Mini Mission Monday — A greeting card for every (decluttering) occasion

mini-logoMini 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.

Mini Mission Monday — A greeting card for every (decluttering) occasion

By Nicole V

I was delighted to hear Colleen’s news about the order that was placed for one hundred of her handmade cards! I can only imagine how busy she must have been in fulfilling that order and using up her craft supplies. On that note, this week’s decluttering missions are all about different types of greeting cards, so let’s see what you come up with — but before we begin, do take a few minutes to check out just how creative Colleen can be on Facebook at

Monday — Birthday: Declutter a gift that you don’t really like or that you might have grown tired of or no longer use. Or you might have a large supply of gift-wrapping paraphernalia that could use some trimming. You could also declutter party supplies, cards, candles, and anything related to celebrations.

Tuesday — Graduation: Have any university textbooks or lecture notes lying around the house? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people still hang on to them, together with term papers, assignments and projects that they aced. If you’ve been really good in this area, then take a look at any high school yearbooks that might still be occupants in your home, and decide whether you can do without one of them. Photos, awards, sweatshirts or anything from your school days are all fair game, as well as anything from work, courses you have taken, and seminars or conferences you have attended.

Wednesday — New home: Still have an unopened box or two sitting around from your last move? If the answer’s a red-faced “Yes”, you know what you need to do. If you don’t, however, don’t rejoice too soon — you’re not off the hook yet! Walk around your home and look — and I mean really look — at everything you own, from the furniture and the decorative items to the things you use daily or that you might not even have used at all. Can you find something that you know you will not bring with you if you move to a new place?

Thursday — Get well: It’s time to go through your medicine cabinet and first-aid box and declutter any expired items in there. Perhaps you have some other items — clothes, shoes, accessories, lotions, perfumes or cosmetics that you have grown sick of using. Take a look in your fridge and pantry as well, for anything that no longer tempts your jaded palate.

Friday — Bon voyage: Is there a huge stack of vacation photos lying around somewhere or stuffed into boxes, waiting to be sorted? Or do you have a box of once-treasured holiday mementoes that you no longer even bother looking at? You might have even returned from a trip in the past week or so and have yet to tackle that pile of stuff you unceremoniously dumped on the nearest flat surface you could find, while promising yourself that you’d put everything away once the jet lag wore off. Do you have an item languishing somewhere around the home, that you know you should have said sayonara or adios to a long time ago, but for some reason or other, you never got around to doing so?

Saturday — New baby: Have your children all flown the nest and are you still hanging on to every single childhood item of theirs? Or do you have young children who just have too much of everything — too many toys, clothes and books? Are you hanging on to all your childhood treasures on the assumption that your future children will want them?

Sunday — Retirement: Is there any item in your home that’s on its last legs? Maybe it should have been retired ages ago because it no longer works the way it used to, and you can do without it, or you find yourself picking up the new and improved version that you recently bought, because, you know, the old one’s already taken its last breath. If you are retired, or have made a mid-career change, are you still holding on to unnecessary stuff from your previous career?

Good luck and happy decluttering

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. First of all – Colleen – loved looking thru your wares.

    Nicole V – a fantastic set of mini missions which coincide perfectly with the work I started over the weekend!

    Monday – Birthday – I have noticed we seem to have a fair number of candles in the household. Aside from a few for in case of power cuts, I have decided that we should start using them. My hubby needs to learn to relax in the evenings and he’s found that that candles or an open fire are helpful. My MIL gave me two extra candles on the weekend (this is her version of decluttering) as they’re still in their wrappers I may just put them in the donate box as they won’t fit the glass candle holders.

    Tuesday – Graduation – my daughter gave me some assignments from last year to scan and shred. I will get onto that this week. On the weekend I did have a discussion about High School Year Books but my kids aren’t ‘settled’ as such, they’re still in transitory living arrangements ie flatting not home owners or lease holders, so would be much obliged if I could hang onto them a bit longer.

