Mini Mission Monday ~ Accumulate

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.

I didn’t have a theme for this weeks missions until I realised as I wrote Friday’s mission that most of the items I had mentioned in my list were items that tend to accumulate. Although I suppose clutter in general accumulates but many if the things I mentioned here tend to accumulate over and over again. Sometimes slowly and unnoticed until you eventually realise how numerous they have become. So lets get to reducing their number this week.

Monday – Declutter some digital clutter. Perhaps photos, emails or documents that are no longer needed.

Tuesday – Declutter shabby fabric items other than clothes. Worn out napkins, rags, table cloths, cushion covers…

Wednesday – Declutter plastic items, excess shopping bags, kitchen containers, broken toys…

Thursday – Declutter some paper clutter ~ magazines, paperwork, old tax papers, expired warranties…

Friday – Declutter out of date items ~ drugs, first aid items, pantry foods (spices for example), makeup…

Saturday – Declutter other items that have begun accumulating around your home recently. Perhaps, stationary items, books, hotel toiletries, freebies, unfinished projects, more of any of the items above…

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

Where possible, have family members take showers one after the other so as not to require wasting water getting it hot.

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. Colleen, I’m thinking about Monday and how I have been thinking for awhile about culling some photos. Around holiday time I spent some time going thru photos and placing some in photo albums. Now I realize I just have too many photo albums (not counting some additional photos in boxes). Years ago we would take pictures on vaction and pictures of the kids and keep every one of them. I’m sure some are similar or of poor quality. Maybe, if I try really hard. I can reduce the pictures 30 – 50%. Whether I succeed remains a mystery. Also, the pictures from our honeymoon back in 1971 were placed in an album that had that mystery plastic coating that deteriorates the photos over time. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do anything about this.

    • Hi Anna, this is a job I have never finished either. And now that we are in a smaller place the space out photos albums and boxes take up is all the more noticeable. Perhaps it is time we worked on reducing them a little more. However my craft takes up even more space so I is demanding much more of my attention.

      You have the right ideas on where to focus your attention when decluttering photos ~ multiples and poor quality pics. Do a round getting rid of these and then see where you are at. Also get photos out of albums that aren’t good for them. I would advice scanning those photos that are already damaged and using photo editing software to improve the scanned images. It is amazing how well you can repair such images. We have actually used a service to scan all our old negatives so that we have digital copies should something happens to the physical copies.

      • Anna and Colleen – one of the boxes I have lined up on the garage floor is photos. A year or two ago I did a big stint at getting them digitised (I also used a service to scan negatives) but then other photos surfaced from around the house during decluttering sessions and the whole project got interrupted so I put it on hold until I had time to get it done from start to finish, its not the sort of job that lends itself well to being pack up and unpacked.

        The million dollar question is this: what happens to the originals? One 365er said she shredded all of hers, I’m not 100% sure of that one. I’m not into scrap booking. The age of having photo albums on display on the coffee table is long gone.

        • Hi Moni, if it were up to me I would be satisfied with the digital copies. The only time I ever bring the old photos out is to show newcomers to the family. However there is always that fear, regardless of how many places a digital file is saved to, that something will happen and all the history in print will be erased. I guess that is why my husband insists on holding on to the originals even though we have had all the negatives scanned. We have eliminated a lot of poor quality, doubles and meaningless photos but there a still so many left.

          • Colleen – it might sound a bit OTT but it would seem irreverent to destroy all the original photos, for me at least. Maybe it’s because most of our photos feature our kids during their baby years and early childhood.

          • Like I said Moni, there is always that fear that the digital copies could be erased. However what is the difference between digitising the print ones or the risk that all the photos taken since the digital era began are at. Why care so much about one and not give a second thought to the risk the others are in. It is a sign of the times.

    • Anna, photos can really be a problem that grows to monstrous proportions. I have all of ours digitized now but that was after a major culling. I did get into the scrapbooking thing and I now wish I hadn’t. I have way more albums than I want when I look at them now and I can’t do anything about it because they are done in such a way that removing the pictures would probably tear them or weaken them.

      I hope that you are able to find a way to gradually go through yours and cull those you don’t want. Good luck.

  2. Whoops! Monday is digital ~ well I don’t do much digital and definitely not photos. Think I’ll just work on my original plan.

  3. This week I got a new refrigerator (old one hauled away) and I have spent a good portion of the week cleaning out the kitchen. I threw out a bunch of old condiments, and some food that was questionable from the fridge and freezer when I cleaned it out. I also had to clean my kitchen table which was a nightmare. My son had brought all his stuff from school and dumped it on the table and it had sat there for over a week. I hated going through it and tossing nearly everything, but at least its done. I don’t know how much I will get accomplished this week – its due to be a busy one. But at least my kitchen is somewhat cleaned out and in order now so when I walk in the door I won’t feel all stressed out . . .

    • Well done Michaela, there is nothing worse than feeling stressed and defeated the minute you walk into your own home. I am glad you have taken care of those two tasks and reduce that stress level.

