Mini Mission Monday ~ Another Round-Up

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.

It’s about time for another round-up. That is rounding up like items in your home so they are all corralled in the same place making them easier to find when you need them. Sometimes two places is appropriate but multiple places is a recipe for clutter if ever there was one. So I will name an item category and you can check that these items are all accounted for and only stored in one or at the most two places. Of course you might as well declutter the excess while you are at it. And naturally this exercise is only useful if you and your family commit to putting these items back in there rightful place every time they are used.

Monday – Small tools ~ At one point most of our tools were kept in the garage with the exception of one small tool kit with held a few often used items.  This saved me from having to go out to the garage to retrieve them when needed. When my son left home recently I gave him this little tool kit as he had none of his own. The extra exercise I get going out to the garage will do me good.

Tuesday – Shoes ~ Do you have shoes in the car, shoes in your bedroom, shoes at both the front and back doors? Why not find a simple solution to keep the bulk of them in one area.

Wednesday – Stationery ~ Keep a pen in each room of the house if that makes your life easy but the bulk of your stationary items will be more easily found if they are all stored together. If you don’t have a desk or set of drawers for this task why not use that spare shelf you have cleared in the linen closet during your last towel and sheet declutter.

Thursday – Small kitchen appliances ~ Choose one cupboard or shelf in in the kitchen for all of these appliances. I have done this in my kitchen with the exception of the toaster and kettle which are located on the bench top because they are used very regularly.

Friday – Hair accessories ~ These tend to end up scattered all over the place making them impossible to find when you need them. They end up in school bags, handbags, bathroom drawers, bedside cabinets, in the little nooks and crannies in the car, sports/gym bags, coat pockets and even under the sofa cushions.

Saturday – Electrical cables ~ Create and area where these items are returned to when not in use. Cables such as phone chargers, USB cables, small extension cords and reusable battery chargers end up scattered all over the house when the various family member use then leave them where they had them when done. Designate a drawer or storage container to keep these things in and make a rule that they be returned there when not in use.

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

When cooking up a one pot meal cook up more than you need. It won’t take any longer but the subsequent extra meals will use little energy to reheat to eat.

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. Hair ties and hair clips – it is like there is a daily migration of these around our house, two daughters and all three of us have long hair, plus the girls go to ballet & jazz etc etc 5 days a week so its inevitable that we own so many. Have set up a sauce dish in each of their rooms and the bathroom so at least they go in one place. Sort of like having a specific spot for car keys.

    • That sounds like a good plan Moni. Since I only have my hair tie behaviour to monitor I found that I am more careful with them the fewer I own. Not so easy to convince teenage girls to be mindful of what they do with these things though.

  2. Good mini-missions. I think I have pretty well covered these in this last couple of weeks. I think I am going to work this week on making more cards to use up the last of the things I kept for that. I really want to get these drawers emptied out. I also want to set up a new place in the drawer for the tools we have kept. Over time Mom has added things into the drawer and that’s made the tool space get smaller. I think I will redo that drawer.

    • Deb J – as I’d been finding small tool and similar bits and pieces I was putting them in a small box on top of the freezer in the garage. Adrian recently noticed them and turns out that he didn’t need any of them, they were all ones that came with flat packs or defunct kits or were totally useless to him, so they were an easy decision.

      • Moni, last week I id that same thing. I went through everything in the multi-drawered unit in the shed and ended up giving most of it away because we wouldn’t be using it. I still want to go back out and see if I can find a smaller storage unit to put what is left into. We have a number of things on the work bench shelves that I am not sure we need either. But I need to go out and really look them over before I can make that decision.

        I got up this afternoon to get something out of that drawer with the tools and decided right then to fix the drawer. So I took everything out, threw out a few things, moved a few things to where they belong and changed the dividers. When all of that was done I could then put everything back and it fit nicely, looked better and you could find things.

    • Hi Deb J, a task I also need to work on when I get home. This week however I will be busy enjoying my family.

  3. Oh the hair tie migration! Shaving my head in November has solved that one (there’s some photos on my blog)! Everything is in a bathroom drawer ready for when it gets long enough.

    There’s a pen jar by the sofa and on the open kitchen shelves, with singles in the hallway drawer and on my bedside. It’s the pads of reused paper that are never where I need them!

    Tools live in the bottom drawer of my entry way buffet. Shoes (messily) on the rack facing that. So there’s some good habits there at least!

    • SarahN – very brave of you, I couldn’t do it. My son shaved his for charity last year at school to take the place of a girl who was no longer able to volunteer (she had a legit reason) but it was an on the spot decision so the first I knew of it was him walking in the door.

      • Thanks Moni! Mine was a considered decision with a good lead time (so did really well fundraising)! The idea had been in my brain for years, just awaiting the unfortunate time when a friend would need my support.

    • Hi Sarah N,
      I had a look at your blog, well done on losing your hair with flair. I didn’t shave my head completely but I had a flat 30cm cut straight off my ponytail, after Edward Scissorhands cut off all the straggly dead ends, and then had it all cut and styled really, really, really short. Mine was donated for wig making and I too had lead time although I do it yearly or so, gives me time to rally everyones wallets and purses. I have lost too many people in my life to the BIG C’ and if chopping my hair off or colouring it gets more money into research, then I’m in. I had to laugh at everyones’ faces though, I said I was going to colour my hair weird and instead got it chopped!! hahaha, I loved the reactions and made twice the money because I doubled the price if they laughed!! Although they were happy to pay.

