Mini Mission Monday ~ Easy Cleaning

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.

Ok, this weeks lets do some mini missions that will help keep your house tidy. Decluttering that eliminates a few things that make cleaning house more difficult than it need be.

Monday – Declutter an item from the kitchen countertop. Kitchens can be messy places and the less stuff you have on your countertops the less things are going to get messed up, and the easier it is to clean the countertops themselves.

Tuesday – Declutter a dust collecting knickknack.

Wednesday – Declutter something from under a piece of furniture. Stuff on floors make them difficult to vacuum or sweep.

Thursday – Declutter any unnecessary stuff cluttering around your bath or shower. Even though these are wet areas they can also get dusty. Also mildew/mould can build up under items that water pools under.

Friday – Declutter excess furniture or stuff on your veranda, balcony or patio. Wind blows in leaves and dust which is harder to clear away when stuff needs moving to get at it.

Saturday – Declutter excess decorative cushions from your bed. Making beds can be a pain at the best of times, but having to pile off and on those cushions all the time make it that much more of a pain. And lets face it, the rest of the time they are collecting dust and if you suffer from nasal allergies then you will know that the less things collection dust the better it is from keeping a clear nose.

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

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, you have some more good mini-missions. MON–we have nothing on the counter tops but a toaster (we may use it 2-3 times a day). We hate stuff on the counter tops. TUES–knick nacks, I wish I could get Mom to get rid of a few. One of those areas I have to leave to time. WED–the only thing under a piece of furniture is some extra “wood” laminate flooring. It can’t go in the shed due to the high heat here so has to go in the one place long enough for it. THURS–Pretty clear in the bathrooms too. We have a dispenser for shampoo and a hanging soap dish and that’s it. FRI–The patio is clear except for one storage unit we want to clear out but that will have to wait until we are over the coughing crud we both have. The porch has three chairs and two decorative tables. I would get rid of them but Mom doesn’t like an empty porch even though we don’t use it. SAT–no cushions on the bed. Hum!! I need to see what elese I can work on. I think I will get rid of some more scrap stuff. I have an album and a bunch of page protectors to give to a friend. I will see what else I can find for her.

    • Deb J – what about a compromise with the patio furniture to one table?

      • Moni, I wish she would compromise. But, she thinks we should have them both. I have to admit, she has decluttered a good bit from the porch. There use to be 2 resin chairs (still there), a wooden table with 2 chairs, the two pressed board tables with skirts (still there), two medium long flower stands, and two hanging plants. So I guess I should be happy with what is left. What is out there is covered in dirt because of the sand storms and all the sand that blows on a regular basis. I refuse to wash them because they are covered again in a few days. No one ever used any of it but she thinks it needs to be there in case someone comes to the front screen door and see in. Most people come to the back door off of the carport. To get in the front you have to come onto the porch through a screen door and then part of the way down the porch to the door.

    • Well done Deb, with so little to declutter you shouldn’t worry too much about the things that your mom won’t let go of.

  2. Excellent programme. I look forward to clearing under furniture 🙂

  3. Good ideas for this week, thank you Colleen! Simplifying and speeding up my cleaning chores has been a big incentive for me to declutter. Getting rid of the excess stuff lying about on surfaces has made a big difference in the time it takes to dust, which is a huge benefit, but I’m sure I can find plenty more to remove.

    • I found the same thing myself Christine. In fact not having to dust too much was a major motivator for decluttering my house in the first place. I do have things on surfaces still but they are things we love and not numerous.

  4. Colleen, the storm that swept you area has arrived here! Hopefully it will have passed thru by later in the week as it is School Ball on Saturday.

    I have a few items in mind for this week, i have been contemplating the KonMarie method of ‘joy spark’ and I’ve realised there are a couple of items which dont spark joy but have been under the heading of ‘better than nothing’. Therefore it is the ideal mini missions to let those items go.

    • Stay safe Moni! We lost power for three and a half days so the fridge has had a thorough clean out. Definitely a first world problem considering we had a roof over our head and we were dry.
      As my husband has been cleaning up the dropped branches in the yard he has decided to dispose of some more of the items he has in little sheds. Our whole yard needs decluttering. I think we will have a working bee next weekend when everyone is available to help.

