Mini Mission Monday ~ A little of this and a little of that

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.

Another week another set of mini missions. Now what can we work on this week? Let s try some things that readers were working on last week? Let’s see if you can remember a few and you can in turn check if your have similar items to unburden yourself of.

Monday – Declutter a sentimental item that doesn’t bring much in the way of happy memories.

Tuesday – Declutter something left in your home by someone else.

Wednesday – Declutter a seasonal item that you haven’t used yet this season.

Thursday – Declutter something from your attic, garage or basement.

Friday – Declutter an inherited item that you never really wanted.

Saturday – Declutter a few pieces of jewellery that you no longer find the desire to adorn yourself with.

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

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 guess this would go for both Monday and Saturday. I have mentioned before that I collect (maybe USED to collect??) vintage brooches. I have somewhere along the lines of 75-90 regular ones and then about 45 Christmas brooches. Yesterday I pulled out all of them and emotionally distanced myself from them. I quickly handled each one and the questions were, do I like this? Do I wear this? 5 were gifts from gal friends and 8 were gifts from my mom. Only 1 had I bought. Of the Christmas pins, 8 of them I decided need to go. That’s 22 pins. Good grief. I also tossed in two vintage necklaces.

    What I got from this exercise is that if we put away the emotions, the decision becomes so much easier. There was a really neat result from this: Now when I look in my jewelry box, I love everything I see. I don’t get frustrated pawing through the junk to get to the good. It’s all good. And quicker to get ready. This could be true for the closet too. If you love everything in there, then the frustration goes away.

    It’s really neat the way that with less things and having only things you love around you, a feeling of contentment grows. I probably won’t add to the pin collection. I have plenty. 🙂

  2. I guess we just can’t win them all. We have gold plated necklace with multiple layers of fine chain. It is broken and cannot be fixed. I threw it away into the trash can covered by trash. Why she was doing digging in the trash I can never figure out but she was and found it. She thinks she can “fix” it by removing the broken layers of chain. It will look add because all of the chains attach on both ends to a piece that will now be wider than the chain. Argh! One step forward two steps back.

    • Yikes, that is frustrating Deb J. I think you better check to make sure she hasn’t set up some sort of trash can cam. I think she is spying on what you throw in there. 😉

      • Colleen, what is really frustrating is that it was my necklace and she won’t let it go. Oh well. I’m just going to let it go. Like Kimberley said I guess I will just have to leave her to her own things and when she gets in the mood then we can declutter it.

  3. Oh Deb J, yep, can’t win them all. 🙁

    When I look back to determine what exactly it was that made me start accumulating things in the first place:

    1. Because I was soon to leave my parent home and should have my own supplies. – Yes, true.
    2. I might entertain and therefore I should buy things to host parties. – No, false – we don’t have people over or if we do, it’s burgers on paper plates and beers out of the bottle.
    3. Not sure what I’m going to do with it, but I might need it “just in case.” – Rarely.
    4. Every well equipped home has one. – Rarely true.
    5. I spent good money on it, so I have to keep it. – So false.
    6. So-and-so gave it to me so I have to keep it. – Let the emotions gooooooooooooo.

    The motivations behind keeping stuff can be so hard to figure out. Some folks cannot give a valid reason why they have to keep something.

    You are doing a great job or working with your mom. Don’t forget that – you two have come a long way and you should be proud of what you have accomplished. 🙂

    • Michelle, your 6 points are so true of all of us at one point. Yes, Mom and I have come a long way. I’m trying to remember that and not be frustrated by what see what is still to be done.

      • Deb J,
        Maybe for the time being you should just let your Mom’s things stay as is and focus on only your things. When you move, you will be moving your things into your new individual space and your Mom will have to do the same. She can hoot and holler all she wants, but if the stuff you are decluttering is your stuff, as my 85 year old mom would say, “Let it go in one ear and out the other”. She only has power over her stuff, not yours. Don’t give up your power.

        • Kimberley, you are probably right. I just have a problem knowing that we will have to move it and at some point when she passes I will have to take care of it. I guess I will leave it until we actually get ready to move and maybe then I can suggest she declutter some of it.

          • Deb J – I can understand that frustration, but you will have mentally ‘rehearsed’ what and how needs to be done, and who knows? When your mum moves into a smaller place she she may be more inclined or when you two are no longer living together she may also appreciate the extra attention from you, Yes it is a shame to drag excess stuff across town but maybe something will come of that too.

          • Deb J.,
            Remove the we from your thought process. This is her stuff to ultimately deal with. Kind of like that saying, “Not my circus, not my monkeys”. Your mother has to own it. That is not your responsibility even as the wonderful daughter that you are. My sister and I finally threw up our hands and have decided to just let my Mom’s stuff go till we have to deal with it. Fortunately, she is well off financially, so she is able to pay people to clean, repair and move her stuff as she wishes. You need to just let go until you have to deal with it, and it sounds to me that most of it would be donated or tossed anyway. That is the easiest decluttering there is 🙂

          • Moni & Kimberley, yes, I will have it “rehearsed” so that will help. As for taking the we out and making it here that doesn’t work very well. Mom would not get rid of anything unless we talk things out. She will hang onto things and at 86 the big portion of the work will fall to me or someone I can get to help. But I have decided to not get uptight about it. It does no good. I will just deal with it when I have to.

  4. Oh my Good Gravy. I was just talking to hubby about the brooches and he said, “You have a collection. You should keep them.” Where’s the iron skillet so I can bash him in the head?! I still have upwards of 75 brooches!!!! ARGH!!!

