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 think I will base the mini missions on things that are a little more obscure. Not everyone is going to have some of these things but you can always choose something unusual around your home that you have ignored up until now because they aren’t numerous. Others might think ~ What’s so obscure about that? So here goes.

Monday – Old parts to vehicles you no longer own. Perhaps a side mirror from a motorcycle, a wheel rim from a car or even an old licence plate. You might be able to sell or recycle this kind of item.

Tuesday – Plant related clutter. Old bedraggled potted plants that are no longer attractive. Tangled cluttered gardens that need thinning out. Empty plant pots that really aren’t likely to be used.

Wednesday – Hats. I actually don’t think I have ever mentioned hats before. Baseball caps yes, but not hats.

Thursday – Old photography equipment. Film cameras, big cumbersome old video cameras, superseded digital cameras whose photo quality is poor.

Friday – Musical instruments.

Saturday Sporting equipment that you no longer use. That old bicycle seat you kept “just in case” when you replaced it with a more comfortable one.

Sunday – A small piece of furniture that is really just collecting dust and other clutter and has no actual function aside from that.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

Here is something a little obscure. How many of you have one of these lying around the house unused somewhere? As of tomorrow neither will I because it sold on ebay for $10 and will be posted in the morning.


Something I Am Grateful For Today

My friend Liz whose mum has a fig tree. She gave me six ripe juicy figs last week and I have been slowly savouring them ever since.

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. Another item of obscure clutter that come under the paperwork heading. I went through our fireproof box to try to clean it up and make more room. Actually, we had two but in this process I cleaned them both out, shredded some things and then consolidated. Anyway, I found some old credit card connected accident and dismemberment insurance of my parents in all the death paperwork on my father. It wasn’t even good then but at the time there was so much there I had no clue what was needed for taxes and all that. I put it all away and haven’t taken it out since. I always keep the info on old credit cards until they drop off the credit reports. But, I didn’t need to keep things like the insurance policy when it wasn’t even valid. I found a number of things like that in all of the paperwork to do with his death, his war service, and his retirements.

    • And that’s why it pays to sift through paperwork on a regular basis because eventually it near all becomes redundant. With the exception of birth certificates, war service records and the like.

  2. Thanks for the reminder to do something about my old film camera. We had it out of the closet and planned to post it on craigslist but it didn’t happen. Back in the closet went the camera. Time to pull it out again and deal with it!
    Also the plant pots–those little black things the plants come in…

  3. I can see that Friday will pose a problem. There’s only one musical instrument in this house and it is currently very much in use. I’d have to bop him on the head and pry it out of his cold, dead fingers to declutter it! Substitution time coming up. Maybe some of his outdated or duplicated musical accessories…

    • I don’t see that as a problem Wendy. Clutter you don’t have is never a problem. I am curious as to what instrument he pays though.
      There a several instruments in this house that require decluttering. There is an ukelele that has been on trying to sell without success. There is a flute my daughter brought home for me to sell which has been stored badly and now smells all musty so I am going to have to do what I can the clean it up or sell it for a fraction of its value. There is also a synthesising keyboard that needs repairing before selling. The electric and acoustic guitars are used and will be kept though.

  4. colleen, I do not own cars, tools, gardening things (I gave the flower pots to my mum long time ago, every single one turned into a flower grave), I dont own photography equipment. So nothing for me this week. But I will get my old computer fixed, I dont know how, I dont know where, but I will get it done this week! promise.

    • Good substitute Lena and I will be waiting to here that you have followed through with the computer. Will you be selling it then?

      • good question. if my boyfriend can repair it, he can keep it, because he is using a tower, and his old notebook is practically dead. If I have to send it in and get it fixed, I will sell it again, because I do not want to put extra money into it. lets see what happens 🙂

  5. Ugh, old planters. I’ve a mess of those things up in the attic. I’ve got 7 house plants & probably 20 planters. It’s Spring where I’m at – so good time to send all those extra planters (and unused planting tools) to the donation store.
    My husband is a luthier (he hand builds custom acoustic guitars) so we’ve got guitars all over the place & all the stuff that goes along with building guitars to playing guitars to repairing other people’s guitars. There is absolutely nothing he would let go from that so I won’t even try.
    But those planters – yep these are going……

    • You get working on those planter Jane and I am sure you will feel better once they are gone. Long lingering clutter is always good to see the back off. What a wonderful job your husband has and I bet he gets a great deal of pleasure out of it.

  6. Ah … plants! Thanks for bringing this up, Colleen 🙂

    Do any readers, or people they know, have trouble decluttering plants once they get overgrown, stringy, too big for the space they’re in, etc.?

    If so, why do you think that is? (Because they are living things, because they were a gift, because they have sentimental value, etc.?)

    I would very much like to hear from anyone and everyone who wants to help me understand this. I don’t have the problem but some people close to me do, and it’s got me curious. Thanks for any help!

