Mini Mission Monday ~ Out of place (Revisited)

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.

As the title of today’s post implies the missions this week focus on stuff that is out of place in our homes. It is an old MMM post that I have dragged up out of the archives for your decluttering pleasure. Have fun with it and happy decluttering.

Monday – Declutter something in a pile somewhere that it ought not be.

Tuesday – Declutter somethings that have overflowed the area designated to the likes of it.

Wednesday – Declutter something that you’ve been keeping but really belongs in the trash.

Thursday – Declutter something that is wasting space, making it difficult to store more useful items.

Friday – Declutter something that hasn’t been used in a long time. After all, if you don’t have a use for it then your home is not the right place for it.

Saturday – Declutter receipts and other fiddly bits from your handbag. Clutter in your bag makes it hard to find the things you do need from in there.

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

Share and borrow between friends and family rather than everyone owning/buying everything.

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. Oh the handbag! I dumped mine out and discovered many dollars in coins in the bottom–no wonder it was so heavy! I used to be able to enter prices from my phone into our budget, which often let me skip getting receipts. When the new year came along I didn’t re-bookmark that….I think I’ll go do that. Less receipts means less to deal with later!

    A pair of endtables are on their way to an old roommate tonight. We had them when we shared an apartment–they are very stable and nice minimalist design…but we don’t use end tables in our house anymore, and they are large for end tables. I uncovered them while digging around in the basement (yes, much work to do there, working on it), and now they are leaving. If we ever need similar they are not hard to find or make, so no good reason to keep them. (And along with them go a bunch of pins with characters from a comic strip we both read. I didn’t want the pins in the first place–they came with the book–so why I’ve kept them for a couple years I don’t know…but I’m fixing that mistake!)

  2. I have a busy week ahead, but plan to stay with the upstairs storage room this week. We have two freestanding white cupboards up there (they used to live in our garage) and I have been systematically emptying one and listing on trademe (like ebay) and then moving in Adrian’s recreational gear. I was under strict instructions not to throw anything of his out. I was reporting to him what was now re-housed in one of the cupboards and it seemed like every second or third item he’d pipe in with “I don’t want that anymore, you should get rid of it”. As I currently have a backlog of items waiting their turn to go on trademe, I’m thinking his stuff can wait until the end.

    I’d like to get the last remaining set of shelves listed on trademe this week, the upper shelves are cleared out but there are an assortment of items on the lower shelves which were awaiting their turn on the auction pile. I’ll have to find some time today to move some stuff around so I can take a photo without the ‘on trademe’ items and my son’s pile of car parts showing in the photo too.

  3. I’m sitting here reading and wishing I could do more decluttering. I really want this desk top and the drawers holding the top up out of here. There is so little left to store in the drawers and I can just put it in something else until we move.

    • Hi Deb. The current wisdom is that an occupied home sells better than an empty one. Perhaps you can look at the things you have left in terms of how they will help sell the house. We kept our china cabinet while our house was for sale because it said “elegant dining room”. As soon as the house sold we got rid of it. Does the desk have a use to give the impression that your house has a nice office space, or is the room too cramped? This might help you to make the decision (or the argument) to dispose now, or to keep until you move.

      • Good advice, Wendy B.
        Staged homes almost always sell more quickly and for more money than those that are not.

      • I think you are right Wendy B. It does make the room look occupied and shows what you can do in that space. I just want it gone so we don’t have to deal with it later.

        • Hi Deb. I understand the frustration. Take the time now to devise the ‘exit strategy’ for the desk so that once you are ready to move you can get it GONE double-quick. You’ve already done the hard part – deciding to let it go – so not it’s just logistics!

          • I think I am going to get a lot of the things in it packed up. I can box it up and still be able to reach it if needed, especially the side that has all of my Mom’s stuff. She hasn’t used it in months and I’m hoping she will eventually decide to declutter it.

      • That’s nice advice, Wendy B! Hang in there, Deb J!

        Wendy B, I guess you’re not the one who had the china cabinet in the laundry room. Who was that? That story cracked me up!

