Mini Mission Monday ~ Get ready for Christmas

Mini 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.

This week at 365 Less Things we are launching a preemptive strike on the Christmas/holiday season. Time to do some pre-holiday decluttering and organising so when you break out those decorations, the guests arrive and the presents are opened, there is enough room to accommodate them. The more organised you are now the smoother the days will run when you are truly in the thick of it.

Monday -Start getting the guest room ready. Declutter any obvious excess stuff in there to make it comfortable for those coming to stay. Make arrangement to borrow extra bedding if necessary for any overflow.

Tuesday -Study my uncluttered gift giving guides here and here to help you find uncluttering gift for your loved ones and to make suggestion of uncluttering gifts for yourself should anyone ask.

Wednesday -Have the, perhaps dreaded, conversation with the grandparents about giving gifts of experiences or at least not so many material gifts to your children so your home isn’t overrun with toys.

Thursday -Declutter the kids toy area to make room for the inevitable influx of new fun things. Regardless of how much you manage to contain the influx you will still need room. Kid will be kids and it is there job to have fun.

Friday - If, like me, you are decluttering your craft supplies now is the time to make your holiday/Christmas cards if you haven’t done so already.

Saturday - Start having a “use it up” declutter of the freezer. Eat through all those double ups and half eaten packages so that there is plenty of space for the holiday food.

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

Today’s Declutter Item

Handmade (by me) Jewellery Piece

Eco Tip for the Day

Using electricity off-peak doesn’t save electricity but it can lessen the strain at peak times which can result in a reduced necessity to  increase infrastructure.

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

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  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Pre Christmas prep Mini 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 […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Oooh! I’m excited! I’ve been working on a few of those, but now I shall do so with gusto! My freezer is as empty as it ever has been, because I know my mom will be sending back her excess (her freezers are overflowing) as well as a whole heap of frozen salmon (already cut and cooked, just need to be heated in a microwave) that she got for dirt cheap. So it will get full again, but then it will be back to eating out of it and not buying food.

    I’ll probably work a little bit on all of these that I can this week, as some of them I have already done. (I’m completely done with gift shopping, and my immediate family is getting a small number of thoughtful items, while my extended family is getting a bunch of “stuff” that I got free, but packaged beautifully so it doesn’t look like “free stuff”).

    Today and tomorrow I’m out of town again, but my first plan of attack on Tuesday will be to clean up the “guest” area – we don’t really have a room persay, but our living room has a pull-out-couch, and room for an air mattress. However, right now, there is a tent set up in one half of the room drying out, and the air mattress is also drying out. By Tuesday they should be dry, so they’ll get folded up, and then I’ll clean up the rest of the room.

    • Hi Amanda, I like the sound of that Salmon, we don’t eat so much of that now that we aren’t living in Seattle any more. We always have it when my daughter visits though because she does a pretty good copy of the salmon burgers they make at Market Grill in the Pike Place Market. Yum!!!

      I chose well for the mini missions this week because I don’t need to do any of them. The guest room is always ready, I am not buying gifts, don’t need to have that conversation with the Gparents, no kids toys anymore either and the Christmas cards are made. Yay!!!

      You much have a bigger living room than me if you can pitch a tent in it.

  2. Okay! So here is one area where people think I am really weird. I have all the Christmas cards and stuff like that done. They have been done for months. Yes, that’s right! Months. I know, that’s downright crazy. Well, it all started with my Mother and Dad having this huge list of people to send cards to. But Mom wasn’t good at getting things done and would end up dumping them on me at the last minute. So I started planning ahead by buying the cards the day after Christmas and then sitting down during a slow period in the summer and getting them all done. We no longer send out to that huge list and I no longer buy them but I do still make them, address them and get them ready in the summer when it is calmer. I also try to get any gift buying done then too.

    • Good for you Deb J. My cards are made but I haven’t written or addressed them yet. I had better get on to that I suppose but it won’t be a long list. I haven’t decorated either, not that I am going to do much of that. Got to go out and find my Christmas branches.

      • The decorating is done what little we are doing. While my firend was here she helped us get stuff in and up. We basically have this sofa table that we put a small tree, a creche, and a star and angel on. That’s enough for me. If Mom wants more she can do it.

    • I don’t think you are weird at all! I’ve been (mostly) done Christmas shopping for a month or so now (there was one or two things I was waiting for a good sale on). My parents always buy cards right after Christmas, so they’ve been done with those for a while. So I think you are perfectly normal with that.

  3. I’ve just this minute been looking at a charity gift website for my MIL’s present. Last year we bought “her” clean drinking water for 20 people. This year am thinking about an overnight stay in a hostel for a homeless person. She is a huge hoarder but genuinely doesn’t want more *stuff*. she has no hobbies or interests beyond her family, doesn;t use perfumes, make up, accessories, or anything but the most functional clothes and is limited in diet due to blood pressureand diabetes. She likes helping others though

    • It sounds to me like you are searching for the perfect gift them Sarah. Good luck I am sure she will be happy with any charitable donation you make on her behalf. And you will be making someone else happy as well.

  4. Hi Colleen…I found your blog a few weeks ago…and have just finished reading through the archives…and feel as if I can now jump aboard with all the others 365’rs…I started decluttering on 1st November and I have 120 less things:)…I will be away from home for 5 weeks over the Christmas holidays so I have thrown out all the Decmber items in advance…merry Christmes to all the 365’rs…will catch up with you in the New Year.

