Mini Mission Monday ~ Break a bad habit

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.

Today we are not going to concentrate on getting rid of stuff but tidying up clutter that is simply out of place. After all, according to most of the online dictionaries I have looked at, clutter is never referred to as, excessive possessions but as a disorderly array of stuff or noise. So this week we will concentrate on putting in order some stuff we have no intension, at least for the moment, of getting rid of. As per the intent of “Mini Mission Mondays” we will concentrate on one area and break the task down into simple steps that will not only make the task more bearable but make you think about why this area constantly gets disorderly and how to stop the cycle.

Monday – Pick an area of your house that you are in control of that you use every day. What I mean by that is an area that is disorderly and you are mostly responsible for that. So we aren’t talking about a child’s bedroom or the garage or a shared shoe closet. Maybe your sock drawer, your car, your side of the bathroom cabinet or maybe  your closet would be a good target. This will be an easier choice if you live alone of course. Try to choose and area that isn’t too big a task for this exercise because we want to keep it relatively simple and stress free. Today I just want you to observe that area for ten minutes or so and try to analyze what you think the cause fo the disarray might be.

Tuesday – Today I would like you to spend ten minutes tidying in this area and returning things to their proper homes elsewhere, should that be necessary. Hopefully ten minutes will just about whip it into shape, if not spend another ten minutes tomorrow.

Wednesday – Finish tidying this area if you haven’t already done so and then continue to use it as usual.

Thursday – Go back to your chosen area and see if it is still as tidy as you left it yesterday. If it isn’t stop and observe what is out of place and why you think it has gotten that way. Tidy the area again but this time utilise what ever you have on hand in the home that will help keep the area tidier (Think outside the box if you have to). Perhaps the problem isn’t that the area is not organised properly but that you are not making the effort to put things away properly as you go. Think about this and consider what you need to do to improve the situation and start acting on that.

Friday – Once again just use the area as normal but be always observing the practicality of the space and the set up. Make any adjustment you think may improve the system already in place.

Saturday – Are you seeing an improvement on the way this area is shaping up each day. If so stop and think has it really taken that much extra effort or has it just been a matter of making the right choices in arrangement and or behaviour.

Sunday - Keep tweaking and observing and analysing your habits. Studies show that it takes about twenty one days to form a new behaviour or start to break an old one so keep focusing on this area until you feel sure you have broken your bad habits and replaced them with new more organised ones. If you feel successful with this area of your home maybe once the twenty one days are up you may want to begin to work on a new area.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

This is a group of sewing things that have been sitting in a drawer not being used and if they aren’t being used I don’t need to keep them. One more donation off to the thrift shop.

Sewing Stuff

Something I Am Grateful For Today

What isn’t there to be grateful for today. It is Sunday so I got up leisurely, only did what I felt like doing, spent the afternoon with a friend and had a bottle of wine with a dinner that was delicious but took minimal effort. If my husband was here the day would be perfect but close to perfect is good enough for me.

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. Great plan for the week. I pick my home office area, I’ll let you know how it goes x

    • Wow Cathryn,
      what part of pick an easy area did you not understand? 😉 😆 That sounds like more than a mini mission to me but if anyone is up for the challenge you are, so good luck and I look forward to hearing all about the outcome next Monday.

  2. I pick my place at the table – yes, really, it gets so stacked up with things and I can’t seem to keep it cleared. This is a good exercise to figure it out once and for all (I hope).

    • I found the solution to things accumulating on my dining table. I recently sold the big old wooden table and bought a gorgeous round glass one now no-one is game to put anything on it except when we are eating there. I am not sure if they are more afraid of breaking it or me breaking them. 😆

      • Jo,
        Snap! My dining table is also serving as my office, and general “putting-down place” at the moment (mobility issues), so what you say so goes for me too. However … Colleen, that glass table wouldn’t work for me – I am the sole offender here!

        • Hi Ann,
          ok you know what area you have to work on this week then. Good luck and don’t over do it that leg has plenty of healing to do yet.

  3. Great post – it will be my kitchen bench – what a clutter magnet it is!

  4. Do you know what? I don’t have such a place at the moment! Thanks to you and your blog, my house was almost immaculate when we had some real estate agents come through to give as an appraisal this morning!! Due in no small part to the 950+ items I’ve decluttered so far this year.

    I spent the weekend reorganising our wardrobes and drawers, to fit all the loose bits and pieces floating around the house, and even managed to take apart our 2 bulky floor fans and store them properly out of the way (my biggest bugbear: I hated seeing them in my closet taking up so much space). Thanks so much for being such an inspiration Colleen!!

    • Hi Loretta,
      thank you so much for those kind words and I am so pleased for you that you have achieved so much with your decluttering. So you are selling your home, could it be that you have decided you can now fit into a smaller one or are you just hoping for a change of scenery?

      • Ironically, we will be moving to a bigger home, sigh. We haven’t bought yet (we’re looking for a sea-change and some land to do lots of gardening – your nightmare, I know!) I don’t think we can find a house that is smaller than 13 square metres – which is what we have now – where we want to move to 🙂 I’m tipping we will have at least 2 empty rooms as we won’t have enough furniture and I don’t want to rush into buying anything until we *need* it. I am looking forward to having an extra bathroom though, just not the cleaning of it!

        • Hi Loretta,
          going smaller than 13 square metres would be a challenge, any wonder you have been furiously decluttering. Good luck with the search and I hope the bathrooms are well designed and as easy to clean as the downstairs one in my home.

  5. LOL don’t worry. Most of the office belongs to my hubby and I have a specific spot in mind! There is a box next to my chair where I often put things ‘for now’ which is fatal. It gets them off my desk which I try to keep clear