    • Michelle – I find that maths appeals to most guys. It would take more than three months to wear all 90. And there are only 12 days of xmas but even if allowing for all of December prior to xmas days, that’s 24 days. Plus xmas day = 25. So almost half of the xmas ones wouldn’t get worn.
      So better that they go to some other enthusiast to wear.

    • My husband surprises me with comments similar at times.

  5. This past week was my first week of the Mini Mission Monday. It’s perfect for me because each day is do-able and the feeling I get after doing something so easy is wonderful.
    Looking forward to Week 2 😉

    • Excellent Debbie V. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Debbie V, I am glad you have discovered the joy of having missions set out for you. Of course you have to do some thinking too but a general target is always helpful. I hope you have success, this week and every other week to follow.

  6. Moni, there you go, that’s exactly right. Honestly, how many pins can I actually wear??

    I’m behind on this task, but I went through my office supplies and found 1) a bunch of cards to donate; 2) stuff I can take to work to use; and 3) some random sized envelopes that I can use or else recycle.

    I went outside to put a few items in the shed and took out the repair manual to our older truck. I put it in the storage space under the back seat and saw the bag of “schwag” that we were given when we bought our newer truck. A ball cap, a water bottle, the bag, and a key chain (donate). An ice scraper and a notepad w/pen (move to the new truck). You never know when decluttering can lead to some useful things or some things that should move on to a new home.

    Every day is an opportunity to simply your life. 🙂

  7. Got on a roll here and covered Monday and Tuesday today. Got rid of a handmade clay pot that was slightly sentimental but wasn’t anybody’s best work. Got rid of some bed linens that I was hanging onto sentimentally too. Sentimental bed linen! For Tuesday, I have several of our kids’ stuffed animal toys that they’ve had plenty of opportunity to retrieve but never have, never expressing any desire or interest in having them. I guess I was holding onto them for me. So I found three that I could let go of.

    • Well done Claire. And there is no limit to the kinds of things we can attach sentiment too so don’t feel silly. I had the kids plush toys too for a while but, as they live in town, I asked them both if they wanted them. Those not wanted got donated and those they wanted went to their rightful owners and left my house.

      • Indeed, Colleen! No limit to the kinds of things I’m sentimental about! We have a lot of family photos/portraits so I try to keep reminding myself that I don’t need all the little bits to remember our family members by. That is helping. Also, just realizing how silly it is to save some things that nobody on earth would know why I saved if they ever had to sort through my stuff. I was saving sentimental bed skirts/ruffles from my sons’ beds! Glad I can finally let those go!

  8. I’m feeling a little burned out today and loosing my enthusiasm to declutter. Some days I seem to be more interested in reading about it instead of actually doing. I’m sort of catching up with last week. I put 5 pairs if infrequently used earrings in my donate box this morning; so don’t think I’m up to picking out more stuff. Maybe later in the week my interest will peak again. Don’t you just hate when this happens?

    • This happens to me often lately Anna, but that is because I am about as decluttered as I want to be. I do enjoy using up craft supplies though and since I am crafting something nearly every day to be sold then I suppose I am decluttering every day as a result. Today I did some beading as well as card making.

      • I’m about as decluttered as I can get except for the craft stuff too. I got rid of some more over the weekend. It’s nice when I can find someone who actually wants it because they are using it.

  9. Ann in Boston

    I got this link to a Wall Street Journal article from Joshua Becker’s website, “Becoming Minimalist”.
    I think it addresses a lot of what we all discuss here.
    I hope it works!!


    • I am not sure why it is so fascinating to read about or see what other people save and why – but it is!

    • Hi Ann In Boston, thanks for the link. It all sounds very familiar. It is nice for me to be able to cater to people, through my blog, who are ready to do something about their clutter. I don’t have the qualifications to help those who aren’t prepared or able to help themselves. I could work physically in the organising industry but I choose not to.

  10. Sorted out the big wicker basket I keep beside my bedside table. It houses books I have yet to read: magazines, newspaper articles I think I should keep etc. Overflowing onto the floor. However I have tackled it, thrown several magazines and newspaper articles away. Passing on a book to my daughter and found two more my husband needs to decide on whether to keep or not! So a tidy basket but I still have a pile of books beside it. Must do more reading and less sewing perhaps? Once those books are read I can pass them along. However I have made a start after procrastinating for weeks and at least it looks tidy and I HAVE decluttered quite a few items.

    • Hi Linda, you are right, at least you have made a start and good on you for that. However you might want to start slowing down on how much reading material you acquire prior to having the time to actually read it. I used to do a similar thing with craft supplies and that is why it took so long to use up and give away enough to fit it into a much smaller, sensible space. All that aspiration clutter can actually put stress on you even if it is something you enjoy doing. Trust me I have found myself in that situation in more areas than one.

  11. I decluttered my tv today. I dont think it fits in any category of those mini missions, but I figured it is such a big thing, I can still rant about it! it is behind the curtain, out of sight and I hope someone will pick it up soon (freecycle), otherwise I need to bring it out to the next recycling ground.
    I am sure I will regret this, once I get a cold or sick. Its the only time, where I really enjoy watching tv, because I dont feel guilty of wasting time, if I cant do anything else anyway. However it is better for me to either sleep or read, when I need to recover. So I am doing myself a favour, I hope I remember that, when it happens.
    I have space. and I will have a whole lot more time from now on. great.

    • Hi Lena, good move. I am pretty sure I could live without the TV too. And if you need reminding about what to do on those sick days just ask us here and we will remind you. 😉


  1. […] Michelle followed her comment up with more detail. You can read it here. […]