Mini Mission Monday ~ Consider these items

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.

This week’s mini missions address items that you may not have considered decluttering in the past. You may not even consider the idea when you see what they are, but I thought I would make the suggestion anyway and allow you to give them some thought. I have to say that the only one I could consider is Thursday’s mission because I no longer have any of the other items mentioned. With all of these items you could instigate a trial separation where you don’t use them for a month and see how you cope.

Monday – Consider decluttering your home phone. Do you really need a static phone as well as a mobile for each person in the household?

Tuesday – Consider decluttering your second television or the third one if you have that many. Let’s face it how much time do we really need to waste sitting around watching TV or videos.

Wednesday – Do you really need an alarm clock when your cell phone can carry out this task. Consider decluttering it.

Thursday – Declutter a piece of furniture, especially if its only purpose is to hold items that need dusting.  Hopefully your previous decluttering efforts might have freed up such a piece by now.

Friday – Declutter a filing cabinet. Once you have decluttered your accumulated paperwork and have become realistic about what you really need to retain in the future, perhaps decluttering your filing cabinet, or at least downsizing to one with less drawers, would make sense. The lack of excess filing space may encourage you to stay on top of the paper clutter in the future, having no place to store it out of sight out of mind.

Saturday – I have mentioned this next item before but not often. Consider decluttering your second fridge or freezer. I know that some people use theirs for economic purchasing reasons but if that is not the case do you really need it. Many second fridges in Australia are used almost purely for storing beer and soft-drinks (soda), neither of which are good for you when consumed in large quantities and/or too frequently.

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

Tips on avoiding false eco friendly labelling from www.greenbeings.com.au/

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. Interesting mini-missions. Let’s see! Can’t declutter a phone as we don’t have but an emergency cell. Need the alarm clock as we don’t have the cell. We do have a piece of furniture I’d love to get rid of but it is full of Mom’s stuff so need to work on her. Just decluttered everything in the one file drawer so that now what scrapbook paper I have goes on one side. Since we do use the freezer in the shed because we shop and cook for the month guess we will keep it. Hum! Guess that means I have Mom to work on this week and then to finish decluttering albums. I am going through all my scrapbook albums and reorganizing them so that I don’t have the big 3-ring binders anymore. I have a goal to get it all into to of the square cubbies on my Ikea bookshelf unit.

  2. Hello,
    I’m 19 years old and I live in France. I’ve read your blog for a while but never let comments.
    I’m really interested by minimalism since two years, but feel like it has always been with me. I never loved to buy stuff, and even if I really need something it’s difficult for me and I may not care about it until the year after, or maybe not at all.
    I live with my parents, so I may not be able to consider this week’s tasks. I don’t have a lot of things. I know that I can put everything in three boxes (like the ones for desktop). I don’t have a lot of clothes, I don’t have fashion accessories (no handbag, no make up at all, one belt), two pair of shoes, 13 pieces of jewellery (that I really care about), I have kept 11 books I really love. I know that when you’re on the way to find that something within you, you no longer need to seek it into things. But I still feel like I have to declutter, because I love this feeling, and also because of my mother. You see, my mom loves to buy things, no matter what. She had a difficult childhood and I think that she feels the need to fill a lack and that it could be done with more things. We live in an apartment that had initially two rooms, a living-room and a kitchen but due to a lack of room my parents’ room is where the living-room was. We have cupboards built into the wall in the two initial rooms, 99% of the stuff in these cupboards are my mom’s ones.
    The more my mom buys things, the more I feel the need to declutter. The thing is we don’t have a thrift store in the town we live in, so most of the things I am willing to give stay in the cupboard (but I know they are here so I’m not really free of this burden). Even if I’ve already sold some books, and will sell/donate cds.
    When I’m outside with her, I manage more or less not to make her buy useless things she will forget at the end of the week and let it collect dust. But I can’t be with her all the time.
    I tried to talk to her through different manners, but nothing can make her reflect about it. She needs to be surrounded by stuff like a protection, a shield. My dad had a hard time and fought a lot for thirty years, but got used to it.
    I love my parents to death, but I think that at the end I’ll have to care about all her things and decide what to do with each one of them. I don’t know exactly why I decided to write this here, but I thank you for your blog.

