Mini Mission Monday

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 week’s mini missions address items that you may not have considered decluttering in the past. They aren’t really things you can just get rid on in the ten minute mini mission time frame but you can use ten minutes to give them your consideration.  I first wrote these missions in 2013 so I am actually hoping that you have moved with the times and have already eliminated most of them from you home by now. With all of these items you could instigate a trial separation where you don’t use them for a month and see how you cope.

Monday – Consider decluttering your home phone. Do you really need a static phone as well as a mobile for each person in the household?

Tuesday – Consider decluttering your second television or the third one if you have that many. Let’s face it how much time do we really need to waste sitting around watching TV or videos.

Wednesday – Do you really need an alarm clock when your cell phone can carry out this task. Consider decluttering it.

Thursday – Declutter a piece of furniture, especially if its only purpose is to hold items that need dusting.  Hopefully your previous decluttering efforts might have freed up such a piece by now.

Friday – Declutter a filing cabinet. Once you have decluttered your accumulated paperwork and have become realistic about what you really need to retain in the future, perhaps decluttering your filing cabinet, or at least downsizing to one with less drawers, would make sense. The lack of excess filing space may encourage you to stay on top of the paper clutter in the future, having no place to store it out of sight out of mind.

Saturday – I have mentioned this next item before but not often. Consider decluttering your second fridge or freezer. I know that some people use theirs for economic purchasing reasons but if that is not the case do you really need it. Many second fridges in Australia are used almost purely for storing beer and soft-drinks (soda), neither of which are good for you when consumed in large quantities and/or too frequently.

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. Good reminders. Will be working on the paper work this week. Tax time is at the end of the month so will be good to be organized .

    • Wendy, I am commenting too much this post, but want to wish you well with the paperwork! That is ONE area I completed, and it just feels so good!!!

  2. Thanks for the reminders Colleen.
    A while ago I gave away my calculator as per your Wednesday argument.
    The paper files are an ongoing bugbear of mine. I have decluttered them multiple times but they still bug me. So time for another, stricter, cull I think.

    • Amelia – do you use the calculator on your phone instead? I am a book keeper and it seem weird to not have a calculator, though if I’m being honest 99% of the time I use the calculator on my pc screen.

      • I sure do Moni. I work in Finance – at work I just use the calculator on the PC (or spreadsheet formulae). Although most of my coworkers still have a calculator. (Shrug). For non-work use the phone calculator is fine (plus I recently discovered that rotating the phone shows more calculation functions). I initially had a few different types of calculators left over from my uni days, which I gradually decluttered, although letting go of the last, a scientific calculator, was a big step for me. But funnily enough, I haven’t had one day where I have needed it (online calculators can help in a pinch too).

  3. Thanks for these reminders of the progress I’ve made over the years. It’s good to realize how I used to have a landline & 2nd tv. The landline has been gone 5+ plus years. The 2nd tv has been gone for over year, can’t even remember how long its been gone, how funny is that? A few months ago I got rid of a large vintage hutch. I have to admit that I haven’t missed any of these items over the years.

  4. God reminders Colleen. These are taken care of for me except the files. Yes, they are a pain. If I didn’t have to keep so much because we have to prove we are eligible for living where we live I would be able to get rid of so much more. I have to give them paper copies and that bugs me. In order to not kill more trees, I keep the paper copies I receive from the doctors, etc. It’s soooo frustrating.

  5. Great reminders…but please don’t assume that everyone has cell phones. We have one in the car for when we travel…but we still rely on our home phone. Which has no static and it very convenient for my husband and me. We are a dying breed…we think cell phones are making our youngest generation loose the art of conversation. But, that’s a subject for another time. I really do love your column and your suggestions. We live in a small 450 sq ft home, but we still have too much stuff. So, I do appreciate your suggestions giving me permission to let some things go without guilt.

    • Linda, I am fascinated that you live in a 450 sq ft house! Is it just you and your husband? (You said “we”). I LOVE tiny houses but have wondered how it would REALLY be to live in one. Do you feel cramped? I’d love to hear more! It is my secret dream to live small. Actually, it was my ORIGINAL dream since high school, but I am way sidetracked!!!

      • Brenda, we have lived in a smaller home. We lived in a 42 foot long 5th wheel for 12 years. Then we moved into this park model home. It’s like a little shotgun home. We do not feel cramped at all. I think that is because we have always had a decent patio to include in our spaces. As we age we find the less to clean is better. We moved from a 4 bedroom home into the 5th wheel and put most of our stuff in storage. We still have stuff in storage. That’s a big problem. I am going through stuff one box at a time. I refuse to have it all brought here at once. I have a hard time of letting go of stuff from my parents and grandparents. I do recommend smaller homes if you are at that time of life. Just don’t put stuff in storage…get rid of it first and then move. I hope you try it at some time.

        • Linda, you really went cold turkey moving from a 4 bdr house to a fifth wheel!
          I admire you for that. I have lived in a camper a couple times in life and enjoyed it, but it was temporary and I had a permanent home elsewhere. My current home is about 3200 sq ft plus a large garage and my husband’s workshop uunderneath the bedroom area. I love the idea of having about a 1000 sq ft home. However, I live on family land and my sister and niece live next door but not in sight. We are very close and I wouldn’t want to move. So, I guess I am stuck with my scenario for awhile yet.