      Good for you and I hope your ‘Cancer Girl’ is cruising 🙂 🙂 🙂 By the way you looked great de-haired!!! Oh and I love your blog good for you 🙂 🙂 🙂 P.S Turning Pink real soon, then Red for Heart and then Purple & Lime for Hodgekins Then onto men’s cancer support, my hubby grows the outlandish Mo I’ll dye my hair black or dark blue 🙂

      • Wow Dizzy! Seems we have a similar strategy – I work with all men who live to pay me out! So I made them pay up if they wanted to laugh or tease. The spectrum sounds great – I’d love to see it! Thanks for all the compliments too – makes me blush

    • Good for you shaving your head for charity Sarah and you still looked cute. I am sure I would not look so great without my locks.

      • It’s a gamble – I had no idea what I was going to look like! Lucky it turned out well – and the new boyfriend sort of, not so much, but he’s stuck around! I remember your good man saying it’d be grounds for divorce!

        • What’s your blog address? I must have missed it somewhere.

        • I am sure my good man is all talk being as he married me when I had short hair. It takes me about ten years to forgot how much I don’t like short hair on me. I get sick of the long hair cut it off and regret it. I think I will just stick with long.

  4. I hate to keep talking about our ceiling storage but I formally started Project Ceiling Storage last night – I took photos a week or so ago so that I can consider items without being up there constantly and have started a notebook so I can take inventories and dimensions as I work. Today & tomorrow 6 things from the ceiling are leaving on freecycle, plus our stock pot (that I never use) from the pantry which has made way for the chilly bin to relocate from the ceiling to the kitchen.

    Adrian and I worked on our survival kit (also stored in the ceiling) – we had ours plus one we were given by friends who immigrated plus an extra small box of items that we thought might be useful items to include. By taking out expired and ‘why the heck was this included?’ items we got it down to one box, but we would like re-visit this further at the end of the project as we there were a number of duplicate items and we’d like to whittle it down to a smaller container so we can keep it somewhere more accessible. This is the first time Adrian has been actively involved with the decision process of decluttering and was interesting to see a novice at work.

    We have a total of 10 suitcases. No kidding. Fortunately they nest inside each other. I think it was cheaper to buy an extra set than to get a particular size we found useful. We really only use the smaller ones these days but a family holiday isn’t out of the realms of possibility in the next year (I’m sure we won’t need all 10 🙂 ) I will probably focus on other areas of the ceiling first, as I said, they nicely nest and sit in the corner – and should I hear of anyone needing a set of suitcases, well I will take it as a sign.

    • Moni, am excited for you as you begin your adventure in the ceiling storage. It sounds like you have it all planned out well. We used to have 4 suitcases–2 for each of us. Then we realized that the bigger of the 4 was really too big for either of us to be handling and that it was overkill. So we got rid of that one not long after moving here in 2008. In the last couple of years we got rid of the two mid-sized ones so that we only have one carry-on with rollers. I can pack everything for a trip into it now that I know the tricks of travel. If mom and I ever have to go somewhere together or at the same time, we will borrow one. In fact, I am thinking about getting rid of this one since we haven’t traveled anywhere but my one short trip to San Diego since we have lived her. If we were to ever get the energy and money to travel again we can always borrow what we need.

      • Deb J – what is up there is actually about 20-25% of what used to be up there, pre-decluttering days. Adrian used to worry about if there was an earthquake or house fire. It was a massive undertaking about this time last year and what was left behind seemed reasonable and a transformation. Now it seems excessive and would I pay shifters to cart this across the country? No.

        Some stuff won’t go, it is seasonal ie camping gear, picnic set. Of course, once all the kids leave home we will review but for now it stays.

        Some stuff we don’t need the quantities that are stored and if we reduce the quantities will it fit into another location on ground level, and if not, what can be done to make that happen.

        And other stuff could be better thought out ie pictures taken out of frames. We have fold out beds that are no longer useful but the getting rid of them aspect needs to be thought out a bit more.

        There is stuff in large storage bins that now only requires a small or medium one and so I am going to consider that aspect too, can anything be swapped around or combined.

        Plenty to keep me busy!

        • Looks like you have a great plan. Good luck going through it all and getting it where you want it.

  5. Great missions this week. Always good to round up things so that when we need them, they are in their assigned spot. I try to keep a designated spot for things and as long as things get returned to that spot, then I am in good shape. It saves time returning them to their spots, but it will be good to take a look around to see if I have missed anything. Especially Thursday’s mission as I would like to take a look to see if I have some small appliances that I can get rid of so that they fit into only one cupboard. In reference to your eco tip today, I try to cook enough so that it will usually stretch into at least two meals. Sometimes I will also cook a special shredded seasoned chicken and it can be used in more than one dish.

