Mini Mission Monday ~ Give yourself permission

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

Monday again and how is everyone today. I hope you are all feeling refreshed after a relaxing weekend and looking forward to some mini missions to get your week started. This week we are going to do some personal decluttering. We are going to embark on a mission to rid ourself of seven items that belong to us personally but wish they didn’t. I think I can come up with something for each one of these categories and am going to give myself permission to part with them all guilt free. I give you permission to do the same. I am the sort of person who likes to use things to the end no matter what but there are a few things around my home that I am just sick and tired of them being there. So this week I am going to rid myself of them once and for all. I will do my best to do that responsibly but if that is not possible I am going to be outrageous and do it anyway. The list is simple and concise so have at it.

  • Monday - A toiletry product that even though you have tried to persevere and use up it just isn’t disappearing quick enough.
  • Tuesday – A piece of jewellery that you no longer wear or is broken and you don’t love it enough to have it fixed.
  • Wednesday – An item of clothing (not underwear) that not longer fits, isn’t being worn, is tattered or you came to the realisation looks bad on you. (We probably all have one of these)
  • Thursday – A pair of shoes that you no longer wear, feel uncomfortable or are really old and shabby.
  • Friday – A gift item that you never really wanted but have kept out of obligation.
  • Saturday – An item of make-up that has been around too long or you never use.
  • Sunday – And last but not least that tattered pair of panties or that old bra you keep just in case even though it is no longer supportive and certainly not attractive.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

In keeping with today’s mini mission I have chosen this jar of hand butter to declutter. It has been around for so long it no longer smell its best so I have put it in the trash. the jar was not recyclable either. That is one mini mission taken care of for the week. How did you go today?

Hand butter that been around too long

My Gratitude List

  • Something that made be laugh ~ The kookaburras laughing on the light pole outside my house.
  • Something Awesome ~ The tiny little fingers on babies.
  • Something to be grateful for ~ Being happy with what I have and only wanting less.
  • Something that made me happy ~ Having a nice weekend away with my hubby.
  • Something I found fascinating ~ The tiny yellow antennas on a dead insect I found.

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. Hmm, luckily I can use up everything so I don’t have to throw anything unused away!

    • Hi Nuchamiel,
      now that the drier months are here I think I am going to be using up more of my moisturisers than I have in the past. My legs are soooooo dry. I may actually finally end up with just one moisturiser left in the house. Yay.

      • I agree. Just having one is a blessing (lol). I don’t feel the urge anymore to but new and when I want to, I can use it. I also enjoy new found, empty spaces. Oh, how I love the space!

  2. Hi Colleen! Still working on the office… But I have thought about creams and moisturisers. I have two big bottles. One smells too strongly and the other is too liquid. So I need a suggestion: winter is coming and I use some body moisturiser once in a while. What do I do? Choose one? Give both of them away and buy a very small one, when I need it (if ever I do)? When I saw your mini mission Monday those bottles came to mind immediately. Awaiting your comment :-D. (I was going to call you my jedi master, but got scared you might get offended… 😉 )

    • Could you combine the two? It might one less thick and one less stinky. Try and little sample and see if it works.

      • No. They smell too different. Anyway Cindy, I will have to see if they are not too old. I’ll try them both to test. But I am in doubt. Thanks for the suggestion.

        • Perhaps I should answer the comments out of order because now my last one on the stand is a little redundant. Just get rid of them Andréia as they are not for you.

    • Hi Andréia,
      although I am not a lover of waste, if something isn’t working for you there is no point in persevering with it especially when it is an item that is supposed to bring you comfort. Like Cindy said, try mixing a little of each together and see if you end up with a product more to your liking otherwise I would pass the existing ones on to someone else and buy yourself a small bottle of one that meets your needs better. The important thing here is to learn from the experience and be more discerning when buying these sorts of products in future. Although large size items are usually better value they are also a bigger waste if they don’t turn out to be so good after all. Don’t overdo the guilt when it comes to letting go, that can be quite counterproductive to continuing on with your declutter quest.

  3. Great list! I’ve already decluttered old make-up but need to work on the rest of the list!

    • Hi Min,
      I think I have one of nearly everything on the list too and am endeavouring to declutter them and feature them as the item for the day each day. Like you the make up one could be the one I don’t have. I am happy with that though.

