Mini Mission Monday ~ Alphabet Decluttering

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 see there are still some readers participating and enjoying Nicole V’s blog post …Let The Games Begin. So I thought just for the fun on it we would do another set of alphabet mini missions. I’ll nominate a letter for each day and you find something to declutter in your home starting with that letter. So, let the decluttering begin.

Monday – Declutter something beginning with letter P.

Tuesday – Declutter something beginning with the letter B.

Wednesday – Declutter something beginning with the letter S.

Thursday – Declutter something beginning with the letter R.

Friday – Declutter something beginning with the letter C.

Saturday – Declutter something beginning with the letter L.

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


Continue reading with these posts:

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  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Some Alphabet Decluttering 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 […]
  • Mini Mission Monday – A-hunting we will go By Nicole V 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 […]
About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. Hi Coleen and all,
    I have been reading, not posting. I have been working on other things so it is time to get back on track.

    Tues is done. I had a partial bottle of body oil that I was trying to use up. It had a distinct rose smell and I like roses, but not on me! M. Kondo would make me ask if I live it. I do not, so out it went. It was all natural oil, so I poured it on the garden in an unused area and recycled the bottle. Now I am thinking about the rest:)

  2. Monday for me (P) is 11 photos. I have a large drawer full and a small drawer full of photos and cards. I have realized that I’m going to have to do it a little at a time. I did my office like that. Every time I walked through it I put away or discarded one item. It worked!

    • You are following the exact plan I had when I started out decluttering and still peach today. Deal with it a little at a time.

    • P – 53 (p)hotos

      B – 1 spray (b)ottle of olive oil (expired)

      S – 1 tee (s)hirt from hubby’s closet

      R – 1 (r)ound brush

      C – (c)heesecake pan

      L – 3 (l)ip liners

  3. Sadly not relevant to this, but to useless freebies: Here in my hostel in NZ there is a sign: “Book a 16,500 ft skydive and get a FREE T-SHIRT!!”

    • Niriel – cheaper to buy a tshirt but the view won’t be as good.

      • It’s the phrasing that baffles me… as if I’ll say “No, I don’t fancy skydiving. Wait, what? T-shirt? Oh, absolutely, sign me up!”

    • Hi Niriel, I don’t see all of the comments and this is the first I have notice you send from NZ. I hope you are enjoying it there.

      And if you have to buy something to get something it isn’t free. I am sure they plan for that in there advertising budget which is all taken into account when they decide what to charge for their skydiving adventures.

      • This is the first I’ve sent from NZ is why. I’ve been tired, then jetlagged, then distracted by this amazing country. And very, very grateful for the decluttering I did making packing my life into a suitcase somewhat more possible!

        • Niriel – what party of NZ are you in?

          • Wellington.

            • Niriel – if you get a beautiful Summery day, go to Day Bay. Its further around from Lower Hutt, we found it by accident and we thought it was a true Kiwiana spot. There was a pizzeria just before Day Bay and it was lovely, looked across a grass area (by my recollection there was a kiddie cricket match going on) and palms and a beautiful sea/beach area. We found it hard to believe that we were so close to the capital city.

    • Niriel,

      You made it to NZ??? Wasn’t that your dream just a few months ago? I can’t believe you got there already! That’s awesome. I hope you enjoy every minute of it.

  4. Slow day so I did them all
    Pot, I used to raise African Violets, no more, so I don’t need many flower pots
    Brush, I live with short haired cats, don’t need a brush for the dearly departed Persian
    Sponge, serious problem keeping them behind useful life
    Ratty tee shirt , too sad even to wear on garden work days
    Candle, a gifted scent I don’t like. I have 3 squillian scented candles I do like
    Linens, while changing kitchen tea towels from Summer to Autumn patterns, I notice the Summer one will best be used at the animal shelter from now on

  5. My object for today is a plastic bowl..it was a nice bowl but I dropped it the same day I bought it & put a hole in the side. It sat in the cupboard for years & was only used for camping so then it got scratched as well. It was there just waiting in case I was ever desperate enough to need it. Out it goes!

