Mini Mission Monday ~ Basics

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.

This weeks mini missions mostly address some the basics reasons why we should let things go that are wasting space in our homes. They will mean something different to each of us but even though they may seem vague it can be amazing how quickly an object will come to mind the fits the description. So good luck and happy decluttering.

Monday – Declutter something you haven’t used for a long time.

Tuesday – Declutter something you use but isn’t really helpful.

Wednesday – Declutter something that you don’t like the look of.

Thursday – Declutter something that you have too many of.

Friday – Declutter something that you wish you had never acquired.

Saturday – Ask someone else in the household to declutter something of theirs that you feel meets one of the descriptions above.

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.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I’m trying to declutter a couple half-packs of diapers my son has long outgrown. I’ve had 3 people not show up to get them. *sigh* I can’t donate them because no charity will take them unsealed. Sometimes I keep things because it’s so irritating to give them away! (I have major issues with just throwing out still useful things).

    I did manage to give away (on first try) the hose holder that I used two years ago, but didn’t hook up this year and decided it was fine without it, even if I like the idea of it and it probably makes the yard look neater. But it also is hard to hook up without leaking at one of the connections.

    Thursday is hard. If I use something it’s hard to get rid of, even if I have too many spares. I’ll have to think on that one. It’s one of my weaknesses. Easier if I know someone who needs one. Hmm…

    • Kayote – is there a local women’s refuge centre, they’re always needing supplies.

      • As far as I can tell they only want new toiletries. (Also, hard to donate to. They used to take donations every day their associated thrift store was open. They cut the hours and now only take donations some days some hours some weeks, and I’ve lost complete track of when I can drop stuff off. They also only want clothing if it is virtually unworn. They have higher standards for donations than I do for what I buy for myself!)

        I’m going to hope the woman comes tomorrow who says she wants them. I like putting things on my porch in the morning and having them gone when I get home from work. (Also makes it so much easier to coordinate, and I don’t have to give way my schedule. “Just tell me a day, I’ll put it on my porch, then I don’t have to worry about missing you if I go out grocery shopping.” Maybe I’m there, maybe I’m not, I’m not telling you. :P)

        It is odd. It seems some things just attract flakes. (While diapers could be new moms who are fried, other items with the same problem had nothing to do with kids). Items either seem to go away on the first person no problem or it takes multiple people multiple tries before someone shows up–not sure why they clump like that.

    • This interesting Kayote as I have never had any problem with people showing up for free stuff. In fact while using, when I was in the thick of giving stuff away, there was one lady who tried to claim everything I put up there. I ended up doing her a favour by pretending the items had already been claimed as I think she may have had an acquiring problem. Just recently I had a piece of mirror I didn’t want and just happened to look at and stumbled upon a lady who wanted glass, mirror etc for mosaics. I was so keen to get rid of it that I delivered it to her while I was out and about running errands.

      Like you, I would much prefer to give perfectly good used stuff away to someone who can use it rather than resort to throwing it in the bin. Fortunately I have never had to resort to that. And this reminds me that there is something, that fits this issue, under my bed that I need to deal with. Perhaps today is the day.

      • She came! Monday done!

        • I had problems with freecycle, too, if that’s what you’re using. I had a lot of very nice toddler girls’ clothes to get rid of, and I rescheduled with a woman three times. The last time, when she assured me she’d be there, I left the bags of clothes out for her and was gone for the day. We had a lot of rain that somehow got into the bags, and I had to wash and dry all of the clothes because of course she didn’t show up. I informed her the clothes no longer were hers to take. Variations on this happened several times, so I stopped using freecycle and found another woman who was reliable and collected for people who couldn’t even afford to shop at second-hand shops.

          On another note, I just cleaned out my pantry (not completely but mostly) and can find things on my shelves once again as I reorganized them. I had gotten into the habit of shoving things in there because I often am in a hurry when I am unpacking groceries as I need to get somewhere else.

          I also have cleaned out and reordered two of our three bathroom vanities the past week. It’s nice when I don’t have to dig around for items.

  2. My mother from Australia is arriving this weekend, so I am very excited but also doing the ‘the-house-must-be-in-spic-and-span-condition’ nervous rampage.

  3. Colleen, once again a very unique set of missions! Good on you!

    Mon, haven’t used in long time
    New shoe polish, it been years since I’ve polished shoes

    Tue, not really helpful
    Can’t think of anything

    Wed, don’t like looks
    Pair of worn out yard sandals and a pair of worn out yard work pants

    Thu, too many
    A bag of pinecones to granddaughter for craft project

    Fri, wish had never acquired
    A dead mouse in garage…guess better dead than alive! Glad it was in garage not house!

