Mini Mission Monday ~ Contemplating

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 decided this week that instead of giving a you a list of items to declutter I would give you some food for thought each day. We often don’t give enough thought to the positive side to decluttering, whether some items are really as crucial in our lives as we think, or whether sentimental items are truly meaningful or simply novel.  Perhaps a little focus in these areas might bring an epiphany, or two, that will aid you in letting go of more stuff. Here’s hoping it has the desired effect.

Monday – Declutter an item of your choice and spend 10 minutes listing all the positive effects decluttering will have on your life. For example, less cleaning, more space, simplifying choice, ease of retrieval of the useful stuff…

Tuesday – Declutter an item of your choice and spend 10 minutes listing the reasons why you should acquire less stuff. For example, save money, work less, environmental reasons, better uses of your time, not accumulating more clutter…

Wednesday – Declutter an item of your choice and spend 10 minutes thinking about what your particular clutter weakness is. Knowing this will help you avoid it in the future.

Thursday – Declutter an item of your choice and spend 10 minutes thinking about the less useful “time saving” devices in your home and whether they are worth the space they take up. Take into account, storage, cleaning, ease of use, assembly, frequency used…

Friday – Declutter an item of your choice and spend 10 minutes thinking about it. Why you are letting it go and what other similar items you have around the house that you could also declutter.

Saturday – Declutter an item of your choice and spend 10 minutes questioning the sentimental attachment to other items you own. Consider whether these items really matter or whether it is just the excitement evoked on the rare occasion that you unearth them.

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


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About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. Colleen, I like this thinking–the only conclusion being that there are so many positive results that I need to do more decluttering! This is Mother’s Day and I have to report that wrapping the gifts for my mother and mother-in-law went quickly and the results were pleasing. (Btw, they both received consumable and use-upable favorite gifts.)

    After paring down my gift wrap to one box and the ribbons to 4 colors etc etc – I only had to go to one spot and I liked all my choices. So everything was wrapped in jiffy.

    • Good for you Vicki K, decluttering sure does make life simple. And since you know there are so many benefits to decluttering I think you can be excused from making that list.

  2. I love this post, Colleen. Reflection can be a powerful tool in changing our behaviours. I’m definitely joining you in this week’s mission.

    • That’s great Lucinda. I felt a little reflection was in order. It pays to sit back occasionally and remind ourselves why we are dong this and how much better life is for it.

  3. What an interesting twist, Colleen. Very thought provoking.

  4. I enjoyed this too Colleen – I like the idea of stopping and reflecting on why we are decluttering and the many benefits that continue way beyond that one thing less.
    My decluttering journey is slowly but surely moving along – I’ve just had a few weeks away and am looking forward to more time at home to catch up with decluttering. My latest task is going through old videos to check what’s on them, throw away those I don’t need, get the ones I want recorded on DVD, and then when its all done moving on the way out of date video player!
    Thanks for the continued inspiration.

  5. Colleen – this is a great idea! I love this week’s Mini Missions 🙂

    • I’m glad Shoeaholic… , I hope you find lots of things to part with and reflect on what you might part with in the future and where that is leading you.

  6. Hi Colleen,
    I will be working on the contemplations this week. I printed it up so I can make some notes and then I’ll recycle the paper. Yesterday, I used a handbag that is too large for my liking. I made a comment to my sister about spending about $80 for it a few years ago and I should have returned it. She in turn said it didn’t matter and that I should just donate it. This is my sister who I am always trying to influence to declutter and now her remark is moving me forward. I also had a pickup of a sound system 2 weeks ago (OK’d by my son after I told him that it doesn’t matter that he spent $1,000 for it 13 years ago. Amazing how much room that gave me. The remote, receiver and instruction booklet were in the house; the woofer and 5 speakers were in an outside shed. Pat on the back for us!

    • Nice bit of decluttering there Anna. I remember when we decluttered our old stereo. Oh how glad I was to see the back of that thing. And oh the space.

  7. All of the items are good to contemplate. Recently I realized that I actually have done a pretty good job of keeping things organized and fairly clean and feeding everyone (usually healthfully) all these years–in spite of a lot of other things going on all the time–then and now. I have decluttered a lot of items since beginning to keep a record in Jan. 2012–and donated (or occasionally trashed) over 600 items so far in 2014.
    I also reflect on the fact that I may still be organizing, cleaning, feeding and decluttering for a long, long time since people in both my husband’s and my family tend to live long, long lives usually staying in their homes. The only one in my family I know of who went into a nursing home was a great aunt who lived to be 103. This leads to the thought to get on with the program and make life easier for whatever may be ahead. The decluttering decisions get easier all the time, and I usually think to myself, I won’t have to handle that item in any way–clean, dust, store, etc. again.. That is a pleasant thought.

  8. My clutter weakness is “paperwork procrastination.” If not for an effective system for weekly management of paperwork, I would have a nearly immaculate house, but for the pet hair and usual things that need to be dusted an vacuumed up. I have a very organized filing cabinet, and it works quite well — once I have filed things, I can find most important papers within a few minutes of searching — but I simply abhor DOING paperwork — I detest it — and I cannot find an effective motivation to make myself wrangle it once a week instead of once a month. I have more paperwork than the average household due to our family business. I am not good at paperwork management, therefore, I detest and avoid it. I feel an enormous sense of triumph when I do wrangle it. It is the matter of setting up a habit that eludes me. I’ve tried the 15-minutes-a-day thing, but I work long hours and have to do everything on weekends except laundry, meals and pet care. Suggestions?

    • Hi Dez, it seems to me that if you have a good filing system then your only obstacle is, as you say, you. What I do to get things done when I would really rather be doing something else is to not allow myself to do the thing I want until I do the thing I don’t. It really is just a little game I play with myself. Sometimes I do a little of each in small batches which makes me feel like I am enjoying the whole experience. I feel happy because I am getting my chores out of the way and enjoy the things I like doing because I am not doing them while feeling guilty that I ought to be doing something else. Does that make sense. It is certainly worth a try.

Trackbacks

  1. […] at 365 Less Things, Colleen sets weekly missions on decluttering; one activity for each day, Monday to Saturday, with […]

  2. […] Colleen’s Tuesday’s mission was: to declutter an item of your choice and spend 10 minutes listing the reasons why you should acquire less stuff. (You can find her missions here.) […]

  3. […] decluttering mission was to declutter an item and then spend 10 minutes contemplating one’s particular clutter […]