Mini Mission Monday ~ Good riddance

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.

Among all the clutter in our homes there are always thing that we would definitely be glad to see the back of, whether we realise it immediately on not. So lets get rid of a few of those things this week. The question you should be asking yourself when you encounter these things is ~ Why haven’t I gotten rid of these things sooner. So lets see what we can find.

Monday – Declutter something that you haven’t used in a long time and probably never will.

Tuesday – Declutter something that you never did care for but kept for one bad reason or another.

Wednesday – Declutter something that instead of making your life easer just wastes valuable space.

Thursday – Declutter an unwanted gift, and don’t tell me you have to keep it, because you don’t.

Friday – Find a single use gadget and really rationalise whether it is useful to you or not. And when you come to the conclusion that it isn’t declutter it.

Saturday – Declutter something that makes you cringe when you see it in your home.

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. Happy October everyone! I have realised recently that I have a lot of ‘expiry date’ items that fall due this December. Expiry date items are where I have decided for whatever reason that an item cannot be decluttered until its ‘potential’ usefulness has fully passed, which was deemed by a certain month/year or season. Usually items associated with the kids and their extra curricular activities or school related.

    Anyhoo, my Monday mission will be to round up all these items and put in a box marked “December” – might as well start the ball rolling!

    • Initially I thought you meant items with an actual expiry in December. I found a few toiletries this morning with expiries of 10/15 and 12/15. This has been tripping me up all year, as I always thought 2015 was a long way in the future, and so I don’t see anything marked ‘2015’ as expiring soon. Have to keep reminding myself that 2015 is nearly over, and somehow I am living in my own future!

      Good idea applying your own expiry date to items!

      • Amelia – I noticed how an expiry date on medicines gave me license to declutter, so I decided to apply it to items which were in the ‘still potentially useful’ category.

        An example would be my daughter graduates from High School (we call it College) in December, so the winter uniform jacket won’t be needed after December and as we are in Spring, the chances of it being used are unlikely. But I should keep it till the end, just in case we get some unexpected bad weather. Some art supplies which were brought for particular projects but won’t likely be used again and have a limited life span, likewise ballet and other dance gear etc etc.

    • Yep, no time like the present to get the ball rolling. I have been having fun crafting with my mother-in-law this weekend. That entailed using up lots of little bits and pieces. I love that!

    • This is such a good idea Moni. I think I am going to try this with Mom. I will have her to make a list of things she doesn’t want after we move. Then as soon as we are ready to go we won’t have to go through the decision process but just box it up and take it to the thrift shop.

      • Deb J – whatever works! Or we could ask Colleen to ask your mum to write a post on ‘the Senior Citizen’s Guide to moving to assisted living’ – it might inspire some pro-activeness, especially when she does her research.

        • Moni, Mom would not write anything about anything. She is not open to that. She says she doesn’t have time for such nonsense. Whatever!

      • Excellent idea Deb. Box it up now, have your current space clear and donate it on when you move. You’ve stated that you’re mum is willing to part with things when you move – perfect opportunity.

        • Mich! We can’t box it up now because she thinks it needs to be out so the house won’t look so bare until and when we try to sell it. Once she is moved, I will get rid of it all

  2. Monday – Will look at my coupon folder… I’m sure there will be plenty of items to toss out

    Tuesday – stick on night light

    Wednesday – I think this one would be in the kitchen but that is a difficult area for me to declutter because I’m the 1 out of 4 adults in the household who doesn’t cook…

    Thursday – I like the gift but it is a (lightly) fragrant lotion and makes me sneeze… will ask best friend if she wants it… It is a brand she likes

    Friday – I can’t think of anything that fully qualifies, because we have single use gadgets but we like them

    Saturday – This is a stretch… I want to declutter another section of garden because I haven’t had the energy to properly care for it this year (so it makes me cringe!). I need to get my husbands help, though, to move some of the plants into an area that he “maintains” (he has lower gardening standards but I don’t care because his area is in the backyard). My garden areas, however, are all visible from the road so they need to be tidy.

    Great missions, by the way! I’m thinking what I should also do is target the “rats nest” areas in my home. One of those was “Box Mountain” and I may have done all I can there for now. The garage is a mess partially because the grandkids get into everything on our (formerly neat) shelves. The attic isn’t a horror, I was up there recently and made a small improvement. But it could be on the list after the garage, for sure 🙂 I thought if I made forays into the “rats nest” each day maybe things would start to shape up over time!

    • Hi Peggy, yes that garden mission doesn’t sound very mini but needs doing anyway. Hopefully you will find the strength and the help soon to get it done.

      And yes, don’t look at those “rat’s nests” as one big task, just chip away it them a little at a time and they will eventually be ship shape.

  3. I recently sold off a large set of Temuka dinnerware. There were left over pieces where I had been given duplicate items, about eight or so pieces ie lasagne dish, quiche dishes etc . I was going to sell those off those pieces on trademe but today I decided to donate them to our goodwill store instead. We received some good news on the weekend – my younger daughter has received a scholarship to University next year – as the proceeds of the auction would have gone towards her fees, I felt I should give back to the universe for a while instead.

