Mini Mission Monday ~ Growth & Change

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.

This weeks mini mission are all about growth and change. We may stop growing physically when we reach adulthood but we never stop growing mentally. So therefore we are ever changing. And in order to not end up with a house full of clutter we need to let go of the things that are no longer useful or meaningful to us as we grow and change. So this weeks lets get rid of some stuff that we have “grown” out of.

Monday – Declutter something from an old pastime, sport or hobby.

Tuesday – Declutter a piece of clothing that no longer fits with how you now see yourself.

Wednesday – Declutter something from an past relationship that isn’t meaningful to you any more.

Thursday – Declutter a book that you doubt you will ever return to read again now that you are more mature or your beliefs have changed.

Friday – Declutter a gift that pleased you in the past but now isn’t something of worth to you.

Saturday – Declutter something that was useful when you lived elsewhere but isn’t in your current location.

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. Wow…what a fun theme this week. Here’s what I have planned for this week.
    Mon-old hobby…..thousands of stickers for scrapbooking
    Tue-clothing…..a shirt that is too big. I’ve tried wearing it several times &always end changing. I bought it too big as it was the only size available & I truly thought it would be ok.
    Wed-past relationship. I have already gotten rid of everything so I’m good on this one.
    Thu-book. I bought an ebook Dean & Me. Glad it was cheap didn’t even finish it. About Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis.
    Fri-gift. Can’t think of anything right now. I get a lot of homemade gifts which I love. So I might not have anything for this.
    Sat-unuseful in current house. In process of changing door knobs and hinges etc from shiny gold to dark oiled brass. About 1/3 done & I love it.

    • Hi Calla, I can relate to the stickers. I used to have tonnes of these but then realised I rarely ever felt inclined to use them. I donated some and gave some to my Granddaughter but still have some left. I am still finding that I am not using the ones that remain so maybe it is time I decluttered those as well.
      Your Tuesday pick also hits the spot. Last week I decluttered a pair of sweatpants. Not because they didn’t fit me but because I used them because my husband had bought them in the wrong size. They served their purpose for long enough that I don’t need to continue to feel frumpy in them.
      Wednesday reminds me of a funny declutter. I had a ring from a boyfriend in my distant past. I didn’t return it to him when I broke off the relationship, partly because I figured I’d earned the right to keep it but mostly so it couldn’t be handed on to someone else as it was already used for a previous girlfriend. Anyway I gave the ring to my daughter and she thinks it’s history is hilarious.

      • Colleen – that’s so funny!

      • Lol
        I love the story & you are so right about the ring being passed on to a new girl. I returned a diamond that was then given to another women who kept it when she dumped the guy. A lesson for me to learn from both Colleen & the recipient of my diamond if I’m ever in that position again.

        • Knowing that the ring was secondhand should have been the indicator or what was to come for me. Never mind all worked out in the end and I married the right guy.

  2. Setting aside the past and moving toward the future is good not only good when decluttering but also good in other ways. Colleen, this is a good set of mini-missions. I’m still working on the little things. It’s taking the time to do it. Wish my aunt would use this weeks mini-missions. She has all this Stuff she has kept from her parents, her children growing up, etc. No one else wants it including her kids and her sisters. yet, she still won’t get rid of it even though it is in boxes and has been for 30+ years.

    • Hi Deb J, I have to ask, is it your mother’s sister? It sounds like the sort if issue you used to have with your mom and still do to a degree. Your mom has come a long way now though.

      • Yes, Colleen, this is my mother’s sister. This aunt is 10 times as bad as my mom ever thought about being.

  3. Hi Colleen, these are excellent! They make me think of the “flip side” of aspirational clutter, the past versus the future. Just yesterday I pulled out 2 sweaters which haven’t been worn in almost 30 years. They were hand-knitted by my late mother-in-law for my husband and me, I can’t remember if we were even married at the time. The skill of the knitting is quite stunning and the sweaters are matching his’n’hers! I know we did wear them – perhaps not always at the same time! – and I have photographs of us in them, but they were never quite our style and now that heavy wool seems scratchy and uncomfortable. I was pleased to see that mine still fits, but it is time for them to go. For the sport/hobby, I’m looking hard at board games, puzzles and I would love to send our bikes on their way, since those haven’t been used for years. And I’ve got several books of 17th and 18th century French poetry from my college studies; they didn’t do much for me back then and have sat unopened on my shelf for years so I think I’ll call our local university library and see if they might be interested. The more I think about it I know that I could fill box after box with such items, I guess I just have to keep calm and carry on 365-ing and not get overwhelmed.