    • Hi Cindy I and welcome to 365 Less Things, even if you have been reading for sometime. I always try to welcome any person when they comment for the first time. Thank you for your comment I am glad that you could get that off your chest. I know that you said you had tried to talk to your mother once without much success but would you consider allowing her to read you comment. Sometimes when we try to explain our feelings face to face, with someone we love, the words don’t always come out right, making the other person feel defensive rather than receptive. However I find that an email or a letter written in earnest taking the time to formulate just the right words can be received far more generously. Perhaps you could consider letting your mother know how you feel and that you have concern for her at the same time might be just the formula you need to start on open conversation.Give it some consideration.

      I wish you luck and a happy future and I hope we here from you more often.
      Regards Colleen

  3. Very good post Colleen. I am sorry to say I haven’t been around for a while and you have a new blog look, or at least new-to-me. It’s gorgeous! Blessings my friend . . .

    • Hi Betty Jo, it is so lovely to hear from you. How are you getting on these days. The last I heard you were living with your son and family, working with homeless children and gone back to working in digital scrapbooking. What new adventures are you up to. Whatever it is I wish you luck.

  4. Ha! Call me a dinosaur but we’re doing the opposite of today’s mini-mission – keeping the landline and dumping the stupid cell phone. Having not grown up with the need to have a phone glued to my ear, I don’t think to carry it or to use it. It served its purpose when Ian was in the hospital so he could call home, but it’s on the “pay through the nose” plan so it isn’t worth the cost. One less thing to have to keep track of. At least I always know where my phone is!

    • Wendy B, I agree wholeheartedly. I hate my mobile phone (and it’s not that I’m that old, after all I’m still in my twenties).

      • My husband doesn’t like them either but it does make him easier to contact when he goes away for work.

      • I don’t like cell phones either. I DON’T WANT to be available 24/7. I like being able to go somewhere and not have to worry about someone calling and wanting something. It does come in handy when out of town but that’s why we have the emergency one in the car–for emergencies. Grin.

    • Either way works Wendy B. A declutter is a declutter no matter which way you go.

    • Aahhh what bliss. Overheard this conversation at dance. “What are you doing?”
      ‘Talking to my friend”
      “where’s your friend?”
      “In the other class”
      “Why are you on your phone, why not just go over and Talk”
      “Why when we talk on the phone all the time?”
      “But do you actually talk to each other?”
      “Yeah when she calls me on the phone”!!!

      Hahaha I had a good giggle, turns out the young girl doesn’t have a mobile phone just for talking to friends. It is left in her bag incase plans change and she needs to call her parents to pick up or drop off whatever. She told me her parents hate the fact that phones rule our lives these days and that after clearing out their lives of ‘Stuff’ they are all trying to live back in the good old days, where kids her age should be having fun and actually talking to their friends, in the same room !! I had a great conversation with her and what a level headed little cracker she turned out to be. 13 yrs old and well on her way to being a star at whatever she chooses. Her parents were really positive about all the changes they had made in their lives and hoped to have their kids a little less dependent on electronics etc. This young lady goes to another dance studio but I have passed on the 365 address for her mum and I gave her links to get her started on finding out info and help. I was stunned to say the least but I now know that the word is getting around Little changes create Big changes. It was so re-freshing. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. I have done many of these things. I ditched the land line many years ago, the cell is my alarm clock but I still own the alarm clock as it’s the way I listen to CDs when I want music. But rather than keeping it plugged in I keep it on the window sill hidden behind the curtain until I want to use it. The TVs are all gone as there isn’t much worth wasting my time to watch on it, programming has really gone downhill in the past few decades. I don’t own a filing cabinet as I’ve tackled the paper and am seeking to have a paperless home. As for the freezer, I am currently looking for one to store food in as I don’t have either a fridge or freezer right now. It’s been really cold outside so the trunk of a car has been my freezer and the windowsill is cold enough to use as a refrigerator. It’s taught me that being a one person household it would make more sense to own a small freezer and store food in serving sized containers than to own a fridge so that’s what I’m going to do.

