Mini Mission Monday ~ Shapes – By Nicole V (Archive)

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 weeks Mini Missions are brought to you by Nicole V. 

Do you remember playing with those shape-sorter toys as a child? Apart from being fun, they were great for developing hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. We’ll be shape-searching this week and you’ll need to find something to declutter in the form of (or relating to) different shapes. The item doesn’t necessarily have to take the shape perfectly – it could be squarish, instead of a perfectly proportioned square, or it could be a vase with a triangular base, and patterns and prints of any of the shapes would work as well. So let’s see how your decluttering shapes up for the entire week.

Monday – Declutter something that is a circle.

Tuesday – Declutter something that is a square.

Wednesday – Declutter something that is a cylinder.

Thursday – Declutter something that is an oval.

Friday – Declutter something that is a rectangle.

Saturday – Declutter something that is a triangle

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

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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. These are great missions. I have a bag of pop cans, which are cylinders for granddaughter. Have a bag of about 30 plastic flower pots, both round & square to give to a 95 year old lady that has a greenhouse. This my second batch to her as I get yard & planters ready for summer. Will probably have a third batch in a few weeks.

    Will have to put on thinking cap for rest of shapes.

    • Thanks, Calla. Good job and I look forward to what you’ll come up with for the rest of the shapes.

  2. Nicole, you were clever to think of these shapes! I have a tin ready to go out that is both a circle and a cylinder. I have several rectangles to go. One is a flower planter. I am leaving on a trip Wed (if nothing happens!) where we will take our own towels. I plan to take ratty ones and throw them away before the trip back. The same with some old panties that are sort of a triangle shape. Ha!! I will have to think on the square and oval.

    • Thanks, Brenda. LOL and good job — have a great trip. Let us know how it goes for the remaining shapes.

  3. Nicole, these are great. I haven’t thought of anything to go along with the shapes yet but when I do I will make sure to post it here.

    • Thanks, Deb J — I look forward to that. Is your mum still decluttering?

      • Yes, Nicole, she is still decluttering. It is hilarious how she is dumping things right and left that she thought she just HAD TO HAVE. Since we now have separate apartments I let her deal with where it goes. I’m fine with it going anywhere but my place and her place. She still have twice as much as I have.

        • It’s good that she’s still motivated to keep on decluttering and letting go of things she no longer needs — creating a living space for her current life, rather than a storage space for her past. How’s the fine-tuning of your possessions going — I seem to remember you mentioning that you were not exactly thrilled with some of the items that weren’t serving you well?

          • “creating a living space for her current life, rather than a storage space for her past”

            I like your comment…so true. Without even moving from my recliner, I can think of so many things that I probably don’t need for my current life, but I’m not on a roll right now.

            • Thanks, Deanna. I know that Life happened and it was difficult for you to maintain your regular decluttering. Don’t get bogged down by how much you have left to declutter, just focus on decluttering *one* item for today. Rinse and repeat, until you gain momentum. Think of all the items that have already left your home and look at the pockets of space that have opened up throughout your home — these are your achievements, the results of all your hard work in the past. Think marathon and not sprint, and progress, not perfection. Take it one step at a time and you’ll get your decluttering mojo back.

          • I like this too–“creating a living space for her current life, rather than a storage space for her past”

        • Deb J – re: your mum’s decluttering – do you get roped into the ‘out’ process?

          • Oh yes because her walking is not good so I end up taking things to where they need to go. But my walking is getting worse too so I may not be doing this much longer. I may be asking our house cleaner to do it on her way home.

            • Deb J – wish I lived closer to help. What a shame she didn’t take advantage of your progress from the beginning. Still better late than never.

              • How nice of you. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could cheaply hop a plane and in a few hours see whoever or whatever we want to see? One of the things I like about Facebook or blogs is being able to see pictures of where people live and where I will probably never have the chance to go. I’m enjoying your 365 Challenge pictures.

                • Deb J – thank you – I found the list on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a go. Some days it is easy, some days it can be a bit more trying if I’m not in the mood or just want to have more time to re-visit a previous challenge but have a new challenge to line up.

  4. Creating a living space for your current life, rather than a storage space for the past. I like that. I’ve added it to my quotes/note app on my phone.

    My workplace is having a bit of a clear out, which is great, but has pretty much left to me to deal with the ‘out’ pile.

    On the home front, two canvas pictures (rectangles) and a desk fan (circle) also got dropped into the op shop.

    • Thanks, Moni. Good job and I hope you’ll find stuff for the remaining shapes — go ahead and take all the liberties you want — triangles for diamonds, for instance. 😉

      • Lol – today I took a box of duvet covers to the op shop. I have some blankets and throws to sort thru tonight, so between them all I should be able to claim ‘square’.

        There are a few changes on the go at the moment, so its a good time to have a clear out. A good clean out, helps clear the mind in general. I will be using ‘create a living space for your current life, rather than a storage space for the past’ as my new motto.

        • Clutter is mentally exhausting, so getting rid of it does help to clear the mind. I hope the new motto helps you get rid of lots of unwanted stuff.

