Mini Mission Monday ~ It’s just stuff

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.

What we have to get into our heads sometimes if that the stuff cluttering up our homes is just that, stuff. These items aren’t life preservers, they aren’t precious, they aren’t our memories… and for the most part they aren’t even all that useful. We get it into our heads that we need this stuff when we don’t. One should watch a few documentaries on how people in less affluent societies to realise just how much stuff we don’t need to surround ourselves with in order to live a happy existence. So this week lets see if we can identify some stuff around our homes that we keep just in case we need it someday but we could most certainly live without, even if the situation did arise where we found a use for it and it was no longer there.

Monday – Declutter a specialised household tool that you could substitute another for, should a rare situation arise where it may actually prove useful.

Tuesday – Use up something “precious” in your craft or hobby supplies that you have been saving for a special project that hasn’t eventuated for years. Every moment is special in life so now is as good a time as any to use it.

Wednesday – Do you have more special occasion outfits in your closet than you ever really need. Either declutter one of them or  move one into your regular clothes rotation so you can feel special in it on a regular basic. In the second instance declutter some old thing you no longer feel good in.

Thursday – Declutter the good china if you rarely use it or better still declutter the everyday set and start using the good stuff all the time. You deserve it after all.

Friday – Declutter a unitasker gadget from your kitchen that you rarely use. There isn’t one of these gadgets on the market that can’t be substituted by a more versatile one (such as a knife) that you use everyday.

Saturday – Declutter an item that you once used a lot but haven’t for a very long time. Perhaps you are past that phase in your life.

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

Know the recycling rules for your area and put every little thing in the recycle bin that you can.

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. Grace from Brazil

    It resonated so much with what you wrote this week! Stuff is just that, stuff and we often have it without thinking through why we hang on it. I was not able to declutter too much through the week but I reserved Saturday for some decluttering projects. I don’t know about you but sometimes I have to have an idea sit in my mind before it can be applied. But truth is unrelenting! It does not let us off so easily. While you were away some very insightful comments were posted in relation to Andréia’s inspiring downsizing of her wardrobe. The straightforward question, “Would I ever buy this again?”, that one of the readers posted, makes a sometime difficult decision clear. That was niggling at my brain all week. Someone else posted that keeping her underwear/socks in order helped her kept her dresser from getting cluttered up. I really was motivated Saturday afternoon to get my house cleaned and tackle my wardrobe and dresser. It may sound like a lot to do but since I have a pretty decluttered smallish house, a small wardrobe which I share with my hubby and a dresser of which I only have two of the four drawers, I was able to do it. I got rid of quite a few things that weren’t really connected to last weeks mini missions but all the same I was happy to get rid of: 2 skirts, 4 pairs of sports socks (I mean how many do you really need?) miscellaneous jewelry and even more clothes from my daughter’s closet. It was a great day and now I am ready for this new inspiring list of mini-missions. These keep me moving forward.

    • Hi Grace, good for you. And that decider of “would I buy it again?” is a good one. The bread maker I used to own was one of the things that I applied that to. However I did wait for it to break down before I decluttered it. I still used it regularly but knew that once it died I would either use a different method to make the items I used it for, stop eating all those carbs or buy ready made. I went for the eat less carbs.
      I am glad you mentioned about decluttering your clothing. I don’t have much to get rid of but being as I have only spent two days at home in Seven weeks I do need to pack up the winder items and store them away in the allotted box. There just isn’t room for all of my clothes to be in my wardrobe and dresser at once.

    • Congratulations, Grace.
      Use the same question, “Would I buy this again?” with everything. You will be amazed how much will leave your home 🙂

      • Grace from Brazil

        I certainly will!!! I feel more motivated before the holidays so I may just surprise myself a go a bit wild with this question! (Were you the one who suggested this? I am sorry I could give you credit earlier but I will gladly do that now. Thanks for sharing it with us.)

