Mini Mission Monday ~ Memorabilia Items

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 week I have dedicated the mini mission to those pesky memorabilia items. This kind of clutter is often the sort that most people have trouble detaching themselves from. We don’t need an abundance of stuff to remind us of those we love, what we have achieved or the good times we’ve had. A few very special items is generally enough. Without further adieu here are some suggestions for things you might find you can happily live without.

Monday – Old birthday cards

Tuesday – A family heirloom you possibly never really liked. Give it to another member of the family.

Wednesday – A souvenir.

Thursday – A childhood or baby item of you or your children.

Friday – A diary or journal.

Saturday – Any memento that is boxed away somewhere where you rarely see it.

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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  • Mini Mission Monday 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 […]
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  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Ten minutes a day 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 […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. In 1982 we made a trip to South America. I bought an alpaca sweater for my friend’s little boy. Last week she gave it back to me, untouched for 35 years! I stopped buying souvenirs or gifts ages ago but the past has caught up with me. Yikes! Now I have to unload it on someone else.

    • How do you feel about her giving it back to you? Do you feel insulted?

      I have a hand knit sweater (which I have worn) from decades ago made by a sister-in-law. I have thought of contacting one of her daughters and giving it to her but I thought I should wait until after the sister-in-law no longer resides on this earth as I don’t want her to feel insulted or hurt or ?, I thought the daughter might like to have it. For years I have lived in a climate too warm for it and it has lived in a cedar chest.

  2. These are good Colleen. I have to say that I am good about not keeping things.
    1. I throw away greeting cards a few days after the occasion. I reuse handmade ones.
    2. All the family heirlooms I can declutter are gone. Will have more to get rid of after Mom is gone. But she has pared it down considerably.
    3. I don’t buy souvenirs. I take pictures and scrapbook them and may buy a postcard if I can’t get as good of a picture or a pamphlet if it will be better for explaining where I toured.
    4. Any childhood baby items are things that have been scrapbooked.
    5. I keep a journal for a year in case I need to refer back to it for some reason. At the end of that year I create a document where I put one sentence info about the important things that have happened in case I need to be able to give the date or a name for some reason. I only have one journal that I have kept. It is the one from the year we moved here. So much happened in that year that was very important I have kept in to refer to. It even has pictures in it.
    5. Nothing boxed away. If I can’t use it, it is gone.
    It feels so lovely to have all the mess gone.

  3. As mentioned last week, we are having an annual cull focusing on items that are seasonal, nostalgic or have been stored that have been considered to have a future usefulness. Those items are up for their review.
    It seems to be taking a lot longer that I had hoped, but I can say I am being very thorough and having to communicate with with the kiddults long range does seem to slow things down.
    So nothing moves from it’s spot on the floor until it’s fate has been decided. I prefer more speed than this but this is the first post-empty-nest cull and I’m hoping it sets some criteria going forward ie what we will and won’t store for the kiddults. Well, good in theory anyway.

    • I managed to fill a box with some ‘out’ items but they were more general household rather than what I am talking about above (although permission was received to include something belonging to my daughter.) I had to pop home for something and I gave myself two minutes to run around the house and see what could be added to the load.

      Tonight, I’m back on sorting out photos. I was away on the weekend and that quick I have lost my momentum.

    • I love the term “kiddults”. It is so descriptive of what our four were like at one time. One son and one daughter now have 2 kiddults and one teen each. That would be funny if it weren’t so painful.
      You have made a lot of progress over time in clearing that second floor at work..
      I need to have another go at just about everything. My husband has lost some weight and changes sizes so I need to go through all his clothes and donate any I missed the first go. They may have been around long enough to be something in this week”s missions.

  4. Lol. I am the only one feeling chatty this week – just making up for weeks of being quiet!
    I am plugging away with the stuff lined up in the garage but as things exit, I am trying to ‘top up’ the box.

    I had a box of stuff that could go to the Hospice Op Shop but it was only half full and it would have hung around over the weekend, so I grabbed some ‘maybe’ items around the house and filled the box, dropped it off on the way to work. So at least the box is gone, one more clear surface.

