Mini Mission Monday 24 Jan 2011

It’s Monday again and you know what that means…you guessed it it’s your favourite day of the week Mini Mission Monday. I believe it has been the cure of Mondayitis throughout the world for all my faithful readers.  Ok so I exaggerate a little but trust me when I say that I get no perverse pleasure out of setting these missions knowing full well they may morph into total clean-outs of the areas mentioned. Ok so I am lying again but believe me it is for your own good and I am proud of each and every one of you who jump in enthusiastically with donation box in hand. With that being said here are your mini missions for the week…

  • Monday – Look in your jewellery box – Are you really going to wear all of those earrings again? Time to cull a few don’t you think? (Thanks to Cindy for this one)
  • Tuesday – Open one of your digital photo sub-folder and delete any not so great photos. Computer clutter is still clutter. (I did say one sub-folder not the whole twenty years of digital memories. Don’t blame me if you get carried away.) πŸ˜‰
  • Wednesday Find one electrical device in your home that you never use and sell it or give it away. It will be slowly dying from lack of use.
  • Thursday It happens nearly every year, I overlook one decoration while packing up after the holidays. If this is you too, take it out to the storage area and add it to the box where it belongs. Don’t stash it in a drawer somewhere because trust me you won’t remember it’s there next year. (Another inspired by Cindy)
  • Friday Declutter one item of aspiration clutter – something you own that you have been meaning to learn to use for years but haven’t. If you can’t part with it then start to use it either way it won’t be clutter any more.
  • Saturday Go through your spice collection and declutter any that you know have been there a long time or that you never use.
  • Sunday If you have picnic items such as a basket of utensils and the like, a Thermos flask, blanket etc check to see if they are in good working order or if you are ever likely to use them again. If not it is time to purge the items that are of no use to you.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

Just a little more silverware that I have no desire to keep cleaning. I am sure the person from Freecycle (if they ever get around to picking them up) will love them.

Pate Knives 24JAN2011

Things I am grateful for today

  • I decided to get rid of my cook books – It is so easy to find any recipe I could want on the Internet and to top it off I can cut and paste them straight into my family cookbook file on my computer that I use all the time and share with my family.
  • A restful weekend which included dinner out with friends.
  • Ironing that only takes about 45minutes to do once every three weeks – I am not sure how this came about but I am very grateful it did.
  • Finding out the my local trophy shop will take my old trophies and use the parts to make new ones when organisations ask for donations – Now all I have to do is get of my butt and do something about it.
  • Always finding the motivation to begin a new decluttering tasks – sometimes it may take a while to convince myself to tackle some tasks but in the meantime there is always another less challenging one to contend with.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when IÒ€ℒm slow.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I just found your site and I’m loving it! Thanks for all the great ideas:o)

    • Hi Karen,
      welcome to my blog I hope you will enjoy reading here and we look forward to hearing from you often. I took a quick look at your blog and those binders you have made to organise recipes and household ideas are soooooo cute and very handy too I bet. I am sure we could benefit here from your organising tips. Even though I am a natural organiser I don’t speak much on that subject here because I prefer to encourage my readers to discard their stuff rather than organise it. That is not to say that organising isn’t important or necessary in a decluttered home I just find that once you are down to a reasonable level of possessions they pretty much organise themselves.


    • Holla Mirta, me complace esté disfrutando mi blog. Mantener las cosas sólo en caso es un problema muchas personas sufren. Estoy contento de ser curados de ese problema y como usted dice que la libertad es maravilloso. Muchas gracias por venir a decir hola. Por favor gota a menudo. Colleen

  3. Ohh this looks good. I am going to join in this week – I need to keep up my motivation, and you, as usual are just the ticket.

