Mini Mission Monday ~ The seven Re’s

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Ok, count me in with this one.
    I have an unique pair of handmade ceramic cocoon boxes. They are really nice, but I can do without them. I will give them as a xmas present to a special person.
    They will have to wait until Christmas, but I´ll pack them right away.
    I´m sure the gift will be appreciated, as last xmas I gave the same person a small ceramic bowl, which she liked very much.
    No need now to ” go shopping “.

  2. Colleen, I re-ally love this. I hope you will re-issue it from time to time as a re-minder of the many simple ways we can de-clutter. Friends coming tonight and I’m going to re-turn the book I borrowed and give them the empty wine bottles for re-use.

    • Well done Wendy B, you have even introduced a re I didn’t use ~ return. I am impressed

      • I, too, re-ally think you were clever this week Colleen.

        • Thanks Cindy, I think my readers are having more fun with the RE than even I did. I came up with that on Thursday and five days later I don’t can’t even remember where the idea came from. Sometimes stuff like that just pops into my head when I am thinking about something else altogether.

      • I like this so much I wrote out my eight RE’s on a piece of card and tacked it to my note board where I can see it and be reminded daily. I’m pretty good at most of them except Re-fuse (especially stuff that’s fREe.

        • Hi Wendy B,
          accepting free stuff is fine if it is useful to you but if it isn’t it is best the resist temptation. I have also been a sucker for this in the past but now I stop and think before I act.

  3. I tried to RE-fuse a poppy yesterday when we gave some $ to the hospitalized veterans fund. But hubby wanted it, so I think I’ll go put it in HIS car 🙂
    These are great, Colleen. I may get stuck at Monday over and over this week. I keep finding stuff to pass on to the thrift store.

    • Hi Willow,
      yes I would put it in his car, if he wanted the clutter why not put it where you don’t have to see it.

      Monday is as good a day as any to get stuck on especially if it means clutter is leaving the house.

  4. Well done, Colleen! I re-ally thing that keepsakes are the hardest things to declutter. They’ll be my last (although I did tackle a few re-cently). As to the week’s challenges, well, here goes …..
    And I’m pleased with my family: end of October and only one supermarket plastic bag (left over from the “bad old days”) full of rubbish for throwing away! That’s EVERYTHING for the month, two permanents and one part-time liver-in.

    • Well done Ann, those plastic bags aren’t hard to live without are they?. It is amazing how relient we get on things that really just aren’t necessary.

      • And Colleen,
        another lot of bags out of the house, for good I hope: I “tamed” the bakery at my local supermarket. They now offer freshly baked bread without the (previous) cellophane, and will slice it into my own mesh bag! Yay, no more three or four bread bags a week.

        • Well done Ann. I like that idea. I wish there was a way I could get my curry takeout without plastic tubs. How do you keep your bread fresh when you get it home?

          • I put it in the freezer and take it out just before I need it. I usually keep about half a loaf in the fridge, and that works for us.

            • We have got to a point where we need to freeze half of our bread loaves too. Hubby doesn’t eat much carbs so no bread for him and Liam and I don’t eat a lot of it either.

          • Curry takeout: if you take back the plastic tubs from last time, would they reuse them for you? You’ve probably tried that, but being a bit “pushy” helps, too!

            • You know Ann, I haven’t asked because i figured that health laws wouldn’t permit it but it sure is worth giving it a try. Next time I am in there I shall ask, nothing ventured nothing gained as they say.

  5. I just cleared my bulletin board (cork board), which I wrote about in Pockets of Clutter, and it’s realy to go out as well!

    • Cindy, sometimes it takes a little while to decide for sure that something needs to go. Anything useful like your bulletin board get that little extra consideration in my home but once I make up my mind it is out of here and rarely thought of again.

  6. This is a great post for me. I’m a new follower and already you’re re-inforcing what I’m working on. Thanks for all the advice.

