Mini Mission Monday ~ Similar thing roundup

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 think it is time again for a roundup of similar items that have somehow ended up all over the house. If you are a very organised person you may be able to take the week off. But if you or your family members tend not to put thing back where they belong then it is time for a little roundup. I will name a certain category of items and you can do a search and gather mission to bring them back together on one place again.

Monday – Roundup all the little tools that are scattered throughout your home. Once together declutter any excess.

Tuesday - Roundup all pens and pencils that are scattered throughout your home. Once together declutter any excess.

Wednesday - Roundup all your kids toys that are scattered throughout your home. Once together declutter any excess.

Thursday - Roundup all reading materials that are scattered throughout your home. Once together declutter any excess.

Friday - Roundup all the grooming product and tools that are scattered throughout your home. Once together declutter any excess.

Saturday - Roundup all the electronic cables that are scattered throughout your home. Once together declutter any excess.

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

Today’s Declutter Item

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Eco Tip for the Day

Grazing animals crate a lot of methane adding to our carbon footprint. When it comes to meals try having a meatless day at least once a week.

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. Good mini-missions. I think we have them all covered. Mom is focused on the extra stuff in the lower cabinets of the hutch and her craft stuff. She really got in a mood and we now have A LOT less Christmas stuff. It’s great. Now if I could just find a way to get her to get rid of some of the everyday “collectibles” like the 6 pitchers she has on display but never uses for anything. Hum!

    • Things on display sometimes really are the hardest to declutter, I find. Because they are only (or mostly) there for being pretty anyway. But as aesthetics/tastes change, they’ll eventually get transferred to a box or a cupboard in the process of decluttering. The good part though: After a good deal of time there then they usually are easy to declutter 🙂

      • Ideealistin, we have been moving these pitchers around the country for years. Some other things too. I guess they aren’t too bad it is just that I have a hard time with all the dust catchers.

    • I am sure she will come to her senses on the pitchers Deb J, she has with just about everything else.

  2. Oh yes, Monday is always ‘pick up morning’! The house is usually reasonably tidy, but with extra Christmas stuff out it is a bit messier than usual. I read a great idea where you corral all the Christmas bits and pieces (like unwritten cards, stamps, DVDs, candles, etc) into one basket so I’ve just done that. It means everything is in the one spot together. Of course, my many Christmas-related books I’ve collected over the years are MEANT to be in their own basket but the kids read them all over the house. That’s OK though, I’d rather they be read than just have them sitting there for show:-)
    PS When we put up the Christmas tree last week I was surprised and delighted to find we only had 1 plastic tub-full of decorations! I’d forgotten that I’d done a big declutter in the new year and gotten rid of all the crappy excess decorations. The kids weren’t happy though: they have memories like elephants and remember EVERY decoration, but I never throw away any of their handmade ones. I’m not that stupid!

    • Hi Loretta,
      I think my kids have got to the point where they wonder why I keep any of it. They know Christmas isn’t my favourite time of the year and wonder why I make any effort at all. But I am happy with min minimal Christmas decorating and I will leave it at that.

  3. I like this set of mini-missions. I’m thankful Monday’s was previously done, because I needed a drill for a project, and knew right where it was (I have a teeny little drill in my toolbox for just those occasional times you need one, since I rarely need a drill, but occasionally could use one). My toolbox is neat and organized, and has every tool in the house in it unless they are being currently used.

    Tomorrows mission on the other hand is interesting… I think I may substitute/add scissors. The pens and pencils get used and moved regularly with three college kids (you take one out for a paper, set it down as you race out the door, someone grabs it to jot down a phone message, leaves it in the kitchen, where someone uses it to write a grocery list and then takes it to the store and leaves it in their car until their friend borrows it… and so on), but the scissors always disappear. There’s a pair for each room because we so often need them (it’s ridiculous – I think I’ve used a pair every day for the last week, if not month), but THREE of the pairs are missing now… so I will need to find those and get them back where they belong.

    The rest of the week will be interesting – wednesday and Thursday are already done, and while Friday and Saturday are rounded up, the excess needs to be examined. I think grooming is on a use-it-up state, and electronics are confined to a small box of complete things that I can’t/don’t want to get rid of yet (cords for things that I still use, but don’t use the cords to) and some use-it-up things like cheap speakers and headphones (they work great for a few months, then get broken/damaged/stolen/lost and need replacing). Haven’t added anything to the box in years, but am slowly emptying it.

