Mini Mission Monday ~ This and That

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.

In light of all the items that are laying in piles on my living room floor at the moment ~ clutter items that my husband has been collecting up over the weekend ~ I have decided this week’s mini missions will centre on the thoughts going through my head right now as I look at these items individually.

Monday – Declutter something that is intended to be on display but hasn’t seen the light of day in years. In our case this is a Chinese ink drawing of a tiger. My husband asked if we are ever likely to display it in the house. I said “We haven’t in the last 25 years so what are the chances that is going to change any time soon!”.

Tuesday – Declutter something you got for free. From my vantage point on the sofa I can see a baseball park giveaway, a coffee mug from an aeroplane manufacturer, various toiletry items from a recent international flight and a souvenir from a foreign military establishment. Some of these have been around for quite a some time while others have infiltrated my clutter defences just recently. Hmmmmmm!!!

Wednesday – Declutter an old piece of equipment, possibly work related from days gone by.

Thursday – Declutter some items of clothing that no longer suit the climate you live in or just don’t fit anymore.

Friday – Declutter old VHS tapes. If you haven’t already converted them to a modern digital form then the chances are you never will. Especially if you don’t watch them anyway or even own a VCR.

Saturday – Get rid of something sentimental especially if you have a lot of it. Seriously you don’t have to own something to remind you of every event or period in your life. If it wasn’t significant enough to remember without a prompt then it probably isn’t worth remembering. And if you never look at these items anyway then what is the point. If you feel you need a visual prompt then take a digital photo of it and store that on your hard-drive.

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

Today’s Declutter Item

IMG_6393

More craft materials out the door in the form on another Etsy sale.

Eco Tip for the Day

Switch from using throwaway batteries to rechargeable ones. When purchasing battery operated items take the size and quantity of batteries into account when deciding which item to buy.

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. Good mini-missions. They make me laugh and so did your statment “In light of all the items that are laying in piles.” S & D took us to lunch and then came over and we had “Christmas” since they are going “home” for the Holidays. Thankfully, they got Mom a sweater she needed and me an Amazon gift card. Before they left we gave S back the bows and gift card holder she used for the presents. Then Mom was looking for a plastic cookie container that we use over and over to give away cookies and decided to give them away this year instead of asking for them back. While digging for them she found a couple of things we have had for a number of years and decided to get rid of them. Why store them? Someone gave us a bunch of small LED flashlights and we decided we didn’t need them all so they are going on the thrift store pile. I was given a clock that stopped working. SO I removed the old clock works and put that in the thrift store pile. They like craft things to fix. We don’t have any clothing items we need to get rid of and Mom is still hanging on to the semtimental stuff right now. But we have a good amount of what you have here on the mini-missions done. This seems to happen a lot. It’s like you have been a little mouse and here watching us on the weekends.

    • As it turns out Deb hubby was seeing if he could rise to the reverse hundred things challenge. He didn’t let me in on this until later on Sunday. I was amused by the irony that his wife is a simplicity blogger and he is finding his inspiration to declutter from another blog. Not that I mind, decluttering is decluttering and I am happy whatever the catalyst. He has written a blog post about it for tomorrow so stay tuned.

      Well done you and your mom for accomplishing most of the mini missions before you even knew what they were. Doesn’t mean you can’t do them again though.

  2. Over the weekend I wrote myself a list of specific areas around the house to address – coincidently areas which I found didn’t self-maintain so well during the November challenge.

    Also, recently the city’s hospice opened a second hand store to fund raise, literally around the corner and on the way to my workplace. I had a pile of stuff that was to be listed on Trademe in January as it was fairly realistic that I could make some decent money back but I decided that in the spirit of community spiritedness I would donate them. When I dropped them off at the donations door the lady was pleasantly surprised and said they have an ongoing problem with people trying to give them crappy stuff.

    • Hi Moni there is always a couple of areas around the house that need a little more attention at times than others. You have been a very busy lady too so don’t feel bad.

      Lucky you have a thrift store opening up in such a convenient location. And it is funny that you and my hubby had the same idea of forgoing the selling and just make a generous donation. There were several things he decided to let go of on the weekend that could have fetched a good few dollars on eBay but he decided to save himself the bother and let the thrift store have the proceeds. I think I will follow suit with a couple of things of mine.