    • Hi Patricia,
      first of all may I say welcome to 365 Less things and thank you for dropping in with that cute little comment, playing with the RE a little there yourself. Well done. I took a quick look at your blog (I should be doing housework but stopped for my 10am coffee, it’s now 10:40) and noticed you love to shop at goodwill. Once you get to know me better you are going to know that I discourage recluttering while you are delcuttering so I hope that Goodwill shopping is at least doubly matched by your decluttering efforts. But at least it is no new product, I really discourage that.

      I hope your mother is doing better now. It must be hard for her not being able to communicate, that would drive me crazy as I am the loud mouth in this family. My husband would probably think it was a blessing, a good reason to be quiet.

  7. “a lick of pain”? HAHAHAHAHA!
    True on so many levels.

    • creativeme, I need you to proof read my blog posts each day. Thank you again for pointing our another of my mistakes. They are plentiful I have to admit.

      • Proof re-ad, interesting concept! 🙂

        I like the one about Patricia “welcome to …. thanks for dripping in…”

        LOL!!! I don’t know why that just absolutely has cracked me up!

        Yup, we’re just a dripping in ’round here to say hello! 😉 Colleen, you are so cute!

        • No Annabelle,
          what I am is just very busy trying to churn out six posts a week and personally read and answer all the wonderful comments that come my way. I crack myself up somedays with the bloopers I do manage to catch before it’s too late. My fingers get confused as to where they are up to and where my brain is at and all sorts of things end up on the screen in front of me. Oh well so long as I am amusing someone and most people forgive me of my typo sins we’ll be OK.

          • I love the inadvertent “funnies” and am just happy that you are so involved in your comments section – it gives your blog a sense of community that wouldn’t be there if you just published your post and left it at that. I enjoy that, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone 🙂

            • Hi Jo,
              I agree, I also love the community spirit of my blog and I wouldn’t want that to chance. Everyone can just be amusing by my persistent bloopers. I am happy to laugh along with you all. I am very happy when someone mentions them so I can go back and fix the mistake.

          • Hi Colleen,
            Lol they are cute and I agree with Jo, I’m very thankful that you take the time to answer your ‘bloggies’ and I’m sure it gets to be a mammoth task, I only hope you still enjoy doing what you’re doing, coz if you try to give it up we’ll all have to go it alone!!! NOOOOOO! Then we’ll have to hunt you down and tie you to the laptop!! :):)

            Don’t stress about ‘spelming miztaykes’ they are really easy to do and we all know you do it just to see who’s paying attention. It’s just your brain is way ahead of your hands! Your ‘spullink mistooks’ are part of the charm at 365 Less and yes they crack me up too 🙂 🙂 Your blog definitely makes me smile 🙂 and I love it.

            Just keep churning out your posts and you can always re-visit any of them at any time and they’ll still come in handy.

            I do believe you may be the only one that actually updates daily and answers everyone so ‘Good on ya Girl’ 🙂 🙂 🙂

            • Hi Dizzy,
              you can’t get rid of me that easily. My biggest joy of the day is torturing all you readers with my demands of decluttering perfection. 👿 If spelling mistakes made me run for the hills I never would have made it past third grade. Just as well I was good at math, science and art. When I am blogging I often wonder what my English teachers would think if they knew I was writing every day and people are actually reading it.

              • Hiya Colleen, haha to your torture keep it coming, if nothing else at least we can all go :p (I hope that little thingy works) it’s a visual raspberry!! :)and you can’t see us!!
                As for your English Teachers, look them up on Facebook and let them check you out! I’m sure they would be very proud.
                Just so you know I have finished all your archives and they were great. Job well done! Do you think maybe that you could be a Professional Organiser now, isn’t that what usually happens to successful de-clutterers? Just think of the money you’d make and all the trips you could take! Actually maybe you should write a book and send a copy to your English Teachers with a :p hahaha wouldn’t that be fun! 🙂 🙂

                • Hi Dizzy,
                  I am having enough difficulty trying to churn out one little ebook, God forbid I should attempt a real book with over a hundred pages. Baby steps for me when it comes to writing that’s for sure. How those ideas get so jumbled in my head. 😆 It would be humorous to write a successful book and for my old English teachers to find out about it. That is almost inspiration enough to have a go at it.

