Mini Mission Monday ~ Reasons

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’s mini mission post is titled Reasons. I am going to give you six days worth of reasons to declutter things and your job is to find something to match the reason and let it go. Best to declutter the first thing that comes to mind when you ponder each reason. Simply because you are least likely to find an opposing reason to convince yourself to keep these items.

Monday – Declutter something because you never use it.

Tuesday – Declutter something because it requires dusting and you don’t like it all that much anyway.

Wednesday РDeclutter something because it is an eyesore in your home, or perhaps always was. Maybe some sort of junk in the back yard, an ugly d̩cor item that someone else gave you but you never liked or a fixture in the home that has become ratty or faded.

Thursday – Declutter something you have kept out of habit because it used to be useful but now isn’t necessary. Maybe old pet equipment, outgrown kids toys, kitchen gadgets, reading glasses that are no longer strong enough…

Friday –  Declutter some odd little thing that, up until now, has escaped your notice because it isn’t outstanding in any way. Yesterday I checked my bra drawer and in the bottom I found four little plastic baggies of extra bra straps that had come with bras that have long since worn out.

Saturday – Declutter something because it doesn’t work as well as it should. These sorts of items are annoying for various reasons. 1. Because they make you feel duped. 2. Because they most likely were a waste of money. 3. Because they don’t make your life any easier. These items may need to be replaced by something more efficient but at least you will have decluttered the angst.

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

Even biodegradable bags have to be manufactured so even they are best avoided where possible.

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. Ah yes. Declutter all of these little things that are so easy to forget. 1. We are going to declutter something more out of the shed. 2. We are going to declutter two resin chairs and a patio table we have never used (was given to us free). 3. We have this metal sink for the patio we have never used and we know someone who wants. it. 4. Some eyeglasses that were Mom’s before she got her latest pair. 5. We did this on Friday. Mom went through another drawer and it had several pair of used hose and underwear that she no longer wants. Into the trash. 6. We are looking for a small electric chopper like our old one. When we find it we will get rid of the one we are using now. We hate it.

    • That sounds like a good list of things to rid yourself of Deb J. Do you find it much easier to part with something when you know someone personally that was find the item useful? Like your metal sink. I have been eyeing off furniture in my home that I will offer to the kids should we move into a smaller place.
      Whenever I get new eyeglasses I keep the previous pair/s as a back but donate the previous previous pair/s. (If that makes sense)

      • Colleen – good idea with the glasses – my younger daughter has had reading glasses since she was younger and when we went in for her first frame upsize the receptionist mentioned that the local Rotary Club thru the local optometrists collective collected glasses (along with the prescription) and took them over to Samoa (the NZ side) with an optometrist who holidays there once a year and volunteers a couple of days of his trip to get them to people who couldn’t afford glasses and that they were especially keen for children’s glasses. We have been doing that ever since.

        • Moni, I only have to drop my old ones to the optometrist when I pick up the new ones.

          • Colleen – yup its all done at the optometrists, but the receptionist said that a lot of people are reluctant to donate their old ones – especially kids who have outgrown them. She said she gets people bringing in a small box full from estates where grandma has 20 years worth, and unfortunately they don’t have the prescriptions for them. Makes it harder to get the right ones to the right person via the charity.

      • We do the same thing with the glasses. We can give them to several groups who take them to give to people in other countries.

        Colleen, it is much easier to get rid of things if we have someone in mind to received it or if we know that we can sell it. Actually, for me it is easy to do no matter what. For Mom her first choice would be to sell it. But I have found that it is hard to do that and I would have to do all the work. Easier in my book to just give it away.

        • Deb J – I think you have touched on what puts people off starting to declutter – they don’t know where to get rid of things to. Once you’ve been at decluttering for a while, you have a list of assorted charities, goodwill stores etc, so you’re not re-inventing the wheel everytime you need to get rid of something.

          And I agree – selling things takes time and effort and not necessarily the returns you would hope for. I have found a couple of friends trying to sell clothing for almost what they paid for it, but because it is several years old and not the height of fashion nor a bargain, it doesn’t move and so no progress and that is enough to put them off the whole idea.
          However, we have sold outgrown and surplus stuff on trademe especially sports gear and dancing stuff and its great because it gets it into the hands of those who need and value it. Of course, you don’t make back the original value but if it had sat in the cupboard for a few more years (as it quite easily could have) then it would have lost even more value.

