first place.

          • when it comes to cars, I even go further. I am always arguing for more public transport and fewer cars, because I think that would improve (at least big) cities and the environment. So I am rather idealistic about it. Sadly I live in Germany, where my statements seem ridiculous for most of the people. we are so owned by the car industry and all its consequences, its just sad.

          • I agree Lena, if public transport was better more people would use it and then it could be cheaper as well. My husband often insists on taking the car to Sydney 2 1/2 hours away. I would prefer to take the train which only takes a half hour longer but you don’t have to pay for parking once you get there and it only costs $16 while the car uses a tank of gas that cost $50. Beats me why he wants to take the car. Take him to Europe and its trains everywhere, what is the difference.

          • I say thats habits. I had the exact same argument with my mother the other day. She didnt want to drive alone, because she would get tired and her broken arm would hurt again, etc., but she refused to take the train.
            But then when I think about it, I remember that I missed the independency of “get in your car and go whereever and whenever you want”, when I didnt had it anymore. I think that can be a reason for people.

          • That independence is a big factor I would say. That is possibly the main reason why I doubt we would ever get rid of ours. Although I have always thought that if we lived near a car rental place we could just hire one when we needed one. I had an Aussie friend in the US that did that, they had one car between them and he took it to work every day. If she needed one she just hired one. She lived right in the centre of the city so it was rare she felt the need to go anywhere else.

  8. Great challenges – I have some electronic gadgets that were once useful but no longer are. I also have one or two that no longer work. I just need to find a convenient place where they recycle electronic waste. Thursday’s challenge will be the toughest for me, I’m sure there are a few things lurking in the attic that I should rid myself of. I’ve decluttered the attic several times before, but things still seem to creep in up there – little gremlins bring them in, no doubt!

    • Hi Barbara, my garage is like that. I think things mostly creep out there in my hands because they are ready to declutter. Some are put out there on a trial separation while others are awaiting my children taking them away. I so look forward to one day needing one less set of shelves out there. Soon! Like your attic, I am sure, it is the gathering place for stuff and even the stuff that was originally there needs going though over and over again as I get more and more ruthless about stuff.

  9. We need to get going again on Mom’s bedroom and the kitchen. It has been a problem getting to things because we will think we are going to have a calm, no appointment week and then something happens and everything gets crazy. This week it is getting the car looked at because the check engine light came on, two doctor appointments and needing to get together with some friends who just moved here. Argh!

    • Deb J – busy, busy you are, but take care of yourself too. 🙂

    • That sounds like my life over the last couple of weeks. Mostly repair men coming and going from the house. Everything seems to be breaking down at the moment. First the exhaust fan in the bathroom, then the light in the oven, then the dishwasher, then the element in the oven and then the down light is bedroom 2. The place is going to the dogs at the moment. As much as I hate sitting around waiting for repair men to arrive I am just glad all this stuff isn’t mine to pay for. The beauty of renting I guess. Remind me why I would want a house of my own. Well actually I have a house of my own, we just don’t live in it.

      • Sometimes renting is a good thing as long as you have a really good landlord or property manager who fixes things quickly and correctly. I get real tired of all the little chores. The check engine problem turned out to be a gas cap problem. Easily fixed. Praise God.

  10. Hi all,

    Some of you will recall that I have a little bitty house with a tiny laundry room. Friday I had a contractor out to see what our options are and this is a man with ideas! He suggests buying a more efficient and smaller washer and dryer and also moving them to a different wall (permits needed to move plumbing and electrical). He can then install some shelves that will double my storage space (but I promise I won’t fill them up, Colleen. ;)). Two new windows, new flooring, new walls, new light fixture. The only things to stay are the new back door we put on two years ago and the old original beadboard ceiling.

