Mini Mission Monday ~ Clutter Collectors

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.

For this week’s mini missions we are going to concentrait on the obvious clutter collection points in our homes. These are areas that seem to attract clutter like iron filings to a magnet. I bet there are several running through your mind as you read these words. We aren’t going to clear one or two things from these areas, the idea is to recognise these areas for what they are, tidy them up completely and vow to try to keep them tidy in the future. The clutter you will find is not likely be the “get rid of” type just a lot of junk and stuff in the wrong place,visual clutter if you like. This areas will be a lot tidier So let’s get started.

Monday – I just cleaned this area out so it is fresh in my mind, the dreaded handbag. My only problem with my handbag is receipts. Thankfully many establishments ask if a receipt is required these days so I avoid them when possible.

Tuesday – Another obvious clutter magnet is the junk drawer. I am pleased to say I don’t have one of these.  “Why do junk drawers exist anyway?” Surely all the things we put in there have a home elsewhere but we are just to lazy to put them away properly. Maybe once it is emptied you should remover the drawer for a week and attempt to learn to live without it. :shock:

Wednesday – Today’s area is as Cindy dubbed it The Black Hole. This is that area in your home where you dump things when you walk in the door and or need dealing with but not right now. Hall tables, kitchen benches, dining tables seem to often fall into this category. Read Cindy’s post that I linked to above, determine your black hole, deal with what is lingering there and try to come up with a better or organised system so the black home can be eliminated once and for all.

Thursday – This one may be more than a mini mission but that would depend entirely on how out of control you allow this area to become. The area for today is the desk top.

Friday – The car is today’s area of clutter caos especially if you have little children. Things that can be found collecting here are ~ parking tickets, half eaten cookies, toys, candy wrappers, spare change, sports equipment, shoes, sunglasses, hats, shopping bags and much much more!!! My advice is to go to the car pull everything out whether it belongs there or not, sort through it, replace neatly what does belong and rehouse or trash everything that doesn’t.

SaturdayCoffee table drawers can also be an attracter of all sorts of interesting bits and bobs, pens, hair ties, old magazine, dead batteries, DS games etc. If you don’t have a coffee table maybe you have a small table beside you sofa that serves the same purpose.

Sunday – Pick an area of your choosing, one that may be unique to your own clutter habits maybe it is the back veranda, the pet toy box, the kids school bags or the like and give that area a good clean out.

Eco Tip for the Day

Every time you go to turn on a light think twice, and act on that thought, as to whether you can manage the task without the light. I have been doing this a lot lately and I am constantly surprised at how many things I would turn a light on to do when I don’t really need it. This makes me think about a blind person getting through their day without seeing anything. This inspires me to wast less electricity.

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. Monday – I am OCD about my purse/handbag so I tend to clean it out everyday that I’m going to be using it.

    Tuesday – We haven’t had a junk drawer in years. YAY!

    Wednesday – Our black hole used to be this stretch of kitchen counter that was meant to serve as like a snack bar area. We had it removed so we removed our black hole and opened up the kitchen/dining room area.

    Thursday – I mostly cleared my desktop last night. All I need to do is sort a few bits of paperwork into their appropriate places.

    Friday – My car is cleared out. Did that a few months ago. Since my daughter is a teen and we don’t spend much time in the car anymore, it stays cleared out.

    Saturday – We don’t have a coffee table.

    Sunday – This will probably be a chest of drawer we have in the dining room. Or possibly the utility room. I am undecided.

    Thanks for these mini missions. They made me realize how far along we’ve come in decluttering this house. Even a year ago, I would probably have needed to do most of these.

    • Good for you Rachel W. It sounds like your situation is much the same as ours except for the handbag. All I have to do is remove those receipts and it will be fine. We don’t have a junk drawer, a black hole, or a messy desk top. The desk is in the living room so having it mess would drive me crazy. The car is clear although it could do with a good clean right now. And, like you, we don’t have a coffee table. I think I will take a look in the buffet drawers though because there were some items put in there when we moved into this apartment that were left in the house. If we haven’t found what they were here for by now they probably aren’t necessary.

      I am glad this post has helped you realise how far you have come. That is always inspiration to keep at it.

  2. These are great missions. Rachel W. – you have an excellent handle on things! Congrats to you. 🙂 I’m pretty OCD about my purse and my truck, too. We do have a junk drawer, darnit. But YAY, our coffee table doesn’t have a drawer.