    It’s still Sunday here in the UK and I did my own spontaneous decluttering today. We seem to have *so* many forks they are always spilling out of their designated space in the drawer. At work we have the opposite problem and getting a fork to eat my lunch with is nigh impossible – I’ve decided to donate 10 of my forks to work. Put them in a ziplock bag in my bag ready for tomorrow. Felt quite smug about my problem solving ability (although have an awful feeling a lot of those forks may have belonged to work in the first place, so I won’t make a grand gesture of my contribution tomorrow!)

    • Hi Anna,
      so you are a fork kleptomaniac hey maybe you should return those pens in your stationery drawer while you are at it πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜† I am just guessing at that of course don’t take offence.
      I hope you will check in at the end of the week and let us know how you went with the mini missions.
      Getting back to those pens – I think I am going to have to make a donation of pens to my local school as the accumulation of them in our house makes it likely that they will dry up before they ever get used. We have a pen klepto in our family either that or some crazy lady just got carried away at one point (not mentioning any names).

      • On the pen front – my husband was quizzing me today as we somehow have managed to accumulate a Metropolitan Police pen! Absolutely no idea where from. The ‘hope you didn’t steal it’ joke was wearing thin after the third time!

        So yes, I reckon the pens prob need to go back too!

  4. I’ve been just waiting for these new mini-missions! No, really!! It’s easier when I don’t have to do the “deciding” about what to do next.

    Thanks for the update on the trophies – I’ll bet you’ll feel like dancing when you’ve passed those on for new winners to enjoy.

    • Oh Yeh Jo you bet I am going to be glad of this. My goal is to do away with the display cabinet in the living room although it may start to echo in there is I do that. πŸ˜†
      Good luck with this week’s mini missions. I am looking forward to hearing about your results.

  5. I’m loving these mini-missions! I don’t remember to do all of them, but they do motivate me to get off my butt and do one or two, and they don’t take long at all– just did the jewelry box one a minute ago and realized that I have all the jewelry I will ever need (even after getting rid of about half of the earrings and pins). Keep it up– I love your blog!

    • Hi Nikki,
      I am pleased to welcome you to my blog and happy that you are enjoying the mini missions and finding them helpful.
      I always go over and check out the blogs of readers who contact me and I was pleased to see that someone is keeping the redhead gene alive. I couldn’t help but be curious (I seem to be having a day of that) as to the origin of your surname so I googled for surname origins and checked Kindinger on three web sites and came up with nothing. You are going to have to satisfy my curiosity now, PLEASE! πŸ™‚ I find the strangest things fascinating.

  6. Oh please tell me where you sent your trophies! I’ll even post mine to them. Yes, yes, they’re still laying about the house, my horrid nemesis clutter *grr*

    I’ve just been through my jewellery box – gosh I have a lot of junk in there. And I don’t wear jewellery πŸ˜† They can get added to the Op Shop box, which I’m dropping off this afternoon before it gets so heavy I can’t lift it!

    • Hi Lyndal,
      I was lucky with my trophies because the shop I phoned had never taken donations until only a week ago. A man came in an offered them some and they figured why no because they get asked for trophy donations and they figured they could use the parts from the donated trophies to make the donation trophies. Sorry that isn’t much help to you though.
      I am intrigued as to where you are from because you used the term Op Shop it don’t think it is a tern they use in America and that got me all inquisitive. What is it they say – Curiosity killed the cat . If that were to case with my I would have been long gone by now, I am a curious little thing.

      • Hi Colleen,
        I’m an Aussie, currently at Lake Macquarie. This decluttering bug must be catching! I went to my local Salvo’s Op Shop to drop of a few boxes worth of things and they had a sign up saying they’re not taking any more donations until February *gasp* Apparently they’re full up from people decluttering over the Christmas break.

        • Hi Lyndal,
          I will send you a personal email to find out more about where you are as we are practically neighbours. I live in Newcastle. Maybe there is a chance you can get rid of those trophies after all. I was just down along the Lake the other day. A friend and I drove down to Morisset to check out some dog kennelling places. It is a huge lake so you could be in one of a million places. I will email later, right now I have to make a Pavlova for an Australia Day BBQ tomorrow.

