Mini Mission Monday ~ Annoying Clutter

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.

Reading the title of today’s mini mission post you might be thinking ~ ‘Isn’t all clutter annoying?’, but there is no doubt that some clutter is much more annoying than other. So this week we will focus on six annoying clutter issues and see if we can find and remove some matching items from out homes. So lets get started.

Monday – How bad do you feel when you go searching for something in your home and come across some unfinished project somewhere. Unfinished projects are so annoying because although you lost interest before they are finished you also put so much effort into them up until that point. So effort put in and “I might finish that someday” has you are reluctant to decluttering these projects. So today seek one such project out and decide to work on it until it is done or let it go. Either way it will no longer be clutter.

Tuesday – Useful yet broken items are so annoying. They don’t work in this condition but they are so useful when they are working. If you have such an item either mix it, send it to be fixed or get rid of it. This might be a broken electrical item, a watch that need a pin replaced, a necklace that needs a new clasp…

Wednesday – Who still has a junk drawer. How annoying are they. Whenever you need something from them they are usually so cluttered and unorganised that you can’t find the thing you need. So if you have a junk drawer make the effort to unclutter and organised it. Or better still find proper homes for the stuff in it and eliminate it altogether.

Thursday – There is usually an item or two of clothing in everyone’s closet that has an issue that causes you to avoid it and it ends up languishing there unworn. I have two shirts, both the same only in different colours, whose buttons come undone. The button holes need a stitch or two to make them smaller so the problem stops occurring. Rather than fix them I just avoid them. I also have a pair of sandals who’s inner souls need replacing. They are great shoes but I haven’t worn them in two seasons because of this issue. Last week I finally got around to taking them to the repairer and they will be as good as new by Tuesday. So go in search of such an item of clothing in your closet and fix the issue or let it go.

Friday – I have heard many times from people that they own too much plastic wear in their kitchens. Usually the cupboard they keep it in is overflowing. This causes a plastics avalanche every time the cupboard is open. If this sounds like you, declutter some of the plastic and reorganise the cupboard so this stops happening to you.

Saturday – If you have a work bench or craft space in your home there is most likely at least one small area within that space that is overstocked or messy. Identify such an area and decluttering or set it right.

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

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Great post!
    I have a almost finished (3/4 done) pine cone wreath… will fit this week’s missions.
    It’s a Christmas wreath, now it will be ready for next Christmas, not the past one like I planned. Lol
    No junk drawer & plastic ware all cleaned up. Will check out the other missions, I’m sure I’ll surprised at what I find.
    Thanks for the creative missions.

    • My pleasure Calla. I have a few unfinished projects myself and lots of little bits and pieces in my craft storage that I feel need using up. I need to increase my gift card stocks in my craft store so that should take care of most of that. In fact I have already made a start on using them up.
      I am however eyeing off the plastics cupboard again. No matter how much I get rid of there always seems to be too much in the cupboard. I am sure I can manage with less.

  2. Good, creative post Colleen.
    Mon–Mom kept a few unfinished projects. I am hoping she soon finds time to finish them. Tues–The broken item was a sewing maching Mom has had her closet. It went to the church yard sale. It needs to be cleaned and a screw replaced. I have told the people working the yard sale to mark it accordingly.
    Wed–Junk drawer is GONE. I’m going to look at the yard sale to see if there is a small tool box to put our tools in. We don’t need as many but having a box to keep a few tools in and some screws/nails will come in handy.
    Thurs–Happy dnacing here. Mom decluttered a bunch of clothes she could no longer wear.
    Fri–PLASTICWARE!! Oh my goodness does Mom have too much. I’m hoping she will realize she no longer needs it once she has been in her new place awhile.
    Sat–My craft/office desk is leaving this week. I’m jazzed about that.

    • Deb, I’m sure you have already thought of this, but a tackle box makes a great small tool box. I found one for practically nothing that is very sturdy plastic and has two tiers rise up when you open the lid. They are great for having a small assortment of screws, nails, etc, and below is plenty large enough for a hammer, screwdrivers, etc. I’m always fixing something so I have to have a toolbox! Actually, I confess……I have two. (don’t tell Colleen. I remember when she told someone more or less that they didn’t need an extra vacuum cleaner upstairs! Ha!). Anyway, I keep the aforementioned one in the garage. My extra one is a smaller, metal one with only one tier, that had sentimental value. I spray painted it pink and keep it upstairs. I got tired of always needing something up there and having to run back and forth to the garage! Sometimes convenience wins out with me!

      • Brenda, yes two are sometimes better than one. The tacklebox idea is good.