  2. We had a family funeral over the weekend and had relatives come to stay. One of them is in a wheel chair so as much out of the way as possible. It wasn’t a huge job but as they like to set up their equipment in the garage (fully insulated and lined, good lighting and carpeted) – we pretty much take everything out.

    I observed as we were pretty much on a time-line with a lot going on, that a number of things ended up being put in desk drawers and cupboards as there wasn’t the time to contemplate them, so I will focus on re-visiting those areas this week.

    • Hi Moni, there is nothing like having visitors to make you think twice about your stuff. Or visiting for that matter. All my time away sure got me thinking about what is excess in my apartment. I’m too busy catching up with friends and making Christmas cards for the art space right now to care too much, but I do pull myself away from those distractions to find a little time here and there to sort and declutter. Given that it was only yesterday that I got back I suppose I can’t expect miracles. Getting the unpacking and washing done, not to mention working on getting the clothes clean and packed away for the end of season. That may seem a little late but we left as it changed and packed for both seasons so now it need to all be sorted.

  3. I skipped ahead to Tuesday for craft item. I used to really enjoy a craft, stopped doing it for a while, now back to it. But in the interim, RA has greatly reduced my hands’ dexterity so doing the craft is harder, a little painful, and doing the detail work is nearly impossible. Thus, I am craigslisting 1/2 of the supplies. I will continue to do this craft, but not too much so my hands can rest between projects.

    • Hi Gail, well at least you are being realistic and decluttering to suit the new phase in your life. So sooner do I declutter craft supplies and bring in cash in return I then declutter other people craft supplies to my house. They do get used up fairly quickly but it leaves me marking time. However it sure beat having to pay for it when certain, often used, supplies get low.

  4. My new kitchen went in last week and we are waiting for the bench top to arrive to complete it. The transition of items got a boost on the weekend with the removal of most of the old kitchen. I have six wine glasses that last night I decided would not be finding a new home in the new kitchen. They are tall,fragile and rarely used.
    There is also a surplus of coffee mugs and plastic containers. I also discovered I had a stockpile of vinegar and sugar. They had been repeatedly purchased because I couldn’t see them at the back of the cupboard !
    Once the hot plate is installed my saucepan collection will be reduced as well.
    The ripple effect will continue throughout the house as items are reduced or replaced. Cheers

    • Well done Wendy, I am looking forward to seeing that kitchen. I’ll wait until the dust has settle though. I know you are going to love your Blum drawers though. Nothing will get lost in the back of the pantry ever again.

  5. A load of things went to Goodwill this week. It was so nice to have that pile gone. This week I will be concentrating on more things from the kitchen. We really do need to get some of this stuff out of here. We also found that we have a couple of things that we want to buy now that we have gotten rid of larger versions of them–like a smaller slow cooker instead of the huge one we had.

  6. My 12 year old son and I cleaned out a huge pile of junk from our barn today that has been lying there for YEARS. Old mattresses, his crib, old suitcases that were once nice but sat there until they were covered with bat guano…probably more than a pickup truck worth of stuff to go to the dump. And the worst thing is that if we had decluttered it sooner someone else could have benefited from it. Plus it only took us an hour and a half to haul the stuff out of the barn. All this time I have been waiting for my husband to take on this job and today I just got fed up with it and did it myself. I didn’t read your post until just now but isn’t it neat how appropriate it was? Great ideas.

    • Hi Annie, well done to you and your 12 year old son. Sometimes the only way to get things done is to do it yourself and you sure took care of that. You are right, it is a shame that it didn’t happen sooner and the stuff could have gone to someone else to use but better late than never. Keep up the good work and happy decluttering.

  7. Hi Deb, that is a relief I bet. I hope this means you are starting to feel better too. And yes, sometimes things just need downsizing rather than gotten rid of altogether.

    • Colleen, Yes it is a relief. We are both feeling some better. We can do something small one day then have to rest the rest of the day. It is slow but we are getting better each day.