          • ’tis a tiny world we live in! The Salvos that isn’t taking stock at the moment is the one in Morisset! If you were looking at Blue Gum Kennels, I can personally recommend them – that’s where my boss takes his dog when he travels and I get to ring and check on him *lol* – the dog that is, not the boss.

  7. Ah, the dreaded jewelry box. I have a plan: I am putting all my jewelry that is in the ‘maybe’ category in one spot. If I wear it, the piece will be put back in the box. If I haven’t worn it in a certain amount of time, out that piece goes. I’m considering now the time limit. I’ve used this method with clothes before and it works well for me. Wish me luck!

    • Ah ha Willow! I found something that you hadn’t already taken care of. I am proud of myself. I like your plan, it is a sure fire way to weed out the items that you no longer use. I think I am going to have to do the jewelry (that is one of those words that my Aussie spell check doesn’t like) box mission too, I have quite a few things that either need getting rid of or being put into the kids keepsake boxes.

      • I hate to admit, but my jewelry box had not been organized…what a horrible discovery! πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ I was ruthless and discarded a bunch of items I hadn’t worn in years. I think I’ll even be able to fit all my jewelry into the one small box and get rid of the pile of tiny boxes.

        I like what you said earlier about organizing vs decluttering. A while ago I realised that the reason I had trouble keeping things organized was the fact that I had way too much stuff. No matter how many good containers I bought, things still got messy after a while. Now that I have less stuff, I am able to keep things organized and cleaning takes less time.

        • Hi Anne,
          At last I found something to challenge you with and true to form you passed with flying colours. Well done you! I have a jewelty box I bought at a yard sale once it is practical but ugly so I figure if I declutter enough out of it I could possibly do away with it.

  8. The entire list is going to be a working list this week! I’ve attached it to my weekly planner To Do list and will start today! My biggest challenge will be the Electric device challenge. I have quite a few small electronic gadgets and I know I need to freecycle them but just haven’t. Onward!!!
    And the Aspiration decluttering, oh my! I have a newer easel I just stored away in the cellar and 2 boxes of acrylic and oil paints along with brushes and painting do-dads that are scattered about in different storage areas. They should be consolidated at least to the same storage area and then donated or freecycled. What was I thinking, spending money on painting when I really don’t enjoy it that much? Again, onward!
    Thanks, Colleen for a great weekly list!
    Marilyn in NM

    • Hi Marilyn in NM,
      you certainly have your work cut out for you this week but just imagine how good you will feel once all those torments are out of your home.

  9. Is it cheating to ask if my last week’s trip to the charity shop counts as Wednesday’s mission accomplished? An old and unused, but functional, air ioniser was taken to the Oxfam store as a part of 4 big bags (that is f-o-u-r, I cannot believe it myself) of other perfectly usable, but unused household items. There was one bag full of brand new, still in protective film, photo albums, some bought 8 years ago to put my wedding photos in – between then and now digital age took over by storm and now everything is, well, digitalised. Actually, thinking back through the contents of those bags, this week’s missions are probably mostly done. But, I’ll start from the scratch πŸ˜‰

    Speaking of, I have an addendum to your Tuesday mission – can you please, please remind your readers that, along with decluttering their digital space, they back up their photos regularly as well. That task would probably fall under organising more than decluttering, but it can be overlooked so easily. The horror of losing precious photos is something I haven’t been through, but two of my friends have, and I wouldn’t wish it to anyone.

    Finally, I was thinking of asking you if you can add tags to your Monday posts, so we can access all mini missions through your tag cloud on the right?

    One more thing, I’m curious to know, where do you get your ideas for mini missions from? I love them, and as Jo said, it makes the job of deciding what to tackle next so much easier.

