Mini Mission Monday ~ Time for another category declutter

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.

I love to throw in a good old clutter category set of  missions every now an again to get you thinking about what sort of clutter you have. So this week we will declutter something from each of the clutter categories I refer to on a regular. Declutter at least one item per category.

Monday – A Sentimental item. This is self explanatory really it is an item you feel personally attached to or at least once did.

Tuesday – A Guilt item. Something you feel guilty about acquiring in the first place.

Wednesday – An Aspirational item. Something you aspire to getting around to using or trying one day.

Thursday – An Obligation item ~ Something you only keep because you feel you should. Often something someone else gave you.

Friday – A Lazy clutter item ~ No attachment you just haven’t got around to getting rid of it.

Saturday – A Natural Progression item ~ Something that no longer fits, physically or intelectually or has simply been used up or worn out.

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

 On rainy days park your car outside and let nature wash it for you.

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. When I first read your missions for the week, I thought of nothing in particular fitted any of those categories. Lucky I re read it. Then looked up at the kitchen cupboards. A little red and white salt shaker caught my eye. It was a ‘visually pleasing ‘ purchase I made a while back, but the pepper shaker has broken, so it really has no practical use . Out it goes.
    I think my wardrobe can assist in finding the aspirational items to remove.
    I really want to shampoo the carpets today, but the weather is a bit wet. Getting the carpets done will initiate a bit of lost momentum around the house, can I hold off until it is a bit dryer?

  2. Hum! Gotta think on these. I know there much be something I can find in each of these categories.

  3. These are perfect for me as I am tackling ceiling storage. I have reached a point where I need Adrian to get involved with the decision making and we’re facing all of the above issues at the moment. Just when we thought we’d made a decision on our fold out beds, his best friend turned up and put his two cents worth in and now we’re back to square one on those. Rolling my eyes.

    I’m also trying to do a bit of work in my hall cupboard – this used to be an avalanche zone once upon a time, but it has got a little bit untidy lately and won’t take long to straighten but a nice cull is overdue. I think that there are some items that life in the ceiling storage that could/should live in more accessible areas such as this cupboard but I don’t want it to end up looking over crammed, so this is also in progress.

    • Hi Moni. What was Adrian’s friend advice? I shall not give any advice on shared decisions with one’s husband because I am lousy at it myself… (Conversation: Me “Honey, can I declutter this?” Him “What?” Me “This things that has been bothering me…” Him “But I might use it…” Me “When? Now? Why keep it? Can I let it go?” Him “But it is mine…” Me “Soooo….you are not using it!” Him “Fine, declutter it. You will not let me keep it anyway…”) 😀
      I apply pressure and browbeating to get my way. Don’t do this at home kids! 😀 Take a deep breath and declutter what you have already decided on…Good luck!

      • Andreia – we are sooooo cut from the same cloth! OK, here goes.

        We bought these fold out beds about 7 years ago and the kids were a lot smaller. We have good friends who come to stay who also have 3 kids, my daughter gives up her room with double bed for the parents and we set up these for the kids scattered around the house ie in with my other kids or if they felt like a slumber party, all in the lounge etc.

        Here is a recent ad for what one of these looks like:
        http://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/red/catalog/product/Hampton-Folding-Spring-Bed?SKU=1090063

        The ‘sale’ price shown, well, these are often discounted to this price ie they have been a regular sale item, in fact I think I paid $45 per bed back in the day.

        Anyway. These beds are set up on a zig zag wire arrangement with these metal clips that hold them together. Without these little metal clips an adult size body ends up fall thru, which happened a lot the last time they were used as the majority of these clips have been lost. We could use cable ties to repair BUT aside from the missing clips, the kids are now adult size people and find these uncomfortable. Their weight squashes the thin mattress onto the zig zag wire arrangement that the mattress sits on.

        We talked about getting thicker mattresses for these, but we only have this situation maybe 3 or 4 times a year and as their eldest is 19 and my eldest is 18 and their next one down is 17 it is inevitable that the older kids are going to go their own way sooner or later and I will be left with yet more mattresses!

        We also have a fold out couch, but it isn’t very comfortable, once again a thin mattress with adult weight pushing down onto the wire frame, but this option is more convenient than manhandling the fold out beds down from the ceiling last thing at night. (no matter how much I remind Adrian in the days leading up to visitors arriving, he won’t get them down in advance).

