Mini Mission Monday ~ All part of the process or progress

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.

As we travel further down the road to minimalism certain things that were, or at least we thought were, useful become clutter as we realise that we really don’t need them. It is all part of the process or should I say progress. Here are some missions that will help you identify some of those items as well as others that build up while you aren’t noticing.

Monday – Declutter a storage container or organising system that you no longer need due to your decluttering. This week I am decluttering a drawer organiser that I no longer need.

Tuesday – Declutter an item you realise you no longer love enough to keep now that you would rather space and simplicity over stuff.

Wednesday – Declutter something that the kids have grown out of or that belongs to a child that has left home. Get their permission first of course.

Thursday – Declutter an item that is only an alternative to another similar item that you now realise you don’t need multiples of.

Friday – Check to make sure useful recyclable items aren’t building up in your home, glass jars, takeout containers, shopping bags, plant pots, biscuit tins, cardboard boxes etc.

Saturday – Start a use it up challenge on something. Even I still find these items at time. Jam or a condiment that wasn’t so popular, shampoo that wasn’t great, other toiletries you just have too many of…

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

Drink tap water in preference to carbonated beverages. It doesn’t take a genius to work out how much better that is for the environment. Your waistline and your teeth will thank you for it as well.

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. More Good ones Colleen!!
    Mon–I’m working hard to get rid of the rest of the items being stored in the “legs” of my “desk”. That way I can sell the craft units I use as the “legs”. I hope to have that done by the end of the week.
    Tues–I tried really hard to think what this could be. I haven’t come up with anything yet.
    Wed–No kids so nothing to do here. But, I have decided to add in here the cardstock I want to get used up. I want to get that out of here.
    Thurs–We just did this one. We decluttered a bunch of canning jars and other jars by giving them to a lady at church who cans.
    Fri–We just did this too. I convinced Mom that we did not need all of those storage containers.
    Sat–We need to declutter this huge container of “green” dish soap. We found another we like better but I refuse to dump the other one.

    One thing I did the end of last week was to go out and buy new towels for my bathroom. We are still hunting for some for Mom’s bath. I got tired of having to cut off hanging strings every time we laundered them because they are falling apart along the sides. The old ones will go to Goodwill to be sold as rags.

    • Well done Deb. It doesn’t matter how decluttered ones home is there will always be an ongoing maintenance program. I am always on the look out for things that I don’t use, need or love because I love the wide open spaces decluttering produces. 😉

  2. I don’t know how you do it, Colleen, but you keep coming up with new ways to look at our stuff. Great challenges. I just started using up an unwanted liquid hand soap because the kind I prefer isn’t on sale at the moment. It was a gift, and when I previously tried it, I thought it was drying out my hands and stopped using it. When I ran out of the usual kind, I had to use it for a few days … and it’s not bothering my skin this time. Just goes to show that things can be worth a second try.

    • Hi Jo, quite often my missions start out by being inspired by something I am letting go of and the reasoning behind that. Then I just come up with enough others to fill the week. This week was inspired by the drawer organiser I mentioned in the the post.

      The thing I find incredible is when just the perfect recipient of my decluttering comes along just as I decided to release an item. I am going to take the drawer organiser to the art space where I work so they can get a little more organised.

  3. I love the friday mission! I think, it’s needed here…

    • Hi Sanna, that was a mission inspired by my own experience. I put aside any plastic bag that I could use rather than waste them. The bags that frozen peas and beans come in, bread bags, bags that the kids bring stuff in when they visit etc. I use them mostly to keep meat scraps in the freezer until I empty the bin. However they do tend to build up sometimes so I may have to toss some out.

  4. I probably won’t follow any mini missions this week, but I do have two huge bags of *stuff* ready to go off to Goodwill. Part of it is random decorations/holiday items/novelty items that were sitting here and there around my house. They irked me and for some reason I felt compelled to put them in one spot . . . which turned into a pile and a box. Then there are a bunch of random kitchen items, that as I went to put them away I realized I no longer liked them (goodbye!). Then yesterday I had a four baskets of laundry to put away . . . which lead me to clean out winter clothes from my closet that I never wore *once* this winter. Then I went through my entire underwear drawer. My husbands closet. And my kids closet. It was like I was possessed . . . but in the end everything got put away and I had more room than I started with. So my only goal this week is to get these stuffed bags out of my front room. I’m trying to be easy on myself since life has been so busy lately LOL.

    • Well done Michaela! I love it when one decluttering effort leads to another and another. It is always easier to do this way because one isn’t focused on the size of the task because there wasn’t a plan in the first place.