    Wednesday – New home – nothing is jumping out at me here, but I will claim the box of spare floor tiles (we no longer have floor tiles) that I dragged out of the ceiling storage. And when I say dragged, I really mean dragged. It was very heavy which is why it hadn’t be decluttered earlier. Our neighbours at work who are shop fitters, grabbed them.

    Thursday – Get Well – last week I made some modifications to our medicine cabinet and have plans to go thru all the meds tonight. I have a tendency to hang onto not-expired pain relief of the prescribed variety ‘just in case’. I have questioned myself of what situation would I be administering pain relief such as codeine or tramadol without a doctors input? I wouldn’t.

    Friday – Bon Voyage – I found some expired passports in our accordion file.

    Saturday – New baby – there is a small box of soft toys that my non-sentimental daughter was quite adamant weren’t being given away. There is a baby which comes to visit us a couple of times a month, so I will retrieve them and make them available for him to play with. As it is the same daughter’s friend’s baby, maybe she’ll be open to the idea of letting him take some home with him. Especially if she has to tidy up after him each visit.

    Sunday – Retirement – We have a video-dvd combo player. I did a big blitz on getting home videos converted to dvd a year or two ago and this player was useful for scanning thru the videos to decide what went off to the converting service and what was just recorded tv programmes etc. Yes I can actually do the converting on this machine, but the format would require further conversion and formating to make it useful to me, which is right out of my league. Much easier to send to a service. Anyway, three last video cassettes surfaced after the big video blitz and I just haven’t gotten around to sending them away. I will be doing so today or tomorrow. Then I will be putting the video-dvd player on Trademe so it can go to someone more tech savvy than me. We do have a dvd player sitting in the entertainment centre, I grabbed it from a display unit that was being dismantled at work, as it is very compact and runs off a usb connection whereas the video-dvd combo has those old fashioned three red, white, yellow plug in thingees.

    A great week, of tying up loose ends to follow!

    • Thanks, Moni … you’re really on a roll!

    • Hi Moni, I don’t make all the stuff that is sold at Fancy That. I am just one of six makers who create our beautiful wares. At the moment I only make the greeting cards and Lego Jewellery. But thank you as they are a talented group of ladies.

  2. NicoleV, these are a great set of missions. I will see if I an come up with anything even though I am pretty well pared down.

    Colleen, you do a great job with the cards. I am still blown away over that order for 100 you received.

    • Deb J – so have you officially reached the 100% decluttered mark?
      I remember some time back we both decided to claim 95% or 97% complete (I can’t remember which).
      I’m focusing on ‘loose ends’ at the moment, all the pesky little decluttering/sorting jobs which have no great ‘ta-daa’ moment nor are highly visual ie the box of cables etc. So I’d say I’m moving from 95% to 97%, however……..we still live in a family size house and if we moved to a smaller house or apartment I would have to adjust the figure due to surplus furniture.

      • Moni, l wouldn’t say 100% but maybe 97%. I have a few things to go through now I have been here and know for sure what I might need in the way of tools for quick repairs. I also have some paperwork I had to wait on deciding about that I can now go through. I think I will be happy if I can maintain at 97% as the will always be little things that need to be decluttered at times.

        Yex, the loose ends are the things to keep a watch for. It amazes me how you can think you have it all figured out then along comes a drawer you never finished due to interruptions or you find a hideaway you either didn’t realize was there or you hadn’t remembered it for years.

        • Deb J – I think 95 is a good figure for me, although I’ve been saying 95% for two or so years, even though stuff continues to leave. Life continues to change and rearrange and what was necessary a year ago may be clutter today. Inevitably stuff also comes in the front door and although we only have one daughter at home at the moment, the others seem to boomerang in and out too, so 95% is a good figure for me.

          • Moni, your 95 is good. My 97 is because I have only me to deal with. You are doing really, really good having a 95 and there are 3 of you. You done good.