    • Hi Lois, I have used the window sills in hotels as a fridge while travelling before in the US. Unlike Australia they don’t have fridges in every room so cereal and milk for breakfast is a little tricky if you can’t keep the milk cold. Summer is another situation though, one just has to pay for breakfast. Those were the days of small children but they are long gone now.

      It seems you can have a week off the mini missions that’s for sure. Judging from your comment though I can’t imagine you would have much else to declutter either. You could probably teach the rest of us a think or two.

  6. Wow…looks like I don’t have anything to get rid of this week. We need our landline because our cell phone is only for emergencies while traveling. (pay as you go plan) No extra TV’s, need the alarm so DH is not late to work…no smart phones in this house. The only furniture we have now is a sofa bed and chair. Living in a park model mobile home doesn’t allow for extras. No filing cabinet…no room for one. No extra freezers or refrigerators. Looks like I am ahead of the game this week.
    Guess I’ll pick a cabinet or drawer each day and make sure they are clutter free.
    Thanks for the ideas though, it’s nice to know I don’t have these extras hanging around.

    • Hi Loupy and welcome to 365 Less Things. There are times when I think living in a mobile home is the way to go. If you don’t have the space you can’t fill it with stuff. It forces one to forgo buying stuff they don’t need. I am glad you get to have the week off.

      • Colleen – as a child my husband lived in a mobile home for several years – as his parents have a very full house these days, I asked him what happened between then and now – I was assuming that they lived light during those years. Ah, no. Apparently it was very full AND they had a shipping container full of stuff that they had moved from town to town. Fortunately they stayed in each town for the duration of a work contract but I kind of think they defeated the purpose of the travelling lifestyle.

  7. Great mini missions. am stuck with phones cos I don’t really get moby reception at home, plus we keep a spare old fashioned handset for when we get power cuts, which can happen quite a bit. I have a wee battery run clock at my bedside – I think it’s bad to have a moby frying your brain in your sleep although I do it when I am away from home. I decluttered my plug in clock radio not long after we moved here partly cos its so quiet here you can hear electric things buzzing to themselves and also I got fed up reprogramming it every time the power went off, haha.
    Tv – we only have one and OH would freak without it, lol- and it gets switched off at the wall unless we are watching it. I lived for years without one and I’ve never understood the fashion re having them in your bedroom, kitchen etc – argh ours glows if you don’t turn it off at the wall – imagine waking up to that- eeeek.
    Furniture – i could be busy on Thursday – I really need to work up the will power to list a cupboard, desk and office chair that are all going spare here now I’ve moved my office.
    Filing cupboard – heaved one last week. Am still on a scanning mission though with a view to reducing more paperwork. So jealous of Lois and her paper freeness 🙂
    Fridge freezer – we have one of each – an under counter fridge and a smallish upright freezer. Again, never really got the 2nd ones. These are plenty for us – ok so there’s normally only 2 of us but we live 40 minutes from the nearest supermarket and I grow a lot of our own fruit and veg which go in the freezer.
    Good to make me think though and reasses. My mum who is downsizing has decided to get rid of her small fridge freezer and only have an under the counter fridge.
    Back to the scanner for me……

    • Sounds like you are on top of things there Fruitcake, except maybe the paperwork. Well done.

      We had a television in our bedroom when we living in the US. I vowed that would never happen again once we left, and it hasn’t. I think I could happily live without one at all. When I am at home during the day by myself it never gets turned on.

  8. I have a case of “garage envy” – driving down the road yesterday (Sunday) I saw a house with the garage door up and it was completely empty except for the washing machine and dryer (many houses in NZ and Australia have garages attached to the house with internal access – and most have the laundry in the garage rather than a dedicated room). I asked Adrian to stop the car and back up and told him that this was my “dream garage” and my ultimate goal. He thought he was backing the car up to see something, well, more important and then suggested that perhaps they were moving out or shifting in. Possibly, but I was seeing my “vision” garage in real life. Alas the clouds didn’t part, a sunbeam didn’t come down and no angel music in the background. Still, Adrian did agree that it looked pretty good.