    • Hi Jem and a hearty welcome to you from Colleen @ 365 Less Things. You must be some sort of speed reader getting through three years of archives in a couple of weeks, WOW! Perhaps you should inform me of what are the best topics for me to include in that ebook I keep meaning to write while all my post are still fresh in your head. The thought of reading through all that again frankly does my head in.

      You have a lovely five week break over Christmas and I look forward to your joining the conversation when you return. Merry Christmas.

      • …I’m not that speedy Colleen …started reading your blog middle of October…started decluttering 1st November 🙂

  5. Christmas is pretty low key at our house, so there’s not too much to do. This weekend I went through all of our Christmas decorations. I eliminated three boxes worth and took them to the charity shop. Yay!

  6. I love the decluttered gift list. My imagination gets lost in
    the lead up to Christmas. This will help keep me focused.
    The weather has turned very warm here. I am very grateful for the air conditioner
    keeping us cool.

    • Hi Wendy F, you don’t need to tell me about the weather. Yesterday was a scorcher. Thank goodness for that mist that hung around this morning, it has made for a cooler day. I prefer to avoid turning the aircon on but it is a must upstairs in our bedroom as is gets horrendously hot up there. I usually only put it on long enough to cool the room down and then it is OK for the rest of the night.

  7. Although we will not have any guests this year, I did manage to reduce my decorations by at least half, maybe more than that. I put together nearly three bags of decorations to take to the donation center this week. I was really excited that I was able to let go of so much.

  8. We brought down the holiday items & I wasted no time in plundering through it all again & found a bunch more items to send off to the donation store tomorrow.
    Even though my husband is feeling very festive this year, he still rather not be involved much in decorating the tree so he opted instead to clean out & overhaul the vacuum cleaner which had been running kinda sloggy lately.
    So it was a win-win. He got to avoid setting up Christmas & I have a nearly new vacuum again!
    Who knew how gunky & fuzzy the inside of a vacuum can get. But the husband cleaned the canister pipes, took apart & cleaned the power-brush carpet thingy, cleaned out the bristles on the little attachment wands, oiled the moving parts, shined the shiny parts & even figured out how to empty the bag without ruining it so we can keep reusing the same bag. Genius!
    Quite a productive Sunday around here!

    • Well Jane I think you are the only person who has ever decluttered the insides of a vacuum cleaner here at 365 Less Things. Well done to your hubby, it sounds like he was very thorough. I have a Dyson now that doesn’t require bags but my first vacuum cleaner did. The original bag had a slide closure and could be emptied but the subsequent ones didn’t. I got around that like your hubby has by prising the replacement open and reusing the slide closer I had retained from the first one. Then I just replaced them as the wore out.

      I am glad you managed to part with a few more decorations. I have only one box left now so decorating will be a cinch this year when I get around to it.

      • The husband used his Shop Vac to suck out the contents of the vacuum cleaner bag from my vacuum cleaner. I simply held onto the bag & he held the nozzle of his Shop Vac to the bag & within a few seconds I had a empty vacuum bag!
        I have a friend who made her own replacement vac bags using old scraps of material sewn into the shape of her replacement vac bags. She used a compression fitting to hold the bag to the vacuum itself & swears it works even better than the original bags.

  9. Ha ha, to get my new guest room sorted I actually need to BUY bedding (no one to borrow it from!) and I’m putting it off till the last minute. Also need to get a bedside table, lamp, coat rack or similar and small chest of drawers. Due to all my decluttering I no longer can move furniture around and make do 😉

    • Just make sure to consider what bedding you actually need. An oversized comforter would work just fine (if you sleep on a queen, and the guest room is a twin, and you have a spare quilt/comforter, it works just fine). Also make sure that you actually need those things for a guest – when I go anywhere, I just live out of a suitcase. Their coats could just go wherever yours go, or over a chair in their room. The chest of drawers could double as the bedside table (mine always has, since as far back as I can remember). Don’t think you need a magazine-picture-perfect guest bedroom, as many guests are plenty happy just not having to sleep on the couch.

      • Thanks Amanda. I’ve actually just put a spare dining chair in there as a bedside table! I will actually have to use it when we all sit down for dinner but that’s OK. We currently *don’t* have anywhere to hang things ourselves, or even a flat surface to put bags down on, so the coat rack I get can go elsewhere when the guests leave. I really do need a fitted sheet, a mattress protector (new mattress) and a top sheet, of everything else I have spares. I’m not even buying ‘guest’ towels as they can use our 2nd set 🙂

        • Awesome! Just making sure, but it sounds like you have it all under control. I upgraded from a twin to a full, and though my parents thought I needed a whole new set of everything, I just got new sheets (and pillowcases, since I was using a horribly mismatched set that is now gone). I’m sorry that you don’t currently have a place to put coats, we are fortunate enough to have a small entryway with hooks and cubbies.

      • Good advice Amanda.

    • My daughter is going to be using my guest room or as it is otherwise known her room. Most of what is in there is the stuff she left behind. Mind you I am going to have to move our winter coats, hubby’s uniforms and the camera gear to another location.

      Keep an eye out for the furniture you need at the thrift shop. You never know what treasures you can find there.

  10. Great post for preparing for Christmas. I work 6 days a week and take off Sundays though. I can just do twice as much on one of the other days!