Mini Mission Monday ~ Kiddy 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 lets do a little kiddy declutter in preparation for the Christmas influx. There will be all sorts of items coming in over the holiday period no matter how much we try to keep it under control. Those people who tell us the rest of the year how much we spoil our kids will be the ones who no doubt cause most of this influx. It is best if we are prepared. Don’t forget to involve your child in this process. It is good for them to learn to declutter and send on unwanted items to other children who may be less fortunate than them. 

Monday – Go through the children’s bookcase and see if there are any books that they no longer read because they are way out of their age range.

Tuesday – Kids aren’t immune to the gift of undies and socks so go through their underwear drawer and see if there are any holey or outgrown underwear or socks in there.

Wednesday – Of course the toy box ought to be the first place to declutter right before Christmas. Donate those items that are outgrown and dispose of the broken ones appropriately.

Thursday – Like books DVD’s can become obsolete due to kids ageing. Time to go through your children’s DVD collection and declutter the ones no longer watched.

Friday – Video games are another category whose popularity wanes as children grow older. Declutter those that are no longer played by your kids.

Saturday – For girls, taste for items such as hair adornments and jewellery also change as they get older. Declutter any on these items that you notice are no longer popular with your daughters.

Sunday – Perhaps your kids have some clothing items that you know will be replaced over the holiday period. Declutter the soiled or too small items now.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

My little boy was so cute in this outfit but lets face it do I really need to keep it forever. What am I saving it for anyway. you guessed it, it has gone to the thrift store.

Baby sentimental clutter

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Much as I love the gratitide item it sometimes makes it difficult to schedule posts ahead of time. Quite often I almost forget to add it at the end of the day and have to fire up my computer at 10pm to finish it off. So I am considering only adding it as it suits me to do so when I am done writing the body of the post. What do you, my readers, feel about this.

Today I am grateful that my house looks quite presentable even though I didn’t have my weekly cleanup due to not feeling well last week. That is the beauty of a decluttered home, just a little whip through will generally be enough when time is short or other things hinder you from your normal routine.


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. I dont have kids, so I can relax this week. I do have my corners though, and I will declutter every day something else instead…

    I quite like the gratitude part of your posts. it always makes me think what I would write down… I totally understand that you might just skip it if you havent had it prepared. Just dont leave it out completely. its a nice thought and I love to read once in a while what others are grateful for. I can take over if you want to 😉
    I am grateful for my new kitchen and the cooking skills I develop with it. I had a great time today with the radio on where they played christmas songs for 3 hours. I had candles burning, and was cooking new recipes…

    • Hi Lena, good for you arranging you our alternate mini missions. I love a conscientious follower.

      I also love your gratitude item. What a lovely day you must have had. I had a wonderful afternoon with our neighbours. I arranged a get-together and everyone seemed to have lovely time just chatting and eating. The weather got a little iffy later in the proceedings but I am grateful for a decluttered garage because there was plenty of room in there to shelter from the rain.

  2. I was humbled by your daily gratitude and made me think of something that I was. Maybe because I have so many things to be thankful for and you made me realize that I don’t do it enough. I would miss seeing it myself.

    • Hi Bunny Girl,
      I don’t think it will disappear altogether so don’t worry.

      PS. How did your wedding go. I hope it was a beautiful day for you.

  3. I have grownup daughters, so it seems, that I shall be decluttering elsewhere this week.
    I just wished to add, that from my own experience, it might be wise to do some consulting, before starting to remove things belonging to the children.
    I have done decluttering on my own in the old days, but s t i l l receive remarks, that I crossed my line, which is really the truth.
    About the second matter, you do what suits you best : )

    • Hi metscan, you make a good point, that is why I wrote these words in the introduction paragraph “Don’t forget to involve your child in this process. It is good for them to learn to declutter and send on unwanted items to other children who may be less fortunate than them. ” One could produce children who would become hoarders if their much loved possessions where to be continually decluttered without their consent. Not a good thing to do at all.

  4. On the grateful comment: you should do what works for you. It is good to be reminded from time to time to be thankful for what is right with our world, but it wouldn’t have to be daily in order to be inspiring.

    I’ve been doing my own list nightly for about a year now, and it has been a wonderful exercise. It forces me to find the good in each day no matter how rushed or harried or even sad I have been. Sometimes the worst days remind me of the good in people and how lucky I am the other days.

    • Exactly Jo,
      yesterday I had a lovely afternoon with the neighbours but my cold took a turn for the worse in the evening. It would be very easy to dwell on the unhappy part it one didn’t make a habit of focusing on the good things in life.

  5. I wouldn’t mind if the gratitude section is not every day. I sometimes wonder how you come up with something every day!

    • Hi Low Income Lady,
      Some days it doesn’t pay to leave the gratitude item to the end of the day. I have to admit things can easily go pear shaped as one gets tired. The trick is to make a note of the good in your day as it goes along and then at the end of the day revisit the list to remind yourself of the good things. Today I am grateful that my husband decided to ride his motorbike to work so I have the car to get Liam to his dentist appointment. And how good are automatic washing machines. As I anser my comments the washing does itself, it wasn’t like that for our ancestors or many other people now throughout the world.

