Mini Mission Monday ~ A little tricky

2014-01-31 09.09.48

Here is an item that served me well for some time that I recently decluttered.

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.

This week I am not going to make it very easy on you. But it is up to you as to how easy you take it on yourself. If you can’t manage the missions declutter something a little simpler for you. Don’t force yourself to let go of something you aren’t ready for.

Monday – Declutter something you have been procrastinating about letting go of for some time.

Tuesday – Allow yourself to declutter something someone gave you, that you don’t really want, but have hung onto out of obligation.

Wednesday – Declutter something that triggers fond memories but is never displayed where you can see it.

Thursday – Make the effort to list an item for sale that you are been wanting to rid yourself of but haven’t mustered the effort to bother with.

Friday – Declutter an item that once served you well but now you never use. You probably won’t ever need it again some day.

Saturday – Declutter something you use so infrequently that it really isn’t necessary.

Sunday - Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Eco Tip for the Day

Hang your clothes to dry when possible rather than wasting power using a tumble dryer. For me a clothes line isn’t required, I mostly hang my wet washing on an airer either inside or out depending on the weather.

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. Colleen, we found something to declutter from your mini-missions last week. It was quite exciting. this weeks missions might be a little harder but I will be looking at them each day so we can declutter some more. I have to report on S. They have had a claw foot tub with brass fittings in the garage for 15+ years and finally this week were able to sell it on Craigs List. They also have a wood telephone booth that came with the house when they bought it. They have also finally sold it. Things are moving along and S is happy dancing like crazy.

  2. Colleen,
    This is an excellent list. I will not be able to work on it all, as we leave for vacation Tuesday morning until Saturday. I love this list so much I copied and saved in Word Doc. I especially like the picture of the sorter you recently decluttered. Looks like something many of us would think to find useful, but sometimes the footprint is so large, it is better to do without and enjoy the new found space. I purchased this past year a laundry sorter that although is a designer design and good looking, as far as laundry sorters go (3 big canvas bags of varying shades of neutral); it does take up quite a bit of space. So much so that I removed it from my hallway and keep in a spare bedroom. Although our home is not large, it is annoying to walk in there at night with my dirty laundry. One of your lists would complement my decision to donate. I will wash all the laundry today and move it out of the room and then look for an alternative when we return from vacation. This way I can decide if I would rather have the extra space or the convenience of this sorter. Hopefully if I can donate at least I will know I have no regrets.

    P.S. My husband does not use. He still likes to throw anything he wore on the bureau or hooks behind the door. Just last week he asked why I washed his jeans after he only had them on 3 hours. I responded that they were on the bureau and just gathered everything to make a load and tidy up and he should have put them away. Well we all know that won’t work as I’ve been with the same man 42 years.

    • Hi Anna, the item in the photo is actually two sections of my craft storage system. I gave them to my son. I did however used to own a laundry sorter but obviously didn’t find it useful enough to keep because it was one of the first things I sold in a garage sale when I first returned to Australia. Like you there wouldn’t have been enough room for it anywhere. I still have the same laundry basket I bought when we first got married. It stayed in Aus when we were overseas but was in constant use before we left and since out return. It isn’t even attractive but it is functional.

      Good luck with your missions and have a lovely vacation.

    • Anna – I used to have one of those laundry sorters and I have had other laundry ‘systems’ through the years (I’m a bit odd because I’d rather do laundry than cook) and I decided I’d rather have space than a highly organised laundry. I have a tall plastic basket sitting beside the washing machine. Generally I use the empty washing machine to store dirty laundry, if I decide it is a dark wash, all the dark stuff gets fired straight into the machine and I use the basket for the whites. Of course, I need to do a quick rummage in case something has been hiffed in the wrong direction. Then when I peg out the washing, I tip the basket of white wash into the machine and the basket now becomes the dark wash. If there are coloured items, I put those in the laundry tub.

      • That is an interesting system Moni.

        • Colleen – I used to have a line up of baskets, darks, whites, coloured, I can’t remember what the other two baskets were for until I reaslised it was more about looking organised than getting the job done. As soon as the machine is full it gets set off. Mission accommplished. Since I’ve been doing washing this way, other people in the family are more inclined to sort their washing as they bring it to the laundry and turn it on themselves.

          • Hi Moni, with only two in the home now I have the problem of achieving a full load before we run out of things. My husband is often saying ~ “I’m nearly out of undies.” I’ll either combine items I know won’t be a problem to each other or something actually have to stoop to washing a smaller load. I hate to do that but it is what it is.

