Mini Mission Monday ~ Declutter to organise

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.

I have had a very satisfying day organising and decluttering an area or two of my craft supplies. As I organised I was inspired to declutter more in order to make things fit nicely into containers and the larger space. I find this method of decluttering to be one of my favourites. That is the be determined to make things fix and in doing so decluttering things I might otherwise not have even though they really aren’t necessary or meaningful to me.

So do you have some areas where the stuff stored in them doesn’t fit very well. Try decluttering some so the organisation of the area works better. This weeks mini mission are designed to inspire such decluttering. Some of these tasks may take longer than the ten minutes allotted to mini missions but hopefully you will be inspired nonetheless.

Monday – Declutter a drawer so that it is not only easy to shut but also easy to see what is stored there.

Tuesday – Declutter a shelf in a cupboard so that it is easy to organised and maintain that way.

Wednesday – Declutter a storage container that hold small objects.

Thursday – Declutter and organise a bathroom cabinet.

Friday – Declutter and organise a kitchen cabinet.

Saturday – Declutter and organise your fridge of freezer.

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

Don’t leave the TV on during the day just for company. You may laugh but I have know plenty of cases of people doing this.

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. Hi Colleen, I’m happy to say I have the jump on today’s mini mission as I completely tidied & re-organised the drawers inside my husbands wardrobe yesterday. I was trying to fit in clean folded clothes but it was such a mess I pulled everything out & vaccued the whole thing & replaced everything in designated levels. Unfortunately I could only declutter a few odd socks but now we both know what’s where. The only reason I’m commenting at the moment is the cat obviously thought it was an improvement also as she just woke me up to let her out, I found her shut in the wardrobe on the top drawer!

    • Cats sure do love a good wardrobe. And well done you, but I am sure you can find another drawer to declutter and organise. I did a couple of my craft drawers yesterday and then today a couple of craft containers. I also convinced my hubby to throw out some craft project stencils he had collecting dust under the spare bed. I am so glad to see that back of that.

  2. I will be starting Spring Cleaning soon so these Mini Missions will tie in nicely. However, I’m still plugging away at the upstairs storage room at work, I have been focusing on getting rid of floor-based stuff or at least arranging it in an organised manner. If I may say so myself, I’ve done a pretty darn good job so far, but there is stuff which must wait until December to have the all-clear to go.

    There are two free standing cupboards – one mainly houses Adrian’s recreation gear, the other seems to be carefully packed storage, so I’m going to choose this as my storage container and shelf in a cupboard and see if I can free up some space to house something sitting on the floor,

    • Your upstairs storage reminds me of my craft storage areas, they fill as quick as they empty. I sometimes feel that I have made hundreds of cards over the last year or two but still has as many supplies as I started out with. That is probably an exaggeration but it sure doesn’t seem like it to me.

      Good luck with the spring cleaning. That is something I have never done. I clean pretty thoroughly every week and then periodically clean other areas like behind furniture, windows, under beds, in closets, the oven… when I think they need it. Sounds a bit like my approach to decluttering.

      • Colleen – for me Spring Cleaning is a top-to-toe everything done in the same weekend, ceilings, walls, house gets power sprayed, windows, all surfaces and finishes with the carpet cleaners and the curtains being professional cleaned if need be. I prefer to do it a bit closer to December as the weather is a bit more reliable and warmer for drying but I like to start the preliminary work earlier.

        Upstairs storage room. Very little, if any, is ‘mine’, I’m working thru the ‘ours’ but there will always be ‘his’ and stuff that belongs to work.

        • Wow Moni, what do you do with the ceilings and walls. And power spraying is only something I have ever had done when moving out. These days that is covered by our strata fees but if last years effort was anything to go by I hope they never do it again. They left an awful mess for me to clean up. But I guess it has to be done or the salt air would eat away at the building. I do every other surface every week including skirting boards and pictures on walls. The walls I only spot clean, although ours could do with a paint, which will get done next year. I had my carpets cleaned not so long ago and will never use that cleaning service again because they looked worse when he was done than before. I’d have called him back but the carpet also needs replacing so I’ll live with it for now and do that when we do the painting next year.

          All that being said, it is a lovely feeling when you know everything is all clean at once. I enjoy that feeling every Monday. Especially this weeks as I hadn’t done my usual Monday clean last week and everything felt grimy to me. Yuck.

          Owes and his stuff is the bane of my existence sometimes, so I know what you are talking about.

