Mini Mission Monday 31 Jan 2011

How quickly Monday seems to come around. I swear the older I get the faster time flies but that might just be because I’m having so much fun. Far be it from me to keep all that fun to myself though so here are this weeks mini missions to keep you amused for a little while. I know I am generous to a fault but that is just the kind of loving and caring person I am. As an old friend of mine likes to say as his farewell salute, ENJOY!

  • Monday – What do you have hiding behind the doors of your TV unit? It’s time you took a look and declutter the redundant items.
  • Tuesday – Cutlery drawer – Are there any pieces that don’t match or maybe don’t even belong to you? Wipe down the silverware holder while you’re there. (Thanks to Cindy again for this one)
  • Wednesday Sometimes decluttering is just about maintenance so today is the day to clean out your handbag where stuff often accumulates.
  • Thursday Time to revisit the bookcase. Pick too more books that you haven’t looked at for a long time. Consider if you need these books for certain information or whether you could access the same information with a simple google search. Also consider if the information is likely to be out of date.
  • Friday Following on from last weeks post about stagnant items in you home go now and choose one items that you know to be stagnant and put in in the donation box. If you hear that little voice saying but but but and stop for a moment and ask yourself which desire is stronger the one to purge or the quilt pang attached to the item. Remember you are doing this for yourself in your home.
  • Saturday Also following on from last week – It is your turn to take a look under one of the beds in your home and see what you can find there. Aside from dust bunnies I am sure you can come up with at least one item to declutter.
  • Sunday Go through your household cleaners. Start using up the ones that for some reason you don’t like and then put some thought into how you can minimise the rest in the future. Investigate versatile products that can be used for multiple tasks. Go back and have a look at this post on Day 77 for inspiration and also consider adding microfibre products to the mix. See Day 276 and Day 279 for tips on using microfibre.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

This hammock has been hanging around unused for years (excuse the pun). Maybe someone will be happy to sling the thrift ship a few bucks for it. ๐Ÿ˜†


Things I am grateful for today

  • My refrigerator only cost $177 to replace it’s thermostat and now it is all healthy again – I have had the same one for the entire 24 years of married life. I owed it the dignity of at least one repair job after such good service. Maybe now it will keep on chugging for another 24 years. One more thing saved from landfill ( for now).
  • My friend amber and her family who allowed me to transfer my cold stuff to their beer fridge while mine was being repaired.
  • Liam sent his two written assignments of the University today – Two more steps to returning to his normal routine. He has two other courses to do some prac work for and he will be up to date with what he missed during his recovery time.
  • The nice Freecycle lady who picked up the items I left out for her today.
  • That glass of wine I am about to go and pour – It is 5:30pm as I write this and I think that makes it wine o’clock. Cheers everyone! ๐Ÿ˜›

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm slow.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. We need a mini mission that says “actually TAKE the donation items to the drop off place instead of letting them clutter up a corner in your house” ’cause that’s the only way I’ll ever do it, hahaha.

    No, just kidding. I love these mini missions!

    • Hi Lynn,
      I can actually relate to this but my stock pile mounts up because I would rather take a trunk load at a time so I don’t waste the fuel driving over there with only a few things. I keep my pile in the garage so it isn’t so bad. The pile is right beside the drivers door so I am not likely to forget about it and have it mound up too much. I have to confess I still procrastinate over the eBay pile though for various reasons but it is getting in my way now so I will work on it this week.

  2. Great mini missions Colleen! It’s still Sunday here and my two bookcases moved to a new home today!!! More space!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ The contents are now stuffed in one floor to ceiling storage closet and it’s a mess. Since I’ve already done the mini missions for the coming week, I’ll put my energy into getting the closet in order.

    Microfiber products are great! I’ve been using them for over a decade and they just make cleaning so much easier. I’m also learning to use baking soda and vinegar in cleaning.

    I’m curious to know what’s Today’s Declutter Item? A hammock..?