    • Just to clarify – ultimate goal with regards the garage. I’m sure I can come up with something a bit more exciting for my ultimate goal in life! 🙂

    • Hi Moni, most houses in Australia do have a separate room for the laundry. Most new homes do however have the attached garage. There are a lot of old miners cottages and terrace houses here in Newcastle that have no parking at all which is one of the reasons why we are having such a hard time finding a place to downsize to. Parking on the street adds insurance cost and parking the motorbike out on the street just isn’t going to happen.

      Good luck with your dream of a clutter free garage. I am hoping to be able to do an update of mine with a lot less stuff in it soon when my daughter moves out. All going according to plan my son is moving out next.

      • Colleen – I should have clarified most new brick and tile houses – the house I grew up in was quite small, had virtually no storage but had a laundry room bigger than the kitchen! All that space for a tub and ringer washing machine. A cousin has bought an old railway house which had such a laundry and they took out the external door and converted it into an extra bedroom.

        Looking forward to seeing an update on your garage – when I saw the “before” photo I hadn’t scrolled down to see the “after” photo and I assumed it was the “after” photo and was totally impressed. 🙂 Adrian has reminded me that it used to be impossible to walk across the garage and now it is the emptiest garage in the street. Its still a little busy looking for me, but that is because it is being used an big “out tray” for stuff leaving the house at the moment. I’m on a bit of a mission to get it looking a bit neater this week as I have family coming to stay on the weekend.

        • Just another point – my mother who is married to an Australian they have a modern brick and tile house which has a seperate laundry, but the whole house is about 2-3 times bigger than mine. So maybe its an NZ thing.

    • Oh Moni. was that you looking in my garage the other day??? NOT!!!!! oOOHHH I so wish I had it all done, I will eventually have my garage back in order. I am currently storing tools and the mower and a freezer and a washer and a dryer at the mo due to my Mums garage roof collapsing and creating a big mess!!! Nothing like a roof to fall in to make you declutter!!! All fixed now but what a mess. I would have preferred that my Mum was able to de-clutter a few things willingly rather than look at what looked like the after-math of a bomb going off!! Thankfully nothing in there was of any real significance but the washer and dryer will have to have a deep vacumming!! Hahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Dizzy – you are a hoot! I am trying to picture you vacuuming the washer and dryer. I remember once upon a time I would have been very happy if the entire house disappeared down a hole – without us or the pets inside of course.

        I have another lot of costumes to list on trademe tonight. And last week’s Monday listings finishing up tonight too. So hopefully stuff will be starting to shift out by mid-to-late week.

        • Moni that’s fantastic and when that’s all done are you ditching anymore or is it storage here they come for another round ?

          Good Luck 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • Dizzy – the second and third round of auctions finished Monday and Tuesday and about 2/3 sold and some from Monday have been offered and now re-listed, Tuesday’s are waiting for the 24 hour to expire and can be re-listed tonight.

            I supposed to list a few more last night, but I ran out of steam so I’m going to take to work to do – its ok I work for Adrian and he’s just as keen for us (meaning me) to make headway into this big area of untouched kept stuff.

            It is quite funny because the ones I’ve been a bit doubtful of ie it was made for a specific dance so the market is quite narrowed down – have been the ones going the fastest and the ones where it is a good generic, adaptable costume seem to take a bit longer. Who knows?

  9. We had decluttered our home phone but with storms/hurricanes sometimes knocking out cell towers here my mom decided a static phone was necessary.

    I have no television. My daughter uses hers while also reading, drawing, or doing school work. My mom rules the tv in the living room. My dad rules the one in their room. I have no say in either of those.

    Haven’t had an alarm clock since I first got a cell phone with an alarm clock feature. Woo!

    Hmmm. Furniture. There are a number that could be gotten rid of but I haven’t managed to talk my mom into it. (We have a hutch that does nothing but hold/collect stuff we never use. Sigh.)

    We decluttered the one filing cabinet we had back in like…July or August. When I helped mom get control of her paperwork. Yay.

