Mini Mission Monday ~ Why

mini-logoMini 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.

Why keep stuff that we don’t need. Why do we decide to let them go. Other than that we are sick of the clutter. This weeks missions are all about reasons for letting stuff go. So lets get started.

Monday – Let something go that you have more than enough of.

Tuesday – Let something go that causes you work you don’t have time to waste on.

Wednesday – Let something go that doesn’t bring you joy.

Thursday – Let somethings go that make a space overfull.

Friday – Let something go that you haven’t use for some time.

Saturday – Let something go that is of no value to you, either in beauty or usefulness.

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

Where possible use less of things. You might be surprised how regularly you use more of some things than you need. Here are some products you could probably stand to use less of ~ less shampoo, less conditioner, less laundry detergent, less dishwashing liquid, less toothpaste, hand cleanser, car wash… Quite often advertisements and manufacturers instructions suggest more than what we really need use. So using even more than that is a fools game, wasting product, your hard earned cash and increasing supply due to demand.

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.


  1. Another great week of challenges Colleen.

  2. I like these mini-missions. I have found myself in a mind space lately where there are items that I want to be rid of but its the process of re-housing, recycling, donating etc that tires me. I went thru a lot of stress looking after someone last year and I suspect this is a byproduct of that time. I know its like complaining about weight gain because one doesn’t want to exercise but I was wondering if anyone else has ever felt like this and how they conquered it?

    I find that I could cheerfully dump things into a box these days – obviously this mindset has loosened up any emotional or oblgationary or aspirational attachments – but its the processing things out the door, this listed here, this listed there, re-listing, dealing with people, this donation location likes to vet everything during certain hours, this donation location is out of my way and apparently not taking anything at the moment. It just seems too difficult at the moment.

    The irony is that I really want to take advantage of the positive side of the mindset and to get rid of things while I’m in ‘dump in a box and begone’ mode. Does anyone have any good ideas or advice?

    • Moni,
      It is quite admirable of you to want to give your donations to just the right place. I think we all try to do that. However, sometimes that is not possible due to other things going on in our lives. Be kind to yourself at this very moment and trust that in the big scheme of things your donations will go to the people that need them most. Don’t second guess yourself. Donate them to what/where it is convenient for you right now. Let the clutter go and the burden of where to donate said clutter go! You deserve some breathing room in your mind too 🙂

      • Kimberley – thank you I like that philosophy. I have a tall box and I’m just hiffing things in as I come across them.

    • Hi Moni,

      If you have garage sales going on about you, maybe you could make a “donation” to them! Or “donate” to a flea market if you have them… Or certain items could go to schools or churches or nursing homes or day cares… Not sure that helps you… I can certainly understand how stress can wear a person out! Take care 🙂

      • Peggy – it is very kind of you to suggest those ideas, unfortunately there is nothing advertised in the community at this point and its the research/locate/contact/drive/deliver thing that has me a bit worn out at the moment. Oh to have a magic wand that makes things just disapear.

    • I agree with Kimberley, Moni. Cut yourself some slack, especially when you need it the most. I do hope Peggy’s helpful suggestions work for you. And yes, do take care.

      • Nicole,
        I use that term often, “cut yourself some slack”. I grew up hearing that from all of the adults in my life. What a hoot that someone else uses that term as well 🙂

        • I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard it on TV and while watching movies, Kimberley. They almost always say, “Hey, cut me some slack, will ya?”

        • Kimberley and Nicole V – we also use that saying in NZ. I believe the saying grew out of – in reference to – the lynching era. The idea is that if someone agreed to certain standards or conditions, they’d be given a bit more rope so it wasn’t tight ie was no longer strangling them.

      • Nicole V – thank you

    • Oh yes Moni I can relate to that but, fortunately for me, working at the thrift shop I donate to makes donating very easy for me. However, as the other ladies say, “cut yourself some slack” and donate it the easiest way possible. I know it would be easier just to toss it but that wouldn’t be the right thing. I can also relate to the build up of stress. Even the little stresses can add up to take a toll on you over time.

    • Moni, I agree with all the other commenters. Actually, I found that from the beginning of my decluttering, the questions of whether to sell or donate, and where to sell or donate, and when to sell or donate … these undermined my efforts. Finally I found a charity that comes right to my door and picks up donations every six weeks or so. That has helped me immensely. It might not be the “perfect place” to donate to, nor do I get any money in return, but I get something else in return – space in my house, the advantage of easy disposal, and knowing that I’m helping a worthwhile cause even if it’s not my first choice. Sometimes we have to compromise on our preferences just to keep on making forward progress.

      • Yes, I agree that is the good way to do it. I just can’t afford the time, energy or space to try to get everything to the “proper” place.

      • I agree Jo H, to a point. If the charity of choice is likely to make use of all the items that are donated then I am all for it. The easiest way out the door is going to work when you don’t have the time, energy or head space to be fussy. However there are always those things that are good enough to give away to someone who has the inclination to repair, revamp, repurpose that would be a thrash burden to a charity. Those are the things I take extra care with.

