Mini Mission Monday 7FEB2011

I hope you enjoyed that catchy little tune and that it had you bopping along. I just know that you guys don’t share the sentiment in this song because  with a list of mini missions to brighten up your day you are ready and raring to go., right! Your Mondays are like her Sundays – It’s my fun day, my I don’t have to run day… So with that thought in mind grab a coffee, sit back and read my post and then when your done you can accomplish today’s mission at your leisure.

  • Monday – If  you have a pantry full of open packets of food and at the same time a cupboard full of unused tupperware containers it is time to tidy up this wasted space. Transfer the food into the containers, recycle what you can of the packaging and you will have a nice tidy pantry and a half empty cupboard where the containers used to be. There is a good chance that the food will stay fresher longer also.
  • Tuesday – It is time again to go through your make-up and delete all items that you never use or are likely to be out of date. I know we have done this more than once over the last twelve months but being as the rule of thumb is to throw your mascara away after three months I would think we should have a good clean out at least quarter yearly. If you keep your make-up in a bag it would also be a good practice to clean that our while you are at it.
  • Wednesday In honour of Ginger, for today’s mini mission we will tackle the kitchen junk drawer. Not only is it time to clean it out but also to think -  “Why do we need a junk drawer anyway?”. Surely all the things we put in there have a home elsewhere but we are just to lazy to put them away properly. Maybe once it is emptied we should remover the drawer for a week and attempt to learn to live without it. 😯
  • Thursday Remeber Cindy’s post last week about The Black Hole if you didn’t take care of yours then it is time to do it now. Clean off or out that black hole and devise a way to avoid using it until you break the habit. My advice to Marnie may give you a clue as to how to go about this. Its a little drastic but drastic time call for drastic measures.
  • Friday Mini Mission – If you have a shoe care kit now is the time to give it the once over. Remove the perished items and tidy the rest.
  • Saturday Pick one hanging file in your filing cabinet and give it a good clean out. Just one file not the whole drawer unless you get enthusiastic of course.
  • Extra Credit for Saturday 12th Feb – Send me a happy birthday wish because today I turn 46. Happy Birthday to Me!
  • Sunday Last week we cleaned out our handbags, this week it is time to weed out the handbags we never use. These can be one of those “I might use it one day” kind of items but when it comes to fashion if we don’t like it enough to use it now it is unlikely that we are going to suddenly find a use for it later.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

This is an example of painstaking natural progression decluttering. It was my trusty notebook and it took forever to use up. Its remains went into the recycling.

Trusty Note Book 7FEB2011

Things I am grateful for today

  • A storm at last, alleluia!
  • Mango and Macadamia nut ice cream bars – If I didn’t know better they sound almost like a health food.
  • My Family all together for the weekend.
  • Friends coming for dinner – It is always a joy to share a meal with friends.
  • The lamb that gave it’s life for my dinner – When I put it like that I almost feel guilty but if it is any consolation I will savour every bite.

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. Junk drawer…oh that’s scary. And yet, reading this, I already know that all of the birthday party supplies I kept in there really need to be chucked. They cost me a total of $5 a year ago when I didn’t use them for my son’s 2nd birthday and he just had his 3rd…guess what I didn’t use?

    • Hi Lynn,
      I guess you are thinking if you didn’t use them two years in a row it isn’t ever going to happen. Pass them on to someone who might get the use out of them and move on. You likely have your own individual way of making his day special without using chintzy crap anyway so if you are on a good thing stick to it.

      • I actually did my junk drawer immediately after reading your entry (you are just so motivational; I love it!) and I had to bin most of it because it didn’t stand up well sitting in that drawer. I wish I could post before and after pictures…there are like 5 things in my “junk” drawer now. *sighs happily*

        (Hubby helped by taking some of the tissue packs and stuff to use at work.)

        • Hi Lynn,
          if you have photos of your before and after junk drawer I would love you to send them to me and I will post them on one of my Simple Saturdays. In fact that would be a great theme for Saturday every weeks, readers before and after shots. If anyone out there wants to jump on board with this please send in your photos. No matter how small the mission these photos would be inspiring to other readers.

          Lynn, did you trust yourself to leave the drawer in place or have you removed it for a week like I suggested?

  2. Thanks for this and I LOVE the song – thank you! Can’t wait to get stuck into another week!

    • Hi Mrs Green,
      I thought that song would get at least one or two people boppin’ and warmed up for the day. Happy decluttering and Zero Wasting for the week I hope it is a good one for you!

  3. Carolyn Goodman

    I have really enjoyed your blog and look forward to the mini-missions!! But more importantly….Happy Birthday !!

    • Hi Carolyn,
      if having a birthday means luring new commenters out of the woodwork then I am glad I mentioned it(Even though it isn’t actually until Saturday). Welcome to 365lessthings I gather you have been reading for a while but not left a comment before and I just want to let you know it is a pleasure to hear from you. I hope you will drop in on a regular basis now that you have broken the ice. Thank you for the birthday wish and I hope you have a lovely day.