    We don’t have a second fridge but we have a chest freezer. We use it though for meat, veggie, and fruit storage. It is used and loved so it is not clutter. :]

    Great mini-missions. Made me stop and think. I have stuff I need to donate from previous decluttering missions. I should do that tomorrow.

    • Hi Rachel W, it is always good when children start to be a good influence on their parents rather than the other way around.

      My husband was out of town last night and I didn’t even know what channel the one show I knew I liked aired on. Like you I don’t usually control the television. Actually I don’t ever control the television. Don’t care enough to bother.

      • Oh no Colleen, did you miss HOARDERS!!! I love to loathe that show. I like to think that it will keep me grounded enough not to let anything get out of hand so much that I end up like a crazy lady hoarding cats and collecting old milk cartons! Aaarrggghhhh. (No disrespect to anyone who is going through this or has a loved one battling hoarding tendencies). I am just grateful that I don’t!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Such incredible advice, laid out in actionable steps as always. I breathed a huge sigh of relief, as I have decluttered all of these items already (although a second fridge and a 3rd TV has never existed in out home!). I am so happy I stumbled on your incredible site!

    • Hi Tony, you always sound so positive, upbeat and generous with the praise. Thank you and good for you, it seems you live a grateful, happy life and I dare say reducing your belongings has a lot to do with that. I am glad that you can take the week off from the mini missions.

  11. OK – Monday – house phone. Keeping it for now as I have a lot of family in Australia and I pay an extra $10 a month to have 10 hours of calling time. Unfotunately my mother won’t learn to skype and she is a phone-only communicator. But I did find an old cellphone on the weekend that is getting recycled so hope that counts.

    Fridge and freezer. We have in the garage (my real one, not my dream garage) a stand up fridge and a stand up freezer. These date back 20 years to when we lived in a rural town and kitchens were big (older style houses) and it was the normal way to have a fridge and freezer. When we moved to the city they didn’t fit in the smaller kitchens, so for years we had the fridge in the kitchen and the freezer located somewhere else. After about 10 years we bought a fridge/freezer and put the other two into storage. When we moved to our house which had an attached garage, we bought them out of storage and that has how it has been ever since.

    I did work towards arranging my kitchen management so that I didn’t require these, but it wasn’t entirely successful – especially as we had loads of visitors thru this summer, a regular supply of water melons and I found that having to return to the supermarket for bread and milk every other day invariably meant that other stuff was going into the trolley and our grocery bill needed to be pruned. As kids leave home or circumstances change we will certainly re-visit it.

    I am on a mini-lution to buy grocery items when they are on special – especially meat. I haven’t gotten the formula entirely right yet, but I am tracking when and which supermarket has chicken on special or beef on sale etc – there is a pattern starting to emerge. Today one of the supermarkets I use has beef discounted to half price, so I’ve grabbed enough for 2-3 weeks. Having said that, Adrian and I were just saying that we need to keep a running stock somewhere in the kitchen so we don’t get back into the habit of a full freezer and still buying in fresh. I imagine that when we don’t have three hungry teenagers in the house we will probably change our system again and when the units eventually die or become uneconomical to repair, we have decided we won’t replace them.

    We would get very little for them if we sold them and they seem to be serving a purpose.

    • Hey Moni, at least you have three teenagers, my parents have a second fridge, it is just the two of them and they live five minutes from the grocery store. At least however they are generating their own solar power and there is always room for my car in their garage when I go to visit. Yours also runs on sustainable energy so no problems there. However that dream garage may be a while away yet.

      • Colleen – the idea is to always be looking for new and hopefully better ways of doing things.

        • I fully agree with you there Moni. That is why it always pays to make suggestions like I do in the mini missions. Sometimes we just keep old habits out of familiarity while exploring an alternative may yield wonderful results.

          • Colleen – exactly! However, Adrian declines the opportunity to get rid of his TV but I may talk to the kids about the PS2 that nobody uses instead………..

    • Hey Moni,
      CONSTANT VIGILANCE IS THE KEY!!! You are more aware now so you won’t fall back into a trap. One thing I have learned here is that not everything works the same way for everyone. It is an ongoing, revolving, shifting entity for me and the longer I go at it the better I get at being the keeper of a slimmer home and a saner me!!

