Mini Mission Monday ~ Temptation Clutter

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 weeks mini missions are all about bringing your attention to items that have a tendency to unnecessarily build up, be decluttered and build up again. I made that sound like this happens without our being responsible for it but we all know that we are. We succumb to the temptation to replace perfectly serviceable items with something new whether we need it or not. Lets see how many of these items you can find to declutter in your home. But more than that, become aware that you are doing this and consider a change in this behaviour from here on.

I am not going to mention clothing or shoes in this list because that would be the most obvious choice for this category. However give some thought to your habits in this area and consider what you might do to improve on your initial choices that might help help avert this happening in the future.

Monday – Declutter a decor item that has been stashed away out of sight. ~ Do you find yourself refreshing your decor with an endless parade of decorator items. I would suggest displaying meaningful/sentimental items rather than hiding them away in a closet somewhere. You will be less inclined to dismiss and replace them so easily.

Tuesday – Declutter any pet toys that are overabundant in your home.  ~ Do you buy a new toy to amuse you pet with on a regular basis when their old toys are still in reasonable condition. Slowly they build up and then you find yourself throwing away the oldest or less loved items whether they are worn out or not. Think of the money you could save.

Wednesday – Declutter excess bath towels and in future only replace them when they wear out ~ Judging from many of the linen closets I encounter, during visiting friends and relatives, I would say the people generally replace towels on a far too regular basis. Not because they are no longer capable of the task of drying but simply because they are considered decor items that are to be replaced when tired of.

Thursday – Declutter any kitchen utensils or gadgets that you don’t use often enough to warrant keeping. ~ Who isn’t on the lookout for something that can make our workload lighter. When it comes to the home the kitchen is a major source of this focus. The problem is that many of the gadgets on the market don’t live up to their promise to lighten that load. The utensils drawer ends up with three different styles of peelers, can openers, potato mashers etc and the shelves are packed with all manner of electric gadgets. I must say that some credit has to be given to anyone who still believes on home cooking rather than caving into buying, not always healthy, prepared meals, but be sceptical about the usefulness or such gadgets.

Friday – Declutter any stationery items that are overstocked in your home. Especially if they were purchased for their novelty factor. Cute pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, thumb tacks, paperclips etc. ~ You may think this is an odd thing to suggest but you might be surprised at how often inexpensive items such as these are purchased when they aren’t needed.

Saturday – Declutter any children’s toys that are neglected, broken or perhaps never were enjoyed.~ Children don’t need more and more toys they need to be left to use their imaginations with a smaller selection. And they aren’t a substitute for quality time spent with parents and friends. If you find it necessary to allocate a room in your home just to store toys then you most likely have too many.

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

Reduce the number it items you buy just for the novelty factor, be they for you or as a gift for someone else.

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. Some really good mini-missions, Colleen. We have some decorator items I’m still trying to convince Mom to get rid of. Some kitchen utensils too. We don’t have to worry about pet or children’s toys. We actually need to replace some towels but hate to spend the money so keep putting it off. I’m gradually using up the overabundance of envelopes. Want to clear that drawer before the end of the year. Lots of little things I want to dispose of over time if I can.

    • Hi Deb, I understand how you feel about gradually decluttering those envelopes. As you know I have performed many a use it up challenge on little bits and pieces around my house over the last, almost fourteen, years. Some things seem like they will never reduce to nothing. I still have a couple of notebooks I am gradually working my way through.

  2. These are great for me – I have passed along extras in many of these categories, and I see I need to pass along more-especially the towels and toys! I have been packing up all the extra pens and pencils and giving them away to large families and children who need them!

    • Good for you Angela. Isn’t it amazing the amount of money,space and time we waste on acquiring and looking after stuff we didn’t need in the first place. I have well and truly learned my lesson when it comes to that.

  3. Spot on when talking about towels. I am guilty of buying new towels without even checking out what I had or had not in my home. I was on my way to doing it again, but thankfully I decided to do some decluttering and organize what I had before buying and it saved me money. I had way more towels than I imagined and more than enough for my needs and of my family.

    • As for kitchen gadgets you don’t need to have a full drawer/cupboards of gadgets to cook a home meal. I was once watching a cooking show and the chef said that if you had a good set of knives (about 4 good, sharpen knives to cut what needs to be cut) and some pots, you can cook anything. To cook good meals we use, in my house, fresh ingredients, a stove, good knives and pots. Most of the gadgets are designed to make us spend money on useless stuff we are never gong to use anyway.

      • Andreia – I agree, whenever I get all keen about a kitchen appliance for a particular recipe or food idea, I make myself commit to making by hand at least five times before I buy a gadget. Usually I have moved onto a new idea by then or found that the new recipe has already waned in popularity.

        • Having said that, I am just about to buy a replacement smoothie blender today as our last one died of long term exhaustion. I have no intention of mixing breakfast smoothies by hand!

        • That sounds about right to me too Moni. Also from past experience I am always doubtful that any gadget will really save me time anyway.

    • Hi Andréia, learning from our mistakes is key here. The mind boggles on how much money is wasted on this kind of unnecessary spending. This behaviour isn’t doing the environment any favours either.

      I agree entirely with what the chef said in your second comment here. It is amazing how many gadgets there are out there that only do what a few good knives can do. In fact one good knife would suffice. Watch any cooking show that shows people in Third World countries cooking and you will notice that they have honed their knife skills to the point where they can cut everything with one big sharp knife.

