Mini Mission Monday ~ Memorabilia

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.

Last weeks post ~ Memories are no stuff ~ deserves a little more attention than just one post. So this week I will dedicate the mini mission and another post to the subject. I feel this is important because this kind of clutter is often the sort that most people have trouble detaching themselves from. The power of suggestion is, as the phrase suggests, a powerful thing. One can change their belief system when exposed enough to an opposing logical suggestion. So let me just repeat again that we don’t need stuff to remind us of those we love, what we have achieved or the good times we’ve had. 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

Eco Tip for the Day

Using reusable items rather than throw away is not only good for the environment but can save you money.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Memorabilia Items 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 […]
  • 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 […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ This and that 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. Colleen, you have some good mini-missions here. My aunt has every card she has received. Why! I can’t figure that out. They are in a box and the only time she opens the box is to put more cards in it. they have boxes and barrels full of sentimental things. She and my uncle have just started to declutter. I offered to do it for them. Grin. She says I am too ruthless.

  2. I’m going to work on cards in general. I don’t know why they are hard except some are funny and some came from people who are gone. I have a large box I have kept from over the years – and I know they need to be pared down. Anything with glitter will go – those ones are the worst!

    • Hi Michaela, just keep the ones that means the most to you. I scanned all my son’s baby and first birthday cards. Just as well because I found $25 in them. I has to take the money to the bank to exchange it for the current currency as it had changes sometimes during those 21 years. My son was glad of the windfall.

      • I wish your Aunty lots of courage with her decluttering. It sounds like she might need a little of your ruthlessness.

        • She does Colleen. So does my uncle. The list of what they have in that house just makes me sick. I’m so glad I won’t have to be in charge of it all when they are gone. I’m praying they will actually succeed beyond my dreams with their decluttering.

    • Michaela – I know someone who got the opportunity to live overseas for a year and had to reduce her possessions down to what she carried with her, she scanned some cards that she wanted to keep onto a flash drive which I believe she later transferred into a Cloud or Drop Box account.

      • I have a really nice scanner here (Fijitsu ScanSnap S1500) that I use for my business, and I should try and utilize it more for things like cards and letters. I have been going through my piles of paper for my business and scanning in items (backed up on Carbonite) and I really do forget sometimes I can scan and toss other personal items. What can I say, its a process! I have been going through stacks of paper for months on end (seriously, no joke there), and yet this box of cards has been nagging at me.

        I could not imagine moving overseas and having to take only what I could carry. I have been decluttering for five years now, and it would be hard for me to part with some items (that I could not carry). Kudos to anyone who can do that! Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten rid of a LOT of stuff and my house looks 10000% better. However its been a slower process lately because some of these items I have left are the harder ones. Like cards. Pictures. Letters I refuse to read, yet still hold onto. Childhood trinkets. Collections I have no clue what to do with. Furniture that needs sold. Do we really need this items (haha). Should I sell this or give it away or donate it items. The list goes on and on. Is such a process, and it took me years to get here and its taking years to undo it. But thank you for the suggestion, I think I will scan and toss these pesky cards and finally get over with it. With a four day weekend coming up, I have no excuse not to!

        • Michaela – I’m in the same boat as you, my house is 1000% better but I couldn’t lead a nomadic life. But this particular lady said she’d felt the same way earlier on in her life, even a year earlier she would have been hesitant, but her children were grown and settled, no husband and no grandchildren, so when the opportunity arose everything fell into place she just decided to go for it. Her example inspires me that although I might never do something quite so adventurous or I don’t foresee myself doing something quite so adventurous, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for change and opportunity.

          I am also busy trying to get all our important documents scanned and stored on something like Dropbox or similar, at this stage, I am gathering together all the flash drives and external hard drives to have a good sort thru and collate everything before loading it into a cloud facility.

        • Hi Michaela, since you aren’t moving overseas and can only take what you can carry there really isn’t any need to declutter things you want to keep. Sure, reassess them again and again but only let them go if/when you are ready.

          We have decluttered all cards except the ones our children give us. They are generally the only ones with heartfelt or amusing messages in them. I think I will scan mine soon and declutter the originals but I would not wish to destroy the evidence of them altogether even though I rarely look at them.