      Now in saying that I just know at least 6 of the mini-missions have my name stamped all over them. So off I go into the labyrinth of …………….. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. We have a landline , but no phone attached to it. I have been going to transfer the carrier to our Internet provider for some time …. To save the $25 a month rental. Just writing about it makes me realize that my reasons for not doing this sooner are just pure laziness! So today I will get it sorted.
    I am just picturing Moni finally getting her dream garage , large uncluttered space , the car nicely parked inside ……and someone in her family claiming the space …Adrian wants a pool table ….the kids want their own entertainment area…..
    Colleen, next time we meet up, must take you to the Smart Grid shop at Honesuckle, unless you have been there already. Your little Eco heart will pallipatate at all power saving devices!
    So although I have you mini missions covered this week there is always something else to Declutter. Cheers

    • Wendy F – Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    • Yay, that is $25 you can spend at Suspension each month. That should cover your chai tea while we play UpWords.

      I know the smart grid shop is there but I never could figure what it was all about. There never seemed to be much inside. I would love a guided tour.

      • Yes I know how to spend the money Colleen!
        Telstra wants $99 before they will let my land line go to another provider! Well it’s all done now. Can cross that off the to do list, took 36 mins on the phone. Thanks for the reminder! Off to make an up to date ‘to do list’.

  13. What always helps me with my continual “mini or maxi” decluttering is to ask myself if I would pay a moving company to move (fill in the blank) from here to there? I also believe that decluttering is an ongoing process. As we age, our children move out or our circumstances and interests change, some things just don’t fit our lifestyle any longer. My favorite things to declutter are those that do not need to be replaced. Once gone, always gone.

    • Kimberly – Once gone, always gone. I LOVE that. I’m going to write that on a post-it note and put that in my garage and on my pin board above my desk.

    • Hi Kimberly, I love the once gone always gone decluttering too. And you are correct decluttering is a continuous thing. Although, if one is very selective about what one brings in, the continuous cycle should be fairly simple to maintain.

      • Exactly, Colleen. Decluttering is never ending. There is always something that has to go for one reason or another. The secret in decluttering is getting to that maintenance level you describe 🙂

  14. I’ve been enjoying the comments today, especially Moni’s thoughts on her dream garage. My experience in my garage today was not great, and we suspect that we are sharing the space with one or more mice (which reminded me of Moni again from a few days ago!). We decided to do a quick clean of the garage so that we can see what we are dealing with in terms of intruders, but I very soon became quite overwhelmed and almost panicky looking at all the stuff in there. I really had to summon up all of Colleen’s advice to try to stay calm. It is a few years since we have cleaned things out from there so the debris has really piled up and I have also been stacking empty containers there as I have decluttered in the house. We did manage to straighten up a bit, threw out some broken items and recycled a lot of empty boxes, and my husband was very positive about it all, even though he is suffering from a painful frozen shoulder and hauling that stuff around was the last thing he needed to be doing. I have resolved that I will get out there and start working just one shelf at a time to sort it out, and it will eventually get done, same as indoors. I’ll get my dream garage, hopefully mouse-free!

    • I am sorry that you found yourself in this situation Christine. I suppose one just has to look on the bright side and say that at least you are being forced to deal with that garage right now and are no longer able to ignore it. I hope you find the mouse situation isn’t as bad as you thought. Good luck!

      • Thank you Colleen. I know it will get done and maybe it all looked worse than it is because the inside of the house has already improved so much. I think that what I have learned from the decluttering that I have already done should also help in dealing with all this other stuff. Trying to keep positive here!

        • I know that to be true Christine. And from it you will learn that it is so much easier to maintain a home and deal with issues like the mice when your home is clutter free. Oh how much easier ti really is to do so many things in your home when you don’t have to claw through clutter in the attempt. It is well worth the effort to bring your home to this point because after you can enjoy years of ease.

    • Christine – I feel your pain!!!!! Ours was a nightmare and were too embarressed to have the roller door up. It is a lot of work but it is fabulous when it is done. The first day our garage reached the stage where a vehicle could be driven in. Adrian left the roller door up all day! A very proud moment.

