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 biggest problem with my handbag was receipts. I have now put a paper clip in my bag to keep them tidily together so that when I get home after being out shopping I can round them all up quickly and deal with them in what ever way is necessary. What amazes me is how many I seem to generate even though I don’t buy clutter. They are most from grocery shopping and dining out (I do love my food).

Tuesday – Another obvious clutter magnet is the junk drawer. We have visited this area several times already since I began blogging about decluttering. Most of you should be able to have today off because back on Monday Feb 7 I had hoped to have convinced you to eliminate your junk drawer altogether. For the new readers and those of you that didn’t heed my suggestion last time I repeat those instructions here. “Why do we need a junk drawer 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 we 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.

Good luck and happy decluttering


Today's Declutter Item

Today’s Declutter Item

And the baseball clutter just keeps appearing out of the woodwork and I keep finding it new homes via Freecycle. This bobble head was happily collected by a lovely lady named Jane and I am sure her grandson’s will love it.

Things that made me happy, made me laugh, made me feel grateful, fascinated me or I thought were just plain awesome.

  • A sunny day on Saturday ~ it had been a while coming.
  • The day after cleaning day ~ When I can sit back catch up with my computer work and enjoy being surrounded by a clean and tidy home.
  • Getting around to doing one of those long awaited decluttering tasks ~ Once these tasks are dealt with I wonder why I procrastinated so long about it in the first place.
  • Getting around to doing my mountain of ironing. ~ I had been ignoring that task for some time.
  • How plants still manage to grow in my garden regardless of the neglect they received. ~ Unfortunately they aren’t all plants that I want growing there.
  • Please follow and like us:
    Pin Share

    Continue reading with these posts:

    • Mini Mission Monday ~ Memorabilia Items 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 […]
    • Mini Mission Monday 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 […]
    • Mini Mission Monday ~ This and that 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 […]

About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Ah the handbag 🙂 Mine is never very tidy for long and it doesn’t help that I have a kid now..
    I keep the receipts in my wallet (until I clean them out) but there is always some crap trying to accumulate there.. I hate to clean out my bag so I try to stop junk from entering there in the first place, just like miniature version of home decluttering..

  2. My handbag is very tidy. It holds my wallet, phone a car papers. (My schoolbag is something else, but ah, well. I need everthing in it, so no downsizing on that one). Friday should be easy too: there is only one paper bag that doesn’t belong there. The next time I will ride my car, I will get it out.

    • Hi Nurchamiel,
      here is a little trivia for you. Did you know that in Washington State in the USA you must carry at all times in your motor vehicle a bag or container for trash. If you are pulled over by the police for any other traffic infringement they can also book you if you are not carrying this container.

  3. Love that googly-eyed emoticon after the sentence about getting rid of our junk drawer – very fitting!

    Actually, I don’t have a junk drawer and I keep thinking if I HAD one it would eliminate my kitchen counter black hole. But then I think maybe I am deluding myself, and I’d just end up with two black holes instead of one 🙂

    Good list of mini-missions, as usual.

    • Hi Jo,
      maybe you should forget all the other mini missions this week and spend your week analyzing the black hole in your house and see if you can figure out a way to minimise its magnetic force. This is starting to sound like captains order from the bridge of the star ship Enterprise. 😆

      • Heh heh Good observation – I’ve been thinking that too. And so I’ve been gradually dealing with the pile, and it IS getting smaller. It’s mostly long-term things, so I think once it’s dealt with, it will be permanently gone.

  4. No junk drawer here anymore, fortunately (at least none that are in my control). I usually keep my little handbag cleared out. However—the desk, well, yeah, I’ll be working on it this week. And the black hole got a little deeper this past week when we sold one car and bought another-I’m not sure how it happened but the shelf by the back door got filled up 🙁

  5. Hi Colleen,
    I have to say just how much I love your blog! You have inspired me to declutter each and every day. This post speaks to me right now because it hit every one of my hot spots. One problem I’ve been having is that as soon as I declutter one area, another one seems to grow magically. What am I doing wrong? Is there no end?

    • Hi Min,
      may I say thank you very much for such a nice compliment and extend to you a hearty welcome to 365less things.

      I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that you are a very busy lady forever flitting from one task to another, perhaps you have a job, a family and a home to maintain and something has to give. Because you are often in a hurry things get used but not put away and that is how these hot spots keep appearing. If I am right my advice is to slow down just a little, enough to take the time to put things back where they belong when you are done with them. You might be surprised how little time this takes. These items will take no longer to put away now than they will in three days but in the meantime you could be wasting extra time by not knowing where things are because they are not where they belong. Give it a try this week, put everything away when you are done with it and them let me know how that was for you.

      I the case that I am completely wrong here please feel free to contact me through my contact page and we will see if we can sort out your problem for you and put a strategy in place to help.

  6. these are all areas that need decluttering here…especially my purse…those bits of paper must multiply when I’m not looking…

    no junk drawer here…so far everything has a place except in the sewing room…then it’s like a junk cupboard…wish me luck!

    • Hi Kelley,
      i certainly do wish you luck and good management. I can really relate to the way paper multiplies in a handbag I can’t believe how many receipts build up in my handbag especially since I don’t buy much other than food.

