Mini Mission Monday ~ Little Places

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.

For this week’s mini missions we are going to address a small area each day. Just little decluttering tasks that won’t take long but you will really notice the difference. I love going back to take a peak at and area that has been decluttered and organised and I bet you do to so lets give it a go.

Monday – Declutter and tidy a small shelf in your kitchen.

Tuesday – Declutter and tidy a drawer in your closet.

Wednesday – Declutter and tidy your medicine cabinet or similar storage.

Thursday – Declutter a bookshelf.

Friday – Tidy and declutter your CD or DVD storage area.

Saturday – Declutter and organise a shelf in your linen closet.

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

Some breakfast cereals are full of air and sugar and therefore are unhealthy and require lots of processing. Choose something more natural and healthy such as uncooked whole grain cereals like oats or muesli.

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. Hi Colleen! An excellent set of mini missions this Monday. I am guilty of a bad habit: whenever I declutter someplace in the house I tend to shove the items I am unsure about somewhere, that usually being a drawer, a shelf or someplace to deal wit “latter”. I hope to complete the mini missions.

    • So long as you are decluttering something it doesn’t matter if you put things aside that you aren’t sure about. You will find them again and maybe have a different attitude towards them next time.

  2. Oh yes Colleen there’s nothing like a little return visit to previously decluttered areas!
    The best part is that it only takes moments second (or third etc) time around to decide if something else can go to a better home as I find it easier and easier to let things go.
    Yesterday I had an hour or so to spare and have already tackled Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s mini missions so that means I only have today’s and Saturday’s to complete. It’s a wonderful feeling 🙂

    • Good for you Megan. Like I just said to Andréia is if fine to set thing aside that you aren’t yet sure about. Next time you encounter them may be different.

  3. Looking forward to doing some maintenance in these areas. I had decided on the weekend that the pantry and kitchen could do with a wipe out and straightening, I find I am doing it more often these days as there is visible white space, but the job doesn’t take long.

    I pressed Adrian and Courtney into service yesterday to help tidy up the garage, it took less than an hour and that included vacuuming the floor. As there were some suitcases and chilly bins (esky) to go back into the ceiling storage, I did a straighten up while up there as Adrian tends to just dump things in the nearest clear space. While Adrian was passing things up to me, he commented how much stuff we still have up there – for the record we have about a quarter of what we used to have – but agreed that now that the temperature has started to drop, we should start picking away at before Winter temperatures arrive. I asked for the camera and took quick snaps of what is stored (I have stuff seperated out between trusses so that I can find things easily) and then we looked at them on the computer so he could too (he’s a bit tall to comfortably spend a lot of time up there) and the master plan is to do one area at a time and to figure out in advance what we’re going to do with the outgoing items before they get dragged down stairs.

    • Sounds like really good plan Moni. Taking the pictures was brilliant.

      • Deb J – no excuse for him not to be part of the process! It was surprising what we picked up from the photo that our eye went straight past while up there.

        • The photo idea sounds like something we all might try as a way to “see things with new eyes”.

    • Hey Moni,
      I love that you have taken pics and can see more through the camera than with your first ‘eye’ look. I used to look back through snapshots of us all and ‘see’ loads of things I never saw when I ‘eye’ looked at them. Brain Change is a great thing. I still look into the background of photos and think how did I not see that! ??! In hindsight now, I had so many ‘ornaments and things’ on shelves etc etc etc. I always thought flat surfaces should have something on them and that storage areas were exactly that, although I took it too the extreme!! hahaha

      Tell me though, now you can move around in your attic space, is it worth having one for seasonal things? We are considering putting a lined attic space above the garage for Christmas Goodies. Although I hate the thought of having storage overhead I must admit I am leaning towards it. Now in saying that I do have a lot of storage bins of Christmas but I am also paring that down too. I have been sorting through it all and I am parting ways with a lot of ‘Kiddy Kutesie Kristmas Krap’ hahaha don’t tell Kris Kringle I said that !!!

