Mini Mission Monday ~ Leading by example

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.

Usually I just make the mini missions up from something that pops into my head. Perhaps a theme or items that I decluttered the week before. I suppose today is no different but this time I am going to actually match each day with something I am decluttering. I will name the clutter category and you can search your home for an item that fits that category.

Monday – Today I would like you to declutter a souvenir from your home. It could be from a holiday, a sporting match, a concert or any other event that you felt compelled to obtain a momento of.

Tuesday – Declutter some seemingly insignificant thing that you keep overlooking because it is hidden away or it really just hasn’t occurred to you to get rid of it.

Wednesday – Declutter an item of clothing that no longer fits you are someone else in your household.

Thursday – There is usually a collection of something in every household that the collector lost interest in some time ago. Today declutter that collection.

Friday – I know we have a lot of avid book readers out there, today see if you can choose at least one book out of your collection that you know you just aren’t going to read again. Release it out there for someone else to enjoy.

Saturday – How is that linen closet coming along? See if you can find another item in there that is excess to your needs.

Sunday – Most people I know have at least one item in their homes that was left behind by someone and no matter how many times they revisit the item is forgotten. Today would be a good day to return or discard that item.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

Here is my mini mission offering for today. Who’d have though I will still have baseball souvenirs to declutter. :roll: 

Baseball Souvenirs

Something I Am Grateful For Today

My little girl phoned me last night for no other reason but to say I was a good mum. She was commuting home from work and the thought occurred to her to just call me to tell me that. Isn’t she precious.


It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Memorabilia Items 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 […]
  • 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 […]
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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Your daughter is wise beyond her years to realize that anytime is the right time to tell people what is in your heart and on your mind. That must have made you feel like a million bucks!

  2. My belly is getting so big that the clothes decluttering thing won’t be hard. -_-

    • Hi Lynn,
      you must be just about due to have your baby by now. It seems like you have been pregnant forever. Good luck and I hope all goes well when the time comes. Don’t forget to let us know when it does.

  3. While I am still in the “deep-purge” phase of decluttering (being able to rid myself of 4 boxes of books, or 20+ glasses we don’t use or like) I love this little checklist of things to declutter!
    Among my “deep-purge” I am definitely going to be decluttering one item from your daily list as well!

    • Hi Sarah-Mae,
      welcome to 365 Less Things and thank you for dropping by to leave a comment. I took a look at your blog and WOW that is a lot of books and good for you getting rid of 4 boxes. Thank you also for linking to my blog from yours. After 20 months I am still finding glasses to get rid of too. I just put some Coca Cola glasses on ebay on Friday, they will be going to the thrift store if they don’t sell along with all of the other things I listed. I love your knitwear one of our other readers, Willow, is also a keen knitter.

      Have fun following along with the mini missions and happy purging.

  4. Woohoo! I already have quite a few things on this list decluttered/in the process of selling! I’ll keep looking though. I adore how you break it down to very simple tasks!!

  5. Last year I inherited a house and contents from a very dear friend who sadly died from a brain tumour. He was godfather to my 2 sons and thought of me like a sister. I had known him for nearly 25 years and his house on first inspection appeared to be minimalist and clutter free, until you opened a cupboard or looked in a shed! Cleaning out the house has been arduous to to say the least. I started by inviting all his friends to come to the house and take anything that they wanted for themselves or for their children who are at the age of setting up house. I gave away his prized vintage trialls motorbike to a friend who wanted to restore it from the ground up (and has done). I asked the friends to make a donation to palliative care in his memory. Anything that I felt was of use was then given to a charity. The next step was to organise a skip bin to empty the sheds. We have started renovating his house (as he asked) and am now filling our 8th, yes that’s right 8th! 4 cubic metre skip bin with the debris that comes with building, but also the “stuff” that was of no use. Old car tyres, broken mowers, rusted garden tools, cracked pavers… the list is endless. Some months ago I tried to return family photos, war medals, a coin collection and his mothers engagement and wedding ring to his brother (from whom he was largely estranged). Sadly the brother did not want these items that I thought would have been precious to the family. Last night, I removed the photos from the albums to reduce the bulkiness and have put all the precious items in 1 single storage box, and stored it in my wardrobe in the hope that one day, a family member will come forward and decide that these items are precious to them as well. The one item I have saved, and yes, it really is clutter in a sense, is his beloved mums dinner service. Not to my taste at all, but I plan to use it with some mutual friends for Sunday roast as I know that they will appreciate this gesture of sharing his memory.

