Mini Mission Monday ~ Clutter Stress

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.

The missions this week are inspired by the idea that clutter trouble your mind. There are so many ways in which this happens. The question is why hang on to stuff that causes you mental unrest. Best to just let it go and free yourself of the stress. So this week we will be searching  our homes for items that cause as metal stress and getting rid of it. There is enough stuff we must do that causes us stress so why add to it unnecessarily.

Monday – Aspiration ~ Declutter an item the represents something you feel you should get around to do that isn’t necessary. Craft supplies, mending, long ignored recreational activities…

Tuesday – Unhappy Memories ~ Declutter an item that brings you unnecessary feelings of sadness whenever you lay eyes on it.

Wednesday – Obligation ~ Declutter something you don’t want that you feel you should keep for someone else’s sake outside of your home. If they really care for you I am sure they wouldn’t want to cause you this stress.

Thursday – Work ~ Declutter unnecessary items that cause you effort to maintain. Effort such as dusting, polishing, cleaning around and under.

Friday – Obstruction ~ Declutter excess items that get in the way of more important items. This is best represented in cluttered drawers, files, closets etc that cause you wasted time locating the useful among the redundant.

Saturday – Waste ~ Start a use it up challenge on an item that is likely to spoil if it doesn’t get used up soon.

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

Eco Tip for the Day

Encourage family, friends and anyone who will listen to refuse, reuse, recycle and reduce.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. We had to do a mini Spring Clean yesterday and collected little piles of debris as we cleaned all surfaces and vacuumed behind furniture. A few other items were added to the pile as we went.

    Obstruction Clutter will be addressed as one of my daughters had an injury on Friday and is on crutches. Although the place is pretty good, she had to navigate around a few areas that could do with some improvement (including her ‘floorobe’) and areas where there is stuff waiting for pick ups, some stuff to be returned. Not a lot, but enough to be in her way, so this is a good excuse to hurry things along.

    The garage got a bit ‘busy’ lately as a young friend has been staying in there (it’s insulated, lined and carpeted) while he was looking for work, he returned to his hometown over the weekend and has received an offer in another town altogether. So I must ensure that all his stuff is together when he returns tonight. There’s also stuff in there that is ours but we didn’t want to be rummaging around in his ‘room’ – mostly stuff that’s coming up on its expiry date and waiting for its exit.

    • Hi Moni, it seems you have your work cut out for you this week. It is interesting how unexpected situations can draw your attention to clutter. I do hope your daughter is ok. I have had many occasions to employ the use of crutches in my life. I was optimistic enough to declutter a pair some time back. I would like to say this has encouraged me to be more careful but it probably hasn’t. Ha ha.

      • Colleen – yes a nasty sprain of the knee but already we’re seeing improvement. I would have liked her to take a few days off school but she has to catch up on her art board so gone in to do those classes.

        It was surprising how many people offered us the use of a pair of crutches, but the hospital issued us with a pair that we return later. Given that from time to time the hospital does a campaign to get crutches returned, I’m surprised more people aren’t keen to be rid of theirs as they go along. However the full length knee brace they don’t want back as they can’t re-issue such items. I can understand but it seems a bit wasteful. I wonder if there is some charity out there that would make use of such items.

        But yes it has given us a new perspective on navigational haszards. Fortunately most were items of a temporary nature.

        • I bet there is such a charity Moni. There are plenty of Third World countries that aren’t so fussy as us. I imagine that if you googled it you would find one soon enough.

          • Colleen – nothing came up on a google search, but when I had my daughter at physio this morning I asked and the physio said that she’ll check with her boss but they were thinking of setting up something along those lines for non-accidents (ie not covered under our ACC system which covers the costs of all accident costs from medical to items such as moonboots).

    • Moni,
      I will keep your daughter in my prayers as she recovers.
      The description of your garage is fascinating. Rather than housing your vehicles, it sounds as if you re-designed it as a guest room or family room.
      My Godparents did this decades ago in Mountain View, California (Silicon Valley). It was quite an undertaking but it turned out beautifully. City laws and permits required them to construct a carport on the driveway in front of what was formerly the garage.