  6. I have mentioned before that I was likely to be moving within the next year… Got headhunted last week so I am moving across the country in three months!!! I am looking at everything through the ‘do I really want to move it’ lens now. Following the KonMari suggestion I have started with clothes, so far this week I already have:
    P – polo shirt – I hadn’t worn this in ages, thought maybe it was a little big, tried it on earlier and it was huge! Evidently I have shrunk over the years?!
    B – brown and blue halter top – gorgeous but sadly not really my colour combination so I never seem to wear it.
    S – singlet top – again, gorgeous but too big and because of the design, near impossible for me to alter.
    C – crochet bolero – hadn’t worn in a while, and upon retrying, it is just too cutesy.
    Now to find an R and L! (This theme is great fun! I am thinking I might keep it going for inspiration and try to get the entire alphabet)

  7. P – Pair of Pants

    • Well done Pat M. Mine will be something paper, which is easy for me as I papercraft and even when I sell it no paper will come back for it because the money I make is made of polymer.

  8. Monday – P – pearl (faux) necklace I bought before my best friend gave me one I like better

    Tuesday – B – bracelets (2) to my daughter

    Wednesday – S – stamp debris (the empty backing for postage stamps… I had 3 of these!)

    Thursday – R – “remedy” haha, expired back pain medicine

    Friday – C – card that was in with a jewelry gift received years ago

    Saturday – L – lingerie (unused bra)

    I am still thinking about the Christmas pin that I received years ago from a relative that I am not close to… It’s really cute and one of the few things she ever gave me that I like… but I will probably never wear it because I don’t like putting holes in my clothes…

  9. P is for paper, an old birthday invite and a health fund reminder can be removed from the notice board on the side of the fridge.
    I hope to empty a Paint tin this afternoon and restore some sanity to the pantry as well.
    Will have to see what the other letters inspire me to declutter.
    Cheers

    • I also went with Paper for today. Last week I changed over my daily purse, and just dumped out the papery bits onto my home office desk.
      Today I went through them all, tossed 27 and kept one discount voucher. I am looking for a pair of nice fitting capri pants, if that store doesn’t have, that voucher will be decluttered too.
      I don’t want to buy something, just to use the voucher.

    • Good job Wendy. Several things that start with P. Perhaps you can do multiples every day this week.

  10. P is for Play Station 3 games – my son took the console to his new house but left behind some of the games, I will put them in the car to pass to him.

    P is for Packaging – convinced my hubby not to keep the box our new outdoors market umbrella came in for storing it during the winter. (We’re going into Summer)

    P is for Pasta container – had a crack in it.

    P is for plastic corflute – had several sheets from dismantling a temporary display area. I know the Props department of the local ballet school was on the look out to buy some, donated it to them. The lady was very happy to not have to buy new.

  11. I have only two days items so far.
    Tuesday, letter B
    Body butter, used up the product
    Bag (cosmetic) to school thrift shop
    Friday, letter C
    CD to school thrift shop
    What a fun week of mini missions. I have a “U” item, but will have to give thought to the other letters for this week.

  12. I was just thinking, this all reminds me of Sesame Street: “Today’s decluttering is brought to you by the letter P” (all said in appropriate Elmo voice). Teeheehee

  13. P is also for Pillow Case, found an odd one in the cupboard

  14. I found items for the other letters
    Letter R
    2 packs of recipe cards (new) will go to school thrift shop
    Letter P
    Small blue purse, also to school thrift shop
    Letter L
    Leather funny pack, to a friend’s sister who will use it
    Now I can relax that I found items for all the letters. Lol

  15. Oh darn, forgot to list a sachet that has lost its fragrant smell.
    Letter S

  16. Hi, Colleen. Here’s my list:

    M: Paper
    Tu: Bottle
    W: A pair of slippers
    Th: A box of reinforcement rings
    F: A cream sample
    Sa: Labels

  17. I’ve only got as far as today but have some inspiration from the comments above.
    P – plastic containers, I don’t have a truck load but there are some I haven’t used in a while. Off to donation.
    Tomorrow is B and I think books (cookbooks) but might save this for the C day. Nicole mentioned bottles for B. I have a large stash of IV panadol bottles I get from work. Take the rubber seal off and they make very cute vases & other craft ideas. I don’t need to store these up as you put up a sign at work that you want some and within days there are more than you could ever want.

