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.

Today there is no particular theme to my mini missions just a list of odd thing that popped into my head as I put the post together. Perhaps they will be things I will keep an eye out for tomorrow while I am doing my housecleaning. It is my first housecleaning day since my daughter moved out while I was away visiting family. The house is a bit of a mess ~ in my opinion ~ as I have hardly had time to attend to it since I have returned. Once I have cleaned the two downstairs bedrooms and bathroom I will have no need to enter that area of the house in the future, unless I get visitors. I am quite happy about that. It is also lovely to see the kids settled into their new homes.

Monday – Declutter something from the pantry that is out of date or no-one in the household cares to eat. Offer any usable items to someone who may be happy to use it. I have been doing this as my kids left home. Many of the things in the pantry were items that only they ate. So why not send it with them when they go.

Tuesday – Declutter any old manuals or warranty papers that are out of date or you no longer have the items for. This is one of those areas of paperwork that builds up over time. Be vigilant because paperwork can be very daunting to deal with when allowed to accumulate.

Wednesday – Declutter some items of clothing that are shabby, no longer fit or you realise are unflattering.

Thursday ~ Start using up greeting cards and wrapping paper rather than buying something new for every occasion. I have noticed that many people have a stockpile of these sorts of items but still buy new more often than not. Time to reduce the stockpile and leave only enough in case of emergency. It is the thought that counts and what you write in the card that matters most anyway. 

Friday – Declutter something that has no real value to you, either of use or sentiment. I am sure if you go searching with this criteria in mind it shouldn’t be too hard to find something. You may have pangs of “I might need it someday” but I am sure you can determine that most things are never really needed in the first place never mind someday down the track.

Saturday – Declutter some craft materials that you are unlikely to use. This will not only reduce your clutter but also make it easy to find the good stuff you intend to use.

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

Things that are looked after last longer. That also goes for things that aren’t yours. So take care with public property as if it were your own. The less often things require replacing the better it is for the environment.

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. Colleen – some good general mini missions this week. I had a good weekend working on my hall cupboard and some of these mini-missions will work in quite nicely.

    I realised I would have several containers or boxes that held very similar items, so I tipped everything out on the table into ‘category’ piles and had a bit sort out of duplicate items. This happened with sewing stuff, craft stuff and dance shoe/feet stuff. I managed to halve what was staying, but now that I have slept on it, I’d like to do another weed out.

    There were a number of items which have left the cupboard, but haven’t left my ownership. So actually they have been relocated to where the similar items live. It feels a bit like cheating. An example of this is trims for dance costumes. All the left over fabrics etc are in an old set of drawers located in our upstairs storage room at work. I need to get rid of these old drawers in the near future – and more than likely I will box everything up and bring it home again to sort and distribute in one effort but in the mean time I am using these drawers as a collection point while the priority is the hall cupboard and ceiling storage.

    There is stuff in the ceiling storage which would be more convenient located at ground level or is earmarked for sorting for decluttering and if it could migrate to the hall cupboard I’m sure it would get done sooner.

    I had the PS2 in my sights but unfortunately this received a lot of opposition, even though it only gets used a couple of times per year. Apparently its a bit of a tradition when particular friends come to stay, their son brings an old favourite game (their ps2 is kaput) and the boys have a marathon session. Jord said he will take it with him when he leaves home.

    • LOL – have just re-read craft fabrics are on this week’s mini-mission – maybe I should be looking at the ones I have moved to the drawers this week after all! Or maybe I could shift it onto Sunday as a friend of ours is having a garage sale on Saturday and offered to include any bits and pieces we want to get rid of, so I’m spending tonight rummaging for any likely items.

    • That garage sales sounds like a good opportunity for decluttering. Do what I do in a situation like this. If in doubt include an item in the sale but put top dollar on it. If it sells then you have got a good return if it does that’s OK too.