  4. Good mini missions for staying on top of things! A big weekend here as our garage transformation went into full swing. Before we finished up for the weekend, we did a tidy up, neatly lined up all the boxes that need going thru, vacuumed etc so that when I return during the week to work thru these boxes it won’t be so overwhelming. I’m rather tired this morning for the new week but I just popped out to the garage (our laundry is located out there) and I’m glad we made the extra effort.

    • Hi Moni, I am glad you got that garage somewhat under control, especially since your laundry area is out there. There is nothing worse than working at one chore while another is staring you right in the face. There are a few porjects going on in our house at the moment too so, to me at least, it looks a bid dishevelled. It is Monday though, which is house cleaning day for me, so I will reclaim as much order as possible.

    • Moni, when I was younger going out to the garage was always something I hated because it was such a mess. So I know that just having things more organized will help you to be able to get all of this done as you have time. Once you have it done you will be so excited. You will be happy dancing for sure.

      • Deb J – we decided to insulate the ceiling of the garage and put better lighting in, this meant the floor in the storage area above the garage had to be lifted and that meant everything up there had to come down. So it was a bit of upheaval and I decided this was the time to do an inventory and a sort out. A nice pile of stuff that is on the ‘out pile’ to be dealt with this week. A couple of items which will go in the next year or two, we just need to get past the time where the likelihood of them being re-used drops from 50-50 to zero. Till then……

        As soon as put back what was going back up there, we moved onto the next stage which was taking away the fridge (of a fridge and freezer pair) – Adrian isn’t convinced we can do without an extra freezer but he agreed to us removing the fridge at this stage. Baby steps. Its being stored at our work so it hasn’t really been decluttered but I’m thinking if we can talk him into a trial of not having the extra freezer and it works out fine, I could sell these and buy a fridge/freezer unit for the next teenager who moves out of home.

        And then the storage cupboard that we have in the garage, we decided the time had come to ‘do’ something about it. Good thing too because we realised the back had come off and it was an accident waiting to happen. So we neatly boxed up everything and they’re lined up across floor waiting for me to deal with them.

        Adrian wants to start prepping to paint next, so hopefully that goes ahead in the near future. My younger daughter is chomping at the bit to set up her art gear out there. Now I just need to organise some curtains or blinds and a heater of some sort.

        • Hi Moni, you always seem to have a project on the go. I makes me glad that all the houses we lived in during the first 26 years of marriage weren’t ours to do with what we wanted. It wasn’t until this, the third home we have bought that we actually lived in one of them. We always had to adapt to fit and there was always another move lurking somewhere around the corner so we were reasonable careful about what we accumulated. We couldn’t update and renovate to suit our purposes. I always wanted a home of my own that I could do what I wanted with. Now that I have one I hope I will never have to. Funny how we change.

          • Colleen – ironically all these projects are working towards selling the house but are actually making the house feel like it’s finally ours. A little bit late to the race, but better than not turning up at all. In the mean time the garage is turning into one of those “build it and they will come” scenarios – originally the idea was for youngest daughter to be able to play her piano out there without freezing and then evolved the idea that she could set up her art work without having to be interrupted to clear the dining room table each night. Now husband is setting up the computer area to do more of his design work from home in the evening rather than going back to work and older daughter wants a sewing table so she doesn’t have to keep packing the machines away. I just have to figure out a nifty idea for these work tables before I find my dining room table missing.

          • My oh my Moni, I don’t know how you keep up with it all. But hey, at least they are a productive lot in your home. And having your husband home in the evenings rather than going back to work sounds like an improvement.

        • Moni, Wow you have already done a lot. It sounds like a lot of the stuff is going to be gone soon too. Good for you. I know it’s a lot to get done but you are doing it. Way to go.

  5. I have culled my photos and have a very small photo album left but then there are the digital photos. I’ve got so many and really do need to go into them and delete a lot. Ugh.

    I really don’t look forward to this job but if I went only a few digital albums per day I should be able to clean them up a bit.

    Now do it, Ron. 🙂

    • Hi Ron, I find digital photos much easier to deal with than printed ones. I followed my own mission this morning and decluttered about 50 before I had my breakfast. It is a job that doesn’t require a mess during to process so is easy to do ten minutes here and there. Good luck and happy digital decluttering to you.

  6. Digital clutter ugh!! I have 3500 photos on my phone! I think they are backed up in a computer or a cloud or a Dropbox somewhere. Double that number on my iPad . So many images!!! Then I have Pinterest , a place were I just keep collecting more images ! Time to stop !
    Cheers

  7. Starting small and decluttering is small chunks is great advice. In ten minutes you can tackle a single drawer in the kitchen, a small section of closet, or a couple of file folders. Those small success are great motivators to keep going.

    • They certainly are Eric. I love the ten minute clean up or declutter dash. I often just instigate one of these. Usually when I am tired of doing something else. If my crafting isn’t going well I take a break by putting on a load of washing, decluttering a container in my craft area, unpack the dishwasher… Before I know it the solution to my crafting issue has presented itself and I have a couple of tasks out of the way as well.

  8. Great list of missions this week! I did Monday’s before even reading this last. I cleared out about 400-ish emails and it felt great! 🙂