Mini Mission Monday

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.
It seems to have been a while since I focused on the philosophy behind the 365 Less Things approach. I tend to take it for granted that we all know what that is, and we just get on with it. However this week that is going to be the theme for my posts. Even though my home contents are greatly reduced I can still benefit from taking that ten minutes a day to assess if there is anything still lingering that I could happily do without. After all, my home size was also greatly reduced, giving me less room to store those less than necessary items I may have kept just because I once had the space. It is aways nice to have a little empty space which leaves room for the next phase of life to arrive. So lets focus and six tasks this week that we can easily achieve in those ten minutes.
Monday – Think for a minute which drawer in your home is the messiest or most difficult to use due to how much stuff is crammed into it. Take ten minutes now to focus on finding and decluttering some things in that drawer that you don’t need. Things that, once removed, will make that drawer far more functional.
Tuesday – Take ten minutes to go through the most cluttered shelf in your kitchen cabinetry and declutter a few things that you rarely if ever use.
Wednesday – While you are preparing yourself for the day take ten minutes to go through your toiletries cabinet in you bathroom. Declutter anything that you don’t use or is past its used by date.
Thursday – Take ten minutes today to sort through your socks or underwear drawer. Ten minutes is all it will take to sort and identify those items that you avoid wearing until you are desperate. Declutter anything that you aren’t comfortable wearing.
Friday – Take a look on and in a desk or work space today. Give yourself ten minutes to find and declutter something that is not used and wasting space in this area.
Saturday – Take a look in an old photo album and take ten minutes to choose and toss some photos that don’t do much to record your life history. Duplicates, fuzzy shots, meaningless plants or animals (not pets), people you don’t recognise or who flitted through your life without giving much meaning to it.
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

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Idgy of the North

    Great ideas, Colleen.

    Yesterday, we had a half filled box to donate. I challenged the family to find at least 2 items each in 10 minutes. In return, I would pick up donuts on my way back home (a very rare treat). The following was added to the donation pile: 2 cookbooks (spouse copied 1-2 favourite recipes into his phone), box of Lego, Pokemon cards, 2 kid books, a whole bunch of little plastic toys, camping chair that was too big/heavy. Ended up with 2 boxes to donate plus the chair. Donuts were a big hit

    • Colleen Madsen

      Well done Idgy and family. Clever of you to make a fun challenge with a nice reward to get the family in on that act.

  2. As I get ready to move into temporary quarters, I am looking over everything to decide what goes where. I am using the exercise to also decide if anything more can go. So far not much has.

    • Colleen Madsen

      I am not surprised Deb, you have been well and truly decluttered for quite some time now.

  3. “It is always nice to have a little empty space …” – I so agree, Colleen. I have no desire to fill space just because it is available. As I declutter and space opens up in rooms, cabinets and shelves, I embrace it and let it be. It looks lovely!

    • Colleen Madsen

      That is the only downside to moving into a smaller home, the space is in shorter supply. Sometimes I feel like this place hasn’t any breathing space. The upside of that is that it inspired me to find something else around the place that I don’t need and pass it on to someone who might have a use for it.

  4. Wow – I realise now how much you’ve taught me, cause prior to this post
    – yesterday I looked at my bathroom top drawer which wasn’t to my liking (too cluttered) and removed three things to the ‘outbox’ (Wednesday done! & sorta of Monday)
    – two nights ago I was a little insomniac at 3am, so I tinned out recipes in my cultery drawer (Tuesday done (also sort of Monday))
    – over the weekend, I FINALLY reviewed the knickers still in packets against the one pair I’ve liberated, and confirmed they are all the same size (the liberated pair doesn’t fit well AT ALL and requires the bin) (Thursday done)
    – over the weekend, I also went through my work phone and deleted countless photos to try and get enough storage to take more photos (seems that didn’t do it, something went awry after the last update. Annoyingly, a large number of recent photos I deleted I could have used at my desk yesterday. Instead I sent my (overweight) colleague out to the yard to use an old fashioned pen and paper to check – it’s both more his job, and he’s in the right Personal Protective Equipment to do it as I was in heels last time I was out there (Saturday done)
    – I have 5 wine glasses I don’t use since the BF was gifted ones two Christmas’ ago, I’ve listed them online to sell, I’ll list one more place today and then they can go to the op shop (Tuesday done)
    – the ‘most’ cluttered shelf got rearranged in the last two days to ensure there weren’t any lurking ’empties’ and like was with like. Nothing left (sadly) but it shows I have this decluttering muscle on autopilot (Tuesday again)

    Thanks Colleen – you’ve taught me more than I can realise!!

