Mini Mission Monday ~ Obscure 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 I have come up with seven categories of items that are a little obscure. Things that may be hiding somewhere around your house that has escaped your notice so far. As usual, if you can’t find any of these items then declutter something else.

Monday – Parts for something you no longer have. It might be bike parts like my item for today or perhaps computer parts, parts to an old vacuum cleaner, sewing machine, kitchen gadget… I am sure you all have something.

Tuesday – Something that you keep in case of an emergency that never arises. Perhaps your first aid box needs decluttering or maybe you kept that pair of crutches from a previous injury like I have. Granted I have used my pair on three separate occasions, but three times in seven years doesn’t justify keeping them.

Wednesday – An odd souvenir or novelty item that was acquired on the spur of the moment and is still cluttering up a shelf somewhere. (I would like to mention here that we never bought any souvenirs while on vacation in America.)

Thursday – A fashion accessory or obscure clothing item that no longer matches anything.

Friday – Fiddly little kitchen items that have fallen under the radar but aren’t useful enough to keep.

Saturday – Single use gadgets that you really don’t have a single use for. (Perhaps an egg slicer. Ha ha Cindy this one is for you.)

Sunday – Art or decorator items that you long ago tired of but they hang there on your wall or sit on a shelf out of habit and no other reason.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

My son had kept these bike parts from his old bicycle after his accident. His bicycle was replaced with a new one and he figured these parts would be better utilised by the bike ecology centre here in our home town where they refurbish bicycles and resell them (in some cases give them away) to the public.

Bicycle Parts

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Getting through some of my to do list. Taking advantage of the nice sunny day to get some washing done. Going to the movies this afternoon. And I won a meat tray at the club on Friday night so I had a cheap grocery shop this week.

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. Today’s was a hoot for me. While working on the mess at the Seniors Centre I got rid of bags and attachments for THREE vacuum cleaners they not longer have! Garage sale box.
    Hubby is in the process of selling the roof rack he bought for the truck we got rid of last year. Never used it once… I think we could work this one category all week and probably next week too.

    • Especially if you are working on Ian’s stuff I bet.

      • Don’t get me started on Ian. He’s turned into a tyrant!
        To reduce grief at the Seniors’ I’ve been bringing stuff home to dispose of with my garbage and recycling. I spent Friday evening helping the folks at the Recreation Centre empty out a storage room full of their junk and came home with a carload of things to go to the Seniors for the garage sale, plus empty boxes to pack up loose bits. And first thing Saturday morning Mr. Declutter was on my case about cluttering up the garage!! So now I’m gonna have to kill him.

        • Ha Ha Wendy, you have created a monster. When he gets on your case just remind him about all his stuff he is still hoarding, that ought to shut him up.

  2. I’ll get rid of a bunch of cables…

    I keep my crutches though, as my injury isn’t fixed for good but might get worse again – and it’s a lovely thing to at least be able to go to the toilet on my own. They are only needed about once a year, but then are needed more than most of my other possesions. 🙂
    However, good for you that you’re able to declutter them! 🙂

    • I could be sorry about that if I dislocate my toe again when no one is around to take me to the doctor. Seriously I can’t believe how painful such a tiny little wound can be. I have broken bones and given birth but the pain that can emanate from one little toe never ceases to astound me. I shouldn’t think too hard about it or those crutches may not make it to the thrift store this week.

      • Hi Colleen – my hubby dislocated his big toe dirt-biking once, he also broke his foot ie the metatarsals but it was the toe dislocation that was his biggest complaint especially as they were understaffed at the hospital and it was some hours before he could be seen.

        My older daughter dislocated hers, and given that she does pointe work at ballet this was quite a problem, got it sorted in the end but she had a year where most weeks it would pop out and she would put it back in herself. This went on for about a year and we saw physio, osteopaths you name it. And yes she can vouch it is very painful.

