Mini Mission Monday ~ Things you may still have more of than you need

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.

This week the mini missions are all about reassessing items you own in multiples. Items you have decreased in numbers previously but now feel you can reduce even more. I find, as I get more ruthless with my decluttering, I revisit areas again and again and reduce more and more the quantity of these items. This can be especially so for items that inhabit more than one place in the house. Even if I use each of these individual items I realise that I can manage with less and declutter the ones I am less enamoured with.

Monday – Sanna commented last week on how many pairs of scissors she has in her home and she decluttered a few. This had me doing a roundup of my own scissors. I owned two more pairs than I thought I did, a total of ten pairs. I decided to declutter three pairs. Do a roundup of your scissors and if you have more than you need choose some to let go of. 

TuesdayShoes are another kind of item that need reassessing on, at least, a seasonal basis. Get all your shoes together and decide whether you really use or need them all. Declutter those you don’t.

WednesdayCDs and DVDs are another thing that we can tire of over time. Flick through your music and movie collections and decide whether they are all loved enough to keep. Sell or donate the excess.

Thursday – I know from experience that, when overstocked, one can lose sight of individual craft items that have been drowned among the masses. Quite often when you do unearth them they are no longer to your taste. Declutter any craft supplies that you, if you are honest with yourself, are unlikely to use.

Friday – I find that the stronger my desire to reduce my belongings becomes the less attachment I have to sentimental items. Assess what you have in the way of sentimental items and declutter those that no longer hold much attraction. Take into account whether you really need these items to remember the people, places and events.

Saturday – If you haven’t taken a look at your collection of books for a while now is as good a time as any. If you are inclined, reduce the number a little more. Question your sentimental attachment to books you have already read and aren’t likely to read again.

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

If you have mixer taps turn them to the hot setting while waiting for the hot water to come through. There is no point in wasting both hot and cold water during this wait.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


Continue reading with these posts:

  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Perishables 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 […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Perishables 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 […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Three months or longer 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 […]
About Colleen Madsen

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

Comments

  1. Scissors–I have two pair that need to be replaced as they are old, don’t cut well and were cheap so can’t be sharpened right. Shoes–only have 2 pair. They are both fairly new and fit well. CD’s & DVD’s—we have none. Love it. Craft items—just gave away 2 grocery bags full. Sentimental items–those are Mom’s and we are still working on that. Books–could use getting rid of some of those but again Mom wants to keep them. I will have to ask about that again.

    So this week I am going to S’s on Monday to help her with some more decluttering. That will make up for having nothing to get rid of here. Grin.

    • Good for you Deb J. And lucky S gets your services again this week.
      I found myself in my craft room weeding out a few books myself on the week end. I also listed two things on ebay and one is selling. I think your house may be far more decluttered than mine Deb.

      • I doubt mine is more decluttered. Just some areas. It’s funny. This morning our pastor preached on stewardship and talked about people thinking things would make them feel better. Mom poked me and said, “I bet you wish I would get that in my head.” I had a hard time not laughing right out loud.

        • Ha ha Deb, your mom has a sense of humour so it seems. My mother often used to make us laugh in church. The problem with that is the more you try to hold it in the the more force it burst out with.

          • You are right Colleen, more often than not you do burst out of you hold it in. Thankfully, the pastor said something funny right then and I could use that as a way to get my laugh out. My mother has a very droll sense of humor and she is good at saying things in church. Our row ends up with shoulders shaking often. The pastor’s wife sits right in front of us and hears it too and then gets the giggles. Jeff just looks at Mom with this look of “what did you say this time?” A couple of times he has just stopped and asked.

        • I had to look at the meaning in a google search, but when I discovered what “stewardship” is, I laughed out loud 😀 . Your Mom has a sense of humor. And I bet both your houses are far more decluttered then mine, but as I am having such good inspirations I will get there. 😉

          • Andreia, LOL is fine at home but try to contain it at church!! Yes, Mom does have a sense of humor. See my response to Colleen above.

        • Deb – I love your mum’s sense of humour. Stewardship – that is a good line of thinking.

    • Deb J – the best way to get rid of books is (in my opinion) one at a time. Makes less of a visual change/impact, and easy to let go of one, rather than viewing it as a library, and whatever it is that a library or bookcase means to an individual. And on that thought, I know just the books that I’m going to let go of today!