      I have to admit that being in a position of ignorance about your costume making exploits it does sound like you are simply shuffling things around rather than making the hard choices. I am sure however that you know what is likely to be used and what isn’t, over time.

      All those extra storage spaces do sound like a recipe of clutter though.

      • Colleen – yes that storage room is on my hit list, it will be a big project all of its own. A bizarre mix of financial records, work gear, Adrian’s science experiment, sports gear that is still used, stuff my son has collected for when he leaves home, stuff belong to work mates who also using this room as temporary storage, dance gear and all sorts of stuff. Just waiting for The Eye of Sauron to turn on it. Every now and then I do a blitz on it.

        Dance costumes – well the outgrown ones are slowly making their way out the door. Ones that fit, well, until they get their diplomas out of the way, I need to hang onto them. Once those are knocked over, I’m cashing up.

        Fabrics and trims. Left over, potentially can be used up fabrics and trims. I have had a clear out of not useful size pieces late last year. However, not all of what is there are mine to dispose of, as I sew for ballet concerts and meterage is bought by a group and the bill split however many ways. When we have left over fabric – especially lycra – we try to use it up the next concert but not always. The reason it came to be in my storage area is that many years ago there was a wee bit of conflict over who would get the left over fabric – some families belong to more than one dance school and the inference was that it could end up benefiting another school. To settle everyone down I volunteered my work storage room so that ‘no-one’ got it and as my girls only attend the one dance school, all left over fabric would stay in the school, and as I design/draft and sew for our group, I am in the best position to utilise whatever we can. I’m just waiting to hear what this year’s theme is and I have proposed to the group that what we can’t use this year (there are some of the original group who are finishing this year) that we sell as a bulk lot on trademe and put towards whatever we need for this year.

        Our focus is get the house completely decluttered as we are putting it on the market later this year. As soon as the house is ready, we want that room emptied. Once the house sells we will probably rent until we figure out our next step and may need to go to something smaller and in case we do, it would be a handy spot for the extra furniture.

  2. Great mini missions this week. I am well on my way with most of them. I am glad for you that the scope of what you need to clean in your house is getting smaller. It will be some time before this will take place for me, but when it does, I think that it will be time to downsize or at the very least, just like you, there will be areas in the house that I will not have include on my task list.

    • Hi Jen, I am glad you are enjoying the mini missions.

      We have every intention of downsizing if the right place comes along or my husband has to move for his job. The latter is on the cards at the end of the year. In that case we will endeavour to acquire a small rental as a practise at downsizing before we do it for real. That also depends on if we decide to buy or travel first when my husband retires.

  3. Get some rest please Colleen. One thing about house work, it waits for you.
    I am doing the first mission, the pantry. Thanks for the reminder.
    Cheers

    • No time for rest today my friend as the house work has already waited for about four weeks. All is done now thought and I am sitting back and enjoying the feeling of being surrounded by cleanliness.

  4. Good mini-missions Colleen. I think it is great how you now have so much less space to clean. I’m thinking of having the lady who comes to clean come out in the shed to help me clean it. We have a bunch of stuff that needs to be taken to the hazardous waste dumpster and gotten rid of. I want to also have her sweep it out so we can have it really clean again.

    • Hi Deb J, that sounds like a good idea. I am sure you would enjoy a good final clean out of the shed. I would like to get into my garage soon and send the rest of Liam’s stuff to his house, ditch what no-one wants and consolidate the remainder. When Bridget left I ended up with half of a shelving unit empty of stuff. It is nice to see so much space opening up.

      • Don’t you just love it when you see that clear space? I am looking forward to having one last cleaning of the front shed. I wish I could get rid of the back shed. But because of the closeness of the houses we would have to have a crane lift it out. I’m not sure if anyone would want to pay for that to be done and don’t know if it can be taken apart and put back together to be sturdy.