          But for the most part, I’d rather have stuff out of my house sooner, rather than later. We have an elderly friend who started decluttering but her method was to have Adrian pick it up and for me to distribute it. Fortunately (for me) she didn’t keep up decluttering for long.

          • Moni, yes, like you I just want it out of the house. There are so many people out there who need the stuff I’m all for just dropping it off at the women’s shelters thrift store. The women are allowed to look it over and take what they need. The rest is sold to help the shelter.

        • Hi Deb J! We had an argument today about selling old shirts. My husband took from his wardrobe 7 shirts that don’t fit him since Paris Hilton was just the Hilton hotel in Paris – France (long time ago). He took them all out and looked at me and said: “We could sell them.” (by “we” he meant “me”- Andréia). I said: “Sure. Next Saturday morning, when you are free, you can go to a thrift store with them all and bargain a price for them. You will probably fetch 50 cents for each.” Then there was a silence in the room and he said I could donate them all, it was probably for the best. I don’t want the hassle of selling, i just want things to go and giving them away is the easiest way to do it. He wants to sell stuff, so he has to go to the trouble of doing it, but now he has a very short time limit. And I will not do what he deems is the best – sell. He wants that way, he does it himself. 😀 😉

          • Good for you, Andreia. It is amazing how people change their minds when they have to do the work. I’ve been trying that on Mom and it sometimes works.

          • Andreia, that was a good way to help him think about the work involved in selling. Sometimes a person doesn’t do that thinking without a little help.

          • “by we he meant me” … oh, so right! My BF gets much less reluctant (and he is VERY particular with his stuff, can’t even touch some of it without him getting a nervous wreck …) to part with things if I sell them for him (at top price, of course …). I’m just happy, that he doesn’t have tons of stuff. But I’ll definitely put a time limit on the wardrobe that he keeps, that is mainly empty as we’ve been having a bigger, better one for months now (at least better for our needs, he still thinks the one he picked out for himself is FAR better, well, I don’t … but whatsoever, it doesn’t fit our small space and I am sooo tired of wasting this much space for what practically is furniture storage). I took several attempts at selling, did all the work, but not takers. I’ll do it again in late spring I told him – but it has to go out till summer and there will be a point when I won’t care anymore if he gets much money or even any money for it or not. This space is not a warehouse! (That’s something I am really trying to get across to my parents, too. Your home is not a warehouse for things that could possibly fetch money – IF you’d go through the trouble of organizing potential sales … but at least a short initial decluttering session with my mum went quite well. Some really worn out shoes that just had been shoved to the back of a cluttered space could be trashed and some unworn because uncomfortable to her ones could go to a donation bag. Woohoo! The relatively attainable, short term goal of clearing the small entrance area of the house and making it prettier and more functional seems to motivate her the right way.)

          • Don’t push your luck too far with that husband of yours Andréia. You have been having some big successes lately, don’t discourage him by making him feel foolish. Although I think you made a good point with him. Futile attempts at selling is a waste of time, trying to palm off the duty to your spouse is simply out of the question. I dare say he was having a hard time parting with them because he sees the wasted money. Letting him down gently would be advisable. You can catch more flies with honey after all.

          • Hi Colleen! This weekend he went to some trouble to sell some electronic stuff that did fetch some cash. He asked me what I thought and I told him to go for it. He researched the internet for a store that bought that kind of thing. When it didn’t work, he found another place. He was happy and even told me that if he did not get any money he would just dump that old stuff in the trash. I was happy because he did what he wanted and no extra work came my way. Sunday night when he was mentioning the shirts and started the “we” talk, I just pointed out, as it happened before, that if he wants to sell, he does it himself. Of course I have been applauding his victories. He is just getting better and better.

          • I am glad he is finally coming around Andréia. Perhaps he has realised that he open spaces are a wonderful things. You know yourself and the struggles you have had to let go even when you were determined to change. If he was reluctant to change imagine the struggles he was having with the idea of letting go. Well done both of you.

      • Super good reminder on the glasses, by the way! I actually did have one “previous previous” pair though I intentionally went through my glasses some time ago and I thought I had donated all the surplus … sneaky little things. I also decided there were too many plastic bags (though I hardly ever accept one these days) to re-use cluttering up my drawer, less will definitely do. Will try to (curbside) freecycle them once the weather gets better (no sense putting something out with a “free” sign while it’s snowing …) just as a big pan that we found out we shift around MUCH more than we use it. What else? I’m itching 😉
        I can’t wait to get rid of some winter clothes that have become too worn out to keep for next year but the weather has slipped back so I’ll have to be patient because they might have to be replaced (I plan to wait till next winter to find out though how sufficient the remainders are).

