Mini Mission Monday ~ Fewer

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.

There are many one off things that sit idle in our homes and then there are also collection of things that are just too numerous. We tend to view these collection as a whole that we don’t wish to part with. However if we view the items individually we might realise that we could stand to part with a few.

Monday – Declutter a few pots and pans even if they belong to a set. If you don’t use them all there is no point in them cluttering up your kitchen.

Tuesday – People collect all sorts of things and often when others get wind of this they gift you similar items . if you have such a collection perhaps you could stand to declutter some parts of the whole that you don’t particularly love.

Wednesday –  Declutter a few shades of eyeshadow, lipstick or nail polish that you rarely if ever use.

Thursday – Declutter a few magazines from you collection that you haven’t returned to in a long while.

Friday – Put all your socks in box elsewhere, as you use them return them to their usual place. After two months declutter the ones still in the box.

Saturday – Go through the kids’ artwork you have saved, set a limit to keep and declutter your least favourite beyond that limit.

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

Using too much of anything is wasteful. Don’t overuse shampoo, cleaners, paper items, water, food…

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. Fewer! Now that’s a thought. Good idea Colleen. I thought I had my mother talked into fewer of several things but nah. So it’s back to the drawing board and try to get this to happen. Example, we don’t need over 100 rolls of ribbon when we seldom use any.

    • Deb J is it possible to convince her of getting rid of 1 roll of ribbon and start from there? Perhaps the one she likes the least, or maybe even use up one that is almost finished with? Or if she definitely wants to keep them to try find some ideas about how best to use them up? Best of luck with your decluttering :)

      • Jane, my mom has a hard time giving up anything that we have spent money for. We have about 50+ rolls that have never been used. If I could find someone to buy them she would have less of a problem. Sigh. I plan to take a few here and there and give them away as I find someone who can use them.

  2. Great ideas!! I have an entire flock of stuffed animal sheep, a herd of cats … people definitely like giving you things for your ‘collection.’ I also have the problem with having lots of socks (and other categories) that I love but don’t wear. I tend to grab the same clothes every time. I’ll have to try the sock idea with each to see how many I actually use and need.

  3. Books are my main focus right now to reduce. At the start of the year I had 630+, now I have that down to exactly 500 but I would like to get it even lower, so I have set aside some books I am happy to donate, some to sell, and a pile of others to read that I don’t think I am going to want to keep after (I can read maybe 2-3 books a week). I hope this way to reach my goal of being at 400 soon! After, who knows, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

    For Wednesday I definitely have an item to get rid of as I still haven’t stopped biting my nails so there is little point having 6 nail polishes. For Thursday I have a magazine that has been sitting around forever waiting to be read that I haven’t made the time for yet.

    Also just out of curiosity is anyone else making 2014 decluttering goals yet? I’ve gotten rid of around 2000 items this year, and with that in mind I am setting a target of 500 for next year as the bulk of the easy items have already gone and now it’s on to the harder items. Curious to know if anyone else is setting themselves any goals.

    • Hi Jane,

      I have three goals, but one I’m wanting to have completed before the new year. I have been decluttering for years (I’m a reformed packrat!) and I’m now at the point that the only area I need to really deal with is papers. Earlier in the year, I emptied my filing cabinet and stacked all of the files on the floor in the spare room to go through. I had to go through each file before it went back in the cabinet. I am about 50% done, but I still have piles of paper sitting in the spare room and I want that all cleared up before the new year. So far, out of the 4 drawers, I’ve only filled one, so I’m thinking I’ll have one drawer that is going to be empty once I’ve dealt with all the papers, including other papers that couldn’t fit into the filing cabinet before. Over the years, I’ve been slowly getting rid of paper…it is my nemesis! I see my decluttering process as being similar to that of peeling an onion. In my home, I’m finally making it to the core of the onion.

      My second goal is to declutter my office at work. I have done that once already, but I’m now ready to peel off a few more layers!

      My third goal is to help my mom declutter her house. She has so much clutter and she is ready to let some go. We already started a month ago; we went through one of her china cabinets and she let me take 11 cups and glasses and donate them. It was hard for her, though! Last week, she let me clean out a cabinet of papers and pictures. I made sure she was there to make the decisions. I think it stressed her out a bit, but she was definitely happy with the results. In the new year, we are going to tackle her clothes. She still has all of her children’s clothing so that is going to be interesting to go through. She wants to just throw them away, but I want to wash them and donate them. We’ll see how that goes! If I get my way, my washing machine is in for a lot of overtime.

      • I forgot to mention a few other areas I want to get to in the new year. Since I mentioned that I’ve been decluttering for years, I have many boxes of organized stuff. I have several boxes of pictures that I want to go through and organize. I want to get rid of doubles (pass them onto my siblings if pictures of their children), as well as pictures that don’t mean anything to me. I also have a few other boxes of memorabilia that are perfectly contained, but that are calling out to me wanting to be decluttered! This process of decluttering is so interesting, as is the way in which we are able to get rid of things we would not have thought possible in the past.

    • Jane – well done on the books decluttering – I love my books and can vouch that it is very difficult to give up books, in the end I had to work on a book by book basis rather than looking it as an entire collection.

