Mini Mission Monday ~ Collecting Dust

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.

For this week’s mini missions I have focused on items that collect dust. I am sure I don’t need to tell you yet again about the allergy issues surrounding dust collectors.  I could come up with enough missions for a month on this topic alone but here are six for you to be getting on with.

Monday – I have given the bookworms a bit of a reprieve for a while because I felt I was forever picking on them but the break is over. Books are big dust collectors and also can become quite musty when kept in damp places without good ventilation. So this week how about decluttering ten books from your collection that you are least likely to read again.

Tuesday – Declutter excess plush toys and then wash and air out the ones you keep. This is probably more than a mini mission but it is a job that needs doing occasionally.

Wednesday – Declutter a couple of trinkets, knick knacks or whatever you like to call them.

Thursday – Declutter at least one fabric item that just sits on or drapes over furniture or hangs on a wall. Cushions, throw rugs, curtains, embroideries etc fall into this category. If they aren’t being used chances are they are collecting dust and slowly perishing.

Friday – Declutter a dusty old box of stuff that hasn’t been opened for years. If it has had so little attention then you don’t need or love the contents enough to keep it.

Saturday – Declutter a piece of exercise equipment that you probably ought to be using but aren’t. If you can’t do that then start using it.

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

One for the warmer months. Wet yourself in the shower then turn it off to soap yourself then on again to rinse.  Word is that an average of 60 litres of water are use to take a shower. Imagine how much less it could be using this method. I have been doing this during the summer and lo and behold, without my knowing it, my husband had been doing the same. Any wonder out water bill was so low.

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. Colleen, ah the dust catchers. We have too any of those. They are the items Mom wants to hang onto becuase they were her Mom’s, Dad gave them too her or they were given to her at her wedding. Guess they won’t be going though. Sigh!

    • Never mind Deb J, there are just some things that people aren’t prepared to part with. My husband owns 90% of the dust collectors in our house and that is OK. They are mostly behind glass so don’t get too dusty. Perhaps once he is retired he can become responsible for dusting them.

      • Yes, I have just set it aside and realized that it is a battle I don’t want to have. Some day things will change.

    • Deb J.,
      Maybe you could encourage your Mom just to ‘pare down’ a bit. Focusing on keeping the very special chatchke’s and letting a few go. Perhaps reminding her that the item is not the person who gave it to you, and just because you let it go does not mean you have forgotten the memories attached to it. Could you take a picture of the item and then let it go? “Depression Baby” still pretty much sums it up. My Mom is one too, but she has a housekeeper that deals with all of the cleaning, dusting etc. While I lived at home before heading off to college, I did all of the household chores. When I moved out, she hired someone to do what I used to do, haha!

      • Kimberley, I have tried this reasoning with my mom but so far it hasn’t worked. I have found she always resists something to begin with. She eventually comes around to it to a point. So we will see.

  2. What great timing! I was thinking this weekend about decluttering a couple of things that go together and giving them to my niece that will be getting married in the fall. They don’t have much and she has been taking a lot of my kitchen items lately. So…..I have already done Wed. and Thurs. mini missions. This was the push I needed to get them off the table. I am getting rid of a pair of candlesticks (knick knacks) and a cloth runner (fabric item). And, it’s only Sunday! Two down, four to go! 🙂

  3. My sister has just completed the renovation of her kitchen . She then had to decide what to hang on the windows . She has chosen to cover the windows with tint. Not only does it reduce the glare and heat , it maximises the view and does away with a dust collecting blind.
    I have noticed a trend in houses prepared for resale, polished floorboards, white walls and no window coverings . They look fresh and clean . And would be most appealing to allergy sufferers .
    With window tinting as an option to curtains and blinds imagine how much LESS dust would ‘hang’ around our houses 😷😍
    I’m off to ride my real exercise bike and meet up with Colleen for a coffee or two 🙂

    • Hi Wendy, I am not a curtain lover of venetian or vertical blinds but I do love the roller blinds in our apartment. We roll them down a night to shut out the city lights and up in the daytime. Only one small edge could collect dust in that up setting. As for those hardwood floors, that is on the agenda for our entry/dining area.