    • Thanks, Deb!

  3. way cool themes to finding more to declutter!

  4. Mrs Pat Schneider

    Hello from Colorado! I like this group of challenges and at first thought it was going to be to
    ‘downsize’ greeting cards. Even at that, I no longer use greeting cards but I have my own stationery printed at a local stationers shop. That way I write a personal note and that seems to be appreciated more for every occasion that I send one. I do have the personal little cards that you insert with a gift also. These are ‘name cards’, but now days they have my email address and phone also.

    But reading on I see that the topic is quite different. So back to ready what it says. Pat in Colorado

    • Mrs Pat – Hello from New Zealand, we tend to take liberties with the daily mini missions, so you’re welcome to put your spin on it. Personalised stationery sounds a more sensible option than keeping a stock of cards.

    • Hello, Pat! I’m glad you like the missions – be as creative as you like (or can get away with) with them! Personalised stationery does make putting pen to paper a whole lot more fun.

  5. Mrs Pat Schneider

    Monday – gifts I don’t like are sometimes sent ‘out of state’ to someone else for a gift. This is gift recycling. I am now converted to gift bags and no longer use wrapping paper, except for tissue paper that goes in the bag. I gave most of the wax candles away already to a lady who LOVES candles. This is a great challenge to look around again in my pantry and one particular one closet to see if I have anything left. Like I said, I have been doing yard sales years ago. I just don’t buy much in this category. I prefer battery candles to have in case of a rare power outage. It is usually in a blizzard! Good look to everyone else participating in today’s challenge. Pat in Colorado

    • I prefer gift bags as well, Pat … just pick one up as you purchase the gift, and there’s no need to store any wrapping paper supplies at home. I hope you find something in your pantry or closet … or better yet, both.

  6. Monday-birthday-a happy birthday tiara
    Tuesday-graduation-high school papers (haven’t gotten to the college ones yet)
    Wednesday-new home-not sure yet
    Thursday-get well-expired first aid products
    Friday-bon voyage-not sure yet
    Saturday-new baby-childhood mementos

    I enjoyed this week of mini missions. I am in the process of going through childhood toys/clothes/mementos that my parents gave me. They want me to be overly careful in going through them. My parents sometimes make it hard for me to get rid of the childhood clutter responsibly. I say something is recycle and my mother finds out and says she needs to go through the item for her own sake and she winds up keeping the item and never going through it. So I am not making as much progress as I would like on these items.

    Reading the different mini missions and comments have helped me so much on my decluttering way!

    • Mrs Pat Schneider in Colorado

      Hello Stacie! This sounds difficult. Could you choose one or two things to ‘cherish’, explain that to your Mom, and then get rid of the rest? That is what happened to me decades ago. I was given my childhood dolls. I kept one thing and then donated the rest of the items. I told my Mom that I just loved that doll vs I really didn’t have the same feeling for the others.

      I still have the doll. HA! I’m now age 67 and retired. Good luck with your project! You can do this!! Pat in Colorado

    • Hi, Stacie … happy to hear you enjoyed the missions. Would your mother be open to the idea of taking photographs of your childhood items before letting them go?

      • My mother is open to the idea of taking photographs of the items before they are recycled/donated/etc. It’s hard when the items are tied up with someone else. I do good decluttering my own things mostly but when it comes to working with others, sometimes they don’t want to declutter things as much as I do.

  7. Great set of mini missions Nicole – thank you!

    My sons have been home this summer and we have made some big decluttering steps. They have taken a lot of the initiative with wanting to streamline their stuff, urging me to dispose of things rather than finding storage solutions, and deciding to keep just a few meaningful items rather than huge collections. This is great progress, but we are now in the “worse before it gets better” stage, with piles of things to discard that need to be sorted through and disposed of properly. I guess clearing out decades of accumulations is bound to get messy, but sometimes I think I’ve been at this for four years, how can there still be so much here???

