Mini Mission Monday ~ What will be will be

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.

Since you all enjoyed the seven REs last week I thought I might follow it up with seven BEs this week. 

MondayBe realistic ~ Declutter an item of clothing today that no longer fits, is probably never coming back into fashion or really never suited you.

TuesdayBe courageous ~ Declutter and item that someone else gave you that you are only keeping out of fear they may notice it gone.

WednesdayBe generous ~ Donate something today that you are considering selling. It is quicker to donate anyway.

ThursdayBe impulsive ~ Declutter an item today that you have never really considered for decluttering before. Go on there is bound to be something you haven’t noticed that really is excess to your needs.

FridayBe decisive ~ Find an object you have been procrastinating over decluttering for some time and get it out of there.

SaturdayBe brave ~ Declutter an item that you are keeping because “you may need it some day”. Take a chance that someday will never come, lets face it, it hasn’t come for years already.

SundayBe inquisitive ~ Take a look in a place that you having paid any attention to for a while and declutter one of the items in there that you obviously care so little about.

And one more word of advice ~ Behave yourself in the future and be discerning about what you bring into your home because what doesn’t come in won’t become clutter later on.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

I am going to be realistic about the fact that I will probably never make anything out of the beads in this jar. They have been sitting around unused for a while and it is time I set them free to be loved by someone else. And time to set myself free from the aspirations of ever using them.

Jar of Beads

Something I Am Grateful For Today

For a lazy, relaxing Sunday yesterday. I did do a few things but mostly I took it easy.

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. Here’s a great list of places that accept donations. Found on the Miss Minamalist blog.
    http://www.missminimalist.com/2011/04/where-to-donate-your-stuff-101-places-your-clutter-can-do-good/
    That should help with Wednesday’s mission!

    • Thanks Amy, I will add that to this weeks Fave Five links. It is very American oriented though so it may not be as useful to my readers from Australia and other countries but it certainly give ideas on what sort of charities to look for.

    • just in case you are supporting it: the local “occupy” movement (we have a camp here in frankfurt now for over a month) need all sort of things. I will collect in a huge Ikea Bag stuff, like an old jacket and shoes that I dont wear anymore and bring it down to them. They can use whatever things you have, even office materials. I have stuff that I wont use for sure in the future. Win win for everyone 🙂

  2. I love your choice of words in your daily declutter item when you wrote “and time to set myself free from the aspirations of ever using them”. Last year, I sold off all my beading supplies, lamp working beading supplies, all my cross-stitch stuff & most of my sewing supplies as I knew deep down inside that those craft projects would never come to fruition. I rationalized for years that I would eventually get around to doing those crafts, but I was just beating those aspiration to fit.

    Deep down, I liked the thought of doing crafts. I loved doing crafts when I was a kid. I liked going to the craft stores & immersing myself in the potential. I liked buying all the little bits & pieces that I would need to do said craft & I even liked bringing it all home & organizing all the craft stuff in neat little bins & containers. But when it comes to actually sitting down & doing crafts …..well again, I liked the thought of doing crafts.

    Maybe the notion that I enjoyed doing crafts as a kid is what’s driving my craft aspirations as an adult. But then again, there were a lot of things I did as a kid that I don’t do now – like bedwetting, cramming raisins up my nose, building forts out of couch cushions, playing with Barbies, etc.

    When it came to parting with all my craft supplies – I took the bandaid approach. Get it over with quickly – just yank the bandaid off in one fell swoop. I grouped craft supplies by type, took photo’s, boxed them up for shipping & listed them on Ebay that very same day. I came up with a (realistic) price I was willing to settle for & listed the stuff not as an auction, but as a “Buy it Now”. Literally, ALL the craft supplies sold by the next day. Done. I freed myself from the aspirations of ever using them & I was utterly relieved.

    • Hi Jane,
      what a great comment, you nailed what craft is to a lot of people and I have had a similar conversations with my husband recently about finding something for him to do in his spare time. Loving the idea of some sort of project doesn’t necessarily mean you have the aptitude to actually do it. Sometimes you have to give it a go just to satisfy your curiosity. I think the key is to not get to deeply invested in it before the novelty of the idea wears off.