  5. Hi Colleen! Mini missions made for me this week. I have a question to ask my fellows 365’rs: how many squeegees and brooms must one keep? I have three squeegees and four brooms. I have considered, as I live in a house, to have a broom to use outside and one to use inside and a squeegee to use outside and one inside. There is also the number of floor rags. How many is enough? I know they are very silly questions, but sometimes having loads of things and using always the same and not getting rid of the excess can be a burden. I am open for suggestions. Thanks everyone.

    • Andreia – I think you’ve already answered the question for brooms and squeegees. Rags, well you can always pick the ones in best condition and put them away in a bag or box somewhere and just use the older ones until they wear out, which they will with more frequent use and bring out the better condition ones. If you think half of what you currently have is still more than what you want in active duty…..then make it a quarter or a third. You will quickly get a feel for how many you need available between laundering them. I know you have little ones and so spills are more frequent. Mind you our curious cat decided to walk over my daughter’s art project and we had yellow and green paw prints over the tiles, so possibly I’m going to need more over the next few months as she works on her art assignment.

    • Hi Andréia, I have one broom for inside and one for the back patio. When that outside one dies I will not be replacing it. If by you mean a rubber edged blade for cleaning windows then I do not have one at all. I use microfibre for cleaning glass inside and out. I do however have a lot of microfibre clothes. I use them for everything so I feel justified in that.

    • Good suggestions! My squeegee (I could not find any other word for it and I swear I never heard that word before 😀 ) is with the rubber end, but it is more like a broom and it is for cleaning floors and put a rag on it and pass it on the floor to get dirty that will not go with a broom. Outside is to get excess water away because my patio has no inclination for the water to go away on its own, so I don’t use it for cleaning windows (I don’t think they are practical to that). I really liked your suggestion on microfibre clothes so I am getting some to clean the windows. I am in a process of getting my laundry room in order. So I am getting to the rags and things there. I did start it once and dropped. Let’s try again. 😉

    • Andreia, I would say one broom for inside and one for outside. That’s what we do. We don’t like to bring all the dirt and sand into the house. We use a Swiffer for “dusting” the floors. We don’t use the Swiffer disposable cloths though. We use Microfiber cloths on it. They work better and are washable. We use a squeegee for our windows on the outside because they are big and we can’t reach them otherwise unless we get a ladder because or our raised foundation. We have a cloth “Sleeve” that we store rags in. We only keep enough to fill the bag. Any others we either have warn out or given to Goodwill. I think the sleeve holds 10-12.

  6. Made for me missions this week, too. Need to get in the pantry (again) and find those items stuck way in the back and toss if the expiration date has been reached. Also, there are canned goods I bought when my daughter was visiting that we never ate and will not eat now, that I can donate to the postal food drive this weekend. For some reason, I always have Spaghettios and veggies that we never eat. Also, bought some mac and cheese (a different brand than our usual) and found we didn’t like the texture of the macaroni so will donate the extra box (another of my buy one, get one free offerings). Also, want to go through our living room closet. We have extra scarves and gloves in there that really need a sorting. And, of course, there is more to do in the sewing/craft room.
    Andreia, in response to your question about brooms, I have 2. One is in the basement for those rooms and the back patio and should be used for the front porch but my husband always uses the “good” upstairs broom on the front porch and it wears down the bristles quickly. So, that broom heads to the basement when the bristles get short and I get a new one for me. As for rags, sometimes it seems like I have an abundance of them but when I want a nice soft one for dusting, they are gone. I think my husband uses them for the basement and forgets to tell me. Or there is something under the sink eating them. 🙂 I use the swiffer dusters for dusting my living room. I do not have air-conditioning so we have the windows open most of the warm months and that brings in lots of pollen and dust. The only thing that actually picks up that are the swiffer dusters. They are more expensive than rags but work for me.