      • Colleen – I find that in December, with the nicer weather and other commitments/projects out of the way, it is like an 11th hour sprint for the finish line to get the house into tip top shape for holiday visitors etc. There seems to be less procastination with decision making and more action.

        Adrian and I also decided the scotch dresser/drawers in the wardrobe parked underneath his shirts and jackets, it was time for it to go. Only two of the four larger drawers were being used and likewise, two of the smaller drawers at the top of it are empty. We are going to add a shelf (its one of those wire shelf modular kit wardrobe systems) so that his shirts hang from the bottom half (he has found it a nuisance pushing past shirts to get to the drawers) and we’re adding an extra one or two shelves above to store jeans, jerseys, that sort of thing. I did suggest he could learn to hang his jeans on a hanger, but he assured me that that would never happen. So another piece of furniture hits the dust!

  3. My lounge room is filled with the contents of my daughters room. A new coat of paint for her feature wall was the inspiration for such upheaval. I feel there will be less stuff returning to her room this time. I have offered to drop stuff off at thrift store for her but I think she is caught in the initial stage ; this cost me money , can’t just give it away. Will see what happens.

    • Good luck Wendy. Isn’t it amazing how people don’t mind wasting money on stuff in the first place but once the novelty wears off, usually quickly, they suddenly see the waste and want to recoup some of the cash. If only they could just learn to cut out the middle man, so to speak.

  4. Over the weekend Dayna and I saw a house around the corner being shifted into, two trucks – not the U-Haul type truck but a truck with trailer unit ie the size used for long-haul or that you see supermarket chains transporting stock. And there were two of them being unloaded. My guess is that it was a long distance shift and everything had to travel at the same time but we were amazed that that much stuff could fit into a house.

    And then our neighbours shifted out to their new house about 1km away on Saturday. We were doing a lot of outdoors work ie gardening, windows etc and as they have several strapping sons, they did not require our assistance. They had a U-Haul truck that they filled and re-filled all day until early evening. We noted that that at least three loads were only packed boxes. The mum went back and forth in the car all day too, transporting computers, tv’s, clothes etc.

    Dayna found this fascinating as she’d never considered how much extra work and transport a full house would generate at shifting time. And I explained that that also reflects in the cost as the bigger the vehicle the bigger the price and if using a smaller truck or a horsefloat type trailer, the more trips you need to make, the longer you need it hired out which usually are hired in half-day rates.

    • Oh yes Moni. Having shifted several times I have certainly learned my lesson of the less you have the easier moving is. All the prep work, the extended time on the pre pack the more stuff you have, the higher cost of moving larger quantities (not that we have ever had to pay for it) and then the time spend on the set down and getting it all to fit in neatly at the other end. I am just glad we always, bar one move, had at least two weeks between pick up and set down to regroup. We moved around the corner once and I am in no hurry to do that again. Everything happening at once, youch!

      • I do not like to move. I know there will be at least one more and maybe 2. Ugh! I know that even though we have divested ourselves of a lot we still have more than I would like to have to move. I will have to keep quietly working on this.

      • Colleen – it has been interesting watching Dayna (since seeing these two house shifts on the weekend) walking around the house eyeing up things mentally calculating how big/small box it would need to be packed down into.

        We discussed the good fortunate of living in the digital age for light weight living. I told her that I used to have over 1000 books and to mentally calculate how many boxes would be needed to pack those and just how much it would weigh to shift those. Then I picked up my kobo e-reader and popped it into my handbag and said “look! I just packed my books” and then I popped my iPod into my handbag and said “Look! I just packed our cd’s” – she had a big smile on her face, so I went for the kill and reminded her that we still owned many DVD’s and perhaps we could make it our summer project to go thru them again and to look at our options for condensing them down whether digitally or otherwise.

  5. Just a note that I already cast my vote for 365lessthings. I would have never found Mohamed’s blog, Midway Simplicity, had he not done a guest posting on your blog 🙂

  6. Great mini missions this week. I made it my mission that when I moved to this home, to make sure nothing was left in boxes. I know that if it stays in a box, I didn’t need or want it anyway, so why keep it?

