Mini Mission Monday 17 Jan 2011

It is that time again – Mini Mission Monday – and I have come up with a new set of mission for this week with a little help from you, my friends in the 365lessthings community. Thank you all for the great feedback you have been sending about you mini mission successes. It spurs me on to know that what I do here is helping others. If you have a good idea for a mini mission like Calico ginger did this week please don’t hesitate to tell me about it through my Contact Form

  • Monday -The glove compartment in your car can be a junk collection point. Go now and give it a clean out.
  • Tuesday – Grab one item out of your freezer that you know has been there for some time. Either throw it away if you don’t trust that is is fresh enough to eat or include it in a meal this week.
  • Wednesday – Find something in the house that belongs to someone else that you feel needs decluttering and gently ask the owner if they still want it or could you donate/recycle/sell it for them.
  • Thursday – Today is the day to declutter your key ring. Are there any keys on there that you no longer use or a bunch of cutesy dingle dangles weighing you down that have seen better days. Well now is the time to lighten the load. (Thanks to Calico ginger for this mini mission suggestion)
  • Friday – What is on your walls? Is there something hanging there simply out of habit that you don’t really want? Now is the time to declutter it.
  • Saturday – Time to check that there are no expired ointments etc in your first aid kit.
  • Sunday – If you have a sewing kit even if only for small repairs have a look through it and clear out the things that will never get used like spare buttons saved for cloths you no longer own.

Extension work for over achievers (like Anne):- Address that one area of your house that you know you have been avoiding like the plague for some time.  I want you sit in this area and just think about what is holding you back from getting started here. While you are thinking about it look at the items individually not as a whole and consider removing one item at a time.  Does that approach change your attitude to the size of the task. Pick the first item you feel you can deal with and decide what to do with it and take action. Don’t think of this area again as one large task but as single items that alone are not difficult to declutter. If you revisit this area once a week and remove one more item before you know it everything will be gone. Good luck, it really isn’t as hard as it seems.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

I tried to find a taker for these unwanted adhesive dispensers but no one wanted them so I had to throw them out. I can not longer get refills for them locally and I don’t need them anyway. Shame!

Craft Clutter 17JAN2011

Things I am grateful for today

  • The kindness and generosity of others – it is heartening to watch [on television] the people of Queensland pulling together to help each other with the flood recovery. Unfortunately there are flash floods going on in Victoria now.
  • Having a butcher within walking distance – I am trying to buy local rather than from the big chain store.
  • Having the roses to stop and smell – Not actually roses but all the things in live they deserve savouring.
  • Knowing that the mini missions are making decluttering easy for my readers.
  • When thought hopping leads you to a great solution to seemed like a difficult problem.

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. Mon’s mini mission is such a co-incidence! I just took the car in for new tires and was hunting around in there for the old warranties. Some how my ‘well’ packed glove compartment refused to close again, so I decided to deal with the situation. Finally found some CDs that had been missing for a few months. It feels good to have a head-start on the week.

    R @

    • Hi Rakhee,
      I have to admit that it was my own glove compartment that inspired this mini mission. There were so many CDs in it that it got so heavy and very difficult to shut. It has been like that for some time. When I had troubles with it I would always forget about it by the time I got home but finally I remembered it while coming up with this weeks mini mission. So I even managed to help myself with my mini missions this week. I am glad you were a step ahead of this one now you will have time to do the extension mission with Anne. 😉

  2. Does it count if I did the mini mission all in one day (basically?)
    Mon-tossed reciepts from car
    Tues-always using up items from the freezer, we try to use up all groceries before shopping for more (it’s usually just for milk, juice, soda & bread).we butcher a cow & pig for our meat.
    Wed-my daughter’s outgrown stuffed animals/clothes (we go through her whole room 2 times a year to get rid of unwanted/outgrown items.)
    Thurs-still need to do
    Fri-we don’t have much on our walls, as there is little wall space from how our house is constructed, plus I like having the minimal look.
    Sat-still need to do
    Sun-small pincusion w/pins (I have more than plenty pins & a bigger pincusion that I use regularly) I do need to toss some thread, but I didn’t think I have alot since all the thread spools fill a gallon ziplock bag.