    • I have decided on B – Bags and little boxes that Pandora jewellery pieces come in. I kept these because someone said it was helpful proof in case of insurance claims. I decided to photograph the pieces instead (I have multiple bracelets), but somehow the bags/boxes remained.
      S will also be box related – I have a stash of “nice” Shoeboxes. I used to keep my unfinished quilt projects in a bazillion boxes. I am getting better at finishing things in a timely manner these days (although there are still many to go).
      I have quilty friends coming over this week, and I will offer up the pretty boxes.

      • I am glad you have decided to get rid of those boxes for your unfinished projects. Hopefully that will continue to inspire you to actually finish your projects before moving onto the next one. The unfinished project mentality is the same as shopping for things to replace perfectly good items you already own. It is the novelty of the new over the sensibility of saving your money and using up the old. Which is how people often end up so cluttered in the first place, have high credit card debt and still aren’t happy with life.

        • My pretty Shoeboxes were snapped up in a blink.
          I also took the opportunity to offer up several highly scented gift packs that I had received and won’t use. That covered both C – candles, and L – lotions.
          Those also went home with a few of the girls Woo Hoo. Now I just need to find something for R.

    • Mich – good idea about C for cookbooks. I was scratching my head over that one.

  18. This is not part of the mini missions, but something I’m happy about… I had a plastic drawer cart on the back porch that wasn’t being used since a prior declutter. Simultaneously, I have been thinking I’d like to have my glass containers handier so I could make use of them (they had been living in the garage). Today I brought the drawer cart into the kitchen, cleaned it up, and stocked it with our lidded glass containers. I am so happy to take what was clutter and make it useful 🙂

  19. And today from the letter B:
    (and I’m taking some liberties with B)

    Box – that my iPhone came in, for some reason they look too nice to throw out and so they sit in the cupboard.

    (B)ag of old towels taken into work for rags.

    (B)orrowed alarm clock returned to owner.

    (B)orrowed team jacket returned to the school.

    Books added to the charity book fair collection.

    • Oh and B is for Ballet Pointe shoe – have an unused pair that were bought for the daughter who no longer dances – am giving them to a girl in the school with the same foot size (its based on 5 measurements so its pretty exacting to find someone to give them to).

  20. Just going off topic here, I’ve noticed that over the last year a number of multi boxes and extension cords have found their way home to the spot in the cupboard that I keep them. And there seems to be a fair few of each.

    If you don’t mind, could you tell me how many extension cords and spare multi boxes do you keep in your house?

    • Moni, I think this will vary on how often you need one. Are there many wall sockets available or is it rather sparse at your house?
      Personally I keep about 1-3. (at the moment: one rather long extension cord and two multi boxes) More is really unnecessary in my opinion. We really only need them in summer for the occasional electronic gadget on the balcony or in winter for the christmas tree or other christmassy illumination – or in case of renovating. Hardly ever do these things happen at the same time. And if it should come to that I think we have another 2-3 multiboxes in constant use at the moment and could use them temporarily for something else, too.

      • Sanna – I am thinking out loud here. We recently changed out the double power points in the master bedroom for new ones which are also double power point but also have two usb charger ports. Suddenly we didn’t need a multi box each to have the electric blanket, phone, ipad etc plugged in and charging.

        I have brought two more of these and I am going to get them installed in my daughter’s rooms, which means two more multi boxes are going to land on the pile as soon as I get the electrician back.