  7. Hi Colleen, thanks again for an inspiring weekly de-clutter plan! I will use Saturday (don’t have a coffee table with drawers or any other untidy tables ) to clean my car. Should be a lot easier after it got decluttered! 🙂

    • Hi Jutta,
      thanks for dropping by again and good luck decluttering and cleaning out the car. I have been taking a look at your blog and I love the fresh clean look of it, that very much lends to the blog subject of being organised and carefree.

  8. I’m having trouble with the junk drawer thing, for sure. I would like to eliminate it (I did eliminate the one in the kitchen!), but the alternative seems to be smaller junk boxes, ha ha. I’m going to try harder this week!! I know there are shoe inserts and furniture foot-pads in there, and they can be redistributed to my existing “shoe shine kit” box and “home repair” box.

    I like these mini missions. Interestingly we don’t have a desk top in our home. We use our table for everything, but we have a 2-shelf rolling cart with the “office” supplies on it. It’s sort of my husband’s space, but I think I can get in there and do some organizing!

    CAR is going to be my biggest challenge. I actually did a thorough decluttering just a couple weeks ago, but I have a leak in my trunk that is (oh I don’t want to admit it!) growing black mold, and I REALLY need to take care of that…

    • Hi Liina,
      you are making progress ~ one junk drawer down one to go. There is always a better place for everything that ends up in the junk drawer and sometimes it does mean organising a better system. This is often a lot simpler that we first realise. I have a couple of fishing tackle boxes in my laundry cupboard. One holds all the little home repairs nicnacs and the other serves as my first aid kit and the shoe shine kit resides in the same place. Know if I put everything back there it will be where I need it when I need it and I won’t have to go searching or replacing items that don’t need replacing.

      I am ashamed to say that I have a 12 drawer office supply cart ~ a little overkill I would say. My hubby and I were discussing its elimination just the other day. It is now well and truly in my radar.

      Good luck with the mould in the car. Try dousing it with vinegar, mould doesn’t like vinegar and shouldn’t grow back.

      • Oh good call! I was just going through an accordion file of magazine clippings and found a multi-page article about using baking soda, vinegar, and borax for all your cleaning needs – and it included vinegar for mold. I definitely prefer that idea to using something like bleach.

        • Hi Liina,
          you might probably still need a little bleach to get the stain out if you care to but the vinegar should stop the mould from returning. Let me know how it worked for you.

          • As of 04-12-2011, I eliminated my junk drawer! I shuffled the contents between “Shoe Shine Kit”, “Hardware and Repair,” and a new box called “Household”. I used these boxes which I already had.

            Now the drawer contains only cell phone chargers, laminated maps for hiking, and materials out from the library!

            • Hi Liina,
              way to go mate. No junk draw is the way it should be because lets face it, if it is junk it shouldn’t be there it should be in the trash or you just haven’t put it where it belongs. Everything has a category and therefore should have a home.
              I had a look at the link and those boxes are nice. Out of curiosity I checked them out on the Australian Ikea site and they cost $9.99 here. God I miss America! What makes this even sadder is that our dollar is worth more than yours at the moment and we still pay more than twice the price. Our basic wage is $16 an hour though I suppose and someone has to pay for that.

  9. Hi Colleen,
    Thanks for the tip on keeping your receipts in order in your handbag. I just took out a large size paper clip to put in my purse. A long time ago I developed the habit of going removing receipts and other items collected during the day immediately upon arriving home before putting away my handbag. That way it’s always tidy. Another strategy is to use a small purse…along the same lines as a small house vs a large house. As for the black holes or clutter collection areas, the only one I have left is my desk. Paperwork seems to gather on the surface until I go through it once a week. I recently replaced the open 3-shelf paper holder on my desk, which collected lots of dust as well as papers, with a pretty covered box. It is much easier to dust and much more pleasant to look at. I can now place the papers in there until I go through them at the end of the week. One improvement I’ve made in the paper clutter headache is to file bills and receipts as soon as I open the mail or empty out my handbag. That alone has helped immensely.

    • Hi Di,
      I use a cigarette case as my wallet so there is not a lot of extra room in there for receipts so they end up all over the place in my handbag. Every logical place to file them in there was in the way of something else so I had to come up with a better idea. The paperclip idea seems to be working for me so far.

      At least you have a system for taking care of that paperwork. Once a week filing is better than once a month filing, that can get you in a world of hurt if you suddenly realise a bill is overdue.

      • To drastically cut the time to organize and pay my bills on time, all my bills, except the credit card bills which I pay online, are set up on auto payment from my bank. The amounts are withdrawn on a recurring schedule each month. The companies still send me statements, and I just save a year’s worth in my files so I can compare costs. Hopefully more of the utility companies will soon offer online access to the monthly statements to save even more time and paperwork.

        • Hi Di,
          that is great. Have you considered making digital copies of the statements the companies send so you came get rid of the paper copies?
          I am surprised that the utility companies don’t offer the same service. I would have thought they would be the first businesses to cotton on to this sort of technology.
          I have to confess that my husband actually takes care of all this stuff. Not that I couldn’t do it I just don’t, I do the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning blah blah blah and he does the bills, the holidays and is appointed computer geek.