        • I severally sprained my ankle and broke my foot at the same time once and I swear it wasn’t as painful as the dislocated toe. Last time I did mine the first doctor wouldn’t attempt to relocate it and told me to go to emergency at the hospital. After waiting a hour to see the next doctor she tried unsuccessfully. By the time I got in to see the next round of medical professionals it took three doctors five attempts to get it back in place increasing the pain relief with every attempt. They split the skin under my toe trying. So a agree with your husband waiting sucks and gives the area time to swell making it harder to get it back in place. I applaud your daughter for being brave enough to put it back in herself, I don’t think I would like to attempt that. In America I would just dash down to my nurse practitioner and she would fix it in an instant. The beauty of a dislocation though is it feel so much better the instant it is put back in place. Until then though it is agony.

          • Hi Colleen – Adrian went to the GP first who didn’t want anything to do with attempting to relocate his toe, which lead to going up to the hospital and waiting waiting waiting. In the end a very nervous looking doctor (new intern I assume) told him that someone higher up needed to see it and he was in surgery so would be a longer wait. So Hubby put it back in himself on the spot. (the intern nearly fainted) This caused a whole new round of consultation and paper work and explanations. But he maintains to this day that it hurts more than a broken foot, and he’s managed to break both in his time.

            My daughter – oh, she would make everyone cringe putting it back in herself, and it made a surprising crunch noise. Not ideal. We saw physios and osteos and anyone else and it got to the point I was prepared to look up Witch Doctor in the yellow pages, when a friend who is a Kinesiologist was in town and she took 20 mins and its never popped out again since.

            • Hi Moni,
              there is still no way I will ever attempt to do that myself. I would trust my dad to do it because he used to do it for my bothers when they put their fingers out of joint but do it myself no way.

              • Hi Colleen – I wouldn’t relocate a joint on myself either, but Kiwi blokes are found of DIY……..

                Ironically this was what prompted my daughter to decide to put HER toe back in when it started dislocating, she figured if dad could do it, she could, and didn’t fancy a 30 drive to hospital and a 3 hour wait. And she agrees that the relief that goes thru you when it relocates is awesome.

                The irony is both my husband and daughter faint at the sight of needles and bleeding wounds………

    • Re: Crutches
      It might be wise to check with your insurance if you’d get another pair if something really happens. In Germany I think you get a pair once and then not anymore. I wonder, if giving them back somehow would be an option though …

      • While that may be true (though I know people who accumulated more than one pair?!), new crutches aren’t that expensive (about 20-30 Euros), so even if you have to pay them yourself the next time, I don’t think it would make you poor. However, I’ll keep mine, as I mentioned… I reckon, I’ll need them within the next two years. (I’ve got problems with a ligament in my knee – it sometimes gets stressed due to a strange move, and when I put any weight on it – even for a short time, it swells and becomes a real pain for weeks, while otherwise it’s a matter of one or two days…)

        However, it may be a good idea to check whether you can donate them (like glasses or sewing machines?) to people in need as well.

  3. Hum!! I need to think on this one. I think I can come up with something for every day.

  4. I’m pretty sure I can find something to fit these as well! Thanks for the inspiration. On a side note, I did declutter about 20 or so items out of my wardrobe and they (along with a bag of other stuff which has sat in the guest room for a month or so!) are in the car and will be dropped off at the Salvos today. Yay!

  5. There’s an egg slice on the work sink just now – Ursula is back on her health kick, which includes sliced egg!

  6. Hi everyone – well I can report it is now possible to drive the car into our garage. I did so to vacuum it the other night, and then backed it back out so I can admire the clear space. I still have stuff around the edges to be finalised but it is mostly stuff that needs to go on ebay or needs a bit more time to finalise.

    I haven’t set to work on the filing cabinet yet. I want to do before and after photos, and I think it would be a good rainy Saturday afternoon job, and I wanted to work on the garage while we still had sunny weather – let me clarify – the sun was out, the sky was blue, but it was rather cold as we had a Southerly – and if you consider the only place south of NZ is Antartica, it makes for pretty brisk weather. At least it wasn’t raining.

