Mini Mission Monday ~ Stuff that builds up

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.

Regardless of how much of an expert one things they have become at keeping the clutter at bay there are always things that build up when you aren’t looking. Little things mostly but it is clutter nonetheless and as we all know so much of our clutter is made up of little bits and pieces. These things also build up while you are in full swing trying to get rid of the bulk of your clutter. Therefore it is best to keep a close eye on the little devils. So this week we will find some of them to declutter.

Monday – Declutter receipts you have kept for warranty or return purposes that are now past their return by date.

Tuesday – Declutter small clothing items that you kept just in case when you last purchased new ones. ~ Underwear, socks, t-shirts etc.

Wednesday – Declutter items you have kept for reuse that are building up. Plastic bags, jars, boxes…

Thursday – Check for items in your pantry or refrigerator that built up but need using up.

Friday - For the book lovers ~ Keep your collection in check by decluttering a couple of less loved books.

Saturday – Identify your own unique build-up situation and unclutter some of it. Mine is craft and I’m working on it constantly.

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

As your light globes fail throughout your home replace them with LEDs. They are more expensive to purchase but they will pay for themselves in spades and don’t have the toxic chemicals of mini florescent globes.

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. This is perfect for me, at the moment there is a minor change and re-arrange of some furniture around the house. Mainly bedroom furniture, but it has brought to light a surprising amount of ‘stuff’ that needs sorting thru. The girls also have their ballet concert coming up, and although I have pulled back quite a bit this year, I still need to do my girl’s costumes and accessories and at the moment there is a lot of bits and pieces around the place to do with that. Plus there is a lot of school exam related piles of stuff dotted around the house too.

    • Hi Moni, it is perfect for me which is why I wrote it. Since coming home from vacation I have been madly crafting which is making a mess of my house. Little bits of paper getting everywhere. The balcony hasn’t been cleaned for seven eight weeks and is covered in coal dust. And I have been playing catch up with washing. All this is making any little mess contributor extra annoying to me. Therefore all those little build up of tiny clutter are in my sights for todays houseclean. And what isn’t immediately obvious will be searched out and eliminated.

      I can understand how your stuff is piling up with three grown kids in the house. That really would drive me nuts. But then I have gotten used to it just being the two of us so lucky me.

      All this talk of cleaning and clearing has me itching to get at it so I’m off. Have a great day.

  2. As I sit by my computer ,I look at the 6 decorative bicentennial plates that were hung on our dining room walls some 35 plus years ago. I have discussed with my husband their removal and he has said OK a few times but only if all 6 go. I hesitate to move forward because it will leave large holes in the wall and we are not yet ready to paint and I have no touch up for this color. I’m afraid I’ll create a bigger problem. At one time they were placed 3 on each side of a mirror but when I moved the china to that wall they had to be removed. I had someone add those 3 to the other 3 and I just am so aware of how “very busy” they look. Maybe I’ll have to continue using the “Sunday” declutter to contemplate and come up with a good solution. Anyone care to comment?? (OH, and I kind of like 1 of the 6…but remember what hubby said!)
    P.S. Forget selling on e-bay as there are tons up for sale for very little money (even though they are pewter with handpainted china inserts) and they would weigh alot and be a headache to pack. I’d sooner donate, as I do all my excess stuff.

    • Hi Anna, maybe removing the plates will leave holes in the walls, but it’s a step in the right direction. A small pot of paint matching your wall could be purchased. Instead of contemplating them next Sunday you patch and paint the holes. You have made the decision , now it’s time for the action. :). Make an action plan. List what has to be done, talk it over with your husband , it may not be as bigger problem as you imagine. Who is going to repair the holes? Who will paint?
      Breaking it down makes it seem less daunting.
      I’m amazed at what has been achieved around my place at the moment. For so long we could not figure where to start. There was so much to do. Retaining walls, concreting, bathroom repairs, but once we finally started and finished a project my husband was planning the next. A wall in the kitchen had cracks in the plaster and needed repainting before the new kitchen was installed. It did not take long to complete.
      We are having a council curb side pick up for the old kitchen , so I will be spending most of the day moving rubbish from the back yard to the front yard. Meanwhile we have a guy polishing the floorboards in the kitchen so lounge room is a tempory kitchen.

      • You must be an expert on this at the moment Wendy F. And I am inclined to agree with what you have written here. Take down the plates and start the ball rolling.

        BTW. How soon will the house be in a good enough shape to show me through.

        • Probably Christmas…….. next year. The ball is certainly rolling here, there is plaster off walls and needs re sheeting. The bathroom is next on the agenda.
          I am very lucky to have a motivated handy man husband . He works all week then doubles up on the weekend plumbing , painting, plastering and demolishing. He has spent a lot of weekends contemplating what to do though 😉

    • Hi Anna, good point about eBay. The sooner people cotton on to these dodgy companies that produce “collectables” the better. They produce so many that they are never going to appreciate to what you paid for them never mind actually achieve a profit.

      And all of what Wendy said. Just make a start. Perhaps those holes in the walls will spur you into action. Get the plates down ASAP and send them to the thrift shop. Rub some soap into the holes for the time being if painting and plastering isn’t an option right now.

  3. This bout of illness for both of us and put us behind. Some things have built up because we have had no energy to even contemplate decluttering it. You have given us a good way to do it.