      For myself, I find I can pretty much do anything I put my mind to but then I get bored with it after a while. In the past I have usually surrounded myself with enough supplies to sind a battle ship better known as aspiration clutter. Live and learn I suppose and I have surely learned the error of my ways now.

    • I think I would still enjoy the couch cushion forts and even the Barbies wouldn’t be bad but the bedwetting and raisins up the nose I will happily live without. When I was young I stuck a little piece of foam in my ear from my mattress protector. Mum found out it was there when I had ear ache and had to go to the doctor. The silly things we do.

      • haha! You know, knowing me..i..f I built a couch cushion fort – I would have to add “declutter the fort” to my to do list!

        • Building forts, playing leggo and dolls, reading kids book, colouring in, drawing with pavement chalk, paper mache, making cereal necklaces and eating them and all those great things are why having your own kids is so much fun. Mine a grown up now and I miss all those fun things all over again. Maybe one day they will have kids of their own and I can play with them.

    • Jane,
      So you tried it with raisins – I did it with buttons! (I was five, with measles.)Sick in bed, I was allowed to play with Mother’s button box, and carefully graduated the sizes from tiny shoe buttons first, down to a coat button. It was only when I had started on the second nostril that I panicked and needed help. I still remember the performance, ending at the hospital, as the buttons were retrieved. She never let us play with her buttons after that!

    • “Immersing myself in the potential…” That phrase just jumped out at me. I think this is what I do with many things, especially books: I buy self-help books because I want to immerse myself in the potential of achieving all that they promise… and then I either never get around to reading them, or I read them but never act on their instructions. Afraid to try and fail, probably. Luxuriating in the potential is so much safer.

      • Hi Lori,
        I also read a lot of self-help stuff but mostly on the internet and although I don’t always act on it I certainly absorb the positive vibe that they exude. That in itself is a good thing I think. There is so much on the internet and in the books at the library that I don’t feel the need to buy books. Perhaps that is a good place to start, stop paying for the advice you can get for free but don’t give up seeking it. One day you just might stumble upon just the right advice for you that will change your life. And perhaps you might be taking tiny baby steps of improvement that you don’t even notice. Or perhaps you are already the beautiful person you are meant to be but you just haven’t come to that realisation yet. Contrary to popular belief being successful, creative, rich, powerful… isn’t all that matters in this world.

        I finished school at the end of year ten, I have never had what you would call a career or made lots of money but..
        I stayed home and raised my own children.
        Have been a great support to my husband and his career for over 24 years.
        Have been a great home maker and budgeter which has helped put us in the great financial position we are now in.
        I can put my hand to just about any task.
        I have been a good companion and support to many a friend over the years (Due to moving there have been quite a few)
        I spend my spare time helping others with my blog and other volunteer work.
        … and to me that accounts for a pretty good life lead. And yet I still have days where I am down on myself for not being “successful” and not contributing financially. What is success anyway?

        Stop and think about all the great things you have done and don’t sell yourself short.

  3. Oh Jane – don’t ever give up cramming raisins in your nose – you made me laugh… Can you imagine ER saying ‘excuse me, we have a mother here with raisins in her nose’?!

    Thank you Colleen – my room has been so calm this weekend, despite running a trivia night – largely due to decluttering. On Friday, I got the sling off, and got my laptop and an old printer to the e-wasters (they remake new computers), got a book posted off to a friend, an article in the paper to a cousin (and the rest of that paper in the bin). I even culled pages out of my ‘inspiration’ book (after I realised that keeping old for sale house ads wasn’t serving any purpose. They are sold. If I like how they look, and what to emulate something, well I can google when I’m looking for a craft/reno project, or just drive around if it’s the exteriors I’m thinking about).