    • Hi Christine, I am glad that this weeks mission have helped you identify lots of things that can happily be decluttered. No need to keep calm, just be glad you have a good list of things to donate this week. Imagine the space you are freeing up.

    • Hi Christine,

      …”keep calm and carry on 365-ing “… That comment tickled my funnybone!

      I, too, feel that way. I have to wait to get a chance to ask my daughter of “Box Mountain” fame to look through more stuff. It seems she is always too busy or too tired or going to work or school, etc. Very hard to pin her down! It only takes her about 10 minutes or less to go through oodles of stuff once I get her attention, so it really shouldn’t be such a big deal.

      It’s slow going for me to part with things, too. I have been at this much longer than my daughter, so I’m down to the fine tuning… Finding the overlooked and using up excess toiletries, etc… It’s easier for me to part with things but there aren’t as many things to part with LOL… I have to work harder to find them 🙂

  4. Excellent Mini Missions this week! I shall have to give these some thought!
    The hall cupboard has gotten untidy again so I shall have a tidy up, clear out in there. I can think of a few items that might fit the bill, I will need to consult with others though.

  5. Love these mini missions.

    When I was much younger I was involved in lots of interests, different dancing classes, hobbies etc, but now getting closer to 70 (am I really – did I just say that 🙂 ) my interests have changed somewhat.

    Dancing class, well my knees won’t let me now, so I will just play around with watching dancing on YouTube.

    Scrapbooking and crafts accumulate a lot of stuff over time, and if and when I do an album, it will be much simpler than the ideas I had (with stickers, pressed flowers etc etc) many years ago and never got around to it. Craft items, I have been slowly giving these away to friends’ children to play with.

    Clothes – come summer here, I will go through my clothes again and donate more of them.

    Was going to write a novel too, but now I gave up the idea of writing, especially if no one else would be interested in it once it is written. They may read it once and then forgotten. So getting rid of lots of notes and ideas, is one less thing I have to think about in my “advancing years” 🙂

    Keeping computer information, ideas and tips are my worst. But getting better at deleting other files and don’t download any from previous hobbies.

    • That sounds like a lot of good decluttering there Katherine. Although it is never too late to write that book. However if the thought is just inspirational mind clutter then let it go. I am intending to finish my ebook while on vacation in Berlin. If that doesn’t happen then I will give up on it altogether. So I know where you are coming from on the book thing.

  6. Moving on with our lives, oh YES! After many delays and postponements Ian had his back surgery this summer. Tomorrow I will visit the home care people and return all the borrowed equipment (bath seat, toilet raiser and grab bars) and donate a walker that he no longer needs. Tuesday we will go to the pharmacy to drop off the medications he doesn’t take anymore. Onward!!!

    • It sounds like Ian is coming along nicely. That is good news. I dare say there are a lot of things he will no longer be doing though that could potentially damage his back. I hope he has the good sense to be realistic about that. My neighbour and friend at my last address did not heed that advice an ended up damaging his back for life. Best to err on the side of caution.

  7. An interesting mission…I’ve sold or given away those categories in the past. Now I’ll have to look for current stuff. I had an interesting snowball effect yesterday. I wanted to move a big plant from our living room just to create some space in front of our windows. So…to make room for it, I pulled a plant in a large pot in our bedroom out onto the back deck to be repotted into two pots…easier to bring in for winter and out for summer. Since I created more space in the living room, I rearranged a few things and ended up with a vase that needed to go somewhere else. I traded it with a teapot that lived on a shelf under our TV. I then put the teapot on top of our antique wooden ice box where I left an empty space when I moved an arrangement from our living room to the top of my roll top desk after I removed all the pictures from there. Probably not a very interesting accounting, but it was fun to think about and write. The living room also looks nicer with more space in it.

    • Hi deanna… , that was an interesting account to me. However it did make your living room sound rather cluttered with decorative items. That is probably only because of all the reshuffling you did though. I dare say my living room has as much stuff in it as yours. Anyhow, are you like me and actually find it fun and rewarding when you achieve a cascade effect of decluttering and reorganising?