        • Yup, that was me. We had TWO china cabinets and only room for one of them. We got rid of the big one, have kept the triangular one which fits in the corner but if it doesn’t fit the new house it will also go. By the way, the triangular one went into the basement while the house was for sale. Not QUITE the impression we wanted prospective buyers to have…

    • Deb J – I feel your pain. I also have a big desk with a set of office drawers that is in the my decluttering cross-hairs. Unfortunately my youngest is in her last year of High School (we call it College) and going off to University next year (you call that College) and she uses that desk and computer. The computer is issue-some but I have already decided that it won’t be replaced as the age of the laptop, iPad and smartphone has arrived in our house, and I have an office at work.

      On the weekend I think I made a bit of a bad call. Our printer is very very issuesome and the ink cartridges are getting harder to get. It was a cheap HP desk top printer/scanner/copier. The big complaint from the three students in the household is that ideally we need a wireless printer. I agree. We are in the midst of my younger daughter’s scholarship applications and one set of forms has to be done entirely online via the University website and one of those once you start you have to keep going applications, you can’t log out and come back to it. The scanner part of our printer/scanner/copier turns out low quality scans and can’t scan multiple pages. So while I was out and about I opted for a printer/scanner/copier which does multi page scans so we’d have better options. I had this plan that once the desk and drawers were made redundant, I could make a spot for our new printer/scanner/copier in the hall cupboard (there is a power point on the outside of the wall and it wouldn’t be a big deal to have one installed on the inside of the cupboard). I haven’t taken it out of the box yet because I am wondering if I perhaps should have gone for the smaller, single scan model and just utilised my high spec printer/scanner at my work. I am definately a fan of ‘compact’ and the single scan model is definately smaller but my husband is a fan of get the ‘best options available’.

      Any advise anyone?

      Ironically I have to keep my old printer a bit longer as my friends and I are forming a ‘photo club’ to get our photo albums in order and it has an excellent cropping tool.

      • Extra note: both printers are under $99

        • Hi Moni,

          Technology is always difficult. I suppose think whether all the family needs high-quality scans, and whether you’re happy to do that at work, and not about to move jobs. If everyone wants/needs to scan things to a good quality, and you might not have time, or might move jobs, then get the better scanner instead.

          I suppose you could also think: it may be a little more work now to return the first, and get another, but would you regret not buying the better one in a few months? If there’s minimal cost difference, just think of this as a hiccup in the buying process, rather than a clutter mistake. It’s not like the first printer/scanner will be wasted if you take it back pristine, as they can sell it to someone else!


      • Ugh. Moni now I feel your pain. I’m still waffling about our printer. It is not wireless and is an issue. I also don’t use it much but the options when we move are to either use the one down in the shared computer area of the apartment building, keep the one I have because I don’t print much, or get a new one with wireless capabilities. I may have to wait until we move to make this decision.

    • Hi Deb, Wendy has given you lots of good advice here. There isn’t much left for me to add except that decluttering is about making your environment more pleasant to live in and your work load to be simplified. Decluttering isn’t about making you anxious that you haven’t done enough. As Wendy said, it that desk ultimately has to go then prepare for that now so it can happen quickly when necessary and relax a little. I do understand that, when the more does eventuate, you do not have the health and vitality to face it like most people but worrying about it in the meantime also isn’t good for you.

      • Colleen, yes Wendy has given me some good advice. I’m not sure I am worrying about it so much as that I see it every day and it nags. Aw well. I can’t do anything much about it now so I will just try to not let it nag.

  4. Ugh! I am a work in progress! My daughter brought me back a small telephone table from her storage unit that I gave he when she moved to an apartment. Then she moved back home 5 yrs ago and the table stayed in the unit until she realized it would be better to get rid of everything and stop paying a monthly fee. The table came back to me and I have moved it twice. Most recently in my kitchen where I have the room but do I really need this piece. Now I have decided to just donate it and be done with it. I really, really don’t need it. Why is this so hard!?