  5. I like to do the mini missions when I am cleaning different rooms in my house. For example, as I was cleaning the bathroom, I decided to declutter the baskets we use to keep things organized (like my makeup, nail files). I pulled out all the old expired little medicine bottles and we were able to get rid of several which I will put in a plastic bag and recycle at the local police station tomorrow. It’s amazing what I find as I’m cleaning.

    • Great comment Willow. I just came to the blog to answer comment and was hoping to find inspiration for the blog post I need to write. Yours was the first comment and BAM I have my inspiration. I do this too. Get cleaning and end up decluttering as I go. I won’t elaborate more here as I have a post to write. Thanks for the inspiration my friend. PS, we are going to be over your way in November.

  6. Colleen, thanks so much for these mini missions, they always inspire me! In January I started listing some things on eBay, I’d never done it before – it can be addicting! Unfortunately, much of what we’re selling are small items (some of husband’s train collection for example), it’s nice to see thing things leave but they are small so progress is not obvious. I’ll keep chipping away at it. In the meantime, I always enjoy visiting your blog.
    Barbara in Northern California

    • Hi Barbara, it is always my pleasure to inspire. Congratulations with learning to eBay and having success with it. Never concern yourself with how physically small an item is when you are decluttering. Getting rid of the smallest of things can take a huge weight off your mind. Every little thing is making a difference.

  7. I cleared out a plastic basket in the back of the linen cupboard today, some things were put other places for using up, some things really were just trash. Discovered a brand new shower curtain in the bottom of the basket! Our current one is pretty tatty, but strangely I have no memory of buying that new one.
    Old one now in the bin, new one hanging up looking lovely.
    Basket now in the recycling bin, once it was empty I saw how broken it had become.
    Mission accomplished!

    • Well done Stephanie. I also emptied a couple of baskets today. Not decluttered just relocated. The under sink area does look like I decluttered it because the baskets and their contents are no longer there. More about that tomorrow.

  8. Good mini missions – over the weekend my husband and I had to straighten up the garage as it had accumulated small piles of stuff around the edges. Some were painting gear spread over a number of small piles, some were general homeless stuff, piles of stuff that my son moved from his room to the garage when he shifted out but didn’t end up taking with him, stuff that belonged in the tool shed etc etc. So we dealt with as much of it as we could within a set time. I have a plastic storage bin that got used to dump in it paper/general desk stuff around the time we started painting over January. I’m hoping that when I go thru it this week that the interceding time since it was dumped in this storage bin will have made most of it ‘bypassed’ or no longer relevant.
    My husband realised we had a four-bike bike rack but only one bicycle in the garage. So he dismantled the rack.
    The garage looked much neater by time we finished. The painting gear was sorted and surprise surprise all fit in one box by time he was done.

    • That sounds like much more than a mini mission Moni. It is however understandable that it accumulated, with all the upheaval in your home over the Christmas period. I hope the lick of paint has freshened up your home very nicely. The last time I painted walls in a house was in 1983. I’m in no hurry to ever do it again.

      • Colleen – no Im not in a hurry to paint again, though we still have to do the bathrooms and garage, unfortunately we ran out of time and energy during the Summer holidays. Its just a case of finding a free weekend and some motivation!

  9. Idgy of the North

    Great missions, Colleen. Yesterday, we said goodbye to a couple toys the kids have outgrown, an outgrown sun hat, 2 “extra” sun hats that the kids never wore/liked, and a shoe box that held stuff. We disposed of some expired medication that was in the shoe box. We also removed any item not used on a daily or weekly basis from the bathroom vanity and moved it to the linen closet. Our vanity now has very few items in it and lots of “white space”.

    We have also been thinking of ways to reduce our consumption. For example, replace a disposable with a reusable. We have now replaced paper tissue/Kleenex boxes (usually had 6 boxes in the house) with cloth handkerchiefs (3 each). We have found some great silk bags for bulk shopping (replaces dozens of plastic bags). On Saturday we ordered 3 zippered, waterproof cloth storage bags to replace the zippered plastic bags (replaces at least 2 boxes of bags). We found most of these on Etsy so not only are we reducing clutter and helping the environment, but we are also helping an artisan/small business (win-win-win).

    • Hi Idgy, well done with all that decluttering. You are really getting into it. And I love that you are making strides to reduce your consumption. I am going to need some of those silk bags now because, to my great surprise and pleasure, my local grocery store is now starting to sell dry goods by weight. I was so exited to see this huge leap into eco friendliness. It’s about time too but better late than never.