  6. How considerate you are Colleen, but hey it’s your blog!!!!! I like it and would be sad for it to go altogether so a couple of times a week would keep it going. I think your content is enough food for thought, so to speak!!

    I too was grateful for an uncluttered house this weekend, i have had a migraine so was unable to do my usual chores so my Husband (who i am also grateful for!) did the cleaning, job done, without any fuss of moving stuff around the house.

    Sharron x

    • Thanks Sharron, I will be sure to continue at least a couple of times a week.

      I am still feeling like c**p so the housework won’t be done today either and guess what, it really doesn’t matter because the house still looks great. I love a decluttered house and simple “keep up” housework.

  7. Colleen,
    I enjoy your “gratitudes” and hope you will keep sharing them, but the occasional “miss” wouldn’t hurt any of us; it’s your blog – do what works for you! And I’m grateful that you keep us all up to the mark!

    • I think Ann that you could now manage very well without me. Your momentum has reached a point where there is no turning back and you could easily go on alone but that won’t be necessary because I am not going anywhere. I will keep you up to the mark should you ever falter my friend. And I will keep being grateful for my blessed life in the meantime.

      • Colleen,
        You may be right, but I am an “all on” or “all off” type, so I feel I need your thoughts to keep me in the right direction. I have had my speakers’ group in for a pot-luckChristmas luncheon and committee change-over today; I still needed to shift stuff from the lounge into other parts of the house, but far less than once would have been, and the kitchen worked far better than it would have before – so less really is more! And John (hip replacement operation on Friday) has now told me we can aim towards a retirement village whenever I think we are ready! A real change of mind…. But there is a vast amount of “unloading” to do before that is an option …..
        I do hope your cold clears up soon. There are some nasty ones around on this side of the Tasman; I guess they are on your side too. Just feel better in time for Christmas!

        • Hi Ann,
          I am more than happy to be here to inspire you. I am glad you are noticing the benefits of having a less cluttered home. I certainly am this week since I am not up for housework due to this cold. The house is so organised that I really don’t have to do much to keep it looking good. I am so glad you hubby has come to the conclusion that a retirement village is a good idea. I hope my mum can convince my dad that it would be a smart move now that they are approaching their 80’s. With dad’s ever increasing mobility problems I think it would be a very smart idea. The in-laws would do well to start considering the same. Bigger home just get too hard to look after as you get older and why stay burdened to that responsibility.

          • He-ey, we’re only early 60s!! Still, he’s got a “heart” and a “hip” and I’m basically a crock (okay most of the time, but usually something spinal out of kilter, so I figure if we make the move in the relatively near future, then we get to do it for ourselves, instead of being a weight on our daughter’s shoulders.

            • As usual Ann you are making all the right decisions. Being realistic and taking the burden on yourself instead of leaving it for someone else to deal with. Good for you!! I hope your daughter realises how lucky she is to have thoughtful parents.

              • Thank you, Colleen, what a lovely thing to say!

                • I should have added, he’s getting his hip replacement as I write, so hopefully, that’ll be one thing off our “crock-list”. Incidentally, my car is now officially the “crockpot” and I do think we should have a house-sign “The Crockery”!

                  • Hey Ann, so long as you can laugh about it life isn’t so bad. Perhaps you should get a personalised numberplate for your car ~ CROKPOT would work and I like the house sign too. Maybe you could change your phone number to ~ 05327057 0ld cr0ks. Not that I am suggesting you are old of course.

                    • And I should think not. 🙂 🙂 ! If you couldn’t laugh, you’d cry, and I prefer to laugh, don’t you? Anyway, his operation went well, so here’s hoping.

                    • I am glad the operation went well. You had better take care of that leg of yours because you can’t both be laid up for weeks on end. My mother-in-law had a hip replacement earlier this year and is doing really well now. She had a lof of back pain to begin with that was a hangover from all the limping beforehand. Her hip came good before her back did but now both are good and she is getting around better than she has in years. I hope your hubby heals up well and fast.

  8. I agree with Jo. You have to do what works best for you. I’m grateful each day to be able to read your blog and would be sorry to see it disappear all together but understand if this is what you feel you have to do. You already do so much by blogging everyday. Thanks for all you do … you may not realise who much you make a difference sooo many peoples lives.

    • Thank you so much Rebecca,
      I have to say I am so grateful that my husband ever suggested I write a blog about my decluttering experience. I never for one moment thought it would develop into what it is. I would never have thought I would have the opportunity to help so many people and I am grateful for the joy that gives me. Helping people is not a one way street, I get as much out of this experience than all those that read my blog everyday. It is a real joy and certainly not a sacrifice.

  9. As much as I like to have my own opinion, I can just join the chorus today: skip the gratitude once in a while. Do what works best for you. Don’t worry. We are all guests, you make the rules & the only constant is change anyway, isn’t it?

    Off the topic: the Give-away-get-together with cake and coffee was great fun and the idea of everybody bringing something (everybody who wanted to, that is) was well received, too. A couple of things that otherwise may have been trashed (opened shampoos and styling products, half used rolls of wrapping paper) found new owners, some people found presents for others or had ideas for repurposing and crafting. And it was a great opportunity to share decluttering spirit with friends without being missionary or even have to say much. I can only recommend it and I’m sure I’ll do it again next year.