    Even though it is a month away, I got out my few Easter décor items and decluttered three things that I’m not overly fond of. I’m feeling a strong pull to get at the closet again today, now that I’ve completed our tax returns! Yippee! And, I’ll spend a little time putting together some more things to take the shop that buys outright, so that’ll be good.

    I think this week is going to be a good, productive one!

    • Hi Michelle, I think that it sounds like you are decluttered enough that you can immediately turn your mind to the few places that you know need a little attention. That is a good sign that you are well decluttered. Good for you.

  3. Colleen, these are good ones again.
    Mon. — I don’t carry a purse just a small zippered “change Purse” to carry cash and cards. I hate purses.
    Tues. — WooHoo!! We no longer have a junk drawer. Haven’t for a number of years.
    Wed. — the Black Hole is gone too and has been since Cindy wrote about it.
    Thurs. — My desk. It’s a bit cluttered right now. We are trying to make some changes and while that is going on my desk takes some of the clutter. It’s driving me nuts.
    Fri. — Our car is clean. We don’t like to keep anything in it other than the reusable grocery bags and cooler in the back.
    Sat. — We don’t have a coffee table. WooHoo!!
    Sun. — Day off.

  4. OK – my handbag and purse are looking pretty feral at the moment, so will address that tonight.

    Cindy’s post on Black Holes is one I enjoyed. Black Holes do seem to have gravitational pull because they seem to attract more and more stuff.

    Over the weekend I decided to instigate a Spring Clean of my kitchen including an oven clean. I have put aside a number of items that I am doing a trial seperation, such as my large crockpot, now my son has left home we only use the smaller one. I have a few more cupboards to get through, but had to prioritise the oven as it was needed for dinner. Many of my kitchen cannisters sit empty in a pile at the bottom of the pantry as I no longer stock those goods. I live a few minutes from a Bin Inn store where you can buy dry goods in whatever quantity required. I kept these as my collection was of an age where lids were starting to break etc, but as we aren’t going through much flour or sugar these days (with my son gone, the girls and I prefer not to have baking too accessible in the house) and so potentially I will be downsizing the whole pantry system. I will move these to the garage and look for a new owner on freecycle.

    • hi Moni, I envy you being have access to a store where you can buy dry ingredients by weight. I really miss that about living in America. We don’t have much option for that here. There are a couple of tiny organic food stores but they are right out of my way and charge so much more than the regular store. Fortunately I don’t carry a lot of dry goods any more so it isn’t a big deal but I would still love a store like that close by.

    • Moni – I love it “pretty feral”. Ha ha!

  5. Hi Colleen,

    looking through the list for the week, what stands out to me is the desk – definitely more than a mini mission for me, (at times it seems like a life mission!). I really need help in this area!! I would love it if you were able to direct me to a post or some thoughts about how best to tackle lots of paper, momentos, photos, etc. that just keep collecting.
    Many thanks,


    ps. I’m quite good at handbags though – and really enjoy regularly cleaning mine and the lightness afterwards.

    • Hi Vanna, it is hard to direct a person to the right system for them because we all have a certain method that works for us. You need to know yourself first in regards to how your brain works when it comes to ordering thing. With some quick Googling I found the article at which may help you. . Please let me know if it was a help to you and I may write a post about it because I know this is something that many people struggle with.

      • Thanks so much Colleen – I’ll have a read and let you know.

        • I hope it helps. I will have a good read of the article myself and see what I think.

        • Hi Again –
          I found the article really helpful and straight away I learnt that I am a ‘piler’ not a ‘filer’ which explains a lot in terms of the way I tend to keep things, especially papers. I have lots of piles and I always find what I’m looking for eventually! I also like the link to ‘which papers to keep’ as it is a clear outline of how to sort them – which I need.
          Your mini mission has inspired me to do a total declutter of my desk – I’ll put some photos on my blog when its done, it may take some time though!!

          Thanks so much for your help and the inspiration!

          • Hi Vanna, I am glad you found the article helpful and that you recognised your filing style. Don’t let knowing your style stop you from trying other styles, you may just find that you have become comfortable with what you do now but another system may work better for you. I do this quite often with all manner of organisation. It is no big deal if I find what I was doing was better, I just revert back. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so they say. Sometimes when I try something new it turns out so well I wonder why I didn’t think to do it that way sooner.

  6. I have a suggestion for handbags. Several months ago, I realized there’s a small zippered pocket on the outside of my bag that I seldom used. I now put all receipts in there, which means they are not floating around in my bag and it’s very easy to clean them out. If I eventually switch to a bag without an extra pocket, I will likely add a small pouch for receipts. It’s been a very simple and effective trick. Thanks for all the good missions this week!