Mini Mission Monday ~ 1 Dec 2014

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.

This week our mini mission reflect what I personally decluttered last week. You may wonder how I continue to find things to declutter but I do. I have felt particularly in a decluttering mood since returning from vacation and stuff is either being used up or sent out the door everyday lately. Lets see if you can find some stuff too, inspired by this weeks mini missions.

Monday – Declutter I item of clothing you don’t love or maybe don’t even feel comfortable in. I decluttered a pair of jeans that although fit my bottom are too wide at the waste. A belt is a solution but I don’t want to have to wear one so out they go. I might buy another secondhand pair to replace them but not until next winter.

Tuesday – Declutter something you have knowingly passed over during previous decluttering mission that you still haven’t utilised. I decluttered some cardboard boxes that I saved for mailing but haven’t been used.

Wednesday – Declutter something that exists in multiples that you have noticed are starting to mount up again. Pens, rubber bands, paperclips, twist ties. I decluttered some rubber bands that come wrapped around asparagus. I rarely have use for rubber band so I took them to the thrift shop where we find them much more useful for bundling up sales items.

Thursday – Declutter and outdoor item. Perhaps an old potted plant that has seen better days. I have one that, although repotted and fertilised hasn’t sprouted a single leaf in the last twelve months. In fact is hasn’t shown any sign of growth in years. I might plant it in the garden downstairs and reuse the pot to up plant one of my other more thriving plants.

Friday – Declutter something from the passing season that wasn’t used or is past its usefulness. I decluttered a microfibre feather throw rug. Seeing the sun shine through it while it was drying on my balcony illuminated that fact that there wasn’t much feather left in it.

Saturday – Declutter something you have been procrastinating about. I have kept some black wooden beads among my craft supplies for quite a while now. I eye them off occasionally but hold on to them. Well I am over them wasting space in my craft drawers so this time they are out of here. Alternately I have been having a fun time using the mizuhiki paper cord that I bought while in Japan recently. See photo below. The white cardstock, envelopes and patterned paper was also bought while on vacation. And the gold stripes are a bit of a use-it-up paper effort that has been hanging around for years.

2014-11-30 19.26.23

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

Don’t accept free items just because they are free. I happened upon a charity run today while taking my morning walk. Everyone on the run had a printed t-shirt with the sponsoring companies names on. I also noticed runners, who had completed the race, holding goody bags. No doubt with some edible items in but probably also some plastic promotional nicknack rubbish.  That equals hundreds of items that I dare say would end up in the trash, at the thrift shop in a month or two, or cluttering up someones home for the next few years, used once or twice but then discarded. Such a waste of resources.

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. Those cards are really very pretty Colleen. Lucky recipients to be given one of those!

    Plenty of inspiration in the mini missions this week. My cardboard boxes have piled up again and I have some hard thinking to do about a plant that has managed to survive for the last 22 years but no longer has much appeal for me. I feel very motivated to declutter as much as possible in the next couple of weeks before my sons come home from college.

    • Thank you Christine, I had a lot of fun making them and the cord tying was a good learning experience.
      My daughter gave me the plant I mentioned, not that that is the inspiration behind keeping it. It just has never changed, except on small shoot in about 7 years and the other leaves just look old now. As for the sons coming home, make sure you have boxes of their stuff that they can sort through while they are there in a bid to clear out some of their stuff. I used to do this with my daughter when she would come home from college. She didn’t seem to mind, it didn’t take long and we made progress on every visit.

  2. One of my pets decluttered my last surviving house plant…oh well, I forget to water them anyway. I should consider decluttering the pot now unless I can find another use for it

  3. A friend recently tried to give me a beautiful house plant. I declined it, but offered to give to my granddaughter’s school thrift shop. She gladly donated the plant. The thrift shop has been a valuable tool in the pursuit of de-cluttering.

    • Hi Calla, a school thrift shop, what a great idea. Is it actually on the school grounds and accessible on a regular basis? What a great fund raiser that would be.

      • The school thrift shop is in the school/ church. There’s a box for payment of the marked items, so it’s not “manned”. Completely on the honor system. Before concerts & plays thrift tables line the hall to the entrance of the concert etc. The students & parents can see it every school day, as well as the church patrons on Sunday. It has proven to be a good fund raiser for the school.

        Thanks to this blog I have weekly ideas of stuff to declutter & give the good items to the thrift shop.

  4. Colleen, you might want to keep those jeans. There is an easy way to fix the gap in the waist since you know how to sew. (A SIL clued me in on this years ago.) Just snip the inside band open in the two places you want some elastic to end. Figure out how much you want to take up the waistband, and cut a length of elastic about that much shorter than where you will insert it plus a little extra for sewing the ends in place. Insert the elastic so that the ends are just past the cut openings Pin the elastic in place, and smooth the band over each end so it is covered, and stitch each end in place through all layers. A zigzag stitch will secure the elastic and close the cut opening.. (I usually go from one side seam to side seam , but just about anywhere will work). You can probably hide the stitching under the belt loops I did this a lot for my children’s jeans since no matter how they were built there was often an annoying gap and they did not like to wear belts either. And I have done it on my jeans when I had a pair that gapped. I’m not sure how good these directions are, but I think you can see what I mean.
    Of course, if you really don’t like the jeans, donate. I put on a blouse the other day that I like the color, print, and the fit, but decided I could not stand the material, just too hot for my skin, so it is in my donate bag.
    I see other things on the missions I need to do, so once again you are helping us keep on keeping on. Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to keep your blog going.

    • Hi Nana, I have done that elastic trick in pants before but never jeans as I find the denim a little thick and leaves the band looking a little too bunched up. That being said, no one will ever see the band anyway so it doesn’t really matter what it looks like, right? but once again, at $4 a pair at the thrift shop I don’t mind just swapping them out. Thanks for the advice though. Next time I might give it a try because more often than not I encounter this problem.

  5. SOme good ideas here Colleen. I continue to slowly declutter in anticipation of moving.

  6. I have to laugh as you talk about not buying things til next winter and decluttering the blanket from the passing season. I just finished moving the last of my short sleeved shirts into the hard to get to side of the closet and pulled out the long sleeved ones. I would enjoy having the windows open to pull the pine scent from the tree we just put up through the house!