    • Jen, you are smart. That’s the way we all need to be.

    • Hi Jen, good move. When my family moves everything is packed and unpacked for us so nothing is ever left in boxes. The last move was different though because se couldn’t fit all the stuff in the house. I just slowly unpacked everything and decluttered as I went. And that was mid 2007 it wasn’t until the decluttering effort that began in 2010 that I really learned what permanent minimising is all about.

  7. December is going well. Sold two items on eBay, sold two items on consignment at a local antiques shop, and I have four items listed on Tradesy (a new clothing sales site). Friday’s mini mission was already on my radar. I’m going to borrow a device to convert my old home movies on videotape to DVD so that I can declutter the tapes. If anyone knows of a way to recycle VHS tapes, please let me know.

  8. Ok long comment ahead warning:
    So I’m down to the final 2 items still listed on Ebay.
    This morning I finalized with the consignment shop – everything I had for sale there sold.
    Over the weekend, we made a few more trips to the donation stores & recycling center & yes, the landfill.
    So today it’s with great pride that I proclaimed my active decluttering: completed!

    I amped up my decluttering in order to reach a self-imposed deadline of the end of the year mostly because I will be taking a bunch of accelerated classes starting in January & will be meeting often with my small business advisors who are helping me start my own business.

    Anyways, the year end deadline was too much to resist & I really didn’t see the need to drag this out until then…so we made snap decisions & trusted our own instincts when it came to those decisions & now our home is so darn decluttered we literally have 2 rooms completely empty (well save for the parrot’s night cages in 1 of the rooms).
    Our attic has gone from 74 boxes of various sizes down to 11. Our holiday items are parred down to just to what we are willing to actually display. My wardrobe went from some insane number down to ONLY what fits & that I will actually wear – the numbers indicate I reduced my wardrobe by 2/3’s. Nothing a size smaller or a size larger – forcing myself to stay at this healthy weight/size!
    We have 12 drawers in our kitchen – 3 of which are now empty. 12 banks of kitchen cabinets – 3 are empty. Dresser in the master bedroom has 10 drawers. 5 are empty. Main bathroom – no samples, no half-used crummy shampoos, no excess linens. Guest bath – all drawers & cabinets are empty (save for hiding toilet paper in 1 of the deep drawers). Den – all electronic equipment hidden away & infra-red sensors are used to access the controls. Cars, boat, back porch, yard, attic, office all decluttered to the point of sheer bare bones.
    The only area I kept my mitts out of was my husbands workshop where he builds custom-made guitars. I did collect all the sawdust & gave that to my neighbor who makes homemade fire-starters from them.
    Otherwise, the items that remain in our home are truly what we want. Of course, that’s always subject to change as our needs & likes change, but as of today – we have reduced our clutter to the point of sheer giddyness!
    To which I must say a lot of my motivation came from the support & guidance of everyone here at 365 Less Things. I feel so very blessed & honored to have stumbled across this website/forum. I want to thank each & everyone of you with a special thanks to Colleen. To everyone here at 365 Less Things – you all are my hero’s! Jane 🙂

    • Wow Jane!!!! That’s pretty cool. I want to get there some day. Glad you were able to do it.

    • Jane, that is so great! Some days I feel I am getting close and then I cast my eyes somewhere and decide that area could probably be pruned back further.

      And the added bonus, during the very busy year you have ahead of you, is that you have a house that will be easy to maintain.

      What is your next step on the home front? Down size?

      • Thanks Deb & Moni for your kudos!
        Moni, I’m just about convinced that we are probably gonna stay right where we are. We still want to move to the FL Keys but with me (hopefully) opening my own business where we are now – well that might change things a bit.
        Either way, we bloom where we are planted!

        • Jane, congrats on the big cleanup! Wish you much success with your new business and I’m going to copy and refer to your comment, “We bloom where we are planted!” Love that sentiment!

    • How wonderful Jane. I am so pleased for you. I also wish you every success in your new business. I hope you are going to tell us all about it once it is up and running. I also hope you get some well earned relaxation time over the Christmas period to rest up for the next adventure.