    • Hi Maggie it seems you may have learned a few things from the items in your pantry this time around. One being that buy one get one free is not the way to try a new product.
      As for those throw away swiffer dusters, I am sure that microfibre clothes will do just as well and can be used over and over again. I find they are even more effective if misted with a little water before dusting. This is what I use. They will also clean glass perfectly well without any cleaner just another mist of water. Great for the TV and computer screens as well as the usual windows, mirrors and glass table tops.

    • Thanks Maggie! I was a little annoyed at the amount of brooms “flying” around the house :D. I will bear your and Moni’s advice and get rid of the old ugly ones.

  7. Mike Moore :

    For those in the U.S., when going through your pantry, remember to set aside a few items for the mail carrier food drive on Saturday, May 11. Watch for dates on the cans/boxes. They are finicky about that.

  8. Colleen, Thanks for the info about the microfiber cloths. I currently only have 2 that I use in the kitchen for dishes but have seen them on sale at local stores – 10 in a pkg. I’m definitely going to have to pick up a pkg. My windows need a cleaning and if they work for that, I’m going to get some.

  9. It wasn’t the pantry, but it was the veggie drawer in the fridge this morning. I had no idea how quickly lettuce turns to a nasty glob of goo!! ICK! Scientifically fascinating. 😉

    Craft items . . . . well I started a new project on Saturday that required a bit of purchasing of supplies. I am silver-leafing a frame on a jewel case/shadow box to hang on the wall for my vintage brooches. I have never done silver-leaf and let me tell you, that is messy. I think that is probably something I won’t be doing much of in the future, so when I am done with this, I’m going to get rid of the supplies for that stuff.

    Ever since Colleen recommended microfiber clothes, I have way cut back on my buying of cleaning supplies. Somewhere on here, she has lists of good things to use them for. I think this is saving me money and better for the environment, so I really appreciate that! 🙂

    The guys are gearing up for continuing with the laundry remodel, so now the washer and dryer are in the middle of my kitchen and the dining table is practically in the living room. That is a wee bit bothersome. LOL Will all be good in the end.

  10. Deb J, Love your idea for keeping rags and old cloths in a sleeve. I have a sleeve that I use for plastic bags but never thought of using it to hold rags. I think it will work great in my kitchen because I hate having them just lay under the sink. My potatoes and onions are in bags under there, too, and I just don’t want them too close together. I see these sleeves at lots of craft fairs so will be sure to pick up another one.

    • Maggie, if you want to make your own sleeve just take an old hand towel, sew up the sides and put elastic in the ends. Quick and easy. Cheap too. We have one for plastic bags too.

  11. Deb J, I almost said, “I could make my own” but I don’t know how to put elastic in the ends. If I knew how to do that, I’d fix my coat sleeve, too. 🙂

  12. Since we are “rocking the red” for our Washington Capitals hockey team, red would be a great color. Or blue or yellow since they are my kitchen colors.
    Thank you.

  13. I made more progress over weekend. I spent a little more time working on that awful shelf of mine. lol. I concentrated on just one folder that had papers in it from a house I bought (and have since sold) almost a decade ago. That has to count for Tuesday’s mini mission even though it’s not exactly a manual. Every paper had to be gone through to be certain there wasn’t any personal info on them and the ones that did got placed in our shredding box. I’m lucky that my husband does all the shredding for our house! I warned him I’d be keeping him busy!

    This morning while getting dressed for work I accomplished Wednesday’s mini mission. I decided I’d try on some outfits that I haven’t worn in a while to see if there is a good reason I haven’t been wearing them, or if perhaps I’ve just been in a fashion rut. The first two skirts and one dress I tried haven’t been worn for good reasons so those got put in the donate box. I stopped trying things on when I tried on a shirt I had forgotten was in the closet but looks really quite nice. So I matched it up with a skirt and wore that today. My husband complimented me on it this morning too and he didn’t even know what I had been up to. 🙂 So I feel like I have a new outfit and all I had to do was dig in the closet! We’ll see what I can rummage up tomorrow.