    • Hi Ornela,
      it is perfectly acceptable to ignore any mini mission you have already taken care of either recently or in the past but have kept maintained.
      You are right about backing up computer files whether photo or otherwise. It is even a good idea to do this both on an external hard drive and to an on-line location.
      I did add a mini mission tag to this weeks mini mission but for some reason new tags don’t seem to be added to the cloud I will have to speak to my tech guy about this. For the time being there is a search box on the right side that you could type mini mission Monday into and it will bring up a list the previous weeks under it.
      As for the origin of my mini mission ideas usually they come from the jobs I have tackled myself during the previous week. Every now and again though someone will send me an idea as you can see from this weeks missions Cindy has been taking great pleasure in finding ways to torture you all coming up with a list for me. She is a very helpful soul. (I am just playing Cindy if you read this) πŸ˜‰

  10. This site REALLY inspired me to declutter the last of the clutter that was in my home. I thought I had got rid of pretty much everything at my one and only garage sale (after dealing with the hideous task of setting one up I made a promise to myself that I would never allow myself to gather enough clutter to have to have another a garage sale). Well your blog made me realize that there is more stagnant items I knew I had there and could be removed from my home without any regret. So I embarked on that this morning….I gave items away to a friend in need and the rest went to Goodwill. It feels so good removing no longer needed items from your home. Again my home has EMPTY spaces and I’m not itching to refill them. A sparse home can be a beautiful thing!

    • Hi Erika,
      I couldn’t agree with you more a sparse home is certainly a beautiful thing. I had to send my living room rug off to be inspected by the company I bought it from this week because of a defect, the room has a faint echo now. I love it. I have ample space in my kitchen cupboards, not that I plan on filling them with anything and my coffee table has an empty drawer. It feels marvellous. I am now looking forward to some natural decluttering to occur in my wardrobe because I would like it to be a bit more spacious as well. Keep looking I am sure you can find a few more things.

  11. I’ve gotten to where I really look forward to your mini-missions each week. Sometimes I do all the missions in one day and other times I work on them throughout the week, but not always in order. Regardless of how I follow them, I enjoy having 7 specific decluttering tasks each week that I may not have thought of on my own.
    I’ve already done the jewelry mission. It’s funny – I don’t have a lot of jewelry so I thought I wouldn’t have anything to donate, but I found a few things buried in the jewelry box that I never wear anymore. I put them in a ziplock bag and tossed them into my ongoing donation box.

    • Hi Rebecca,
      I am glad you are enjoying the mini missions. As they say every little bit counts even a few pieces of jewelry. It is kind of like the opposite of the straw that broke the camels back – one day you will remove one last little morsel and realise that you are finally done decluttering.

  12. I just want to proudly announce that I’ve followed this week’s mini missions – the past weeks haven’t ‘spoken’ to me so much.

    Monday – cleaned the jewelry area, and made it BEAUTIFUL! and then it flowed onto hair accessories (for the other week’s mini mission I recall!), and stationary drawers
    Tuesday – deleted countless photos (I did start counting!) of holidays etc, both on my work computer and on the one random SD card that was in my handbag. Found another one on Aust Day, so will need to cull it too. BUt it prompted me to print some photos to give to my grandma this birthday and to the friend I saw yesterday (show them photos from last year’s Aust Day celebration) – but then I forgot πŸ˜•
    Wednesday – Freecycled my kettle – sadly no bites yet, and it works too! Just surplus to needs.
    Thursday – well decorations are mum’s domain, but I did note they were very neat in the shed. I will squirrel around and see if anything missed the pack up boat.

    Thanks for the motivation!
    (PS I wish there was a way I could track/remember where I commented on your website, like that have on

  13. I took the weekend off – it was my birthday and I hang glided, and I also had lots of celebratory meals and drinks! So all ready for this coming Monday’s missions. I’m in Sydney, but I grew up in Brisbane, only moved here at 18.

    • Hi Snosie,
      Happy birthday!!! πŸ™‚
      Good luck with this week’s mini missions. And just remember if you received an “unwanted” gifts for your birthday now is the time to find them new homes.