    • Hi Ann,
      I knew you would be onto those mini missions in a flash. It sounds like you need to get into the closet though so I wish you luck with that. My hubby got into the stair cupboard in the garage yesterday so now I have a few more things to re-purpose or purge.
      My daily declutter items seem to be accidentally turning into a “Mystery Item” quiz lately. I forget to add an explanation for the item, I have now amended that.

  3. Thanks again Colleen and yes, like Anne, I’m wondering what today’s mystery items is as well! Looking forward to getting stuck in to next week’s missions.

    I agree Lynn – actually getting to the charity shop is going to be one of my missions this week!

  4. I agree with Lynn and Mrs. Green, and always consider my trip to the Goodwill drop-off spot as decluttering. Otherwise, this accumulated stuff will completely take over my front closet. Decluttering is a two-step process!

    • Hi Eve,
      leaving the decluttered items for too long before sending them to the thrift store increases the risk of having them weasel their way back into the house. For that reason alone it is probably a good idea to get rid of them ASAP. Some folks are more susceptible to this temptation than others.

  5. Love the missions!!
    Monday: TV sits on coffee table with 1 open shelf: golf books (mustn’t touch them, husband’s!) and kids’ games. I’ve already decluttered the games so everything stays:)
    Tuesday: plan to remove and store 1/2 the spoons, forks and knives as we have 2 x 8 pieces of each (2 sizes). Our dishwasher’s cutlery rack is broken so we have to do them by hand, therefore we don’t need so many pieces for everyday use.
    Wednesday: Don’t often carry a handbag any more. SOOO much simpler just to take my zipped coin/card purse, with room for 1 lip gloss, with keyring attached. Rarely carry a mobile phone (much to my husbands’ disgust)
    Thursday: Have donated over 100 books (!) this January already, and all the books now fit comfortably (without spilling or being double-stacked on shelves. Yay!
    Friday: Have been slowly taking pictures off the dining room wall and am liking the feeling of space. Can’t bring myself to part with any of them YET, but by Friday I may come around ๐Ÿ™‚
    Saturday: Am pleased to say that NOTHING (except dust bunnies!) lives under the beds. Much easier to clean for a lazy housekeeper like me.
    Sunday: There’s no use having 2 bottles of window cleaner (eco-friendly of course) unless I actually USE them! Must clean windows!!!

    • Hi Loretta,
      first off, well done with the mini missions – for those you did and especially for those you didn’t need to do. It sure sounds like you have been making some good progress with your decluttering, Good for you! You better get on with that window cleaning though. I am lucky that all the windows in my house are easy to access inside and out but it still doesn’t inspire me to clean them that often. Unfortunately a fly fox has made a mess of one at the front of the house (I hadn’t long cleaned it either) so I might have to take care of that this week before my visitors arrive.

  6. Ok! Thanks! Got my weekly assignment ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats to Liam for his hard work!

    • Hi Willow,
      I look forwards to hearing how you went with this week’s assignment. Don’t forget if you ever have any ideas for missions I haven’t mentioned yet please drop me an email from my contact page.
      I am looking forward to Liam going back to uni next month for one it will give him something to do with his time and two just to see how he handles the schedule. I am not anticipating any problems if anything I half expect him to achieve more due to the extra stimuli of class work and fellow students.

  7. Once again, these missions are great! I’ve gone through the bookcase and shelves about a month or longer ago and so far they’re staying organized and useful. We trade in our paperbacks so I have a bag that holds the ones read and awaiting trade-in.