      • That is a good point Moni. This theory works for most decluttering. Choose an item here and there from a collection instead of contemplating losing the while collection. I guess this is pretty much what I did with my craft supplies. Slowly but surely whittling it down to a reasonable amount. I am still whittling as I evaluate what I really do or am likely to use.

      • In our case there is a row of about 50 small romantic suspense books that I would give away. They are all series of 4-6 books. I have read them enough times that I can explain each series in a short report. I think Mom should have read them enough by now for that too. I’m going to suggest again that we get rid of them. She said today that she has read everything we have again and will need to start going to the library.

        • I would milk that library idea for all it is worth and convince her she doesn’t need to store book when the library will do it for her.

          • Problem is that she has to GO to the library and these are right here at home. Sigh!! I’m trying to find a way to get the money to buy her a Kindle so she can share my library on the Amazon cloud.

        • One at a time Deb J. Or I would suggest choose one of the series (you mentioned 4-6 books) and say it is time for only this one to go. She will be more convinced about taking one series at a time. And a library is a nice place to keep geting new books 😀 .

        • Deb J – what if you took away just one set today? Would she notice?
          Question: are they yours, hers or both of yours?

          I had books I found it hard to let go of but they were too re-read to sell (as in they were going to a ‘good’ home) so I listed one set on Freecycle but was a little vague on the details, so only a true fan would recognise and request them. And it worked. I know it sounds a bit like I am giving away puppies or kittens, but I guess we all have our attachment item.

          • The books are ours. She would notice because she is an eagle eye. More than once I have found things she noticed and pulls out of MY stuff I’m getting rid of. I will just have to be as patient with this as I was with the other things.

  2. I had “inherited” a pile of unused greeting cards that my parents had accumulated over the years. Hundreds of them. Though they were fine in themselves, I found that I wasn’t using them like I thought I would. After a year of moving them from place to place…rummaging through to see if there was something I could use…not finding anything and putting the basket away…finally, I said “enough is enough” and pitched them all, without looking. Not looking is a key! 🙂

    • I agree Sinea Pies, sometimes it is easier to just cut your losses than to waste too much time sorting through things like that. I probably would have donated the cards to a charity though rather than just pitch them.

      I am glad you drew my attention to the greeting card issue because I don’t think I have ever included them in my mini missions. Probably time I did.

      • I had these two boxes of greeting cards, I bought them from a door-to-door sales person and they had dividing tabs for the different kind of cards. But I’m not really a card sender, my hand writing isn’t decorative enough. Last year I had them on my table with my other ‘to-go’ stuff and a friend asked if she could have them. She’s a nurse and her department likes to send cards when appropriate, and the pretty box with the divider tabs was ideal for them. It was a place it would never have occured to me that that could be a place that would benefit from greeting cards, but it is another option.

        • Moni, don’t you just love it when clutter finds a new home all by itself. And especially when it is a good home.

        • That’s what I like about many things we have lying around. You can usually find someone who really does have a use for it or take it to your local thrift shop. Another place that likes to have greeting cards is nursing homes and assisted living places. They put them out for the residents to use for their families when they can’t easily go get something.

    • For years now I get a calendar (as a present) that consists of landscape-photography on postcards. It’s a weekly calendar, so I get 52 landscape postcards a year. I use almost only those for all greeting cards I send (a snowy roof is christmassy enough for me, a flower is a nice birthday card), unless I feel like crafting some myself (I’m a rather minimalistic crafter, as I don’t do it often enough to stack, I don’t use stickers and such, but cut silhouettes or make some little origami flowers and glue them on or so).
      Still I donate a stack of those postcards to the thrift store every year.

  3. I have to say that the one mini mission I have to do, but I don’t want to to is the Tuesday one. Shoes are a problem for me. I like my shoes so much and I rotate most of them. And I keep regreting when I donate some…But I have far too many shoes! I will think about it. 😉

    • I would suggest Andréia that you allow natural progression decluttering to take over. That is don’t buy and more or replace any when others wear out.