        My house has plenty of power points, when it was built (not by us) the owner even had 4-plug jack points put in where the tv’s would be ideally located. I really am quite spoiled. My vacuum cleaner has a really long power cord. You have reminded me however about the chandelier type fairy lights that we put up for special occasions, these require extension chords! We suspect that we will probably only get this summer out of them, so I will keep the extension chords till the end of Summer and keep a note of how often they are or aren’t used. Thank you for making me think this out.

    • Not many as most rooms have adequate power points and being a two bedroom apartment extension cords are almost never required. It is a personal thing. Hide some up in your loft space and see if anyone ever goes looking for them.

  21. I just got back from dropping off a few boxes at Goodwill, and think I have managed to cover the categories!
    P – 3 pairs of pants, 5 puzzles
    B – 3 baseball caps, 4 baby bonnets, 175 books (yes, really)
    S – a scarf and 2 pairs of socks
    R – the outfits that my sons wore when they were ringbearers at my sister’s wedding. That was 15 years ago.
    C – a cardigan
    L – letters, that make up a banner saying Happy New Year (hope that’s allowed!)

    It feels good to send all those things on their way. It seems that I have hardly made a dent in processing all the stuff that my sons decluttered over the summer, there is still so much to deal with. My goal is to have it all out of here by the time they come home for the Christmas vacation so that they can have a second pass through their stuff, which they felt they needed to do. Thanks as always for the inspiration Colleen!

  22. P and B are packing materials and boxes. I’m not going to hang onto them until next time we move (whenever that may be). C is a Christmas cactus which arrived on Saturday as a housewarming gift from a neighbor who is moving away. They left early this morning. The plant went to a grateful recipient shortly afterward. B could also be a huge tube of body lotion, also a gift, which is far too perfumed for my liking.

  23. B = box of children’s books I will take up to my grandsons on the weekend. They belonged to my son who is now 22. My daughter has a Cancer Council charity shop near her & anything she can’t use gets passed straight on to them. Also just found a (b)anner that says “Finished at Last”. Husband finished his degree over 10 years ago so that can go too. This is fun!

  24. Colleen – I’m struggling a bit with L – can I do “Loose End” stuff? As in finish something that’s been put on hold for ages?

    • I am struggling with L too. Any L things I can think of I don’t have any more (or are definitely not clutter). I am thinking of adopting Christine’s idea and finding something with Letters on it…

      Some other L ideas: leftovers, leopard-print, lasagne (heehee, I wish I had a lasagne to declutter!), long, liquid, little.

    • Hi Moni, L could be lists (to-do, etc), leaves, limbs, lotion, lingerie, left-handed anything, lace, liners, lash make up (mascara), lint roller, last years sunscreen haha… But I don’t think you need any “tips” from me because it looks like you already did more than the mini missions! 🙂

    • or lightbulbs 🙂

      • I decluttered some lightbulbs last week. We have been slowly switching to all LEDs in our home. Cheaper to run and better for the environment. They are an expensive initial outlay though, hence why we are switching slowly. So last week we changed out four and after checking with my son that his house doesn’t have down-lights I put the used, but still working, bulbs in a old takeout container with a sign saying ‘ Used, Working, Free’, and put them in the foyer of our apartment building. The next time I went out I noticed they were gone.

        • Colleen – we changed out our lightbulbs to LEDs last year and it has been great. Teenagers are notorious for leaving lights on and now its not such a big deal (our electricity is generated by hydro, there is one thing we have plenty of in NZ is water)

  25. P: Pile of Pine Branches!

    Ok, so they weren’t in the house, but the yard is cluttered as well. Keep trimming trees and bushes and digging up weed tree saplings but had no good way to get rid of the piles of little branches. Asked for a good wood chipper/leaf shredder for my birthday/Christmas and am putting it to work.

    Now they are serving as useful mulch for blueberries and no longer an eye sore and possible fire hazard. (We’re under a fire watch…I’ve never heard of such a thing before this year.)