  6. We finally got around to disconnecting our house line recently but I’m not sure what to do with the phone, I will check with the Op Shop – I’m not sure if they take electrical items.

    Do you remember the legendary upstairs room at work? Well it had to be emptied for re-purposing reasons. A big cull happened but the balance of stuff has been transported out to my garage – which I felt was the perfect opportunity to bring down everything the ceiling storage space. But before you gasp with horror……I am still parking the car in the garage – it all fits nicely down the sides.

    Hubby was a bit freaked out (he obviously doesn’t remember that the entire garage floor used to be covered in stuff) seeing this and quickly tried to hiff it all out. Alas I had to stop him as the kiddults need to be consulted on most of it, but I’m hoping that most of that can be done via FB Messenger.

    Wish me luck!

    • Hope it goes well, Moni and you soon have it all out of there.

      • Deb J – Thanks, I was thinking of messaging you and Peggy on the weekend for some far distance cheerleaders.

        • Moni – From your previous comments, it seems that each member of your family is somewhere on the “decluttering spectrum”… I’m thinking that it is just a matter of time for you to be able to check with them about items and they will each be willing to part with some things… I wish I had your memory and energy! 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • Peggy – you are always wise! Yes, we’re all at different stages of life and more change is on the horizon.
            Turns out the daughter in Wellington has the PS3, I just had the storage container, box sitting there. Well, that’s one thing that can get tossed out. I guess it is a case of asking the right people, the questions!

  7. Hi Colleen and everyone! I’m all excited because I have eliminated a lot of large items lately. I had only gotten rid of 60 items in March when my husband had to have open heart surgery and I got sidetracked.
    (He is doing fine). In early May, I took a box to the thrift of about 15 medium sized things. Then, at the end of May I decided I no longer wanted the aspiration clutter in my garage! I let go of a small bedside type table, a primitive chair, and a small kitchen table, all of which was awaiting my working on them.
    NO MORE!!!!! I also took a hand held vacuum cleaner and other misc items. It cleared my garage of excess except for the large coffee table I have been wanting to sell.

    Then, as fate would have it, my friend’s chairity is having an auction and she had friends visiting my area who could haul things back to her. So off went the coffee table, a antique pottie stool, antique birdhouse on a stand, a large, very heavy ornate framed mirror, and other items!!!

    I lay in bed one night thinking of what areas are still stagnant and I knew I needed to clean out linens and things. So a few days ago, I gathered a very large box of tablecloths, doilies, pictures and odd things I had stored in closets.

    Tonight, I am working on bedding. I have removed 6 extra bed pillows, a decorative pillow, a bed skirt and am going upstairs right now to continue in the closet where those things are stored.

    You may remember I have a large sheet collection, and I haven’t started on those yet. Ha!!!!

    I have really removed a lot of bulk and I’m very happy!!!

    Thanks, everyone, for the constant inspiration!! !

  8. I got rid of one tv ! There was no use in having a tv in a room that we don’t even walk into –

    • Good for you, Lorena. I hate even having ONE TV, but as long as I keep hubby, I guess the TV stays, too. Ha!!

  9. Ladies – I have just done a drop off at the Hospice Op Shop. Some stuff that I was umming and ahhhing and ‘what-if-ing over and ‘just-in-casing’, I had to stop by home to pick up something I’d left behind, and I made the decision then and there to drop them off. I bet I don’t go rushing back in tomorrow to buy back. But I do feel a small bit of anxiety. I should know better than this, but goes to show that even us old timers fall into old traps.

    • Moni, I so relate to your feelings. I am definitely a just-in-case, what if person. The type of things I have been eliminating were not those type of things although I have had second thoughts on plenty of items. As soon as I donated my vintage bird cage, I started thinking I would probably have a wounded bird show up any day and need it. Ha!!!

      I am a bit of a prepper, too. And when you think about it, that falls into the “what if” scenario. But, I like the idea of being prepared as best you can for whatever life brings. I live in the country and the power used to go off a lot. I have all the quilts my Mom made that we used growing up, I have cookware for cooking over an open fire or fireplace, and the list goes on. This doesn’t pair well with minimalism. I have a large house, but no basement to store those things in. Some of my excess furniture houses these type things. Even though I have a lot of furniture, most of it is being utilized in one way or another. Thankfully, I have a few empty spaces now.

      I am peeling away the unnecessary layers first. Then, I will have to decide about the furniture. I would love to sell the reproduction Victorian Mansion Bedroom suite I have and replace it with one of my antique beds that are light enough to slide around for cleaning. I have almost no money in any of my vintage furniture. I have always been a “junker”, refinishing things. Many items are sentimental and have “stories” behind them. So, I guess my furniture will stay for awhile till I am really positive about what I want to let go.

      I heard a really great quote the other day from Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists. He said, “I have never regretted anything I let go, but if I ever do, I will let go the regret”. : ). Hopefully you won’t regret any of your donations to the op shop. Keep us posted! I always love your comments!