    • Amanda, you make me think of all the tools we have in the shed. When my father died he had hundreds of tools. I kept a small group of them and we sold the rest. Now I have realized that we have that small group in the shed and most of them we haven’t used since we sold our house and moved here. So I need to get out there and sort through them. Sure don’t need to keep them. I know just the person who can use them too.

      • That’s awesome! I’ve only used maybe half the tools I have, but right now, I have one very nice toolbox that fits perfectly on the shelf, and everything fits inside it (though the leatherman always stays in my purse). If my tool set ever expands beyond the toolbox, I will worry about it, but until then, I don’t mind keeping a few things around that are useful from time to time (our toilet just clogged and I needed my large wrenches for the first time ever) and would be a pain to replace in most situations I’ve needed them (seriously, who wants to run to a store at 10pm looking for a wrench because you can’t get the toilet fixed without it). I’ve found that the most useful are a leatherman with a screwdriver attachment and pliers, a good pair of scissors, and a second pair of pliers. Make sure the screwdriver attachment has heads for what all you need. These tools can fit into a little pencil box, and could have been used for almost every task that I have needed them for (the bolts on the toilet were rusted, so I couldn’t get the leverage with pliers). I also have a tiny drill that I got for maybe $6, that isn’t powerful enough for daily use, but works all right in a pinch for setting holes in the wall for screws, and my jewelry making. The drill certainly isn’t necessary, but I enjoy having it.

        I am glad you sold the majority of the tools – some people really do need the massive numbers (I’m building a bench under an apprenticeship, and have used almost all the tools in his shed so far). The rest of us just don’t need them, or can borrow them in a pinch.

        • When my dad died 19 years ago we sold over a $1000 worth of tools and that was at half price. The ones I kept and haven’t used in that 19 years will go to a friend. I am definitely, like you, keeping the ones I can and know how to use for things around the house. Anything that I would have to call someone to come do they can fix with their own tools. I also think I am going to put them in a tool box and bring them into the house out of the shed. I like that idea.

          • Good plan. I like having them in the house, because then it’s also easy to grab them. “Oh, this light socket needs screwed back in? I can do that.” If the toolbox was outside, I probably would just ignore the little things that are easy to fix. And yeah, if you need help with something, the person who can help probably also has the tools. I’m the DIY person in my group of friends, so for minor repairs, I’m the person called. I helped disassemble and reassemble several beds in the last few years, because of the constant moving around of college kids. But when the shower started leaking? That was a job for a professional, so we called the landlords and they sent a plumber. Turns out it was an easy fix, but I couldn’t figure out where to begin. The toilet was an easy fix, and I knew how to do that one (thank goodness).

            Keeping them in the house is just one of those ways to keep them where you need them. An old roommate built stuff in the shed, so he kept his tools there. I fix things in the house, so mine stay in the house.

          • I have a small set of things I use all the time in the house and the rest of the tools are stored in a tool box or on the work bench in the garage. My favourite ever-now-and-again tool is the Dremel.

        • Well, I just went out a little while ago and brought in the tools we will keep. I forgot we have a drawer that we had a few tools in. I was able to put them in that drawer. So now all of those are taken care of. I need to put the rest I plan to get rid of into a bag to take to my friend who can use them.

          • I miss my Dremel. It died and I haven’t been able to find another one like it. I guess I will have to get a different one. They probably don’t make them anymore.

    • Well done with the mini missions Amanda. It seems like you have them all well under control. We have the opposite situation with pens in this house, they tend to multiply even though I never buy any. I am pretty sure I know who the culprit is though.

  4. Great mini missions this week. I had to work on some of Monday’s already as a tool had to be hunted down. Every one of these is something that I am needing to get done this week. Definitely, I have the same issue as Amanda, my scissors seem to grow legs somehow…I cannot find those things when I need them :).

    • Hi Jen good luck with the missions and with finding the scissors. 🙂

    • Good luck with your scissors. I found one pair in a box of textbooks???? and one wedged into the couch cushions. Still missing a pair though 😛

      • I had ignored our sofa for awhile and when I did do a major cleaning found 12 (!) pairs of dirty socks which certainly explained why we had had to buy both of our sons more socks a couple of weeks earlier. Scissors would have sent me through the roof!

  5. Wow – this weeks missions are spot on for me. I’ve already managed to complete the whole week before my morning coffee!
    Moved a thing of drill bits & drill (tools) from the den back to the garage – the husband is installing a security system. A rogue pencil was still on the back porch (sunday crossword). Picked up toys the big parrot tossed on the floor for her entertainment. Put a cookbook (reading material) I recently checked out from the library in my car to return today. Put my nail grooming bin back in the bathroom as it was on the table beside the couch. Put zip-ties around the recharger cables that don’t need to be 4 feet long – just a few inches will do.