  6. Hi all,
    4s & 9s are still keeping me motivated, this time 4×9 enabled me to send out the door 36 pcs of Costume Stuff, add it together and its 9. Woohoo who knew turning 49 would unearth even more ‘KRAPOLA’ not really it is useable but not living in this house any longer yay yay yay!!!! The only things that have come in are 1 new crate bought for $2.00 on special to relace the one I dropped and smashed it’s lid and all up the side. Santa and baubles went flying!! Lost a bakers dozen of beautiful white glass baubles, man they make a mess, but hey no matter it’s just stuff and I bought a candle plate to replace the one I broke, when I used it outside instead of where it is safe!!! Oh and nix on stacking anything higher than me. Now I’m re-thinking the ceiling storage idea. We’ll see. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Love what you are doing with the 4X9 idea. You sound like you are having fun with it. Go Dizzy!!

  7. First off, a big congrats on an Aussie winning the Masters Golf tournament yesterday. Very exciting and the golfer was pretty cute, too.
    Secondly, I did not do too much decluttering this weekend. Had a tough go with allergies yesterday and spent most of the day reading and watching TV. Didn’t start feeing good until late in the evening. Did do some declutter planning and sometimes that is as important as actually doing the work. I have been thinking about the scissors mission from a few weeks ago. I found 2 pair of pinking shears in a drawer which really got my motivated to start consolidating my scissors and find out how many pair I even have. Now, for the pinking shears. Both pair belonged to my mom and I must have just put them in a drawer when we cleaned out her stuff after she died (20 years ago) and never looked at them again. I don’t think I have even used them or maybe only once. So, I’ll ask my sisters and if they aren’t interested, off they go. Then I found a basket with several pair of scissors that I got from the hospital when I had stitches removed. They are great for cross-stitch because of the curved blade at the end but how many pair can one person use. Again, these will go to anyone I know who does cross-stitch and I ‘ll keep 2 pair for me. One for my “take along bag” and one for the current project at home. We usually keep a couple pair of regular scissors in a drawer in the dining room but they need sharpening so will get that done and keep the best pair only. So sometime this week, I will start gathering these together and determining the best place to keep them.
    Deb J, just quick note. I’ll be mailing 4 puzzles to you tomorrow. My neighbor gave me a couple and is delighted that someone else will use them.

    • Maggie, sorry about the allergies. Hope you are feeling better already. Looking forward to the puzzles. I remember when I had a bunch of suture scissors too for the same reason. I finally convinced my mom we didn’t need 14 pair of them but only one. Like you said they are great for crossstitching.

    • Hi Maggie, my parents were quite excited about the Aussie winning the golf. They were golfers once themselves. I agree, he is pretty cute.

      I decluttered pair of pinking sheers myself somewhere in the last three years. I don’t think I ever did use them. I will go through my drawers and palm off a couple of pairs to my daughter when she moves out soon.

  8. I’ve always been a big fan of having one place for everything. My home is up to date on all of these missions except Small kitchen appliances (well, I do keep a small tool kit in my car but I am going to leave it there as I find myself needing to fetch it while I’m at work). I wish I had a cupboard to put all of the appliances in, but we have no pantry, my kitchen is small in our condo, and I’m still working on getting rid of kitchen items that we don’t use. I’ve come a long way (remember, I had 10 casserole dishes just a short time ago) lol…but I still don’t have one cupboard available for the blender, toaster, handmixer, food processor, coffee pot, crock pot and george foreman grill (yes, we really do use all of these things and quite often) so most of them are out on the kitchen counter top permanently. I am working on moving things around in the kitchen now that I have less and less things in there. I have one cupboard that may end up empty enough in time to house some of the appliances mentioned above. Over the weekend I decluttered our buffet cabinet. Now it is not bursting with stuff all jammed in there (like it was) and I was able to remove some things from the kitchen cupboard and give them residence in there. Over the weekend I decided it was silly to have 2 full sets of silverware. There’s only 2 people in our home! I decided to donate the set we aren’t using.

    • Hey, Melissa, it sounds like you are slowly getting to where you want to be. I think it is great that you are finding ways to condense what you have in the kitchen. Good luck with all this. You are doing great.

    • Well done with your recent decluttering of buffet and kitchen stuff. Try looking outside the box for storing those appliances. Perhaps there is room in the laundry for the less used of them.

      • Hi Colleen, That’s not a bad thought, but currently there isn’t room in the laundry. It is a tiny room that has two main doors, one to the garage and one into the main quarters of the condo. There are a few shelves in there, but because we own 3 pets their stuff gets stashed on 2 of those shelves and the top shelf is where we store paper goods and laundry soap.

        I guess the bottom line is if I want a place to stash the appliances that isn’t on the counter, then more stuff has to be gotten rid of from somewhere. 🙂

        • I like your idea better anyway Melissa. Get rid of more stuff. I have gone through my kitchen over and over again in the last three years and each time I come to the conclusion that certain things just aren’t being used or can be substituted with something else already there. When I get home from visiting family my daughter will have moved into her new home. I will be sending over stuff out of my kitchen cupboard I that I have saved for her. There will several empty shelves after that. I think I will be satisfied then that the kitchen is finally decluttered.