Mini Mission Monday ~ Organisation

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.

I don’t talk much about organisation here at 365 Less Things. That is because I have found that once the clutter is gone things naturally end up in their logical position. However sometimes there are areas of our homes that need constant maintenance or even rearranging and/or decluttering to stay efficiently functional. This weeks mission will reflect areas of my home that I find I have to keep an eye on so they don’t get out of hand. And of course a little decluttering in these areas will make the job easier. Sometimes the decluttering is 90% of the task.

Monday – Declutter and organise the messiest drawer in your home. My craft drawers are the ones the get messed up because of all the experimenting I do craft wise. I keep the catering to these experiments limited but never the less I sometimes have to decide what is working for me and what isn’t and declutter and rearrange in the appropriate drawers on a regular basis.

Tuesday – Declutter and rearrange the work bench and tool chest. Most homes have a place to store the home maintenance gear. And typical when catering to home maintenance, hardware comes in multiples and these can mound up or not get put away when a task is done. This area isn’t too messing in our home, even though we have been doing lots of little home tasks of late. But a little tidying and tweaking never goes astray.

Wednesday – Declutter and reorganise the cupboard under the kitchen sink. This is one area of my home that I haven’t really sorted out properly since we moved in. It is about time I made a little more effort here, more in the organising than the decluttering but never-the-less it needs doing and I have what I need to get on with the task.

Thursday – If your transition point is getting a little cluttered like mine, perhaps it is time you make a trip to the thrift shop to unload all those decluttered items. I went on Wednesday as usual to do my shift and forgot to take my load of donation. Or should I say my kids donations which most of it is. I must remember it this week, along with all the upcycling I have been doing for the shop. That has been fun but I will be glad to clear it out of my spare bedroom.

Friday – As mentioned above I am still decluttering for my kids. They drop it off to me and I take it to the thrift shop. You on the other hand may still have kids at home. Now, as the season begin to change, is a good time to start taking a look in their closets to see if there are clothing items that no longer fit. Doing a little tidying up in there at the same time would also be wise. Know what they have that still fits for the coming season will help you to no go out buying things they don’t need and recluttering all over again.

Saturday – This next mission is a tip I refashioned from a kids holiday entertainment ideas helpful hint. Perhaps you can instigate it at your home today. Get yourself a jar, then when you encounter items not quite ready to be decluttered (clothes getting tatty, kids clothes almost outgrown, fabric décor items getting grubby or tattered, toys too young for your kids, something you don’t think is being used that you are keeping your eye on ~ that sort of thing) write down the thought on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. When you are struggling to find your thing a day to declutter, pull a note out of the jar and perhaps that will jog your memory of something that can now be eliminated. If this tip doesn’t appeal to you perhaps just declutter one of the items I just mentioned.

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

Drive smoothly and steadily rather than speeding up too quickly and braking erratically. One uses up petrol and the other wears out your brake pads. Both are wasteful and costly.

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. Idgy of the North

    Hi Colleen – good missions this week. We finished the Tuesday and Thursday missions. In addition to the car load last week, this weekend we sold and donated a disk sander, workhorse, jigsaw, a couple of hand saws, crescent wrench set (24 wrenches!), multiple screwdrivers, several plier types, extra chisels, etc. In all, it was another carload. We minimized our tools to a list of essentials (list from zen fixit) plus a few tools we will use to demolish a poorly made shed. It all fits on a shelf under the workbench. So much more room. We feel so much lighter!

    We also started going through the winter coats, hats, mitts in preparation for fall/ winter. Some outgrown items to be donated.

    • Hi Idgy… , well done. We are going to have to move our workbench this week as it resides on our balcony. The outside of or our apartment building, including the balconies, are going to be pressure washed so everything out there will have to come inside. So I am glad Steve recently did some altering and decluttering in this area.