    • That house paperwork certainly does count for Tuesday’s mission. Well done you. Melissa. I have yet to dig out the paper to my (not so old) dead washing machine and replace it with the new ones. No decluttering there but clutter maintenance for sure. I’ll find time to do that tomorrow.

      Trying on old clothes while getting dressed for the day, what a wonderful example of decluttering during your daily routine. Well done. And compliments to boot.

  14. Hi everyone!
    I have 65 drawers in various places throughout my home including fitted fixtures as part of the house.
    Today I opened everyone of them!
    Today I emptied everyone of them!
    Today I filled 29 bags!
    Today I found 13 recycle bags in a drawer!
    Today I am officially a Bag Lady!
    Today I cleaned all drawers and only put back what I want!
    Today I cleared out 47 books!
    Today I cleared out (with help from the walking Karri tree) 29 PS games!
    Today I cleared out 127 DVD’S (all neat in a flip folder) (copies from friends that didn’t want them back (they are gone!!! Salvos jumped on them)!!!
    Today I cleared out a stash of scrapbook papers and put them in a bag!
    Today I cleared out various unwanted Christmas Bits and put them in a bag!
    Today I cleared out the Pantry and wiped all the shelves down and did a date check on everything!
    Today I wiped out the fridge!
    Today I cleared another area in my garage!
    Today I cleared my throat and yelled ‘WHAT THE’!!!! at least 100 times!!!!
    Today I realised that I still have ‘Stuff’ and the rate the ‘Stuff’ is leaving is FABULOUS!!!
    Today I cleared lots of stuff that missed the last clearing!
    Today I cleared my space, my head, my soul and if you’ll excuse me now I’m going to lie down on my” cleared of all the clothes I’m clearing out bed” hahahaha enjoy your day girls, I think I just smashed mine!!!

    I’ll start the mini-missions tomorrow!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • I think after that effort Dizzy, you can skip the mini missions. I think you decluttered more than I own today.

      • LOL Coleen, my niece sent me a message saying everything she owns will fit in 9 Coles recycle bags!! Now that is minimalist!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Wow, Dizzy, that is a lot of work!

      I can’t believe you have 65 drawers! I just counted and I have 14 – or 17, if I include the tiny ones in my sewing box. Anyway, I’m really impressed with your efforts!
      Maybe I should go a little crazy like you as well. 😉

      • Believe me Sanna, I nearly died when I counted the drawers. The total includes 2 sets of drawers in master bedroom, 6 in WIR’s 21 in The karri Trees’ furniture the rest are in the kitchen (built in) and in our furniture and office desks! Unreal when you count them up!! hahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Wow! Way to go Dizzy. You go girl.

      • Hey Deb J, I’m out of control hahaha. The time just came to attack the hidden ‘STUFF’. It must sound like my house is a junk heap, but I swear it was all residing in the Bookshelf and drawers. I am most pleased about the Filing Cabinet. Finally made a huge dent in that behemoth!!! The scraproom looks better now I have emptied and purged more supplies. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Doesn’t sound out of control to me. More like you are finally in control. Good for you.

    • Dizzy – you Go Girl you!
      I have this mental picture of the cartoon character of Tassie Devil (you know that cartoon Tasmanian Devil) who moves like a tornado going around your house.

      • Hey Moni that was definitely me when I opened the drawers. Instead of snorting and grunting I kept yelling “WHAT THE”. I’m sure the neighbours are talking!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Awesome!!! I got tired just reading that! What an enormous effort you exhibited in one day. That’s fantastic!

    • GracefromBrazil :

      I love your spirit! I sure hope it is contagious across the internet. Way to go.

  15. That is fantastic, Dizzy. You not only emptied them, you did other chores too. I just counted 26 drawers. I bet everyone counted theirs. Some of my drawers will definitely be going, along with a lot of content. Now I just want to empty them to see exactly what’s in there. I daren’t look!

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