    The other big news – my hubby has asked me to declutter at our work place next, especially the upstairs storage room – there is 15 years of ‘stuff’ up there. Have told him I want to finish the house a bit further first, but we have targeted some items which we will put on freecycle and ebay in advance of the main effort.

    • Hi Moni, I would so love to be standing on your front or back lawn and watch things sail out the window when you get to your storage room, I feel after all your accomplishments, you will blitz that room in no time, go walk that path and blaze that trail!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hi Dizzy – yep I went up and had a look at the storage room and I didn’t feel overwhelmed. Possibly because I don’t have to live with it while I work on it, but also because I think I have developed a more ruthless attitude to what will and won’t survive the first cull as I don’t want to be still re-visiting it six months from now.

    • How great that your hubby wants you to declutter at the workplace. that’s big. Congrats on getting the garage so you can put a car in it. that’s BIG too.

      • Thanks Deb J – yes it is awesome having space in the garage. I can’t wait to finish it!

    • Good job Moni. Even my garage is looking less than ideal at the moment. It is my staging area but at the moment it is littered with art projects of my son. I will be glad when this semester of uni is over because these large drawing project take up a lot of room. That being said it is a two car garage and we can still easily park the car and the two motorbikes in there. The mess is limited to the perimeter but it’s driving me nuts.

      • Hi Colleen – the irony is that it IS a two car garage, but I’m dubious that we could fit my big people-mover car and hubby’s work ute in there at the same time, especially if I was doing the parking. Two suzuki swifts or mini coopers could fit.

        • I must admit Moni that my car isn’t much bigger, if at all, than a Suzuki Swift. I drive a Ford Festiva. I used to have a seven seater van while my husband had a v8 Mustang but we got sensible when we moved back to Australia. So fitting it in the garage doesn’t take much effort.

          The Mustang was purely for the fun of it while the van was justified by being useful to transport visitors when they came over from Australia to stay with us. It was also useful for car pooling (which we didn’t really do often) and it was very comfortable and useful if we needed to pick up large purchases like when we upgraded to a queen bed for out daughter. In the long run it would have been less expensive and better for the environment to own a small car and hire a large one when needed.

  7. Colleen I swear you are in my house before you set the mini-missions, honestly I have things in every catergory that are gonna be gettin’ gone! And here I was feeling so smug about being able to fly through my house in half an hour tops, 1 hour if I’m loading washing, vacuuming and mopping. Still, I feel like a very organised and with-it chicky-babe 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Actually Dizzy when I was writing this post it did pop into my head the you might have something from each category. You have certainly come up with some interesting stuff in the past.

  8. Hi Ladies,

    Just had to share this with you all. Recently I sent out an SOS for help with DVD Storage (for the 2nd time) after ‘failing’ as such with the first round I got onto finding sleeves to condense the DVD’s into and I found the perfect solution! Or so I thought!!

    I was just showing my Hubby the sleeves and explaining how it will be so easy to store them and flip through them and keep them nice and unscratched, and I can order them in genres and they’ll look nice when you open the drawer rather than looking at them in a shelf, blah blah blah. My Hubby, bless him, looked at me with all the love and affection he could muster and simply said:

    “Why don’t you just get rid of the ones we don’t want anymore and leave the faves in their cases?”

    To which, I smacked him as I fell on the floor laughing! After I recovered, which was hard, because he just had that ‘What the Hell is so hard about this process’ look on his face! God I love my Man!!!

    And with that dear Ladies I bid at least 75 DVD’s their last day or so in my house Amen! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Dizzy – I just about fell off my chair laughing at that! I guess he’s seen so much stuff leave the house lately that he thought it was a foregone conclusion! Well done you! How are you getting rid of them? I have about 100 to get rid of.

      • Hi Moni,

        I was thinking I would donate a lot to the school library, a lot are classics so they can be viewed for Drama and English, the rest I’ll either try and sell or just send to the Salvos and hopefully they can make some money from them. Good luck with yours 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Mine are mostly Disney pre and early Pixar circa 1995-2008.