    • Hi Elaine,
      what a wonderful story and such a generous person you are to give everyone he was close to the opportunity to take what they wanted. It is a shame his family did not want the personal stuff and I like that you have set it aside just in case someone comes forward. If no-one does perhaps you can donate those war medals to the National War Museum in Canberra.

      I little tip ~ Things like broken mowers and rusted garden tools are worth listing on Freecycle because people are often willing to use the part or restore these sorts of things. Never underestimate what people use out there. The old saying is true “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”. The more we can put back into circulation the less new stuff people need to buy. That being said , under the circumstances I can understand it you did consider this but time constraints just made it all a little bit too hard. it sounds like you had quite the job clearing out before renovations could begin.

      I also want to let you know that the books arrived today. Just another example of what a generous, thoughtful person you are. Thank you again. I look forward to reading them, doing a review and donating them to the library.

  6. I should have also mentioned that a number of trips to the tip were made by us BEFORE the skip bins. They have a recycling contractor that takes anything of value (which included all the garden tools, shed tools, screen doors etc, before the rest disappeared into the abyss!

  7. Hi Colleen,
    I found your fantastic blog in august and have been honing my decluttering since, gradually reviewing the archives. While I had been moving from being a hoarder out of necessity over the last 6 years the postings on the different sorts of clutter eg. aspirational clutter and all the great reasons for having a less cluttered life have been great for my motivation as this does not come naturally to me. I can now get rid of some books now I know about ebooks thank you. The extra ideas for clutter free gifts are great. It has been useful to keep track of the outs and ins. The ins cancel out the outs in my tally system. Keeping track of them it has been a lot more obvious to me where things are coming from. We recently moved and have enjoyed the space and I’m keen to keep it that way. It sometimes feels like our loved ones think we have more space for them to fill up. I am more careful about what I buy to bring in as I don’t want to find I’ve wasted money and am getting rid of it later. However the many generous people in my young children’s lives keep giving them toys and clothing. At 50c an item from garage sales the volume can be overwhelming. 30-40 short sleeved T-shirts is too many for any child. Soo there are now emergency clothing packs for the grandparents houses and a big pack of nearly outgrown clothes some un worn to pass on to others. The community garden bric-a-brac stall will have items to sell and what isn’t sold there can go to Vinnie’s. I declutter to make life simpler so I haven’t been giving myself work selling things. Some ideas for places to send things that I have used: the local car seat fitting place needs old towels; the government health service needs washable toys and books for paediatric clinics, my mother wanted the chipped crockery to make mosaics, one of the thrift shops on sells bags of rags to painters (phone and check first as it was one out of 3 in my area).

    • Hi Esther,
      first of all may I extend to you a hearty welcome to 365 Less Things you invite you to join in the conversation via comments as often as you like. I am glad you are finding my posts useful and that you are making good progress with your own decluttering. it seems you are learning lots of important lessons by digging around in the archives. Good for you.

      I like that you have worked out the the idea of decluttering is to make life simpler and with that in mind you have complicated the situation by trying to sell the clutter. You are also investigating alternate places to donate your items too. Well done, you might be surprised how some people find this to be very challenging. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. One of your challenges now is to find a way to stop the clutter coming in from well meaning people. There is only one thing to do there and that is to ask them to at least reduce that amount that they buy. Good luck, Esther and I hope we hear from you often.