    • Oh my – when my mom-in-law passed away last year not only did we have the plants she had accumulated (about 10) but all the planted plants folks gave in lieu of flowers at her funeral.
      Most of her plants were these ratty little dust-covered hopeless looking things. Those we promptly pitched out without a second thought. But I kept 1 of her plants – a shamrock plant. I too adore shamrocks & at the time had a huge thriving shamrock plant in my breakfast nook that looked so lush & dense & gorgeous.
      Notice I said “had a huge thriving shamrock plant”. The sickly looking shamrocks we brought from the MIL’s must have had some kind of shamrock disease that promptly killed off mine.
      So never again am I “rescuing” someone else’s plants.
      As far as the funeral potted plants are concerned – I kept one Lilly & gave the rest to anyone who looked even remotely interested in adopting the rest of the plants. I despise corn plants – uglier than a mud fence those things so those got pitched out as we just didn’t have anymore room to drag them home with us. Do I feel bad? Nope!
      As far as keeping a scraggly overgrown plant for the sake of keeping it – heck no. I have a certain esthetic I want for my home & ratty ugly plants that don’t pass muster get the green boot if you know what I mean.

    • Hi Jo,
      after giving your question some though I think I will attempt to write a post about the subject this week. The more I think about it the more ideas come to mind. Not solutions just little anecdotes.

  7. OMG – Monday’s mission done on the weekend – got my new scooter mirror from the UK (intact), coincidentally two blocks from the mechanic where the bike was, got them to attach it, and trashed the smashed mirror! But I could go through my gear and rationalise.

    Thursday’s mission – I lost mine a few weekends ago. I still have the AA battery chargers x 2. I live in hope the taxi company will find it (foolish aren’t I). I also found it’s manual…

    No plants… maybe I should get one/some!

    • I can sympathise about the camera, my daughter left hers in a rental car once when we were touring around the US. We never got it back but out household insurance paid for it.

  8. It seems that I’m going to have to tackle the garage this week…as I have things in most of those headings hiding in there. I’ve been putting it off for a while because the garage is…terrifying.

    • Good luck Kalista I hope you turn it into something less terrifying. Just remember one thing at a time and before you know it the horror story will be ended.

  9. Hi Colleen

    Have you been in my garage again? You must have read my mind because I have done all the mini-missions over this long week end. Let me brag:- 1 tape deck, 20 assorted mixed tapes, old tambourine, 1 old recorder, 1 camera bag, 2 SLR cameras, 1 digital camera, 1 tennis racquet (needed restringing but hey it just won’t happen) 4 defuzzed and slightly slack tennis balls, 4 chipped-up golf balls, 2 deflated soccer balls, 1 totally horrible (I can’t even call it a football) old cricket thigh pad, 2 cricket protector boxes, 3 cricket balls, 1 cricket bat (split) 1 netball, 1 basketball, 1 baseball slugger, 1 softball bat, 2 sunhats, 3 cricket widebrims, 1 school widebrim, 2 floppy sunhats, 24 plantpots, 5 scruffy plants, 2 dead lucky bamboo plants (obviously not lucky enough!) old potting table (still good just not needed so my neighbour is a happy boy!) Back cover for boot area of Barina car I sold 6 yrs ago (what the!!!) and 2 respirators that I found lurking in a tool box (there were 3, we need one so the others went to my neighbour as well) oh and an old bike pedal, the bike went yonks ago (obviously without a pedal!) another what the!!! 3 curtain rods and rings, 7 slats of vertical blinds, I kept them for the weights, (please don’t ask why I kept the slats as well because they were destroyed when we got the painters in!!!!) 1 shower head, 2 door handles, 1 security slide bar without the slider, 1 decorative handle (removed from door when we had the screen door fitted! Another don’t ask!) 1 lamp, 3 downlight bulbs which didn’t fit but didn’t take back. Taken back today and got the right one! Not three! 1 box containing assorted somethings!!! I really don’t know what they were so too bad now they are gone. 4 old sheets that we used when we were painting and they really needed to go (I found the proper dropcloths in the cupboard) and I threw out 17 bottles with bits of something in them (I did clean them out safely and re-cycled the bottles) 1 bag of old potting mix went straight on the garden. Again no idea why it was still in garage, and 4 cracked roof tiles ( I put them in the garage when the roof guy came & fixed the roof 2 years ago, I have no idea why I didn’t just throw them in the re-cycling or wait for kerb-side pickup!!!)

    Did I do good master? I actually have a couple of cupboards that sold so just waiting for pick-up and they are gone too!! I am a very happy chicky!!! I think I heard my garage say “Thanks” I have also managed (through the week) to open up, empty, sort, purge and refile what I needed to keep out of 9 pretty boxes. All done and boxes off to the Salvo’s. I do wish I’d taken pictures along the way but then again I’d only have to dump them so I am saving myself the trouble! Hahahahahaha!!!