          • Many times the stuff I type here doesn’t get across in a humourous way, I’m so sorry!!! Forgive me! (the proof-read was me attempting a joke).

            I adore this blog and the best part is that you DO reply/respond and HELP me, and others!!!! 🙂 Thank you!

            I’m in full agreement w/ Jo & Dizzy, the ‘inadvertent “funnies”‘ are a hoot!!!

            • Think nothing of it Annabelle, I thought you were funny. If you want me to remove the comment though I will if it makes you feel better. Most of my errors are clearly typos and I can live with that, were I to write there or their instead of they’re I would be annoyed with myself. To be honest half the time I don’t even proof read because I am in such a hurry, naughty, naughty!

  8. I am actually almost done with decluttering! I do have to say it is an on going process, as I have a daughter still in school, so as her interest change & growing out of clothes, there will be all that to keep going through. We don’t live a total minimal lifestyle, but we don’t have a house full of stuff either collecting dust. I have only 3 rubbermaid totes that hold pictures, family hand-me-downs, and the sort. But I go through those yearly.
    For the mini missions this week, it will be to use stuff up:pantry items, shampoos & the sort.

    • Well done daisy. When there are kids still in the household the maintenance decluttering goes on and on. I am just glad that they tend to change less as they get older and my son is 20. He does have university stuff that comes and goes but he tends to keep on top of that without much coaxing from me.

  9. I’m just ‘dripping’ in to say that Monday-Mini-Mission is accomplished! The re-linquished item is in the ‘bucket’ to go to the thrift store (I’ll drop it off this afternoon, with the rest of the contents from last week that have been waiting in the ‘bucket’ to be ‘kicked’ out of the house…).

    Ok, I’m gonna ‘drip’ on outta here until tomorrow!!! 🙂 Y’all have yur-sefs a gooooood day now ya hear! 🙂

    • Cheeky cow, 😆 Just for that you have to do an extra mission this week, something awful that you have been avoiding dealing with. You can figure out what that is for yourself but it had better be nasty and I want to hear all about it when you are done. XXOO

  10. I am so impressed with how you have expanded the 3 R’s to include SEVEN Re’s, Colleen. They are more detailed and give me new things to think about. I especially love to repurpose things, for some reason – this kind of creativity is very satisfying – so I enjoyed seeing your cork board!

  11. Hi Colleen

    and don’t forget Revisit! Revisit all of the above OFTEN, I’m on to Sunday and it’s only Tuesday hahaha. I think I could do this till Christmas!
    Also just a note on re-using containers, our local Chinese does it and so does the butcher and baker at my local shops. I take in my own Tupperware containers when I shop and the Butcher puts my meat etc straight in after weighing, it’s great and it either goes straight in my freezer or gets used that night. As for the Bakery I take along my bread holder and have it put straight in. I also manage to get the Greengrocer to do the same with soft fruits and berries and I have a calico bag for my veges. I love being able to Re-fuse plastic packaging of any kind.
    I feel like my Nanna when I shop LOL!!!

    • I tried taking a container to my butchers one day but he didn’t have scales that could zero out so he had to put the meat on a plastic bag to weigh it anyway which defeated the whole purpose of the exercise. I take a little light mesh bag for small items to my green grocer and am quite happy to pay for the weight of the bag because it is so light. I do need to work out the bakery thing though.

  12. Wednesday mission, the refurbishing, was done already in October.
    I performed a face-lift for our small shower room.
    We have some plans for a larger reno, but in the meanwhile, the small painting, etc. is satisfactory. You can ( if you wish ) visit my blog ( ) and see the result from the later October posts ( can´t remember the date ).

    Thursday mission, repurposing, is something I actually perform all the time. My stuff is on a constant move. Today I might use my tea light pot for it´s original use, next day it may serve as a toothpick holder, etc..