    Today a play station is going to my son’s home, so I grabbed some left over clothes of his that were in the wardrobe of his old room. No point in perfectly good clothes that no one can wear hanging around in my house.

    • I love the way you are thinking of ways to add to the stuff you are getting rid of Moni. Especially the clothes with the play station. Smart.

    • Wow, you are getting heaps done Moni, great work!

      I usually add donatable decluttered items to a thick shopping bag and when it is full I drop it off to charity. But recent items have been quite small, e.g. bracelets, candle holder, scarf, and not enough to fill a big bag. So I changed my system – put them in a smaller bag and dropped it off yesterday. Not quite as awesome as your system, but least they are out of the house now and someone else can be getting enjoyment from them!

      • Amelia – you might as well get the satisfaction of ‘out’. Which reminds me that I have a box in the back of the car to be dropped off.

  5. Well, the week is gone and it is almost Monday again! These are great reminders but I have actually done none of them this week. Before the missions came out, I had gone through just a few old cards and letters. In a letter from 1974, I found some info I needed. Ha! Then shredded it.
    I spent a few days in the past going through cards and journals. I have two journals left and I still want to downsize my cards even more, but it is a winter project I have planned. I have only tiny amounts of the other items. Thankfully, I have never been one for souvenirs but I do still have a miniature cup and saucer on a stand that I begged my Mom to buy me when I was a child and we went to a Christian themed park of sorts.

    Maybe by next Monday, I will be back in action!

  6. deanna ar USA

    This is on a little different note.

    Btw, I don’t know if most you of are aware that Nicole, Pat and I have continued on with the decluttering game that Nicole started long ago??? We each decluttered at least one item daily for a year. Then we all kept going for another, ummm, maybe 9 months. I was the first to slow down. Then Pat went to warp speed. Then Nicole basically completed her decluttering a couple of weeks ago (congrats Nicole). We are all continuing on, but at a much slower pace.

    Thanks ladies! It’s been fun. I hope to keep going because I still have a lot left to declutter. Y’all have been a great addition to my life during this time.

    • Deanna, I think it is wonderful that you and Nicole and Pat kept up the decluttering game! Like you, I almost never buy anything new, but I have also been reading about the wonders of Instant Pot and wanting one. I have two crock pots that I seldom use. One, I bought for $4 at a yard sale probably 35 years ago. Ha! The other a more modern oval shaped one I got for $5 at the thrift store. I have been thinking that with the versatility of the IP, I could eliminate the 2 crockpots and probably use the IP for a lot more things. I cook a lot of dried beans. I don’t like to do them in the crock pot as it takes forever. It takes hours on the stovetop. The pressure cooking IP would be great for that. I also read that you can hot water bath can in it, as well as boil eggs and other things. I’ve been seriously considering it. If you get one first, let us know how you like it.

      I’d also like to know the name of the lid like items you bought that eliminates the Saran Wrap.


      • deanna ar USA

        Brenda, I have searched diligently and I simply cannot find either the packing slip or my online receipt for the silicone covers that should replace Saran Wrap. They do cling tight to dishes, but I haven’t actually used one yet. They’re called Stretch and Fresh Reusable Silicone Food Savers – Set of 4

        The other items I ordered were 2 sets of Food Huggers (set of 4), and they work fine for my actual need.

        The web site for the store is

        These items shipped from China and it took 2-3 weeks to get them.

        I’ll post if I do get an Instant Pot.

  7. deanna ar USA

    Another different note… I have purchased no clothes except from thrift shops for quite a few years. And the last couple of years, I’ve purchased only a few things except groceries and vitamins. However, I’ve noticed that lately I have been impulse purchasing to a very small degree in my kitchen area. For example, I needed a very small kitchen item. I happened upon some online that should work, but they came in sets of 4 different sizes. Anyway I ended up with 2 sets which is a total of 8 covers. Before they came in, I saw a different kind, again a set of 4 I think, that appeared that they would seal better and would eliminate Saran Wrap (even though I rarely use it). So I impulsively ordered a set of those as well. I didn’t realize that I was being unwise until I got all of them in and was trying to decide where to keep them (luckily they’re small) Sooo…guess it’s time to get rid of something similar. It sure does sneak up on you easily doesn’t it?