      Ours is a little bit untidy at the moment as there are changes afoot but I know that it is temporary ie stuff waiting for auctions to close, a furniture swap around waiting to happen tonight, cardboard boxes ready for posting out auction stuff etc etc.

      My recommendation is that if you have ceiling or attic access above the garage, don’t try to do both at the same time like we did, it dragged the job out and made things a bit more overwhelming.

      Set up boxes for stuff that is leaving ie goodwill, recycling, freecycle, ebay, etc. I found that I’d pick something up and I wouldn’t know what to do with it so I’d put it back down again, or I’d decide something was going to goodwill and then I couldn’t find where the rest of the goodwill pile was.

      Definately only do one area at a time. As you said, even one shelf is progress. I also try to think of it as a percentage of the total job, it might only 1% but eventually it adds up.

      I have made myself a notice to put in my garage by the light switch, as per what Kimberly said above “Once Gone, Always Gone”

      As I was working thru my garage and ceiling storage, Dizzy was working thru her ‘Craft Room of Doom’ and we updated each other via this site and got heaps of encouragement and suggestions from the other readers. Anytime you need a sympathetic ear, give a call out and we’re here!

      And hope the mice evacuate the premises!

      • Thank you so much Moni for all the support and encouragement and helpful suggestions. It is wonderful knowing that there are people across the world who know exactly what I am feeling! I know it will be a long process but it will be great to have it done. My plan is to get it in shape before the heat sets in and makes it so hard to be out there. Thanks again!

    • Oh Christine, I feel your pain too. Don’t get discouraged though, just look at the mouse as providence and the cute little furry critter has spurred you on to do something that you have been meaning to do , but lacked the motivation. Now you have it and are well on your way to BLISS. Mice move in because they have something to move into!! We kept mice at school as an experiment and believe me the experiment worked. Our teacher told us that a pair of mice can produce a litter in 6 wks I think, times that by the shelia mouse always being pregnant with at least 5 five babies and not really having any maternity leave as such, and add in the fact that baby mice are not babies for long so therefore have their own babies!!!!. You may have the power at your finger tips to stop an infestation before it gets hold!!! Mix in the fact that mice are social and just love having the rellies and mates over for a party and you could freak yourself out with the numbers.

      BUT:) NONE:) OF:) THIS :)WILL:) HAPPEN:) TO:) YOU:) BECAUSE:) YOU:) ARE:) DE-CLUTTERING Go Girl:) and I wish you all the de-clutter Bliss in the world. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Oh and I hope your hubby’s shoulder is okay Bless him !! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hi Dizzy, Thank you so much for all the encouragement! I really didn’t know all that about mice either! I have my friend the bug man coming sometime this week to give me his expert opinion on what is going on out there so I’ll keep you updated! In the meantime, that garage will have to be cleared and I’m hoping that my boys will suddenly be willing to get rid of their unused remote-controlled cars, water guns and scooters once they hear that mice have been playing with them. In fact the rubber handles of one of the scooters looks suspiciously like it has been chewed so that should put them off. Thanks again!

        • Hi Christine,
          If you want to freak your boys out then let them know that mice AND snakes love to nest in scooter bar handles so if they are left idle then the critters move in. Not sure where you are but here in Perth WA, we have had quite a few instances of snakes being found in childrens toys that have been stored in the garages. I nearly died when I read about it in our local paper, but then again I wasn’t too surprised either, it’s nothing for the Tiger snakes and Dugites around here to just waltz up the road heading for the water way or just out for a stroll!! (slither). OOOhhhh freaks me out so much I am very careful when I step out into our garage. Can’t wait to have it all packed up properly and back to normality! of sorts!!!

          I wish you all the best in getting rid of your visitors and clearing your area a little bit more.!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • Dizzy – Holy Toledo! Resident kiwi here – and you know how paranoid we are about snakes! Absolutely petrified about even the idea. Suddenly the mouse is looking cute and furry and preferable.

