Mini Mission Monday ~ One room

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 want you to choose a room in your home that has a clutter issue, and this room is going to be the focus of your mini missions this week. Make a vow to yourself that you are not going to add any extra clutter to this room. Anything you use from or in it during the week you are going to put away immediately after use. Choose departure points for your decluttered items, some will go in the trash some will end up in the recycling bin while others will be donated. Make sure your donation departure point is in an out of the way place away from your target room. If you have the opportunity to dispose of them as you go along that is all the better because then you won’t be tempted to keep them. Lets get started.

Monday – Tidy off and declutter one elevated surface in your focus room putting everything away in its proper home.

Tuesday – Go back to your chosen room again and pick another elevated surface to clear off and declutter. Once again put everything away in its proper home and move any unwanted clutter to your clutter departure points. 

Wednesday – Today you are going to clear off and declutter the floor in your chosen room. Pick up anything that doesn’t belong on the floor and find a home for it. Once again move any unwanted clutter to its departure point.

Thursday – Choose a drawer in this room and declutter it. If you have no drawers choose a small area that is out of sight. A box under a bed, a shelf or a small cabinet.

Friday – Repeat the same task as Thursday.

Saturday – Declutter an area of your own choosing in the room today. By now the room should be in pretty good shape.

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.

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. This is a great set of missions, Colleen. Clearing surfaces and the floor and concentrating on one room at a time are really great ways to get into the decluttering groove.

  2. These are good Colleen. I thought the house of S was bad. Where I am living right now has her place beat by a mile. I’d love to clean it up. The surfaces are all covered, everything is full to bursting and there are piles everywhere. They buy in bulk and go overboard with it. Sigh.

    • Hi Deb J, I can imagine that is making you feel quite impatient for your new digs to become available ASAP. It is very nice of these lovely folks to take you in but the surroundings must be causing some anxiety attacks I would think.

      • I’m trying to not stress about things. Sometimes it is hard but I spend a lot of time in my room or gone. That helps.

        • Tough one, Deb. Perhaps in the name of ‘being a good guest and not overstaying your welcome” you could seek out another friend – or a few – and shift around a bit?

  3. Hello everyone! Sorry I have gone off the grid lately there’s been a lot going on in my little world and its just starting to smooth out now. We decided to undertake some improvements around our place and as we wanted to do some of the work ourselves on each of the projects, I scheduled them well apart. We had landscaping plans drawn up but the landscaper became un-contactable after we got the earth works done, so I had to find another landscaper who could fit us in before the Autumn weather turned horrid. This put us back a bit as we had to start over with plans (we’d asked the first landscaper to make some changes, but he didn’t come back to us, but am much happier with the new plans) fortunately the weather held, but there was a lot of work to do. Every night we’d go home from work and try to squeeze in a bit more work and we spent all the weekends working. We’d opted at the outset to do a lot of the grunt work ourselves, the savings could be put towards some nicer plants, which was achievable back in Jan/Feb when it was warm and we had daylight saving. Not so great in March, April, May.

    We’d booked the carpets and flooring to be done mid May – the landscaping was to be well and truly done by then, but the delays put pressure on us because we had this big mud-bath situation, especially one area which was the main pathway to carry furniture out of the house for said carpeting. We got that sorted but then remembered that we’d opted to lift our own tiles and carpet and to move the furniture ourselves as it was a savings of about $1000. This is messy, tiring work and had to be timed so that we would get it all lifted in time but not leaving us on the concrete foundation for longer than necessary. And of course, we got asked to move our date forward as there were scheduled power cuts in another part of the city and it would be convenient to swap the two jobs. I did not enjoy tile lifting.

    Among all this we’d engaged a interior designer to help us make good decisions with some redecorating, so there was back-and-forth dialogue going on with her too. Fortunately, this is happening on a room by room basis but we needed to get an overview established plus factoring in the family’s needs. That has been an interesting process – we didn’t know what we wanted until we saw it.

    Landscaping is about 2/3 of the way there, but we’ve been taking advantage of the very mild winter we have been enjoying, but that has changed this week. Worst case scenario, we can pick up again in Spring. The idea is to spend the cold months doing the indoors renovations. LOL the original plan was to do the bathroom floors too, however some stuff needs replacing in each of them, so my hubby suggested we rip out the bathrooms so the floors could be done at the same time as the other flooring. So glad I talked him out of that, I think it would have been the straw that broke the camels back at the time. However it does mean that there is more upheaval yet to come.

    So I haven’t been decluttering much lately, and to be honest, stuff has been coming into the house for the first stages of the re-decorating. I figure it will be a bit topsy-turvey on that front but I do have a slowly growing pile in the garage of stuff that will be culled but not until the re-decorating is over. Just in case.

