Mini Mission Monday – 21FEB2011

This week we are going to do something a little different with our mini missions. I want you to pick a room in your home that has a clutter issue, and this room is going to be the focus of your mini missions this week. Make a vow to yourself that you are not going to add any extra clutter to this room. Anything you use from or in it during the week you are going to put away immediately after use. Choose departure points for your decluttered items, some will go in the trash some will end up in the recycling bin while others will be donated. Make sure your donation departure point is in an out of the way place, preferably in the garage where you can load them into the car at the end of the week. If you have the opportunity to dispose of them as you go along that is all the better because then you won’t be tempted to keep them. Lets get started.

  • Monday – Tidy off one elevated surface in your focus room putting everything away in its proper home.
  • Tuesday – Go back to your chosen room again and pick another elevated surface to clear off. Once again put everything away in its proper home and move any unwanted clutter to your clutter departure points.
  • Wednesday – Today you are going to clear off the floor in your chosen room. Pick up anything that doesn’t belong on the floor and find a home for it. Once again move any unwanted clutter to its departure point.
  • Thursday – Choose a drawer in this room and declutter it. If you have no drawers choose a small area that is out of sight. A box under a bed, a shelf or a small cabinet.
  • Friday – Repeat the same task as Thursday.
  • Saturday – Declutter an area of your own choosing in the room today. By now the room should be in pretty good shape.
  • Sunday – Put your donation items into your car and plan on delivering them to their new home/s ASAP. If this room still needs some decluttering, vow to finish it in the near future and make a promise to yourself not to clutter this room again.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

The problem with picture frames of this nature is that the frame is so busy that it overshadows the photo that goes in it. So it is frame clutter in more ways than one. Maybe someone else will love it and buy it at the thrift store.

Frame 3 21FEB2011

I am grateful for anything that brings me joy. Below are five things that gave me joy since my last post.

  • Going exploring in an area of my city I haven’t spend much time in. We caught  the ferry to get there which we had not done before either.
  • Two of my readers have offered or agreed to write guest posts for me. I am looking forward to the results.
  • My husband revisiting keepsake boxes and getting more ruthless with the decluttering.
  • I was grateful that we were undercover during our evening walk when the rain started to come down. We weren’t far from home so we waited for the rain to stop and went home.
  • Big Bang Theory – even when they are repeats I still get a laugh.

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. I can’t do the miny mission this week because it’s moving time! The movers will be here Weds and the house is in shambles…LOL…the good thing is I’ve been decluttering daily with Freecycle…so good to find a new home for perfectly good junk…

    There is a recycling drop off site near my new house so I put it in the car and stop frequently…today I have a load to drop off to the charity shop too…the plan is to start out with a clutter free living enviroment and keep it that way…makes it much easier to let go of things I’ve had for too long for the wrong reasons…

    The hard part is having too many handmade treasures with not enough space to properly display them…I’m talking gorgeous hand made quilts from my mom, sister and friends…plus hand hooked primitive rugs…I try to change them out every few months…I give away a lot of what I make…but must keep creating!

    • Hi Kelly,
      it sounds like you should have a great transition into your new home because you have eliminated the clutter before moving in. I am sure you will still find thing to declutter but that can now be a slow and orderly process.
      As for your creative outlet, do you sell your rugs at all. If not maybe it is time you found an outlet for them. I am familiar with this problem as I find it necessary to create also but need to find an outlet too which I am working on at the moment.

      • Have you seen “Etsy” – it’s a reputable online sales place for local, homemade, organic, fairtraid and/or thrifty crafted gift items… I’ve bought from there a couple of times when looking for things I wouldn’t have the skills to make myself…?

        Good luck!

        • Tracey,
          Hello and welcome to 365lessthings. Thank you for adding your voice to our collective. I have heard of etsy in fact I plan on opening a shop there soon to start selling hand made items in a bid to clutter my abundance of craft supplies. Wish me luck!

  2. This is perfect for one-room livers! I do miss the closets in this week, but, well, that was last week. Unfortunatly, I don’t have any shed, so some things are still standing on my floor close to the door waiting to be taken to a thriftstore.