    • Oh Christine, I feel your pain too!!! I used to have a garage so full of stuff that we had to wade our way through it (it was a sea of stuff). I would never open my garage door. It took me quite a few weeks to make it a place to put the car and that only happened so quickly because I had bought a car (I did not have one previously) and the prize would go down if it was indoors, instead of outside. So it was more of a economic matter 😀 . I don’t know if we had mice in the there, probably yes, and with the clean up they have no where else to live in my house…Hopefully!!! 😀 Good luck with your garage and the important thing is that you started. Doing one little thing a day is better than doing nothing (Moni said this 😉 )

      • Thank you Andreia for your support with my garage situation! I’m glad to hear that you were able to get yours under control. I am now very motivated to get working out there and I know it can look and function so much better. Maybe it is harder because so much of the stuff in there really belongs to my husband and sons, and for the moment I have been very much focused on decluttering my own things. Ah well, one thing at a time as you say!

      • Andreia – “a sea of stuff” – you are such an eloquent writer these days Andreia!

  15. Great mini missions this week, lots to think about. I have a cell phone, which is convenient and annoying at the same time, but no land line. I also have a phone that works via our internet. It is extremely cheap and is paid for a year at a time. I do wonder about the effects the cell phone could have on the body over time. I am the worst for misplacing my cell, and my husband has to call my phone just so I can find it. Most people want to text these days instead of call. However, there are times you can’t call, and can only text. They are good and bad, kinda nutty, but I am working on finding a more economical plan.

    My television is viewed less and less these days because if one is not careful, it can suck up a lot of time. If I happen to miss one of the few shows I do like to watch, I can wait a day or two and view it on the internet. If it is on, I turn it to the same channels, I can always find something to watch on HGTV or DIY. I enjoy talk radio and get just as much entertainment out of that, and can get more done because I can listen and work.

    I have two alarm clocks, I am always scared of oversleeping. I have tried the cell phone alarm before a few times and it is just not very loud. I have one main shelving unit for holding those pesky dust collectors. I try to visit it at least once a week and have managed to let something go each time. They are not all mine though. Like Kimberley mentioned above, seriously asking the question, would you pay a moving company to move it? It makes a difference if you are the one paying to move it. I have never had to pay for a move, but have moved many times. The next move, will be me doing it and not a moving company. At some point, downsizing will come, and the less to move the better. I know this is weird, but I also ask myself, if I get rid of item “X”, would my kids want it if I weren’t on this earth anymore. That helps me to make decisions too, strange, but it works. Being the only female in the house, a lot of the things that I have kept over the years were kept because of their cuteness factor, and frankly my boys could care less for such items. I did get a desk recently in the hopes of having a serene place to write and study. I found that I have not used it, but use my computer desk instead. I would like to get rid of it, but my husband says no, not yet. I think that is the only excess furniture. I do want to trade out my kid’s cheaper bookcases with the ones I have once I am done with my books. My refrigerator has a small freezer on it, so we do have an upright freezer. I will work toward cleaning it out and unplugging it this week since it is not being used much. Don’t think I can get rid of it though. I have done a lot of work on the filing cabinet but there is more work that can be done.

    I dropped another bag of items off at the donation center this week, along with a bag of light sabers and other such toys that my youngest no longer wants. I have made a lot of progress, and I give credit to this blog for helping me tremendously with inspiration and helping me “see the light” while on this journey. I am still finding things to declutter, so there is more work to be done.

  16. Wow, a lot to catch up to.
    I was really busy for the last 10 days – the kind of busy where you’re happy if you manage to eat and sleep, so my home is rather a mess at the moment. (But I managed to stay on top of dish washing and even decluttered some paper clutter).
    However the next few days will be laundry frenzy. Hope to be back on track soon and get to declutter some bigger stuff soon.
    Most of today’s mini missions don’t apply to us anyway and with the others I’m okay with our possessions (e.g. alarm clock), so I think I’ll re-do last week’s mini missions – they were just right to keep going. 🙂

  17. Hi all,.
    just saw a street advertisement for a ‘Swap Meet’ in my area this Sunday!!! Guess what I’m doing this week to get ready for the weekend!!!
    🙂 🙂 🙂