    • Idgy of the North

      Of my, Moni, you have been unbelievably busy! I hope things settle down soon. Sounds like everything will be beautiful at your home.

    • Wow Moni, you have a mahor upheaval going on. I’m just glad you are surviving it all.

    • Colleen Madsen

      Wow Moni, better you than me is all I can say. That is why we bought a relatively new apartment that didn’t immediately need work doing. Although it won’t be long before we will need to repaint and new carpet laid. That is daunting enough but after reading your comment I think I want to put it off as long as possible. 😉
      Your situation also explains, I hope, why you haven’t responded to any of my emails and messages via Facebook. I was a bit worried as to what had happened to you. I am glad that you are OK even though you are totally exhausted.

      • Colleen – first of all my apologies for not replying, I have such a backlog of messages and emails to reply to. I am suprised at how time consuming this has been especially when juggling with work and usual family stuff. My husband had yo-yo-ing health during all this so I found myself ‘on the tools’ more than Id expected to be. My inlaws moved to our area during all this and have taken possession of a house this week, painting work on the interior starts next week.

        • Moni, my reply is late, but I want to say you really do deserve the “Ms New Zealand”
          Award!!!! Maybe for muscles, energy, ambition, and a strong back!!! Your account made me tired just reading it!! Hope you get it all done soon so you can relax and enjoy your fresh surroundings!!

        • Oh I understand only too well Moni. Had lots of crazy stuff going on here too. Life just happens sometimes. And you know how bad I can be a dealing with my emails at the best of times. Trying to clear that this morning. Wish me luck.

  4. I have finally had my tiny utility room floor tiled (it’s only 107cm wide) and it contains the boiler and now a new washing machine and tumble dryer. There is one shelf which I emptied and will not be putting much back in there. I think it will just have the items needed for the washing, and maybe the instruction booklets for the three main items. Oh, also my iron – I have my ironing board in there too as well as a steamer for the floor. It looks so much better and I am finally able to machine wash and dry my clothes easier. I have no outside space for a line as I am in an apartment.

    I also had my dishwasher replaced which failed two years ago. Unfortunately my new one failed within half an hour of the installers leaving and showed an error indication a kink in one of the hoses. As the dishwasher is integrated, I need the engineers to come back and reinstall it, but after 5 phone calls I still do not have a date for this. I have said I want it done by Tuesday as I am then on holiday – I tried to organise all work to be done before I went away. Best made plans etc.

    Also I have a bad leg due to a bad muscle spasm/cramp which occurred when I crossed the road on Monday. I went to our local walk in centre, was seen after about two and a half hours and was told to go to the hospital for blood tests. That took an expensive taxi ride. I was there for six and a half hours and most of the time sat in a waiting room. I was there till after midnight and it would have meant another taxi home but someone leaving at the same time as me offered a lift.

    Not able to do much at all at the moment, I’m hoping I will be out of pain soon. I want to be better for my holiday.

    • Hi Dianna, sorry for the slow response. I had left the email with your comment in my inbox to get back to but, as what usually happens with my inbox, it took a while to get back to the bottom again. I should really deal with it from the bottom up I think. Anyway I am glad you utility room is now a much better set up for you and that you will keep it uncluttered. However I am sorry to hear about your leg and your dishwasher. Best laid plans indeed. I hope your holiday went well and that your leg is feeling better now and that those pesky electricians came back to install your dishwasher properly this time.

  5. The Other Christine

    I didn’t find a good contender for a room to work on. I’m currently at a difficult point in my decluttering. A lot of what is left is sentimental, or bulky and hard to send away. A lot of it belongs to my partner instead of me (or both of us). There’s so much of it he doesn’t need/use/love, but he has to figure that out in his own time. Decluttering is probably going to go much slower in the next little while and maybe if I try to go intentionally very slowly it will be less frustrating.

  6. I’m reading this on Saturday so way behind! We are planning on rebuilding part of our house (large rambling farmhouse and farmbuildings so lots of rebuilding potential!). Consequently the part to be rebuilt needs to be emptied. There is a lot of good furniture, books glassware etc that we don’t want to sell but need to find a home for and a lot more that we can get rid of and are in the process of being boxed up for donation/auction. But right now it looks such a tip with boxes ready to go, boxes still being filled and stuff waiting to be boxed up. Fortunately I can just avoid that part of the house altogether, but I still know its there…. So I suppose at the very least I can make it less chaotic. Good job this is a bank holiday weekend!

  7. Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts – life just got even busier as my inlaws have moved to our city and the house they have bought needs painting, curtains, carpet etc. The ‘boys’ had to replace the laundry floor on the weekend while I stripped wallpaper. The true challenge is that the inlaws have kept everything since forever and had it all packed, shifted then stored between selling their house and moving to the area. This could be the mountain that I die on. Wish me luck!