      • Kimberley – the carpet in the garage is the drive on kind and came with the house when we bought it, I think most of the houses in the area have it. I thought it was a bit of a waste but I have to admit that I quite like it now as it takes some of the chill off during Winter, but it is a bit weird vacuuming the garage. No the cars never get brought inside. Originally we couldn’t fit them in and now we have gotten used to them being outside.

  2. Good mini missions. My laptop is down so had to resort to my Kindle and a stylus.

    • Deb J.,
      Doesn’t it feel good to “unplug” from time to time, whether by choice or by circumstance? Seems the lifespan of a computer is getting shorter and shorter. I take periodic computer and television fasts myself.

      • Kimberley – we had a brief power cut the other day, which meant no wi-fi. How quickly everyone found their way to the router looking anxious.

    • Hi Deb, I hope the laptop is up and running soon. I hate having to type on a tablet or my cell phone so I can sympathise. Thanks for the effort you did make. 😉

  3. We are doing some home improvements, painting and getting new flooring, and since everything has to be moved I see how much stuff we still have. I did declutter an old stereo that we didn’t use much and was a terrible dust collector, but the main room I have more work to do in is…my craft room! Anyone need some quilt fabric? I have been using up what I have and not buying any new, but I still have too much, so that is the next project.

    • Deanna – SNAP! We’re doing a bit of repainting too – did most of it earlier in the year – but it was paint prep sanding that prompted our mini Spring Clean on the weekend. My husband had removed the door for painting and then the sanding went everywhere and thanks to an open window for venitilation blew down most of the rest of the house.

      Still I can remember a time when a Spring Clean took most of Spring to achieve or at least that is what it felt like. Slight exaggeration I’m sure. Decluttering sure makes it easy to stay on top of jobs like skirting boards and kitchen cupboards thru the year. So it was a big dusting and vacuuming session but as we were all sneezing, we decided to do all the bedding (usually I spread it out over the week) but it was nice when it was all done.

      We are also looking at new carpets, but I feel there are too many teenagers in my house at this stage – we have three but seem to be the preferred location for parties. So I’m thinking I’ll leave new carpets to last on the list.

      • Hi Moni, I dare say you have learned a few lessons about repainted from that last effort. Live and learn as they say. I will also have the joy of replacing carpeting or, more likely, pulling up the carpet and putting hardwood floors down. Being as we don’t have much room to move the furniture to it should be an interesting task. I am glad we have a large balcony.

    • Hi Deanna, sorry no need for quilt fabric here. I have too much papercrafting supplies to add a new craft to the mix. 😉
      I guess now that I actually live in a home I own that one day I will have the “joy” of disrupting it all for the “fun” of repainting. If that isn’t inspiration to remain uncluttered I don’t know what is.

  4. As I’m away from my nest for two weeks I’m applying your missions to my digital world .
    Deleting the excess apps for mail.
    Culling the thousands of photos.
    Removing the aspirational items that I accumulate on apps like Pinterest and Houzz.
    I was doing well on the email side , getting rid of the subscribed mail . When I booked my airline ticket there was a competition , foolishly I clicked on it an I have been the recipient of more junk email!!
    I have noticed that it is very easy to ‘like’ or subscribe to things but a damn nuisance to unlike and unsubscribe!
    I will always enjoy my Upwords games, every one likes a challenge:)

    • Hi Wendy, how dare you leave town when I wasn’t looking. At least we can still play upwords. Good idea uncluttering the ipad while you are away though. Good for you. Every now and again I do a half hour or so of decluttering on my laptop. Just at random. Perhaps I will follow your lead a do a little now instead of adding more pins to my Pinterest boards. Hee hee!

  5. I really like Tuesday’s mission to get rid of something that makes you feel guilty. Make room for happy feelings! 🙂