Mini Mission Monday ~ Something Different

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 I have tried to put together six missions involving items that you may not of thought to declutter as yet. They, like last week are items that I don’t mention very often or perhaps, in some cases, not at all. As usual, if you have already decluttered these items or never had them in the first place, perhaps they will jog ideas of similar items you haven’t dealt with yet.

Monday – Declutter any too large suitcases you avoid using because of their bulk. Firstly there is rarely a need to pack so much stuff. Want maybe, but need, not so likely. Secondly, once these cases are packed they are too heavy to manoeuvre.

Tuesday – Declutter any saucepans or frying pans you simply don’t use. These are bulky items that waste a lot of space if they are kept for those just-in-case moments. They are also items that can easily be borrowed from a friend, relative or neighbour in the rare case they are necessary.

Wednesday – Declutter disposable items from your home and your shopping list. For example ~ Cling film, aluminium foil, paper napkins, paper towel, dryer sheets, wet wipes. Utilise other items in your home that can easily take their place. The environment and your bank account will be all the healthier for it. I haven’t eliminated all of these things from my home but I use so little of the ones I do still keep (paper towel and aluminium foil) that I buy them in small quantities and only replace them when they totally run out. And before anyone tells me that these things are cheaper in large quantities, think for a minute about how easy it is to be wasteful with stuff when there is plenty on hand.

Thursday – Declutter parts of sets that aren’t being utilised. It isn’t compulsory to keep sets together. In the past I have sold or donated attachments to kitchen gadgets, a strainer from a pasta pot, saucers from a dinner set…

Friday – Declutter items adorning benches that just make cleaning more of a chore. Kitchen benches and bathroom cabinets are  areas prone to this nuisance clutter. In bathrooms particularly there is not need to keep everything you use, once or at best twice a day, sitting on the bench top. It takes a fraction of a second to open a door or a drawer.

Saturday – Declutter an item that you keep as a backup for something similar. One reader last week said she had a backup electric kettle. If she disliked it so much there is a good chance she isn’t going to revert back to it should the better one stop working. Cell phones are another item that people tend to have several of. One is fine, more than that is just excessive. These are both cases of buying something when the current one was perfectly fine. We are all guilty of this I am sure.

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

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. Colleen, another good list of mini-missions. Mon-We sold all our suitcases but one small carry on with rollers. Now I’m going to try to convince Mom to get rid of it. We no longer travel. It’s too hard on both of us. So why keep the thing? Out it goes. Tues-no extra pans. We use all of them. We are good at cooking all our food from scratch so the various sizes get used often. Wed–Disposable items. Here is where I wish I could get Mom to change. She uses all of these and plenty of them. I did get her to switch from Swiffer sheets to Microfiber cloths for dusting and mopping. Haven’t been able to convert her for the rest yet. Thurs–We have an 8 place setting of Correlle dishes. I see no reason to hang on to all of it but Mom can’t let go yet. I just got her to get rid of the other set of dishes we haven’t used since living here so will have to go slow on this one. Fri–Our benches (countertops) are pretty clear. We both hate things like that cluttered. Sat–I think I finally have Mom weaned off having backups. I can’t think of any we have. Yippee!!

    • Hi Deb, it sounds like you have most of this weeks missions under control. Good for you. Also well done weaning your mom off backups. My philosophy on backups is that much of the stuff I use all the time can easily be substituted by something else until they can be replaced so I don’t need to carry replacements. Now you just need to start weaning your mom off those disposable items. Just forget to pick them up at the grocery store every now and again. The improvising in the meantime might catch on. 😉

      • I wish forgetting things at the store would work. Mom will just nag until I finally go get them. She thinks throw away stuff is wonderful. Argh!