    Thanks to you, I spent the weekend thinking ‘what else could I get rid of?’ I also ebayed a jacket that I finally got to spot cleaning. There’s also a dress (that was a gift) that I didn’t like (that’s why I didn’t buy it FRIEND, why’d you think you should buy it for me?!?!) I did wear it on Sat night, and didn’t like it. SO perhaps I’ve given it it’s dash… hmmm

  4. I like your series of “be’s” for the week, Colleen, and I like that you were able to free yourself from the aspiration of using the jar of beads.

    I’ve been trying to decide for months now, ever since I started doing more digital art, about whether or not to get rid of a bunch of my cut-and-paste style collage supplies. You wouldn’t believe the stacks and bags of paper I had.

    They were neatly organized, but kept getting in my way. That was one of the ways I knew it was time to let them go, and about a week or so ago, I put a whole lot of the paper “collage fodder” into the recycling bin.

    I just remind myself that if I ever want to make a cut-and-paste collage again, there is plenty of paper in the world. I can find something suitable. So far I haven’t felt the urge to do that though.

    Have a great week, everyone!

    • Well done Becky and a happy goodbye to that aspiration clutter. You are so right about the fact that if you let it go it can always be replaced but the likelihood is that it won’t. Once gone happily forgotten I find for the most part.

  5. I love this post every bit as much as last week’s with the RE’s. So much good advice here.

    May I also give the flip side of a declutter decision? – by which I mean, instead of decluttering my aspirational stuff, I’ve had an experience that tells me it’s not time yet. I have a lot of craft supplies, and earlier this year, I joined a craft group and set myself the goal to either use up a large part of my supplies by the end of this year or declutter them. Because of working more than expected, and health issues of a close relative, I have not had time to craft much, and I’ve had to face the fact that I do not have enough made to take part in the group sale this year. I am almost sick about it. It made me realize that my aspirations are worth waiting awhile longer for, and I’m working on decluttering OTHER things in my house for now. And that part is going quite well.

    • Hi Jo,
      your comment is the flip side to Jane’s comment and both of you are correct. Jane is ready to let go but you aren’t just yet and that is fine to. You are still working your way through other clutter in the meantime and will deal with your craft supplies when you are good and ready. I have just performed a little USE IT UP decluttering on my craft supplies while making Christmas cards. More about that next week.

  6. Colleen,
    I loved your re-s last week, and I love your be-s this week. But, oh, I wish you lived close enough that I could take your BEad jar – they are just what I need for the cords of the grocery (shopping) bags I am making (drawstring netting bags for vegetables, nuts, seeds, sweets, breads, etc.)! It seems they are the one sewing clutter item I don’t have.

    • Hi Ann, do you take the items out of the bag to be weighed because the bags with beads would add to the weight a little too much? The bags you discribes sound just like some bags that I have had here that came with our Rick Steve’s travel backpacks. I have never used them for packing and recently put one in my handbag for just the purpose you mention here.

      • I suppose it would make it heavier; no, they effectively weigh nothing at all; I’ll just keep tying a knot in the (very light) cord – I did that for the first lot. I use them all the time now, and haven’t collected a bag of any sort for ages now.

        • Hi Ann,
          are you making these bags for someone else because I thought you had bought some ONYA bags a while back. When you mentioned the ONYA bags that is when I got the idea to get out the bags I had. Every plastic bag not used by me feels like some sort of victory.

          • Hey, we’re on the same wavelength! That’s exactly how it feels. I did buy the ONYA bags ($25.00 a bag of 5), found they were exactly what I needed, looked at them and bought some curtain netting (for $10.00), enough to make heaps of them. I can use a few more, plus some longer ones for my bread loaves, and thought I’d make more for Christmas gifts for friends (and hopefully encourage them to skip the plastics). I also made some kiddy material ones to contain gifts in the Operation Christmas Child boxes. They looked good and should keep things together for the children.

  7. Thanks for the inspiration! I kind of did them all at once on my Sunday afternoon, instead of spreading them out over next week. It’s amazing, I’ve decluttered so much so many times before, and yet I was still able to come away with a trash bag 3/4 full of stuff to donate, not to mention the pile of stuff that could not be donated.

