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 the mini missions will have a two fold purpose, one to find something to declutter, as usual, and the other to force you to observe what you bring into your home. Sometimes we don’t notice the little things we bring in that can, over time, build up into a whole lot more clutter.
Monday – Declutter by beginning to use up a toiletry item that you don’t like so much. Observe what you bring in, in the way of toiletry items when shopping this week. Are they really things you will need quite soon? Are they items you are just trying out for the first time? Are they even necessary? Or are you stocking up while something is on a special that will likely be repeated in the very near future.
Tuesday – Declutter an item you were given but no longer want. If you find yourself considering buying something for another person this week ask yourself will they really appreciate it and do they really need it.
Wednesday – Declutter an item of clothing. And if you are tempted to buy something new in the way of wearables this week just walk away.
Thursday – Declutter a novelty item. This could be a trinket, a jewellery item, a gadget etc. If you find yourself at the shops, even just the grocery store, observe all the silly novelty items there are out there produced for no real reason but to entice people to purchase them. So much of this stuff simply ends up in landfill when the novelty wears off. Avoid these items in future.
Friday – Declutter a DVD or CD you have rarely watched or listened to. The next time you are tempted to buy one stop and consider whether you will really get enough use out of it to justify the space it will take up on the shelf. With digital music devices and online movie options, like Netflix, there is really no need to own tangible copies of such things anymore.
Saturday – Declutter a sentimental item that isn’t really all that meaningful. When you are at the shopping mall next consider all the items you see that can quickly turn from merchandiseÂ to sentimental item simply because someone else gave it to you or you bought it as a souvenir. Maybe this exercise will help you detach from more of the same things still lingering in your home.
Sunday -Â 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 simplyÂ making a decisionÂ one way or another.
Good luck and happy decluttering
Random Acts of MiscellaneousÂ Kindness
(Little thoughtful acts for no reason but to make a complete strangers life a little easier.)
First of all, sorry I fell off the radar the last two posts, I did read them but had family matters to tend to.
Add to the mix, I instigated the ‘mount the tv on the wall and eliminate the entertainment centre’ project but its proving very stop-start as electricians and aerial guys have to be involved along with my hubby (‘the muscle’) and its turning out to be a bit like the old nursery rhyme song “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly”. Never mind I shall persevere.
Right – Monday: toiletries, the vanity drawers could do with a good clean out. I’ve been putting it off, so I shall just do it!
Tuesday: Given – my hubby was given a wetsuit that we have now confirmed is too small, so we will pass it on.
Wednesday: Clothing – I bought a dress for a wedding that needed a small repair ie discounted price. Then I discovered the mother of the groom had bought the same dress, so I had to change plan and have not gotten around to doing the repair. Maybe I should just pass it on.
Thursday: Novelty – no idea at this point
Friday: DVD – we have greatly reduced the number of DVDs we own over the years. Now when my niece and nephew visit they pick another DVD to take with them.
Saturday: Sentimental – not sure yet.
Dez Crawford says
The deadliest trap for novelty and so – called “specialty” items is kitchen gadgets. The best cooks do not have drawers full of banana slicers, avocado slicers, egg cutters, strawberry leaf removers and automatic apple dividers. They simply own one set of good knives and know how to use them. Any good cook should be able to produce a holiday dinner with no more storage for “stuff” than a New York City apartment kitchen. For example, if you rarely bake, you do not need drawer full of icing supplies. Just improvise by cutting a small corner off a zip lock bag, for example, on the two or three occasions each year when you put icing on something.
Deb J says
I like what you say here Dez. I am amazed at the things out there you can buy to do things you only need a good knife for.
Heh. This is one of my weaknesses. We cook a fair amount, but have little time or patience for “veggie prep” or similar, so I do have kitchen gadgets. I did a heavy culling a while ago, but I suspect I kept more than most people here would approve of. More importantly to me, I’ve gotten good at IDing ahead of time which ones will actually improve my life–and very rarely does a new one come home (may have been over a year at this point) So now it’s just finding the ones that aren’t useful that I already have. I’m willing to keep something that does a job much better than an alternative, or that makes a job a lot more palatable/faster.
Things do change over time–a can strainer was a tool I used incessantly for years because I otherwise dumped the can out in the sink or cut myself–but since I’ve all but eliminated cans from my cooking, it is no longer useful and went away a while ago, when I discovered it in the back of a drawer. Along with a stack of other similar things that were really useful when I was single, but now there are several of us and what I cook has also changed dramatically.
We cleaned out the pantry a few weeks ago and I found more. Out went sealed packages of icing bags & unused candy molds. The candy molds were silly. I never really wanted to make candy, but I bought some neat ones anyway because it was the “thing” friends were doing. The bags were “just in case”. I don’t need backups, and certainly not several packages of them! (I admit, I did keep the icing tips & the application cylinder. I have little patience with work-arounds after exploding several bags of icing over a cake, and I use them during otherwise stressful times of year and don’t want more stress. The containing box can now close again, and it keeps anything else from getting in the unseeable and unreachable corner of the pantry. The icing tips aren’t going to go past date.)