      • Actually Colleen, everything feels cluttered right now. It seems that the more I declutter, the more I see. I think I’m seeing it with new eyes…decluttering eyes. I don’t like a lot of foof, but I do have a lot of decorations in my living room. I just didn’t see it that way before. Also, our living room is large. We’ve been in our house for 14 years…started out not too cluttered. We bought a large motor home during that time and outfitted it with stuff from the house (mainly kitchen & bathroom). Then when we sold the motor home 3 years ago, there was no way we wanted all the stuff from the motor home back in the house. We gave most of it away, but that’s the only decluttering we’ve done on the house in 14 years. However, I have been decluttering my closet for about the last 6 or so years since I subscribed to Missus Smarty Pants online and the first thing she says is “declutter your closet” so that’s been an ongoing and constant thing. Plus about 4 years ago we changed our eating plan and I lost 35 pounds. That was a couple of sizes so I had to redo my wardrobe anyway (mostly from thrifting). I found out yesterday, and several times before, the joy of opening an area (under bathroom sink yesterday) looking for something, realizing the area was packed full, pulled out bottles of stuff that we don’t even use anymore. So, in less than 2 minutes it was decluttered and all I had to do was clean it. Yay! This morning I pulled out about 20 articles of clothes from closets and plan to drop them off at the thrift shop today along with some other things. I’m reading your archives regularly, and it really motivates me. Thank you!

  8. OK, these are great missions for me this week–I can do these in between writing lesson plans. Oh–I already have something–I can declutter the school papers I won’t be using this year since this is my last year of teaching. ONWARD to retirement and decluttering those school files!

  9. Hi Colleen…love your emails! What blows me away is how you manage to think of all these different things to declutter. You are quite special and I hope you know what a great help you are to others!! YAY!

    • Ha ha Debbie, you aren’t the first person to call me special (and I mean “special” in a humorously denigrating way, even though I know you didn’t). However, thank you for your kind words. Some weeks I don’t know how I come up with them myself. They usually arise from my own situation or exposure to surroundings I have found myself in recently.

  10. I’m going a little off topic here – when my house was cluttered it wasn’t unusual to end up with duplicates because I couldn’t find the original item – ie scissors especially, so I’d buy another pair and eventually lose those too. I haven’t had that problem in a long time! However over the last couple of weeks, things keep going missing – and we’re baffled because there just aren’t that many places that things can actually go missing. So far: the Apple TV, my smallest measuring jug and the remote to the heat pump/air conditioner for the Master Bedroom.

    And its not one of those cases when you round up the family to make enquiry, no-one knows anything ie Mr Nobody did it. Everyone is genuinely baffled.

    And the obvious thing is to search for the missing item, but every cupboard has a lot of white space, nothing under beds, you quickly run out of options. Has anyone else had something like this happen?

    In the mean time, I refuse to replace the items but its starting to get annoying.

    • Hi Moni,

      Do you have raccoons there? I can picture them getting their greedy little paws on the “prize” LOL… That really is a strange problem to be faced with. In my house, I can pretty well figure out who might have accidentally relocated any of my stuff 🙂

      Please be sure to comment if you figure this out. I can’t be the only one bursting with curiosity!

      • Peggy – I’m from New Zealand and no racoons here, though they look very cute on Disney Pixar movies, I assume that it isn’t usually so.

        Talking of blaming animals, we booked a computer tech to look at our PC at home as it kept shutting down and we were a bit worried it was going to die permantly. Then we noticed that one of our cats was coming in thru the cat door, along behind the desk and then climbing up onto the hard drive – I’m assuming to use it as a viewing post to check the location of our other cats before proceeding. As she climbed up onto the hard drive her back leg was landing on the power on/off switch at the back of the hard drive and turning it off.

  11. Moni,

    Everything you mentioned is a rather small item. I usually find that when something is missing it is because someone put something on top of it. If your husband it tall, could he have placed that remote on top of a high top piece of furniture?? I sure hope those missing items pop up soon.

    My husband always blames me when he can’t find something, whether I am guilty or not. He says I keep moving things and he is kind of correct. Really, someone has to put the stuff back!

  12. Moni,

    Could the measuring jug be in the last container you measured something out of? That’s were I found a measuring spoon recently. Could the remote have gotten into a pillow case or between the mattress and the wall or headboard? I know you said you looked under the bed , but could it be possible you actually have to move the bed to see it. Sometimes they are masters at blending in. Just some suggestions.