          We live in a fairly new area and back then we had a choice of driving 10 minutes to hire a video for (then) $15 new release 1 Day (there was a bit of a monopoly situation) or driving two minutes to The Warehouse and buying it for $21 – so it SEEMED like good economics at the time, just didn’t consider I would have to get rid of the blasted things at some point!

    • Well done Dizzy and well done Hubby for helping you see the light.
      My son just came in with three DVDs and after regaling me with the brilliance of his choices I said “We have a name for those at 365 Less Things, CLUTTER.” He then informed me they were just rentals. God bless him. I thought he had bought X rentals but no I have clearly trained him better than that.

      • Hi Colleen – here in NZ, when you get issued with crutches you are supposed to return them to whichever hospital you got them from. The first time it was only a 30 min trip across the city, the second time I had to courier them across the country and had to figure out how to package them!

        • I used to get them from the public hospital when I was younger and sprained my ankles many time playing softball. Those were returned as soon as I was back on my feet. This pair I was given a script from my nurse practitioner and picked them up at a medical supplies store (this was in America). It was just like a script for drugs only it was covered completely by our insurance. Therefore they were mine to keep. My son used them when he sprained his ankle too so I guess they have been used four times in about seven years.

      • Well at least he didn’t lock you in the pantry and then sneak the DVD’s into the house hahaha. I sometimes wonder about boys, sneaky little stirring rats! Mine likes to say “I’m gonna go spend all my savings on this new game just released, looks like it will be fun” Then of course I fire up and start telling him that I don’t think it would be a good idea blah blah blah! only to walk into the room and he is laughing to himself! The rat!!! Honestly I should realise this will happen, but he gets me every time! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • What a hoot. I like this guy. I’m glad you found a solution. I recently took all of my CD’s and put them in the garage sale. I have them on my computer and iPod so I don’t need them any longer. Some I even erased from the iPod because I realized I was no longer using them.

    • Hysterical!!

  9. Great idea Colleen. I have been considering framed photos I have on display around the house. Some of them have not been changed for decades! Because they are photos of loved ones, I rarely look at them objectively, but it is time for an update!

    • I had did a bit of a photo display declutter a while back. I had one of the three section folding screen type photo displays. The photos in it was my first attempt at digital scrapbooking. Quite lame even if I say so myself. I really find I don’t need photos of the people I love to keep them in my thoughts so the screen is in the garage awaiting a decision on whether I want to keep it.

    • I recently realized that we had some pictures displayed that didn’t need to be. So other than the last picture of my parents together before my dad died, the last picture we received of my brother and his wife, and a picture of some friends and their miracle son we have no pictures around. I have them all in nice albums that we can pull out and look at when we want. Eventually I will be going through these and pulling out pictures we no longer want. Like pictures of my cousins growing up (we received a copy of their school pictures every year). All I want is to know what they look like now.

  10. If we were using crutches about every other year, I’d be leery of getting rid of them. We have a pair–they just hang on a nail in the basement, out of the way, but immediately available if somebody needs them.

    Speaking of decluttering decorative objects we might be tired of, I have a dried flower arrangement in our bathroom that I’m tired of looking at, but it was fairly expensive on Etsy, and it still looks good on the wall–I’m simply tired of it.

    I’m trying to decide: will I use it again someplace else in the house, will I store it in the basement for “just in case”, or will I bring it to the Re-Use Shack at our town’s recycling center so that somebody else can take it home and enjoy it?


    • My vote is with number 3, it isn’t going to get any pretty ageing and collecting dust in the basement and you aren’t going to like it more because it is somewhere else in the house.

    • Hi Becky – I’m with Colleen – option 3 – its served its purpose ie to be pleasant to look at. It no longer makes you happy to look at, time to let it go to someone else who will be happy to look at it!

    • Hi Becky,

      If a Feng Shui principle would help, it is teaching that having dead things in the house just brings down your spirit. Replace it with a vase of fresh cut flowers or grasses (just don’t leave to wilt and wither). Or ‘Do not have anything in your home which you do not believe to be beautiful or useful’

      Give the room and your spirit a lift, chuck the arrangement and smile:)