        I feel that it is time to go the way of an air bed mattress as it would fold down nicely and are an acceptable form of temporary bedding for a young adult. Adrian is in agreement because he borrowed a friend’s recently for a camping and fishing trip and it is what he’d like to use for future trips.

        So what’s the problem?

        Well, we could freecycle but we’ve had a couple of not-quite-so-positive freecycle experiences lately. I still believe in the idea but would like a short break from that community, just for now. I have met a lot of lovely, grateful people thru freecycle, but over the last two weeks it wasn’t quite so grand.

        My husband’s friend thinks we should be putting them on trademe and getting a bit of money for them. As you can see they are not very expensive new and this store has stores in every city, town and major suburb. All trademe-ing falls to me to do, so its the work for very little in return scenario. On the other hand, once gone, always gone.

        If I put them on freecycle, they would be gone in a short time, if I put them on trademe I’d have to have the four of these sitting in the garage during the process (they were all bought down on the weekend for a unplanned sleepover, all the girls opted to sleep on the mattress on the floor rather than the mattress on the fold out bed), so I don’t really want to drag them back upstairs again. I have taken this as a sign. OK, so I’m being a little bit liberal in what I see as a sign something should go but at least they are a little bit closer to the garage door, that’s got to be a good thing, right?

        The problem is that Adrian now thinks we should be getting some money for them – I understand his reasoning – but he seems to have a very optimistic idea of what we would actually get for them. I think there was a Friday Favourites on this very thing a few weeks ago – people seem to inflate the value of what something is worth because of their personal financial/emotional investment in it.

        I’m umming and aahing on which way to go – if I said freecycle, Adrian would probably go along with it, but I don’t want him to bring it up again at a later time. Do you think I should just list on trademe and see what happens and if they don’t sell THEN freecycle or find someone or some organisation that could benefit from them?

        • Yes, you already said it: try selling, maybe lower the Price After a while and if they still don’t sell fot super cheap Adrian will Feel much better about giving them away for free. I was going to use this “Trick” on items that belong(ed) to my boyfriend – but they surprisingly all sold. The wardrobe wollne picked up today! I’m so excited because it is such a Space Waster since we caved in and bought a bigger one about 6months ago. Bad Thing: now He apparently Thinks I can sell everything for good Money … which I honestly can’t. And the whole wardrobe Thing was very Time consuming (months! Several listings in different places, e-Mails and phone calls of people a Pick-up almost a month later) I just did that to have the Thing gone! I freecycled (curb side

        • Adrian sounds like Mom. this thing about getting money for something. To me it’s better to just get rid of it rather than have to deal with the hassles of a Trademe like process. I think you need to decide which hassle is the worst–that of dealing with Trademe or dealing with Adrian bringing it up later.

          • Deb J – usually it doesn’t bother him but I think because to him they are still a working solution (ie with cable ties and repairs) but I have to keep reminding him that these just aren’t a working solution for our size kids. Maybe I should get him to sleep on one…….

            A friend has recently bought this airbed – it is the rolls royce of air beds and cost probably the price of an entry level double bed, it self-inflates and deflates within minutes, stands as high as a regular bed, has a built in headboard etc, and what is more you wouldn’t know it was an air bed to lie on it. It is even constructed so that it looks like a mattress sitting on a base, ie it dips in so a fitted sheet fits onto it nicely.

            I initially couldn’t see the benefit of spending that much on an air bed but her spare room is actually where her husband works from home. When they are expecting visitors (and they are heading towards the more senior end of age range) they move the desk and set up this airbed and once they have decked it all out, you’d never guess it was an air bed.

            My friend agrees that although it was an expensive option as far as airbeds go, and she could have spent the same money on a guest bed, this option meant that they were able to stay in their two bedroom home rather than upsizing to a three bedroom home to accommodate guests one weekend every month.

            Adrian’s friend is a very frugal man and wouldn’t dream of giving something away – having said that, he is very generous in other areas – BUT I have pointed out to Adrian that our house is much further along in the decluttering stakes. Who know’s? Maybe what we’ll yield from these fold out beds, as little as it may be, might cover the cost of the air bed.