    Otherwise, don’t be to impressed as I have my decluttering-a-rama whirlwind adventure to wrap up this week if I can keep focused. Everything we want listed on Ebay is listed. Everything we want sold at consignment is there. Just have to finish up with the attic decluttering & repaint 1 more room (& a closet). I’m down to the wire in needing & wanting to be done with my decluttering before January.

    So I expect a few more trips to the recycling center & donation store this week.
    I put 2 more plants out on the curb for “free” yesterday & they were gone within minutes – down to 3 plants now.
    Also need to purge the file cabinet yet again now that the end of the year is technically here & while I’ve decluttered the file cabinet down – it has become crystal clear to me over the past few months that it could yet again be reduced down to next to nothing. So I intend to do just that.

    I’ve gone from extreme ruthlessness with my decluttering to turtle slow pondering back to extreme ruthlessness this past week. I have to admit the ruthless side of me in terms of decluttering is my favorite!

    • Wow Jane!! Great job. You are really on a roll here. Keep up the good work.

      • Way to go Jane! I will get some inspiration from you to have some things out of the door before Christmas.

    • Well done Jane. I am thinking that next year i won’t be posting my decluttered item of the day anymore because there isn’t much left I feel the need to be rid of. I am really just looking forward to when my daughter finally takes all her stuff and I could possibly palm off a couple more things of mine to her as well. Hopefully April will be the time for that. I can hardly wait.

  6. I have been doing this mini missions, but in my case, they were BIG missions 😀 . I have to say I never did believe or understand how some people managed to always had their houses in order. After I decluttered my kitchen I have to say that it takes me 20 minutes to have it in perfect order. So definetely having less stuff eases the cleaning and putting away load 😀 😀 . I know you always say that Colleen, but I am seeing it happen right before my eyes and have been enjoying it 😉 .

    • Wow, Andréia! That sounds fabulous!

    • Good for you Andréia. We all get to where we need to be in our own good time. One must be ready to embark on this endeavour with earnest and maybe you are finally at that point. Experiencing the benefits is certainly a good way to be convinced.

      • Amazing results, I have been on my becoming minimalist for just a couple of months, but like most things I go at it like a demon. We have downsized on three occasions now, it started with the bedroom, where I now sleep well, now I have but two (spaces) not even rooms to go.
        The hardest thing for me is putting things back where they belong, and understanding where they fit initially?? So little stuff right now, feeling better for the knowledge but maintenance especially at Christmas, crucial!

        • Hi Caryn and welcome to 365 Less Things. I wish you success with the remainder of your decluttering endeavours. The habit of putting things back where they belong is something you will really have to work at. If your history is long with a certain “bad” habit breaking it is harder. So be consistent because every time you slip back into the old routine you reinforce well worn pathways in your brain. You need to create new brain habits in order to succeed at new physical ones.

  7. My son and I are making Christmas cookies this Sunday and while they are baking, we will be sorting through a huge box of Christmas ornaments that I haven’t looked at or into in 10 years or more. Some of these belonged to my mom or my husband’s mom but some, as I remember, are just things we no longer cared to put on a tree. As we accumulated newer or different items, this box just stayed on the shelf. My son is looking for more ornaments for his tree so he is welcome to any he finds that he likes. The rest,if good, I will put in our regular use box or share with my daughter or donate. Since I don’t know what is in there, it will be a nice surprise.
    Also, still collecting pens and pencils from around the house so this is a great mission for me this week. It’s amazing how many I have found. And in the strangest places.
    My husband really keeps track of the tools but I have found some in the bedroom (small set of screwdrivers in a bandaid box. Most likely, a Santa Secret Shoppe gift from one of our kids (very old). I use it from time to time but need to put it somewhere that makes sense so I can find it when I need it.
    Merry Christmas to all and I look forward to a more clutter free house in 2013 thanks to all the missions posted here and to all the great tips from everyone.

    • Hi Maggie, it seems like I came up with just the right mission for you this week.
      Making cookies with your son, that sounds like fun. I have my daughter home t the moment and I am hoping she continues with this habit of cooking dinner every night. The only trouble is one day she will leave again and I will have to return to reality. Oh well, make hay while the sun shines. Isn’t that what they say.

      Have fun in the old decoration box. I am sure you will enjoy a few memories while you are at it.

      I hope you have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.


  1. […] Decluttering doesn’t always come naturally and easily. But knowing we really would like to get rid of things usually wins out in the end. Andréia tells us how she is starting to enjoy the benefits of a decluttering space in this comment. […]