  4. Hi, Colleen. Your “Good riddance” theme is great, not only did it bring one of my favourite Green Day songs to mind, but I’m going to apply it to paper for the entire week, with slight adaptations for Thu and Fri.

  5. Hum! You have me thinking here Colleen. I think I have a few things in each category that I can get rid of without anyone having a fit about it. Yes!!

  6. For Monday, I have sold some more china on ebay.
    Tuesday was difficult for me -It’s not that I never cared for it but do I care for it now? I have this 70’s lanyard?? of my dad’s it is a black rope with a steers head that he wore sorta like a tie around his western shirt. It brings back good memories of my dad and I asked mum for it when dad passed away but I’ve hardly looked at it since. Will ask my children if they want it (doubt it) as I can’t recall dad wearing it when they were little. It won’t bring up memories for them. It doesn’t take up much space but will donate it.

    • Wednesday – I bought an electric potato masher $49.99 (ridiculous price) it doesn’t do a very good job. I will just bin it as I wouldn’t pass anything on that useless.

      • Today was easy – a small painting given to me by a family member. It’s nice but doesn’t go with our decor. My birthday was in April and I didn’t actually receive it until August so I think I’ve kept it long enough – off to donation. I can’t part with my dad’s neck thingy so I have to think of something else for Tuesday. I’m working tomorrow so I’ve done that already – a pineapple peeler and slicer. It works very well and my husband loved it as he deals with the pineapples. He watched youtube and decided that the pineapple utensil lost too much juice – donate. As for Saturday I have nothing in my house that makes me cringe – that was the first stuff to go in my less stuff journey.

  7. Monday – threw away a night light I haven’t used in forever because it had faint burn marks on the plastic! Nobody should use this, so I tossed it!
    Tuesday – donating three candle holders that were given to us recently as souvenirs from someone else’s trip to India. I don’t light candles and they don’t fit with our décor.
    Wednesday – donating two tea press cups that didn’t really work. Neat idea but I end up with too many tea bits in my mouth while driving and the sugar stays on the bottom. I never use them anymore.
    Thursday – (above candle holders) and donating China gravy boat. It is in our pattern but I never ever never ever make gravy!
    Friday – 8 pickle forks!! Donating these vintage gems from parent’s early years. They are brass and were nice in their day but I have never used them and can’t imagine ever needing them.
    Saturday – Well, I don’t know if I cringe when I see this so much but it does annoy me to wash it! A large queen size comforter that really does not fit in our washer. I does not come clean of the cat hair and I have to lint roller it dozens of times before and after washing! No good, too much work and fuss, getting rid of it even though it is pretty!

    • Sounds like getting rid of the comforter is going to free up a lot of your time and make life simpler.

  8. I didn’t read the comments yet but the post has influenced me to get rid of something (I will donate probably this afternoon). I got a late b’day gift from my SIL last month. It’s not to my taste so I put my own decorative item back in it’s place. I was influenced by Colleen’s Thursday (gift) and Saturday (cringe). This candle wreath comes under both categories.

    Thank’s Colleen!

    I already discussed no Xmas gift exchange a few years back. Now it’s time to suggest no B’day gift exchange. I really like to pick my own stuff!

  9. Peggy, “1 in 4 in the house who doesn’t cook”…YAY!!!!!

    Mich, your dad’s lanyard?? We call them string ties in the US. They’re usually western. My hubby has one that belonged to his dad. The only time hubby wore it was for a couple of business rallies with a western theme.


    Mon haven’t used in a long time – small exerciser

    Tues never did care for but kept – evening bag (I liked it when I bought it, but not when I used it…twice)

    Wed wastes valuable space – BIG nutritional healing book

    Thurs unwanted gift – women’s inspirational calendar (it’s not that I don’t like being inspired…but I buy a Scripture calendar for each year…and I like those much better)

    Fri single use gadget – cheese slicer (I always use a knife anyway)

    Sat-makes you cringe – I had something for this one…an antique match holder that I’m ready to get rid of…BUT I had to run it by hubby because it is “ours.” He nixed it…said he wanted it, so we put it in his home office :((( So I decided to get rid of 3 sets of Skip-Bo cards that my family used to play. It was fun the first 500 times we played…then I got soooo tired of it. Almost all of that generation is gone now, so out they go!

    • Thanks Deanna, that is exactly what it is – a string tie and it is western, has a steers head on it. Dad wore it in the 70’s with his western shirts. Anyway, I’m hanging onto it for now.

  10. I am very minimalistic in the kitchen (one bowl, one fork, one knife, a couple of mugs, you get the idea), but I do have one of those vegetti things. It’s totally a unitasker, but I refuse to get rid of it because I use it and love it, even if it does take a couple extra minutes to clean.