  4. Hi Andreia,

    I’d say: If somebody wants those lotions, give them away. If you use lotion seldomly you could keep a small amount in a travel size bottle (maybe the combination of both as Cindy suggested if that works) so you don’t feel wasteful for rushing out and buying something new. But I think it actually is okay to treat yourself once in a while with something new in exchange for all the old things that go out. I felt guilty for that approach at first, but now I am totally fine with decluttering on the one side and getting something new on the other as long as I get less than what I decluttered and as long as it concerns things that really make me feel better or do a much better job than the decluttered. And I even think, sometimes getting something nice before decluttering makes decluttering unbelievably easy. (I know there lies a certain danger within … but the method also has potential if used correctly meaning only used on things where you really really wish you could declutter all of what you have but do need some version of the item after all) It worked wonders for me on decluttering my insane amount of dull knifes for example. Before I treated myself with a handful of sharp ones I never could decide what to let go though I knew two knifes for bread and something like eight small knifes and three large ones were too much but it was so convenient to throw them in the dishwasher (the new ones get washed up by hand to protect them and so there is no need for duplicates anyway). And the even larger problem with the old knifes was: They were all equally dull, ugly and used up. Lacking some clear signs to guide my decision I just froze. What if by accident I decluttered the wrong of the (altogether unwanted but somehow needed) items? After getting the new knifes, getting rid of ALL of the old ones and by that downsizing the number significantly wasn’t even something I had to think about.

    • Hi Ideealistin! You just made a valuable point! I think you just nailed my problem. I don’t want those moiturisers any more, but I keep them there because: 1) I payed good money for one and the other was a gift; 2) What if one day I get out of the shower and my skin is terribly dry and I have no body cream?, and I had 2 of them and gave them away; 3) Will I ever spend money on body creams again? Don’t know. So they just stay there and they are huge (500ml each). I liked the knife story though. Just remembered my old and ugly knifes in the kitchen… I look at every cream I have and will give away any of them that has not been used in a year. If I ever buy again, I will make sure to buy a very small bottle, so in a few weeks I’ll use it all up. Got make a decision. Thanks for the support and suggestions.

  5. Reporting in from around the globe.* “In a small village in Germany on this sunny Monday morning, today’s mini-mission, assigned by Colleen, of getting rid of ONE personal ‘toiletry product’ is now completed! “Ahhh, it was so FRUSTRATING to continue to TRY to use the product all up, and now it is so REFRESHING to let it go!” happily exclaimed Annabelle! This Monday-Mini-Mission is now successfully accomplished! Back to you in the ‘blog’ folks…”

    *Colleen, you appear to have followers/readers from all over the world! It is so amazing to be on this journey with so many people of all walks of life!

    • Way to go Annabelle! I cheer for you on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean!

    • Hi Annabelle,
      thank you for the weather forecast. We are having a lovely Autumn sunny day here, my favourite kind of weather.
      Along with the lovely weather I am glad you are feeling the joy of letting go of a frustrating guilt item. We can’t be perfect all of the time.
      And yes I have readers from all over the place and they are all wonderful and unique in their own ways and I appreciate them all for taking the time to read my humble little blog.

  6. So it is sunny in Germany, how lovely! Here in Namibia it is sunny too, which is unfortunately nothing new :-). After reading one too many articles on animal testing, I switched to organic creams and cosmetic products not tested on animals. I stick to one brand that works for me and havent been tempted since by the many lotions and potions out there, what a relief!

    • Hi Jutta,
      I hope all is good with the world in Namibia today! I am glad to see you have it all figured out when it come to toiletry clutter. Do your homework, make an educated choice and stick to it. What better way to relieve temptation and in your case, animal cruelty guilt.

  7. MMmm, excess pretty creams and mositurisers…not a problem I have really as my skin is very very poorly with severe psoriais, so after a long 9 months of having to apply medical moisturing thick gunk every few hours, now the oral meds are working and my skin is recovering, for now. But my hands still can’t cope with any form of chemicals or I’m in big trouble, so nothing smelly and no soap used. So I have a very sparse bathroom shelf. It would be nice if they would make medical gunk in prettier packaging though.

    I am now working on the principle of it I can’t eat it, it isn’t going on my skin. So hemp oil and coconut is what I use and they can be finished up in the kitchen if necssary:O)
    I enjoy the feeling of not rubbing any manufactured chemicals in to increasing peachy soft skin.
    Love your skin everyone – it is so precious and beautiful and you don’t realise til you lose it (liturally in my case).

