Mini Mission Monday ~ Dust collectors

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.

People collect all sorts of things from beetles & baby teeth to Cars and everything in between. I used to have an elephant collection once, but the thought of moving that around the country, while married to a service man, didn’t appeal to me and I let it go. But the one thing we all involuntarily collect, some more so than others, is dust. And the more stuff we own sitting on furniture, open shelves and sometimes even the floor, the more dust we are collecting. The good news is that there is a simple solution. Horizontal surfaces still collect dust however they are much easier to remove dust from than surfaces covered with trinkets and whatnots. So the simple solution is to minimise the clutter. 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, however, 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, whatnots 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 bring yourself to 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

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. deanna ar USA

    Colleen, I wrote on another of your posts about my teapot “collection” that I didn’t even know was a collection because they had never been gathered all together in one place. That’s how I’ve always thought of collections…similar items displayed all together on a shelf/shelves. Well, I’m glad I’ve learned that’s not the only kind of collection. I realized just the last couple of days that I had a basket “collection”…mostly wooden/wicker, etc. They were all around my house and I’ve been slowly decluttering them this last year. Most of them were used as containers for other things, and I will keep the ones that remain useful.

    In grade school I had a friend who had a shoe collection…various kinds of glass/porcelain shoes that sat all together on a shelf. Even then I didn’t have a concept of collections. When I saw them in her home, I asked why she had them and what they were used for. She seemed to think that everyone was supposed to collect something. I tried to think of something to collect, but I never could come up with my idea of a collection…seems like they snuck in through the years anyway. However, I still think a shoe collection has no worth. At least a basket collection used as containers is useful…lol!

    I have to admit I do have a collection of dust.

    • Interesting comment Deanna. I dare say we all have numerous of the same items of somethings. Your basket “collection” sounds more like just your preferred way of containing things. And now that you have less things you require less baskets. The teapots though are probably just a case of liking variety. I have a variety of jewellery but I wouldn’t call that a collection. However that makes me wonder if I should do a set of mini mission on “variety”.

  2. Another good list of mini-missions Colleen. Today I am going to see what I can declutter out of the things I have here at my temporary home. The piles are driving me nuts. Decluttering is in my blood. Grin.

  3. LOL Dust. Despite using plastic drapes etc while we were lifting the tiles and prepping the floor, concrete dust still managed to get everywhere. Although I did a big clean soon after, I notice that another finer layer has turned up – I guess it was floating around and lifting the carpets stirred it up again. So I will be doing a Spring Clean this weekend (it is a long weekend) and shall incorporate the week’s mini missions.

    If I drop of the radar again, we’re helping the inlaws renovate the house they bought – last night I was given a putty knife and given the task of filling thousands of pin holes in the walls. Unfortunately this means that projects at my house are on hold until we get their house painted and shifted in, but it will be good to see them settled, and rid of the two storage units that they’re renting to store their stuff which cost them a small fortunate every month.

    RE: Throw rugs, cushions, art etc – I have a collection in a box and in a pile beside it in the garage. We are re-decorating under the supervision of an interior designer. My master plan is to take it all to Goodwill once the house is all tricked-up but until the house is deemed completed, I will hang onto the stuff in case it can be re-used or re-purposed, hopefully in the next 2-4 weeks.

    • Wow Moni, you certainly have a lot to keep you occupied at the moment. It is all very helpful information to me though and has me already thinking ahead to when we recarpet and paint our place. When I read your comments it makes me look around and try to work out the jigsaw puzzle we’ll have to do with out stuff to get it our of the way when the carpeting happens. Thanks heavens we have a reasonable size balcony to move things to.
      Good luck and happy re-decorating.

      • Colleen – we have a lovely big deck but April and May usually brings rain here so it meant carrying everything large out the French doors and around the house. Ideally we would have booked the carpet earlier but we had the landscaping going on, dirt and new carpet do not go well together.
        I could have done without having the inlaw’s house on the to-do list but they have been staying with my very patient Sis-In-Law while house hunting and although she hasn’t said a bad thing about the arrangement, I know she’d like to get her household back to normal.

        • Hi Moni, we would have to use our balcony for the task because we have no other choice except to have a removalist take it away for the day and bring it back later. One of the drawbacks of apartment living. Although I think we could pull it off. It would be a good idea to study the weather pattern well to predict the best time of year to go about it though.

          And yes I imagine your sister-in-law would be keen to have her household back to normal. I can be nice having guest but that novelty can where off after a while for sure.

  4. I’m helping a neighbor move, and I’m so glad I have decluttered for several years. All of her things are nice, but there’s a lot to deal with. In addition to a house full here, there are two pods 2 hours away that haven’t been opened in 2 years.

    Thank you to Colleen & the 365 Community for keeping me motivated & on track!

  5. All good challenges. I think getting rid of our dust collection may be our biggest job, since we have had a lot of windy rainy weather, which means a lot of mud, grass and leaves have been tracked in. I had been mostly decluttering paperwork, but am back to looking for at least one item a day which oddly seems like more progress than the paperwork declutter. But the paperwork does need doing. Some of it was genealogy stuff, that meant something only to me since a lot of the people my children had no chance to know since they were dead before they were born and were my own childhood memories. I entered some into my computer program and disposed of the handwritten notes since they certainly weren’t official records. One of my cousins has published a book from his mother’s records and it has so much more information that I am mostly entering items that will be on a descendant tree which does help to tie it all together. A grandson did use some of this recently for a history assignment, so I was glad that I had it in a usable form. I think my clothes are in pretty good shape, but as soon as I finish altering some more shirts will dispose of some more–either donation or rag bag or maybe repurpose into dish towels or napkins depending on the fabric. Your blog is so good in that you are never pushing to sell something and it is the only one that has survived my email list for this long. Sometimes I will look at one for a while, but before long they are pushing something or another, and I end up unsubscribing. Also yours is the only one I read the comments on regularly. I don’t comment often because of lack of time, not lack of interest. Thanks so much for continuing the blog. I know it is work and we all appreciate it because it keeps us thinking.

    • Hi Molly and thank you very much for the nice comments about my blog. Right from the start I refused to put advertising on my blog. Although there has been a lot of work go into it over the years it never seemed right to try to earn a wage from it by enticing people to buy stuff because that goes against everything this blog is about. I know there are other kinds of advertising that doesn’t sell tangible stuff but even most of that isn’t necessary to our lives either. If I want to make some money out of it I can always finish that ebook I started a few years ago and never go around to finishing. Somehow though I just am not inclined. Maybe on day.

      I also have family history papers that could do with decluttering I feel. I should probably get those out sometime soon and go through them. It is nice to have that information but it can all be stored on the computer, which is probably where I printed it from in the first place.