  3. ‘Organised’is one of those buzz words that corporations use to sell you more stuff. We use it to describe that Utopian place ‘When I Get Organised’ . A place where all our useless stuff is stored in IKEA like storage units.
    To me being organised is not having a walk in wardrobe the size of a small house to store your clothes or having a pantry stocked better than the local,supermarket. Instead, being organised should not be stocking up on items but having less and Being Organised in your habits. If we simply put the word ‘be’ before organised the mind recognises it as an affirmative if we say ‘get’ organised the mind looks at the concept as a chore, a task.
    Being organised is what we do every day, we address the clutter and dispose of it. We remove the extra choices we have to make and our lives are easier. What to cook is simple when there are only two items to choose from in the freezer and you can spot them easily sitting on the shelf.
    I’ve had a bit of a waffle on here today, but I do find people who claim they need to Get Organised should start by getting rid of 90% of their stuff! Cheers

    • Oh I am sure that that is what the manufacturers and sellers of organisational equipment would like us all to think. However my idea of organising is actually the opposite. I organise to inspire me to get rid of stuff not buy acquiring more storage containers to store it in neatly. Going through thinks just helps me be realistic about stuff that might have been sitting around unused for too long. I almost get excited when I find things I think that I am ready to relinquish.
      And I agree wholeheartedly, being organised is sure a better system than fantasising about getting organised some day. My home, as you well know is usually quite organised. However in my crafting frenzy some areas get a bit out of control even though most nights I put everything away after me so that the kitchen isn’t a mess when I get up the next morning. I guess I am 90% organised and 10% undecided about getting rid certain items until I take the time to lay eyes on it.

  4. For Saturday, I had sixty tulip bulbs stored in fridge, finally got them planted today.. Yay!
    For the rest of the week I was thinking some of my shelves & drawers needed a bit of tidying up since it has been several months from the last session. Who knows what I will find to get rid of in the process. Thanks Colleen for another week of great missions.

    • Calla – I had been told to store bulbs in the fridge prior to planting, does it actually work?

      • Don’t know if it works or not…my first time trying it. Keep your fingers crossed, & I’ll let you know this upcoming spring. Remind me Moni if I forget.

    • Hi Calla, it must be good to get those bulbs out of the fridge.
      Enjoy the process of going through those drawers and shelves. I find it quite therapeutic.

  5. I don’t know that this fits the mini missions but I thought you might enjoy it. My 60th birthday is coming up very soon. I asked my husband not to buy me anything. I asked instead that he find something we can declutter 🙂

    • Peggy – that is a brilliant idea!

    • That sounds like a wonderful idea to me. My husband decluttered a few things today. One of them I had been wanting him to declutter for a while. I was then about to easily vacuum under the spare bed. It turned my busy Monday housecleaning into a delight.

      • I agree, Colleen. It makes it just that much easier to clean when you don’t have to move stuff out of the way or pick up stuff from the floor and other surfaces so that you can clean underneath.

    • How clever of you, Peggy … you might just have started a new trend! 😉

  6. Always sounds so simple, yet when I get to it… I refuse to let go.
    Last week I took out my sewing box. I organised buttons by colour, placed all safety pins together and threw nothing out 🙁

    • Hi Lorena, is that the case with all the decluttering you do or just this example? If it is with everything then perhaps you need a little extra encouragement.
      My first advice is to start with the “easy” stuff. Things you haven’t used in a long time and probably never will need. If you do end up having a “need” for something you decluttered just improvise or do without. You would be surprised at the confusion most people suffer from when it comes to the word “need”. For the most part we don’t need much of anything. Need is a fools game we have been trained into by clever advertisers who want to sell us stuff on behalf of their client. Half the thrill I get out of decluttering and not replacing unneeded stuff in my house is the joy of not playing the advertisers game. “I don’t need that, I will happily do without and I will be proud of myself for both realising that I don’t need it or for my clever improvisation.” What I do need is the peace and tranquility I get from having an uncluttered home and the ease of cleaning it. And that is what gives me any other encourage I need to send stuff out the door. Just saying that makes me want to take a look in the drawer that holds my sewing equipment to see if there is stuff in there that I could send on its way.

  7. Off the subject: Just wanted to give kudos to all you Aussies. We have been thoroughly enjoying watching your Bindi Irwin on Dancing With the Stars! She is beautiful, talented, entertaining…and so much more. She looks a lot like her dad at times, but her little brother is his exact image!!!! Congrats to y’all for what a GREAT job she’s doing.

    • Hi deanna…, thanks for that even though I don’t watch Dancing With The Stars. I did catch a glimpse of her in an Aussie magazine of my mother-in-law’s just recently though so I was aware she was on the show. She is a cutie. I pay so little attention to what is going on on television these days that I had no idea how old she had gotten. It was a shock to me when I saw the magazine cover.

    • Deanna – I’ve been watching her performances on youtube, she is doing sooooo well.

  8. Moving into the new house has turned this organized person into a completely disorganized one. I think every single storage container I own is the wrong size for its new location (for example, the containers I had for corraling small things in my bathroom drawers are about 1/2 inch too wide for the new drawers). I pretty much have to dump everything and re-sort so this is the perfect time to do some more decluttering. Or maybe I should just run out and buy a whole new supply of brightly-colored imaginatively designed single-purpose organizing solutions! No? I thought not!