    • Hi Andreia,
      I don’t know which amount of shoes you’re talking about but I definitely am a shoe hoarder in comparison to most people around this blog (I could outfit a whole soccer team of Deb Js with shoes, including coach and extras, I’m afraid ;-)). I’m not fine with the number of shoes I own but I am coming to terms with them (and mainly manage to resist shoe shopping these days). Since rotating my shoes often I know I won’t use up many by wearing them out to the point where they need to be tossed in the near future. However I keep a close watch these days at the “I’m wearing them all”. I love them all. I WOULD wear all of them (after the first few declutterings of the easy ones that obviously did not fit well enough or were not really my style anymore). But the truth is: I don’t. I managed to let go of two pairs of very nice shoes lately by selling them via ebay (they were practically new and had been pricey) after knowing for a good year that though I loved them I preferred a similar (meaning the same kind: one booties and one boots) pair I had whenever I wanted to wear that kind of shoe. So I think the first step is not even letting go of shoes but looking very closely at the thinking of wearing ALL of them. Thus said I still have shoes that did not pass the test of really being worn often but that fit well, are loved and might replace the favourite pair of that kind once it wears out. Those get reassessed every couple of months though because sometimes the wearing out just doesn’t happen as quickly as I fear (favourite booties just went to the cobbler to have the heels redone (again!) so they’ll have another few good months with me). It’s a painstakingly slow process that I sometimes get annoyed with – but it works for me. And if I ever get below 20 pairs, I’ll consider myself a minimalist 😉 (well, maybe not really but it seems like a good longterm goal considering where I am coming from and where I am at right now)

      • Hi Ideealistin, your shoes probably don’t take up as much space as my craft supplies so who am I to judge. We all have our vices and I guess shoes is yours. If you enjoy them all then good for you.

      • Hi Ideealistin! I have that problem you are talking about: I like them all and don’t want to let go!!! The thing is I did not buy most of the shoes. I am friends with a reformed shopholic and her main source of enjoyment was buying… shoes. And such nice shoes! And when she went on another shopping spree (which would be quite often) she would bring lots and lots of new shoes to me. And I used most of them a lot, but there are still a lot. I have to acess them all, and when something is over the hill, discard. But I like them too much… 🙁

        • Andreia,
          the good thing with shoes is: once they are too worn out they hurt your feet. The fit just doesn’t stay the same over time so there naturally comes a point at which you voluntarily let go of a pair. So there’s hope for us 😉
          And of course not buying any (or at least not many) new shoes helps, too. I generously give myself another 3-5 years to reach my comfort zone when it comes to my number of shoes, which I anticipate to lie somewhere between 10 and 20 pairs.

    • Shoes… my problem with shoes is that I should bring some to the cobbler…
      I am rather fine with my amount of shoes though, I “need” (=wear and want to be able to wear) wellies, warm winter boots (2 rather warm pairs are better due to wet weather, but “winter boots” and “autumn boots” are just fine for that), good walking shoes, sandals or other very light summer shoes and a pair of “nice” shoes. I own more than 5 pairs, but I don’t own more than three pairs of each category (in some just 1). I will let natural progression take care of the rest.

    • I have a friend who has over 50 pair of shoes. She has a pair to go with every outfit almost. This was how she was raised–to have a complete outfit. She is struggling with this too. I told her the same thing Colleen told you. She is still struggling. For me it was my scrapbook stuff and books. Each of us has an area that we struggle with. The first step is recognizing it is a place of struggle. That’s huge in my eyes.

  4. I’m feeling pretty good today. A friend suggested we go to a used book store on Saturday because she was cleaning her library and had a ton of books to donate. Well, I had been trying to decide if I should give away some Danielle Steele books that were gifts from my sister. I used to like her style of writing but recently, just couldn’t seem to get into them. I asked friends if they wanted them, but no one did. So, I took them to the book store. They paid my $5.62 for 6 of them and returned 3 of them to me. My library here will be glad for the donation since they are new, hard bound books. I got a little money to spend (store credit only) and purchased a couple of books in a series I am reading. Then, I can take them back next time we go and recycle them again.
    As for shoes, I only wear sneakers or sandals with the flip-flop style due to some foot problems. I do have a navy and black pair of dressy shoes in case we go somewhere extra special. I always take my sneakers and change my shoes after I have been at the event for a while. (Go in looking great – change later). Last summer at the beach, I found a sale on the sandals for $7 / pair. I bought a pair and when I got home realized how much I loved them. I called to order more in different colors. Well, they had gone down in price to $5 each. I gave a pair to my daughter and a pair to my sister. Both of whom loved them and I kept the extra pairs for myself. Now I don’t have to look for sandals for a few years. And they are nice enough to wear with skirts in the summer to work. A bargain all around. Yes, I know I brought more things in but I won’t have to buy them again.
    As for craft supplies, I purchased quite a lot of Aida cloth for anticipated projects that never got done. My sister mentioned that her daughter loves to cross-stitch and never bought kits, just patterns. Guess where all my Aida cloth will go? I have been boxing up cross stitch projects for a while. I just need to find out where to donate them.
    You must have been reading my mind, Colleen, because this week’s mini missions are just what I am working on.