    • Hi Daisy,
      The idea of the mini missions is to give you quick and easy ideas on what to declutter without having to think about it. You can do them in one hour if you like since the only reward is your home slowing but surely becoming less cluttered and more organised it is entirely up to you. By the sounds of things you are the sort of person who keeps the place pretty ship shape anyway and probably don’t need much help from me. Well done you. I was glad to read that you declutter your daughter’s room twice a year as decluttering kids items is an ongoing job that carries on for years and there is no avoiding it. If you keep at it like you are it never gets out of hand.

  3. Woohoo! You wouldn’t believe how excitede I get to see these new missions LOL! Will be posted up about last week’s tomorrow. Don’t miss it 😀

    • Hi Mrs Green,
      I am excited about your enthusiasm. I assume that means you will be taking on the extension work with Anne. Since you already think I am a slave driver I may as well live up to my reputation. 😆 😉

  4. Hmm . . . did five of seven mini-missions last week . . . can’t get too good at it or too excited about it or I’ll get, er, “rewarded” by Colleen . . .

    I’m finding that the mini-missions are taking me quite a long time. Is anyone else having this problem? What is supposed to take ten minutes takes me an hour. Nevertheless, I quite like the prompts. If one doesn’t apply, I make up my own for that day. I also take weekends off 🙂 Have to catch up on the regular work sometime before the new work week!!

    • Hi Jo,
      I take it you don’t like the sound of my rewards. I can’t say I blame you but it is all in fun or at least I hope everyone realises that, especially Anne. 🙂 I am sorry the mini missions are taking so long for you I assume that means that what starts out as a simple missions takes longer because you step it up a notch and go above and beyond the missions requirement. Good for you if that is the case.
      I am very familiar with this phenomenon. I went into help Liam lift his new computer up onto his desk and it somehow morphed into a week long sporadic bedroom declutter and a whole lot of freecycling and emailing to do. So don’t worry I reward myself just the same as I do you.

      • Don’t worry, I realize it’s all in fun and I think everybody else does too 🙂 And you’re such a great cheerleader when we feel like we’re not doing it “right”, whatever that is – that helps a lot. I think you’re right, I didn’t just stick to the mini-mission but did things to the left and right as I went. And also the sheer number of things in areas that hadn’t been weeded out for some time – added up to more time.

        Yay for you and Liam for your major bedroom declutter! Sounds like you’ve got every person in your household on board!

        • Hi Jo,
          shhhhhhhh don’t let anyone else know that the mini missions are designed to sucker you into doing more than just what is mentioned. 😉
          When it come to decluttering the teenager’s stuff it pays to have leverage. He needs a new bed and thinks it will happen sooner if he cooperates. Shhhhhh don’t let him know that this is also a con job. 😈

    • Jo, I haven’t been a stickler for following the mini-missions, since I’m already so far into my decluttering journey, but over Christmas break, I thought the girls and I would do their rooms, one very small section at a time. We had 16 days or so, and I am made a schedule that had extra time built into it. Oh my goodness, I could not believe how long each section took! Clara’s dresser top and the stuff she’s “stored” behind her door took 1 1/2 hours! I was thinking about 20 minutes per task. One that was supposed to be done over the break but wasn’t, cleaning under her bed, took me a full hour today.

      On the other hand, Dan and I went through the shelves in our closet in about 30 minutes.