      Can you help me make a decision.? 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Dizzy – ceiling space. Hmmmm. Yes and no. I think its a very good place to store out-of-season items but it is a surprisingly easy place for other stuff to hide out. I think once we set our criteria and whittle down what’s up there it will be be overkill for what is left up there but could be an extra selling point.

        I have been thinking quite a bit about it since yesterday – of the stuff that we are planning to keep, and given that there’s plenty of room to keep them now and there will certainly be oodles of space once we cull further – how many items are kept because there is space? And could I find homes within the house now that I have decluttered cupboards etc?

        For example, a friend of mine keeps her chilly bin in the bottom of her pantry. Do I actually need an assortment of different size chilly bins? I could easily keep one in the bottom of my pantry – its one of those corner ones, so there is the far corner which could be used.

        My daughter likes to keep her small suitcase in the bottom of the hall cupboard so she can pack her comp stuff easily. It takes very little room. Recently when we went away for Easter weekend the three of us each took a small suitcase. Up in the ceiling storage we have two big suitcases and assortment of size suitcases nested inside them, but we have more suitcases than people in our household! As Courtney’s small suitcase fits so easily in the hall cupboard, could I clear some more room in that cupboard and have the other two small suitcases in there too?

        The framed photos that are sitting in a box up there – are they there because I don’t really know what to do with them? Or because it is an acceptable place to store family photos that I don’t want on the wall.

        There is stuff up there that is legitimate off-season stuff, like camping gear, a box of wrapping paper that we are slowly whittling our way thru and the cat cages for trips to the vet. Oh and our emergency kit. Hope we don’t have to run for our lives and have to detour up into the ceiling first!

        I think in our next house, we possibly will set up ceiling storage again, BUT I will be thinking long and hard what actually goes up there before it actually ends up in the next house.

        • Thanks Moni,
          All very good points. I do know that if I lean towards Christmas Storage it will be just that. I love counting what leaves, but I swear I’d have a heart attack if I counted my baubles hahahaha. Hubby reckons all my baubles are loose!!! We are not storing anything that isn’t in use. I got rid of all the stuff that I had ear marked for the end of School yay!!! Dance will continue to be part of our lives for the time being so there is always an assortment in that department. Our office area easily holds what I want to keep craft wise so I feel I’m okay there.

          Will think on it some more. It’s always nice to hear someone else’s solution to a similar problem. Enjoy your day and thanks again 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Dizzy – I have thought some more about ceiling storage – have a think about your 2-5 year plans for home and possessions before forging ahead with ceiling storage. My BIL has just put in ceiling storage as they have children 6, 4 and 1 and so hand me down gear and clothing is a saving to them. They have camping gear which is a cheaper option for holidays, a good collection of suitcases and other stuff which seemed justified when he showed us his new set up. Us. Our eldest is 18 and keeps threatening to leave home (I’m not putting up much resistance) and the girls are about to turn 16 and 15. Over the next 2-5 years what we need to store out of season will reduce.

        A friend of mine whose kids are away at university and now alternate between xmas at home or at significant other’s parents, she realised recently that she didn’t require the super size xmas tree and decorations, so she swopped it for her sister’s smaller one as her sister now had young children and needed to step up her game as far as trees go.

        I think what I’m saying is that we’re both approaching a time when our family dynamics are changing and we may not need to store as much off-season stuff and maybe we should be factoring that in? You’ve caught me at a time when I’m thinking a bit more long term.

        • Hey Moni,
          I do try to keep a short and long term goal for all that we intend to do. I know I’ll always like flitting about but I do love being able to come home to a fixed abode. Am still quite happy having the Karri-Tree around as I would rather the flight from the nest not be a boomerang affair. My niece has recently moved out and I never realised until I went over with the last of the goodies I had saved for her, just how much I was hanging onto stuff for her. I managed to get rid of loads. I had a good chat with her and her partner and finally managed to get it through to them that setting up house with everything ‘brand new’ is a pipedream. Her mum and I were constantly reminding her that ‘second hand’ is the ‘new black’. With the small wage she earns and the savings she has already made by having ‘the new black’ I think I can safely say my son shall enter his own space with the same pep talk. He’s not much of a shopper ‘Thank Goodness”

          I’m pretty sure Christmas will always be with me as long as I’m here so I really only need to store just that. I have long since parted ways with everything else and my ‘Brain Change” has been significant enough over the last two years, so I know I have no compulsion to store anything but Christmas.