    • Ideealistin, this is a great idea. This is the first I read about it – I’ve been missing some posts lately. Did you arrange it all by yourself?

    • Hi Idealistin, thank you for your support.
      And thank you also on the update of your give-away day. What a wonderful experience for you, I am inspired. Doesn’t it feel great to be able to clear your clutter in a sustainable way that is helpful to others. Now that is something to be grateful for.

  10. Great post!

    Would it be easier to do your gratitude for the previous day? That way you won’t have to go back and add it to the post, and it won’t be missed by those who read it too soon.

    • Good suggestion on the gratitude items. It wouldn’t really matter what day it was from so long as it was something to be grateful for. Right now I am grateful for the weather we are having. A little bit of rain and little bit of sunshine and very moderate temperatures. I hope that lasts a while. I don’t have to water the garden or be tempted to turn the air-con on.

  11. I have kiddy clutter, heaps of it & I have just done their underwear.
    We are moving to a much smaller house & I’m wondering where all the toys will go & where they will get played with, time will tell.

    I like the gratitude item but sounds like everyday is too much, declutter it! Make it something you do when you ‘want to’, rather than ‘have to’ I reckon.

    • Thanks Karen, I think all the helpful and understanding thoughts about my grateful list have made me see it in a whole new light.

      I do hope you manage to fit everything into your new smaller home. I was lucky that our smaller home came when the kids were grown out of toys so fitting in here wasn’t so bad once we got rid of all the extra stuff we didn’t. I always wanted bigger home but now I have a small on again I find it so easy to keep clean. I would have anything else now. In fact we are considering a two bedroom place for out next home.

  12. Add me to the list of those who really enjoy the gratitude item. But no need to write one every day. I haven’t done much decluttering the last few weeks…I guess it was time for a break. We enjoyed the last of an Indian Summer before the actic blast hit. Yesterday, as it snowed for 12 straight hours, I was grateful for a warm house and not having to leave it for anything. And I was grateful that my space heater decided to start working again after it stopped for a few hours. With family coming to visit soon, I think it’s time to get back to decluttering. So I think going thru the kids room with them sounds like a good place to start.

    • Nothing wrong with taking a break from the decluttering for a while. Being snowed in for the day seems like a good reason to start it up again though. With the heater failing it would be a good idea to keep moving to stay warm. I am not sure how much I would trust that heater if it turns on and off willy nilly. Decluttering the house by the space heater catching the place of fire does sound quick but not advisable. I hope you have another source of heat.

      • The space heater is not the main heat source. I just don’t like to turn the thermostat up for the whole house when I’m just hanging out in my chair reading. That’s the only time I use that little heater. Otherwise, it’s not even on. But it sure makes my reading nook cozy, and I’d hate to be without it.

  13. Hmm. Looks like I was a week early on these! Except for DVDs; I was going to go through those tomorrow.

    Who cleared out half of the kiddo’s books and got his toys under control? This gal!

    • Also, I think it defeats the purpose of a blog about less things if you’re putting something unnecessary on your shoulders! So if you can’t get around to the gratitude part every day, oh well. This blog should be fun for you, not a chore. 🙂

      • Thanks Lynn, it is never a chore but I do need to find ways to make it easier on myself. The last thing I want to cut back on is responding to my wonderful reader’s comments so if I can streamline things elsewhere that is what I will do.

    • Well done Lynn, you are a step ahead of me. I have noticed by the number of donations at the thrift store that pre-Christmas decluttering has been well underway for a couple of week here in Australia at least.

  14. Hi, Colleen. I have been receiving wonderful inspiration from you for
    a while now, but not yet contributed.
    Well, this morning I am writing to say, re your requested feedback on
    your Gratitude List: Always lovely to read it, but you do whatever is
    most suitable to you.
    My Gratitude List includes the fact that you (or your delegates) are
    always there for us, however you are feeling, whatever you are doing.
    So I, and I’m sure all of us, are grateful you do what you do, so
    inspirationally, kindly and effectively.
    I do thank you, Cindy, and all your other lovely contributors for
    making my day start with mail that, besides being practical and goal
    oriented, draws us in to a loving circle.
    The support and friendship offered in your blogs is amazing; never
    harsh or derisory words from anyone, which I’m sure is something of an
    exception in this world of blogs. I think it’s a result of the kind
    world you, and then others, have created, and it in turn brings out
    the best part of ourselves too.
    So thank you for continuing joy and tricks of the decluttering trade –
    not really “tricks” I know. They are there for all if we access them
    and think about them, and how special that you bring them to us
    through your leadership, knowledge and awareness.
    So, again, whatever you can do will be gratefully received.
    Hope you feel better this week.
    Happy Christmas to you and everyone else.
    Best wishes,
    Gail C.

    • Gail and I have had a nice conversation via email so here I will just say welcome on board Gail. It is always nice when a long time reader steps forward to make themselves known. It is lovely to meet you.