    • Well done with getting rid of those books. Did you get $5.62 in total or each. If that was the total I would be inclined to donate them to the library in future and borrow what you want to read from there also. One thing is for sure they don’t become clutter in your home that way. Mind you I say that but I have a pile of seven book cluttering up my house at the moment. Two are going back to the library today, one I am reading and another I will have to log in and extend the return date. Two other were secondhand and will be donated back to the thrift shop once read and one belongs to my husband . I feel the pressure of all those book waiting to be read and in future I will only source one book at a time. Which brings me to your sandal shopping…

      I love a bargain, when it is something that I need, as much as the next person. However I have learned over time that although this seems to make economical sense it isn’t always wise. All manner of situations can change over several years that turn ab bargain into clutter. I have decluttered a lot of perfectly good bargains in the last three years for sure.

      I hope your sister gets good use out of the Aida cloth. As you can clearly see the purchase of this cloth also seemed a good idea at the time which reinforces my previous point about the sandals.

      Sorry if I am sounding a little preachy here but I can assure you I am only speaking from experience. I have a tonne of scrapbooking supplies that were both a creative temptation and a bargain sitting in drawers in my craft room. With that thought I think I might do a little more decluttering in that area this week. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Well done with getting rid of those books. Did you get $5.62 in total or each? If that was the total I would be inclined to donate them to the library in future and borrow what you want to read from there also. One thing is for sure they don’t become clutter in your home that way. Mind you I say that but I have a pile of seven books cluttering up my house at the moment. Two are going back to the library today, one I am reading and another I will have to log in and extend the return date. Two other were secondhand and will be donated back to the thrift shop once read and one belongs to my husband . I feel the pressure of all those books waiting to be read and in future I will only source one book at a time. Which brings me to your sandal shopping…

      I love a bargain, when it is something that I need, as much as the next person. However I have learned over time that although this seems to make economical sense it isn’t always wise. All manner of situations can change over several years that turn a bargain into clutter. I have decluttered a lot of perfectly good bargains in the last three years for sure.

      I hope your sister gets good use out of the Aida cloth. As you can clearly see the purchase of this cloth also seemed a good idea at the time which reinforces my previous point about the sandals.

      Sorry if I am sounding a little preachy here but I can assure you I am only speaking from experience. I have a tonne of scrapbooking supplies that were both a creative temptation and a bargain sitting in drawers in my craft room. With that thought I think I might do a little more decluttering in that area this week. Thank you for the inspiration.

  5. Great mini missions this week. I have some kid scissors that need to go, I will have to round those up. I do have some summer shoes, flip flops specifically, that I need to let go of. I am already culling through my books. I am still trying to read through them, but I know that there are some that I will never read. Those tended to be reference material which can be found on the internet. I have definitely not kept any on the chance that I would read them again. I know that will likely not happen, so they were let go long ago. I like Friday’s mini mission because I have found that really resonates with me. As I have been in this process, my attachment lessens everyday to sentimental things. That has really been one of the biggest things that I have gained through this process. It is so freeing.

  6. I got so tickled when I read this! I have 15 pairs of scissors. That’s just me, my youngest has 4 pairs of scissors. I guess I have another place I can declutter…the scissor box.

    • Hi Brittany, I have about eight pair of scissors myself, still. All of which get used often. However now that I think about it that does sound somewhat excessive. Perhaps I had better think about get rid of at least one pair.