    • Calla, that was funny about your mouse! 🙂

    • Gadgets where what I was thinking of for Tuesday Calla. Maybe you use something occasionally that isn’t as useful as you have convinced yourself it is. Kitchen gadgets usually fit this description. So many of the tasks they perform can be accomplished with a simple knife. The time spent is usually evened out because a knife is so much easier to clean than a gadget.

  4. These are good ones Colleen. I bought that last set of drawers yesterday at 65% off. Now I have everything put away where I want it. So the old, smaller set of drawers and the piles on top are all put away and the old set of drawers can go. I have a couple more containers holding Christmas items and some old rags. I’m trying to decide what to do with it all. I’m not sure what I will keep now I am here and have a better idea of what I can use. Will have to look through it all and decide.

    • Well done Deb. Sometimes it takes a little time to decide on those last things as to whether you “need” them or not. Take you time and be sure as I know your possessions are so well tuned by now that what is left needs good consideration.

  5. Mrs Pat Schneider in Colorado

    Hello from windy Colorado! We are going to have more snow in the mountains this week. Anyway for today, Monday, I have looked in my makeup drawer and threw out 2 older lipsticks and one blush compact that I haven’t used in over a year. Funny how I was hanging on to them. But I trashed them after reading the posts.

    I have been visiting with friends weekly these past 2 months and now I will be home for October to participate more in these challenges. I have given away a lot of household items to my friends who have wanted my ‘stuff’. It was silk flowers last week to one lady who makes flower arrangements for her hobby. And more clothing two weeks ago to a lady who is my size and larger decorator baskets three weeks ago to someone else. This helps give me more floor room in one bedroom. And no, I do not accept anything from anyone else from their homes because they know i am always downsizing. HA! I have shared this website with everyone and one neighbor and I discuss weekly what we have done to downsize. It is good to have a ‘live person’ to be accountable to for this ongoing project.

    Ten years ago my husband and I rented a storage locker for 6 months to shift things out of the house to there to sort. This helped us a lot to get boxes out of one small bedroom we used as a storage room. After that was completed, it was 3 years of summer yard sales. We did well at selling items at some sales. Other times it was a waste of time. So now that the house is livable, it is a different type of downsizing we do now. It is things in stuffed drawers and cabinets that I am working on these days. These challenges keep me focused! Thanks! P.

    • Hi Pat, “windy Colorado”, I was just saying to my husband yesterday that they should rename Newcastle (where I live) to New Chicago as it is blowing a gail here at least three days every week. I am sure that has only been the case in the last twelve months because I don’t remember it being an issue prior to that.
      Anyway, back to the subject of decluttering. It sounds like you have made and are still making good progress Pat. Good for you. And I am glad you have a good network of friends who are happy to have your stuff because it is always nice to give things to people who you know will appreciate it. Also I am glad also that you have a friend close by to encourage you and keep you on track with your decluttering.

  6. Kayote-you also might try calling a local church that has a Sunday morning nursery and see if they’d take the diapers. I’m with you on not throwing things away you absolutely know can be used somewhere!
    Just had the annual autumn garage sale (at a friend’s house) this past Saturday (no autumnal temperatures here in Florida, but we soldiered on)…and carried back empty totes and empty hangars…so very pleased with the amount of stuff that is gone! Also quite proud that I did not bring anything into my house – although was sorely tested! Thank you Colleen and friends for helping me to strengthen my declutter muscles!!
    Empty hangars going to the thrift store along with some items that didn’t sell that I am not going to hang on to “til next time”!!
    If only I could convince my employer to pay me but not require me to come in…I’d get so much more done!!!

    • Mrs Pat Schneider in Colorado

      Congratulations on your yard sale there in FLA, Karen! That is awesome to ‘walk away’ and not bring back other items. Yes it takes a bit if strength to walk away.

      I agree about the diapers. A church, women’s shelter, or homeless shelter can always use them.

      Pat in Colorado

    • Ha ah Karen, that would be some great employing who would pay be nothing. Very few of those around I guess. Although I have worked with the odd employee at times that came to work but should have paid nothing.

      I am glad you had success with your garage sale and that you have decided to donate some of the leftovers as it is good to finally get the stuff gone for good.

    • I love the part about paying you,but requiring you to go in to work!
      I think they call that retirement!