  2. Hi Colleen,
    I haven’t commented in some time – I took the summer off from any but the most essential household chores to enjoy having my son home from college and to do a lot of travelling – but I read along every day and keep the decluttering ideas mulling around in my head. Now that my sons are back in college I am ready to deal with the stuff again! I have a car load of things ready to take to Goodwill in the morning, and I feel re-energized and motivated to clean, declutter and organize the entire house. We should start getting some cooler weather in a couple of weeks which makes it easier to get out into the garden and see what needs doing there. Today I’m working on the kitchen and laundry room, straightening up the pantry and a quick check through the drawers and cabinets for a few more things that can join the Goodwill pile. My laundry room is one place that frequently needs tweaking and reorganizing, probably because it is a small room trying to serve too many purposes – hanging coats, storing cleaning supplies and general drop zone, as well as laundry, so I need to get to grips with that as well. Thanks for all the great posts and ideas, and I love to read about everyone’s progress!

    • Hi Christine, it’s nice to hear from you again and I am glad you had a lovely Summer with the family. And enjoy that Spring cleaning. I will be paying extra attention to my place this week ~ as you might be able to tell from my post ~ as I have also been busy lately with both family and crafting. I have already done a tidy up of my craft area and I feel much better for that. Next will be the under sink kitchen cupboard. I find these sorts of tasks tend to cascade into many offshoot tasks which results in a much more function living space.

  3. Love the jar idea! Yesterday I just decluttered my son’s formal (prom) suit to a friend who helps young men at the school who are in not so great family or financial circumstances. It’s formal season here soon, and as I know to my cost suits don’t come cheap. Alex only got one wear out of it, and now 4 years later it is too small for him, but at least I had the sense to find a new home for it before it became unfashionable and nobody could use it. And as for that cupboard under the sink… well the one next to it really, there is a plastics avalanche to deal with 🙂

    • Hi Laura, well done. I am sure that suit will get worn over and over again now (I suppose that thought is a little sad as well as happy). It sounds like the plastics cupboard might be on your list of reorganising this week. Like most things I have found that plastics get a lot less messing when reduced to the minimum. Therefore my plastics cupboard stays in pretty good shape these days. However I would like to find a way to maximise the space they are in so that I can transfer more of my craft tools to the kitchen where I do my crafting. Where there’s a will there’s a way. 😉

    • Laura – it occured to me that there are now 3 Prom (we call it Ball) dresses hanging in the wardrobe. Ironically they’re hanging my son’s wardrobe as he doesn’t use the space and I put them there after they were dry cleaned so that they wouldn’t get crushed. One is from my older daughter’s Ball last year and this year both girls got to go. I will ask my older daughter about her first dress as a starting point.

      • Yes Moni, there’s a real need for these types of clothes at this time of year. My friend is a school chaplin and he is very active supporting the indigenous community at and outside the school. Formals cost enough as it is, without the added pressure of buying a dress/suit. Some kids do not go because of this. My son is not a great one for giving stuff away (yet), but even he recognises a truly good cause when he sees it.

  4. It seems to take a long time to fill a box to go to charity these days, this last one has ended up lying around in my garage for months. Does anyone have any good suggestions?

    • Hi Moni, I think that is a good thing and I wouldn’t concern myself over it. If however you want the box out of the way perhaps you can purge a space in the linen closet or somewhere out of sight in the house so you can hide the box away. Mine resides in the small shelf area under my shirt and jacket hanging space in my wardrobe.

      • Colleen – Good idea. A place for everything and everything in its place, including things which no longer have a place!

    • Get a smaller box 🙂 (although that would mean delivering it more often) I think this is a great problem to have!

    • Moni,
      I keep a large size covered square basket (not as big as a trunk, but large) in my laundry room with a chalkboard sign hang tag that says, “Blessings….pass it on”. We have so many avenues here for donating that I am always driving by one donation station or thrift shop and frequently just drop off a small box here and there.