    • Colleen Madsen

      You have been busy Snosie. Mind youI had to go up to see what this weeks mini mission were all about because last week we had the NBN connected which of course didn’t go according to plan and haven’t had internet for a week. I had to get my hubby to cut and paste an old post to publish this week while he was in town freeloading of the local Newcastle Now’s free internet.
      At last the internet is working again and I am now busy trying to clear the 275 emails out of my inbox.

  5. We have been talking about moving from the country to the city. We had planned this week as a visit to a small city to see if we might like to move here eventually. Well, eventually has been fast-tracked and we spent Saturday looking at neighborhoods, Sunday visiting real estate open houses and today with a realtor looking at houses we might buy. Now we head home, list the house for sale and begin to purge. Visiting all these smaller houses has given me a good idea of what I will have (or NOT have) in terms of space. Four years of decluttering has certainly made a difference but now the REAL culling starts. It’s going to be interesting.

    • Idgy of the North

      Wow, WendyB, that is a big change. Seems just a short time ago you were moving into your smaller new place on the subdivided land. Best of luck with this next downsize!

    • Colleen Madsen

      Hi Wendy, you are a seasoned expert now and Ian too. Who’d have believed that would happen five years ago. As much as these situations force us into making changes at least you are accepting of the fact. So many times I hear stories of the sad relatives who have to force the change of those who are unwilling to accept it and it is then unpleasant for everyone involved. I am sure you and Ian will adjust quickly to your new situation when it eventuates, simply because you have the right attitude.

  6. Thanks Idgy. Yes, we just moved into the new house last October but stuff happens and a lot of it happened at once. We will be moving south to a warmer climate which will be better for Ian, and from a tiny village to a small city which will be better for services and activities. I’ll miss living in my own forest as we move out onto the prairie but there’s lots to do and many nice people here. Change keeps us young. I am looking forward to it (mostly…)

    • Hi Wendy B,

      Do you have certain qualities you are looking for in a new home? Stairs or not? Wide hallways? Garage? Porch? I love your flexibility in being ready to move so soon again! πŸ™‚

      • Hi Peggy, Self-cleaning would be good!
        For us the most important factor is to have all the necessities for living (bed, bath and kitchen) on one floor. We both had parents who had physical problems and could not function in their homes. Ian has had two back surgeries so we are well aware of the need for one level, even if there are stairs to get into the house and some things (freezer, furnace, laundry, storage) are in the basement. No matter where we live, a garage is a necessity (and, yes, we use it to protect our vehicles and as a workshop, not to cram full of junk). We looked at lovely homes in gated seniors communities but they are TOO small, like living in miniature. Maybe someday but we aren’t ready for that yet.
        Thanks for your support. I’ll keep you posted. W

  7. I’ve just had a bit of a battle in the kitchen, and I’ve won! My waffle maker is defeated. It was on borrowed time anyway, having sat at the back of a shelf for at least the last four years without being used (I’m ashamed to admit that, and it could well be longer than four years). Today I decided to give it one last chance and it failed the test miserably. One half of the waffle was fine and the other half ended up in a dried-on mess. I used my remaining waffle batter to make a perfectly acceptable pancake, and I will be saying goodbye to the waffle maker, along with its instruction book. If ever I get the craving for a waffle I shall treat myself to one in a breakfast diner where they always come out well. This whole episode reminded me of Peggy’s recent post about getting rid of things that bug us – this machine definitely qualifies for that – and also of Colleen’s discussion about the barbeque which was decluttered despite it being such a big part of the culture in Australia. I am pretty much at that point with our barbeque which we haven’t used for years. It’s an expected item here in Texas as well, but the truth is that we don’t really enjoy cooking on it and for the three or four times a year that we want steak it makes much more sense to go to a local restaurant and let them grill it for us.

    • Colleen Madsen

      Ha ha Christine, good for you. There is nothing more useless than a poor performing single use gadget. And besides, as you say, have one as a treat at a breakfast diner occasionally instead, because lets face it waffles aren’t something that a person ought to include in their diet on such a regular basis to justify owning such a gadget. At least a BBQ can cook a whole lot more than a waffle or too but if you aren’t using it why keep it. I haven’t missed mine that’s for sure.

  8. Hi Christine,

    I think that waffle iron would have bugged me, too, half sticking dry like that πŸ™‚

  9. Colleen, I thought these were good missions although I have already done these for the most part (to be done again at a later date though). However, I am still working on the furniture project. Today, I am adding a small, handmade willow table and a vintage bird cage w/ stand to my sell items. And more glassware from the bonus room.

    I have moved all the boxed items to the yard sale place and hopefully soon can take the furniture there. Can’t wait!!!