  4. I don’t have a filing cabinet, but I have half a dozen binders with tabs. Do I pass if I go through one tab…? I could spend the rest of the day celebrating your birthday with chocolate covered macadamia nuts. 😉 🙂

    Junk drawer…or in my case junk boxes. 🙂 I used to have several small wicker baskets full of bits and pieces. Not anymore. Two baskets are already relocated into friend’s home and I think more will follow. Looking at the pile of empty containers after a major decluttering session makes me so happy. 🙂

    • Hi Anne,
      yes, the binder tab is your version of the hanging file so that will be perfect for your mini mission. And there is a post coming up about the way I have utilised some of my empty containers so stay tuned for that. And you get top marks for the extra credit item because you realised that it was for Saturday the 12th and not today. Those chocolate covered macadamia nuts sound good though.

      • I can’t wait to read your post about empty containers. I had an aha moment yesterday when I was decluttering my big storage cupboard. I had one small box dedicated to travel related items like adapters, locks, luggage tags etc. Why not store those items in the luggage instead of on the shelf? Like items go together. So obvious, but for some reason I had not thought about that before.

        • Hi Anne,
          smart move. When I was decluttering my son’s cupboard a couple of weeks ago I found a bunch of mesh bags that belong in out Rick Steve’s backpacks. I had wondered where they had ended up and had trouble scraping up enough of them when we went on our last vacation. Now they are all together with the backpacks so I know where to find them next time.

  5. Ok, I haven’t even read the post yet, because I had so much bopping to that video!!! A perfekt trip down memory lane (OMG we really did dress like that, didn’t we!!!). 🙂

    • Hi Annabelle,
      yes, we really did dress like that and now some of those fashions are starting to recycle through. High wasted short denim shorts and the like.

  6. Ok, I read the post. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  7. Okay, I’m all for starting with the extra credit:

    Happy Birthday, Colleen, and many, many more! Hope you have a lovely day and that the year ahead is an especially joyful one!

    Do you have any special birthday traditions?

    • Hi Jo,
      Oh, all you over zealous little mini missioners. The extra credit was for Saturday 12th Feb which is when I turn 46. But thank you for your wishes.
      As for birthday traditions, we have started a new one, no presents, at least between me and my husband. The kids are often too poor to buy gifts either which suits me too. My daughter is the best at giving birthday cards. she writes such beautiful messages in them. We do always eat out though, I am not cooking on my birthday. When the kids were small and in elementary school I used to give them the day of for their birthday and we spent the day together doing whatever they wanted. We all enjoyed that. Steven was often away for out daughters birthday and Liam as many times celebrated his birthday in a different location to where we live.

      • Eating out should be Rule Number One for the chief cook on his/her birthday.

        I like your idea for your kids’ birthdays. In my kids’ classes, though, their birthdays were noted at school, so if they stayed home, they’d miss out on that celebration.

        Hey, I see that NOW you’ve clarified the extra credit parameters!!!!

        • Hi Jo,
          When we moved to America Liam’s birthday always fell in the middle of the summer break so he didn’t get the joy of taking the day off any more. He did however end up being in a different city, state or country for half of them though so I suppose that is something.

          I did go back in and make it obvious that Saturday was my birthday but I have been enjoying all the early wishes anyway. Now maybe I will get doubles, lucky me!

  8. Happy Birthday!! May you have a wonderful day & a fabulous year!

    This weeks mini mission didn’t really seem to fit me as I don’t have a shoe kit. We don’t “tend” to any of our shoes so to speak like shining or polishing. Tackled the kitchen junk drawer on a monthly basis & did the file cabinet thing at the beginning of the year. My black hole was the dining table we have in our livingroom & cleared it off last week & the only things that get put on it are car keys & lunch boxes. I’m not one for wearing makeup so my supply is only lipgloss, mascara & eyeliner. But it did give me ideas to remind me to keep tending to decluttering. Right now I’m gathering stuff all the time from here & there for a rummage sale this spring, then everything that didn’t sell goes to the thrift shop.
    Keep up the good work!! This blog keeps me inspired.

    • Hi Daisy,
      I am glad to see so many of my readers a ahead of the game this week. They have either taken care of the areas already or have simplified their lives to a point where these areas have become redundant. That is a good thing. The goal of decluttering is to simply and reduce not only our possessions but the time we spend tending to them and you have achieved that. Good for you!