    And in digging around in the garage to decide where to put the (very useful and sorely needed) chipper/shredder, will be getting rid of:

    Tuesday: Free standing Jewelry (B)ox. Haven’t used it in several years, not the ideal arrangement inside for me. Got the pictures taken to put it up for sale tomorrow.

    Friday: (L)eaf Blower. Since I have a good shredder now, I put the leaf blower up for sale. It was never a very good leaf shredder despite what it claimed on the package. Hopefully it’ll be gone by Friday. It’s the right time of year around here for them and it’s a perfectly good leaf blower. Hopefully I’ll have a double on Friday as I have a Lawn Mower to get rid of as well, but not sure I’ll get it up for sale in time, and it’s the wrong time of year for those to sell well.

    I haven’t figured out how to rename the specialty weeding tools to fit another letter, but they are on their way out as well. I always grab the hoe or the shovel, so why have other tools taking up space?

    • Back in the house,

      S is for Speakers. Very tall stand alone speakers. Very nice ones, worked well for us for years, but we no longer need them. Really changed how we do music in the house and don’t need nearly as much stuff. One amp is already sold and gone, the speakers are supposed to go this afternoon, hopefully the other two amps will garner interest shortly and head out.

    • Well done Kayote. There was a lot of rationalising going on there, a much needed skill when it comes to decluttering.

  26. P = papers
    B = bedroom furniture (guest room, just a bed and a small table)
    L = living room furniture (couch, love seat, chair, ottoman, coffee table)
    K = kayaks
    G = grill

    Sorry that I used some of my own letters, but that’s what I got rid of / sold this week! As a reminder, we are moving overseas, so I have to get rid of PME = Pretty Much Everything. So far so good. I still need to sell my dining set, master bedroom furniture, and my Jeep. Fingers crossed.

    Good mini missions! And great comments, as always!

    • With the task of getting rid of anything I don’t think you need my mini missions to inspire you to get rid of stuff, so use whatever letters you like.

      • Thank you, Colleen! I still love the mini-missions and strive to participate (albeit on a larger scale at the moment!)

    • Good luck with your remaining preparation for the big move! How long have you got to go?

      • Thank you, Amelia! We’re on a six-week countdown now. Very exciting! Good luck to you, too, with whatever you are working on!

  27. (B)amboo plant

  28. S – icecream (s)coop and brand new metal skewers.

    C – 4 craft magazines, 3 cookbooks, several Christmas decorations. I’m sure there will be a lot more decorations leave the house when it comes time to decorate. Anything I don’t use will be donated or tossed.

  29. R- ridiculously priced magazines x 11.

    L – leaflets – mostly with recipes on them that I haven’t even looked at since picking then up.

  30. (B)rain teaser book – Tuesday still in the USA

  31. And today from the letter S:

    A pair of Shoes

    And a bag of (S)ewing Bobbins

    That’s all I seem to be able to find for today but I am lining up tomorrow’s.

  32. I found my R: a stash of Rubber bands that I must have been saving for the End Times! Ditto for bread tags.

  33. I am going around the house putting aside items for Z day and V day and ………

    Colleen, can we do another alphabet week next week?

  34. LOL Colleen, If you do a whole week of Q, you might get a lot of “Quite annoying thinga ma bob”, “Queenly dress”, “Quiet book” haha 🙂

  35. I have been collecting many cardboard boxes over the last few months, in order to help me collect clutter from around the house. They get passed on to Goodwill regularly. But I forgot that I already had a couple of boxes hidden in the mess called “Box Mountain” on our back porch. I recently spied them and they were downright tattered looking. Tonight I asked my husband to put them out with the trash. Out went an old canopy belonging to a 3-seater swing we no longer have (and haven’t had for at least 2 years!). He wanted to know if he got declutter credit for doing that (for my 60th birthday) LOL.