        • Depending on weight & size & # of tools, maybe only 2 screwdrivers and a tack hammer, maybe 1 of the to-be-discarded plastic containers can hold the tools.

          • Yes, Gail, I am decluttering some of the tool too. Since we have maintenance people that are really good to show up and fix things I won’t need as many tools. Just the basics for things that we own and would be charged a fee if someone else fixed it when I can.

      • Ha ha! Brenda, caught you. 😉 Just when you thought it was safe to make confessions because I am always too busy to read all the comments. Just think of all that extra exercise you are missing out on from not dashing up and down those stairs. And miss Deb agreeing with you. Well I just give up. Ha ha, just kidding, I never give up that easy. I used to do the same thing myself once upon a time, one tool box in the garage and one in the house and then I realised how lazy that was, it was not as though the garage was a mile away. So I put a stop to it and got the extra exercise.
        Just last week my daughter-in-law said, after a comment from me, that I would have to be the least lazy person she knows. However I informed her that I am not lazy I just hate clutter and a mess/dirty house which forces me to make the effort and that I never said I enjoy cleaning I just hate a mess house more.

        • Oops! Might have known you’d catch me, Colleen! I hate to whine, but it’s that “old grey mare”thing. I just can’t run up and down the stairs like I used to! Ha!

        • I still agree with Brenda on the two because I know how hard it can be to have to climb the stairs. If you are on one level that’s a different story.

    • You must be loving seeing all this stuff that your mom has finally realised she doesn’t need go out the door. My husband is on a bit of a tear at the moment too. After living in a studio apartment for three months in Berlin with just what we need he realises that we could also do with much less here as well. I agree and need to look carefully at all my stuff as well. He sold an iPad on ebay today and took his bicycle to be repairs so it cam be useful again instead of languishing in the cage down stairs. Now if only the humidity would drop so we can enjoy a pleasant ride.

      • Colleen, it’s great that Steve is of a mind to declutter some more. I’m sure you are glad to see him do that. I had heard that the humidity has been horrible there this summer. I hope it goes down now and stays that way.

        • Colleen Madsen

          Yes Deb, it is good to have a partner who is on the same page when it comes to an uncluttered home.
          And the humidity hasn’t good yet. However it occurred to me this evening when having my shower that if I wet myself, soap up my face washer and then turn off the shower while I wash myself, I will save enough water to justify have two showers a day. That would go a long way towards making me feel more human and less grizzly bear.

          • Sorry about the humidity. I remember living where we had high humidity for months. Good idea about the shower. One thing I hated about the humidity was getting out of the shower and feeling like I needed another shower. You never felt quite dry.

            • Exactly Deb, never feeling dry pretty much sums it up. And then the sweat just layers on. And if I am going out in the sun for any length of time I have to add sunscreen to the mix. Makes a person want to hibernate for the rest of Summer.

  3. Good reminder of what can be clutter Colleen.
    I think sometimes it’s harder to declutter something that someone has helped you with. I’m referring to some T shirts that Colleen kindly cut into crochet-able strips. I crocheted a little bit but never got back to it. It sat there constantly reminding me that it was unfinished. I returned the strips to Colleen who probably left them at the thrift shop 🙂
    I keep those most sort out pieces of junk in the cutlery drawer. A box of matches, needle and thread , screwdriver and some pens. They are always on hand and easy to find.
    I do a regular cull of the container drawer , but I often place a washed ice cream container or old honey pot in there just in case….. Just in case the son or husband needs a container to put nuts or bolts in so my good stuff doesn’t go missing.

    • Hi Wendy, I didn’t leave them at the store but they will be going there tomorrow. There sure isn’t any room for them here and I don’t have the time to do anything with them. And there was no need to keep them longer on my account, you know how I am about obligation clutter.

  4. Nice one, Colleen! The graveyard of unfinished projects can create both mental and physical clutter as our subconscious minds have to deal with the constant (and exhausting!) nagging of things left undone.

    It’s okay to not want to continue a project. Life happens, interests change, people change. Learn from it and move on.

    • Colleen Madsen

      Exactly Nicole. Usually I am determined to finish all projects but there are times when even I know when enough is enough.

  5. I am working my around my house focusing on areas that have gotten a bit untidy of the last month of chaos.

    Plasticware – yes it breeds I’m sure. I have found that usually around the time that my husband starts suggesting and re-suggesting that I buy some more plastic containers that a heap seem to filter back in. Ironically usually it is my husband who discovers that he has left a heap behind at work from taking left overs in to work.