  2. The toxic Teflon frypan is going!
    Suitcases, mmmm I will get back to you on that one.

    • Hi Wendy, I have been married almost 27 years and I have never owned a Teflon frypan. There are times that I have been tempted to buy one. Specifically when I cock up when frying eggs but then I think ~ “Whats a busted yolk between friends once in a while.” ~ and then forget the idea.
      We’ll chat about those suitcases. If you are going to tell me that one can’t live out of a backpack for three months on vacation you will be in for some opposing opinions on that. 😉

  3. Good mini missions. I have been thinking about suitcases off and on for a while. The girls and I are working on travelling light, have made big improvements but we think we need to plan what we take a little better so we have more mix and match options. I have spoken to Adrian about getting rid of some of the larger suitcases but he think that if we have room for them we should leave them for now as he’d like to do one last family holiday when our rental sells.
    Pots – I have been thinking lately that I’d like to take away half of my pots as an experiment, so I will implement that as the first step. I boxed up half my plastics last week in a similar experiment, I admit I have had to reclaim one item from the box, but that is the purpose of the experiment, to establish exactly what I actually require to operate my kitchen.
    Disposable items: Now that I no longer store stuff around the house (especially sewing stuff) the need for zip lock bags dried up directly after I bought a 100 pack box 12-18 months ago. I am going to give these away to someone who uses them for a community project.

    • Hi Moni, practice makes perfect when it comes to packing light. I think I have it down pat now. So I am sure you and the girls will get better at it over time too. Tell Adrian he doesn’t need those suitcase. Our children have been responsible for their own luggage since they were twelve and fourteen. If they have to carry it they will learn to pack light. And Steve and I just did seven weeks in the UK and Ireland with just 7kg of cabin baggage. If we can do it so can you. 😉

      Good idea doing the trial separation with the pots. I have more tupperware that I will do that with soon. If I don’t miss it I will give it to Bridget. As you say, retrieving something is fine, knowing what you can manage without is the point of the experiment. For everything you retrieve there are usually many that you don’t.

      Good for you on giving up the zip lock bags. They used to be my best friend once but now I rarely use them and it will be a long time before I would have to purchase any. I wouldn’t say that I would give them up altogether, but never say never. About the only thing I use them for is to put toiletries in for long haul flights. Even then I reuse them for that purpose over and over again.

  4. I like these ideas. The thrift shop nearest to me would only take 2 of our suitcases so we are still stuck with 4 more surplus ones.

    • Hi Katy, check out if there is another thrift shop in your area. Also I believe some charities give them to foster children, so check out that possibility in your area. I just googled “donate suitcases to foster children” and lots of web sites popped up.

  5. Love the paper product decluttering. Many of my friends and ‘ohana (family) tease me because I have never used paper napkins. Cloth napkins always and forever. I do occasionally use paper towels, however, I cut off just the amount I need for the job. One roll lasts me well over a year.

  6. Well, Colleen, I procrastinated long enough and this weekend was hugely successful in completing those last few tasks that needed to be finished up in the kitchen. Spackled holes, painted the ceiling, painted the walls, touched up the paint in the attached laundry room, touched up paint on kitchen cabinets, touched up paint on kitchen and bathroom baseboards, finally moved the china hutch from the guest room back to its place in the kitchen. Stared for a long time at empty china hutch. Pondered on items that had lived in the china hutch. Decided that unless I truly love something, it isn’t coming back in. That also goes for the knick-knacks that used to live on top of the kitchen cabinets. Everything had been packed away, so when I unwrap, wash, and ponder placement, there will be the decision of whether to keep or not to keep. We removed the pot rack we had above the stove and of course to paint, I had removed two wall decorations next to the pot rack. I decided that I don’t love the wall decorations any longer and I think a different pot rack is in order. But before we decide on that, I will take a look at the pots and pans to determine if I really am using them or if they are just taking up space.

    I am really loving how open and airy the kitchen looks without all that junk cluttering it up. 🙂

    As I was running hither and yon getting things put back, I though about that show “Hoarders” and if it was taking me a bit of time to get things put back, it must take hoarders FOREVER to get through their stuff. Thank you for keeping me focused on what is important.