    Anyway, with particular reference to greeting cards, one of my sons went through the two boxes where I had kept every card he had ever received and whittled them down to just a few to keep. I was very proud of myself for stepping back completely from this and leaving all the decisions up to him, I didn’t even look at the cards he sent for recycling so there was no chance of my sentimental side retrieving anything.

    • Christine, just want to encourage you to keep at it!! I, too, have been at it for years—-more with disposing of collections than pure clutter—-but it takes a long time. I am beginning to see a vast difference and soon you will, too!

    • You’re welcome, Christine. Oh yes, I do remember the “worse before it gets better” stage – it’s almost enough to make you throw up your arms in despair and give up, but keep at it, like Brenda said. I know it might seem like you’ve been doing so much for so long, but it will get better and when you look back, you’ll find that it was all worthwhile – difficult roads can lead to beautiful destinations. And a high five, for letting your son decide and resisting the urge to look!

  8. Nicole V, you are one clever girl!! Who would have thought of connecting greeting cards to decluttering subjects???? Not me! I confess the title made me really apprehensive!! Like Mrs Schneider above, I thought your post was going to be about downsizing greeting cards. I keep a goodly amount of new cards on hand because I send a lot. I buy almost all at thrift stores. And I still have two boxes to pass through again of cards sent to ME. (even though I’ve been through them before). So, I thought I was in big trouble. Ha!!

    I had another yard sale Saturday and it exceeded my expectations. Sold all the sheets I took but one!!! I wish I knew how many items I eliminated but it was a lot!! 3 or 4 more yard sales to go and I will be getting closer to my goals!

    And to Colleen, since I don’t belong to Facebook, I couldn’t see your lovely cards very well, but I know they are great just like you. :).

    Thanks again, Nicole, for your creative post! I will be going thru the house again this week looking for things to add to next Saturday’ s sale!

    • My pleasure, Brenda … and thank you! That’s great news about your yard sale – way to go! Another yard sale down, with 3 or 4 more to go – keep on keeping at it. Do let us know what else you manage to find for next Saturday’s yard sale, and don’t forget to let us know how it went. And by the way, a little bit of apprehension can be a good thing … sometimes … nothing wrong in having butterflies in your stomach, as Rob Gilbert said … “Just get them to fly in formation.” 😉

  9. I seem to get hung up on Thursday every time haha 🙂

    Today, I used up the last box of hair color… I haven’t been coloring my hair for a few years, but this box was hanging around in my linen closet… So, I will be a redhead again for a few weeks… I had been collecting the gloves they give you to keep the color off your hands, because I never use them. The gloves are now in a big baggie for work, labeled for using to apply Biofreeze. I have a few of the little squeeze bottles you mix the color in – I always washed them out real well and kept them. Today, I funneled the remaining dab of conditioner from a full size container into one of these little squeeze bottles, because it will be easier to get out. Ditto with some shampoo my husband is using up. When he gets the shampoo used up, I’m going to get him started with the shampoo I use… If he likes it, we will have fewer bottles of shampoo hanging around 🙂

    I have recently been having some acid reflux, so was checking to see if I had any Nexium. Well, yes, I did have… from 2008 LOL. It has left the building 🙂

    I don’t like buying the mildly abrasive powder cleaners (although they are good products) because I think baking soda works just as well… But every time I think one of them gets used up, another magically takes its place. I told my husband please don’t buy any more of those products. I clean sink, tub, etc and never even think to use them. (I am using them now, to use them up!) I have been sprinkling them around generously 🙂

    My husband & I have been making a real effort to start using up the leftovers the next day and the following day… until they are gone… I think it saves a lot of money and cooking 🙂

  10. What clever categories Nicole V!

    I’ve had my grandkids this week, so I haven’t done this week’s mini missions. I have thought about the new home category. There are several things I would take across country, but not over seas. So I think I’m good on that category. It’s always fun to think about my possessions in a new way.