  3. I only recently found this blog, when looking for some decluttering tips, and am enjoying the motivation, so thank you. We moved house (again) and I realised that I was packing and moving a lot of things I really didnt need, or even want. I didnt have time to do much before the move so am trying to do it now. I easily found something for each of the last 2 weeks lists, for most of them I found multiple items. However I dont know how I will go for this week, the first 3 in particular. Last week I finally opened the boxes of items for our display unit, I had delayed doing this cause I didnt want to just put everything back in just because that is where it was before. I went through and thought about every item before I put it in there, and why I was keeping it. The result was that over a third of the items didnt make it back into the unit, and have now been donated or put on ebay. These items included things I had procrastinated about, a couple of things that were only kept as they were gifts, and a couple of things that were stored in the bottom of the unit and never even displayed. On the weekend I also went through all my dresses and am selling or donating almost all of the formal dresses and a number of other dresses. I know you said last week not to count something you had decluttered the week before, but I think I’m going to have to cheat and take credit for last week’s effort for the first few this week.

    • Hi Amanda, the mini missions sure don’t need to be followed to a tee. If you have easier or more pressing things to declutter go right ahead. It isn’t cheating to go off the list. The missions are more about jogging thoughts on stuff you might not of thought of yet or to make it easier when you can’t come up with something yourself. I stopped following my own mission ages ago because I just don’t have much stuff left. I am just glad you are making inroads into removing your clutter. Well done and keep up the good work. Cheers Colleen
      Oh, and welcome to 365 Less Things.

  4. This is my second week with two less in the house( not a permanent arrangement, just Monday to Friday) I quite like the less washing, less cooking, less cleaning up and less grocery buying .
    This week I will focus on the kitchen and fridge . Something that is a lot easier to do with less people in the house.
    I have been procrastinating about getting rid of some quilts for a while. I want to get rid of them , just haven’t got around to doing it. Today is the day.
    Thanks for the reminder to list an item for sale, must do that too this week.
    Vinyl records at the front door ready to be dropped off somewhere.
    All happening here at the moment 🙂

    • Well done Wendy. Don’t forget to leave time for coffee and walks at the dog beach. 😉

    • Wendy F – I have recently had one left home and I am amazed at how much the laundry has reduced just less one person. And also how much meat I need to purchase to cover an evening meal for the family. So two must be quite noticable. I have to be careful because I suddenly find myself looking speculatively at the other two kids. Awful I know, because I enjoy those two a lot.

      • Hi Moni, about seven years ago I met a woman who suffered depression from her children leaving home. I am mindful of the mental anguish I will endure when they all FINALLY leave home, but somehow I don’t see it as being a problem 🙂 cheers

        • Wendy F – I suspect there will be some empty nest syndrome when the time comes but I am enjoying watching my son on his learning curve to be fully independent, yes there are a few eye rolling moments but there are also a new angle to our relationship – suddenly we’re discussing cooking together and he is more appreciative when he visits.

          • Hi Moni and Wendy, I love my kids to death but I have not suffered form empty nest syndrome at all. I am just glad they are both happy and independent. I feel I did my job well. We still have meals together of a regular basis and chat on the phone often. Life is good as empty nesters.

  5. I’m not sure I’m advanced enough in my own de-cluttering journey to tackle these tasks, but I will continue de-cluttering the easy stuff for now… Thanks for the inspiration. I will reach the point that I need to decide on hard things, but until then I’m taking it one day at a time!

  6. I agree that these mini missions are a bit more on the advanced side, but I had several lightbulbs going off over my head as I read them because I have some items that fit the description but I couldn’t define what was holding me back. Apart from Tuesday, I have something sort of lined up for most days.

    • Good for you Moni. Sometimes we contemplate getting rid of an item for so long that we come to terms with letting it go without even realising it. Until we encounter it one day and wonder why we having got rid of it yet.

  7. These are great prompts for me especially Friday’s.

    I’ve got a toaster that only gets used when out of town company visits (maybe twice a year) and a slow cooker/crock pot (I use to use it constantly but now have learnt to cook things faster) that I haven’t used for a few years.

    Any advice? Do I let them go or at least keep the toaster? Hmmm.

    • Hi Ron, I would get rid of the crock pot for now and consider an alternative way to make toast for the occasional visitors and then declutter the toaster. I have a four pop up toaster which I use regularly enough to warrant keeping but I am considering keeping my eye out for a secondhand, smaller two pop up one to replace it. It least then it will take up less room.

      • I did pay a lot for that crock pot. I’d better review your post on that because it hasn’t moved from it’s spot in the bottom kitchen cupboard for a few years now.
        Like my Mum always says, give someone else a turn with it.

        Thanks for your thoughts, Colleen.

        • Hi Ron, on my request, my daughter bought me a crock pot for my birthday once. It got used once and then sat in the cupboard for several years. It seemed like a good idea at the time but I guess I was just used to cooking without it and really didn’t give it a chance. I decluttered it a long time ago now and haven’t missed it. In fact I borrowed one once just to see if I would use it now that my circumstanced had changed but still it got unused. So I gave it back.