      Yes I have been thinking about 2014 decluttering goals – my house is looking good (if I may say so myself) but I’m sure there is more that can be done. We started painting the interior of our house over the weekend and I’m sure that will generate more things to be contemplated, will talk about that further down the post. I really want to declutter my life, at the moment it feels busy-busy-busy all the time – and I accept that working for my self-employed husband and having three teenagers is going to generate a fair bit of busy-busy – but if I were to translate my life into a picture of a cupboard it would be overfull, things stuffed in and I would be constantly finding ways to ‘organise’ it better so I could fit yet more in. My whole house used to be like that until I had a lightbulb moment that organising wasn’t the key, having less was the answer. I had been contemplating this image when I read the post on organising the other week and realised that I need to look at what takes up so much of my time and what can I do make my life look like my kitchen cupboards ie streamlined, tidy, white space etc. I figure it is the same principle, I used to the same concept to lose weight, so surely it can work on time clutter.

      • You have said exactly what I have been thinking about my own life also – about moving from minimizing stuff to trying to simplify my whole life. I have been cutting back on hobbies really like the thought of switching off the laptop a lot more in the new year. I managed an entire day this week without turning my laptop on once, it was hard but I hope to make it a more frequent occurrence! Best of luck with your resolutions, I hope they will make 2014 a great year for you :)

        • Jane – I’m reading up on the topic, one book is called Rushing Women’s Syndrome and I’m getting the picture that we aren’t doing ourselves any favours leading an over busy life. But it is one thing to say I’m going to simplify my life, its another to figure out how to do it.
          I think I would have to track myself for a month or two to see where things aren’t running smoothly. I also know that I stay up too late getting the day prepped for the next day, putting thru laundry ready to go on the line for the next day etc, herding the kids along and then I need to read for a while to wind down before I can go to sleep. I think I go back to the supermarket too many times in a week at the moment as my meal planning (and therefore purchasing) has gone awol. All sorts of little things that add up but also I am sure there are other areas I can look at.

      • I think you are on the right track there with trying to simply your timetable. Take less on and delegate. Give the kids more to take care of of their own. Perhaps they could help with areas of the housework. There are only so many hours in the day and when your days are overfull something has to give. Sometimes it ends up being your health and that is not good.

        My timetable is a bit full also at the moment but that will all change at the end of the week. We pack up on Wednesday and move in to the new apartment on Thursday and once that is sorted I plan on taking it easy until Christmas. Plans can go awry though.

    • I decluttered about a thousand items my first year (2012), and was a little surprised to have decluttered over 950 so far this year. I think I will probably find that many in 2014 since when you go back through stuff your eye gets more discerning and you dig a little deeper. Clothes in general and books are the hardest for me to sort through. We have about 8 months of hot weather, and 4 months of cool or really cold weather–with some hot days mixed into the 4 months. I buy most of my clothes at thrift shops–shoes online since my size is hard to find in stores. I always have to alter the shirts some so I never know exactly when I will start wearing something. By the time I get around to altering something, I am pretty sure if I really like it, and then tend to wear it for a long time. So unless something gets stained or torn, it is worn, and worn. So everything in my closet is actually worn. As for books we read a lot of different types and tend to keep those of authors we like. Our library has book sales and gets rid of library books as well as donated ones so if you discover an author whose books were written before 1980 they just may not have any of them. So it is a good source for new books, but not so good for older authors. I have been reading mostly fiction ones and donating them and I took a few to a consignment shop, but do not know yet if they sold.

    • Hi Jane, Well done with the paper decluttering. I was lucky because my husband took care of that particular task. Thanks to digital billing etc we dont have a lot of paper coming in. And now we scan items and recycle the unavoidable paper almost as soon as they arrives. Luckily the Aus Taxation department allows us to keep digital copies of papers relating to tax returns.

      I am glad that you have some good decluttering goal awaiting you. And I am especially pleased with how you are helping your mother declutter. Good on her too for making the leap.

  4. Over the weekend we started painting the interior of our house, the dinning room is completed and the lounge is ready for the skirting boards to be painted tonight and hopefully the walls painted tomorrow. Various other rooms at various stages of being prepped. We are using the opportunity as a room gets emptied to contemplate what gets put back in each room and I’m sure this will generate a number of items to leave. Would love to replace the curtains before they go back up but that will have to wait until I have saved up.

  5. I listed some things that had been sitting around unused in my home on Freecycle over the weekend and the enthusiastic response on most of the stuff blew me away.

    I found a job that doesn’t require me to move, so I don’t have a pressing need to declutter aggressively for a move this year, but I’ve really enjoyed having open space in my home after decluttering and I don’t like how it looks and feels when things build up again.

  6. I felt really good reading this post and realizing I don’t have anything to declutter in most of the areas mentioned. I’ve purged the kitchen down to the basics, I use all my pots and pans, I don’t collect anything so nothing to declutter there, I have one lipstick and no nail polish, I have no kids, so no artwork to declutter, I have worn out and tossed almost all my socks, the only items I have to declutter from this mini mission are a few magazines that are hanging around.

    I still have plenty of things in my house that need decluttering, just don’t have many things from this list. I got pretty brutal with Christmas decorations this year, still have more than enough, but took a big bag’s worth to the local charity. I’d like to get to the point where they all fit into 4 plastic bins.

  7. Hi Deb! The decluttering mission has always been quite a challenge for me. Thanks to your helpful tips and the offered schedule for facing the issue, I hope that it will no longer bother me to such an extent. Thank you for sharing all of the info above!

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