    My younger daughter & I decluttered an empty essential oil bottle, 2 ratty sponges, & an oven mitt liner from the kitchen today. Glad to see the back of all those things.

    We have been making a real effort in the last several months to use up leftovers as they happen rather than starting a whole new meal the next night. I believe it has been making a difference in our budget 🙂

    I had been thinking lately of decluttering a large lidded plastic bowl. It is a pretty spruce shade of green but we never used it. I came up with a use for it today – to hold our Trader Joes popcorn. It is just the right size for that purpose 🙂

    Maybe we could start at the alphabets beginning and do 5 letters every week? By the end of the alphabet, the missions would be very tricky with those tricky letters UVWXYZ haha

    Thank you again Colleen for all the inspiration! <3<3<3

    • Peggy – I’d been wondering how tricky might the vowels be.

    • Happy 60th birthday Peggy. When you said you had a couple of boxes among box mountain I initially thought you meant full ones. And well done using up the leftovers. And I bet it is helping you make some savings. That really is a bonus and good encouragement to keep at it. I like your alphabet idea and yes that last week would be a little tricky.

      • For that tricky last week, Colleen, would it help if there were 2 options?

        Option 1: Items beginning with those letters.
        Option 2: Items containing those letters – late(x) glo(v)es, spande(x), l(y)cra, t(w)ee(z)ers, blo(u)se, etc?

        • Nicole V – lol I’ve been strategising all the tricky letters, have something lined up for each, especially when going thru my sewing box. Q is going to be a hoot. I’ve realised this week that most things can have several names and descriptions, plus throw in Brand names etc. I have two boxes of what-nots sitting in the garage eagerly anticipating the next round. I’m such a kid!

    • That sounds like fun, Peggy … great suggestion!

  36. letter P.- peeler

    letter B- body oil, recycled batteries, and a box of books taken to the library for donation

    letter S – shoe insoles and a dried up Sharpie pen

    letter R- receipts

    letter C- cookie sheet, wine corks placed in car to take for recycling. I forgot to turn them in today though

    Saturday – Declutter something beginning with the letter L. I am still struggling with this. I did donate 2 lamps last week- end though.

  37. Today from the letter R:

    Rack – the kind clothes hang on, someone asked for one on Facebook, so I dropped it off.

    Registration License Plate – when we sent my old car to the wreckers, they gave me the plates back, I didn’t know what to do with them, made enquiries and handed them in at VTNZ.

  38. S – souvenir spoons from my friend that we I’m packing up.

  39. Today from the letter C:

    Charms – left over from a charm bracelet phase

    Couches – my son came and took away the couches that were in storage for him.

    CD’s – blank ones

    Cookbooks

    Cardboard boxes

    Calendar

  40. C – 2 (c)ombs, 1 baby (c)up

  41. My husband cut up an old rolling trash can that was gradually getting rickety. It’s now in the bin provided by our trash company.

    I donated to Goodwill a gallon sized baggie full of plasticware (mostly forks), a big baggie of envelopes, and a big baggie of greeting cards. (I don’t know why but my younger daughter separated the cards from the envelopes years ago). A couple of “tap” lights meant for closets or garage but I never liked them. I realized that I was holding onto them just because I had paid money for them!

    I grabbed an unused crate (the sort you can use as a file box) from our back porch, cleaned it up, and threw all of our Tupperware in there. It all fits, doesn’t need to be stacked neatly, makes it handier to use. Easy to retrieve and easy to put back!

    I mentioned earlier our using up our leftovers. Another benefit is a less cluttered fridge 🙂

    There is a coat drive going on in my area. I just looked at mine… and I can’t make myself part with any of them (yet). We will see, have until 11/15/15. One of the issues is I won’t wear a nice one to work because of the massage oils. The coats hang where they can be touched frequently because our break room is small but the number of employees is not. So I have a couple of “crappy” coats for this purpose. Then I have nicer coats for different weathers.

  42. L is for literature: 5 books to be donated