  4. This site has been what I have been needing for years. It has really motivated me to be ruthless and to stop hanging onto things, especially dust collectors. This weekend, craft mags have gone to new places or trashed and my husband and I went through our books and donated many of them. So, Mission one for this week accomplished thrice over!!

    • Hi Dianne and welcome to 365 Less Things. And may I say, well done! You are obviously getting a handle on the idea that much of what you own is unnecessary and are parting with it. Congratulations on your progress.

  5. Michele McGill

    I have been following your blog for quite sometime, although have only commented once.
    I have never followed through with your weekly mini missions and don’t know why I thought that this week would be the week that I did. Hubby and I have just had a huge weekend in the backyard (simplifying) – I loved Deb’s article on this.
    Today, I didn’t think I could simplify my book, make that my cookbook collection any further. Last year I sold my entire collection of Donna Hay magazines from launch edition to No. 70 and reduced my cookbook collection from 475ish books to 100.
    So today I went through them all again and combined with magazines have managed to have 14 books and magazines to donate. 6 books and 8 magazines. It doesn’t make much of a difference to my space but I hadn’t looked at these books in the past 6 months and am more than happy to pass them on. Very happy. Thank you Colleen

    • Hi Michele, thanks for joining in by commenting at long last. It is nice to meet you. That was a lot cookbooks you owned. You have certainly reduced them down considerably. These days the only cookbook I have is the one with all the old family recipes and the new ones that I use often. But for the most part I just look up when I want to try something new. Then I bookmark the ones I really liked and am likely to return to. When I want to make the dish I just open my bookmarks and find the one I want. I only use 5 star recipes and nearly all of the have been a great success.

  6. Hi Colleen!
    Remember I wrote to you recently about the kitchen renovation and my desire NOT to put it all back?
    Well, my young neighbor was having a yard sale at dance school to raise money for a trip to compete out of state. I saw this as a “golden opportunity”. I gave her four boxes of items. She was happy and so was I. I hope to have more cabinet space than I will need when I am done. 🙂 Hooray!
    It’s a work in process and I’m glad to have you all to share it with. Thanks.

    • Hi Ann in Boston, isn’t it just so much easier to declutter items like the ones you mention here when there is a personal worthy cause to give them too. I love it when opportunities like this arise just when you need them. Well done.

  7. Just when I think I’ve decluttered every little portion of some rooms, Colleen gives us Mini-Missions!! ARGH!!!! In our guest room, we have a credenza since there is no closet. In it I store extra bathroom supplies (no closet in bath, either), some knickknacks that I cannot seem to part with and some office supplies. I did a quick run-through this a.m. and threw out some things, set something aside to be repaired and then donated, recycled a bunch of used paper and an ancient phone book. I want to sell the credenza and get a small armoire instead. That would definitely open up some floor space.

    We REALLY need to get some sort of window coverings for the three windows on the front of the house, but I just cannot decide. Blinds get so dang dirty. So, I do nothing and that is a decision in itself. 🙁

    • Hi Michelle, it is good to know the mini missions are working. the whole idea is to get you thinking what else can be decluttered. You are doing a terrific job, keep at it. 😉

      As for the window coverings I have roller blinds and I love them. Most of the day they are rolled up so there is only one small edge to collect dust and they are vinyl, or the like, so don’t have the texture to collect much dust in a vertical position anyway.

      • Hi Colleen – I have roller blinds in the living room, guest room and our bedroom and I think they work just great. That might be what we come to for the mudroom as well. 🙂

  8. I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you for inspiring me to start decluttering again. I found your blog over the weekend and have been reading through your archives. I think I’m somewhere in 2010. I’m always pleased to find others who blog about decluttering, living with less, etc. and reading your blog has also inspired me to get back to posting at my blog again. Thanks Colleen!