    Now I really want an Instant Pot. So I’ve researched it in some detail. I even joined an IP Facebook group and have been reading their loves, likes and dislikes, successes and failures and collecting their recipes (digital) in case I get one. It sounds like a miracle appliance and is somewhat an investment. I don’t have a lot of kitchen appliances, just small ones and my crockpot. I got rid of one crockpot, bread maker, 2 blenders and more a few years ago. Next week we are going to our nearest city for a doctor’s appt and I plan to look at an IP in person. I hope I make a wise decision. (Btw, my birthday is coming up next month, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse.) Oh, I forgot to mention that my oven has been out for almost 8 months, and the IP would help with that. Amazing what you can do without for 8 months! I’ve had to adjust a few recipes, but we still have a cooktop, a microwave and a grill, so I’ve only missed it slightly. Btw I like how I cook now, and it works just fine for me. Decisions, decisions…

    • deanna ar USA, I have been thinking about an IP too. I could get rid of my crockpot because it basically does the same but more and faster. Let us know what you decide. I have to mull it over a while yet.

      • deanna ar USA

        Deb J, I’ll let you know. If I get one, I’ll probably keep my crockpot, at least for awhile because I like it and use it a lot. I’d have to be sure I liked that function on the IP first.

        Be aware that there are other items that you will probably want/need if you get an IP, like a glass lid to use for functions other than pressure cooking, pot in pot so you can cook more than one thing at a time, maybe a steamer that fits inside…it comes with a trivet. You may already have some items that would work for those things. Do you plan to make yogurt? I would probably try it. Another real attraction for me is that it seems that to pressure cook, most meats can be put in still frozen. That would be nice. My hesitation is just that I’m not sure I would use it A LOT. A lot of these people on Facebook use it every day. I know I would use it, but I don’t know how much. Also, it appears very big. I do have room to store it in my pantry by shifting some things, but it would have to set on my counter while cooking (and I really do like a clear counter). Let me know if you have other thoughts.

        The Facebook site that I’ve found useful is called Instant Pot Community.

        • I had never heard of an IP until I learned I have many food intolerances. I started looking for recipes and sites for those who have to eat differently and ran across a cookbook for paleontology recipes using an IP. It makes cooking from scratch so much easier. I knew there would be other things to get but the biggest concern is if I will really use it and where to put it. I am like you in wanting a clear counter.

          • I would also want an extra liner and an extra seal. We eat no wheat, low suger and fairly low carb. We cook from scratch too. We don’t eat out often anymore.

            • That sounds like a good idea deanna. I can’t have any grains, no turkey or fish, and some vegetables like squash & green beans, dried beans and some fruits. Even some spices. It is crazy. But I am getting it figured out.

        • deanna ar USA

          Instant Pot…I didn’t get one. We went to our nearby city yesterday…to Bed, Bath and Beyond. They didn’t have them…I was relieved. I looked at kind of the same thing but different brand (I don’t want a different brand!) Mostly I wanted to see the capacity and feel the weight. They are very heavy for me…about 14.5 pounds for the 6 quart, and the 8 quart is even heavier. There is a Kohl’s nearby and a Target across the street and I was told they carry them, but I chose not to go look. When we got home, I was glad I didn’t have one to deal with. And this morning I was glad I didn’t have one to figure out. I guess I don’t need one…or it’s not the right time…I’m too undecided. If any of you get one, I’d like to know what you think. On their Facebook page that I follow a man found one for $20 at a garage sale!

          • I am still trying to figure out if I want one or not. I need to actually look at one like you did and see whether it will really meet my needs. Thanks for your input. I need to watch the yard sales too.

