Mini Mission Monday ~ “Just in case” Clutter

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 for our mini missions lets concentrate on “Just in case” clutter. There are several different clutter scenarios where “Just in case” comes in to play. I have come up with seven for this weeks missions. Let’s see if you can come up with seven matching items to declutter.

Monday – Declutter something that your are keeping “just in case” it becomes valuable some day.

Tuesday - Declutter something that you are keeping “just in case” you have grandchildren some day.

Wednesday - Declutter something that you are keeping “just in case” you eventually find a use for it.

Thursday - Declutter something that you are keeping “just in case” it fits you again some day.

Friday - Declutter something that you are keeping “just in case” the person who gave it to you notices it missing.

Saturday - Declutter something that you are keeping “just in case” you finally might get around to reading it.

Sunday - Declutter something that you are keeping “just in case” you fall on hard times and can’t afford to replace it. There is no end of items that you really won’t actually ever NEED ~ find a use for yes, but need NO!

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

Yet another craft item that I bought at a very low clearance price that I thought would be good to have “just in case” I might find a use for it one day. Ahhh, one day can be a very elusive thing.

Another Scrapbook Album

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Having my little girl home for a visit and the opportunity to meet her boyfriend.

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. In this last week I have decluttered something that is definitely in the ” just in case I need this one day ” category .I don’t really have a lot left to declutter( having been at this for a few years) but its funny that I hadn’t noticed it before and even funnier that having finally noticed it I was still slightly reluctant to part with it even though its bulky nature meant that it was in the way whenever I went to the laundry cupboard.What is it? A big bag of rags ! well TWO big calico bags of rags and two people do not need two big rag bags – even if we live to one hundred we will never need that many rags. I think they just gradually accumulated over time and I hadn’t really questioned whether or not I actually needed that many but in the back of mind they they were there “just in case” .There are still plenty left for when I next get the urge to paint something – half a bag would probably be sufficent .Anyone else have too many rags ? I think I will just go and toss out a few more…..

    • Actually Jez, I probably have too many microfibre clothes but I can live with that. They will slowly succumb to natural progression decluttering.

    • I recently had that same thought! I have a drawer in the kitchen for rags, and it was stuffed so full it was hard to close. So this past round of children’s clothing season change/ declutter I put the too-worn-t0-donate discards in a bag for Goodwill clearly marked “Rags.” I won’t accumulate any more now until the drawer gets less than half-full.

  2. Ah, lots of those “just in case” things. I will have to show this to Mom.
    Have a great time with your daughter and boyfriend.

  3. “Just in Case” has been ingrained deep into our psyches on both sides of the family. We’re working on it and making progress. However, this week I was glad I haven’t been overzealous in my decluttering. The inevitable phone call – need two parade floats in TWO days – and we were able to pull it off with the purchase of two bags of balloons and everything else from supplies on hand and a lot of improvising. Now back on task to do battle with the new kettle we bought to replace the kettle we’re still using which replaced the kettle that’s in a box in the basement but kept ‘just in case’…

    • Sometimes those occasions when you have everything you need for an unexpected project just cement the idea that you might just need it all some day and put you off decluttering. I am not put off by those rare occasions but I do continue to keep my overlocker because it does come in handy every now and again and when it does it usually saves me money and since there is so much space in our home these days I will allow it a little.

      And yes I think the kettle situation definitely needs some attention.

  4. Thanks to comments and posts here, I had an interesting day yesterday! For a few reasons, my house was UBER tidy, so I decided to take some photos to put on facebook for my friends who don’t live locally, and haven’t seen my new (6mth old) place. The last photos were ‘painting in progress’ and everything under drop sheets.

