Mini Mission Monday ~ All-over fridge freezer declutter

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Although it is September twelve in Australia today it is September 11 in the USA, a date that will forever remain a day of tragedy and grief. I remember that day, getting up in the morning to see the horror unfold on my television screen in Seattle. I also remember not being able to drag myself of the couch in the hope that I would see the rescuers bring people alive from the wreckage of the twin towers. Alas I hoped in vain. When I finally did leave the house I remember feeling the urge to wrap my arms around every American I saw and tell them how sorry I was for what had just happened to their country.

I am thinking of you again today my American friends and my arms still want to hold you  and make your pain lessen. I hope that time will heal your grief . God bless America.

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 takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

Something Cindy said in a comment last week has triggered the topic of this week’s mini missions. Even though we have talked about and worked on the Fridge and freezer recently they are just one of those areas that need constant upkeep. And sometimes we only focus on the inside. This week we are going to take care of every side. So lets get started.

Monday – If you keep stuff on top of your Fridge/freezer clean it off and leave it empty for a while and see how you like it.

Tuesday – Not too many people I know have an empty fridge/freezer front. There are usually photos and kids drawings, invitations and a notice board. Clear off everything that isn’t essential and try living with a clear fridge for a while.

Wednesday – Perhaps what is on the front spills over to the sides of the fridge. Time to clear that off as well.

Thursday – The inside of the fridge always is in need of a little decluttering no matter how soon ago you did it last. Have a dig around and see if there is any out of date items or just items that you keep thinking you will use up one day but never do.

Friday – Today is the day to declutter the inside of the freezer. Maybe it would be a good idea to plan tonights meal around using up bits and pieces in there.

Saturday – Since everything is clean on the inside and out why not move the fridge out of it’s position today and clean underneath it. Perhaps if it is an old fridge it might be an idea to give the element on the back a bit of a vacuum.

Sunday - Sundays are a good day for leftovers. Whip up lunch today using up some more bits and pieces out of the fridge.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

This cheese board is another one of those items being decluttered due to poor design. It only has three legs and tips over when being used. Any flat plate with no legs will do the job more efficiently. I really dislike poor design, it is almost as though manufacturers do it deliberately to force people to buy more product.

Cheese Board

Something I Am Grateful For Today

A pleasant weekend. There was nothing extraordinary about it, it was just well balanced. A couple of outings, progress on my sewing project, pleasant weather, relaxation time, a walk with my hubby, a chat with my parents and a nice Sunday roast. The simple things in life are often the best.

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. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me!

  2. Wow,
    as I have just done all that this mini mission is like an absolution for my vacation 🙂

  3. Oh wow, Tuesday’s permanently done. We have a stainless steel fronted fridge, and for whatever reason its not magnetic. So any magnets go on the side (there are maybe 3-4). It’s one place in our family that’s always been uncluttered. As for the two mail plates, the chest of drawers top, the writing desk top, and the whole study take what other people’s fridges might!!

    Last night I did a ‘use it up dinner’ – so Friday’s task is underway (My week to cook). Wasn’t super well received, but did move the remnants of nachos (x2), 1 x chicken kiev (UFO – it was in foil, so I knew whilst these were intended for lunches for my brothers, they’d never open the foil to see, so I defrosted it). 1 x chicken schnitzel (we once had 1kg of them, and that’s the LAST one, though they were tasty), & 1/2 packet of gnocchi – been in the fridge 2-3 weeks. Sadly two pasta serves didn’t make the cut – they return to the fridge in a vain hope someone will eat them (I won’t, as they are ‘normal’ pasta, and I shouldn’t eat it…). And some pork buns didn’t have any takers either. Makes me happier to start my cooking week with a barer stockpile – I didn’t buy any meat, save for proscuttio, cause of the stock pile in the fridge.

    Top of fridge is also clear, maybe there’s a fly swat. But there’s not a lot of clearance between the shelves and the fridge, so not much CAN go there.

    • Hi Snosie,
      well it sounds like you have this week’s mini missions squared away already. And what a multi cultural selection of leftovers you had, Russian, Mexican, Austrian, Italian and Cantonese sounds like a United Nations Dinner. Well done!

      • Wow it does seem multicultural now you mention it! Didn’t even realise!! I suppose Aussies are lucky like that – we don’t have a lot of ‘aussie’ food (like other cultures) so we eat a lot of others cuisines. Tonight is chicken provecale!

        • Hi Snosie,
          yeh, I’m not really up for any witchetty grubs or mangrove worms any time soon. A little kangaroo steak isn’t so bad though and I could probably go a little goanna, all cooked of course.

  4. Started the fridge while I was cleaning the kitchen this morning so it’s underway. My fridge/freezer is in my pantry as I hate fridges on display but I can’t use that as an excuse to let it be messy :). Good mission for this week!

    • Hi Judy,
      good luck with the rest of the mini missions. Just a quick question I have often wondered when watching that British TV show, Escape to The Country ~ Do you find it inconvenient not having the refrigerator in the kitchen proper where it is convenient?