      Maybe “learning to manage our time in 365 days” should be our goal for next year. : )

  5. I’ve noticed that the mini-missions take longer than I expect because I end up decluttering other things in the same general area. For example, I ended up cleaning out my car (glove compartment included) when I went to get rid of 2 things from the garage today. Here’s my report from the past week’s mini-missions:
    Monday: Nothing to return to store, but gathered up some DVDs I want to sell back to the used movie store.
    Tuesday: We have pens in several different places in our house. I found a total of 23! that didn’t work.
    Wednesday: Threw out old manuals as instructed, plus a few other things that didn’t belong with our manuals.
    Thursday: Organized my own hair accessories since I don’t have a daughter.
    Friday: No display cabinet so I decluttered some candle holders I no longer use.
    Saturday: Cleared the stuff off of the refrigerator except for magnets and a few photos.
    Sunday: Threw out a broken cat carrier and hung up the foldable lawn chairs. Luckily our garage is detached from the house and therefore is not convenient for clutter to accumulate.
    These mini-missions are a lot of fun!

  6. It’s only Sunday here in the U.S., so I was ridiculously delighted to turn on my computer and see that there was a new post.

    Last week’s mini-missions:
    Monday – Made several needed returns
    Tuesday – I confess it took me THREE days to go through the pens. I tested all the pens cups around the house, plus all the art supplies, and the school back-up stash. I sharpened every single broken or dull pencil, which I bet was more than 1/2 of them. In the end, I tossed about a dozen and bundled up 44 pens that had action I didn’t like and pencils that were stubby or missing erasers. Those went to my fifth grade daughter’s teachers, who too often hear, “Ms. X, I forgot my pencil.” My husband has been referring to these as “The Pencils of Shame.”
    Wednesday – I did the manuals in the summer
    Thursday – Hair accessories were done a few months ago, too.
    Friday – This one, I did not do.
    Saturday – I took everything off the refrigerator. Wow, it’s so . . . big . . . and white . . .Everyone is still adjusting.
    Sunday – Didn’t declutter the garage, but I did pull out my daughter’s trundle bed and go cave exploring, or so it felt.

    • Hi Cindy,
      Wow that pen declutter was quite the maxi mission for you wasn’t it. I have far too many pens in my stationary drawer and every now and again I go through it to declutter the ones that aren’t working. I think instead of leaving them there to die I should donate a bunch like you did so they at least have some chance of fulfilling their usefulness. I will get on to that when I finish cleaning house this morning.
      You are doing a super job with the mini missions and receive an A++ as well and can go to the top of the class with Rebecca.

  7. Hi Rebecca,
    it seems you have also fallen for my evil and cunning plan 😈 of giving you mini missions that evolve into major clean outs. If you and Jo can just keep my sneaky strategy to yourself I would appreciate it, we wouldn’t want the other readers catching on. 😉
    You have accomplished last week’s mini missions with an A++ and may go to the top of the class. I am glad you are enjoying them and finding them useful and inspiring.
    Isn’t it amazing how those pens accumulate, I swear someone in our house is a pen kleptomaniac because I never buy pens but they accumulate anyway it’s like they breed or something. Inevitably then they die from lack of use. To top it off my son uses a fountain pen so he just keeps filling it up with ink and isn’t helping at all to declutter the multitudes hiding in the stationary drawer.
    Good luck with this weeks mini missions!

  8. Unfortunately last week I didn’t get to do any of the mini-missions as I was only home to eat and sleep. I’m trying to make up for it this weekend by thoroughly attacking my junk room starting at 3 am this morning. I have to admit that I wake up with ideas from your blog and how I can apply them, and then it’s just useless to go back to sleep. Even though I’ve missed them, the wonderful thing is that they are out there for use anytime and I’ll catch up to them yet. I think I can get to all of these as all but one is applicable. I have two keys on my keyring, my car key and my work key. I can get in my house without aid of a key, so I don’t have one. Thanks for another week of great ideas!