  2. This sounds like a good week for doing a good skim of the house. I was away for the weekend so no progress there, but I had been thinking that there were a few areas where a few things had caught my eye, a few spots that had stayed beneath the radar lately.

    I’m also going to re-visit my plastic storage containers – I’m sure they breed. I had a big cull of those in Aug/Sept but somehow the numbers have crept up again. Probably were storing stuff in the freezer, or containing stuff that is since gone. I also realised that my bakeware drawers escaped my attention for kitchen week.

    I’m also going to take a look at top shelves of cupboards and wardrobes, I’m sure there will be some “just in case” and “someday” and “what if” items up there. I can already think of a few items straight off the top of my head that have been lurking there for a while.

    • I know that our plastic containers breed because the deli ham Mom likes comes in them. So we get 2-3 a month. We take them up to the clubhouse and put them on a table there. They disappear quickly.

    • I haven’t noticed my plastic containers multiplying but I have noticed that I don’t use so many on them these day. Along with some pieces of furniture I will be palming of some of those containers to Bridget when she leaves. When it is just Steve and I left we won’t need many.

      • We have way too many plastic containers. I wish I could get rid of them and move on to glass ones but it takes money and Mom would have a fit. She is not anything near as Green as I am.

  3. I did run around taking photos of my home finally, and the exercise helped me to see that our papasan chair clutters up the small living room. My husband really likes the chair, so I’ll wait until its run down or we move to send it on its way. We had originally bought it to tide us over until we got a couch, but in retrospect that’s a generally a silly reason to buy furniture. If we’d just used the folding chairs until we got the couch, we would never have thought “wow this room needs a papasan!”

    I’ve been trying to decide whether to give away some of our candles and light bulbs. We have a stash of each. We use them slowly, but my thinking has been that we’ll get through the stashes eventually. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be a terrible thing if I had to buy a lightbulb 3 years down the road. Also lots of scope for daily decluttering amongst our clothing. I have been appreciating the benefits of less full drawers and a higher percent of “loved” rather than “tolerated” clothing.

    • Rebecca J, I have a friend who has a small, decorative cupboard filled with candles (over 100). The other day she opened it to give another friend a smell of a particular scent and discovered that many of her candles no longer had a scent or had a funny residue on them. She has decided to chuck them all and never stock pile again. We have a small box we keep with 1-2 light bulbs (depending on the packaging) of the various strengths we need for the lamps in our house and for the outside coach lights. We keep these only so we can replace the bulb as soon as it goes out. We don’t buy lots of them.

    • RebeccaJ – I have just been e-mailing Andreia direct and saying that I want to go thru my wardrobe again tonight. I have a very minimal wardrobe – and by the way, I love the arrangement – but there is always still room for a sort out, especially as seasons change.

      My husband bought a stash of long life light bulbs two years ago as he got them for a bulk price. Personally I would have preferred we just bought them as we needed them but I have made many more decisions which resulted in clutter than he has so I can’t really say too much.

      Candles – I recently went thru our emergency supplies and found some candles – as we have plenty I have decided that I’m going to start using them, even if its not a special occasion. They only have one use, so why not?!!

    • Hi Rebecca J, you say your husband really likes the papasan chair but does he use it. If he hasn’t been using it then it is always worth asking the question as to whether he really wants to keep it. Sometimes we make assumption about stuff that just isn’t true. However, if he likes and uses the papasan then it just isn’t clutter and I wouldn’t push the point with it.

      I keep just a few tea-light candles in case the power goes out but I don’t have any spare light bulbs at the moment. I figure the world isn’t going to come crashing down if a bulb blows and I don’t have a replacement. If I did have some I wouldn’t be inclined to get rid of them though I would just use them up even if it takes a while. That is how I have come to the point of having no spares. One bulb blew in my daughters room last week sometime. There is another so there is no rush to replace the missing one. I could always take one out of my son’s unused room in the meantime if she feels she needs it.