          Thanks again, I shall let you know what I end up deciding after my next cull through ‘My Winter Wonderland of Christmas Everything but the Kitchen Sink’!!!! LOL 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Good idea taking photos so you can see what is up there without being cramped in the space to make decisions.

  4. Good mini missions this week. I actually was doing some of these over the past week without even knowing they were coming up. I had some things on my windowsill above my kitchen sink. There are still a couple of items up there and I think that I will find another home for them. Once I did the first sort of that shelf, I liked that my view was not as blocked, plus with it all gone, it will be easier to wipe down. I have three shelves in all of my kitchen cabinets. Since decluttering, there is hardly anything left on the top shelves, just the bottom and middle shelves. So lots of empty space but it is good for me also because I cannot reach things on the top shelves.

    Although my closet does not have drawers, I have also been working on it, clearing out my shelves in there this past week. The rest of the missions will be a second or third round, but worth it, because you never know what will make the cut this time around.

  5. Some great mini-missions. If all goes well tomorrow a friend is coming to get the outdoor metal sink and a glass topped patio table. He’s been supposed to do it for ages. I just love getting rid of things like this.

  6. Hi all,
    Out of sight out of mind doesn’t work here anymore. I have been ‘not seeing’ lots of little things for ages now. My pinboard above my desk, got a clean up this morning, I did that after commenting on a few entries. I ‘don’t ‘ see it everyday and today I cleared it. Bagged up all the push pins bar 20. Also found more paperclips than I will ever need, they go too! Another 12 assorted pens, 2 packs of texta markers, 2 packs of colour pencils, 4 rulers (What The!!) 12 assorted paintbrushes, a painter apron and brush tote, 1 tray that pens etc were in, 2 holepunches (What The!!) 7 bottles of half used glitter glues. (WHAT THE!!!) they can go to the school, little kids will love having more glue with glitter through it!!! 4 cords that go nowhere, half a ream of coloured paper that I won’t use (Off to school with that). Most of this came out of my craft room drawers, was also used as homework area so I can see why there was a build-up. Hahaha see when you least expect it you find MORE and MORE and MORE well I do at least heehee 🙂 🙂 🙂 Have a beautiful day everyone !!

    • Dizzy, You have just reminded me that I have a bunch of Stickles that I never use. When Mom is not looking I am going to clean most of them out and give them away.

      • Hahaha Deb J gotta love Stickles, small enough to hide in every nook cranny and caddy. I however still manage to lose one and find another then lose 2 and find 4 stamp pads hahahaha. Just today I spotted another glitter glue that I’m sure the kids will love and along with that goes 14 vials of assorted glitters. WHAT THE!!! Ribbon Spools are next on my Craft Elimination Radar. Might as well do it now whilst I actually can ‘SEE’ them!! hahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂 Terrible to admit but I have so much in Craft Goodies it is ridiculous, and here I was thinking I actually only had left what I wanted. Obviously my ‘blinkers’ are still on !!!

        Enjoy sneaking out your goodies heehee, 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Dizzy, I have a bag of 10 Stickles, 6 standard size ink pads and a bunch of the cat’s eye and little square ink pads to go to a friend who is just starting up scrapbooking and has a baby due in a month. I also am giving her some of the clear pieces to temporarily mount clear stamps on. Have a taker for a collectible doll too. Woo Hoo! More stuff out the door.

  7. Hi again,
    just spent another hour in the garage sorting through more school goodies and books etc etc etc. Out the door will fly : 4prs scissors ?? half box of envelopes, 2 pks page protectors, 2 more d ring files, 3 pks file dividers, 2 pks book covers, 20 manilla folders, 2 tape dispensers, 1 stapler, 8 black permanent markers, ( kept 2) 6 coloured permanent markers (kept 2) 2 more rulers ??? 3 sharpeners?? 2 pencil cases, 19 assorted high lighters WHAT THE???????? 9 coloured ink pens, 7 erasers???? 2 staple removers??? 1 briefcase, 4 plastic lge envelopes, 13 assorted DVD’s 16 CD’s 20 PS Games??? 89 scrapbook/card/craft/folkart mags??????? 172 assorted books WHOA!!!! (includes a lot of books from my sons’ collections).