      • Jo H – that sounds nice and easy. Unfortunately, no pick up services in the area unless it is furniture. I’m not a greenie per se but I do my bit. I don’t have the energy at the moment to dash all over town, or spend time finding new homes for things or dealing with people. I have a number of people who I need to be there for at the moment and dealing with people, especially people I don’t know is a bit much at the moment.

  3. Just put a serving bowl in the donation pile. I bought it a few years ago to use on Thanksgiving – the color goes with no other dishes we have other than Thanksgiving. Therefore it is only used one day of the year. It is large and does not stack with any other serving bowls I have. Going out because I can just use another serving bowl. Still hard to part with “the perfect Thanksgiving serving bowl” but not really worth keeping. I doubt that anybody at my Thanksgiving table has even noticed it!

    • Calla, isn’t it amazing how one simple object can be not worth keeping for so many reasons. I too decluttered an excess serving bowl recently. I figured since I hadn’t used it since moving into our apartment 17 months ago then I don’t need it. And like you I have another and some glass mixing bowls that can double as serving bowls in a pinch too.

  4. Hi, Colleen. Your theme this week is applicable to the Hydra that I’m battling against.

  5. We are off to the city for the next couple of days for more medical stuff. We’ve chosen a hotel near the clinic and it happens to be near a place that buys silver, gold and gems. I have been torn about the disposal of family jewelry, whether to sell it for the gold or try to find someone who actually wants it. This is at least an opportunity for me to check. We’ve also gathered together all the things we’ve kept because they were ‘valuable’ but which we don’t really want. Checking values has been enlightening — the china cabinet for which we paid much is worth little, an old biscuit tin which Ian has used for storing trinkets in a box in the basement is worth far more than we could have imagined! Ian is sad about the idea of losing some of these things but agrees that if they’ve been in boxes and cupboards and drawers as long as we can remember, they are not enhancing our lives in any way so they might as well be released into the world for someone else.

    • Hi Wendy, I hope you find the right solution for getting rid of your unloved jewellery. And I am glad the Ian can see no sense in keeping stuff that really isn’t being appreciated. I am sure you will both enjoy the extra space more than the clutter presently filling it up.

      • Just back from the city with less stuff and a nice cash reward for unloading the unwanted. It took some time to wrap my mind around the idea of selling my silver spoons to be melted down. Surely they should be of value to someone who would use them for spoons! But, if they’ve been unloved by me for 50 years and nobody else wants them, does it matter what form they take in a new life? It is, after all, being recycled and not thrown in the garbage. I am glad this job is done!

  6. I agree that you should do what’s ever easiest for you dispose of items Moni. Just trust they will enhance the lives of those that end up in possession of the items. If someone expresses interest in an item, then you can give the item to them, and give the rest away the easiest possible way. It’s so much fun just to hand an item to someone that expressed their like of that item.

    I used to use eBay, but it got old after a couple of years. I’ve never used freecycle or Craig’s list due to all the horror stories that have occurred locally. I do have an annual garage sale & donate a ton of items to the school thrift shop. The garage sale is a lot of work for 2 days. The school thrift shop is the easiest for me.

    Good luck!

  7. Two years ago I tore my raised wooden deck out. I never used it, as I felt like it was so high that I was on display. All I ever did was refinish it yearly, it was a lot of work for something that never got used and didn’t bring me any joy. I put in a ground level patio with concrete pavers, which I use and love. I know this is several years old, but it’s the best example I have of taking care of four of the mini missions.

    • Sounds like a fine example to me. It is amazing what we will put up with and for how long. Wendy F dropped me off at the appliance store today, after having coffee together today, rather than take me home. Actually she refused to take me home after listening to me whine about my oven yet again. I have a crap oven and I hate cleaning it. As luck would have it the store is having a huge sale at the moment. I feel a little guilty for getting rid of an oven that does work but we have to open the doors to the apartment every time we use it let the fumes out. They sting our eyes. The new one will be a self cleaning one. I have put up with crap ovens for nearly eight years now and I have had enough.

  8. The oven doesn’t sound safe if you have to open the doors & your eyes sting. I agree it’s time for a new, better functioning oven!

  9. These are all very good missions. I’ve been wrapped up in some other tasks lately, but decluttering is never too far out of my mind! Last time the Veteran’s sent out a card, I wasn’t ready to have a pick up done, but I kept the number, so I can give them a call in a couple of weeks with a good load of donations. Frankly, we just haven’t been buying any new stuff. An area that is still a pain in the neck is the closet. My husband ended up with a bunch of shirts from his old company. Well, he doesn’t work for them any longer, so I think they can go!

    It sounds like you all are making progress, even if sometimes it give you a headache to do so. 🙂

    • Hi Michelle, I am familiar with the amount of space husbands’ work clothes can take up. Even though Steve is now only in the Airforce reserves he still has a lot of uniforms. There are mess function clothes, blues, long and short sleeve, for parades, office etc, camouflage gear and flying suits and all the different shoes/boots and t-shirts to go along with them.

      Not buying an new stuff sure does make a big difference. Luckily that was a lesson I learned well before I even began decluttering.