    So this started well, and then I thought, well, I remember someone saying taking a photo helps you see what sticks out! And it did. There were a few superficial things out on the ‘surface’ photos, but then I went nuts and did every shelf and drawer! I shall spend some of today, thinking more about what needs sorting, but I did spend the afternoon on some of the most ‘messy’ areas (a drawer in the bathroom, the entry cupboard – particularly the top drawer) etc. Only ‘little’ things were weeded out, but it also helped me work out what still needs to be done (install new taps, hang curtains etc etc)

    • Well done Snosie. Readers comments quite often trigger decluttering events in my home too. Usually on things that have escaped so far because they do get used but I really have more of them ~ or at least more varieties of them ~ than I really need. My kitchen is often a target fro this kind of stuff.

  5. Hi – my hubby has come up with a new variation of “just in case” – he thinks we need to stop decluttering in our kitchen ‘just in case’ it looks too empty. Our cupboards are looking great, we’d easily only be using 80% of possible storage but there are two appliances which do not meet the criteria to stay. I’d be happy for them to go but those two on their own would drop it down to around the 60% mark. Hubby thinks we should hang onto them if no other reason to look like we actually live here! A breadmaker (I have used twice) and a George Foreman Grill (I should have gotten the small one person one). Any thoughts?

    • Hi Moni! – no- no thoughts yet – still too busy laughing !

    • Hi Moni, ditch the bread maker. How long have you had it? You have only used it twice?? Hint# Jamie Oliver does not use a bread maker. As far as the grill goes, see if anyone has a smaller one and do a swap.
      Husbands may not like the idea that their hard earned dollars were used to make the initial purchase and possibly have to replace the item if you change your mind. Maybe a trip to the thrift shop or local markets might enlighten them. :). Cheers

      • I’m in agreement with Wendy – ditch the breadmaker. Those things are kitchen boat anchors.

    • Moni,
      I meant to reply to this the other day but got sidetracked. All I can say is that sometimes a person’s logic defies explanation. I can understand keeping things that you do use even thought they are excess to your needs because you have the space for them but keeping things just to fill a space hmmmmmm!

      I am all for the “do a swap” on the grill that Wendy suggested if you think you would use a smaller one more often. As for the bread maker, I had one and I did use it, not for making bread but for making pizza dough. When it broke down I didn’t bother to replace it because the pizza dough was easy enough the make without it. I have found the bread is cheaper to buy in a store and is usually much nicer than any I have ever made.

  6. I will declutter a couple of old tool items that I actually curb-surfed and tried to sell on ebay-they did not sell, but I still have them. Off to the thrift store they go!

  7. It is hard to argue with “just in case”. My son was going to store the boxes his new monitors came in , just in case they had warranty issues. We convinced him not to do this.
    Thanks Colleen for reminding me about this one, We have some coins that may be valuable “one day”. This week I will endeavor to see if they have any value.
    Just in case I lose weight, well that is not going to happen, so I can offload some clothes.

    • I am a box saver myself Wendy and I don’t think that will change until my husband retires.
      As for the coins, if they aren’t valuable now they are unlikely to become so. Value is usually determined by how few were printed in the first place, how few survived or whether faulty ones escaped notice and went into circulation. These days there are so many coin collectors and such careful monitoring or faults that very few modern day coins have any value aside from face value. While the older coins already would have they collecting value well established. So many things these days are touted as collectable and so many people are gullible about the marketing of such that very little of the “collectable” stuff will be worth anything in the future because there will still be so much of it around. Probably the everyday stuff will be the stuff the is valuable because people discard it so easily and those would be difficult to predict.

      If you do lose weight Wendy I am sure a resourceful person like you could probably alter your clothes to suit.

  8. Just in case stuff. Hrmmm, that’s one area of clutter I’ve never much succombed to. I do keep an up-to-date kit of “hurricane supplies” for just in case…but that’s about it.
    Having said that, I just finished up another round of selling stuff on Ebay (mostly clothing & kitchen stuff) – all of which I listed just in case someone else wanted it….and whaddya know – someone else did! Haha

  9. It is coincidence that Jane mentioned “hurricane supplies” because we have been working thru a cupboard in the garage and the bottom two shelves were for our “survival kit” – same thing I assume. We had a good chuckle because we came across something that we’d forgotten about. My dad used to work in Civil Defence and so preparedness has been hammered into me. He’d suggested to buy three bags of rice to add to my kit as it keeps well and feeds well if cut off from food supplies. At the time I’d passed on the message to my hubby to grab 3 bags of rice. Hubby bought 3 x 10 kilo bags of rice instead of 3 x 500gram bags of rice that I was expecting.
    Talk about a “just in case”! Maybe he thought we would be feeding the whole neighbourhood.