    Many of the above things already have homes to go to. I pre-planned the clean up of books and managed to donate a heap to the primary schools, textbooks to the College, craftbooks will go to a few different places that will definitely put them to good use. A lot of the stationery goodies and the briefcase will go to my niece to use for her business. I also came across another box of cards/keepsake things/ and more baby cards. Some of you will remember my last trip into that sort of thing, my son declared he didn’t want them because the people that they came from are no longer part of our everyday, we don’t see them much at all, some have been de-cluttered from our lives (people) therefore why keep the cards. Some he has still got and they are in his album, but no where near the amount we had. I guess I know what to do with the ones I unearthed heehee!!

    I also managed to drag another bunch of stuff out of my linen cupboard and sons dresser. 4 small hand towels and a sheet that doesn’t fit any of the beds??? 1 extra ratty beach towel (glad to see that go too) going to the Dog Haven, 3 t’shirts that have definitely seen better days and a hoodie that I detest seeing on my son on account of it having seen better days also!! (I’m all for fave tops etc but seriously this thing is hideous!!) It’s going in the rag bag although I suspect I really should just bury it!!

    I feel like I have given the mini-missions a good kick!! Not much in the medicine cabinet and I feel the kitchen can have a day off for now!!! Just need a few tweaks in the cutlery drawer and I shall have another go at my knives. Bit behind on that one but I do need to replace a few things so I will do that when I feel I have slapped my garage into shape. Oh and don’t let me forget about my ‘SCRAPROOM!!!!’ LOL 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Meanwhile back in the garage I will be sorting through more books and Christmas Goodies and having another flick through the assorted bits and bobs on the garage shelves. I’m sure I’ll find something. So much for the last sweep through there, obviously I wasn’t looking hard enough.

    After folding up a few loads of washing I managed to drag out some bits that can do with moving on and going in the rag bag. 11 items there!!! As mentioned before I am targeting some fancy boxes that hold candle holders and ????? No doubt that will be interesting. I really want our next move to be really light!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Dizzy – LOL – I’ve told Andreia this story: in my linen cupboard I had all the sheets sorted into labelled baskets for King, Queen, Double and King-Single. Whoa betide anyone who messed up my system! My son replaced his king-single for a double a few years back as he is quite tall and would end up half hanging out of bed by morning. We have a king and the girls each have a double: Dayna used to give her room up for visitors and Courtney is a sleep-wrestling-ninja and so we upgraded her to a double to try and prevent her from ending up on the floor.

      One day my son wanted to know why he only had a double bed and the girls had queen size. I said they don’t have queen size beds, they have double size beds. (Do they ever grow out of sibling competitiveness?) So he said “well who are the queen size sheets for?” (he thought he’d caught me out) – I told him that no-one had a queen size bed and he was welcome to go around the house and measure all the beds if he wanted. He said “so why do we have queen size sheets?”

      Adrian had come along to see what all the fuss was about and he asked did we have a queen bed? – no we’d always had a king size bed – did we ever own a queen size bed? – no – so why did we ever need to have queen size sheets? OK, I guess it was possible to use queen size sheets on double beds, but the kids all said that they only took sheets from the basket marked ‘double’ and they didn’t like sheets that don’t fit properly because they get sent back to make their bed properly again!

      So the up-shot was for at least 10 years we’d owned queen size sheets and probably nobody had ever used them. Duh! And right thru my major decluttering and visiting and re-visiting the linen cupboard, I never picked up on it!

      • Moni, I’m absolutely sure we are separated twins. Hahahaha that so sounded like me!! 🙂
        I have been looking at the Attix installation site and I am kinda liking it!
        Can you give me some pointers seeing as you use an attic storage area.? 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Dizzy, you are on a mission for sure. Way to go. You are really getting rid of the STUFF. WooHoo! Bet it feels great.