      • Moni, I hope you and your family are doing well during the storm.

        Today I did a little clothes shopping. I looked for things that could sort of serve as a “uniform”. I tried to keep it simple, nothing wild, and had grand success. As I put things in the basket, I was thinking at the same time, “Ok, what has to go?” I got busy with other things when I returned home, but tomorrow a.m., I’d like to take the time to remove exactly as much as I purchased.

        My husband starts a new job tomorrow. It’s the same line of work and he will be working with some of the same people as before but it won’t be 100% the same. We got all his work clothes cleaned and ready to go and I gave him a haircut this afternoon. Kind of like we are entering a new chapter in our lives. With any luck, this will be his final employer and we are hoping for 10-12 years. I also very much want to simplify my work life. I don’t want to fret about my clothing. Just get to work and do a good job. 🙂

        I’ll tell you what I need to clean and I dread it! The oven. Oh, I detest cleaning the oven. I avoid it like you cannot believe. I know I’m supposed to do it. The food will taste better if I do it. It will make Mr. Oven happen if I do it and yet. . . I cannot. Okay, enough whining. I’d better get ‘er done! Um, maybe next weekend??

        • Michelle – another alternative is to see if there is an oven cleaning service in your area. One advertised late last year on tv, they said they have a non caustic process. I know someone who used it and was very pleased with the results, she worked out that by time she bought the heavy duty gloves, two cans of oven cleaner and a dust mask, it would have made up a decent percentage of the cost. She said it was very professional and efficient and she has no plans to ever clean an oven herself again!

          • Moni, I wish I could find someone to clean my over for cheap enough to avoid doing it myself. I paid for such a service once and it cost me $50. I’d rather do it myself for that much but I am a bit of a stinge.

        • Hi Michelle, I hope your husband enjoys his new job and the next 10 – 12 years will be pleasant and successful for him.
          Oh how much I sympathise with you having to clean the oven. I did mine a couple of weeks ago and it was every bit as awful as usual. I hate that job with a vengeance.

        • Oh dear. I’ve been doing some Spring cleaning, and the oven was on the list. I don’t even use the oven all that much, and it was still a horrible job. It’s just so hard to get in there with the door in your way, and you have to squat down the whole time. Oven yoga. LOL. Well, it’s enough to make me never want to use the oven again. My oven claims to be self-cleaning, so I looked at the booklet, and it said that it would smoke a lot, give off toxic fumes, and kill your pet bird. Now, I don’t have a pet bird, but I do not like the sound of this. Haha. So I gave it a semi-good scrubbing with soap and water, and I will use some Easy-Off when I move out of this house.

          Hope all of our “Down Under” friends got through the storm okay!

          • Melanie you crazy lady, I would kill for a self cleaning oven. Use it, put it on, open all the windows and go outside and do some gardening until the job is done. Gardening would be so much more fun and oven cleaning. I cook a roast in my oven every Sunday, so you can imagine how dirty mine gets. The darn thing just about has to get bad enough to catch fire before I force myself to clean it. I used to have one of those self cleaning ones when I lived in America and I would kill for one now. I get quite rough with the element while I am trying to clean the ceiling in mine, in the hope that I will break the darn thing and justify buying a new self cleaning one.

          • Hi Melanie – Check to see if your oven door WILL come off – many do! Generally you need to open it partway then give a good pull with both hands – but check your instruction book (and if you don’t have one, google your stove make and model no. for instructions). It makes a big difference.

      • Wendyf – we heard it hit Oz hard, it didnt really occur to me that it would end up over here, however, NZers are quite practised in all things rain, cyclone and storm. I live on the East Coast and it has come from the West Coast and still has impressive strength. Fortunately today is the Monday-isation of Saturday’s Anzac Day stat holiday, so most people will be home. Unfortunately I have two family members travelling home from separate destinations thru the worst affected areas, so I will be happy when they get home safe.