  5. I have totally removed everything from under the sink. It is now an empty cupboard. The spray bottle of cleaner hangs along with scissors , spatulas and other well used items on a rail above the sink. It’s in easy reach and gets used more frequently because it’s easy to locate.
    I have emptied the linen press of excess sheets and once we have some sunny ,windy weather I will wash those sheets and find new homes for them. We no longer have single beds or use for excess linen .
    I am still deleting bits and pieces from my iPad and phone. How tedious is it deleting contacts???? A few years ago I helped organize a school reunion and I have so many contact details. When looking for a regular contact I have to scroll through names I never have contact with. So one by one I have to click on a contact, scroll to the bottom , hit delete, then I get asked if I’m sure I want to delete this contact, it’s the same as unsubscribing from emails! I am very conscious of Liking or Subscribing electronically now.

    • Wendy F – the cupboard under my sink is narrow and holds the breadboards, the dish rack and a hook for the dish brush. I’d love to get a dish rack that folds up. We prefer to use the dishwasher but if I’m cooking and not in a rush I like to wash as I go. Maybe I could put that on my wish-list. Though it doesn’t seem a very delightful gift. I found a dishwash liquid in a pump that is also a hand wash soap – yes I know soap is soap and one can use anything as long as it is soap but both my daughters get eczema so I have to find something that doesn’t irritate their skin. Up until recently I had two different dispensers on the kitchen bench, so that’s a pleasant change for me.

      Talking about having breadboards in this cupboard, they have been in this cupboard as long as we’ve lived in this house, but I’m thinking there is probably more than enough room in another cupboard.

  6. Colleen, these are great. I’m still without my computer & it is hard because all my lists are there. Here!

  7. A jar would keep them together and might be easier to find than a list. I’ve spent spare time this weekend making a notebook full of lists–just lists–things to look up on the computer, things to buy, things to sell., things to sew/mend, things to go through and declutter, where some small items are storedetc. A planner doesn’t usually work for me because there are too many interruptions every week. I’m not sure the lists notebook will work, but I found a lot of pieces of paper with a note or two, and some could be thrown away because the job had been done and in other cases it could be added to a list. No special order to the list, and no order to do things, more of a don’t forget this needs doing.
    I have been doing the wear declutter==wear a shirt/shorts/slacks/shoes and decide while I am wearing it that day if I want to keep it or not. So far this one item at a time works pretty good and two shirts went to the thrift shop, several to rags, and one was repurposed as a pajama top, since it was cool and loose. Since I pretty much liked everything in the closet, this made it easier to decide. Several shirts are a little warm for summer, and if they aren’t right for fall, they are on their way, too.
    For this week’s drawer mission, I have a small drawer in my desk that catches everything small to keep from losing things that have to be put away later–buttons, pins, paper clips, etc. and it can always use a declutter. So now even if we are organizing, we all declutter, too. I wish the drawer was all that needed organizing/decluttering. We are making progress because some of it is considering if there is a better place for something to be.

    • Hi Nana, I am a list person myself and like you I often get most things done and then end up making a new list that includes the few things that didn’t get done put new items. I do like to cross of the thing that get done. It makes me feel even more like I am making progress.

  8. Colleen, it never fails to amaze me how you can find so many different ways to approach the same topic. Thanks for this; I especially like the tip about jotting down the things one is not sure about. I find myself often blanking on what to declutter next, yet I know there was “something I had in mind”, so this is a method I will definitely use.

    • Hi Jo H and thank you. This is always another way and each method has an audience that it appeals to. The jar method is something I might instigate myself because I am soooooo forgetful these days. I write a grocery list so I won’t forget anything and then I forget to take the list. Hopeless!

  9. Colleen,
    Your “jar” idea is fabulous. It is a 2 in 1. Starts off as a decluttering idea jar. Then, when items are donated it becomes a random act of kindness jar. Win-Win!

  10. I really, really want to get to our shed this next weekend. I know there is a ton of stuff in there that could be decluttered. I’m hoping it doesn’t rain so that we can get to it.

    I saw a sign at a business that sells sheds. It says, “Reclaim your garage, buy a shed.” I thought how about reclaim your garage – get rid of the junk! hee hee