      • We do sit in the chair, but we have plenty of other places to sit. Now that our home isn’t feeling crowded anymore, my husband doesn’t see much point in getting rid of things just because they don’t add value to our lives. To balance it though, he doesn’t generally think that purchases add value to his life – when I met him he had only one pair of shoes and I only persuaded him to buy replacement shoes when the holes in his soles were so big he regularly picked up rocks. Now he has 2 pairs of shoes unless those mystery shoes in the closet turn out to be his…

        I ended up with the lightbulb stockpile when the electric company asked if we wanted free fluorescent lightbulbs. I signed up for 18. Oops. I’ll put some of the candles in the donation pile – didn’t realize they could go bad. I like having them for romantic dinners and power outages.

  4. Love the mini missions for this week. It will take a little more thought on my part but I like the challenge. I don’t think it will be hard at all though to find something that falls into each category this week.

  5. Hi Colleen! The mini missions have hit the nail in the head with me this week! I have been decluttering lately always asking myself and the object “Why are you here in my house?” “What is your purpose?” And this weekend I had some objects go because I have been keeping them just because… No reason, but just because I could. Now I decided I can’t. 😀

  6. Will be working on the junk in the yard this week. Got rid of a few items last week and managed to ‘break down’ some larger items to fit into the bins on the weekend. Plants in pots seem to be the biggest bit of clutter in the yard at the moment. I have offered them free to good homes, but people are sometimes too busy to collect them or maybe to polite to refuse.
    I would love to dispose of the ratty vanity in the bathroom ,maybe this month I will bite the bullet and order the new basin and taps. Setting up a reminder in my phone now to do this.

  7. I decluttered quite a lot of random doo-dads since the beginning of the month.
    Also got wild in the kitchen. I’m amazed how much I do find each time.
    However, I seem to hit the wall called “boyfriend” again.
    I think, I’ll go back to my wardrobe. I haven’t sorted through there since last November, so maybe I’ll find a few things to give or throw away.

    • Be satisfied with your progress Sanna and when your boyfriend slows you down just focus on something else. Forcing them does little good usually. I would like my husband to deal with the stuff I keep putting on his desk but at least he sold a camera lens that fetched him over $500.

  8. I just decluttered a pretty pair of shoes. I hardly wore them, even forgot I owned them, buried as they were in the back of my wardrobe. Why? Because they were too small. Just a little bit, but that was enough to be painful after a few hours. And lesson learnt. No buying shoes over the Internet.

    • Smart move Lucinda. Uncomfortable shoes are the worst. I am happy to search for months and spend extra to find nice looking shoes that are comfortable. I like to be able to walk for miles in my shoes so comfort is key.

  9. These are great mini missions. Makes me very excited for this week! Last week was a huge decluttering week, so one more of those and my house will be a completely different environment in which to live. Thank you for all of this..

    • Hi Tony, I read about your last week’s decluttering effort at your blog. I had a big week two weeks ago when my son moved out. Every time I walk down the stairs from my bedroom I look right into his old room and so enjoy the simplicity of it. He only moved five minutes away so I don’t miss him too much. 😉

  10. I am new to this blog, but I am already impressed. I love this list of reasons! The past two nights after work I have been working on decluttering our garage shelves. When we moved into our home four and a half years ago a lot of things I didn’t know what to do with while upacking made their way to these shelves. In the last two evenings I think I’ve placed enough things in the ‘Donate’ pile so that I have each of the reasons covered, with maybe the exception of donating something that doesn’t work as well as it should. It’s amazing what I’m finding on these shelves. A giant wok (did I really think I’d make a Chinese dinner in the garage?), a big yard fountain that I bought for a specific space in a home I haven’t lived in for years, a small camping grill that someone gave me as a gift that only they ever used when they came to visit me, etc, etc. Certainly our garage is much lighter now for my little bit of sorting effort and I’m not even done yet. It feels good to get rid of clutter! Especially clutter that has been hiding out for much too long!

    • Hi Melissa and welcome to 365 Less Things. I am happy that you are impressed but even happier that you are ready to embrace a life with less stuff. Good for you. Like you, I have an on going quest to clear my garage of much of the stuff that is stored there. My daughter belongs to a few boxes that will leave with her hopefully in the next month or two. Some belongs to my son who has just moved out and once he is more settled will come and take it away. That will leave my garage in pretty good shape. I dare say a few things will come to light that belong to my husband or myself that can also go. There are no woks or fountains out there though. 😉 It is always a treat to go out there on Wednesday mornings, before doing my shift at the thrift store, and pile all the stuff I am getting rid into the trunk of the care and drive away with it.