    • Hi Nurchamiel,
      my advice is to get those items off to the thrift store as soon as possible to they don’t find their way back into your closet and so you can truly appreciate the result of your effort. As I said before, if you live in an apartment leave the thrift shop items in the foyer with a FREE sign on them and someone is sure to rehouse them for you. It will save you the trip to the thrift store.

  3. Perfect! It’s funny when I finally have a chance to get back to my decluttering project (life, work, fun, plans had gotten in the way) what I worked on mirrors the mini mission again. I felt stuck and uninspired on the next project, so I was reading something on decluttering and it said to focus on one room and a good choice would be the bedroom so that you can have a calm sanctum to relax in. So Friday night I attacked it, and just doing that helped me work out the other part that I felt stuck on. I knew that it was going to require making a bigger mess to be able to work it down to something small, and I was fighting having to do it. So yesterday, I got a good chunk of that part done too. What I learned is that if you are stuck, find something easy to declutter and physically working through that process may hold the key to help unlock the way to solve the harder declutter problem. This week’s mini missions will be done in my bedroom, where I had gotten a good chunk done, but there’s still plenty of things to be done that fit with the missions. Thanks Colleen!

    • Hi Kathleen,
      you certainly stumbled onto the right attitude here. As you know my mottoes are one thing at a time and don’t look at the big picture. How often my readers tell me that my mini missions aren’t mini because it spurred them on to bigger tasks. That was actually part of my evil yet cunning plan. If you convince yourself to start by thinking small and not being overwhelmed soon you will find the enthusiasm to tackle bigger projects. If not that doesn’t matter either because even enough little tasks add up to a big difference in the long run. The one key you have to stick by though is not to reclutter. Everyday should include the mini mission of “Put back everything I have had out and am done with.”

  4. Thank you, Colleen, for this week’s mini-missions. There is a black hole in our house, and has been for years: my “office”. I can declutter the entire house easily now and really enjoy the effect, but everything that needs to be paid, acted on, needs an internet visit or…….
    (shudder) FILED, ends up here. I have finally cleared all surfaces – ok, my desktop can use a bit of a spiff, but it is a rolltop desk and can be hidden.
    Here comes the big confession: deep breath…..I have a box of filing that goes back some two years. I did attack the paperwork that needs saving, but not here, and it went to the storage building a month ago; I can see the floor now and have room to put down the dog bed I bought at Christmas.

    Today, I will sort it by drawer, in piles, on the floor. There are 5 drawers in the filing cabinet, so top drawer tomorrow, etc. I promise to report back next weekend. My breathing is shallow, my teeth are clenched, but I will have a cup of tea, put on some working music and dive it. I’ll keep my cell phone at hand in case I get swallowed up.

    • Good luck Susan S, paperwork is the hardest thing for me too!

    • Hi Susan S,
      I am sorry I have not answered this comment sooner but I was trying to find something for you. There was a link to a blog post somewhere that I was reading the other day about ways to reduce the amount of paperwork in one’s life. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find where I saw it. Sorry. I was hoping it might be a help to you as a five drawer filing cabinet seems like an awful lot of paperwork clutter. I hope you had major success with filing and eliminating it this week and look forward to hearing about it next Monday.

  5. I see a clutter free bedroom in my future – that will be a nice change. Somehow our bedroom is where all the stuff without a home ends up. It may take two weeks instead of one.

    • Hi Jo,
      two weeks or one is better than never and your bedroom is a good place to begin. Like I said to Rebecca a bedroom should be a place of tranquillity and I am sure you will rest all the better for your efforts. Good luck and make sure you let me know how it went.

  6. This week looks like it will be fun! I plan to choose the main bedroom because I have a small office area in one corner. Thanks to the office area, the bedroom easily gets too cluttered and is no longer a relaxing place to sleep. It’s not too bad, but after this week, I hope it’s a little more under control.

    • Hi Rebecca,
      that sounds like a good choice. A bedroom should always be a place of peace and rest so having it cluttered is never conducive to that goal. I wish you luck and hope you achieve the results you are aiming for. I look forward with to an update next Monday.


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