  9. No open packets as we put everything into sealed containers when we bring them home from the grocery. I don’t wear makeup except a bit of lip color for church and special times. No kitchen junk drawer. We got rid of that several years ago. The black hole was taken care of last week. Don’t have shoes that have to be cared for. Cleaned out the file drawer at the beginning of the year as I was gathering up the tax stuff. I don’t carry a handbag. I have a very small pouch big enough for a couple of credit cards, my license and some cash. I do have one very small zippered bag I can get the pouch, a small packet of tissues, my keys and a pen in that I take when I am going to be gone all day. It hangs from a hook. I think I have already done this week’s mini-missions. Yippee!! I think I will work on making up all this years birthday and anniversary cards so they are done. One more thing off my list. Fun.

    • Good for you Deb,
      You have made it an easy week for yourself by being organised ahead of time. That is the goal here be decluttered and be organised and free up your time to do things you enjoy not chores. I second that Yippee!

  10. Again, thanks for more mini-missions. I know that if I do no other de-cluttering during the week, I will at least get to these. Here’s what I did for last week’s missions:
    Monday: Found 3 VHS movies that were placed in my ongoing donation box. Also found some photos to sort through.
    Tuesday: Placed an ice-cream scoop (who needs 2) and an egg slicer (again, who needs 2) in my donation box.
    Wednesday: Found a couple of expired headache pills and an old receipt in my purse– threw these out.
    Thursday: I’ve done a lot of book decluttering, so I only found 1 book to donate. However, as I read books I give them away.
    Friday: My stagnant item doesn’t need to be donated, but used instead. It is a wind chime that I need to hang on the porch when the weather gets a little nicer – placed near door to porch.
    Saturday: I’m happy to say the under bed drawers still only contain stored photos. I know eventually I need to commit a free day or two to sorting through them.
    Sunday: I’ve never been a cleaner-hoarder. So I have committed to using up some older bath gels before I use new ones.

    Happy Birthday in advance since I usually only get time to comment on blogs once or twice per week.

    • Hi Rebecca,
      good job with last week’s mini missions. I hope there was something in this week’s list to keep you occupied for the week. Also thank you for the birthday wish for Saturday I am glad you must also know how to keep your digital clutter under control since you only have time to comment once of twice a week. Well done all round.

  11. I am having a lot of fun using up foodstuffs from my cabinet. It’s a fun challenge to think up what to do with the remains of opened packets. I do usually have to buy a few extra ingredients to make it work, but hopefully only enough to do so, and not to restock the cabinets!

    • Hi Eve,
      good for you. It is amazing how little room we really need in a pantry when we are realistic about what ingredients we really use on a regular basis. We need be more open to sharing with family and neighbours when it come to stuff we use irregularly. There would be so much less waste. I have a neighbour who is great for this.
      I had a friend ask if I had a can of spray adhesive she could use to do a small mounting job. I was so pleased to save her from having to buy another can. I less half used object cluttering up her home, one less burden on supply and demand and for me a chance to help out a friend. Win Win!

  12. Once again a great list! I posted on my blog about using extra jars I have for food storage so actually I can mark off no. 1 on the list. I’ve gone through my make-up drawer twice in the last few months so that’s accomplished, too. But, that Black Hole…..that will take some thought. My whole office feels like a black hole even though I’ve rearranged and cleaned up in here it still needs more!
    I don’t have a shoe care kit….DH has some polish and a brush which he stores in a drawer for easy access. I guess that counts…lol.
    Files, well, with Jan. 1 comes new files and some cleaning out so that one I’m still working on, too. And I just cleaned out the top of my closet which holds my handbags. HMMM…I have several I need to just get rid of. And the kitchen junk drawer…ugh! That one will be my biggest mission this week! It will probably take all week…lol.
    Thanks again for a great list!
    Marilyn in NM

    • Oh, I forgot to mention that I posted a picture of my stagnant item on my blog. I realized I didn’t put the bag of grinder gadgets in the pic but you get the idea. I hate things that don’t work.

      • Hi Marilyn,
        that’s one bulky gadget out of the way, you just need to work on your hubby about the waffle iron & the sandwich maker. Best bet is to give them to a neighbour on the proviso that you can borrow them back whenever you find the need.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      you sound like you have your work cut out for you this week with my “not so mini” missions. My office/ craft area is looking a bit of a wreck at the moment too. The ebay staging area is the problem there. I may end up donating the stuff rather than trying to sell it because some of it is just too awkward to post. Good luck with this weeks missions if you feel up to taking some before and after shots I would love to feature them one Saturday soon. Just email pics to me via my Contact Page

  13. I can’t recall the last time I bought a mascara – maybe 2008? I don’t know if they really do ‘expire’, or it’s a case of trying to increase our consumeristic behaviour. I understand people are worried about infections and the like, but I can report I have absolutely no issues – definately food for thought.

    • Hi Snosie,
      I have to admit I pay very little head to the 3 month mascara rule myself but that is because I am frugal and willing to take my chances. If I am using a make up item all the time I am happy to use it up. If however I know an item has been sitting unused for months and dare I say years like the lip exfoliator I found the other day I think it is time to admit that it isn’t ever going to be use and is most likely past its prime. Time to chuck it.


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