      • No I don’t find it inconvenient at all. I did wonder about it one day but I figured that if I had just exended the kitchen into that space and had cupboards instead of shelves, I would most likely still have put the fridge/freezer in the same place so really all I am doing is walking through a doorway. I just love the convenience really of having my food and dishes with easy access (on shelves) but still hidden away

        • hi Judy,
          that sounds like a good set up to me too. I often think that if something is a few extra steps away it is just a little more exercise I am getting. Yet I accept this with some things and get antsy about it with others, go figure. 😕

  5. Ha Ha, compliments of my recently broken down (very expensive and not very old!) fridge, I can see that I have already completed the entire week of tasks without lifting a finger! The fact that it is stainless steel, means I cannot stick artwork and photos to the front 🙁 anyway, the freezer decluttered itself, in a wet, drippy gooey mess, and whilst most of the fridge contents were saved, I took the time to throw out the half empty jars of unknown stuff. The Saturday clean behind the fridge happened when the repair man came and “looked” at the fridge….ofcourse, he’s not been back for two weeks to “fix” the fridge. and as for the Sunday leftovers…well all I can say is the chooks were overwhelmed with the gourmet that they were presented with! So I suppose I’ll have to search your archives for a project to keep me busy this week. 😉

    • Hi Janine H,
      sorry to hear the your fridge is unwell at present. Have it all clean and tidy is I suppose the silver lining on that cloud and the chooks (that’s chickens for those who don’t understand Australian) are happy too. I am sure you will find something else to declutter in the meantime.

  6. Great mini-mission 🙂 I cannot wait until tomorrow – it’s still Sunday here – to start!
    Colleen, that would be great if you could tweet everyday to remind us what needs to be done that day. I tend to forget.

  7. Wow, Colleen, the tribute you wrote about 11 Sept just brought me to tears. You’re so lovely, absolutely so lovely!!! Thank you.

    :'( sadness and happiness all at the same time :’)

    • Hi Annabelle,
      it is like I said I remember it so clearly. Some years earlier there had been a landslide in Thredbo, a town in our ski fields in NSW. Several buildings collapsed in the middle of the night killing 18 occupants. I remember being riveted to the television hoping they would bring people out alive. 67 hours later they did recover one man Stuart Diver who had lain there all that time in subzero temperatures with his dead wife by his side. It took eleven hours from when they discovered him to when they managed to get him out.

      While I was watching the coverage of the aftermath of the towers collapsing I kept hoping they would find many Stuart Divers and could hardly drag myself from the television. But alas my hopes and the hopes of thousands of family member were dashed. At least at Thredbo the bodies were recovered, for the families of those lost at ground zero there was no such closure. I chose not to watch any of the telecasts today because I didn’t really want to relive that day.

  8. I’m one of the few who doesn’t have a single thing stuck to my refrigerator or freezer. 😉

    Once when we were newly married, my dh bought me a fancy refrigerator magnet. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I displayed it for a few months, then tucked it away in a drawer.

    I just can’t stand to see papers fluttering in the breeze when I walk by the fridge.

    Maybe I’m just weird.

    • Hi Becky,
      no you are not weird. I understand where you are coming from because I don’t like fridge clutter either. I have a white board on my fridge for messages between family members and that is the only thing I really want there. At times other things accumulate there for short periods because they are current and things I don’t want to forget but then they get cleaned away ASAP.

  9. Nope, nothing on the fridge here either. Thank goodness for brushed stainless steel! I’m making a BIG effort to actually eat the leftovers instead of leaving them to moulder at the back of the fridge for a week before chucking them out. We’re pretty good at eating the leftovers that we freeze (because they are in family of 4 portions and it means I don’t have to cook dinner for a night!) but I know there are some frozen lamb shanks floating around in there that I need to make a casserole out of before the weather gets warmer.

    • Hi Loretta,
      I think if my 24 year old fridge dies I will buy a stainless steel one to take it’s place. That way the temptation to put anything on the front of it will be thwarted before it ever can take hold.
      I love leftovers simply because it gives me a night off cooking. We don’t waste too many of them in this house either. Sometimes we all have a different leftover on the same night just to use them all up.

  10. Couldn’t let this post pass me by without commenting! A decluttered fridge brings me joy that is immeasurable – ready for a long comment on how I do it?
    Six Simple Steps to Meal Planning (aka keeping a decluttered fridge!)

    1.The first step has nothing to do with food. Set aside 30 minutes with the family to establish everyone’s diary for the forthcoming week. I do this on a Thursday evening. I know who needs lunches and dinners and whether we are eating out at all.
    2. Write out a daily meal plan based on everyone’s diary, I plan Saturday-Saturday as I receive my groceries Saturday morning. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks are planned for. The first couple of times you do this it may be time-consuming, but as you start to replicate meals it gets easier. To reduce time and effort further you could draw up a monthly menu, and rotate 4 weeks worth of meals.
    3. Throughout the week note down anything that needs replenishing as you use it up. This will be add-on items, such as herbs, oils and household items.
    4. Only plan for 6 days worth of meals! Seriously this works. Regardless of how good a planner you are, things happen, and you may need to use food up the day before your new batch of groceries. This also gives you an opportunity to get you culinary creative thinking cap on. If you do clear all food ‘treat’ yourself to a take away or a dinner out – you deserve it!
    5. Before you do your meal plan/grocery shop for the next week (online or otherwise) empty your food/perishables cupboard and do an inventory. Get into a routine. Strip it down and clean it, look to use things up or freeze, note down what you already have and base a meal around those items if they will still be edible. As you only keep a week’s worth of food in at any one time, waste should reduce, you will need less storage and cleaning will be simpler.
    6. Never shop without a list (based on your planned meals) or when you are hungry. I do my grocery shop online, as this eradicates any impulse purchases and also means I do not have to step foot physically in a supermarket (I’d rather be doing something else). If you don’t shop online, the principle is the same, do not deviate from the list regardless of what is on offer, or what new delights they have in store. Do not go into the clothing, toy, magazine section unless you want to add approx.20% to your food bill.

    Sorry it’s an essay but that’s how I do it!

    • Hi Jo,
      I can see from your response that you are very passionate about this subject. Thank you so much for the great tips you have given here. I will make sure this comment is on the Fave Five list this week so everyone gets a chance to read it.