Little by little, the drawers and cabinets get emptied out so only useful tools are left. What qualifies as a tool vs a gadget depends heavily on your point of view and how you cook (and what you find horribly tedious). My husband and I don’t entirely agree on what goes in which column, so right now if either consider a useful tool (and actually use it), it stays. We still find things we agree are not worth the space, little by little.
Talking of stocking up re: Monday’s mission, I have to admit that I may have to expand my pantry inventory out a bit. I have been adopting some of the ‘zero waste’ ideas and in some cases, making from scratch is the best option, which has meant introducing extra ingredients to the pantry lineup. I’m pretty sure that Colleen will approve this kind of stock expansion though. I have initially focused on plastic packaging items, but will be looking at canned goods next, so maybe the increase of dry-goods can be evened out by a reduction in canned goods.
Deb J says
Moni, this is one of the places where I am working too. I reuse plastic food storage bags but am trying to gradually get rid of all of that plus buy less that is in packaging. It isn’t as easy as one would think. An example: You buy a package of celery. Here in the US you have to buy it in a package (bag) and don’t use it all at once. So you not only have to get rid of the bag but find something to store it in. I’m working on finding glass jars to put things in without having to actually buy new jars. I’m going to be haunting the thrift stores for a while.
Deb J – Bread. Ironically I bought a plastic bread container but I now visit the bakery once a week or maybe two depending, and they put a loaf thru the slicing machine and then put it in the container for me. We don’t get thru bread very quickly, so it goes straight into the freezer. I figure its going to take at least 3-6 months to balance out the disposable plastic versus my re-useable container, however each time I’m in there, another customer comments and asks the lady behind the counter if they too can bring a re-useable container, so I figure its not just all about my efforts. I have seen containers made of fabric on the internet.
I do admit that it would have been very difficult during the kid’s big growing years when I would buy ten loaves each week. I have noticed that a lot of zero waste bloggers with young children have bread making machines so that’s probably that answer.
Fruit and veges – a lot are packaged here too but there is usually also the self-selection option too. Training Adrian is part of the problem. Also we have the tendency to shop as if there are still five of us. I have a clear container in the fridge that I have worked out is just about the right size, if the fruit and vege don’t fit inside that (with the exception of say, a pumpkin or a cabbage and potatoes) we have too much.
At the deli I re-use a container for potato salad, coleslaw etc, and can get ham and bacon from there too. My daughter found it very embarrassing. Yes I could make my own potato salad and coleslaw but once again it is a quantities game.
I figure if I just change one thing each week, its a start.
If you take a look at The Simple Year blog, this year’s writer is doing zero waste and is an entertaining writer too.
I’m going to start using the local butcher if he is happy for me to take in re-useable containers.
Deb J says
Moni, it sounds like you have found some good alternatives. I think I am going to check out some different grocers to see if I can find a place that has more variety in non-bagged produce. The fruit I can find pretty much but some of the veggies not so much. We no longer have butchers other than in the groceries and they won’t give it to me the way I want it. I envy you in New Zealand where it s against the law to shoot your cows with all sorts of drugs. etc. I will find a way to get what I want though. I don’t intend to give up.
Deb J – this will make you smile. I was cruising around some zero waste sites for alternative ideas. One lady put out a question for the forum, if she can’t buy potato wedges in plastic bag from the frozens section of the supermarket, how does she feed her children potato wedges? Someone had to explain to her that she can cut up a potato to achieve the same thing. Oh dear.
Deb J says
Moni, this is too funny. People are so used to convenience foods but don’t realise they are not only convenient but many times not good for them.
Deb J says
These are good Colleen.
Mon–I bought some room spray because I liked the smell. I did not know that it would come out like a wet mist that causes the floor to get sticky. So I am giving it to someone who I know uses it and doesn’t care. Not exactly a toiletry item but oh well.
Tues–Can’t think of anything.
Wed–A pair of black shorts that attract every little piece of lint/dust in the air. Can’t walk across the room without them looking horrible.
Thurs–Can’t think of anything.
Fri–Don’t own any DVD’s or CD’s.
Sat–Already decluttered the sentimental items.
I’m going to go with Wednesday – clothing… Yesterday, I spent nearly 2 hours collecting all of my granddaughters clothing (including outerwear) from around the house and putting it into categories. I later counted 50 short sleeved shirts, 29 pair shorts, 27 long sleeve tops, 45 pair long pants, and 24 dresses… This does not include the clothing at her dads house! There were 4 winter jackets and various other articles of clothing… I asked my daughter to go through everything while it was organized and she DID!!! She gave me 2 completely full garbage bags worth of clothing to take to Goodwill! I told my daughter that I will be doing the same with our grandsons clothing… But I thought it best to wait a little, not to overwhelm her 🙂 I cannot express how happy I am about this… It has to be easier now to store our granddaughters clothing 🙂
Today I did my grandsons clothing… only took me about 1/2 hour… because no dresses haha 🙂 This is his tally: 10 hoodies / jackets / heavy sweatshirts, 4 winter jackets (one w/ snow pants), 42 short sleeved tops, 27 long sleeve tops, 20 pair shorts, 24 long pants, countless sleepwear… I have asked my daughter to go through everything tonight 🙂
I love the little ideas for each day! I have done much decluttering and am *pretty* happy where my house is at, but storage could use more space for items that sit out. Going to go look around!