    • Hi Sandra and welcome to 365 Less Things. I am glad you have come to join us and take part in the discussions here. I am glad we are inspiring you and hope you will achieve your decluttering goals with our help. I will go now and take a look at your blog. cheers Colleen

  9. It is allergy season where I live now (spring time really gets my nose and eyes). Clearing some dust collectors from my home may be helpful. I know I’ll still have to compact spring allergens outside, but any help I can to eliminating allergens will help. Great reminders Colleen. Now I’m off to assess my books… I have soo many!

    • Hi Shoeaholicnomore, spring has never been much of a problem for me. It is dust that is my biggest allergy issue. In fact the start of winter tends to be my worse time unless I make sure I wash all my winter clothes before wearing them. Perhaps this year I will have less issues because I have packed my winter clothes in a box because I don’t have the hanging space. Maybe being away where dust can’t get to them might be helpful but then again dust might can still bread in boxes so maybe I will find out otherwise. Aside from that I keep my house as dust free as possible and they minimises my issue with allergies mostly.

  10. Dust was what started my decluttering. I was cleaning and had a moment of realizing “cleaning this item makes me hate it.” I think I filled two boxes that day of items I dreaded cleaning. The new rule of the house is if I don’t love it enough to keep it clean I have to question why it is there. Most of the remaining hard to clean items are love hostages that I keep for someone else’s sake.

    • Hi Mel, that is as good a reason as any to declutter items as far as I am concerned. They was a big deciding factor for me and most of my dust collectors are long gone. Like you though there are others that aren’t mine to let go. Luckily they are mostly behind glass so don’t get too dusty and I can ignore them for long periods.

  11. Books: You “stopped preachin’ and started meddlin’, Colleen.” lol

    Lately, I’ve been the RECIPIENT of books and I’ve promised myself when I have read them, I will pass them on. My bigger issue (pun intended) is the magazine I am given when my friend is finished with them. She subscribes to some British mags I love, but they are piling up because I haven’t had time to read them.

    • Ha ha Willow, where there is a will there is a way to get people decluttering. 😉
      Those magazine sound like a classic case of aspiration clutter to me willow. Much as we love to stay connected to these things there is always the case of too much of a good thing. It is probably best to pass some on so the aspiration level is decreased. It isn’t as though you are ever going to get that time back. Best to choose the ones to declutter at random though because as soon as you start scanning what articles are in them to help choose you will find that has the opposite effect.

  12. All good missions for me this week.
    My friend at work has a daughter setting up her “spare” house as a short stay holiday home. There is an empty bookcase … Monday Mission accomplished, 20 of my nice (but not needed here) books are in the car for her.
    Tuesday – We only have a few plush toys, for use by visiting grandies. These get dumped in the washing machine the minute after they leave, so are all ok and dust free.
    Instead for Tuesday, I decluttered a stack of “plush” flannel sheets I was given a while back for use in community quilting. Not needed, so away they go to the vet instead.
    Wed and Thurs are done too, a few more knick-knacks are in the donation box, along with an embroidered runner that someone gave me that I never really liked. She gave one to everyone in the sewing group, so I don’t really feel bad for giving it away.
    Now to think about Fri/Sat. What to choose??

  13. I’ve got Saturday’s done. Somebody gave my husband an exercise bike that he was planning to ride every day this winter. We put it in the living room in front of the tv. Since it actually only got ridden TWICE this winter, it’s out the door.

    Also, I’m glad there was some discussion on window coverings. We have venetian blinds in our house, and I hate them because they’re so hard to take down, clean, then put back up without help. While reading the conversation this morning, it occurred to me that I don’t HAVE to keep them–I can switch to something else. I’m going to go with the roll up shades too. They don’t get as dirty as blinds, and they’ll be easier to clean.

    Hubby and I already took down three of the blinds a few minutes ago. 🙂

    • Hi Becky, I wonder how many pieces of exercise equipment ever get used for a long period of time. We have had several in our house of the years and about a month is as long as the enthusiasm lasted. That includes the petering up of enthusiasm. They are all gone now and we just walk a lot.

  14. I wish I could take down all the mini-blinds we have. We have 7 huge windows with them. They help with all the sun we get but I would rather have non-glare, one-way coated windows so that we don’t even have to have blinds. Unfortunately, we can’t afford that so we are stuck with what we have.