  8. I am working on getting people to buy less, have made great progress with most of them but continue to try new strategies with the most challenging giver. Fortunately most of the time that person doesn’t mind if I send things back out the door to someone who I think would like them. We found one overwhelming Xmas when the kids were tiny we packaged up boxes of the previous years toys to be played with at the grandparents houses. While they can see that the kids still get to enjoy the toys it was a good way of demonstrating how many gifts they receive and helped to make the request for experiences more than things more understandable.

  9. I have found that my husband is more open to letting go of the “might need someday” things he has been wanting to keep. With that in mind, I am starting another round of decluttering in our already pretty uncluttered house (but the basement and sheds are another story). 17 items went out the door with his agreement yesterday. Big cheer.

    • Hi Juhli,
      I find that this situation goes in waves with my husband. Sometimes he is more open than others when it comes to letting go. Oddly enough he is more sentimental than I am about things but that may be the historian in him. This weekend though he went through his record collection as has given me permission to sell most of them to a guy that I know who collects old vinyls. I hope this guy likes what my husband has.

  10. I like this category checklist too and the fact that you just say to take one thing…this is doable and gets me back on track with de-cluttering. Thx!

    • Debbie V,
      Hello and welcome to 365 Less Things. Thank you for dropping by to leave a comment. I am glad you are finding the one thing at a time formular doable. My resolution back in January 2010 was to declutter one thing a day for a year. I may still be at it after 20 months but I dare say I am more decluttered now than I ever would have been had I just done one massive declutter. Focusing on one thing at a time makes it almost unavoidable to learn from previous clutter mistakes. I think twice about allowing anything into my house in the first place now and that is the key to staying decluttered so you never have to do this again except for the inevitable maintenance that life generates.
      My sympathies on the loss of your dad, as you say he is now at peace.

  11. hello colleen,
    i am a sixty year old grandmother from india. you may be aware that in india we celebrate several festivals with much pomp all round the year.we did the same too and over the last four decades of my married life we accumulated a lot of expensive clothes besides the daily wear ones, lots of furniture, show-pieces, bathroom and bed linen, crockery and kitchen utensils etc.Diwali or the festival of lights is a very important festival (it is coming up on 26th october this year).
    About eight years ago i decided to unclutter and towards that end decided to donate fifteen items, on every festival,from my house that i had not used for two years in a row. i lay out the items on the sofa and invite fifteen underpriveleged persons to choose any one item. i wanted them to have the ‘joy of shopping’. It is truly satisfying and liberating at the same time. would you agree with me that uncluttering actually gives us peace of mind?

    What you are doing is a wonderful thing though and if that is what works best you keep it up. I am sure the recipients are very grateful for your fabulous donations.

    • Hello Geeta and welcome to 365 Less Things. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and such a good one it is. What a wonderful way to reinforce the joy of giving. To be able to see the happiness your unneeded items have given someone else. Would it be difficult in your culture to try to discourage the the custom of giving so much to each other during these times of celebrations? Wouldn’t it be beautiful to give the money directly to the poor for things they really need instead. Perhaps you could start a new festival tradition.

      • hello colleen
        yes indeed it is extremely difficult to discourage the giving of such large amounts of gifts. however, like you have suggested i have already started anew trend. for my sixtyeth birthday on june 06, 2011 asked for special gifts from everyone who was invited (and we sure had a big bash!!). i am very fond of gardening and have an intimate sort of relation with them; so I asked for potted plants of their choice. This also spared them the trouble of thinking of a suitable gift for the occassion. Incidentally, donate all the extra plants, cuttings, seedlings, etc to my part time gardener who further sells them to earn his living.

        god blesses to everyone.

        • Hi Geeta,
          what a lovely idea to request the potted plant for your birthday, they are organic and it makes it simple for everyone to know what to buy and the added bonus of helping out the gardener to earn a little money on the side. Well done.
          Blesses to you too Geeta
          from Colleen