    • Hi Katharine,
      I think you advice may be a little late for me but better late than never. My sad old fair redhead skin has had far too much sun exposure from Australian climate for too many years. Maybe there is hope for me yet but if genetics are anything to go by that hope is slim. I will keep in mind from you and Jutta in the future, all natural and animal testing free for me.

  8. Great stuff this week! I had a lot of success last week: I eliminated my junk drawer, and then spent several hours yesterday cleaning the moldy trunk of my car with vinegar, borax, and dish soap (I was off on the days of the week for the mini mission, but oh well!). My husband was like “Wow! Now I’d feel comfortable putting food back there!”

    Sometimes it seems that I have *just* decluttered something on your mini-mission list, but I try really hard to find something else; it’s a great challenge! I just got rid of 3 pairs of shoes that are way cute but don’t fit quite right, and I decided there is no point in keeping them around or trying to force myself to wear them. I’ve also cut WAY back on jewelry (and I didn’t have much to begin with), but I can probably cut out a couple more 1″ band pins! Lastly, I’m pretty sure that I have NO makeup whatsoever. I never got into the habit of wearing makeup, and went round & round over whether that was a failure at femininity or a feminist stand. But now that I’ve brought minimalism into my life, it’s given me permission to give up that battle! For awhile, I had kept only a never-opened nail polish and an eyelash curler. I think I got rid of those in the last couple of weeks, but I’ll double check, because I definitely don’t need them!

    • Hi Liina,
      nice job on the mini missions. Doing them out of order isn’t a problem so long as they are helping you identify things that need to go. I like the way you analyse the reasons around letting go as well as why you had the items in the first place. That is key to understanding your needs verses bowing to convention and makes it a whole lot easier to let go now and for good. I think that successful decluttering is more about the psychology and not actually about the stuff. This gives you the best chance not to reclutter. You have it worked out Liina and at such a young age, too good for you! Your life will be better for it I think.

  9. First up– weather report: cloudy and misty along the Southern California Pacific coast. Temperature currently 57 degree, expected to rise to the mid 60s.
    Now then– cosmetics declutter moment: this not being my favorite way to declutter, it neverthless happened (again) last night. I dropped and broke my half full jar of (very expensive) foundation. Sadly, I may also be decluttering the good black slacks I was wearing at the time if I can’t get the makeup out of them. 🙁
    Seriously– I will go check my dwindling supply of various creams and see what I can pass on to someone else or otherwise dispose of.

    • Oh Willow you seem to be loosing your grip on things lately, literally that is not figuratively. Thank you for the weather report I think I am in for another glorious sunny Autumn day.

  10. Overcast and cool here in Oklahoma, USA 🙂 Thanks so much for this, Colleen! Just last night I took a long look at the ooooold jar of night cream I’ve been diligently using up. Then I took a long look at all the little pimples on my forehead and put two and two together. Into the trash with the night cream! Ridiculous that I couldn’t add four on my own. 🙂 Then I tossed a ‘smoky eye’ makeup kit that was just too much bother and too messy. The only reason I was keeping it was because I got compliments when I bothered…*hangs head*. Now I don’t have to feel like I should bother when I’m getting ready for work!

    I went ahead with tomorrow’s challenge as Tues are very busy for me. I’m not really a jewelry person, yet I had two containers of necklaces, rings, and earrings cluttering up my tiny bathroom. I was going to get a hook system to display them, then realized I should just declutter some first. One container alone held 30 pieces! For a girl that doesn’t wear much jewelry!! I donated a dozen and put nine more in a bag under my sink dated six months from now (my ‘review’ method). That leaves nine pieces. Five of them were put in their proper places, and a grand total of FOUR necklaces made the cut. I hung those neatly on a bar that already exists and tossed the container. Now I have an empty shelf–in a room that only HAS two shelves. At least almost all of the pieces were gifts or hand-me-downs, so I’m not guilty about the money I spent!

    • Hi okgirl,
      comments like this say more than they appear to be saying. What I read here is this ~
      1.) I care about not being wasteful.
      2.) I have learned to do what is best for me no matter what other people think.
      3.) I have already done a great job of decluttering my bathroom.
      4.) I am learning to analyse items and let them go when I realise they are of no value to me.
      5.) You know how to plan ahead.
      6.) Letting go of gifts can be easier than I though think. They hold less guilt for me than things I wasted money on.
      7.) That you have an effective system in place for considering items that you aren’t quite ready to declutter

      To me, you seem to have it all pretty much worked out. Well done!

  11. I love the week’s mission! I got rid of underthings already this week, but will try to find at least one of each of the others to add into my daily five. Great idea.