Mini Mission Monday ~ Build-up

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 week’s set of mini missions is all about those things that build up until you can’t help but notice. You generally notice when you feel like the clutter is closing in on you again but you don’t understand how that happened. So I have listed some areas for you to check on and declutter if necessary.

Monday – Declutter a couple of items you have just lost interest in. Don’t be concerned about what they cost or how little they were used. Just get them out of your life if you have no use for them.

Tuesday – If you are like me and keep the odd, seemingly useful, container and then later on find they are building up and not being used then declutter a few today. Jars, plastic containers, cans, folders, plastic sleeves…

Wednesday – Sometimes we buy a new item of clothing without letting go of the items that it replaced. Items that are a little shabby. So now is a good day to let go of some of those items.

Thursday – If you have children declutter some items they have grown out of.

Friday – Declutter some entertainment items that you no longer care to enjoy. Board games, digital games, outdoor fun equipment etc

Saturday – Declutter shabby linens that have hung around too long waiting to be used as rags.

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. I’m visiting my sister who has moved her mother-in-law to a nursing home recently and she has ‘inherited’ a bit of stuff. The problem lies with the husband who feels some attachment to certain items and of course there is the boxes of photos. The Mother’ items have made their home rather cluttered and hard to function normally. Some are clothes that can’t be stored at the nursing home and may be needed in the future.
    Anyway, we took a couple of boxes to the charity store today and it was noted by my sister that they took glass jars. At least she knows where another box of MIL stuff can go.
    I managed to finally sort out my van that I have stocked with camping gear. I hope to be able to sleep in it if any of my trips get too tiring. I did remove three glass jars that I thought might be handy, a second can of fly spray, an umbrella and two wire baskets. I now have a hanging shoe rack on the wall which takes up little space .
    Cheers and happy decluttering.

    • Hi Wendy, glad to here the van is coming together. Given that most of the stuff you have acquired for it were secondhand your learning curve has been cheap and environmentally friendly. Well done. I am sure that, with a few more road trips, you will have it all nicely figured out.

  2. Ooh good missions this week. I have been missing from the comments, but still working on moving out the stuff.
    For Monday I am decluttering something useful, and large. My Vacola bottling (canning) unit, all the jars, stainless steel lids, clips, plastic lids for opened jars, the lot. I haven’t processed anything for years, and have found a happy new owner for it.
    For Tuesday, even though I packed up jars today, I will weed out some reusable water bottles. We really do have too many, and always seem to choose the same ones.
    Wednesday – will be set aside for weeding my sock/undies drawer.
    Thursday – Easy, I already decluttered the children! And their stuff, which went with them when they left home.
    Friday and Saturday are both areas where serious work needs doing (time consuming), but I will ditch at least one thing from each category this week.

    • Wow, you are off to a good start there with all that bottling/canning equipment. And how wonderful that you have found a new owner for it who will no doubt get good use out of it until it is happily handed on again.
      The over purchase of water bottles is a comment issue I think. People are always on the search for just the perfect one and often disappointed. We have two in our house and I alternate between the two depending on the circumstance in which I am using them. One is bigger than the other and each one had a different lid set up. If I were to get rid of one it would be the big one with the straw top as it leaks when tilted. The other has a simple screw lid, it small and portable when doing a lot of walking, is easy to fill no matter how small the basin, and never fails me.

  3. I have the extra containers taken care off. I have been using them to send garden produce home to my kids. My grandson wanted know what kind of joke I was playing, I sent snap peas in a container that was labeled cinnamon rolls! Lol

    I also use them to send leftovers after big dinners home with who ever attended. So far the system is working. Before garden season there did seem to be quite a few, but now under control.

    Have been helping neighbor prepare for a move & garage sale. She is selling more stuff than I own. Many think my house is to empty, but I like that way. Easy to clean.
    Good Missions Colleen.

    • Idgy of the North

      Great idea to pass on containers, Calla

    • Hi Calla, I also sometimes send leftovers, in takeout containers, with my son when his family have been to my house for a meal. Trouble is they are so efficient at setting them aside and returning them to me that I eventually have to put them in the recycling bin.

  4. Perfect timing for these missions. Just last night I was feeling overwhelmed by stuff. We have a 1960s house, with tiny rooms and closets. Have been following 365 for several years, and drastically reduced both our stuff and bringing in new things. But my Mom (90 yrs old) is coming to stay for a while, and we’re moving the guest room to make it easier for her (less stairs and closer to our room in case she needs us). Nothing makes stuff come out of the woodwork like moving it down stairs! And Colleen is right about books being dust catchers… there are 2 bookcases in the room we’re using for her and yuck! Any hints on feeling less overwhelmed getting a house ready for a long term visit would be greatly appreciated. My Mom’s home is newer than ours and she always kept it spotless – tough standards to live up to.
    I have a trunk full of donations from the last few weeks’ missions ready for donation, but still feeling like the stuff is closing in on me.