    • Wow that is a lot of rice Moni. I must admit that even though I grew up in a flood and cyclone prone area I have never been one for keeping a survival pack. Maybe it has something to do with my husband being in the military and thinking they will take care of us in the event of a disaster. I have faith in the fact that Australia seems to never have deaths due to people not being rescued in these situations. It would have to be one monumental disaster that would require such preparedness I would like to think.

      • Hi Colleen – it is a ridiculous amount of rice and I’m making contact with the local food bank so it can be put to use.
        Well yes, being attached to the military does give one instant access to disaster management.
        Over here Civil Defence actively advertise organising survival kits, I guess the more people that are prepared to look after their basic needs the less resources the military & civil defence have to supply.
        3 small bags of rice would be sufficient for our household as we would have food in the house – if it was a stay-at-home situation – if it was an orderly evacuation the rice would sufficient – if it was a run for your life situation, I wouldn’t be stopping to pick up bags of rice. 🙂

        We got a newsletter from our regional Civil Defence the other day and they reckon there are 22 possible hazards our area is open to. These could be something low key like a flu pandemic or as unlikely as a tsunami, I believe “severe storm” was also mentioned, so 22 isn’t as exciting as it sounds.
        And yes we got a reminder to prepare an emergency kit.

        • Hi Moni,
          I figure if the rice and pasta and can food in the pantry isn’t going to be enough to sustain us until help comes then we are pretty much done for anyway or the world is in one incredible mess. I’ll take my chances.

          • LOL Colleen – you start with the freezer! I have relatives who went thru the Christchurch earthquake and had to take in two other families that day (and she was about to leave for the supermarket to do the weekly shop just as it happened) and the shops were shut for a couple of weeks. She said they got quite creative and a little bizarre finding ways to feed that many people. The best story was of making scones made with coconut oil on the bbq!

            The sacks of rice are off to the food bank tomorrow.

  10. I decluttered a bunch of boxes that small appliances, etc., had come in. I was saving them just in case we moved, or I had to mail something off for repair, or if decided to sell something on ebay. Since the items that were originally in those boxes are no longer under warranty, I can always find another box if any of those unlikely events come up.

    • I am guilty of this “just in case” habit myself Anita. We do move because of my husbands job, I also like to keep the boxes for warranty purposes and I sell things on ebay also just like you mentioned so these boxes do come in handy. Sometimes they tend to build up a little too much though and I think we have come to a point where we need to weed some out. Hubby and I will get on to that once I have recovered completely from my surgery. They are all kept in the garage so at least they aren’t cluttering up the inside of the house.

    • A bit late (I’ve been traveling) but the boxes issue always cracks me up: my husband is a box saver. And about the time I persuaded him to think about getting rid of them, he USED one to send a stereo receiver in for repair. I was in despair thinking I had lost my one chance. And then: our basement got very wet (he was doing something with the hot water heater and ended up spraying water all over the place) and he had to give them up. Except for the cleaning up bit, I was thrilled.

      Now we keep several shoe boxes around for shipping but they are confined to one container. If he is keeping others, he has managed to hide them from me!

  11. I actually make bread. A large, stainless bowl and a couple of good bread pans are all you really need and so much easier to clean and store. Ditch the machine. And, kneading dough is a good workout for your hands and very meditative. Doesn’t take long, either.

    • I love a person who equates household tasks to exercise. If we all looked at housework this way our homes would all be spotless, we would all be fitter and no one would need waste money on expensive gym fees. Actually this point is relevant to tomorrows post. I must see if I can weave it in somewhere.