Mini Mission Monday ~ Next to useless

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.

So the idea behind this week’s mini missions title is to have you getting rid of some stuff in your home that is next to useless to you. The “I might need it one day!” or the “I only use it maybe once a year but it is still useful!” …. kind of objects or items you avoid using for one reason or another. Just take ten minutes on each suggestion this week and ask yourself do I really need this item or is it not worth the space it is taking up. Let’s see shall we.

Monday – Declutter one single-use kitchen gadget.

Tuesday – Declutter a tool anywhere else in the house that rarely gets used. Anything that a little improvisation could mean you don’t need it at all.

Wednesday – A beauty product that doesn’t live up to its advertising hype. And in future investigate the “science” behind such products in order be educated as to whether they will actually work before laying your hard earned money down.

Thursday – Anything in your closet that you avoid wearing because it makes you feel uncomfortable when you wear it. Be that physically or mentally uncomfortable.

Friday – Anything past its best by date. Toiletries, food, medicines etc.

Saturday – A purely decor item. These are useful if they bring you pleasure but if they are simply there out of habit and collecting dust then maybe they a next to useless.

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.

Random Acts of Miscellaneous Kindness

Pick up a piece of litter that you encounter and toss it in the trash. This will make life just that little bit nicer for the next person who comes along without them even knowing it.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. High on this list are broken or damaged things which either cannot be repaired or would not function normally if re-assembled. For example, a wooden stool with a wobbly leg can be soundly repaired, and regain its former utility. If you have a broken stool and you like it, move its repair to the top of your list, and either do it yourself or pay to have it done. But you cannot glue a broken cup together again and rely on it to be useful for anything except possibly a pen holder.

  2. Hi, Colleen. Wednesday’s elicited a (cynical) laugh at the typical phrases of advertising hype that appear to promise the sun, moon and stars with carefully selected words that don’t mean much. Hope springs eternal when it comes to hope in a jar, I suppose.

    • It always amuses me too how people will buy these products ad nauseam while doing all sorts of other things that have the reverse promised effect. Like drinking alcohol, smoking, spending too much time in the sun and adhering to a poor diet.

  3. Great mini-missions – we’re still landscaping, so not a lot happening on the inside of the house at the moment though. The next project is having the carpet and flooring done, which will mean moving everything into the garage, so I will be using that opportunity to cull. I had assumed we would be all done and dusted on both projects by now. This weekend is a long weekend here, so hopefully we can make some inroads.

    I did have a 365 moment in the garden whereby I needed a rake but ours was at our factory and would require a 20km round trip to collect. I tried calling a friend to borrow one off but she was out of town. My husband didnt want me buying another rake, as our one at work only gets used a few times each year. Then I had an idea. My SIL had mentioned that next Spring she’s going to do a small garden for her kids. So I bought a kid size rake (yellow with colourful polka dots all over it) for $5 and I used that on the small garden area I was levelling and planting. When I have finished planting, I will give it to my young niece and nephew for their garden.

    • Smart thinking Moni. Here’s hoping she hasn’t already bought one. 😉

      • Colleen – she wont be digging them a garden until Spring and I cant see her spending money on it until then. Besides there are three kids so Im sure any extras will be appreciated.

  4. Great week of mini missions. So far I can only fulfil 2 days of missions. Will have to look deeper into the other days.
    Wed-beauty products
    All the scented & fancy soaps. I started developing a rash, turns out I can only use Dove soap.
    Fri-past due date
    A very small amount of expired salad dressing. The clean bottle to recycle.

    • Hi Calla, I am sure if you look deeper and expand your imagination you will have these missions fit something in your home that you don’t need or want. 😉

      • I gave some more thought & came up with the following:
        Small plastic bowl that held fancy soaps taken from kitchen, now in the garage sale pile.
        12 empty square tissue boxes used to store plastic store bags in, but I had too many. Only need 6
        Wed-beauty products
        14 fancy, scented soaps after using 5 for sachets in closets
        Clear shower curtain rings thought would work to hang scarves on, but didn’t work for me.
        Salad dressing in bottom of bottle
        Green returnable bottle I thought I would use as a flower vase, but never did.

  5. Colleen and Friends,

    Thanks so much for the Mini Missions and all your positive suggestions. I haven’t contributed in a long while, but have been doing the mini missions for 2 years or more. What a difference it’s made to our home! I feel more in control now. Also, my spending has gone down as I’ve seen all the stuff head to the thrift shop that was little used. I’ve also started tracking spending each month. Tracking spending, combined with decluttering, seems to be a good combination for me. Now those dollars saved go into my retirement account.

    This week’s contributions –
    Monday – apple corer
    Tuesday – pinking shears
    Wednesday – BB cream foundation
    Thursday – kimono
    Friday – expired yeast (2011!)
    Saturday – Decorative planter

    • Hi June,

      That is too funny about the yeast! I recently found several long-expired yeast packets in my cupboard too! They went into the compost 🙂

      • Hi Peggy,

        I wondered if I could put it in the compost. Thanks for the tip! This is the special yeast for sweet dough. I bought it to make everyone panettone bread for Christmas. Six years later, and no panettone! After 2 years of decluttering, I still have unfinished projects (and good intentions) all over the house.

        • Hi, June. I laughed out loud as I read this “… I still have unfinished projects (and good intentions) …”. I’ve been busy with exactly that this week. Stop looking over my shoulder! 🙂

  6. Update. Took Mom to the ER Monday morning hemorrhaging. Brought her home today (Wed.). they still aren’t sure what is wrong but will have more tests as they have been able to stop the bleeding. I move into a friend’s extra room on Monday and will stay there until a place opens up at Glencroft.

  7. Hi Deb J, you and your mom are in my prayers.
    Keep us posted.

  8. Today I donated the following:

    TUE – small cream/gravy pitcher
    THUR – knit top
    SAT – throw (will go to pet shelter)

    also: single custard cup, nesting bowl set (all but largest & smallest, we use those), slippers, 7 toddler long sleeve tops, 2 baskets

  9. forgot: a sweatshirt with an iron-on nickname had to go in the trash… I felt a little bad because the fabric still looked okay… but I did the iron-on thing in the late 1970s so it WAS old! 🙂

  10. forgot some other stuff: I found some art “treasures” in the attic over the last couple of days, all things that my younger self did. Many of them were trashed because they either were mediocre or I didn’t remember doing them. I found something, though, that I had searched for a couple of years and was anguished about – a sketch I did in 1987 of one of our dogs (loved her!). That was a big decluttering win (but I’m KEEPING it) because if I hadn’t been searching for things to eliminate, I wouldn’t have found it 🙂 I also found my husbands wedding shirt and a blouse I had made (which is soaking because it yellowed) without a pattern, all by hand. I found the satin bow “belt” that went around the waist of my wedding outfit… I don’t know what happened but I’m missing a few inches of fabric there LOL