      • I forgot to mention that this is related to the comment you made in the original “Shapes” blog post.

      • I’m referring to the “triangles for diamonds” thingy, btw.

  5. Im feeling a little disheartened this evening, a number of items which had moved onto my kid’s homes, or similar have found their way back to me.

    Mind you once I had a dream that everything that I had decluttered turned up in a big pile on my front lawn one morning.

    • Did you wake up in a cold sweat, screaming “The horror, the horror!”? I wonder what those dream analysts/interpreters will have to say about that!

    • Well that stinks. But, now they have given them back you can joyfully pass them on to the thrift shop. Too bad it means gathering them up again though.

      • Deb J – I hadn’t realised how much stuff had filtered back until I really looked. You know how stuff just starts creeping in, a bit here and a bit there? Fortunately it is the garage and attic area. The thing about young adults is that their housing situations aren’t permanent while they are in a renting and flatting situation and so I guess we’re still ‘home base’. I might pull everything down stairs tomorrow (Sat) and have a big sort out.

        • Ah, yes, the creeping clutter. Maybe you can ask the kids how much of it they found they used and how much was a waste of time packing it off. Good luck.

          • Deb J – that’s a good idea. Inevitably if one of them has something (eg the Play Station) one of the others wants it. But when no one wants it, nobody wants it. I begin to feel a bit like a household goods librarian. 🙂

            I was thinking if I drag everything together, take photos and share them on our messenger-page.
            There is a happy challenge about having a yard sale, but I’m not keen on yard sales (we call them garage sales here, probably because of the high rainfall) but maybe I could change it up to suit me.

          • Deb J – whoops didn’t finish a sentence properly – take photos and share them on our messenger-page with the kids, and try and get some things finalised. Maybe something else will go to make way for these ‘library’ items.

            Space isn’t the issue but I do want to stay on top of this.

            • Clutter creep is insidious. Do you see any end point for the “home base”, Moni?

              • Nicole V – well they’re ages 22, 20 and 19 so I’d say I’m in the thick of it. The youngest is at University and is probably the main culprit.

              • Nicole V – the other side of it is that eventually we will downsize to a smaller house but the market is too hot at the moment. We’d get great money for our house but then would probably end up in a bidding war for something else, so unless something major happens we’ll probably stay put another year or two. And we still have all the kid’s pets.

  6. I have two more shapes, still stumped by the triangle shape.

    Oval…5 gallons of weeds into debris can, many had oval shaped leaves.
    Rectangle…recycled sheets of paper. Plus gave a paper back to a friend. Used tea bags to composting pile

    • Well done, Calla. Any unwanted cookie cutters, cake slicer or coat hanger lurking around, that can help you out with the triangle shape?

  7. OK – cylinder, I came across a plastic drink bottle, a promotional one that no one has even used so out it goes. And I am going to claim triangle as I found a porcelain star ornament thing and stars are made up of triangle shapes?

    I have only the elusive oval to go.

    I sent five boxes to the Op Shop this weekend and in a twist of fate have a box of stuff going back to my daughter at university! I discovered a box of her winter scarves, hats and gloves and as we’re sliding into Winter here…….she’s grateful to have them.

    • And I have 3 boxes going off to the Op Shop today.

      The thing I am going to have to confront is art. When I buy art, I absolutely love it but eventually (and we’re talking after many years) it gets replaced as our decor/tastes change or as walls get painted and so on and so on. The problem is that I still love the piece but I have a new piece that I absolutely love to take that piece. And I struggle to let that piece go.

      I don’t have this problem with other items generally but art is different. I’ll spend hundreds of hours finding what I want and I won’t compromise until I find “the one”, some I find by accident when I’m not actually looking and I’m probably not as particular about. Anyways I’ve realised that I’ve got a small collection tucked away that I should let go but find that difficult.

      • Good job, Moni. Since you love both art pieces, why not keep them? Would it be possible to hang that piece somewhere else — the entryway, a little nook, powder room/bathroom, hallway or study? Would propping it up on a floating shelf, table, bookcase, cabinet or wall work? Could you lean and layer the art work with an existing collection of items?

    • That “elusive oval” might very well have been in that box you sent back to your daughter … aren’t infinity scarves kind of oval in shape?

  8. Ok, so here is my list for the week. I was going through some things preparing for National Scrapbook Day and found some other things I could declutter.
    Circle–two containers from protein shake powder. Recycled
    Square–one broken square plastic food storage container
    Cylinder–several bottles that used to be in the refrigerator
    Oval–food container given back to a lady who gave me food in it
    Rectangle–some scrapbook paper and embellishments/stickers given away
    Triangle–couldn’t come up with anything.

    Oh, I gave away a 1 year old laptop that needs a new keyboard because I spilled a shake on it. First time in all my years of working with computers (I started with punch cards) that I have spilled something. This friend is going to get a new keyboard for it and we are giving it to a homeless Mom who is in college and needs one. They have also found her a place to live.

    • Good job, Deb. Actually, you have accomplished the triangle declutter — think of the laptop as a rectangle that can be divided into 4 triangles. 😉 Whichever way you look at it, that is a heartwarming way to declutter.