  7. Hi Colleen and everyone! Don’t think I’ve commented lately but read faithfully! I have been busy with my yard sales and such. Don’t know if I mentioned it, but the location my husband was renting SOLD and we had to be out by the first of Oct. You may recall that I had moved all my yard sale items to that location so I could have sales through the fall festival season of Oct, which is very busy in my area of N Ga USA. Thankfully, I managed to have 3 or 4 sales, but think I could have gotten rid of many more items this month. Nevertheless, I have moved the leftovers back home to the garage for now, and yesterday, I sold the antique pump organ that had been in my living room. A beautiful, but useless to me, dust catcher! Altogether, I think I have sold about $1500 and gotten rid of probably hundreds of items. For the time being, I am having to put a few things back into the house till I decide their fate. The good glassware and small collectible items will stay in the garage for me to sort and donate most to my friend’s charity. She should be visiting this month so I will get rid of them soon. After the last sale, I donated probably over 100 small household items to a local thrift. I still have wall to wall furniture, but it feels good knowing that so many small items are missing from drawers and closets!! I did sell 3 or 4 small pieces of primitive furniture that are missing now and the pump organ was the biggie.

    On another note, I am currently “using up” my really cruddy OLD summer tops and trashing them after wearing. Trying to get the closet down to a minimal amt.

    I still have a long way to go. No one would visit and think “Minimal” here for sure! Yet, I have to remind myself that I have accomplished a lot and am getting down to the easier areas. No more yard sales for me! I have retired. :). My next sale will probably be an estate sale right out of the house whether I am dead or alive. Ha! It is too hard to have a yard sale when you have to take everything to a different location!

    Thank you to EVERYONE here, especially Colleen, for keeping me inspired!

  8. It certainly does sound like you have made plenty of progress over time Brenda and I am glad you reaped back some cash with those garage sales. I love to hold a good garage sale myself the money is a good incentive however I opted for ebay as my selling avenue during the bulk of my decluttering mostly because the process was so gradual for me that it would have taken so long to gather up enough stuff to have a garage sales. So, like the decluttering, I did any selling slowly as I went. It was pretty successful really. Most of my stuff went to the thrift shop though because that was easiest.
    Anyhow Brenda, nice work and I am glad you are feeling the space begin to open up around you even if it is mostly in hidden spaces. That was where most of my stuff was too and it felt great to me.

  9. I haven’t popped in for commenting lately, but check in daily for inspiration.
    This weeks missions describe the majority of my wardrobe LOL – too many, don’t like the look of, should never have acquired etc … even my other half has just offered up 3 of his shirts for the thrift bag. Saturday – tick!
    The new season of Project 333 just started, and since I have decluttered some of my excess body, have been working through my clothes to choose my 33.
    Things I haven’t fitted into for ages have now been getting one wear to see if I love them enough to keep. If not, I have a separate laundry basket. Once it is full enough for a load, wash and bag for donation. It is amazing how many things are not making the cut.

  10. I’m combining Monday and Thursday. I am donating to an assisted living home beauty parlor 58 bottles of nail polish. I have not used most of these nail polishes in over a year (or longer) and I have too many of them, especially similar colors. I am only keeping the nail polish I use and love. I am hoping to donate them this week because they have been sitting for some time. I sometimes make the decision to declutter but have trouble getting the donations out of the house.

  11. Mrs Pat Schneider in CO

    Today in Colorado!

    Tues-donated two sets of drills and drill bit sets that are no longer helpful to us (from my husband). This went to a young man who is doing construction work locally. He Is very happy to receive these workable units
    Wed-donating sheer curtains and other drapes that no longer match room colors. This goes to the ARC Thrift Store truck pickup today
    Thurs-Too many slips or pettycoats, as they used to be called. In excellent condition and this clears out one drawer in my dresser. This is donated today for the ARC pickup. I appreciate the much needed space.

    Rainy Day for Denver….. Pat

  12. Mrs Pat Schneider in CO

    Friday-yesterday I sent away with the ARC truck my large makeup box. It was great at first and was supposed to fit under the bathroom sink, but my pipes there didn’t let it. It was a good product to put in all of my compacts, lipsticks, mascaras, and creams in its three sections, but then I couldn’t lift it! I left it on my dresser for several years and forgot what I had put in it, so everything was unused. I was using the bathroom drawer again for my makeup. So yes it was something I wish I hadn’t purchased at all!
    Saturday-my husband let me have earlier this week the two drills that we donated to the young man who needed them. But tomorrow we will look around his office (and closet) again and see what else we can pull out. Have a great weekend, everyone! I will start again next week for the upcoming lst! Pat

  13. Colleen,
    I’m just checking out your blog today and will go back and read everyone’s comments. Love this blog! Anyhow, it is so funny, because yesterday we went to visit a friend and she was cooking pasta in an oval 8 qt. oval pot and I remarked, so before the night was out, she announced she was giving it to me, as she had 2 of them. Of course, these days I don’t always think so fast, so I thanked her and we used it to transport leftovers that she was also giving me. Well this pot hung out on my kitchen counter all day as I hemmed and hauled about its’ less than perfect appearance and where, oh where was I going to store it. With my husband being out of the house, I just taped the glass lid down after I tossed a chicken carcass in it for trash pickup! Then I read your Friday post…”Declutter something that you wish you had never acquired” Yup, that’s what I did. Also decluttered a less than perfect frypan along with it (that would be Wednesday)! Thanks Colleen for your never ending inspiration and for me finally getting it!