          • Moni, I have seen those airbeds you are talking about. They are very nice. I like that they can be setup and taken down easily and stored out of the way. If we had more visitors I might go that way but since we only have one visitor and she comes once a year we have no need for it. I hope you are able to sell those beds you have for enough to get you one of the air beds. Sure would be a good trade.

        • Hi Moni! I have air matress. They cost half the price of these folding beds you are thinking of decluttering and are really easy to store. You have to inflate them with a device, but it is also easily stored. I have 2 of those and it is really useful when guests come along.

  4. Great mini missions this week. You have given us all much to think about. I think that I am already ahead on the natural progression item for Saturday. For whatever reason lately, I have had to get rid of a few items because they have just simply worn out or past the point of being repairable.

  5. Ooohhhh I think I may be able to do the lot TODAY!!!! Sentimental – sent a lovely but totally useless bad vase to a neighbour that can put it to better use. It was bought for me years ago by a friend who has since been de-cluttered haha no sense in remembering anything there, off it goes. Guilt – oh dear that would be a very pretty top but it is the most horrendous material so ermm oops wasted money but I’m sure someone will love it. Aspirational – 3 little scrapbooks that I just lost the desire to make – someone will love them. Obligation clutter – does the whitegoods I’ve been babysitting count. If not then I’m getting rid of a magazine holder that I got given. Totally ugly, but kinda useful, BUT I do not have magazines or papers in quantities that require a holder – off with it I say!!! Lazy clutter – 2 prs of earrings that I just haven’t taken with me to my friends house when I have gone there. Today she will have 2prs of earrings to wear which she loves and in turn she will get rid of 2 boxes of junk. (that was our deal LOL) better go to her house today!! Natural Progression, that can be a pr of my sons tapshoes, he’s been dragging it out to try and get through comps but you just can’t stop a growth spurt!!! They will go to bin as they are totally trashy, only the paint is holding them together I fear!!!

    I think I have done pretty good here. I will be tackling my filing cabinet and various other things that I ‘haven’t been seeing cos it’s right in front of me’, have a taker for over 50 books. (my shelves are getting bare -er!!) Still trying to make DVD’s that we want to keep more manageable, getting there and I shall cull again from my Scrapbook Stash as I have a young Mum neighbour who really wants to do it but is limited on funds. I have invited her over for coffee and a free pick through all the baby scrapbook stuff I have. I think I’ll be able to offload quite a bit, as she is very keen to have it and I am real keen to pass it on WIN WIN YAY FOR ME!!! Hahahaha.

    As I’m still going through everything, I keep finding more and more, is anyone else experiencing this phenomenon? I really thought I had it all done but I have unearthed so much more, it was packed in plain sight, in pretty boxes hahaha. I’ve been keeping a photo log of most ‘STUFF’ I shall shock you all later!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Dizzy – you are a machine! You sound like a woman on a mission! I know what you mean about dead tap shoes. My husband recently questioned just why tap shoes needed replacing. He’d only really seen them fresh of the box when they look sturdy (and expensive) but oh the brutal lives they lead.

      • Hahaha Moni, between my son and I we have brutalised many a pr of taps. Sad thing is though, his just die, they get used so well they just about fall apart, so no one else can get a use out of them. At least he uses them up and not grow out of them as much these days. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Dizzy – one of my daughters, we don’t know what it is about her but we find we have to take her tap shoes in for ‘surgery’ within a few months and have the heel moved back a bit otherwise the back of the shoe ie the part covering the back of the heel begins to slowly collapse. No one else has ever had this problem so we figure its her.

    • Dizzy, it sounds like you are on a mission and completing it quickly and efficiently. I know what you mean about thinking you are getting there and then finding more. I’m determined to get all this scrapbook stuff out of here so have been working on card fronts again. Once I have all the stuff turned into card fronts then I will have a bunch more empty drawers. Love the idea of that.

      • Hi Deb J,
        It seems the more I get rid of the more I find. After clearing the obvious ‘Stuff’ I’m starting to find more ‘nicely packed up in boxes’ Stuff!!! It can all go one way or another because, if I haven’t gone into the box to use something, then obviously I don’t need to have it in the box, in my house, anymore. Someone else can make use of it. As I empty the pretty boxes I am stacking them up. I’m sure they will go to another home for someone to utilise a little better than I have!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Dizzy, you are so right. I think we have gotten all of the hidden things gone and then Mom pulls out something else.