      • Hi Wendy, hopefully hubby will get carries away and declutter more than you even hoped for. And definitely get those kids in on the clean up effort.

      • Hi WendyF, I wish we could have a “working bee” in our household! Getting all here at the same time and all in the mood to help is impossible, although we all pitch in at various times to do laundry, cook, and do dishes. I guess I should think about what they do and not what they don’t do LOL

    • Hi Moni, good luck with that storm I hope your neck of the woods fairs better than the Hunter Region did. I went for a walk this afternoon, the harbour is still muddy and there were tree stumps all over the place. I hope the ball goes well.

  5. Great missions once again.
    I have one counter item, an air popper that I haven’t used for several years. The other days items I don’t have. I have plenty of other areas to work on, so I’ll make my daily item quota. I love the creativity of the mini missions.

    • My sinful area is under beds. Because we don’t have much space these days there are things under both beds. They are larger items that won’t fit in cupboards but there are a couple that I would like to do away with altogether. Being as we don’t have space anywhere else for these items then perhaps we don’t need them at all.

      • I have a “thing” about being able to see under the bed when I walk into the room. I have a platform bed so it’s easy to see under the bed. It’s one of those crazy quirks I’ve had since I can remember. I know most people don’t have this & when I mention it most people look at me like I’m crazy. Oh well. lol

      • Hi Colleen, we also have underbed stuff… toiletries to be used up, stuff I can’t be sure I’m ready to part with, high school yearbooks, a pile of calendars for a project that I’ve been putting off… The high school yearbooks may get shifted to my photo collection area, which would get them out of the bedroom at least. I just have to see whether there is enough space there. I already took care of a couple underbed things (coin albums – decided to spend the coins instead of keep them to look at!) a while back. The stuff I’m not sure about could go in my “maybe” box in the garage 🙂

        • Hi Peggy, your under bed area sounds quite busy with stuff. Mine has some disassembled furniture, craft things, a box of old toys that my husband has been trying to sell on ebay and some computer stuff. I’d like to see the back of the whole lot of it. I have a plan for the furniture but most of the rest of the stuff isn’t mine or else it would be gone already.

  6. This is a great set of missions, Colleen. We have minimal or zero items for all the spaces that are mentioned. Btw, last week’s “Texture” missions were very creative!

  7. This one made me laugh, Colleen. We generally don’t have a lot of stuff in the categories you listed but I’m in the process of painting before we sell the house and the place is a disaster. Yesterday I painted three rooms (the main bath, the garage entry/mudroom and the linen shelf part of our walk-in closet). I empty a room completely before painting so we had stuff EVERYWHERE — on things, under things, piled on the floor, jammed in other closets. The only counter that wasn’t covered was the bathroom — because I had to stand on it to paint the wall — so everything from that room was dumped in the bathtub! Today it all goes back ‘home’ and I’m sure some of it will end up in the ‘toss’ pile as I go.

    On another front, Ian has been cleaning up his workshop and all day yesterday he was hollering, “Do you want this? If not, it goes?!” Big pile of his saved treasures has been released. Yay!

    • Good for you Wendy B as you paint and ready the house. That’s really great that Ian is inot decluttering. Love it.

    • Love it Wendy B. I can still remember a time when Ian wasn’t keen to get rid of anything. My how he has changed. Has he got any better at not losing his car keys?

      • Nope! Fortunately, it is mostly in the category of misplaced rather than lost — trailer keys, glasses cases, hearing aid remote control…… Sigh. I told him if he lost the new cell phone I would kill him!

        For the last couple of weeks we’ve asked our garbage man to come up to the house and he’s been taking away extra stuff for us (payback for the one small bag of garbage we usually have). Today we asked and the answer was NO. Truck’s full because the widow of the village hoarder gave him FORTY BAGS of garbage today. Just the tip of the iceberg but it is a start.

  8. Hi Colleen, the TUE mission regarding knick knacks reminded me of an article I read a long time ago. Can’t remember the author, but he said that having lots of knick knacks was like “room dandruff”… have never forgotten that phrasing LOL