    • Colleen Madsen

      I am excited for you Brenda. I love a good yard sale. Even the kids used to get in on the act when I had them years ago. It is interesting how much keener they are to part with their stuff if they think they might be able to make a few dollars on it. I hope yours goes well when the time comes.

  10. I’m not sure how, but I’ve ended up with two irons. And I actively avoid ironing. Mine got knocked off the ironing table and apparently stopped working, so I took advantage of a 50% off sale and got another one and shoved it still in the box in the cupboard. I came home a week later to see my daughter using the original one. Apparently the temperature dial had been pushed to off during its tumble and is actually working just fine. Unfortunately the second iron is out of its return time so I have two irons, that I actively avoid using. Go figure.

    • Moni, In the US many stores will give you store credit if it is past the get-your-money-back date.
      Is that a possibility there? Maybe at least you could get something you’d like better than an iron!!!
      I’m still trying to figure out how people avoid ironing! I find that almost everything needs a touch up and I’m not even picky about my clothing!

      • Brenda, the store has a really generous returns policy but I am outside that. I have a daughter who is going flatting later in the year and I’ll probably give her one. She isn’t a fan of ironing either but she seems to be the home-maker type.

        I am fortunate to work in an industrial area so casual dress is acceptable, so I buy very little that would require ironing. My husband is a tradesman, so apart from a few dress shirts for going out, we get by quite nicely without an iron. I used to work in a corporate setting and I had to iron a lot and don’t miss that at all!

    • Colleen Madsen

      I would have a go at taking it back for store credit. You never know unless you try.

  11. I just want to thank the 365 Community for being so supportive. On another blog I made a decluttering comment and got a very rude reply. Not only rude, but very judgmental about how wasteful I was and the burdens I placed on others by trying to first find someone that wanted an item.
    Everyone here is so nice & encouraging.
    Thank You!

    • You are so right, Calla! 365 is the place to be! Definitely the best decluttering/simplifying blog I’ve found!! There are about 3 others I read, but none so fun as this one!

    • Calla – I feel that holding onto unused stuff is wasteful. Don’t you listen to whoever it was. Passing surplus items on allows it to be used during its life-span.

    • Hi Calla,

      I have been seeing a lot of harsh opinions all over FB… I don’t understand why people can’t seem to let anything pass. There are many things I don’t especially care for on FB and the Internet in general but I don’t feel the need to point it out each time…

      When people say these things, it is about who they are and not about who we are, so try not to trouble yourself about it πŸ™‚

    • Colleen Madsen

      Hi Calla, let me just say that it is a wonderful and positive community we have here at 365 Less Things. I take no credit for that it just developed organically. There have only been a handful of not so friendly comments over the years which were handled well by myself and the other readers. I thank you all for that.

  12. I agree! 365 is the place to be!! It’s a community where everyone is kind and helpful…and fun!!!

  13. I think these are all Tuesday items: 3 vases such as come with floral deliveries, some lingerie wash bags I’ve found I don’t like or use, a small bowl for setting under plants… wish it was more πŸ™‚

  14. This is probably Tuesday as well: An old jacket that started out as my husbands and ended up as a jacket we were all fighting over. I only wore it about 3x this winter so I think it’s safe to let it go, still have plenty of other jackets and coats πŸ™‚

  15. Hello everyone!

    I’ve been living in various hotels (I lost count) since December. It has been fun, but quite a challenge to stay organized. Hotel rooms never have enough drawer or closet space to actually live there. But we have managed.

    I moved here with only a few winter clothes. So when it came time to get spring and summer things, I made a list and set a limit and stuck to it. It was a LOT more work than just going shopping willy-nilly, but it works! I highly recommend it. I now have a balanced spring/summer wardrobe that will cover just about any occasion. And it will all fit in my suitcase when we move next month to Europe.

    I only mention the clothes because I know so many of us find this area the biggest challenge in decluttering. I don’t care for shopping, so having too little was the problem for me vs. having too much. But I was still afraid of ending up with too much, or the wrong things. My list really worked.

    Now I’m working on getting rid of the winter things that didn’t work or that I simply didn’t use. This is my first winter season in about 7 years. I learned that I wear pretty much the same thing every day in winter (changing undergarments, of course). And FYI, I’m in the USA, so we are exiting winter and entering spring as you guys in Australia and NZ are doing the opposite.

    Thanks for letting me ramble!

    • Hi, Melanie! Good job regarding that all-season wardrobe shopping. And how exciting that you’re on your way to Europe next! Have an awesome time and do keep in touch whenever you can. πŸ™‚

    • Have you ever considered staying in a Air BNB instead of hotels. They are usually cheeper and much better at catering to your everyday needs. Like cooking and storage.
      And don’t declutter any of the winter clothes you don’t think you will need until you get to Europe, you might find your needs change in a different location.