  6. Oh well…I have a old leather jacket that belonged to my grandfather. He was a thin man and I did used the jacket, but it is old, really worn out and kind of ugly, and I am not using it anymore. It is time to let go, but it does have a sentimental value. That is why it escaped decluttering so far. There is a guilt item in my wardrobe, but I have decided to give it another go. Hey Dizzy, I know what you mean. Even though I still have major decluttering to do, I, sometimes, go over areas I have already decluttered and end up decluttering items I had not considered before. It is an ongoing project and challenge. 😉

    • Andreia – I find that every time I re-visit an area there is something else that needs to go. Sometimes it is an item which has been returned to that area since the last cull, sometimes the median line of what stays and what goes has shifted. I think that getting rid of the jetsom and flotsom around these items can also bring them into focus and we see them for that they actually are. There have been times when I’ve opened a cupboard and seen something there yet again and something has switched inside me and I’m ticked off with that item for still being there, when once upon a time I would have been adamant that it was staying.

      • Hi Moni,

        I’m finding so much more as I dig. The garage once again became a holding ground again, but that is gradually shifting too. I have started dropping off bags of Stuff in the Salvo Bin on a daily basis now. I have to pass it at least twice a day for 1 week a month so I plan my trip to take whatever I have weeded out. I really think I’m starting to see the Wood for the trees!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Dizzy – some days I wish I could just do a ‘Bewitched’ and wiggle my nose and things just disappear. Wouldn’t that be easy!

    • Hi Andreia,

      The more I seek, the more I find. The more I get rid of, the more I have to get rid of!!! My de-cluttering is like a Sara Lee Pastry, Layer upon Layer upon Layer hahahaha!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. I’m a little hesistant about a few books lately. They’re children’s books from my own childhood. Very good, much loved and often re-read books. (also re-read as a young adult, that’s how much I like them) However, although I’ve had them with me for the last couple of years I feel I can’t really give them away as both my Mom and my siblings have loved them (and probably still love them) as well. I think of bringing them back to my old room in my Mom’s house. This said, she doesn’t really use this room anyway, as it’s an oddly shaped room that is rather surplus in the house. It’s more or less still “my” room in that I sleep there when I visit and there are still a couple of decorations left from when I lived there. There are also books of my Mom and a couple of books I left when I moved out. I think, I’ll just bring those good children’s books back to the “family library” and instead remove the leftovers of my move out as those are the not-so-good books.

    I feel kind of weird, cluttering up that room again, but then I think in that case that’s what my Mom would do as well (I’ll ask her of course).

    • Sanna – I think that is the best solution. I have a small box of books from my childhood that I won’t be getting rid of and likewise my older daughter has a small box of books that she wants kept for her (much in the future) children.

    • Sanna, I so get you on the children’s books! As hard as I am trying not to clutter up my kid’s future I kept three Medium sized boxes of stuff, mainly Books. The Classics (Lindgren, preussler etc.), the Little Vampire-Series and some out of Print favourites. I think later (After her use) I’ll only keep a few sentimental out of print ones since the Classics will always Be available. But I like the idea that she’ll maybe Read from the same pages As I did just As I Found it Magic to have some Books and toys my mum had As a Child. I guess I have been sentimental from Early on 😉

      • Yes, somehow children’s books hold another magic than the ones you read when grown up. I don’t know how to put it.
        Maybe it’s because when I read them, I was still believing in magic, so that books open into another world felt quite literally so and the remembrance of this magic of fictional adventures still remains and is connected to that physical object.

        • I am glad though that I also read much from the Library when I was Little. Otherwise the amount of Books would Be overwhelming. it’s nice to have your own Books As a Kid because you Read them over and over but it is also good to go to the Library and have hundteds of Books to Pick from. I Hope we’ll Be near a good Library once the Kid reaches The Age for Books.