    The other missions are so needed! Our TV stand doesn’t have doors or drawers but the vhs and dvd’s are in other cabinets so they will get cleaned out this week. The cutlery drawer was organized a few months ago but my kitchen gadget drawer with extra ladles, spoons, graters etc. is a big problem right now so that’s on my ‘drawer’ list. AND my purse! It’s not organized at all. I need one of those purse organizers but since I’m not buying anything right now I’ll have to come up with a new solution. hmmmm.
    Stagnant item donation…..that’s how I wrote it on my list…..I know exactly which one needs donated or should I say which ‘ones’.
    Under the bed, finished a few weeks ago. Asthma helps me keep it cleaned out under there. I don’t need dust collectors. But my household cleaners need sorted now. I’ve not been buying much in this category. I use vinegar, dr. bronners, ammonia and baking soda. Organizing the spray bottles and area under my sink and in the cabinet are on my list, though.
    Great list, Colleen, as always! You’re my first visit on Monday Mornings! You have a great way of motivating me. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      I am glad to be of help! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can be so hard motivating yourself sometimes so it is nice for someone else to come up with the ideas and you just have to follow.Even though I have done most of the areas I mention in my mini missions I go back to check each time I write on and to my surprise I still manage to find something else there. Have a good week and happy decluttering.

  8. I switched the Monday and Tuesday missions and decluttered FOUR kitchen drawers this morning in about 15 minutes. Nearly filled a paper grocery bag with items we don’t use and tossed some more stuff that no one would want or use. Going to keep the bag in the basement for one month, and anything not needed by March 1st is outta here! Where does all this stuff come from??

    • Hi Shelly and welcome to 365lessthings it is good to have you on board. Thank you for leaving a comment and participating in the mini missions. As for your question of where does all this stuff come from – well I can sum that up in one word CONSUMERISM. We have something that works just fine but can’t resist shiny new things that promise to be better than the one we already have. Thank God I am cured of that disease. The key to staying permanently uncluttered is to stop buying stuff until the old one in worn out or you don’t already an item that you need. I am amazed that every day I am still coming up with something to declutter. My husband had his doubts that we had enough clutter to see my blog through to the end of the 365 challenge of 2010 but it is the end of January 2011 and I am still finding things and know there is stuff I haven’t dealt with yet. I would hope I am not still finding clutter at the end of this year but you just never know.

  9. I really need to go through the myriad of movies we’ve acquired over the years for the kids. I’ll give them a number and that’s how many they can keep. This is a task I’ve been avoiding so thanks for the kick in the butt!

  10. I like these missions! I haven’t gone through the TV cabinet in about a year and I have drawers under my bed that I’m sure I’ve cleaned out at some point but they should probably be checked again.
    Many of the challenges you posted this week are things I’ve done – but not for a long time. It’s a good reminder that decluttering is an ongoing, not a one time, process. Of course I’ll be happy if I open a cabinet or drawer and discover it’s still in pretty good shape from the last clean out.

    • Hi Rebecca,
      I am glad you are enjoying and carrying out the mini missions. You may be surprised when you revisit areas you have already done. They may have stayed in good shape but you may have become more ruthless with your decluttering and find things to declutter this time that you were happy to keep on your last sweep through. I actually like it when this occurs because it feels like more weight lifted off the house and more room for air to circulate.

  11. Behind the drawers of my TV unit are all our filing boxes. I’m normally fairly on top of those but going through them inspired me to tackle the pile of school work brought home by DS in his infant years. I’ve kept the best examples to see the progression of things like handwriting, the best or most special artwork and his school exercise books. But felt good enough to recycle the rest without too much of a twang. I know he probably won’t even want half of what is now left! But at least it is in a much smaller box that I already have a home for.
    Next week I need to move onto their baby momento boxes. I KNOW there is too much stuff in them for sure.

    • Hi Lesley,
      this is one of those areas that I keep revisiting and re-culling as I become more ruthless. That is what I love about doing this thing slowly it gives you time to adjust. I have done much the same as you but among there stuff is an art book I kept from eighth grade. My son and I were discussing unintentional art last week and I was telling him about three pictures in this art book of mine. I brought them down to show him and he now has one of them hanging up on his wall above the desk. I was as pleased as punch.