    I had been contemplating buying my daughter tool kit for woman, for when she moved to University, but I didn’t get around to it. When we got down to Wellington we had to go out and buy a flat-packed storage cupboard and when we got back to the flat my husband wasn’t happy as it hadn’t come with any tools. Two of the other girls also had items to assemble and the RA was flat out with all the new tenants shifting in on the same day. So I grabbed a chunky high heel to use as a hammer and a sharp vegetable knife to use as a screwdriver. I figured that if man used to use rocks back in the day, woman could use a pair of platform wedges to do the same thing. The girls all quickly caught on and a new generation of women are improvising.

    • Momi, you go girl. Having a toolkit is great but improv works.

    • Colleen Madsen

      That is funny Moni, because my daughter used the GI Boots she got when she went of Airforce Rookies instead of a rubber mallet when putting Ikea furniture together.

  6. It doesnt fit with this week, in fact I cant think of any mini-mission it would fit with – I’ve decided that my hot fix rhinestone from the years when my daughter was a competitive dancer. No more razzle dazzle for me! The thing is that I need to inentory all the different colours and sizes. Eeeek! It is the most boring task I have ever done in the name of decluttering.

  7. Oops! Might have known you’d catch me, Colleen! I hate to whine, but it’s that “old grey mare”thing. I just can’t run up and down the stairs like I used to! Ha!

    • Oops, again! I accidently posted this again after somehow “going back” and the reply was still there, so I hit post again. Maybe it is not just the legs that are going………ha-ha!

  8. Now…..moving right along! These are good missions, Colleen. I don’t have any unfinished projects, but some waiting to be done from the start for sure! I have one broken item. It is a antique mantle clock that I loved and used till the spring broke last year. My mantle used to be piled with antique “decor”, but I only want a clock up there now, as we need one in the LR. I’ve got to decide if it is worth fixing. It is going to cost almost as much as a new clock.

    I also don’t have anything that I would call a junk drawer. I’ve seen some of those terrible things! However, I do have drawers where odd items are kept, and I’m sure there’s something that could go. I don’t have any small clothes repairs waiting to be done, but I have a whole sewing day waiting!!! Ha! I just found hubby several pr of pants at the thrift and they will all need cutting off and hemming. GROAN!!!!

    Plastic ware! I have a 2 door, 2 shelf cabinet section full. It is organized and not falling out but I’d LOVE to be able to pare down. Even hubby has mentioned that he didn’t think we needed all that. However, I cook BIG when I cook so I can freeze for the future. In the summer, I freeze produce and such. My plastic ware is in constant motion. I’m sure there must be something I could get rid of, but there’s not any piece that is not utilized at some time. In the summer I sometimes am down to just a little left to use on a daily basis. I’m stymied in this area. I wish I had a place to move it all and just take out when I need something. But, my closet in the garage is full of canning jars and supplies for that.

    No messy craft area. Well, it is messy with my husbands paperwork right now, which is my next project. That has to be done before ANYthing else. I have been working on kitchen and Living room eliminations and kept procrastinating on the paperwork. When the paperwork is over, more STUFF is leaving the building!!!

    • Hi, Brenda. Regarding your plasticware, are there any discoloured or deformed pieces that you can remove? Would it be possible to only keep the maximum number of containers that can fit into your fridge and freezer at any one time?

      • Nicole, I don’t have any discolored or warped stuff. Mostly, my collection grows as I remove things from the freezer and use, etc. I have a full upright freezer, and 2 refrigerator freezers that are usually full of things I have put up. However, I am thinking I will take a bagful from the cabinet and hang from the ceiling of my already full utility closet in the garage. I am currently working on moving some of my green Jadite/Fire King to the kitchen. I have the old refrigerator dishes in that, so I will put some of those in the cabinet and use for daily food that will be eaten quickly, as they are not airtight. I will only keep the plastic ware in there that I use regularly and the excess for freezing produce will be stored till summer.

  9. This doesn’t fit with the week’s mini missions, but I am annoyed that I still own these, so with a bit of creative stretch I will claim these. My daughter was a competitive dancer, including tap dancing which features a lot of bling. So my rhinestone tool and collection of different size and colour rhinestones needs to go on the auction block. Which means I need to inventory every last itsy bitsy one of what can be a several hundred in a bag. Which is sending me cross eyed. Now I know why I haven’t gotten around to selling this before now.

  10. Hi Moni.
    Can you weigh them instead of counting? Just think how great you will feel when you can brag that you got rid of 47,295 things this week!

    • Wendy – OOOOOHHHHH!!!!! I hadn’t thought of it in those terms. I shall continue with great gusto!