  8. I’m on vacation this week, Colleen! So I am very excited to attempt to follow every tip you give this week. So excited!

    • Good luck with that mission Tony. I have my sister her on vacation so I am very busy entertaining. The blog is taking a bit of a back seat as it will next week because I am returning with her to stay with my parents and then visiting my in-laws so I may be a little absent. I will be sure to keep you stocked with mini missions though.

  9. This week I’m going to have to tweak the mini missions so they are mini enough for me during the week! lol. I am going to take Thursday’s mission- Declutter a bookcase and break that down into 5 pieces for Mon-Friday. I have a very large 10 shelf bookcase that I am working on. Each day I will clear two entire shelves off, clean them, then go through each item and decide if it gets put back, donated, or moved to somewhere else in the house. Just doing 2 shelves a day will take far longer than ten minutes. Probably somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes and that’s all I will let myself make time for during the weekdays. Maybe I’m just slow! 🙂

    • Melissa – books are tough to work thru, don’t be hard on yourself!

      • Hi Moni, Oh how I wish it was just books on that bookcase! lol. It’s the largest flat surface in our bedroom and as such as become a haven to all sorts of ‘interesting’ items. I couldn’t bring myself to get started on just one shelf on that thing and then walk away leaving the rest of it alone. The whole case is in need of attention which is why I decided 2 shelves per day was my agenda this week. I’m currently 4 shelves down, 6 to go and it already looks so much better! I found two books I had been looking for that got caught up inside a binder by mistake. What a nice present for my efforts! 🙂

    • The mini mission says “book shelf”, not “book case” 😉 , I think a book case can’t be decluttered and cleaned in 5 minutes.

      Btw, Colleen, I really like this week’s mini missions.
      It’s always easier to me to focus on areas rather than types of things. Also, they make me clean that area as well, not just take one item away from that dust zone. 😉
      Yesterday I actually just decluttered a single snail shell from that shelf in the kitchen (an open shelf that holds teapots and the fruit bowl), but I also tidied up quite some things and put all the assorted somethings back to where they actually belong. So, yes, I see a big difference.

      • You are right Sanna it says book shelf for a reason, I also believe trying to declutter a whole bookcase as a mini mission would be impossible. Unless of course your bookcase has as little on it as mine does. In fact it doesn’t even need decluttering. I would however like to rehouse the stuff in it and get rid of the bookcase.

        Well done on your kitchen shelf declutter. Sometimes decluttering is all about just putting things away where they belong. Now all you have to do it try to do that all the time so the self doesn’t get cluttered again.

        • Colleen you comment about getting rid of your bookcase resonates with me in a funny way. I have had those thoughts but realized that for us we would be taking away a major decoration for one wall. That sounds weird I’m sure but I honestly think that the wall would look very odd without the bookcase. So I have a goal of working to declutter it as much as I can and then see how it goes. Maybe we could put something else there or maybe we just need to get used to the blank space. Unfortunately, we do have enough on it that Mom wants to keep that we can’t get rid of it right now. Plus I do have some books on it that I do not want to get rid of as we reread them often and then there are the scrapbooks. Ugh! I’m feeling the weight just talking about it. Grin.

          • My bookcase is also full of stuff other than books. Only one shelf has books in it and the others have baseball collectables and work memorabilia etc of my husbands. In fact most of the stuff collecting dust in our house does not belong to me.

    • Melissa hang in there Chicky, I feel your pain, books are a beautiful siren song for many, take your time with your decisions and then you’ll make the right one. Whether your decluttering is a fast frenzy or slow and deliberate it is still a de-clutter.

      The one thing that has helped me get rid of so many books, is walking around carrying an armful, it is a weight to bare, then I think of how many others would love a few books to read and have in active service amongst others and it really is a no brainer. Take it from me, I was the most colossal bookworm, still am, but I don’t need a massive shelf of books to prove it. It has been very liberating, to read a book and pass it along to a library or person, rather than pop it on a shelf to gather dust until someone else decides to read it!! Have Fun 🙂 🙂 🙂