    I’m dreading the estimate because if it is too high, we won’t be able to do this and I sure would like to. Would love to have a more functional space. This is where I also store a large roasting pan/lid and a large round stainless pot/lid set I recently bought. I went ahead yesterday and decluttered the rice/veg steamer and some other items and now the pans w/lids are residing in the kitchen cabinet. 🙂

    • Hi Michelle! I hope you are able to remodel your laundry room! I have a nice laundry room, but because of a lot of shelves it became cluttered. So if you are adding more storage space, make it a clutter free area from the word go. Ohh, it is so good to declutter a kitchen! 😀 I can tell by my own experience that after a big kitchen declutter, I felt a new woman 😉 .
      Best of luck with your decluttering!

    • Sounds lovely Michelle, I hope the estimate isn’t beyond your reach. I do hope the more storage is only going to mean better organisation not more stuff. Barbara’s comment above has her idea on storage space and I tend to agree. More storage generally means more stuff. As for the new washer and dryer. Buying new for the sake of being more water and power efficient sounds reasonable so long as you find someone who can use your old appliances. Also have you considered a washer/dryer combo. The only drawback I have noticed with these is that you can’t be washing the next load while you are drying a previous one. For me that isn’t a problem but it may be for you. Also, although my washer washes an 8kg load it only dries a 4kg one and mine tends to wrinkle the clothes very badly.

      • Awww now. . . . you all are teaching me and I am listening. No extra/additional clutter!! Almost all of my work clothes and most of my tee-shirts I hang to dry so I did also ask for some sort of closet rod that I could dry on. The contractor mentioned that the new front-loading washers really wring out the clothes and he only uses his dryer for approximate 10-20, which considering that I dry jeans for 40+ minutes, that would be a huge difference! And most definitely, I would sell or donate the current washer/dryer because they do work just fine, but I’ve had them since 1998.

        The other thing that we keep in the laundry room which is our gateway to the back yard, is a large bag of bird seed, replacement packets of bird suet and a big bag of squirrel corn. I am planning on creating a critter-protected area outside where we can keep these items so that they are out of the house. I’m thinking a steel trash can so that the raccoons can’t have a hey-day with bird/squirrel feed.

        If I had some shelving, I could get the bags (smaller) of cat food off the floor and out of the walkway, which would be nice. We’ll see. I haven’t heard from the contractor yet re: $.

        • Oh! And get this, after I put the roasting pan & lid and the other large pot & lid in my kitchen, I realized that I have FIVE large pots plus the roasting pan. Somebody had said they have 10 casserole dishes (Moni?) and five pots is about three too many. Continuing to work on this!!

          • Michelle – LOL – not me but I did comment on the 10 casserole dishes.

          • Hi Michelle, it sounds like you have some good organisational plans going on there with your laundry/mudroom. I must say I do love my front loading washer, they use so much less water. Be aware that the wash cycles are usually longer than a top loader though. Do your homework before you chose which one to buy. Visit lots of shops and ask the sales person’s opinion then dismiss most of it and look on line at the washers they suggest. Most of the sales people have an agenda so best not place too much faith in what they are telling you unless you get the same opinion over and over at different stores.

            I am glad your laundry situation drew your attention to the fact that you had far too many large pots. Getting rid of a couple of those should free up some place.

            Keep up the good work my friend.

          • Thanks for the encouragement, Colleen! And I will thoroughly investigate the new washers/dryers. Something that people commented on when the front loaders first came out in the U.S. was that they develop a bad smell over time and I hope that issue has been corrected.

          • Hi Michelle,
            I’m the one guilty of owning 10 casserole dishes! lol. Well, I used to be. I’m happy to report that my kitchen is now home to only 3. That’s probably a lot for some of the people that read this blog, but it’s a step in the right direction! 🙂 I can relate to your five large pot inventory. It’s like they sneak into your kitchen when you aren’t looking! lol. I just did a very large decluttering session in the kitchen and it took a good amount of time but it feels great and it’s more functional in there now! Good luck with yours and with your remodel as well!

          • Hi Melissa, I have three casserole dishes so that doesn’t sound like a lot to me. They nest inside one another so don’t take up much room in the cupboard and all three get used regularly.

            Well done with your kitchen declutter. I am sure over time you will probably let go of even more from in there. My kitchen is always subject to decluttering scrutiny.