  4. Hi Colleen-
    I’ve been a follower for a couple of months now and you and your readers have prompted me to out- load hundreds of item thus far. Last week, though, I had an experience I have to share. I’ve been working on the grown kids’ old closets. They are large closets and, while far from full, they had quite a few lingering contents. I called my daughter who lives 500 miles away and asked if there was anything she wanted in hers. Instantly she replied, “yes, will you save those 2 vintage dresses?” In that one sentence I was freed to send about 75 other garments to new homes (and snag myself the comfiest pajama pants I’ve ever worn😊). Moral: make no assumptions; ask the questions. I thought we were storing things she valued.
    Love the blog. I started at the beginning of the archives and have to admit that your pictures the first years really challenged me. I’d think to myself, “Wow, I would have totally kept that.” But the fact that you didn’t pushes me to dig a little deeper. Kind of miss the pictures, but I read your rationale and it makes total sense.
    Keep up the great work!

    • Hi Betty W and welcome to 365 Less Things. Sorry your comment has gone unheeded for so long. I was on vacation and have been playing catch up ever since.
      I am glad you have learned the lesson of “Ask the question.” And am especially glad that the answer to your question resulted in lots of decluttering. Doing a happy dance for you.
      Thank you for taking the time to read right through the archives. I am not much of a reader so that seems like a mammoth task to me so bravo to you. You aren’t the only one who misses the photos. I carried on with them for quite some time. I am glad however that the rationale that I prattle on with makes sense though and inspires you to declutter more and more stuff.
      I’ll keep up the great work if you do to. 😉

  5. I’m a little backwards in this Monday thing! My Sunday is my day to get something done at home – I work full time and on Saturday I go to my sister’s house to help her out with her housekeeping as she has difficulty with health issues….I find my purging is ‘leaking’ over to her house too! So, today, instead of contemplating – well, maybe I contemplated a few things, but right now I’ve got an old barn whose roof is trying desperately to go back to the ground and THAT makes for some serious purging! There are 3 outbuildings on my little farm – I have 11 acres and a small farmhouse that I’ve redone. The barn that’s hanging on by a thread is the one that has my 12’x24′ workshop in it…I’ve got my stash of wood (I’m a woodworker in my spare time) and it’s where I store my junk until it goes to garage sale and then to be donated. But, before I can move anything out of that building I had to clean/purge my well house…and that was today’s project. My Christmas stuff is in there, and…honestly, stuff I haven’t seen since I moved here 9 years ago. Poof, gone! I hauled a car load (seriously, the trunk and back seat of my Volvo were full of trash bags, LOL, and made a huge pile to put in garage sale before donating. I’m seeing a HUGE garage sale in the very near future (planning on the first weekend of December). I’m also a quilter, and have been inspired to finally USE my fabric stash instead of just collecting. My motto used to be ‘She who has the biggest stash when she dies wins’….I now think about my kids having to sort thru all this and it’s changed to ‘She who has the least left when she dies wins’…

    • Hi Suzi, I apologise for taking so long to read and respond to your comment. I turned of comment notification while on vacation as my cell phone inbox kept clogging up. Then I forgot to turn notification back on when I got home. Therefore I have only been seeing the comments that actually come through on the blog. So now I am playing catch-up.
      Thank you for your comment and welcome to 365 Less Things. It sounds like you have quite a task on your hands and sure don’t need my mini missions to keep you busy. And what a good person you are to help your sister out. I wish you success with your garage sale and hope that roof holds out until you can clear the space below. Woodworking and quilting must keep you busy in your spare time. I find one hobby enough to keep up with at any given time. That is not to say that I don’t dabble in a couple on the side. We have to nurture that creative streak after all, don’t we?

  6. I admit I like keeping in those re sealable plastic bags that grains come in. They are made of thicker plastic and are ideal for putting leftovers in and squeezing them into the freezer. But where to store them so they don’t become clutter ?
    With the kitchen out of action this week I’m hoping the fridge will be emptied of all the leftovers.
    Nothing like having a floor sanded and polished to coat everything with a fine layer of dust . So glad I don’t have shelves filled with knick knacks .

  7. Wendy and Colleen, Thank you both for your suggestions. Time to put an action plan in place.

    • Let us know what happens. I think if you kinda like one you should keep it. Just having one on the wall might look nicer than the six.

      • My Update…the plates are down, the holes are plastered, the plates were delivered to the donation center. Thanks to the encouragement of WendyF and Colleen and also the cooperation of my husband who went out to buy spackle and did the repairs she I was out making the donation. I can’t even begin to tell you how long I’ve been contemplating this and in 1 day it has been resolved…just by taking the first step.

  8. The clutter was accumulated a little here, a little there, so it makes perfect sense to take the same approach and declutter in the same manner. The beauty of doing it that way, is that sometimes the “ball starts rolling” and boom, you become inspired to keep forging ahead and accomplish more than you could have possibly imagined.

  9. OK-so the plates are down and so far one screw is removed. I’m already feeling how much better it looks. My husband had to run an errand so I’ll see how long it takes for him to notice. I still feel somewhat guilty but am contemplating making the donation today so there are no second thoughts on my husbands part. I am sure he said it was OK to donate and that he didn’t have an attachment to them. He said he ordered because he thought they were nice……..OK, I’m pretty sure I heard this…….
    Oh, how I’m loving not looking at that mass of plates, out of the side of my eyes, as I sit at the computer desk. Kind of like Feng Shui.

    • So glad you are feeling good about the plates going. Funny how long it takes people to notice things missing. Some of my family took a week to notice the exercise bike missing from the lounge room !
      Some Christmas decorations migh fit on the empty screws on the wall , that gives you another two months to get ready to fill and paint the holes. 🙂