  14. We were away for an extended weekend and now have my mother back at our house, so not a lot of decluttering this week. However she is picking my brain on the topic. She has just been in Thailand volunteering at an orphanage for 2 weeks recently and it has changed her perspective on ‘stuff’.

    On the way to the extended weekend I visited my adopted parents who also want to utilise my skills and visited my MIL after arriving back home and as soon as the we have a run of fine weather she wants the basement emptied and sorted. So I have plenty to get on with.

  15. Habitat for Humanity is coming Thursday to pick up our now unused china cabinet. Odd, but of everything we’ve decluttered, this is one of the hardest for me to let go of. When we moved to our present home two years ago, it didn’t fit in our dining room- we had to squeeze around it- so we put it in our living room. It looked ok and wasn’t really in the way, but as time went on, both my wife and I realized we didn’t need or want it anymore. So about a month ago, she cleaned it out. We discarded about half of the items in it and relocated the rest. Our son helped me move it to the garage where it has sat, unused, since. I even tried to repurpose it by taking the doors off the hutch and using it as a bookcase, but really it just looked like that, unfinished. I thought about painting the buffet part to use as a foyer table, but my wife was clearly not impressed with that idea. She had listed it on Facebook marketplace for awhile as well; many lookers but no one expressed any interest. I guess no one wants an oak china cabinet anymore. (We don’t either!) Oh, we? have offered it to both our children; they both gave us the look that said, “Uh, no. Really, no.”
    I know when it is gone we will not miss it. However, since it was one of the first things we bought after we married, it just has a lot of memories. Oh well, we’ve taken the picture to remember it by. And I know once it’s gone, I will not miss it.

    • Mrs Pat Schneider in Colorado

      Hello Jeff in OK! What a good idea to donate to Habitat for Humanity! I’ll check my area out when I’m ready to donate furniture. I have not thought of this resource.
      You have certainly applied many options to relocate this furniture piece. What a wonderful job! I also will remember to take photos of our furniture. You have given me many ideas. Thank you! Pat in Colorado

    • Jeff, I SOOOOO uunderstand where you are coming from!! Sometimes it think there is not even a reason for the things you hate to see go, although in your case there was. Personally, being a lover of old furniture, I cannot imagine no one wanted your oak China cabinet. I’m sure an antique shop would have loved it.

      One of the things I got rid of was an antique pottery bowl that I really liked but had no where to use. It also had some sentimental history. I removed it from my kitchen along with lots of other blue items I was removing. Thought nothing of it until it sold. Then, I realized after removing all the kitchen items I now had a perfect place for it to be useful. I hate to admit it, but I have grieved over that bowl!!! Literally hundreds of items gone that I do not miss but I can’t seem to forget that bowl!!!! Ha! I’m glad you don’t think you will miss your China cabinet once it is out of sight. That is usually the case. I can’t figure out why this bowl has been such an issue for me, but I’m thankful out of all the items, this has been the only thing I’ve missed.

      • It’s not really an antique at 30 years old, just a country oak piece from the 80s. I had a realtor friend tell me that many homes from that era are being passed over by the younger people because of oak finishes. Apparently, oak is “so last millennium.” Someday it will come back, like mid century modern, but I don’t think I’ll live that long.
        I know what you mean about missing/not missing things. We have disposed of so much over the years, and I can’t think of more than two or three things I really regret. And, I’m not losing sleep over those! We are big into the minimalism thing, and this is just one more thing in our quest.

  16. Hi Brenda,
    I have often had regrets after donating but just keep telling myself I am sure I let it go for a reason and I just don’t “need” it.
    Maybe if we take a look around and see the things we still have and are greatful for, we can just “let go” and “let be”.

    • Thank you, Anna! That is exactly what I am trying to do! Like, I said, it is just weird that I missed it after it was gone when I hadn’t actually been using it. I’m sure it will pass and I will think no more of it. I am so blessed that I have truly been happy to see everything go but that bowl!

  17. Amen!