          • I did get an Instant Pot a little later. I’ve been using it for about 4 months now and I love it. I don’t use it every day because I don’t cook every day. However, I seldom use any other method of cooking now. Our menu has become a lot more varied. My hubby loves it because we’re eating more variety. I also love that I’m almost always beginning with my meat still frozen. I don’t have to think about thawing!!! And it’s delicious. I’ve had a couple of fails…but many successes. I got an 8 qt. which works great for us. We eat a lot of soups, stews, etc. and I like to cook in large quantities so I don’t have to cook every day. We eat lots of leftovers. I was just going through this older blog and realized that I never posted the outcome of my quest. One other thing…if you do invest in an IP, I would suggest that you wait and see what else you need instead of loading up with accessories. You may have things already in your kitchen that can be used and some things you may not need at all. I’m making a double batch of yogurt almost every 2 weeks now. I’m making applesauce. We’ve found several new soup recipes that we love. Tonight I made collard greens. And on it goes…

            • Thanks for the update n the Instant pot Deanna ar USA. It sounds like a great thingbtonbuy. I still want to get one. I have it on my wish list.

  8. Our daughter went through her clothes the other day and made a pile to “sell”… not sure how she plans to do that or if it will happen, but she did give me a small pile for donation. She also hung up some things that she might wear this summer and moved heavier items into storage for the season, which is huge for She of the FloorRobe! It’s all still in our home but at least it’s more organized LOL. I added her donation items to a few things I had collected and dropped them off at Goodwill yesterday on the way to work. Some of the items were things that our married daughter left behind when she visited recently. I had showed her the box of her things and said whatever she left I would dispose of. 🙂

    • Well, that is ALL good news, Peggy! Every little bit helps!!!

      • That sounds like a good idea deanna. I can’t have any grains, no turkey or fish, and some vegetables like squash & green beans, dried beans and some fruits. Even some spices. It is crazy. But I am getting it figured out.

  9. Better last minute than never! I just went through the most recent years of cards stashed away and I have 84 ready to recycle into the paper bin. It is only the tip of the iceberg of the overall left to go through again, but at least it caught me up to date on this first pass through. It reminded me once again how blessed I am with wonderful friends and family!!!

    I may eventually chunk them all, but it is my current plan to sometime go through and pick out one from all my deceased friends and family members to save. I will do a little memorial display of their cards at Christmas. And I’d like to pick out just one or two from each family member to keep of birthday cards. We will see if this transpires. : ). They are in a wooden box I plan to keep so they are not taking up extra storage. It is a project for later, it at least I am now 84 lighter.

  10. I continue on my recent campaign. I like it to squeezing out the last of the tomato sauce (ketchup) from the bottle. Stuff that isn’t going to make a big difference if it goes or gets to stay put, but in the name of thoroughness I am getting into every nook and cranny.
    Hubby thinks that if there is space for it, there really isn’t any urgency to deal with it, but I think that I don’t always feel this motivated and want to strike while the iron is hot so to speak.
    There is possible change on the horizon for us, it shouldn’t affect our house but on a mental level it is a good time to be clearing out the past (so to speak) to allow room for the future – does that make sense?

    • You are smart Moni. It is always a good time to declutter things you no longer use or need. Believe me, just having to clear out my parents house when my father died and continuing to encourage Mom to delutter is NOT what you want you kids to have to do. The more you get rid of now the less you and they have to deal with.

      • deanna ar USA

        Deb J, I understand. I cleaned out a LOT of my mother’s things after she became bedfast. Then when she died, my relatives got what they wanted. Then hubby and I had to finish up. I was so glad I had done a lot of it before she died, because I didn’t want to be mad at her after she was gone. So hard…good motivation to declutter.

        • I see you understand deanna. It is soooo much better to do it before you old enough you can’t do it yourself too.

      • I’m still on a bit of a roll. As I leave the op shop drop off counter, they have started giving me an empty box and saying “see you tomorrow”. I’m finding that keeping a page on my phone’s note book of what is under consideration and what/where something has gone is motivating me. LOL and yes I add items to it that are last minute throw-ins (I am one of those people who adds to her ‘to-do’ list just to have the satisfaction of seeing it crossed off).

        • I’m a list keeper and I love seeing things crossed off too, Moni. Great motivation and I don’t forget.