  4. Good mini missions – Happy Labour Day to all NZ’ers. Adrian is outside working on the gardens and I should be helping him! Update from last week: we had a heap of excess furniture stored in the upstairs storage room at work, most of which my son had indiscriminatly put dibbs on anything and everything going from everyone and anyone. This had grid-locked the room and so we got the ok from my son to sell a heap and the money will be used when he does get around to leaving home and establishes what he does actually need. Anyway, we put one bookcase and a bedroom suite on trademe, both sold. The lady who bought the bookcase asked to buy the matching one too (it had boxes of tax records sitting on the shelves, so I couldnt photograph it looking like that but made mention that there was a 2nd one also available and she asked to buy both) but those went Friday and the bedroom suite sold on Friday and was collected on Saturday. Adrian was there to hand over the goods and take the money, so I havent seen the upstairs room yet but he said it looks quite empty. There is still a lot to be sorted up there, but at least we can get to it now. Progress at last!

    • Moni, doesn’t it feel good to have all that furniture gone? Bet you will really enjoy being able to get that room cleaned up. then you will also have the fun of making sure it stays cleaned up and decluttered. I find it is so much easier to keep things decluttered once they have been decluttered the first time.

    • Congratulation Moni. I like the idea of putting the money aside for your son rather than storing all the bulking stuff. My experience is that they often move out into shared accommodation to begin with anyway and don’t really need much. There are also plenty of thrift shops, secondhand stores and of course Trade Me that he can get what he needs when he needs it.

  5. Hi ColleenI was re-reading some of your blogs. It’s always a pleasure, and inspirational, to do this. I often think of you as I clean each toilet with the toilet brush I leave next to each one (very defiant of me). I think of you carrying the brush around with you. I hasten to add that I have decluttered literally hundreds of items, with many more to go.
    Here is the reason why I like to keep a brush next to every toilet.
    This is a notice in an outside dunny next to the hall at Innamincka. Your American readers may like you to translate:
    If you score the bore, then do not blush.
    Think of others and use the brush.

    • Oh Katy, you are such a rebel. If all goes well and this new apartment deal works out my two toilets will be so close I won’t need to carry my one brush far. In fact I won’t need to carry anything very far. Except the groceries because the car will be way down in the basement car park. The exercise will do me good. Actually I am hoping I hardly ever need to use the car.

      As for that sign. I will translate, for the Americans or anyone who doesn’t understand Aussie lingo, that a dunny is a toilet and the signs says “You mess it up, you clean it up.”

  6. The title made me think we were to toss out our dark chocolate kisses–that is temptation for me.. We hauled a small oval quilt frame on a stand and 16 other items to the church women’s consignment shop this week. A lot of it was Christmas/winter decorative items, so we are ahead there. Most of the toys are gone except for a basketball and a few other items that the grandchildren sometimes play with. I’ve already begun a list for our next trip–spring/Easter items. These are nicer things that I would like to get some money for, but if they don’t sell, will more than likely donate rather than bring back home. That is what I have always done. These are all items that we like, but we no longer decorate
    I’m not so much a rebel as just knowing if I have to walk through the living room and kitchen to the other bathroom for a brush, it’s not going to happen. So we have always kept separate supplies everywhere we have had 2 baths. One daughter was even good at keeping the kids shared bath fairly clean.

    • Hi Nana, I would never be that hard on you my friend. A girl has to have her chocolate occasionally to keep her sane. 😉 Although I must say that Hershye’s has no business calling what they make chocolate, but that is just my opinion. Try some Ghirardelli or Lindt and you’ll never look back.

      Well done with the seasonal decluttering. I wish you success with the items you have earmarked for selling. It is always nice to recoup a little cash for our clutter.

      It seems I am on my own when it comes to the toilet brush. Ah well, ya can’t win them all. 😉 Mine is lightweight plastic with a bowls to catch the drips so I don’t mind carrying it through the house.

  7. These are great mini missions for me this week – I’ve been fairly stagnant with my decluttering the last few months – been working on use it up challenges and decluttering my lifestyle instead. But the other day I found a wee clock which had been a wedding present but got shoved in the cupboard instead of replacing the batteries, so I guess we wouldn’t miss it. We’ve also bought ( I know, bad word, sorry) new cutlery but this allows us to completely rationalise the cutlery drawer which had a mixture of sets and I’ve worked up to letting go of my grannies cutlery as part of the deal. We don’t have kids but I keep a basket of toys and one is broken so I will part with it, even though it has good memories for me (its only a wee vw toy van but…..vans are special, even toy ones, lol). Re towels, I actually need to go and buy some, I cleared out all worn excess before and now those that are left have seen better days too, arghh. Still, it will be nice to enjoy new fluffy towels when I get round to it and then pass the old ones on to the local animal shelter.
    Btw – I have a loo brush beside each one – to encourage folks to tidy up after themselves 🙂 and dunny translates as cludgie in Scots 🙂

  8. Thursday’s kitchen utensil mission struck home. I’m in the midst of another de-cluttering push…the last big one was two years ago. And in a prime example of the definition of clutter, I gave Goodwill no less than three pasta measuring devices…you stick the dry pasta sticks in different-sized holes and it shows you how many cooked ounces it will make. I went Gluten-Free more than 3 years ago. **Smacks forehead with heal of hand.**

    • Hi Marjorie and welcome to 365 Less Things. Don’t slap yourself too hard, you, no doubt, are not alone when it comes to silly kitchen clutter. I have owned one of two of these at times myself. One I bought at a garage sale and the other my son made at Shop class in middle school. We eat low carb six days a week in our house so not only have the pasta measurers gone but so has all but one variety of pasta. Some decluttering choices are much simpler than others and I am sure this one was an easy one for you. Well done.


  1. […] Andréia gives the facts on how few gadgets one needs in the kitchen. […]