    P.S. Now I’m trying to talk myself out of buying a new handbag… is mosty definitely a want, not a need. Anyone who would like to comment on new purchases is most welcome.


    • Sorry for all the type-o’s. My husband was looking over my shoulder. I hate when he does that!

      • Hi Anna, I am in the process of reading “Overdressed: The shockingly high cost of cheap fashion” by Elizabeth L. Cline. She explains how we have evolved from owning two sets of clothes — fall/winter and spring/summer — to being inundated with newer, cheaper, shoddier clothing and filling our homes with things we don’t want, need, wear or use because we are bombarded with the stuff. My opinion is this: if you don’t like your handbag and WANT to replace it with something more appropriate to your current needs, go ahead. If you already own 493 handbags……

    • Hi Anna, my two cents on the handbag decision is as follows: if your current handbag isn’t meeting your requirements or has some characteristic that is always bringing you down, then buy the new handbag and donate the old one. However, if you just really want the new handbag because it is pretty etc (I’ve been there!), consider all the stories and photos out there of people decluttering their closets, and the piles of handbags they have stashed away in there. Chances are, this currently wanted handbag will end up stashed in a pile someday. Anyway, good luck with your decision 🙂

    • Anna,
      Go for the new handbag. Remember to buy yourself exactly what you want and what will serve your needs.
      In other words….don’t settle! You deserve it.

  5. Hi Anna,

    I have 4 handbags: 1. small 3-zip 1pouch travel bag 2. small “dressy” bag 3. medium Coach bag 4. large winter bag

    Sometimes I think this is too many. But until I’m sure, I’m keeping them. I will not be buying more.

  6. Wendy B. Thanks for the book title. I just read an excerpt on Amazon and I either read the excerpt before or borrowed from the library. It is a very interesting read. No 493 handbags here…but maybe 6? Unless you count a few tote bags that I have been gifted.

    Amelia, Kimberly and Peggy,
    I enjoyed reading your comments. I have decided for now to use one I have and to visit this “want” in 30 days. Maybe by then I will be more appreciative of what I already own. I hate when I purchase something that I think will be better and it turns out not to be so.

    Sometimes I find I actually donate my newer stuff vs. things I’ve had for years. Probably relative to the shoddy, mass produced items that are now available to us.

    Sorry if I’ve steered us away from our mission this week. I’m still working on them and appreciate the reminders of what needs to go…

    • Anna, I was going to suggest the 30-day rule! I’m not a big shopper, but when I want something, I try to have a “wait and see” attitude. Most of the time, the “want” will go away. But in the case of a cute handbag, not always…..

  7. Colleen – As an aspiring empty-nester (six months until the youngest goes) I am interested in hearing what household items/furniture/stuff etc is unexpectedly not used once the kids leave home. What becomes unexpectedly redundant?

  8. My upstairs storage room has slowed to the speed of a dying sloth this week. I am waiting for my online auctions to close tonight and hopefully I will be the proud un-owner of a number of items lined up in my ‘out’ area. I decided to speed up the process by dragging the remaining stuff out of a set of shelves onto the floor so I could clean up, photograph and list the shelves, but of course, a number of the items now sitting on the floor need to move into the ‘out’ area, so I’ve decided that I probably should cease work until I’ve cleared the decks so to speak. I have other items which I’d love to get listed but I need a bit of space to spread out first.

    So ironically my ‘out of place’ clutter is going to have to stay put a little bit longer. My husband is of the opinion that I should have waited until I’d decided/dealt with the last items on the shelves before I listed them, but I felt that this can take some time and I feel I am more likely to feel motivated when the gridlock clears to make decisions. In the meantime, I shall have to find somewhere else to declutter this week.

    • The speed of a dying sloth? Wow, that’s pretty slow. Hahaha! I was just thinking (from one of your previous comments) that you were kicking butt in that room!

  9. This week I thought I wouldn’t have anything for the mini missions except for the fiddly bits (just love that term), then I found three shirts that haven’t been worn in over a year. I was thinking my house was in good shape, and then I find these items. Just barely started on my garage which has lots of items waiting to placed on the out pile.