  3. My great-aunt and -uncle had a big pin board in their kitchen where they pinned every single card they received the year round – holiday greetings, birthday cards, christmas cards, they were all on display and enjoyed…. on New Year’s Eve they tore them all down and got rid of them with a blank board as a fresh start for the New Year.
    I liked that method.

  4. Am having problems posting a comment since my computer at work was upgraded. Weird.
    I have a box of sentimental momentos and I go thru it once a year and see if anything no longer seems important, sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t.

    I remember a post here at 365 Less Things showing a photo of a scene from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the grandmother is showing her treasure box and a comparitive photo-shopped picture of the grandmother standing by a U-Store facility.

    No souvenirs, no family heirlooms, no diaries. One card that I keep because it is very funny and it stays in my sentimental box for now.

    • Good for you Moni. I haven’t looked in our memorabilia box for some time. Perhaps it is time to free up a little space in there and perhaps reduce it to a smaller size. Most of the stuff in there isn’t mine so there is little I can do about that. We’ll see what happens when we move into our new apartment.

      • Colleen – in an interesting coincidence I have two baby cardigans in my sentimental box that were knitted by a cousin-in-law, I’d planned to pass them to my sis-in-law but her mum went crazy and knitted one in just about every colour! Around that time our cousin-in-law suffered a terrible injury and is unable to knit any more. So it added another layer of sentimental to them. I was in contact with yet another cousin-in-law today who is the youngest cousin and has a baby and toddler and she was saying her kids were the only ones in the extended family who’d missed out on her knitted jerseys (they were very colourful and fun) so I have offered her ours.

        • That is lovely Moni. I think I may still have a knitter jumper or two in my camphor wood chest belonging to my kids. I must take a look in there soon just to be sure. I do have an inkling that I have already given them to my daughter. On that note, she may also be receiving the camphor wood chest as I don’t believe it will fit into our new apartment.

  5. Colleen, thanks for these mini missions. I’ve been pretty good at getting rid of old souvenirs and really diligent about not bringing more in. Thank goodness for digital cameras – rather than a useless souvenir, I snap away with the camera, after editing out bad or duplicate photos I save the remaining to a thumb drive. Takes up much less space than most souvenirs and a great way to re-live a fun event or vacation. Thanks for the reminder about cards, I have a box I need to wade through.

    • Hi Barbara, I am glad you have the souvenirs in hand. I gave up buying them some time ago. Tomorrows blog post addresses this again. Good luck with your wading through your card box.

  6. I scan birthday cards and other flat momentos as well., baby announcements, invites with photos etc. After 2.5 years of scanning and releasing and deleting we are nearly paperless, aside from a few folders of important documents and a stack if immediate concerns (I don’t count the kids art). What I really need is a good photo scanner that doubles as a negative scanner. My regular scanner does beautifully with documents, every detail of the page and true to color, but my photos scan in blurry and over saturated. Perhaps it’s the film coating?

    • Jean – I think negative scanners are a separate unit but were surprisingly cheaper than I expected. I had to get all our negatives digitised in a hurry and paid a service, not long after I realised you could buy a negative scanner and could have saved quite a bit, however I was on a time-frame. I will say that a negative scanner does a better job than a printer scanner

      • Hi Moni, I was thinking the same thing and I have my eye on one. It will definately take up less space than all of the boxed photos/film negatives. I am so ready to scan and toss but my husband is not ready, 90% of the photos and negatives are his and he loves it when we sit and go through the pictures and he tells stories. I can start with mine though.
        It’s really hard being the only sibling with what survived of the family snap shots.

      • Hi Moni, I think you will find that the scanners the pros use would have a far great PPI than the average personal use scanner. Therefore you probably got off cheaper by having them professionally scanned.

        • Colleen – possibly, but I had to do about 15 years worth in one short sharp burst which was a wee bit painful on the pocket. We decided along with my BIL and SIL to do a digital picture frame of the grandchildren and wedding photos etc for the inlaw’s anniversary, but time was short and my BIL wanted to collate the photos wanted an extensive amount of photos, so I took the expedient path of taking the negatives into a photo lab to be digitised. Nevertheless, the job was done and the photos were digitised, but if I’d had the liberty of time I would have gone the longer though cheaper method. I work on the basis that none of us are photography experts and probably would not have noticed the difference in quality, unless of course, they’d been lined up side by side.