    Cheers everyone, I think I am proving that de-cluttering NEVER ENDS it just gets easier and shifts into daily maintenance Woo Hoo to that.
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Welcome (back) to Dizzyland 🙂

      Too fun to read for various reasons and I can never have too much inspiration now that I’m decluttering to prepare the house for the sale as we move abroad!!!

      • Hey Ornela,

        I too am in the middle of ‘For Sale’ preparations and with the daily reminders I get here, I’m hoping that I’ll be downsized enough to maybe move abroad if thats the way my hubby’s job ends up swinging.

        Good luck to you with the decluttering and heres to your big move 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Dizzy, well done and congrats to your new garage. please let us know how many “what the” items you will find during your maintenance 😉

      • Hi Lena,

        I found another ‘What the’ this evening. In the garage, don’t know how I missed it but I did! I give you the ‘Headless Bear’, true. I don’t know where the head is but the Bear or parts below neck are obviously a UFO (un finished object) from my Bear days, many moons ago. Just trying to figure out why he ended up in the garage in a toolbox! I’ll hang onto him until I’ve done another sweep of the garage and hopefully find his head! Hahahahaha truely a “what the’ even my husband said it closely followed by “so what the hell have you done with his head”?

        I love de-cluttering, can’t wait to see what’s next! hahaha

    • Firstly Dizzy I wish you would take pictures I am having trouble believing you had all that stuff. It sounds like you have been operating a sports store out of your garage. Crikey mate where does your family find the time for all these activities. Like I have said before I would be dizzy too just keeping up with it all. One thing is for sure there is no way anyone in your family is contributing to the obesity epidemic.

      That being said, you did do good. Your garage must feel more spacious now. That is a whole lot more clutter you won’t need to drag along with you to your next home. Talking of homes we looked at an even smaller one on Saturday and even with all the decluttering I have done there is no way we would fit into that one without decluttering a whole lot more. It has no garage and I don’t recall seeing a linen closet either. It was small but gorgeous and within a block of one of the best cafe areas in town. Very tempting.

      • Lol believe me we have (had) heaps, things have expired along the way and the worst of it is it made it to the garage but not the bin/recycle/sell whatever! Most was in a neat packed up box (bats etc) and never ever trust putting something on a shelf. I think I have a weird little creature living in the garage that sneaks things into hiding, (not just my hubby either heehee). I don’t know why we dragged it all with us when we moved, maybe it was I’ll just take it and get rid of it later. I don’t know, I had no attachment to anything aside from it’s function. All gone now and the various recipients are thankful.

        One thing I have learned (learnt) whatever, is that if your balls de-fuzz or go flat or get chipped GET RID OF THEM!!!!! heeheehee 🙂 🙂 🙂

        We are a very fit and active family, the house is getting slimmer but I am still battling with trying to keep a ‘walking karri tree’ full at meal times. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Don’t worry Dizzy I have dragged enough stuff from one end of the world to another myself so I am in no position to judge. And I actually always thought I was fairly decluttered.

          I hope your husband doesn’t read any of your comments here or he might just be hiding, quivering in the corner of the garage himself after that ball remark. 😆

          As for that karri tree I don’t have any advice there I only breed little people in my house.

          • Hee hee! I was trying to find an appropriate reply to Dizzy but you’re a mile ahead of me Colleen 🙂

  10. Thank you for the reminder.
    In fact we have one musical instrument which can easily be decluttered.
    And I wanted to go through those planting pots anyway.
    I do have problems throwing out plants, as long as they’re living. Most of the time you can/could get them back in good condition anyway, by cutting them back or else. It’s most often just that you actually don’t like that particular plant anymore. I think, it’s a good idea to put them on freecycle or another platform, as there are many people who are looking for new and cheap potted plants.

    • Good advice about plants Sanna. I would just put them on the footpath at my house because I am on a reasonably busy road and my giveaways disappear real quick.

  11. I will have to look thorough our house and garage to see if I can find any of these odd items. We don’t have any extra car parts, but I can take the time to look through the seats of our cars and trunks to see if there is anything that doesn’t need to be there. My husband also has some oil in the garage from when he changed it before Christmas. I may just get rid of it instead of waiting……. I should save up for a nicer video camera. We never use the old one we have anymore since it is so bulky. I should send those tapes to my daughter to put on DVD’s for us. We use the piano and drum set regularly so we don’t have anything to get rid with musical instruments. I am not good about selling my stuff. I just donate it and skip the trouble. It is much nicer to get something for your clutter. Instead of having it work against you, you use it to your advantage! Thanks for the post and have a nice day!

    • OOOhhhh Hi Spendwisewoman,

      I just read your comment above and was intrigued as to how you will get your daughter to put your tapes onto DVD? Could you explain and share. I do have a lot of home video tapes that I would love to condense into a DVD. A guy does it over here but way too expensive, haven’t had any luck finding a cheaper way.

      Would love some help in this area 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. What a great bunch of replies. I really do enjoy your blog, Colleen, and the replies.

  13. Thank you folks, for your comments on plant clutter; it helps me to get some different perspectives.