    • You tease Wendy B. And yes, moving into a new place always has its space teething problems. Improvising is the key to this problem in my experience. And lets face it, that can be a little frustrating but very rewarding ultimately. But maybe that is me, I like the challenge of it.

      • Yup. Combination 3-D jigsaw puzzle and Rubik’s cube.
        When we were sharing a dresser this summer I Kondo-folded Ian’s underwear and socks. They neatly fit in the drawer and were easy to organize by type. He loved it! When we moved into the house and got his dresser back I Kondo-folded his tshirts. They neatly fit in the drawer and were easy to organize by type (for a lark I also filed them by color) He loved it! Today I was trying to figure out the best way to put kitchen towels into a basket in the pantry so he could quickly find the ones he wants and Ian suggested I Kondo-fold them too. I will limit myself to the number of items that comfortably fit the basket, thus solving the problem of towering piles in the linen closet. I’m gonna love it!

        • I have been Kondo folding hubby and my underwear and the drawer always looks neat. Plus there is something therapeutic about doing it that way…….

  9. I received this comment from Tanja via email.

    I have taken the liberty (!) of combining four days’ worth of declutter:

    Monday – Declutter a drawer so that it is not only easy to shut but also easy to see what is stored there.
    Tuesday – Declutter a shelf in a cupboard so that it is easy to organised and maintain that way.
    Wednesday – Declutter a storage container that hold small objects.
    Thursday – Declutter and organise a bathroom cabinet.
    Friday – Declutter and organise a kitchen cabinet.

    A young lady I know is going on a Missionary Trip to Albania (she took time off from work for a year to do so). She asked for stationery and crafts things to take with her… so…

    I gave her items to make jewellery, stationery, books, A4 paper and lamination sheets; bubble pack and foam sheets; colours, crayons, ballpoints, stencils, toothpicks etc, paintbrushes…also new bandages and soap… and of course these are all packed neatly in plastic boxes.

    These came from different shelves, cupboards, drawers…and rooms, as suggested above.

    Keep well

  10. So far out of a night stand drawer I removed a Gerber knife & case ( to nephew), empty address book & a stack of paper trash.

    From a shelf a cloth purse to niece.
    Onto bathroom drawers. It feels so good to go through and clean & organize

  11. Forgot a box of business cards….I haven’t worked for over three years!
    Guess I’m not as clutter free as I thought.

  12. Yesterday I arrived at work to find the guys had instigated a tidy up clear out and filled the rubbish dumpster plus the recycling dumpster. I worked a bit more on the upstairs store room, but probably less than a dozen small items, so nothing ta-daa worthy.

    I have two reams of A3 size card up there that I’ve tried to give away to print shops but it doesn’t seem to be the right spec, its gloss stuff that is used for business cards so it wouldn’t be much good for a kindergarten either. I’m scratching my head over that one.

    • Update! A friend who is a resource manager for a large school is taking the card. I also noticed that when I went to collect it to bring to the reception area, that the guys at work have dismantled a display unit that hasn’t been used for some time and a set of office drawers has been put up in the upstairs storage room, so I’m guessing I can get rid of those too.

      • LOL! I have a lot to say today! My husband chainsawed up two wooden benches we had on our deck area as they were starting to rot and he dropped the wood off to a friend. He also binned our well used fire brazier, it appears the bottom burnt out of it and it has been sitting on the concrete pavers, so good to retire it before it causes an accident.

  13. Today I am very happy as I have been saving a box of books and dvds for my favourite charity book sale – they fund raise for scholarships to University for our High School – put out a flier in the post saying they’re accepting donations early this year. I thought I’d have to wait until January. I’ve just decided to go back thru my recipe books for one last looksee.

    Also a number of items are going out to the dance school wardrobe department, so those are in the boot of my car.

    I have had an unexpectedly great week for decluttering.

  14. Monday – Declutter a drawer so that it is not only easy to shut but also easy to see what is stored there. – Decluttered/organized several underwear drawers in my closet (due to the wall safe debacle).

    Tuesday – Declutter a shelf in a cupboard so that it is easy to organise and maintain that way. – I did my pantry recently, but I continue to eliminate and organize it.

    Wednesday – Declutter a storage container that holds small objects. – Relocated/ decluttered/ reorganized several containers from my closet shelves

    Thursday – Declutter and organise a bathroom cabinet. – I organized hubby’s bathroom cabinet recently and eliminated all the expired products. I will continue to do this, but I have to go slow with him…or he won’t trust my intent. I’ve had to win his trust on this!

    Friday – Declutter and organise a kitchen cabinet. – All done.

    Saturday – Declutter and organise your fridge or freezer. – I glance through my frig daily and wipe out empty shelves. It’s probably time for me to go through the doors again.

    WHAT I REALLY LOVE is when I sit in my recliner and things come to mind that I know I can release now. I can go pull them out immediately and/or put them on my “declutter game” list…thanks Nicole!!!