    So far this week: Monday – Stained glass book, quilting rotary cutting turntable (never used!)
    Tuesday – 3 cookie tins; Wednesday – undies, tennis shoes; Friday – Craft book, 2 cookbooks; Saturday – sad looking, ancient jeans.

    • Hi June, unfortunately feeling overwhelmed is a personal thing and only you can pull yourself out of that funk by changing you attitude. My advice on that is to place your focus on how good it feels to be finding a reason to get rid of more stuff. Learn from that experience and be determined to allow it to help you view your other excesses with a more critical eye. Some times we just have to convince ourselves to view problems as opportunities (probortunities) and allow it to give us an new and more practical way of thinking. I guarantee you will learn a lot from this experience.
      Good luck and HAPPY decluttering.

      • Thanks for the encouragement, Colleen. I had a day off work today and have been plugging away at it. I feel much more positive now. A huge pile is in the car ready to donate and more items have been marked for the next load. I figured out that although I’ve been consistently decluttering and watching what comes in the house – I have not been ruthless enough in some categories, especially clothes and books. Also, I learned that baseboards apparently don’t clean themselves! Now they are bright white again. My DH joined in the decluttering and cleaning today and we had a good time working together.

        • I am glad you are feeling better about things now June. And so happy to here you and your husband had a nice time working alongside each other on this task. Well done both of you.

  5. These are good Colleen. I wish I was moved into my new place. I have some things I am using here because they are needed but can’t wait to get rid of them as they are not things I want long term. I am seeing some other things on the list that once I can unbox all my stuff I want to get rid of. Yes!! Waiting is not easy at times.

  6. I’ve been out of circulation, busy with landscaping and some re-decorating plus the inlaws built a do-upper that has needed the whole family to pitch in. Over the weekend we had to clear the two storage units that hold about half of their stuff and move it into the basement room of their new house. Oh I have my work cut out for me there!

    I haven’t had the time to contribute comments here lately, but also as there was purchasing required for the room ‘do-overs’, I felt I was going against everything 365 stands for as I ‘staged’ the rooms. The left over and no longer required stuff has been returned to the stores, so my conscience is feeling better and I am very pleased with the outcome. I do have a number of rooms to work thru but now that I have two rooms that I am very happy with, I feel confident to move forward without feeling like I’ve ‘relapsed’.

    Even though it is Winter here (though a very mild Winter) I decided to give my kitchen a Spring Clean and found some bits and pieces that are on the ‘out’ pile. I need to give the garage a big tidy up too, it has been utilised during the carpet & tile lifting process and renovation as a ‘drop’ zone. It also currently has some boxes of stuff for the next room do-over, a set of dining chairs going into storage (one of my daughters called dibs on them) and a computer desk that we want to move to our work place. My car does live in the garage at night, but we’d like to put a second vehicle in there too so that is the goal.

    • Always busy Moni. I always feel like I am having a relapse too when I have to replace a worn out item. Like my lounge cushion a little while ago. They were flat and the covers were falling apart. The sad part really came when one of the new ones busted a seam and I was force to take it back for a replacement as well. I hate the waste of faulty products.

      • Colleen – you take relapse guilt to a whole new level!
        I have the large task of helping my MIL declutter their belongings starting this weekend. I have mixed feelings about it as it really needs to be done but a daughter-in-law isn’t necessarily the best person to be in this role. My MIL wants it done but also has a lot of emotional attachments and fears. Sometimes she says she would prefer to just keep it all packed away and not deal with it. She is not a technology gal at all, so signing her up to this blog wouldn’t happen, but she seems to know about Marie Kondo and so I have bought her the book. I don’t know if the clean sweep method is right for her but I have suggested other methods and other authors but she keeps coming back to Marie Kondo, so fingers crossed this doesn’t cause a family rift. I’m wondering if she finds it all too overwhelming and she just wants someone to fix it. Two storage units were emptied and currently sitting in their basement. There is also a garage full at my Bro-in-law’s house and I’m told there is still a shipping container down country waiting to be brought up. Wish me luck!

        • I don’t envy you that task Moni. It could be very frustrating and potentially affect your relationship. So tread carefully and look on it as an exercise to show here they way by imparting you wisdom on the matter rather than expecting good results first time around.

  7. One of my missions today is something I sort of lost interest in.

    Over the years I have been researching our family tree and family history and all that goes with it.

    Today I am going through the files on my computer to make some sense of them AGAIN. As I go through them I am deleting a lot of files, especially links to websites I may one day go to. Some have been there for years and still not gone to, so out they go.

    Then I also realised that I want to go as far as I want to with the family history project. I will keep the photos but a lot of other stuff can be deleted. These may be interesting to me, but will anyone else in the future care about the links/information to go further into research. I doubt it.

    So far I have deleted 16 GB yes GBs. I feel free already. Hope this spurs someone else to look at their projects. Do they want to continue with them, or just pass their research for others to finish if they want to.

    • Well done Katherine, although I know other more avid family historians out there will be cringing over this. I also did some family history study as a bit of a hobby at one point. I have kept the information that matters but decluttered other links and text that mean very little in the big scheme of things.