    • Oh I hear ya loud and clear on this one. I have kept ‘Binkle & Flip’ , The naughtiest girl in school and the Adventurous Four. I daresay they will go as soon as a child takes a shine to them!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. Reading up on various decluttering sites this weekend, I became increasingly anxious that I wasn’t making money out of my excess “stuff”. I gave this some serious thought and came to the following conclusion. Why should a middle-man make money out of my stuff? On-line agencies take a cut. Second-hand dress agencies take a cut. Etc.,etc. Private businesses would be making money out of my stuff and probably ripping me off in the process for their own personal gain. So I have decided I am just giving it all away to charity then ALL profits go to that organisation for their much needed funds and there are so many to choose from. A different one for each bag! My anxiety lifted as soon as I had made this decision. The worry of selling stuff has gone but the pleasure of giving has taken it’s place.

    • Hi Jan, I understand where you are coming from. I have to be really invested in the idea of recouping money on something before I will bother to go to the trouble of selling it. I would say that at least 80% of my stuff has been donated. It feels good to donate plus it is a lot less hassle. The things I do sell vary in reasons why I insist on selling them but if at first I don’t succeed I have to be really really keen to try again.

    • Jan Cooper, I get where you are coming from. I did the same thing.

  9. I’ll have to think about the guilty item a bit. It probably is one of my trombones! I have always justified having them since they are work tools, but one is enough. Sigh…

    • Hi Tony,
      I think I’d keep the Trombone (at least you can make music on it and entertain) and find something useless to get rid of. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Tony – I’m with Dizzy on this, find something else to get rid of.

  10. I’m at work so I’m on lunch thinking about what items fit this week’s missions.

    Monday – A Sentimental item. Funny, I brought such a thing to work today to give a co-worker who is getting married next year. We had some wedding themed paper that I used to print ‘nuptual newsletters’ to my bridal party on. Well, my bridal party was only 5 people so let’s just say there were some left overs from the wedding paper pack of 80 sheets! Even though I knew I wasn’t going to use the left overs it took a little time for me to be ready to get rid of the extras. I’m ready now though and passed the paper to him.

    Tuesday – A Guilt item. Oh boy, I have a few pairs of shoes that fit this bill. Why did I think I could walk in 4 inch heels? LOL. I’m 5’10 why did I think I needed 4 inch heels???? Lol. Oh well. Wasted money but a lesson learned. I’m much more comfy in flats for work and sneakers for everything else!

    Wednesday – An Aspirational item. I’m sure my recipe box can serve up an item to fit this category! It’s packed and I need to toss those recipes that truly never will be tried.

    Thursday – An Obligation item. Easy. We just received two postcards from relatives who went on vacation. We read them, displayed them for a few days, and I think by Thursday it’s safe to recycle them.

    Friday – A Lazy clutter item ~ No attachment you just haven’t got around to getting rid of it. Wow, that’s the bulk of my clutter. Not that I’m lazy, there’s just only so many hours in a day! 🙂 My small bookcase that holds ‘stuff’ from when I was in grad school is probably where I should go to fit this category. I’ve been dreading tackling this bookcase. It’s smaller than the one that I completed a little while back, but it’s filled with papers to be sorted through one at a dreadful time. NOT FUN! I’ll be glad when I finally get that one wrapped up. It’d be nice to be able to get rid of the case completely, but I have a lot of hours of work ahead of me before I get to that point on this one.

    Saturday – A Natural Progression item. Hmm, I’ll have to keep thinking on this one. Nothing new comes to mind. We just got rid of tons and tons of stuff and I’m not sure I have anything left that fits this category. Everything I think of that fits this category just got donated yesterday. If I can’t think of anything for this one, I’ll just re-visit Friday’s category as I could keep going on that one for a long long time! 🙂

    • Hey Melissa way to go!!!
      My niece is 6′ and loves wearing heels, and her name is Melissa so maybe the shoe heel thing goes with height, hahaha I keep telling her she won’t have far to fall if she wears flats!!! I am proud of her just lately though, after some gentle persuasion, I helped her clear a huge space in her wardrobe. Lots of clothes and shoes have left her building.!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Way to go for you too!!! Not only are you whooping up on your own clutter, but now you’re helping your niece too! That’s awesome. I know some people dread clearing their closet clutter. This one doesn’t bother me. It’s the papers. Ugh. I can think of about 10,000 things I’d rather be doing than sorting through paper clutter. Even a root canal sounds like more fun! lol.