    • Hi Brooke and welcome to 365 Less things. Thank you for dropping in to say hello. Once upon a time I used decluttered but the stuff would build up again and then it would be back to square one but this time around it is very different. This time I have learned not only to let go but to not bring new stuff in. There will always be maintenance decluttering but for me that is a constant and not a job left for months and because these is so little coming in the maintenance is also minimal.

  8. Oh, I got so lucky on Tuesday’s mission. My problem is not keeping gifts for fear the giver will notice they’re gone. My problems is that in this small community I can’t unload those items at the rummage sales we hold without the giver seeing their less-than-appreciated item for sale. But, a new neighbor told me there will be a jumble sale at the nursing home where her mother lives — in another village — so she’s delighted to take my trinkets for the sale, and I’m pleased to have a face-saving way to get rid of them.

    • All good things come to those who wait. In other words, if you wait patiently the opportunity to unload your stuff, guilt free, will present itself. Well done Wendy.

  9. I have a pair of very expensive boots, which I managed to buy generously reduced. I have had them for a year now, just waiting for the ” right ” time to wear them. They have waited 4 seasons, are yet unworn.
    Seriously, what´s use for waiting? I have decided to sell them now. Hoping to get at least “something ” for them, in the form of cash.
    Can´t wait till Wednesday, to get rid of them, lol.
    I plan to take along 2-3 other pieces of clothing too.

    • Fashion is one of the most insidious forms for clutter. By nature it is designed to lure you into buying more and more wither you need it or not. I refuse to allow myself to be taken in by it like I did in the past. Now I only buy what I need when I need it and no more.

  10. I loved this post, Colleen. THIS is what I truly want my aspirations to be. I aspire to be realistic, courageous, generous, decisive, brave, and inquisitive. (I am impulsive enough already, thanks!) Better still, they don’t take up nearly the space that aspiring to be a quilter does!

    • Great comment Lori. I bet you are more realistic, courageous, generous, decisive, brave, and inquisitive than you give yourself credit for.

  11. Wow – great responses to a great post!

    Ann – you cracked me up about the buttons!

  12. At last! I’ve read through all the archives & am now up-to-date with everyone! And again, let me offer my thanks to Colleen, Cindy & all commenters, because you have kept my motivation high to continue decluttering the slow-and-steady way. You are inspirational, and also challenging, and the net result is that I keep moving ahead. And now, I will go look in my closet to see if I can Be Realistic, even though I think
    I’ve gotten pretty spare in the Clothes Department!

    • Well done Sumarie for ploughing through the entire archives. We are a team here as you have come to realise and we cheer each other on in the sport of decluttering. I am glad you have become part of the team. Good luck in the closet, I might go and take a look at mine and at least rearrange it for the new season. It was a hot a Hades here yesterday so I think it is time for the reshuffle and possibly throw out a few things that were getting shabby by then end of the last season.

      • Allright! Having accepted the mini-mission challenge,
        I found a scarf I can do without. Onward & upward!

        I like how you call it “the sport of decluttering” — it’s a secret
        (except for telling everybody here) how much PLEASURE I get
        from finishing off the last of some lotion or cleanser, and how
        exciting it feels to look in my closet & realize I actually DO
        wear everything there (pretty much), and it is very fun & easy
        to organize what is left of any corner I’ve decluttered.

        • Oh don’t worry Sumarie you are not on your own getting great pleasure from using things up. You are in good company here with that little not so secret pleasure. I finally used up a tube of hand cream recently and am almost through a bottle of body lotion but then guess what happened? A very thoughtful person who collected a Freecycle item from me gave a thank you gift of a tube of hand cream. Funny thing is that my fingernails have been growing beautifully ever since.

          • I think there must be some kind of cosmic principle in action concerning the idea that as soon as we (finally!) use something up, give something away, declutter some category — that more of same somehow appear. I guess nature abhors a vacuum, or something like that. Anyway, this seems to happen to me all the time; fortunately we on this site are learning to be eternally vigilant!

            • Vigilance is the key. All my loved ones know not to give me gifts and I buy very little for myself in the way of stuff so if a random person gives me something every now and again I am not going to get into too much bother.