    • Hi Kathleen,
      it sounds like you have been working way too hard and yet you are still trying to find time for your mini missions. You deserve credit just for that. I wouldn’t like to think I am keeping you up at night. 😉 I sure hope you have more spare time this week and use some of it just to relax for a while. A full body massage is what you need I would think. You have a lovely week and I am always here with plenty of mini missions waiting when you feel up to it. 🙂

  9. I’ve written out my mini missions on my to-do list and will get started this morning. I love this list! I only have a couple of things on this weeks list to tackle like decluttering my keys and the sewing kit clean out. I keep my glove compartment cleaned out of unnecessary items out of habit already and I’m constantly decluttering DH! My method for ‘his’ clutter is to put whatever I think needs attention on top of his desk or in his recliner. Pretty much gets his attention right away and he deals with it. No the storage shed is another story…lol. I also just went through my freezer when I got my new refrigerator in December and I’m proud to say I’m keeping it clean and organized. And I just threw out items from the medicine cabinet when I tackled the ink pens last week. For some reason I thought they were on the same level of decluttering….lol. But whatever works!
    Thanks for the list! I love it!

    • Hi Marilyn,
      you will be able to have an easy declutter week this week with all those areas already under control. It feels good to know you are ahead of the game doesn’t it.
      I hope you don’t find out one day that all those things you have been putting on your husbands desk and recliner are hiding out in that storage shed. 😆 He would n’t dare would he? I do love the fact that you stick it right under his nose where it will be in his way if he doesn’t deal with it. Good thinking 99!

      • I’m not the most trusting person so I make sure and watch him when he either throws things away or rehomes them which means he puts things in boxes to take to the recycle center or to give away to some other poor clutterbug….lol. He usually puts the box in his pickup right away so he can ‘deal’ with it immediately. He’s a bit of a packrat but that’s changing. We’re both in the declutter simplify mode so it’s all good for now….lol.

  10. Hi Colleen
    Mini-missions for this week as follows:
    Monday – Glove compartment of car: easy only had manual in it!
    Tuesday – UFO in freezer – done a few weeks ago. To stop this happening again, I now always stick a piece of masking tape on left overs with what it is and the date. I also keep a very simple inventory and update it whenever anything goes in or out. I write it out once a week and it becomes very clear what is a permanent resident and needs a plan for using!
    Wednesday – Something that belongs to somebody else: two of my husband’s old holey shirts
    Thursday – Key ring: easy, only had car key, house key and garage remote on it.
    Friday – Something hanging on the wall: two items off the notice board in my workroom.
    Saturday – Expired ointments in first aid kit: interesting, I thought there would be nothing but there were two to be tossed!
    Sunday – Sewing kit: I am a quilter and have a lot of stuff (not compared to others), but I went through it quite recently and got rid of a lot, so what I have now is what I want.
    Week – gaze at a difficult area and consider one thing at a time, I do have a few of these but boy they are difficult. In the cupboard in our guest room is:
    A small radiator which we haven’t used for ages but would be useful for guests on a cold night;
    Double size duvet in cover ditto
    Cushion with hand embroidered cover (by me)
    Small gas canister for camping light: hardly ever used but would be very useful in the next black out or emergency.
    Large brass eagle which my husband has had for ever. I don’t like it and would happily pass it on but he wants to keep it. He has so few possessions I don’t feel I can push this one!
    15 coat hangers – quite nice matching ones, very useful for guests – got rid of a stack of bad ones some time ago.
    Six pack of beer!
    Any ideas? I suppose I could give away the cushion to the opshop, and move the beer to the fridge.

    Thank you Colleen for these mini-missions, they give a new focus to my decluttering and it’s great when I can say “already done that” or I can get rid of a bit more.

    • Good job Janetta!
      I love to hear about the “fun” my readers are having with their mini missions. I also love it when they don’t need to do certain missions because they have already got areas under control. The idea of the extra mission last week was to encourage people to tackle one of those areas/items that they know they want sorted but can’t bring themselves not to do anything about it. It sounds like your guest room doesn’t really have anything that isn’t important to have around when guests come to stay or in an emergency so I think I would leave that one alone.
      You can start on this week’s mini missions instead. Happy decluttering!


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