    • Hi Metscan,
      well done with the temporary refurbish on the shower room. It is best to leave the big reno until you are good and ready and have the time and patience to do it right.

      Repurposing is a great way to get full use out of your items isn’t it.

  13. Friday. reinstate. Impossible, because there is nothing extra lying anywhere ( my stuff ).
    And I can´t do this to other family members stuff ( ;

    Saturday, I plan to this with two small objects, which are lovely, but I can live without them. And I know the address, I will send them to!
    I already have regifted all the things I have not liked.

    • Good for you mescan, you must really stay on top of the items coming and going in your home. I thank you also for mentioning my blog at your blog and I hope through that you manage to get more people on the declutter and responsible consumerism path.

  14. Sunday, refuse. When buying something, I usually refuse in accepting the plastic bag offered. I carry a big handbag, which has room for small purchases. In it a nylon bag for larger items. I also use the nylon bag to slip my leather bag in, if it starts raining.
    Lately, however, I have a s k e d for free samples on day/night creams I normally use, as I have wished to experiment how long I can survive with them, without buying my usual sizes, the expensive ones. However, I refuse to accept free examples of makeup stuff ( or anything else ), I have no intention of using.

    • I am sure that for every person refusing shopping bags makes a marked difference to the amount of plastic going to landfill. I know myself that grocery shopping alone would bring about a dozen bags into my home per week were it not for the fact that I use reusable bags. Multiply that by everyone that shops at the same grocery store as me and what a saving. Should everyone conform to the idea of using reusable bags and what an amazing amount of plastic would not need to be reduced. I have also cut right back on cling film, freezer bags and don’t use plastic bags for fruit & vegetable when shopping either. One person can make a difference but a population of people could achieve immense things. And if everyone would cut back on what they buy in the first place there may be some chance of saving the planet.

  15. Grace from Brazil

    I also really loved this week’s missions. I even wrote them in on my calendar so I would not forget. It was like making a ‘to-do’ list. Once noted I became more aware of what I wanted to accomplish. Some things that had been hanging around finally got out of the door. I was given a gift on Saturday for doing some speaking and I was able to re-gift that right away to someone who really loved the item. I am not sure if I did everything on the days required or did all those things but it really helped to remind me about passing things on and being more conscious/responsible about the things I own. I look forward to this week’s missions as well. It promises to be a good week of releasing and freeing ourselves of stuff one day at a time.

    Oh, on the packaging dilemma. I realized that I often make small purchases and don’t have my large re-usable bags with me. But I discovered that I had a small tote bag that folds up compactly and I can stick that in my purse and have it handy. I don’t know why I did not think of it sooner. Thanks for helping me eventually wake up to the many possibilities that lie in my reach.

    • Hi Grace,
      I am glad you enjoyed to mini missions, if you liked last weeks I am sure you are going to enjoy this weeks too. Well done with the re-gifting.

      I am glad you have found a solution to refusing packaging. I have been doing this for some time now and every time I pull out that little bag I feel very pleased with myself. I can’t imagine how many bags I have already refused. If by some strange coincidence the tote is not with me I carry the item without a bag to teach me to be more organised next time. A little self imposed penance goes a long way.

  16. Of the handful of blogs I read, you are one of the few (only?) that responds to >95% of the comments. Amazing!
    We are currently in Italy because of hubby’s job. Italian laws state that if plastic bags are to be made available at the shops, they MUST be re-cycleable. Our commissary wasn’t using those, so they went months ago with no hopes of replacing them with the bio-degradable ones. So, it’s bring your own (the best) or paper bags….or go without. A lot of the workers tend to buy a sandwich and drink, so they rarely used one anyway 🙂 I have tons of the bags in the boot….one stack for on-base, one for local shops. No worry about those horrid paper bags splitting and your groceries going bouncing down the stairs. *shudder I tend to leave the empties by the front door, so I can grab them on my way out…less fuss. 🙂